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  • Boring Question: Filthy Drivetrain
  • Premier Icon DaveyBoyWonder
    Free Member

    Hi all.
    I’ll admit, I’m not overly fussed about keeping my bikes sparkling clean as long as they work but the state of the drivetrain on my main bike is a little bad even for my low standards. Its basically got what is a mix of oil and muck dry caked all over everything – chain, cassette and ring and while it still works fine, its a bit of an eyesore and I guess is doing nothing for drivetrain longevity!

    So is there a degreaser type product which will take it all off? Its literally at a point on the chainring where it needs hacking off with a screwdriver 😀

    Placing an order with CRC this aft so if its something I can chuck in my basket, happy days!

    Premier Icon airvent
    Free Member

    Soap and water first, then depends whether you want to take parts off to soak in something or not. If you’re happy to fake it apart and soak things individually then any citrus degreaser by the litre works and is cheap. If looking for a quick fix then something strong like muc off spray drivetrain cleaner but its expensive.

    Next time use a cleaner chain lubricant – wet lube are the devils work!!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Yes, any degreaser, that’s basically what they do.

    Simplest effective bike cleaning regimen:

    1. If dry, hose down to get it wet
    2. Spray bike cleaner (Halfords is preferred, cheap and good) onto sponge, wipe over frame and wheels (optional, omit if not bothered)
    3. Spray bike cleaner directly onto chain and into brakes
    4. Hose again, directing spray into the chain to dislodge crud whilst rotating pedals backwards
    5. Take the chain between your fingers and twist it – if it sounds gritty, repeat the application of cleaner and water

    In case of a very cruddy chain, substitute spray-on de-greaser for general bike cleaner on the chain.

    That’s all you need to know. Unless using Putoline of course.

    Premier Icon carlos
    Full Member

    If I only wash one thing after a shirty ride its the drive chain. Quick rinse off with the hose, squirt of Fenwicks foaming chain cleaner, run it through the chain cleaner tool, rub round with an old kitchen pot brush, rinse off, dry, lube ready for next time.

    OP – If its as bad as it reads, soak it up with soapy water, scrub with old pot brush, then some sort of degreaser, more scrubbing and repeat till clean

    Premier Icon alanf
    Free Member

    Morgan Blue is pretty effective for cleaning the drive train, but sounds like you may have to resort to some mechanical assistance in cleaning off your crud.

    Premier Icon Blackflag
    Full Member

    you can get 5l bottles of heavy duty degreaser concentrate from screwfix for very little.

    Premier Icon hooli
    Free Member

    Buy yourself something like this https://www.merlincycles.com/barbieri-chain-cleaner-with-fluid-107203.html An old toothbrush to the cassette and jockey wheels and it will look good as new for next to no effort.

    Then have a beer and stare at how good it looks while asking yourself why you haven’t always done it that way.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    strip it down and clean it – then use putoline and never have to worry about it again

    Premier Icon didnthurt
    Full Member

    I don’t bother degreasing my drive train anymore. I use an old stiff brush and a screwdriver to remove the old muck off the chainring/s and jockey wheels then spray a bit of wd40 or gt85 on the chain. Turn the cranks backwards and use an old oily rag to clean up the chain and mech. I use an old bit of plastic packaging (to get between the cogs) and a stiff brush to remove the muck from the cassette. Finally I add some high quality wet lube (currently using the muc-off stuff).

    Seems to work ok for me and doesn’t take long.

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    When I let mine get into that state I usually take them off and stick them in white spirit in a sandwich bag.. shake and rub .. repeat etc. then wash it away with WD40…

    By this time you have sod all lube left anywhere….
    I’ve done 3 things from here …
    1) soak in clean engine oil – take out and wipe then degrease with a rag full of degreaser (my idea being it will get in and the WD40 left is oil wet and has displaced anything).. keep cleaning with degreaser soaked rag and kitchen towels until it comes away clean…

    2) do every link carefully with wet lube

    3) put another chain on (I buy sub £10 chains) PC1110

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Then have a beer and stare at how good it looks

    Yeah it looks good, then you twist it in your fingers and realise it’s still full of grit.

