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Cleaning chain/cassette

2PharmDs2010-12-12 13:13:40 +0000 #1
Ok, so forgive me if I don't get this all right, I'm pretty new to cycling and am slowly learning about bike maintenance. I had to have my chain replaced this year after about 2500 miles. I know that is probably normal, but it got me thinking about taking better care of my components. In looking at my bike, the cassette/chain/front rings (I have a triple) are really dirty. I have white lightning that I use on the chain, but when holding a rag against the chain and spinning the pedals, it never got rid of all the black gunk. Is that normal? Do I need to be using something else? My middle ring in the front is exceptionally gunky. How do I clean that and the cassette? Also, I'm confused about degreasing and lubing. What is the difference? So much to learn!
greenbeanvw2010-12-12 13:25:04 +0000 #2
www.rei.com/product/722253

I use this tool for cleaning my chain, with a degreaser. Gets my chain as clean and shiny as the day I bought it, in about 10 minutes. Then, I wipe the chain down with a rag, wait 24 hours, and apply lube to each link, and wipe off the excess. I do this every other week.

To clean my cassette, I use this, with warm water and simple green:

www.rei.com/product/697481

Degreasing cleans all of the grease and grime from your chain/cassette. Lubing helps protect from the grease and grime.
greenbeanvw2010-12-12 13:36:28 +0000 #3
There are many "how to" videos on youtube, that give step by step instructions on how to clean your chain and cassette. I have learned a lot by watching them.
smilingcat2010-12-12 14:08:25 +0000 #4
A common mistake after cleaning is to apply extra grease on the chain thinking that it will protect the chain and the components.

Take a rag and remove extra grease off the chain else the extra grease on the outside of the chain will just collect the sand/dirt/grime. the sand on the chain is a sure way of wearing out the deraillures, rings, and cassetts.
greenbeanvw2010-12-12 14:00:13 +0000 #5
I only apply lube on my chain, never grease. I save the grease for seat post bolts, etc. Am I doing this wrong, smilingcat?

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