Mine is always...not. But I would love to have a clean chain/cassette. So, what are your tips? In as much or as little detail as possible, how do you get your drivetrain to sparkle?
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If you want a really sparkly drivetrain the Ultrasonic Cleaner is probably the best way to get the sparkle and keep the sparkle. Doesn't take long to take the chain and cassette off, pop in the ultrasonic cleaner, clean the rest of the bike, install chain and cassette and relube.
If you clean your bike properly on a regular basis the muck will not have time to accumulate. The longer you leave it, the worse it gets and the harder it is to get back to a nice condition.
I find once a week is fine. I've just got into the habit of cleaning it every Sunday afternoon.
AttacknowAttackoften wrote:At my local scene, there are some riders who seem to ALWAYS have drivetrains clean enough to eat off.
Those must be retired guys without a life or they don't ride their bikes.
I keep up reasonable appearances using a cleaner lube (Rock N Roll Gold). Drip it on and then wipe it off a couple of times and you have a presentable chain.
For the frame, I wipe it down after rides with a spritz of quick spray detailer that you would use on your car's paint. That takes the dust/dirt off and gives you that freshly waxed look.
I once put a Dura Ace cassette in a dishwasher and the grey anodization came off!
Put bike in bath, jamming it so you can spin the cranks without pedals hitting anything.
Spray Morgan Blue on the cassette and jockey wheels.
Wait a minute.
Turn shower on, directly over cassette.
Take cassette brush to cassette and spin cranks backwards until it looks clean. Shouldn't take more than a few secs. Shift once and repeat.
Fill chain bath with some degreaser.
Spin crank arms for half a minute with chain in chain bath.
Repeat but with water this time.
Take old cloth and spin cranks while rubbing inner and outer of each jockey wheel. Just a finger will do. Careful not to get cloth caught.
Wipe chainrings down, in and out. Put chain on big ring and repeat for inner chainring.
Done. Leave to drip for a bit then come and dry with cloth and lube.
If you want super sparkly, you need to take a cloth and fold it between each cog as you spin cassette backwards, while it's still wet. Can rub both mechs down too but now you're getting into detailing which is a slippery hour long slope. Especially if you have a white cloth and are spinning the chain through it to try and stop black marks appearing. Real OCD stuff that
Means that the driveline starts each ride clean (so shit doesn't stick) and stays cleanish. Most of the guys i ride with start with dirtier bikes than i finish with because it "takes too long" to clean them. Apparently.
Bucket, cheap car shampoo, sponge (x2, one for frame, saddle, bars etc, one for driveline, rims), chaincleaner, degreaser and a spray bottle full of watered down degreaser for spraying on the oily bits.
I have been using an ultrasonic cleaner for a few years to clean my chains with odorless mineral spirits as the cleaning solution. It does a great job.
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