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Is it worth the money to take my bike to a LBS for drivetrain cleanup?

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Is it worth the money to take my bike to a LBS for drivetrain cleanup?

Old 05-20-18, 07:03 PM
  #1  
fuji_owner
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Is it worth the money to take my bike to a LBS for drivetrain cleanup?

Hi guys,

It's been a while since I cleaned my drivetrain (chain, cassette, front cogs, front derailleur, rear derailleur) thoroughly. I mean I do wipe everything down and lube it before a ride, but it's accumulated gunk that's really caked on in the crevices. I don't have the tools or know how to disassemble everything and do a thorough clean.

My bike is quite expensive (~$8000 Ti) so I'm not sure I would want to leave my bike at a LBS for their cleanup. Do they put everything back together correctly? What are the chances that something might get damaged?

So I have trust issues as well as doubts about the value for the money they charge. Please share any experiences and advice, positive and negative.

Thanks!
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Old 05-20-18, 07:11 PM
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If you dont take it to a shop, what is the alternatice since you cant/wont clean it?

not sure if trolling or not...its a bike shop, they sell and sevice bikes. There is no general reason to think they cant clean a drivetrain- its a simple process for bike shops.

google local shops and read reviews. Pick the one you like the best.
Thats a way better process than asking random people to tell you good and bad stories about shops that you wont ever use due to location.
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Old 05-20-18, 07:15 PM
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I don't think anyone can answer that question for you, because it's a value judgement. I am not very mechanically inclined but I find it to be an easy task. I do own a decent quality chain scrubber. You really don't have to do any disassembly to speak of. I suppose every now and then you should remove the cassette, but otherwise you can do a pretty good job with everything as it is. It should be a very easy job for any bike shop to get right.
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Old 05-20-18, 07:19 PM
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Check Facebook in your area for feedback and recommendations. I know of a few cyclists who just want to enjoy riding and have their favorite LBS handle all maintenance and cleaning. Go for it. If you can afford it, they can sure use your business.
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Old 05-20-18, 07:23 PM
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When you buy a new toothbrush save the old one. When you wear out a pair of socks save them. Then you'll have half the tools you need to clean a bike.
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Old 05-20-18, 07:27 PM
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$8k bike and doesn't know how to clean the drivetrain? hmmm
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Old 05-20-18, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by fuji_owner View Post
Hi guys,

It's been a while since I cleaned my drivetrain (chain, cassette, front cogs, front derailleur, rear derailleur) thoroughly. I mean I do wipe everything down and lube it before a ride, but it's accumulated gunk that's really caked on in the crevices. I don't have the tools or know how to disassemble everything and do a thorough clean.

My bike is quite expensive (~$8000 Ti) so I'm not sure I would want to leave my bike at a LBS for their cleanup. Do they put everything back together correctly? What are the chances that something might get damaged?

So I have trust issues as well as doubts about the value for the money they charge. Please share any experiences and advice, positive and negative.

Thanks!
who is this????
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Old 05-20-18, 07:47 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
$8k bike and doesn't know how to clean the drivetrain? hmmm
I said in my original post that I do wipe everything periodically. But there just gunk in the crevices that I can't get out without taking everything apart, and yes, I'm not a trained mechanic. Geez!
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Old 05-20-18, 07:50 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
When you buy a new toothbrush save the old one. When you wear out a pair of socks save them. Then you'll have half the tools you need to clean a bike.
Yes, I do all of the above. It still doesn't get as clean as taking everything apart and dunking in a degreaser wash like the LBS does, right?
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Old 05-20-18, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by fuji_owner View Post
I said in my original post that I do wipe everything periodically. But there just gunk in the crevices that I can't get out without taking everything apart, and yes, I'm not a trained mechanic. Geez!
You don't need to be a "trained mechanic" to remove a chain and cassette, "Geez"!

It is a fairly simple process. If you want to go all out then removing the pulleys is no big deal either. . Just make note of how it was put together on disassembly.

It isn't worth the money on the time my bike is going to be tied up at the shop and transporting the bike back and forth. . When I can easily do the job in an hour or two at home.
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Old 05-20-18, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
$8k bike and doesn't know how to clean the drivetrain? hmmm
I know, right? It's like owning a $50k car and not doing own oil changes and detailing.
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Old 05-20-18, 08:15 PM
  #12  
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Invest some time and money in learning to maintain the bike. Many shops offer classes on basic maint, most are free but advanced can cost. Buy some tools, and chemicals.

I clean my bike and drivetrain every 150-200 miles. I have 18,000 miles on my cassette and change the chain every 3000-4000 miles. Over the winter I remove the cassette and chain rings and clean them in a ultrasonic cleaner. It cost a whole $60 on ebay.

Maintaining and riding a clean bike enhances the entire cycling experience.
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Old 05-20-18, 08:15 PM
  #13  
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Are you riding your $8k bike in dirt/snow/salt/sand/rain? And if you're already doing routine cleaning on it and you don't ride in crappy weather, which I assume you don't, then you probably don't need to overhaul the drivetrain. Unless it's not shifting well why the heck do you even need to overhaul it? More money than sense, I suspect.