    Premier Icon philjunior
    Free Member

    Get a chain cleaner and degreaser, along with a fairly stiff brush (doesn’t have to be of the specific type). Wet drivetrain, degreaser in chain cleaner tool, clean chain, dip brush in, back pedal to work degreaser through chainring/sprockets/jockey wheels. Repeat until suitably clean, then you can do it quicker with a softer brush more frequently. I do this after most (MTB) rides, keeps things running nice.

    Premier Icon DaveyBoyWonder
    Free Member

    Cheers all. Onto CRC when I get off this conference call.

    Premier Icon didnthurt
    Full Member

    Want to use putaline but seems too much faff. When the weather gets to the point of being that wet I tend to stick to the road or ride singlespeed (no need to clean a singlespeed at all, just add a splash more wet lube).

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    I use Purple Extreme and never degrease my drivetrain. As always, the trick is not to use too much of the stuff.

    Premier Icon airvent
    Free Member

    Want to use putaline but seems too much faff. When the weather gets to the point of being that wet I tend to stick to the road or ride singlespeed (no need to clean a singlespeed at all, just add a splash more wet lube).

    Think it’s one of those things that’s great if you enjoy the process of applying it (which some clearly do) but that’s about the only benefit. It doesn’t keep things any cleaner and it is more work than regular dry lube, it’s not even cheaper. As regards claims about reducing chain wear, even the worst kept chain should last 1000km or more and they cost about £12 so I dont understand that one.

    Premier Icon ad4m
    Free Member

    I use gunk green biodegradable degreaser, put some of it in a small cup and dab over the drivetrain/chain with a brush, leave it a few mins to eat into the grime/oil and then rinse off. Does the trick for me.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Airvent – sorry dude – it works loads better like thousands of road miles an hundreds of off road befgore needing to be redone and chains last around 4 times as long. Its much much cleaner and much much cheaper – a £30 tin lasted me a decade!

    Premier Icon sirromj
    Free Member

    Wait for it get nice and dry and crusty then, with chain in place while rotating cranks, wire brush it until sparkly like new. Apply lube of choice.

    Premier Icon jkomo
    Full Member

    Plutoline is much less hassle, plus you can have a beer and listen to the radio while having a tidy round the garage whilst it does it’s thing.

    Premier Icon prettygreenparrot
    Full Member

    Screw fix degreaser and a Park Tools chain cleaner plus a washing-up brush seems to work for me. Then GT-85 to displace the water. Wipe. And then lube of choice, I like the muc-off ceramic one with its fruit aroma.

    if there’s thick, encrusted filth then a spudger, screwdriver, or the scraper part of the washing-up brush will usually scrape it away

    even the worst kept chain should last 1000km or more and they cost about £12 so I dont understand that one.

    Should, the chain that came on my Tempest seems to have gone from OK to >0.75% in about half that. Didn’t think to check it earlier as it’s not been ridden that much. Doh!

    Premier Icon pipiom
    Free Member

    Just clean it all as others have stated, then use this: no more gunky drivetrain.

    Premier Icon StuF
    Full Member

    I am getting around 300 miles off road on between putoline applications, it’s great and I love the silent running of the drive train.

    The cost is a bit more difficult to work out, the £30 for the initial tin is much better value than many years worth of lube, but you should probably take into account the heating cost every time you cook up.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Full Member

    you can get 5l bottles of heavy duty degreaser concentrate from screwfix for very little.

    This

    Decant an inch or so into the bottom of a wide plastic container with a lid, I’ve got a 2 litre milk carton for this, you want it wide enough to fit the chain into so it is submerged. Give it a good shake, and the grease comes off easily. If it’s really clarty, give it a wash first in a diluted solution to get the crap off, it’s water based so you can then wipe it with a rag and drop it into the milk jug without issue (not necessary really but keeps the milk bottle cleaner for longer)

    I’ve then got a paint kettle with a lid (Wickes I think) where an inch of degreaser and the same of water takes a cassette and chainring if needed. Lid on, swirl vigorously and leave overnight and come back and rinse under the tap with a pot brush to remove stubborn shit.

    And then Putoline. It really is easier, faster and cheaper in the long run and I believe works way better than fancier lubes that get washed off at the first sign of wet.

    Premier Icon nwgiles
    Free Member

    spray a bit of wd40

    *Faints

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