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Cleaning Drivetrain – Tar Like Substance and Cause??

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Cleaning Drivetrain – Tar Like Substance and Cause??

Old 06-22-20, 03:35 PM
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Witterings
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Cleaning Drivetrain – Tar Like Substance and Cause??

I don’t know what’s caused it but my whole drivetrain has become caked in an almost tar like substance …. I wonder if maybe I didn’t wipe enough of the excess off last time I oiled it and it’s attracted a load of dirt but if anyone knows what may cause it ?? I’ve been using Muc-off wet lube in case it makes a difference although appreciate Dry may be better for this time of year.

Also how do you clean something that “sticky” off …. I used degreaser on the chain which has done an “OK” job but am very hesitant to put it near the jockey wheels and the smaller sprockets near the axle in case any spills over and gets inside the bearings and breaks down their lubrication.

Any help / comments much appreciated!!
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Old 06-22-20, 08:57 PM
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Sounds like too much lube. Any bike specific cleaner should be safe.

Last edited by Mulberry20; 06-22-20 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 06-23-20, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Mulberry20 View Post
Sounds like too much lube. Any bike specific cleaner should be safe.
Cheers for that ... I also found a video after posting saying "layering" oil i.e. toping it up without a clean in between is a possible cuase as well, I think I've wrongly assumed that because the weather's been good and I've not been cycling in wet and mud it doesn't need cleaning so much.
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Old 06-23-20, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
Cheers for that ... I also found a video after posting saying "layering" oil i.e. toping it up without a clean in between is a possible cuase as well, I think I've wrongly assumed that because the weather's been good and I've not been cycling in wet and mud it doesn't need cleaning so much.
Probably correct. In dry weather you can get a lot of dust, depending where you are, which can also build up a thick layer of gunk in time.
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Old 06-23-20, 09:54 AM
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Muc Off wet lube does the same on my bike, I only use it for gravel rides where I know it's going to get nasty, and then anticipate the cleanup afterwards. I used their dry lube most of the time, much less gunk buildup.
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Old 06-23-20, 12:14 PM
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A dirty chain drives me crazy. My two favorites for a clean chain are Rock n Roll Gold but even better is Smoove.

Smoove is incredibly clean and quite. I highly recommend it.
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Old 06-23-20, 12:32 PM
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Or if you really get sick of the mess: wax.

Start with a new chain and degrease it first. Make sure the drivetrain components are pristine. It will be the last time you have to clean anything if you do that.
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Old 06-23-20, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Muc Off wet lube does the same on my bike, I only use it for gravel rides where I know it's going to get nasty, and then anticipate the cleanup afterwards. I used their dry lube most of the time, much less gunk buildup.
It'll probably dussuade me from ever using it again I think if it's a known issue as it really is a pain, I tried cleaning the chain and cassette /chain rings with muc-off drivechain cleaner and it's hardly touched it.

I've ordered som of their dry and will try that .... any idea how many miles you get before a top up's needed and if you have to clean teh chain everytime you do??

I also had a look at a couple of reviews of smoove .... certainly seems worth a try although I'm always a little cautious as to how "independant" some of the reviews are.
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Old 06-25-20, 08:24 PM
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That tar sounds like a chain that hasn't been cleaned in a long while. The best cleaner I've use has been the White Lightning Clean Streak, man it gets my chains cleaned fast, I don't know if it's the best but it works plenty well enough for me.

I'm just now experimenting with Dumonde Tech Lite so not sure how well it will work, I was using Rock N Roll Ultimate dry and it's a very good lube, but for touring I don't want to be cleaning the chain out on the road, and supposedly the Dumonde stuff all you do is wipe the chain off, and when the chain starts to make noise you reapply the lube, which means I won't have to carry cleaning solvents, seems like a lot of hype to me but I'm going to try it.
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Old 06-25-20, 08:52 PM
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If you have a bicycle stand & feel like giving it a try, you can take a large bar of soap & hold it against the rear cassette as you spin the crank. Remember to shift thru the cogs as you do this or you'll just be sudsing the one gear. It has worked decently well for me, but it is not a 100% solution.
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Old 06-26-20, 01:39 PM
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I take it off and put in a gallon plastic jug with a few ounces of Diesel. Like shampoo, rinse, and repeat. Comes out nice and clean
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