Having clean and well maintained gears keeps our bike in good working order. The contaminated gears increases wear on your components leading too poor gear shifting - resulting in a non-enjoyable bike ride.
It's a great feeling when we see these components gleaming and shining after we've spent a little time and effort cleaning and lubricating hem. This guide will provide us with the know how and top tips so that we complete the job correctly the first time.
The tools we need
Cycle specific gearscleaner / degreaser Cleaning brushes
Old rags / cloths/ sponge/toothbrush
A bucket of water / hosepipe
Clean our drivetrain?
The easiest and most convenient way to clean your drivetrain is by having our back wheel lifted from the ground. A work stand is very useful for this task as it gives you a stable platform for the bike and allows you to remove the rear wheel. This helps to make sure any dirt from the cassette isn't transferring to the chain you are trying to clean, and vice versa.
Use an old rag to wipe away any built up dirt on ourjockey wheels and chain rings.
Grip the chain beneath the chain stay within a loosely clenched fist that wehave a rag within, acting like a glove. Rotate the cranks backwards a few revolutions so that the rag takes any loose dirt/oil away from the chain.
Spray the chain, chain rings and derailleurs with a cycle specific chain cleaner/degreaser. Alternatively, wecan brush the solution onto the chain. 4. Avoid spraying directly onto cables as this could remove useful grease from them.
Using an old cleaning brush with stiff bristles (or an old toothbrush) scrub the chain, jockey wheels, chain rings and the inside of the derailleur plates. The dirt will come off with relative ease. In some extreme circumstances you may need to remove individual components to clean thoroughly.
Wash the degreaser from the drivetrain with bike cleaner and rinse off.
With the back wheel removed the bike, use a cleaning brush or rag and clean any loose dirt from in-between the sprockets.
Spray or brush degreaser onto the cassette, and leave it to drip from the sprockets.
Use a brush with long bristles to remove any remaining dirt. A rag in-between each sprocket may also help. If the cassette is very dirty, you may need to remove it to clean thoroughly.
Wash the cassette with bike cleaner and rinse off.
Using bike cleanersand a clean sponge wash away any dirty/oily residue from the frame and components.
Dry the components with a lint free cloth. Tip: Shake the bike and rear wheel a few times first to dislodge any excess water.
Lubricate our drivetrain
Lubricating our drivetrain is very important and with a little time and effort the outcome is well worth it. Too much lubricant (lube) on our gears is as bad as not enough lube. Too much lube will attract dirt and increase wear on your drivetrain components. Not enough lube and our chain may begin squeaking and develop stiff-links due to the lack of lube within the internals. This will affect gear shifting quality. This guide explains the different types of chain lube available.
Following these steps will make sure our drivetrain works as smoothly as the first time you used it.
Always ensure your chain is clean. Applying lube to a dirty chain can create a type of cutting paste, increasing wear on the drivetrain components.
Apply a drop of your chosen chain lube to each roller of the chain. When you have coated each roller, rotate the chain set backwards for 20 seconds to allow the lube to penetrate the internals of the chain rollers. Tip: Start applying lube at the joining pin so you know where you began the application.
Using a lint free cloth wipe any excess lube from the chain, chain ring and jockey wheels.
Follow steps 2 and 3 again.
Carefully apply a couple of drops of chain lube onto the springs of the derailleurs. This helps them remain working smoothly.
TIPS: Using a lube from a bottle is a less messy way to apply lubricant and it also allows for more accuracy than an aerosol type.