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On how to clean rear cogs, Crank, and chain?(8 posts)

On how to clean rear cogs, Crank, and chain?niteschaos
Jun 14, 2002 8:22 AM
What is the best method if I want to clean all the gunk off my drivetrain without taking the chain apart? What is the best chemicals out there if I just wanna spray it down and not take anything but the wheels off?

I was thinking about using "Simple Green" cause that stuff is so concentrate. I tried using Joy soap and all I ended up doing was smearing the gunk all over my crank. Ideally I'd like to use a spray, a brush, and a hose to and be able to get most of the gunk off.
re: On how to clean rear cogs, Crank, and chain?DougSloan
Jun 14, 2002 8:42 AM
cogs: I pull them off, spray with Simple Green, use a brush between the connected ones, and just wipe others with rag

pulleys: spray SG on a rag and pinch pulleys between rag, then slowly run chain backwards to clean

chain: I just oil and then grab chain with rag while running chain backwards; when it gets rally gunked up, it's about time to replace anyway; otherwise, I remove it and soak it in solvent, brush while in solvent, then wipe dry and relube

automotive brake cleaner works really well, but it's sort of harsh

I use PineSol and an automotive parts cleaning brush.Quack
Jun 14, 2002 9:57 AM
The first cleaning will take some time and possibly some harsher chemicals depending on the gunk makeup but as a normal weekly cleaner, the cheap generic pine cleaner brushed on full strength does a great job. If you use an actual oil product on your chain, mix the safe degreaser 90/10 with a little mineral spirits and brush that on. Much better grease cutting ability and minimal impact on plastics and paint. Then scrub everything with normal soapy water and a cog brush and all should be well.
re: On how to clean rear cogs, Crank, and chain?clintb
Jun 14, 2002 10:17 AM
Pick up some Finish Line Ecotech or their Citrus degreaser. Both work extremely well and in very small amounts. I just pour a few capfulls into a baby food jar, full strength, and brush on with a toothbrush. They both just melt all of the junk on all drivetrain components. They're the closest thing you'll get to putting them through a solvent tank like auto mechanics use.

Biodegradeable too!!!
And what about front chainrings?TomS
Jun 14, 2002 11:03 AM
Do most people take off their chainrings to clean them? I can wipe down most of them, but there's always a few spots behind the spider arms that I just can't get to effectively... should I ignore those spots, or what?

I always feel like cleaning the drivetrain is somewhat futile; unless you take everything off and clean separately, you'll get dirt from the cogs on the chain after you clean the chain, then that will get on the chainrings as you clean the cogs, and move right back to the cogs as you clean the chainrings :(
And what about front chainrings?JimP
Jun 14, 2002 11:23 AM
I agree that you do need to clean everything. I start with naptha in a "chain box" and run it at least 3 fillings or until no more gunk comes out of the chain. Take off the rear wheel, remove the cassette, remove the chainrings & the jockey wheels. Clean all with naptha in a pan with a brush. Wrap the chainstay with foil & hot wax the chain by letting it soak in the melted wax for a few minutes. Wipe the excess wax off of the chain and re-assemble the components.
Clean and lube all at onceKerry
Jun 14, 2002 6:05 PM
If you use the following technique for ProLink application and use, then cleaning is part of the lube process:
1 - wipe the chain, cogs, pulleys, and chainrings clean with a rag.
2 - sluice on ProLink while pedaling (forward is better) so that the chain starts to drip lube. Aim the lube between the side plates and between the bushings and the side plates.
3 - run through all the gears several times, front and back.
4 - wipe the chain, cogs, pulleys, and chainrings clean with a rag.
5 - repeat 2-4 if the chain was really dirty

If you do this every 300 miles or so, you will not get any significant gunky buildup, and you won't have to clean the chain.
re: On how to clean rear cogs, Crank, and chain?NJRoad
Jun 15, 2002 10:31 AM
What I usually do is take the rear wheel off. I lean the wheel against my knees with the cogs facing away from me. Then take a rag wet with your favorite degreaser, fold it over itself and tuck the fold between the cog and run it back and forth, the cog will spin as you do this so that you can get it clean all the way around. Make sure you take a clean rag and wipe down your while afterwards.

You don't want to use anything with a soap in it because these won't evaporate away like a degreaser will.