Tools/things you will need to clean your chain
Chain cleaning device
High quality water-soluble degreaser
Stiff scrubbing brush
General grime/dirt removing spray
Bucket of hot soapy water
Clean water to rinse
Clean your bike chain and drivetrain like a pro
I hear time and again people saying they don’t have the spare time or the right facilities to clean their bikes properly. It always frustrates me.
This video is all about proving you don’t need a fancy F1 style workshop or even a hosepipe to clean a drivetrain back to ‘good-as-new’ in no time at all.
So, no more excuses, anyone can keep their chain spotless – and as a consequence save yourself a heap of cash by preventing premature wear – if you follow these simple steps.
Start by filling the chain cleaning device with the indicated amount of degreaser and attach it to the lower part of the chain – roughly in the middle between the lower jockey wheel and chain rings.
Once attached hold it in place and rotate the cranks backwards to start the chain running through the device. Count around 30-40 pedal revolutions. Check the chain to see how it is looking.
Continue with further pedal rotations if the chain is really grimey (shame on you) and needs more cleaning. Consider adding further fresh degreaser to the chain cleaner if the grime is really stubborn.
Use degreaser and a stiff brush to scrub and agitate the grime throughout the drivetrain, paying particular attention to all the cassette sprockets, rear mech, jockey wheels and chain ring teeth – basically anything that moves.
Using a generic bike cleaning spray/grime remover (not degreaser – please note the distinction here! Degreasers are for removing oil/grease from chains – general bike cleaning sprays are just to help break down road dirt/grime. The latter will not effectively clean a chain!) can help with the exterior parts too at this stage.
Once everything is scrubbed thoroughly, it will no doubt look a complete mess. But worry not! Now is the time to flush it all away, using hot soapy water, and the sponge, to help disperse the grime.
This is a really important step. Make sure you thoroughly wipe and flush the chain and all other components with the hot soapy water.
A hosepipe can also be used at this stage (if you have one, but it is not a necessity) but be aware to keep the water pressure low, so as not to affect bearing life and so on.
One final rinse with clean water is the best way to end, again to make certain all the degreaser is flushed away – bear in mind if there is degreaser still left behind, it will start to act upon any new chain lube you apply and immediately turn it to a messy black goo (a mistake many often make).