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Drivetrain Cleaning help

Old 02-08-08, 06:55 PM
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Drivetrain Cleaning help

I'm not as nitpicky as some of you guys, but even after cleaning my chain a couple of times, I still have grime between the links and I can't get it out. What should I do?

I have one of those chain cleaning tools (spin doctor) and degreaser solution. It makes the chain clean, but it doesn't help the contact points between the cogs and the chain all that much...

When I clean my chain next time, I'm going to take off my rear wheel and clean each of the cogs with the cog brush like I normally do, but I'm also going to use a rag to get between the cogs and work everything out of there.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 02-08-08, 08:38 PM
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Couple options. Normally you just need a rag - take the back wheel off (don't remove the cassette) and slide the rag back and forth a few times between each cog. Or use a brush. Taking the cassette apart is usually overkill.
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Old 02-08-08, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by RC2
Couple options. Normally you just need a rag - take the back wheel off (don't remove the cassette) and slide the rag back and forth a few times between each cog. Or use a brush. Taking the cassette apart is usually overkill.
+1 - This usually works pretty well.

However, once a month I usually take the cassette apart and give it a good scrub as well, just to get rid of any stubborn grime. Kerosene works well for this as well, since it water soluble and will come off with a gentle hosing.
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Old 02-08-08, 11:14 PM
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IF you are allowed:.....................................................(a big if)

Remove chain. Tie into old pair of socks or similar. Place in laundry machine on the hottest available cycle with plenty of soap. Don't do your white shirts at the same time. Retrieve perfectly clean chain, dry, replace and relube.

No, I'm not kidding - It really does work and will not hurt anything. I have also read that the dishwasher can be applied to this task, but can't quite bring myself to this level.

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Old 02-08-08, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed Holland
IF you are allowed:.....................................................(a big if)

Remove chain. Tie into old pair of socks or similar. Place in laundry machine on the hottest available cycle with plenty of soap. Don't do your white shirts at the same time. Retrieve perfectly clean chain, dry, replace and relube.

No, I'm not kidding - It really does work and will not hurt anything. I have also read that the dishwasher can be applied to this task, but can't quite bring myself to this level.

Ed
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Old 02-08-08, 11:38 PM
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On the occasional clean up, chain and cog cleaning keeps it clean enough.

On really dirty days: I just put the chain and cogs into a small plastic container and spray on some simple green automotive degreaser + water and let it sit for a while. After that I scrub it with a drive train cleaing brush.
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Old 02-09-08, 01:09 AM
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I use the connex connector on the chain, remove, insert twist ties into the ends of the links (so as not to lose bits), lower chain into an old bike bottle half full of kero and shake. Pour out the kero into a 5 gallon paint drum, and wipe the chain clean with a towel -- lots of wiping. Comes out gleaming. Then for a quick clean I will use a paint brush lightly loaded with kero and 'paint' through the cogset; then I spray the cogset clean with the hose -- comes out gleaming. Reconnect chain, and run the chain while grasping it lightly with the towel; run through all the gears. Wait a while, then re-lube. When I have the chain off I will also turn the crankset as I hold the towel against it. I then do the jockey and tension pulleys with a cloth.

I will often remove the cogset and soak it in kero for a truly perfect cleaning job.
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Old 02-09-08, 02:13 AM
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I have stuff stuck between the the openings of the chain though...

I have a 10 speed shimano chain and I don't think that there's a quick link there, otherwise I would have taken the chain off and washed it through water or something.
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Old 02-09-08, 02:28 AM
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If you have a quick link- take the chain off and Put in a plastic bottle with some Kerosene or your favourite Boi-Degradable cleaner in and shake. Change the fluid till it remains clear and then wash off. Spray with water displacement oil (WD40 etc) and replace and lube.

If like me you don't have a quick link- Use the chain cleaning tool and a 1" brush to get the bits the tool doesn't clean. Change the fluid in the tool until it stays clean then wash, WD40 and lube.

And while you are on it- Check the length of the chain to see if it has stretched.
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Old 02-09-08, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche
I'm not as nitpicky as some of you guys, but even after cleaning my chain a couple of times, I still have grime between the links and I can't get it out. What should I do?

I have one of those chain cleaning tools (spin doctor) and degreaser solution. It makes the chain clean, but it doesn't help the contact points between the cogs and the chain all that much...

When I clean my chain next time, I'm going to take off my rear wheel and clean each of the cogs with the cog brush like I normally do, but I'm also going to use a rag to get between the cogs and work everything out of there.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
Incorrect.

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html

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Old 02-09-08, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by rollin

When I was first learning about road bikes, and found that link, it scared the crap out of me...that is, until I looked at the post date.
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Old 02-09-08, 02:24 PM
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I have another question. Can I take off a 10 speed chain and put it back together without damaging it if I don't have a quick pin?

