Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
585 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I'm going to be cleaning my drivetrain for the first time since getting it a year ago. I would like some advice.

1. I believe I need to degrease the chain and reapply some new grease. Is there any reason not to degrease it? What is a good brand name grease or more specifically what should I look for in chain grease? I know that I do not ride in rain or snow so I think I may need something light and dry to prevent attracting mud, but is there anything else I need to know?

2. I plan to clean the big chainring and the cassette. I will need a brush for this, but is there anything else I need to clean the big chainring and cassette?

3. I am not sure if I should lubricate the moving parts on my derailleurs. Do you recommend this? I don't have problems shifting, but is this something I should do every year anyway? If so, what qualities should I look for when purchasing a lubricant for my derailleurs?

Thank you and look forward to your replies.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
697 Posts
Take it to a bike shop like I plan to do in the coming days. My bike is 2 years 9 months years old (5,200 miles) and the dirt/grease build up is noticeable yet the ride performance is still perfect, my times are no different than when the bike was brand new. The shops charge about $60-70 to do the cleaning and you have to leave the bike overnight as they soak the parts in solution.

Sorry I am not answering your direct questions but I am trying to save you a headache which you are setting yourself up for. My cleaning after each ride is to wipe down the obvious dirt with paper towels and shoot a hose on it when needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
It's not a big deal. Hit it with some degreaser,and let it soak in for a minute probably alot of degreaser since you have never cleaned it. Scrub it with an old toothbrush, then sray it with some more degreaser. Then hose it off. Maybe wash the whole bike. Be nice to your bike.
 

·
Man, I'm Awesome
Joined
·
2,175 Posts
Do not take it to the bike shop for drivetrain cleaning. Thats like going to the dentist to brush your teeth.


Here is my easy peasy drivetraing cleaning. So easy and your bike will ride silently. You'll start doing it once amonth.

Items needed: Big jug of generic de-greaser. Found in your local big box store or automotive center. About $2.50 a jug.
An old cool-whip bowl. Tooth-brush. Some kind of slick50, wd40, or bicycle chain lube. Doesn't really matter.

1. Remove Chain
2. Fill cool whip bowl with degreaser.
3. Insert chain and swish around. Let sit.
4. Remove wheel.
5. Spray degreaser onto cassette. scrub with toothbrush. Rinse with water, repeat.
6. Spray degreaser onto crank. Scrub, rinse, repeat.
6.5 Spray degreaser on derailers. Scrub and rinse.
7. Remove chain from dirty degreaser bowl. Pour more degreaser in and insert chain. Repeat until degreaser stops getting so dirty.
8. Remove chain and dry with old t-shirt that says class of 1991!!
9. Spray or lube chain with whatever.
10. Remove excess whatever from chain.
11. Install chain.
12. Go ride.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
697 Posts
Do not take it to the bike shop for drivetrain cleaning. Thats like going to the dentist to brush your teath.
When he fails to connect parts properly he will wish he had taken it to a bike shop. I worked on car maintenance for years as recreation and I was committed to learning all about them. I think you are spot on right if someone is committed to learn the ropes and have the time to spare then do it yourself. I suppose if you want to go through the hassle in learning it is worth your approach. I don't care to get my hands dirty any longer.

And the cleaning I am referring to in a bike shop is disassembling the parts and soaking it in solution overnight and then reassembling it. I don't think the OP is even considering this, he is looking to spray and wash the chain and be done.
 

·
Man, I'm Awesome
Joined
·
2,175 Posts
When he fails to connect parts properly he will wish he had taken it to a bike shop. I worked on car maintenance for years as recreation and I was committed to learning all about them. I think you are spot on right if someone is committed to learn the ropes and have the time to spare then do it yourself. I suppose if you want to go through the hassle in learning it is worth your approach. I don't care to get my hands dirty any longer.

And the cleaning I am referring to in a bike shop is disassembling the parts and soaking it in solution overnight and then reassembling it. I don't think the OP is even considering this, he is looking to spray and wash the chain and be done.

The only part to take off is the chain. If he can't figure out where to put that back he's got bigger problems.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
697 Posts
I post to try to help people and you are spot on right, it is a making of a huge problem if he disassembles it. Let this OP try it and learn the hard way. He can always choose to clean it without disassembling it which is what I would do if I did not take my bike to a shop. You do not have to take off the chain to thoroughly clean it but it will cost you to purchase the tools to do it. If you go to Google and search about chain cleaning their is a video on a gizmo that cleans the chain but it is not cheap.
 

·
Not a rocket surgeon.
Joined
·
9,402 Posts
Some of you guys act like he is trying to clean a maranara stain off the Mona Lisa.
Get off it. Its only a bike. Not that big of a deal. Take it apart and degrease it with whatever. Then lube it. Put it back together. It will be fine. Its only a bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Thank you all for the replies. I will try it out without breaking the chain, but I will follow the basic idea behind your step by step approach.
seriously you don't have to remove the chain, simply splash some degreaser on a rag, and hold the chain with it whilst you spin the crank backwards with the other hand. this will clean it more than enough.

even better use rock and roll gold lube....no need to even use a degreaser.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
What works for me is a bucket of soapy water and a sponge like I'm cleaning my car, and a little citurs degreaser for the chain and cassette. Once you get into a regular routine this works adaquately. Literally takes 5-10 minutes. With 4 bikes I line them up and clean em quick. Then some lube for the chain, pulleys, contact points, etc. I picked this up watching the Mapei mechanics in Philly in 1998 - seems obvious but wan't to me at the time. I used to strip my bikes and make a big routine out of it, no need. I do though a nice through strip and clean annually if needed.

