It also serves as the perfect periodic maintenance opportunity to inspect and service other bits such as bottom bracket bearings and freehubs. Clean the Other Parts of Your Drivetrain. Be sure to always read the application instructions, and if a lube calls to be left on the chain overnight before riding, definitely do so. Learn how your comment data is processed. Wipe off gunk, dirt and other stuff with a clean, dry cloth and brush out hard-to-reach dirt with a small bristle brush or toothbrush. Your sprockets and chainrings don’t require any specific oiling as they receive sufficient lubrication from the chain as it runs through them. Likewise, a number of professional workshops will offer this level of detail above and beyond the usual cleaning services. The primary purpose of bike chain lubrication is to keep water out of the inner bearing so it does not rust. While that may yield better visible results, it also mixes degreaser with your dirty lube, instead of removing it. Generally speaking, if you’ve worn your chain past 0.8mm wear, you’ll likely need to replace your cassette. I set up this website to share with you all I know about cooking and making our kitchen a better place :). I’ve seen enough failed quick links to drive this opinion.”. Depending on your lube choice, it might be a good idea to clean your chain like this after every ride. Then grab yourself a wire brush, a degreaser, and a lubricant (again, a spray like WD40 works wonders). “With few exceptions, I don’t remove a chain from a bike unless it’s going into the trash. A little block of 2-inch-by-4-inch dimensional lumber Brush out the links with a firm brush (an old toothbrush also works). If you’re wondering how to clean a rusty bike chain without removing it, here’s our quick guide: Rusting is far easier to clean if you do little and often, rather than let the rust accumulate and have a much bigger job on your hands. If it’s an oil-based lube, wipe off any excess with a rag once it’s had time to settle in. Once dry, use a cloth or rag to manually clean any layers of dirt or grime left. The same process applies on both the rear and the front derailleurs. There are four pivots on the rear derailleur, and two on the front, that can benefit from occasional lubrication. If the chain is dirty, and you’re in a rush, consider lubing it anyway (and following the easy clean process). When it comes to dirt bikes, you will know that it’s dirt bike by name, and dirty bike by nature. Only use environmentally-friendly degreasers if you do this. This opens the master link, meaning you can now feed the chain through the drivetrain. Spray through your bike chain with your WD40 or other chosen lubricant. Avoid squirting water directly into any bearings. (The methods vary depending on where you live, but many councils commonly offer quarterly chemical collections. Brush degreaser onto the chain, backpedaling the chain through the brush at various angles. A huge part of this is preventative – especially in the pro ranks, the drivetrain they’re cleaning was probably cleaned one ride ago – but the method used by pro mechanics is still well-proven. I’ll do this level of detailed clean when I install a new chain and want the whole drivetrain to look new. Bike chains are usually made from steel and so once exposed to oxygen and water, corrosion and rust begin to set in. A high pressure water jet stream will really help get through crevices that you otherwise can’t. Just run the chain backward several spins. It’s a washer on demand, with fluids collected and recycled. According to Kerin, petrol, diesel, and many popular degreasers leave a heavy film behind, making it difficult for drip lube, and impossible for wax, to properly adhere to the metal surface as the lube manufacturer intended. Getting a chain visually clean, and then actually clean inside of the rollers, are two very different things, and for that, Kerin suggests that the previous methods mentioned above just don’t cut it. Once you have got the bulkier bits of dirt, grime and gunk out, use a hose to spray down the chain. 2. It’s a great way to finish off your quick chain clean too. As already mentioned, regular light cleanings like this will make more thorough cleanings a rare task. Wipe off gunk, dirt and other stuff with a clean, dry cloth and brush out hard-to … If it’s thick enough, get a flathead screwdriver to help scrape off the layers, then use a cloth or rag to give it a wipe and clean down. So we have already covered the chain, but what else is important to clean here? Before you use WD-40, rinse the bike chain off a degreaser. Apartment Tip: Use a self-service car wash if your bike is really grubby. We’ve recently answered that in our best degreaser feature. A high pressure water jet stream like your garden hose will really help get through crevices that you otherwise can’t. Clean chain with a preferred method as detailed above. Other methods and chemicals will work, he says, but it’s hard to beat this once you price it up. Spray or wipe it on, leave it to soak in, and then wipe off with a rag. Get a small brush or toothbrush (make sure to not try to clean your teeth with the same brush afterwards), and scrape off the dirt that’s accumulated on the interior of the cages of your front and rear derailleurs. If your chain has a master link, use your hands to slide the pin out... 2. And of course, the better you are with your preventative maintenance, the less frequently you’ll need to do a full clean. Our article on chain wear explains the concept and how to check it easily. Did you read the “Holy Grail of chain lube” articles and are now keen to get the most life and best performance from your chain? Run the chain through a rag wet with degreaser. When you change gears, your bike chain drops down or lifts up onto another notch on the gearbox or derailleur. Dirt and grime are far easier to clean if you do little and often, rather than let it all accumulate and have a much bigger job on your hands. Wondering what degreaser is best, or simply safest, to use? Alternatively, use compressed air to speed up the process. Clean the derailleur pulleys and cage with a rag or strip of cloth. If the chain is skipping at the back under power, you’ll need a new cassette. Let the bike sit for a couple of minutes so that the lube can do it’s work. Cleaning Surface Rust 1. Whichever chain lube you use, ensure you use enough to penetrate inside the rollers. In fact, excessive amounts of oil will attract dirt and eventually wear them out quicker. 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