Edit: On second thought, just spray some WD40 on it, let the gunk melt away. Wipe clean, and then relube. The LBS isn't going to take apart your derailleurs to clean them. That's too tedious and time-consuming, and a waste of time.
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Old 05-20-18, 08:17 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by fuji_owner View Post
I said in my original post that I do wipe everything periodically. But there just gunk in the crevices that I can't get out without taking everything apart, and yes, I'm not a trained mechanic. Geez!
I would recommend you take it to the shop for now. Then check if one of your LBS, community college, or bike co-op has classes on basic repairs / maintenance. Start small and learn about which tools are nreeded and your comfort level in the task.

NOt everyone is mechanically inclined. As Clint Eastwood said, "a man has to know his limitations." .
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Old 05-20-18, 08:23 PM
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Make friends with a fellow cyclist who is an accomplished mechanic. (like me!) Are you part of a local cycle club? Have any buddies who work on bikes? Many would be happy to give you a hand and show you how it's done. This eliminates your fear of leaving a bike at a shop and having it get damaged.

Also, check CL. I've seen techs who will travel to your home or work place and do the work on site. They don't charge any more than the LBS, and it's more convenient for you.

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Old 05-20-18, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by fuji_owner View Post
Hi guys,
So I have trust issues as well as doubts about the value for the money they charge.
Thanks!
Probably the biggest obstacle.
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Old 05-20-18, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Are you riding your $8k bike in dirt/snow/salt/sand/rain? And if you're already doing routine cleaning on it and you don't ride in crappy weather, which I assume you don't, then you probably don't need to overhaul the drivetrain. Unless it's not shifting well why the heck do you even need to overhaul it? More money than sense, I suspect.

Edit: On second thought, just spray some WD40 on it, let the gunk melt away. Wipe clean, and then relube. The LBS isn't going to take apart your derailleurs to clean them. That's too tedious and time-consuming, and a waste of time.
Thanks for the helpful tips, and for mentioning WD40. I'd used it in some other places, but not on my bikes. I read some more, including this thread:
Is WD40 a good solvent for cleaning drive chain?

I used WD40 and it did melt the gunk away and now I have a shiny clean chain and almost squeaky clean derailleurs and cassette. I won't be going to a LBS! Hurray!
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Old 05-21-18, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I know, right? It's like owning a $50k car and not doing own oil changes and detailing.
Thanks for the reality check. I don't like to mess with that stuff, either.

Erm, my car wasn't worth that 15 years ago.
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Old 05-21-18, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I know, right? It's like owning a $50k car and not doing own oil changes and detailing.
What's the cost of a synthetic oil change done by a local shop, or one done by one of the quickie oil change businesses?

Just curious. I do my own mostly for convenience, but it probably saves me some $ as well. It takes about 15 minutes and I don't have to take the car somewhere to do it. I get the supplies for a few changes all at once, then don't have to get them again for a couple years. Take the used oil and drop it at Advance Auto on my way past.

But as far as cleaning the derailler, don't take it apart!
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Old 05-21-18, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by fuji_owner View Post
My bike is quite expensive (~$8000 Ti) so I'm not sure I would want to leave my bike at a LBS for their cleanup. Do they put everything back together correctly? What are the chances that something might get damaged?
For the reason you state here, I'd find a shop that you trust, that is accustomed to working on expensive bikes. Otherwise though, I've seen shops that specifically advertise their cleaning services involving ultrasonic cleaners and parts cleaners. It's fun to have a perfectly detailed bike.
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Old 05-21-18, 06:36 AM
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Just search YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...cle+drivetrain
8990 results
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Old 05-21-18, 08:56 AM
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No way I'd trust leaving my $8000 bike overnight in a bike shop for cleaning. Or my $800 bike for that matter, (since I don't have an $8K bike).
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Old 05-21-18, 09:32 AM
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Find a bike shop you trust, and just start going there! There really isn't any reason to not have them do that work! It may be called more than just cleaning, like a minor or major overhaul, or general maintenance.

No reason to be embarrassed or anything else - for having someone do what you want! I would trust my local shop to do that work, if I desired.

You may be looking for an annual maintenance from a professional. Frequently done by many! A normal occurrence in any good bike shop!

I just don't understand all the negativity toward a reasonable question!

MHO

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Old 05-21-18, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
No way I'd trust leaving my $8000 bike overnight in a bike shop for cleaning. Or my $800 bike for that matter, (since I don't have an $8K bike).
whaat? is the bike shop going to steal or lose your bike? or maybe there is a plot to remove all your dura-ace parts and replace them with some claris parts.

I dont think you have anything to worry about in leaving your bike other than its time consuming, but if you have an $8k bike and it doesnt get cleaned regularly a couple bucks to get it cleaned may be worth it. a clean drivetrain, or bike for that matter, will require less maintenance and parts will last longer. while they are cleaning it they may find your chain is worn out and needs replaced.

now I concur that you should learn/invest in some bike cleaning equipment, it will save you time and money in the long run and it is satisfying.

gallon jug of heavy duty citrus cleaner
park tool chain cleaner
good chain lube

the rest you can repurpose household items, toothbrush, rags, sponge and bucket

I wouldn't use wd40 on chain or cassettes unless you clean it all the way off and relube with proper chain lube
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Old 05-21-18, 09:47 AM
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Just take the bike to a Dirt Stripper and use the highest pressure wash you can find. Be sure you point the wand directly at the hubs and bottom bracket for that uber-super cleaning! You'll be glad you did.
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