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Serious cassette cleaning

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Serious cassette cleaning

Old 11-05-09, 02:56 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by foresthill View Post
Hmm. I've found simple green works great to make the gunk easier to remove. The only problem I have is how to clean off the gunk/simple green mixture. This is on a SRAM red cassette, so taking the cogs apart is not an option. Rags tend to get caught on the cogs, and the spacing is so narrow, it's hard to fit cloth between them anyway. Toothbrush just kind of seems to spread stuff around...
1 - soak it. That should dissolve it enough to allow the "gunk" to come off with rinsing.

2 - A rag will fit in there. Take a shop duty paper towell (the blue kind) or a reusable rage (for the environment yo) and fold it once. Feed the rag in between the "cogs" (or rather teeth profiles on that cassette). Then slide it back and forth (left to right if facnig the cassette ont he wheel). This will freewheel the cassette to a new position and then brace it as you run the rag back over it.

It's a technique I have used since the late 80's and freehweels and really ehlps to clean in between the cogs with the cassette still assembled....or like in your case...1 piece.
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Old 11-05-09, 02:56 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Is the bottom bracket going to be damaged after that?
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Old 11-05-09, 02:57 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by schnabler1 View Post
Mineral spirits, duh.
Double duh!

Remove, dissasemble, soak, wipe clean, reassemble, re-install, joy.

The chain needs lube, not the cassette. Unless you count a little grease on the freehub splines...
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Old 11-05-09, 02:59 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
1 - soak it. That should dissolve it enough to allow the "gunk" to come off with rinsing.

2 - A rag will fit in there. Take a shop duty paper towell (the blue kind) or a reusable rage (for the environment yo) and fold it once. Feed the rag in between the "cogs" (or rather teeth profiles on that cassette). Then slide it back and forth (left to right if facnig the cassette ont he wheel). This will freewheel the cassette to a new position and then brace it as you run the rag back over it.

It's a technique I have used since the late 80's and freehweels and really ehlps to clean in between the cogs with the cassette still assembled....or like in your case...1 piece.
This.

If I've been riding in the rain a lot and the drivetrain is totally bunked, I'll take off the cassette completely (I also have Red) and dunk in degreaser, then use Simple Green and toothbrush, and then finally dishwasher soap and brush to get it totally clean.
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Old 11-05-09, 03:01 PM
  #30  
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I normally don't care about total cleanliness but it's awesome when you do a complete detailing and then it rains the very next ride
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Old 11-05-09, 03:06 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by DScott View Post
Double duh!

Remove, dissasemble, soak, wipe clean, reassemble, re-install, joy.

The chain needs lube, not the cassette. Unless you count a little grease on the freehub splines...
+1

The cassette gears don't require any lubrication, besides that contained in the chain and deposited on the wear edges. Your better cassettes are nickel plated, so they shouldn't be subject to rust. If you're still worried about rust, coat them with a little White Lightning or other dry wax lube before re-assembly.

Like other posters, I find it a lot easier to remove the cassette periodically for cleaning, rather than trying to do a decent job while it's still on the wheel. It's a lot more work for less complete results, IME. If you've cleaned and dried each gear, you know that sucker is clean.
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Old 11-05-09, 03:09 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by kimconyc View Post
Is the bottom bracket going to be damaged after that?
No...but you might start getting a bit of a welp out of it.
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Old 11-05-09, 03:14 PM
  #33  
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Weekly I spray with some dollar store degreaser, let it sit for a few, brush with a thin brush from WallyWorld, rinse with water, dry like psimet (flossing the cogs with the edge of a towel) and then lube with Easy Lube. The only trick is to make sure the chain is clear of all the degreaser.
Looks like brand new every week. Rides quieter too.
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Old 11-05-09, 03:18 PM
  #34  
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I did mine the other day, took the wheel off, got a plastic container with some mineral turpentine in it and a paint brush, leaned the wheel over and brushed the cassette, came up looking like new.
someone might tell me how bad turps is for a cassette but it works fine for me, saves taking it off too.
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Old 11-05-09, 03:37 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by SteveJ View Post
I did mine the other day, took the wheel off, got a plastic container with some mineral turpentine in it and a paint brush, leaned the wheel over and brushed the cassette, came up looking like new.
someone might tell me how bad turps is for a cassette but it works fine for me, saves taking it off too.
I would be more concerned about some getting into your wheel bearings with that method. Taking a cassette off and cleaning it does not take that long. 20 minutes tops.
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Old 11-05-09, 03:40 PM
  #36  
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20 mins vs 5 mins = more time riding
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Old 11-05-09, 03:41 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by stevej View Post
20 mins vs 5 mins = more time fixing other bikes, cleaning something else, building wheels, or posting on bike forums...just sayin...
ftfy
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Old 11-05-09, 03:46 PM
  #38  
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some strong degreasers don't react well with seals.
simple green should be fine.
that would be one reason to take the casette off the wheel.
the other is that it allows you to check the freehub for wear (can be a problem with aluminum ones and shimano casettes).
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Old 11-05-09, 04:02 PM
  #39  
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Any kind of distillate is best for cleaning cassettes. I find some of the best are Kerosene, Diesel, or if you can afford it, a heavy duty indistrial parts cleaner. I use Mk V commercial solvent. The stuff eats away everything dirt/grease related, but is mild enough to leave the O-rings for the freehub seals alone.