I'm thinking of taking the chain and cassette to another bike and I'd need to take it off, clean everything and then put it back on.

Thanks!
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Old 02-09-08, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche
I have another question. Can I take off a 10 speed chain and put it back together without damaging it if I don't have a quick pin?

I'm thinking of taking the chain and cassette to another bike and I'd need to take it off, clean everything and then put it back on.

Thanks!
Rarely use the Proper joining pin on any chain. I just re-use the rivet that has been used to break the chain.
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Old 02-09-08, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by stapfam
Rarely use the Proper joining pin on any chain. I just re-use the rivet that has been used to break the chain.
I used to do that all the time until it came back to bite me in the arse on a long ride.

But with the available quick-release links, there's no reason to not use one, which allows you to take the chain off in 30 seconds and shake the ***** out of it in a 2 liter soda bottle with your cleaner of choice.
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Old 02-09-08, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by yak
I used to do that all the time until it came back to bite me in the arse on a long ride.

But with the available quick-release links, there's no reason to not use one, which allows you to take the chain off in 30 seconds and shake the ***** out of it in a 2 liter soda bottle with your cleaner of choice.
What do you do if you don't have one of those quick links?
I heard that breaking and putting a 10 speed chain back together weakens it a lot.
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Old 02-09-08, 05:41 PM
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People people, you can take your chain off without a quick link.

All you need to do is take off the pulleys on your RD and undo 1 screw on the FD. You need to clean the pulleys really well once in a while anyway, especially if you notice the chain getting dirtier faster after a cleaning. Dirt always gets stuck in between the pulley and the cage where you can't get to it with a brush.

It's not rocket science! The pulleys are usually labeled top and bottom and just have brass bushings in them, which a good cleaning will help. You don't need to grease them if they're brass, because it's a self lubricating metal.
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Old 02-09-08, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Hocam
People people, you can take your chain off without a quick link.

All you need to do is take off the pulleys on your RD and undo 1 screw on the FD. You need to clean the pulleys really well once in a while anyway, especially if you notice the chain getting dirtier faster after a cleaning. Dirt always gets stuck in between the pulley and the cage where you can't get to it with a brush.

It's not rocket science! The pulleys are usually labeled top and bottom and just have brass bushings in them, which a good cleaning will help. You don't need to grease them if they're brass, because it's a self lubricating metal.
I had a feeling that's what was going to be said.
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Old 02-09-08, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche
What do you do if you don't have one of those quick links?
I heard that breaking and putting a 10 speed chain back together weakens it a lot.
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Old 02-09-08, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Hocam
People people, you can take your chain off without a quick link.

All you need to do is take off the pulleys on your RD and undo 1 screw on the FD. You need to clean the pulleys really well once in a while anyway, especially if you notice the chain getting dirtier faster after a cleaning. Dirt always gets stuck in between the pulley and the cage where you can't get to it with a brush.

It's not rocket science! The pulleys are usually labeled top and bottom and just have brass bushings in them, which a good cleaning will help. You don't need to grease them if they're brass, because it's a self lubricating metal.
If I had to do that every time I wanted to clean my chain it would be filthy.

FWIW, I don't remove my pulleys more than 2-3 times a season . If you go that route be careful not to over-torque the screws or strip the heads - its' not that hard to do. I like to re-treat the screws with loc-tite before reassembly.
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Old 02-09-08, 08:36 PM
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Just from personal experience, I like using an empty, plastic soda bottle, pouring about an inch of cleaner in (simple green, etc), then the chain, resealing, and shaking.

If it has been a while, I'll do a second shake with more clean fluid. It takes only a few seconds and it does a good job.
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Old 02-09-08, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by yak
If I had to do that every time I wanted to clean my chain it would be filthy.

FWIW, I don't remove my pulleys more than 2-3 times a season . If you go that route be careful not to over-torque the screws or strip the heads - its' not that hard to do. I like to re-treat the screws with loc-tite before reassembly.
I rarely take my chain off to clean it, and never stated you should. I do it maybe every 1,000-1,500 miles or so.

I do take my chainrings off every few times I clean the chain, and clean the cogs at the same time.
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Old 02-09-08, 10:22 PM
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Well, I was thinking of cleaning one of my chains before moving the chain and cassette to another bike. And I was wondering if I could break the 10 speed chain and then put it together on the other bike without ruining it.
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Old 02-11-08, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Hocam
People people, you can take your chain off without a quick link.

All you need to do is take off the pulleys on your RD and undo 1 screw on the FD.
Sorry to disagree, but that won't work entirely, because the chain passess through the stays - it must be separated somehow for complete removal from the bike.

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Old 02-11-08, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed Holland
Sorry to disagree, but that won't work entirely, because the chain passess through the stays - it must be separated somehow for complete removal from the bike.

Ed
^^ i came in here to say that
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Old 02-11-08, 04:29 PM
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Dang it!
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