Removing and Cleaning the Drivetrain

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Kevin K
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Removing and Cleaning the Drivetrain

Postby Kevin K » 10 Mar 2009, 8:38am

Having been used through the winter the drivetrain on my bike is looking really manky. Despite regular cleaning and lubrication it has accumulated dirt in places that are really hard to get to. I want to take it all apart and give it a good clean and know I'll need specialist tools for the job (when I was a kid I'd have used a hammer to bash out the cotter pins, but things have moved on :D).

The bike has XT Octalink cranks and a Shimano hyperglide cassette. Can someone advise me what I'll need to remove these? Also, what's the best method for thoroughly cleaning a cassette and chain?

Thanks,

Kevin
Kevin K. Glasgow

fatboy
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Re: Removing and Cleaning the Drivetrain

Postby fatboy » 10 Mar 2009, 8:53am

My tip is regarding cleaning the cassette. I guess you could take it off but that requires a chain whip and a cassette tool. My method involves taking the wheel off and then running a rag between each cog and slide the rag back and forth. This works the freewheel and with a bit of patience you can get the cassette very very clean.
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patricktaylor
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Re: Removing and Cleaning the Drivetrain

Postby patricktaylor » 10 Mar 2009, 9:22am

I've found this to be very useful indeed, for cleaning a Shimano hyperglide cassette etc:

comb.jpg
comb.jpg (3.72 KiB) Viewed 4629 times

Union Bike Tool BT 860 (£3.75) - a plastic thing with "3 lengths of bristles plus a selection of serrated combs for clearing the muck from between the sprockets."

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Mick F
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Re: Removing and Cleaning the Drivetrain

Postby Mick F » 10 Mar 2009, 9:29am

If you can get your cassette and chain off, take the chain-rings off too.

The cogs and rings can be cleaned fairly easy with WD40 and a small brush and a cloth, but the chain is a "specialist" thing:

Find a tub/jar/tin with tight fitting lid and half fill it with Gunk - the engine degreaser - or similar. Pop your chain in, and tighten the lid.

Shake your container vigorously. When your arm get tired, or when you get bored, swap hands.
Repeat, and repeat and repeat.
Go and have lunch.

Repeat again and again, then take out your chain, rinse it off in fresh water, then shove it in the kitchen sink (take the dishes out first!) with very hot and very soapy water and give a good shoogling and swishing. Rinse again and hang it up to dry in the sunshine.

If your chain isn't clean enough to eat your tea with, repeat the whole thing.

Do this often, the more you do it, the cleaner it will be, and the easier the task.

Make sure you lube the chain with a proper chain lube, not oil or WD40 or GT85.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Kevin K
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Re: Removing and Cleaning the Drivetrain

Postby Kevin K » 10 Mar 2009, 11:41am

Lots of advice on cleaning, thank you.
Can anyone tell me what tools do I need to remove the cassette and cranks?
Kevin K. Glasgow

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rbrian
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Re: Removing and Cleaning the Drivetrain

Postby rbrian » 10 Mar 2009, 12:21pm

You'll need this and this to remove the cassette, and probably this to remove the cranks.
Cynic? No, an optimist tempered by experience.

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Kevin K
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Re: Removing and Cleaning the Drivetrain

Postby Kevin K » 10 Mar 2009, 12:40pm

Thanks rbrian - off to my LBS this afternoon. I feel a cleaning session coming on! Kevin
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cycleruk
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Re: Removing and Cleaning the Drivetrain

Postby cycleruk » 10 Mar 2009, 2:08pm

And a chain tool + replacement "powerlink".

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Sear ... =powerlink
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Michael R
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Re: Removing and Cleaning the Drivetrain

Postby Michael R » 10 Mar 2009, 3:22pm

I have used petrol and an old toothbrush for decades

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Re: Removing and Cleaning the Drivetrain

Postby George Riches » 10 Mar 2009, 3:32pm

If the chain has some sort of "powerlink" you should split the chain there rather than try to push out a pin using a "chain tool".

E.g. with this SRAM chain the pins need to be pushed towards each other so that the connecting plate can be removed.
Link when new Sep 06.JPG
Link when new Sep 06.JPG (3.87 KiB) Viewed 4485 times

WD40 can be useful in freeing the connecting plate.