That way, I can just remove the chain (w/quick link), toss it in a jar to soak, then I use a small Paint Brush with solvent to clean the cassette. A paint brush is great, because it allows you to get in between all the individual cogs without having to remove them.
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Old 11-05-09, 04:14 PM
  #40  
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I use bacon grease to lube the chain. Once per week, I let the dog into the garage to clean it.
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Old 11-05-09, 04:18 PM
  #41  
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If you want to clean it with no hassel get yourself a can of brake cleaner from your local parts house and have at. Wipe it down after you are done and it will look good as new. The kerosine / diesel recomendation is a good one too. Lp
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Old 11-05-09, 04:22 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Spinz View Post
If you want to clean it with no hassel get yourself a can of brake cleaner from your local parts house and have at. Wipe it down after you are done and it will look good as new. The kerosine / diesel recomendation is a good one too. Lp
MAKE SURE you remove the cassette if you use brake cleaner. Brake cleaner EATS O-rings. If you do pull the cassette, like the OP said, then yeah, it's great stuff.
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Old 11-05-09, 04:26 PM
  #43  
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Take small bucket, add Simple Green, throw in the cassette. Pull the pieces out and use an old paintbrush for cleaning. Rinse with clean water and dry. Add more water to the Simple Green and use that to clean the rest of the bike.
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Old 11-05-09, 04:28 PM
  #44  
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purple power works a treat...
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Old 11-05-09, 04:36 PM
  #45  
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When the cars need a MAF cleaning the cassette gets it as well
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Old 11-05-09, 05:14 PM
  #46  
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Last time I did mine, I left it soaking in petrol for a couple of days, giving it a swirl every now and then.

Then scrubbed it off with detergent - worked well.
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Old 11-05-09, 05:18 PM
  #47  
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And don't worry about the environment with all these industrial cleaners. We'll just make another one, eventually.

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Old 11-05-09, 05:23 PM
  #48  
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I used to feel that way. But, gosh. After about 4 rides it again looks unclean.. I just have a specific brush for cassette's and use a chain cleaner.. . With three bikes, I give each bike a complete bath about once a month.
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Old 11-05-09, 07:30 PM
  #49  
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My method: it cleans the chain and cassette to their original finish.

You need:
-Simple Green, undiluted
-Toothbrush
-Bucket of bike wash/water
-Sponge
-Hose
-Air Compressor
---
When I'm washing the bike with a hose, bucket of soapy water and sponge, I spray the drivetrain down with water. I then proceed to spray the cassette with a liberal amount of Simple Green. I thenscrub it with the tooth brush and move the cassette with my hand when I need to (hand on the cassette so it doesn't move when you don't want it to).
Keep on doing this untilt he cahin and cassette are clean. Then I move onto the chainrings.
---
After the drivetrain, I finish washing the bike and use an air compressor with a spray gun attachment to blow water off the bike and cassette.

I've been doing this for a year with no problems. The trick is to let the drivetrain dry, then apply your lube before the stuff rusts. I get much better life out of my chains and cassettes. Some cassettes have easily 7000 miles without much wear. Frequent cleaning mixed with frequent chain replacements makes cassettes last forever.
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Old 11-05-09, 08:12 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Palomar01 View Post
I agree with you on cleaning it. I clean mine every 75-100 miles. I use the brush method but I just don't remove the cassette nor expect it to get nice and new looking.
So 2-3 times per week??? I don't think so.
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