Make sure you use your foot to keep the saddle from touching the ground.
 

·
Man, I'm Awesome
Joined
·
2,175 Posts
And you think that he has a chainbreaker, spare pins and the knowledge to reassemble it safely?
Lol. What is this 1970? What chain doesn't come with a master link you just snap off?

Well, op, if your chain doesn't have the master link you snap off then disregard my advice since it will be impossible for you to clean your chain without taking your bike to a LBS.

On another note, does anyone know where the really sarcastic font is?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
41,374 Posts
What works for me is a bucket of soapy water and a sponge like I'm cleaning my car, and a little citurs degreaser for the chain and cassette. Once you get into a regular routine this works adaquately. Literally takes 5-10 minutes. With 4 bikes I line them up and clean em quick. Then some lube for the chain, pulleys, contact points, etc. I picked this up watching the Mapei mechanics in Philly in 1998 - seems obvious but wan't to me at the time. I used to strip my bikes and make a big routine out of it, no need. I do though a nice through strip and clean annually if needed.

Make sure you use your foot to keep the saddle from touching the ground.
That's pretty much my routine as well; wash 'em with a mild dishsoap solution, gentle spray to rinse, bounce the bike a few times to knock the water off, maybe ride it (or use a blow dryer) to get it really dry, and re-lube the bits you mentioned. Five minutes is about right.

One other thing: Handi-wipes do well for a quick cleaning, and spray furniture polish works pretty well for a bike "wax." I like Orange Pledge, myself, because my bike is orange (as everyone knows, it's the fastest color), and it makes my bike smell like an orange. (It's this kind of attention to detail that makes for a superior rider, IMHO.)

I almost never crack the chain, just keep using the homebrew on it. In fact, now that many of the bearings on bikes are sealed (and actually sealed, like with cartridges), there's just not that much to do on 'em.

As one poaster's sig line reads (I forget who, but s/he's got a great sig line), "it ain't a teacup that the Queen gave you, it's a bike." They're made to live outdoors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
To the OP. Take heed of Mike T's advice on chain wear. After a year's riding you should replace your chain. So no real need to clean this old worn one.

Mike T.'s advice is pretty good re: the cleaning of the bike...take note of how he cleans the jockey wheels in the rear derailleur. All of that gunk will make your drive train noisy and put the RD slightly out of adjustment as the built up gunk adds thickness.

I learned from a pro mechanic who only used a bucket of hot soapy (Dawn detergent) water, brushes, rags and a hose to rapidly clean bikes.

I personally would never soak my chain in degreaser as that will remove the factory grease dee inside the rollers.

I also find that chain pins are easy and fast to remove/replace...reasonable men may differ :)

Get a good book about bike repair...Zinn or Park...if you are a DIY type.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,078 Posts
Lol. What is this 1970? What chain doesn't come with a master link you just snap off?

Well, op, if your chain doesn't have the master link you snap off then disregard my advice since it will be impossible for you to clean your chain without taking your bike to a LBS.

On another note, does anyone know where the really sarcastic font is?
Every single Shimano chain.
 

·
A wheelist
Joined
·
11,324 Posts
After a year's riding you should replace your chain.
I can't agree with you there. There are too many variables for this to be the best choice - unless it's just by chance. My current chain (on my #1 bike) is starting its 3rd year of service and I can't measure any wear. That's over at least 5000 miles too, maybe 6. I'm very particular on chain cleaning and re-lubing (hence the web page!) so the chain gets a lot of my attention.

Mike T.'s advice is pretty good re: the cleaning of the bike...take note of how he cleans the jockey wheels in the rear derailleur. All of that gunk will make your drive train noisy and put the RD slightly out of adjustment as the built up gunk adds thickness.
I learned from a pro mechanic who only used a bucket of hot soapy (Dawn detergent) water, brushes, rags and a hose to rapidly clean bikes.
I was already doing this but one year I was in the same motel as legendary mountain bike racer Ned Overend and his mechanic and I watched him wash Ned's bikes many times that week. "Good and fast" was the criteria for the operation. When it's done good and fast then we tend to do it more often than when it's laborious.

I personally would never soak my chain in degreaser as that will remove the factory grease deep inside the rollers.
I don't agree with that statement either. I don't soak mine either but not for that reason. Re-lubing the chain with the correct lube gets new lube where it should be - inside.

Get a good book about bike repair...Zinn or Park...if you are a DIY type.
Great advice. The sites of Park Tool and the late Sheldon Brown are invaluable too - and free.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,507 Posts
I was already doing this but one year I was in the same motel as legendary mountain bike racer Ned Overend and his mechanic and I watched him wash Ned's bikes many times that week. "Good and fast" was the criteria for the operation. When it's done good and fast then we tend to do it more often than when it's laborious.
Sage advice, he was probably doing something like this.
Wash a bike like a pro - YouTube
Listen to what he tells you about his own bike and how to do it.
No reason to pull the chain.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dave Cutter
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top