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Drivetrain Cleaning

Old 09-29-20, 07:57 PM
Beach Bob
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Drivetrain Cleaning

How often is everyone cleaning their chain/cassettes/chainrings? I'm normally a roadie and clean the drivetrain weekly, but having started up on gravel, I'm horrified at how much grime/gunk builds up in a ride. Are people cleaning after every ride? or just learning to live with a bit of premature wear for the sake of ease of maintenance?
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Old 09-29-20, 08:41 PM
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For my typical gravel rides, I wipe the chain down after each ride, and lube the chain every 50-80 miles.
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Old 09-29-20, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Beach Bob View Post
Are people cleaning after every ride? or just learning to live with a bit of premature wear for the sake of ease of maintenance?
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Old 09-29-20, 09:00 PM
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I'm normally a mountain biker and I clean and lube when it's dirty, which is after most rides. The few times I've had the pleasure of riding gravel roads I cleaned after the ride. That dust gets into everything,
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Old 09-29-20, 09:27 PM
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Drivetrain cleaning has been just squeezing some soapy water over the crank / cassette / jockey wheels since I started doing waxed chains. 3,000 miles of just doing that, and the cassette + jockey wheels still had nothing on them besides some harmless old wax residue. It was a pretty dry and dusty summer here too.
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Old 09-29-20, 10:28 PM
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I'll hose it off after a long ride where it gets a heavy coating of dust or dirt, then dry it and lube the chain.
Every couple months I'll degrime the rear derailleur.
I know I took a brush to the frame earlier this year, im guessing it was around May.

I just hose down the frame, fork, and wheels, spray some diluted soap water all over, then putz around for a few minutes and come back to rinse it off. An hour later its dry and ill lube the chain. Its like 5 minutes of work.
I would do more if I found that my current effort resulted in poor performance or premature wear, but its worked for years so far.
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Old 09-29-20, 10:48 PM
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If I'm just riding pavement, I leave it alone until after the next dirt ride. Chain, chainring, cassette, and pulleys get rag-cleaned and degreased at that point, and I apply fresh lube then.
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Old 09-30-20, 06:46 AM
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I road bike my gravel bike too, on the road, I just wipe down and lube the drivetrain. For gravel rides, she gets a full wash, because she always comes back really dirty/muddy. Even with a meticulous cleaning regimen, parts will wear out quicker, because of all the grit that's in there while you're riding.
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Old 09-30-20, 08:19 AM
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I use prolink or the blue finishline cleaner lube, with both I just put some on as I spin the chain around a few times, let it sit and after about 3-5 minutes of making sure the brakes and gears are adjusted I run the chain through a rag till virtually nothing comes off. I try to do this every few weeks or whenever I think the chain looks dry. I find the cassette and crank don't end up gunked up doing this though I'll wipe off the chainring and push the rag against the der pulleys after I've finished the chain. Chain wear is fairly average. Mud ride requires a cleaning after every ride.
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Old 09-30-20, 08:51 AM
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Where I ride it's very dry, and I ride lots of dry, dusty fireroads and singletrack. Mud is a fairly rare phenomenon here!
Ever since I started using dry lube (currently Muc-Off) I'm pleasantly surprised how little (like, usually none) gunk builds up. When I was using "whatever" lube (must have been wet lube-not sure as I was more of a noob then) I would most certainly need to get in there with a brush, etc after most rides. Now I just wipe the chain off, and apply a little more dry lube after a ride, or, if the bike has gotten fairly dusty I'll quickly hose it down, let dry, and lube the chain. Maybe every 3-4 mos I'll use some orange degreaser and get in there with a brush but it's usually not even really necessary.
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Old 09-30-20, 10:55 AM
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Since I started hot waxing about 3 years ago, I haven't cleaned a drivetrain since. The only time solvents involved is when I need to strip the factory lube off of a fresh chain.

Full disclosure, I do occasionally wipe the buildup of wax flakes off of the jockey wheels. Not that they're hurting anything.
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Old 10-01-20, 01:40 PM
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I clean the drivetrain every 1-2 rides
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Old 10-05-20, 08:25 AM
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I'm a white lightning devotee--I apply it every couple of rides, and clean every month-ish. My drivetrain usually doesn't look that pretty, but its quiet and the chain wear isn't too bad. I'm not doing enormous miles on my gravel bike though.

Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Since I started hot waxing about 3 years ago, I haven't cleaned a drivetrain since.
I don't see what your hair removal routine has to do with chain cleaning.
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