degreasing and regreasing

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
User avatar
BambooKiro
Posts: 11
Joined: 11 Dec 2018, 4:40pm

degreasing and regreasing

Postby BambooKiro » 11 Dec 2018, 5:18pm

I'm considering using a Rozone parts washer to clean my bike. It uses a mocrobe based solution to eat up grease and dirt. The promised final result is a squeaky clean drivetrain and components.

So my question is - how do I regrease the parts?

For the chain: will it be sufficient to use just a normal chain lube?

How about the front and rear mechs?

And here is the big question: should I even get close to degreasing any of the internal bearings, like BBs and headsets?

It would be nice to hear some specific advice and recommendations from someone who has done this before.

Brucey
Posts: 35628
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: degreasing and regreasing

Postby Brucey » 11 Dec 2018, 5:34pm

BambooKiro wrote:I'm considering using a Rozone parts washer to clean my bike. It uses a mocrobe based solution to eat up grease and dirt.....


eh?

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Brucey
Posts: 35628
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: degreasing and regreasing

Postby Brucey » 11 Dec 2018, 5:55pm

I don't think you need to (or will much benefit from) using an expensive industrial parts washer on bicycle parts.

Under no circumstances should you immerse a RD into a cleaning solution unless you intend to strip it down completely afterwards and regrease both the A and B pivots as well as the pulleys. Same goes for anything with bearings in it.

Stuff like mechs and sprockets are best cleaned on the bike, eg with a hot pressure wash, carefully directed. Chains and other small parts are best cleaned using a small amount of solvent and they can fit inside a jam jar or a small ultrasonic cleaner.

I rebuild lots of IGHs (as well as cars and motorcycles etc) and for this a parts washer would be useful. Top of the list would be something like this;

https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/cw2d-bench-mounted-parts-washer/#reviewsBox

but it is complete overkill for maintaining one or two bicycles with derailleur gears.

To relube chains, just add your favoured lube to them.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

User avatar
531colin
Posts: 12491
Joined: 4 Dec 2009, 6:56pm
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: degreasing and regreasing

Postby 531colin » 11 Dec 2018, 6:17pm

It looks like the manufacturers are targeting this "smartwasher" and the associated "environmental friendliness" at cyclists.
https://www.rozone.co.uk/
https://www.rozone.co.uk/product-category/cleaning-machines/bike-workshops/

User avatar
BambooKiro
Posts: 11
Joined: 11 Dec 2018, 4:40pm

Re: degreasing and regreasing

Postby BambooKiro » 11 Dec 2018, 10:22pm

Brucey wrote:I don't think you need to (or will much benefit from) using an expensive industrial parts washer on bicycle parts.

Under no circumstances should you immerse a RD into a cleaning solution unless you intend to strip it down completely afterwards and regrease both the A and B pivots as well as the pulleys. Same goes for anything with bearings in it.

Stuff like mechs and sprockets are best cleaned on the bike, eg with a hot pressure wash, carefully directed. Chains and other small parts are best cleaned using a small amount of solvent and they can fit inside a jam jar or a small ultrasonic cleaner.


I guess my question is less about why am I using a parts washer and more about how to regrease the parts.

I was told that many bike shops use parts washers and wanted to hear if anyone has experience with them.

Stripping down a rear derailleur - not all can be disassembled to the point of removing the pivots. Removing the pulleys (or jockey cogs) is quite easy.

Wouldn't a hotpressure wash strip some grease too? Why would you not regrease afterwards?

And for using solvents - not too keen. Discarding it responsibly after use has always been a problem.

Brucey
Posts: 35628
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: degreasing and regreasing

Postby Brucey » 12 Dec 2018, 12:31am

BambooKiro wrote: ...I was told that many bike shops use parts washers ....
by whom? A parts washer salesman?

Stripping down a rear derailleur - not all can be disassembled to the point of removing the pivots.

any that are worth having have A and B pivots that can be. However these need attention at intervals that are far longer than those at which (say) the chain is cleaned.

Wouldn't a hotpressure wash strip some grease too?


depends where you point it, and how well sealed/greased your parts are.

And for using solvents - not too keen. Discarding it responsibly after use has always been a problem.


if you clean (say) your chains in solvent you can re-use the same solvent over and over again. You could use (say) a pint of white spirit every three years or something. The real problem with any cleaning system that re-uses the cleaning fluid is

a) what you do with your cleaning fluid. Your cleaning fluid (be it water-based or solvent based) ends up being loaded up with oil and other crud like that and eventually it stops working. If your pint of white spirit gets so oily it isn't really cleaning any more you can burn it. Putting a load of contaminated water based solution down the drain is a very bad idea. Also

b)what you do with the crud that falls out/is filtered out of the cleaning solution; this can be incredibly toxic stuff, containing finely divided metals of various kinds, as well as dirt etc.

Note that any water-based cleaning solution that breaks down/removes oil at low temperatures is also almost invariably incredibly caustic. Often un-rinsed residues will corrode bare aluminium surfaces, damage paint, corrupt grease, dry out or chemically attack seals etc. You don't have that particular worry with a hot pressure wash; at worst, parts that you don't point the jet at get rinsed in warm water; there is no danger that some cleaning solution residue will get left behind to dry, turning into the strongest possible (and therefore corrosive) solution in the process.