Whilst the chain is off it should be checked for wear and replaced if too far gone. See here (search for "Measuring Chain Wear")

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Re: Removing and Cleaning the Drivetrain

Postby Michael R » 10 Mar 2009, 6:19pm

You can use SRAM powerlink on shimano chains

saudidave
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Re: Removing and Cleaning the Drivetrain

Postby saudidave » 10 Mar 2009, 7:51pm

[quote="Mick F"]If you can get your cassette and chain off, take the chain-rings off too.

The cogs and rings can be cleaned fairly easy with WD40 and a small brush and a cloth, but the chain is a "specialist" thing:

Find a tub/jar/tin with tight fitting lid and half fill it with Gunk - the engine degreaser - or similar. Pop your chain in, and tighten the lid.

Shake your container vigorously. When your arm get tired, or when you get bored, swap hands.
Repeat, and repeat and repeat.
Go and have lunch.

Repeat again and again, then take out your chain, rinse it off in fresh water, then shove it in the kitchen sink (take the dishes out first!) with very hot and very soapy water and give a good shoogling and swishing. Rinse again and hang it up to dry in the sunshine.

If your chain isn't clean enough to eat your tea with, repeat the whole thing.




[/quote

Whilst this method undoubtedly works it's a bit "caveman" - Lots of effort but no science. To really clean a manky chain quickly and easily you need degreasant and a physical brushing to shift the crud. May I suggest investing about £15.00 in a special chain cleaning gizmo? You clamp the chain in between two halves of a plastic container with brushes in it and latch a bracket on it over your rear mech. Full the bath with gunk and spin the pedals backwards a few revs.The chain is thoroughly immersed in gunk and the brushes scrape the muck off. In less than a minute you will have an immaculate chain. No need to remove it or shake it all about for hours on end!

Michael R
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Re: Removing and Cleaning the Drivetrain

Postby Michael R » 10 Mar 2009, 8:07pm

saudidave wrote:
Mick F wrote:If you can get your cassette and chain off, take the chain-rings off too.

The cogs and rings can be cleaned fairly easy with WD40 and a small brush and a cloth, but the chain is a "specialist" thing:

Find a tub/jar/tin with tight fitting lid and half fill it with Gunk - the engine degreaser - or similar. Pop your chain in, and tighten the lid.

Shake your container vigorously. When your arm get tired, or when you get bored, swap hands.
Repeat, and repeat and repeat.
Go and have lunch.

Repeat again and again, then take out your chain, rinse it off in fresh water, then shove it in the kitchen sink (take the dishes out first!) with very hot and very soapy water and give a good shoogling and swishing. Rinse again and hang it up to dry in the sunshine.

If your chain isn't clean enough to eat your tea with, repeat the whole thing.



[/quote

Whilst this method undoubtedly works it's a bit "caveman" - Lots of effort but no science. To really clean a manky chain quickly and easily you need degreasant and a physical brushing to shift the crud. May I suggest investing about £15.00 in a special chain cleaning gizmo? You clamp the chain in between two halves of a plastic container with brushes in it and latch a bracket on it over your rear mech. Full the bath with gunk and spin the pedals backwards a few revs.The chain is thoroughly immersed in gunk and the brushes scrape the muck off. In less than a minute you will have an immaculate chain. No need to remove it or shake it all about for hours on end!


He was taking the Mick

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Mick F
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Re: Removing and Cleaning the Drivetrain

Postby Mick F » 10 Mar 2009, 8:16pm

Mick who?

I guessed that!

This is a clean transmission:
Image

For the record:
Campag Mirage 13-26 9sp cassette and a C9 chain.
That chain went on to cover 7500 miles - I still have it in a box. God knows why!
Mick F. Cornwall

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rbrian
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Re: Removing and Cleaning the Drivetrain

Postby rbrian » 10 Mar 2009, 9:31pm

Mick F wrote:This is a clean transmission:
Campag Mirage


It must be a mirage, I have never seen anything so clean in my entire life!
Cynic? No, an optimist tempered by experience.