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Brushes and cleaning supplies

Old 02-17-21, 06:44 AM
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Narhay
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Brushes and cleaning supplies

I'm in the market for some new scrubbing brushes for dirty parts and wondering what you use. Once upon a time I had the Park gear cleaning brush which was nice and stiff but it wore out and is too expensive to replace all the time.

I was disassembling and scrubbing cassettes last night and was thinking my current dollar store brush was on its last legs and perhaps there was better option for all components.

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Old 02-17-21, 07:09 AM
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After cleaning with mineral spirits, I use an old rag and slide it between the sprockets. The back and forth motion uses the ratcheting of the freewheel to rotate the block. Old tooth brush on the sprocket teeth.

A majority of the cleaning is done with a rag and toothbrush, even some polishing with mothers to get to hard places like around the spokes on the hub.
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Old 02-17-21, 09:18 AM
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The wife got mad at me for stealing her dish scrubbing brush. But I told her the bristles were long enough to clean in between the freewheel sprockets.

So I put it back and bought myself 2 new ones.

99 cent store is my go to place for bike cleaning stuff like scrub brushes, zip ties, rags, 0000 steel wool and sometimeswd40 is in stock.
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Old 02-17-21, 09:26 AM
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Honestly, I don't bother with brushes on freewheels anymore. For as little as $6 you can get a cheapo set on Amazon, search their site for: B07H2X9LJX

Regular cheap paint brush to paint mineral spirits or your choice of grease solvent info the gaps, the steel handle paint brushes work great. Let soak. Use the plastic tool from the kit above through the valley of the cogs to break crap up. Run the spine of a cheap red shop towel through each valley. To get the front/back sides of the cogs in said valley, wrap the shop cloth around the plastic tool, reinsert, wipe. No brush needed.

On brushes, I've got a gaggle of old toothbrushes, but the detail brush kits you get at any auto parts store with one steel, one brass, one plastic bristled brush for $3-5 are perfect for every aspect of working on bikes not requiring long reach. But using a brush with long reach is a futile task: The bristles get jacked up quickly.
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Old 02-17-21, 09:53 AM
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My favorite part of that ad is the second picture that states " The bottom brush can clean the dust in the frisbee"
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Old 02-17-21, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
After cleaning with mineral spirits, I use an old rag and slide it between the sprockets. The back and forth motion uses the ratcheting of the freewheel to rotate the block. Old tooth brush on the sprocket teeth.

A majority of the cleaning is done with a rag and toothbrush, even some polishing with mothers to get to hard places like around the spokes on the hub.
Yup! It's called flossing and it works well. I just did the Medici before I lubed the chain . The edge of shop rags have that edge that fits nicely between the cogs on my 5 &6 speed FW's.
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Old 02-17-21, 10:39 AM
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a good product for removing grease is antiseptic wipes
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Old 02-17-21, 11:28 AM
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Rag with some solvent method works well, though I like to add in a sheet of card board for some rigidity to really get in there. It helps to cut the carboard into the shape you need, like a gear scrapper half circle kinda shape, or if its a tight fit the cardboard by itself works pretty decent too.
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Old 02-17-21, 04:49 PM
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Old rag with mineral spirits works great. For things like cassettes and chainrings I use a toothbrush. I don't use any brushed larger than that, but the toothbrushes can't get deep down between the cogs.
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Old 02-17-21, 05:05 PM
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I go really high tech with my cleaning supplies: paper towels and WD-40.
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Old 02-17-21, 08:25 PM
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I like to use a thin steel rule as a scraper to peel away the gunk that has settled and hardened just below the tooth valleys.

Then it's on to a strong cleaner of some sort, and the flossing methods and brushes.

Only by removing the cogs can you make an old freewheel look like this though (this one was a custom Shimano "Ultra-6" build, so had to come apart anyway).

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Old 02-17-21, 08:33 PM
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When I was in high school, a friend would load all his components into the dishwasher and run it with Cascade and no dry cycle. Came out clean and his mother never suspected.
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Old 02-17-21, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Only by removing the cogs can you make an old freewheel look like this though (this one was a custom Shimano "Ultra-6" build, so had to come apart anyway).
Not entirely true. Slow cooker on low will with heavily diluted degreaser get you similar results. But will also purge the entire outer body and internal workings of all grease. Without a tool such as Stein's freewheel injector or manual disassembly and repack you'll never get that back.
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Old 02-17-21, 08:45 PM
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Looking for solvent suggestion for old, sticky, dried oil

Recently I've been working on a 1970 Gitane that had been in storage for over 25 years. The drivetrain and brakes were covered in a tan/light brown sticky oil? that does not dissolve in citrus cleaner, kerosene, or mineral spirits. Kerosene softened this stuff, but certainly not what I was expecting. Everything was heavily coated in it (including the right chain stay) as if it was applied as a preservative and it smelled a bit like linseed oil. Also, the grease in the headset and bottom bracket was dried out and wax-like, but that was easy to clean out.
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Old 02-17-21, 09:46 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I have used mineral spirits on a couple very caked on bits but I prefer to use stuff that can go down the drain and dont need to worry about stinking up the house or disposing of at the haz waste drop off.
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Old 02-18-21, 12:44 AM
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I don’t use any brushes or cleaning supplies...other than a bit of mineral spirits on new chains and an occasional trip to car wash when the cow crap gets too thick...on my bikes because I don’t need to. These shots were all taken without prior cleaning to the picture being taken. I can go out and pull the same bikes off the wall right now and they would still be as clean.



Not the closest picture but you can see that it’s clean.



This one I just got back from the frame shop and rebuilt it. No cleaning of the drivetrain nor the frame were needed before I took it to the welder.



Here it is being built.



Same bike about 9 months ago.



Touring bike. I put a new chain and cassette on it about 5 years ago. The chain was replaced because it had worn out but the cassette was part of a gearing upgrade.



This one is actually “dirty” comparatively. It does have about 3000 miles on it.



The key is to not use a lubricant that makes a mess and to use it sparingly. Life is easier...and a bit boring...if you don’t have to clean everything all the time.
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Old 02-18-21, 07:17 AM
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between cogs on a cassette I used 1/8" braided rope. I leave the cassette or the freewheel on the wheel and use the rope like floss. I also use an old toilet brush and an old bottle brush.
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Old 02-18-21, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bwilli88 View Post
between cogs on a cassette I used 1/8" braided rope. I leave the cassette or the freewheel on the wheel and use the rope like floss.
Cool idea. I do something similar and use the sewn collar part of a T-shirt as floss. The sewing holds up well enough and the fabric gets a lot of the grit out.

And like others I try to get things like brushes, scrubbers, etc. at the dollar store. My local store even has citrus degreaser that works surprisingly well also.
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