There's more than one way to skin a cat and all that but using any cleaning system needs to be thought through carefully.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

tim-b
Posts: 1039
Joined: 10 Oct 2009, 8:20am

Re: degreasing and regreasing

Postby tim-b » 12 Dec 2018, 5:27am

Hi
To answer the re-greasing question, you have three choices:
pull everything apart and re-grease (if you do this, why buy a washer?)
use engine oil to soak back into the cleaned assembly
melt a grease or wax lubricant (e.g. Putoline chain wax) and soak
Regards
tim-b
PS I'm in the "unbolt what can be unbolted, and externally clean the rest" camp
~~~~¯\(ツ)/¯~~~~

peetee
Posts: 1376
Joined: 4 May 2010, 10:20pm

Re: degreasing and regreasing

Postby peetee » 12 Dec 2018, 1:06pm

531colin wrote:It looks like the manufacturers are targeting this "smartwasher" and the associated "environmental friendliness" at cyclists.
https://www.rozone.co.uk/
https://www.rozone.co.uk/product-category/cleaning-machines/bike-workshops/


That's an 'interesting' video. I wonder how many of their customers make repeat visits to sort out siezed derailleur pivots and freewheels and dry hub bearings?
Current status report:
Latter side of fifty and feeling less than nifty.
Too many bikes on pegs and too few miles in the legs.

User avatar
BambooKiro
Posts: 11
Joined: 11 Dec 2018, 4:40pm

Re: degreasing and regreasing

Postby BambooKiro » 12 Dec 2018, 3:04pm

tim-b wrote:To answer the re-greasing question, you have three choices:
pull everything apart and re-grease (if you do this, why buy a washer?)
use engine oil to soak back into the cleaned assembly
melt a grease or wax lubricant (e.g. Putoline chain wax) and soak

Is there a particular lubricant for piviot points on derailleurs you'd recommend?

It seems so far that I need to avoid degreasing any bearings systems as they'll need a disassembly and regrease.

tim-b
Posts: 1039
Joined: 10 Oct 2009, 8:20am

Re: degreasing and regreasing

Postby tim-b » 12 Dec 2018, 7:25pm

Hi
...a particular lubricant for pivot points...

I use an aerosol white lithium grease (WD40 and 3-in-1 are possibly the best-known), but I don't blast the original lube out of a component if it can't be easily taken apart. Watch out with the aerosols though, they can be a little lively and blowback if you hit solid mass rather than a bearing gap :D
If I can easily dismantle something then it does get a thorough clean and is re-packed with lithium grease from a tin.
Regards
tim-b
~~~~¯\(ツ)/¯~~~~

gregoryoftours
Posts: 1016
Joined: 22 May 2011, 7:14pm

Re: degreasing and regreasing

Postby gregoryoftours » 13 Dec 2018, 12:46am

We have a rozone parts washer at work. I think they were originally developed to clean oil-slicked sea birds and work, as you say, on a microbial basis.They are extremely effective at completely stripping grease and gunk from parts with minimal time and effort.

I wouldn't put any component with moving parts through it that I wasn't going to fully strip down, wash with hot water and lubricate afterwards, adding to time and effort! However you do end up with really, really clean parts.

The washer makes easy work of chain sets, cassettes etc that are a pain to clean and don't have moving parts. With chains I thoroughly rinse in hot water afterward and dry on a radiator before lubing. I don't wash hubs, even if you strip them down after, it's likely that you will still have some active fluid residue inside the hub shell that will break down the grease you use during re assembly, and free hubs will die in short order. For similar reasons I wouldn't go anywhere near BB shells or head tubes etc- the chances of some liquid pooling inside and then destroying new grease are not worth the risk in my opinion.

Any seals will be completely stripped of all lubrication so can also die quickly if you're not careful. I wonder also about the wisdom of washing wheels at all, as the fluid will get in the nipple threads and make them more likely to seize over time. As far as rear mechs go, again I'd only use the machine if I am prepared to completely strip the b-tension pivot, jockey wheels and bushings etc and re grease. I lube the linkage pivots after with fairly thick oil, and hope this is adequate.

Those machines are really effective but you really need to be selective as to how you use them. The most important step if you're going to use one is to get rid of residue, dry fully and then I guess you'd use normal lubes but take extra care to lube thoroughly.

User avatar
NUKe
Posts: 3716
Joined: 23 Apr 2007, 11:07pm
Location: Suffolk

Re: degreasing and regreasing

Postby NUKe » 13 Dec 2018, 11:16am

Our local bike shop has the sink version they are good , but they are neither cheap to buy or run. you also have disposal issue if you were to run one privately. All that said it did a cracking job
NUKe
_____________________________________

gregoryoftours
Posts: 1016
Joined: 22 May 2011, 7:14pm

Re: degreasing and regreasing

Postby gregoryoftours » 13 Dec 2018, 7:46pm

peetee wrote:
531colin wrote:It looks like the manufacturers are targeting this "smartwasher" and the associated "environmental friendliness" at cyclists.
https://www.rozone.co.uk/
https://www.rozone.co.uk/product-category/cleaning-machines/bike-workshops/


That's an 'interesting' video. I wonder how many of their customers make repeat visits to sort out siezed derailleur pivots and freewheels and dry hub bearings?

Yes I definitely wouldn't want my bike cleaned in the way it's done in that video.

User avatar
fausto99
Posts: 406
Joined: 19 Sep 2011, 10:06am

Re: degreasing and regreasing

Postby fausto99 » 14 Dec 2018, 8:00am

BambooKiro wrote:...And for using solvents - not too keen. Discarding it responsibly after use has always been a problem.

That's what's so nice about a small ultrasonic tank. You just have to get rid of ~700ml of dirty water plus drop of washing up liquid.

User avatar
BambooKiro
Posts: 11
Joined: 11 Dec 2018, 4:40pm

Re: degreasing and regreasing

Postby BambooKiro » 14 Dec 2018, 11:54am

gregoryoftours wrote:We have a rozone parts washer at work. I think they were originally developed to clean oil-slicked sea birds and work, as you say, on a microbial basis.They are extremely effective at completely stripping grease and gunk from parts with minimal time and effort.

Thanks - really appreciate your advice.