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How to Clean Bike Drivetrain?

How to Clean Bike Drivetrain

If you are a rider, then you must know about the importance of your drivetrain. The drivetrain consists of various components like a chain, chainrings, cogs, cassette, derailleurs, which transmit power from the driving shaft to the driven shaft. In short, the drivetrain is what gets your bike moving on the road!

Since the drivetrain is such an important component of your bike, you should take care of all its components. If those components start wearing out, you will have to change them instantly.

Now the first question in the maintenance of a drivetrain is: How to clean a bike drivetrain? This article will list down a few steps you need to follow in cleaning your bike drivetrain.

Components of Bike Drivetrain

#1. Crank

It is a part from where you transfer the force with the help of your legs.

#2. Chain

It transfers power from the pedal to the drive so that the wheels rotate.

#3. Cassette

It has a large number of cogs or teeth and usually attaches to the actual wheel.

#4. Derailleurs

They are responsible for moving the chain from one cog to another.

Why Should You Clean Your Bike Drivetrain?

Suppose you travel on muddy roads or dust and dirt roads, you should clean your bike at once and apply lube on it. It is so because the components of the drivetrain attract dust and mud quite easily. So, if you don’t wash them, the dust and dirt accumulate and cause wear and tear within a short period.

Why Should You Clean Your Bike Drivetrain

Whenever you ride the chain, chainrings, cogs, and derailleur rub with each other. So, you need to lube the components of the drivetrain within a fixed interval. Otherwise, the dry chain always begs for the oil. They are not efficient. They can’t transmit the power properly. So, oiling is as essential as washing and cleaning your bike. But, don’t apply excess oil on your drivetrain because extra oil always attracts more dust and dirt.

You should remember one thing: chain is one component of a drivetrain that, if it breaks on the road while riding, can cause an accident. So, you should always try to clean the components of the bike drivetrain.

How Can You Say That Components of Bike Drivetrain Needs Replacement?

The most critical component of the drivetrain is a chain. It gets worn out quickly. So, you need to check it thoroughly. Well, you can check your bike chain with a chain checker tool. It is readily available in your local bike shops. If it exceeds more than the recommended point, then you should buy another chain for your bike. You also need to change your chain after riding 1000 -1500 kilometers. It is pretty essential because a worn chain will affect your bike’s gear and cause premature wear on the cassette.

The cassette and the chainrings usually last longer. But you need to check the teeth of the cassette within a fixed interval. If the teeth become like shark teeth, then it is an indicator that you should change them instantly.

Again if you hear noise from your drivetrain or it’s hard for you to pedal, then it’s an indicator that some of the components of your bike train need immediate replacement.

How to Clean Your Bike Drivetrain?

#1. Check The Chain

At first, you need to check your chain. You can check it with a ruler or chain checker tool. If it exceeds the recommended point, then you need to change your chain. But when you change your chain, you need to change the cassette. Otherwise, you will have a skipping problem while riding.

#2. Clean Your Chain

You can clean your bike’s chain by wearing disposable gloves with the help of cotton cloth and biodegradable solvent. A long as you see dirt on your chain, you need to wipe the chain to remove all the greasy and dirty mess. You should remember one thing: while cleaning your chain, you need to clean both from the upper and lower sides.

#3. Scrub the Chain

You need to scrub your chain to make the chain of your bike neat and clean. For this, you need to put some solvent in a bucket and place it just under the chain. Now dip the brush on the solvent and start scrubbing your chain.

Cleaning Bike Drivetrain

Another great option is a chain cleaning device. You need to keep the chain cleaning device just under the lower part of your chain and fill the device with the required degreaser. Once the chain attaches to the device, you need to pedal 30 to 40 times. Now check your chain. If it looks then, you don’t need to clean it. But, if it still looks dirty, then you need to pedal further. After some time, your chain will look neat and clean. But, after this process, you need to brush your chain with a bike cleaning spray. It’s best to buy a drivetrain cleaning kit.

#4. Clean Your Crankset

You need to lift the chain and clean all the chainrings with the cloth dipped in a solvent. It will remove excess dirt and grease.

#5. Clean the Cassette

Now you need to remove the rear wheel of your bike and rest somewhere by placing the cassette in the upward position. You need to clean the cogs with the cloth dipped in the solvent. Repeat the process again and again to clean all the cogs.

#6. Clean the Derailleurs

You need to clean the derailleurs with a cloth dipped in solvent to remove all the grease.

#7. Rinse and Rinse Again

In the end, you need some hot soapy water to clean your bike and all other components of the bike drivetrain. For that, you need a horse pipe. But, try to keep the pressure of the water low so that it will not affect the life of bearing. Then clean your bike with water and allow it to dry. The degreaser should not be there on the components of the bike drivetrain. Otherwise, it will act on the new lube of your chain and immediately make a mess.

#8. Apply Lube

The chain of your bike should completely dry. Then add lube to your chain.

Wrap Up

The bike drivetrain plays a vital role in your bike. You clean your teeth regularly so that you will face any dental problems. Similarly, you need to clean your bike drivetrain.

Most bike riders want to know how to clean bike drivetrain. You need to follow the simple steps above to clean your bike drivetrain.

Written by Lee Hill

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