Preferred method of drivetrain maintenance?

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
Stevek76
Posts: 656
Joined: 28 Jul 2015, 11:23am

Re: Preferred method of drivetrain maintenance?

Postby Stevek76 » 2 Dec 2020, 4:32pm

Billy007 wrote:Well in 5 years I have been riding with Rohloff hub I needed just one chain replacement so far. First chain lasted 18k miles and 2nd still got life in it. Sprocket and chain ring are still like new. So I reckon I have saved a small fortune in money and time not to have to maintain a derailleur system any more. Initial cost of Rohloff is high but it soon pays for itself before you even consider the benefits of riding with it over a derailleur transmission


But that depends on mileage and effort expended. As noted above, the time I spend on maintenance and cleaning is minimal, I use the 'plenty of oil' (or wax in my case) regime and have full length + long mudflap guards attached. The bike is not high mileage, my commute is 3 miles each way in noncovid times, plus other utility riding, occasional leisure/overnight camping tours totals perhaps 2000-3000 a year. That's a chain every 2 years and the time to change it and a cassette & middle chainring change every 4 or 6. Works out to approx a bit over £50 maybe 90min of my own labour if I'm particularly slow every 4 years.

If I was after a high mileage bike (or lived in a flatter area) and perhaps less likely to leave it locked up outside in central areas on occasions then I can certainly see the case for going for a more expensive IHG & belt.

realsinglespeed
Posts: 1
Joined: 4 Dec 2020, 3:09pm

Re: Preferred method of drivetrain maintenance?

Postby realsinglespeed » 4 Dec 2020, 6:04pm

The dreaded double-you dee forty! <sharp intake of breath>

Shock horror: WD40 contains a lube (yes it does) and a cleaning agent (yes, it does) and a rust inhibitor (again: yes it does)*

Perfect for the drivetrain!

For a quick clean I spray some WD40 into a rag and then run the chain through the rag soaked in WD40. Works a treat.

For a deep clean I take the chain off, put it in a clean, empty milk container, spray a small amount of WD40 into the container, close the container, shake it and leave it for a while. This removes the sediment, grit and sludge collected by the chain. When I pull the chain out, I wipe it off with a rag before putting it back on my bike (having used a rag to clean the chainring and cog).

I also ran an experiment today: after cycling fifty miles this morning through a greasy, wet, gritty London my bike was filthy. I cleaned my chain using the above deep clean technique. I then re-washed the chain in the sink using warm water and detergent and observed the amount of remaining sediment that was removed: it was negligible. I then drained and cleaned the sink and poured a kettle of boiling water over the chain to observe the additional sediment this technique removed. Again: negligible.

WD40 is all you need...

* https://www.wd40.com/myths-legends-fun-facts/

Brucey
Posts: 42208
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Preferred method of drivetrain maintenance?

Postby Brucey » 4 Dec 2020, 8:28pm

ordinary WD40 is a poor chain lubricant (one ride is about all it will manage in the winter) and an expensive/wasteful thing to use a chain cleaner.

If you want to test if your chain was really clean, refit it to clean sprockets on the bike, spray it with more lube, turn the cranks for a minute and then wipe the chain using a clean tissue/rag; if the chain was still dirty you will dark marks on the tissue.

cheers
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resus1uk
Posts: 275
Joined: 12 Mar 2007, 9:28am

Re: Preferred method of drivetrain maintenance?

Postby resus1uk » 6 Dec 2020, 4:51pm

My winter trike gets the chain lubed with chainsaw oil and GT 80 or Teflon 2, (smells nicer than WD40) on exposed shifters to cope with Peak District winters. Lighter stuff gets washed off in fords and big puddles on the trails. Crud from the trackbed is particularly clinging but wipes off with the saw oil.

ChrisP100
Posts: 71
Joined: 24 Sep 2020, 9:00am

Re: Preferred method of drivetrain maintenance?

Postby ChrisP100 » 4 Jan 2021, 4:03pm

Just a quick update:

I got some Muc-Off product for Christmas, one of which was this stuff https://muc-off.com/collections/bicycle-step-3-lube/products/dry-chain-lube-1.

I usually use a liquid oil (dry or wet lube), but I thought I'd give this stuff a go. Reading up on chain wax, you really need to make sure your drivetrain is squeaky clean and free of oil before you use it, so prior to application I thoroughly degreased my chain (soaked in white spirit, rinsed, soaked in bio-degreaser, rinsed in boiling water and dried), and scrubbed down my cassette, rear derailleur and chainrings.

I applied on to the chain and left it overnight, then applied some more in the morning and left it for an hour or so before going for a quick test ride. Drivetrain was practically silent, and shifting was crisp and precise. Went out for a longer ride this morning in the wet, and it performed faultlessly. None of that black gunk on the cassette or jockey wheels, and the chain just wiped clean with a cloth.

One word of warning, wear gloves, because it's a bugger to get off your hands. :wink:

Jamesh
Posts: 1670
Joined: 2 Jan 2017, 5:56pm

Re: Preferred method of drivetrain maintenance?

Postby Jamesh » 5 Jan 2021, 10:57pm

For me it's water then wd40 / GT85 then chain wax / lube.

Water for washing the bike... Wd40 to repel the water from mechanical items and then lube to chain.

Other bearings get an occasional shot of semi fluid grease

Cheers James

alexnharvey
Posts: 1443
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:39am

Re: Preferred method of drivetrain maintenance?

Postby alexnharvey » 6 Jan 2021, 7:11am

I look forward to the day when chain lubrication discussions are filed in the appropriate subforum.
Last edited by alexnharvey on 6 Jan 2021, 8:57am, edited 1 time in total.

fenmanctc
Posts: 23
Joined: 15 Dec 2013, 10:10am

Re: Preferred method of drivetrain maintenance?

Postby fenmanctc » 6 Jan 2021, 8:55am

The cheapest and most effective de-greaser I’ve found is stuff called ElbowGrease, obtainable in most supermarkets for £1 for a 500 ml spray bottle. Also beats Swarfega as a hand cleaner. (Btw, if you do use Swarfega, it’s effectiveness I’d doubled if you put a small amount of caster sugar on your hands before using the former ( exfoliates, I suppose and is environmentally friendly)

alexnharvey
Posts: 1443
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:39am

Re: Preferred method of drivetrain maintenance?

Postby alexnharvey » 6 Jan 2021, 9:55am

fenmanctc wrote:The cheapest and most effective de-greaser I’ve found is stuff called ElbowGrease, obtainable in most supermarkets for £1 for a 500 ml spray bottle. Also beats Swarfega as a hand cleaner. (Btw, if you do use Swarfega, it’s effectiveness I’d doubled if you put a small amount of caster sugar on your hands before using the former ( exfoliates, I suppose and is environmentally friendly)


Green swarfega is inferior to the orange stuff which has bits in already.

Brucey
Posts: 42208
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Preferred method of drivetrain maintenance?

Postby Brucey » 6 Jan 2021, 10:15am

alexnharvey wrote:...Green swarfega is inferior to the orange stuff which has bits in already.


IIRC the 'bits' in Orange Swarfega are currently something organic and biodegradable. At one time they were small plastic beads which are/were environmentally harmful.

cheers
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