Keep it clean

Every year pretty much to the week of the clocks going back the workshop parts cleaner goes into overdrive. Cassettes get clogged up chains turn black and jockey wheels look like they’ve put on a few pounds. This week is all about preventative maintenance and the proper maintenance of your drive train. So how should you properly maintain your gear components? How often should you do it and what should you use?

The trick here is to resist the urge to add more lube. Seems odd right? Dirt sticks to oil; when you add another layer of lube to a dirty chain your simply layering an cocooning. The more oil you put on your chain the more dirt it will attract, more dirt you attract the more regularly you’ll need to clean.

Little and often has always been the motto we spread to customers visiting our workshop. We realize that most people don’t have the time to clean their full drive system after each ride. It’s not economical and it definitely isn’t cost effective so we’re giving you our top tips for keeping things clean and how to do it properly.

Top cleaning tips

- Travel with a water bottle. As silly as this sounds half the water in your bottle on a morning or evening commute will probably go down the sink when you get inside Using the excess water will help to wash away road salt and a large portion of the dirt you’ve accumulated. Over your ride just don’t forget to wipe away as much of the water as you can with a rag and spray some water dispersing spray on your drive such as GT 85 or WD 40.

- If you’re cleaning your drivetrain on your driveway or on a solid concrete area around the garden it’s a good idea to wet the surface you’ll be working on. This will help prevent any oil or grime from staining the area you’re working on.

- If you’re giving your bike a full clean remember that solutions need time to do their job. This is the most popular mistake we see when people clean their bike. You need to wet your bike first then apply cleaning spray liberally. The bottle will usually specify the amount of time it needs but if in doubt we recommend you leave it for around 5 minutes before rinsing.

- Save time by having all the kit, using a chain-cleaning device will dramatically reduce the amount of time you have to have to spend on this fiddly component. It’s a good idea to reserve certain brushes from your cleaning kit just for this purpose.