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  1. #1
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    easy way to clean a cassette?

    without taking it off?

    thanks
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  2. #2
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    wd40 and a tooth brush?

  3. #3
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    doesnt wd40 have water in it? wont it help cause rusting?
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    doesnt wd40 have water in it? wont it help cause rusting?
    WD40 is a "light oil" solvent.
    WD stands for Water Displacement. You spray it on and it "drives out" water
    It is a great solvent to clean cassettes with.
    I remove cassettes to clean them.
    Some clean cassettes on there bike.


    I have heard of people just using a rag as the "floss"
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  5. #5
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    A little WD and a rag. Stretch the rag thin between each cog and pull back and forth like your flossing teeth. If your doing it right the freewheel will rotate as you do it and you'll clean the whole ring in seconds. Quick and easy!

  6. #6
    J-Flo
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    WD-40 contains a solvent. I don't think it should be sprayed near the drivetrain or any moving parts that are lubricated unless you are prepared to lube the whole thing again afterwards, after all the solvent dries out. And if you spray the cassette there is serious risk of the WD-40 getting inside your freehub and eating up the grease in there -- bad news. Better to just use a plastic scraper and a good small, stiff brush to get the heavy gunk out and clean off the sprockets. If you need a liquid to loosen the crud, water works.

    It doesn't matter if the cassette is dirty below the sprockets -- those parts don't contact anything and don't need to be squeaky clean. You can always take the cassette off if you need it supercleaned. Because of the way a chain works, the only parts that matter are, most importantly, the links and rollers inside the chain, and secondarily the sprocket teeth themselves.

  7. #7
    the catalan connection
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    Quote Originally Posted by seabass_ View Post
    a little wd and a rag. Stretch the rag thin between each cog and pull back and forth like your flossing teeth. If your doing it right the freewheel will rotate as you do it and you'll clean the whole ring in seconds. Quick and easy!
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  8. #8
    J-Flo
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitzikatzi View Post
    WD40 is a "light oil" solvent.
    WD stands for Water Displacement. You spray it on and it "drives out" water
    It is a great solvent to clean cassettes with.
    I remove cassettes to clean them.
    Some clean cassettes on there bike.


    I have heard of people just using a rag as the "floss"
    Agree WD-40 is a great cleaning solvent, and this is best done with the cassette off. If you insist on doing this on your bike, be sure to use WD-40 lightly (spray it on the rag or floss, not on the cassette) and let it dry and relube the chain afterwards.

  9. #9
    duh
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    you can also cut the rag into strips then spray lightly with wd40. twist the cut rag then wipe between the sprockets. Right after take a clean dry cut rag and repeat until the rag comes out dry.

    And I agree with Jfloren that it is best to take off the cassette.

  10. #10
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    If you put a thin 1mm allen key in the gap between each sprocket, hold it in place and then backpedal the chain by hand it digs out the dirt and any plants that have built up. Wipe the dirt off on an old cloth or kitchen paper before moving onto the next gap along and repeating the process. The jockey wheels are usually worth cleaning after every ride too.

    That cleans out the gunk and then I'll wipe the cassette and chain with some kitchen paper to get most of the grime off the sprocket's teeth.

    It doesn't result in a spotless finish but it's quick and good enough to have working gears for the next day's riding.

  11. #11
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    If my cassette is really gunky & stuff's dried on I'll use a wire brush to knock off most of it, then floss with a rag (with mineral spirits if necessary) as described above.

  12. #12
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    Old tupperware, mineral spirits, cheap synthetic 1" paint brush (from a hardware store).

    Fill the tupperware about 1/2" high with mineral spirits. Remove your cassette, and place it in the tupperware, and gently brush the mineral spirits over the cassette, dissolving the grime. Continue until it's completely free of gunk.

    Remove it from the tupperware, and place it on a towel. Wipe it dry, and then used compressed air to completely dry it. You can even "floss" between cogs as said above.

    I've cleaned drivetrain parts this way without any issues. Just make sure you lube/grease moving parts as recommended.

  13. #13
    Give it a crank
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    The Park Tool GSC-1 Gear Cleaning Brush works great. Clean the drivetrain after every ride and it'll stay clean without any gunk.


  14. #14
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    I just use a rag and stretch it thin and run it between each set of teeth. I do this with the cassette on the wheel. The cassette will turn in one direction as you move the rag back and forth. I can clean my entire 10 speed cassette in just a couple minutes. I don't use any solvents or cleaners because if you do it on a regular basis there is very little build up and no need for any of that stuff. Mine looks brand new and is 4 1/2 months old at this point and I ride quite a bit each week. I clean it 1-2 times a week, but like I said it only takes a couple minutes each time. I also have an air compressor and use it to clean my bike. It gets into all the hard to reach places. It also works well on cleaning the chain.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBass_ View Post
    A little WD and a rag. Stretch the rag thin between each cog and pull back and forth like your flossing teeth. If your doing it right the freewheel will rotate as you do it and you'll clean the whole ring in seconds. Quick and easy!
    seabass is on the money
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  16. #16
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    i use an old sock to get the chunks off, and then spray a tooth brush with wd40 and clean it til its sparkly fresh like a twilight vampire. thats how i've always done it. don't go to down spryaing the whole bike down with wd40, that's just stupid. wd40 breaks down grease, but you can spray a tooth brush with it. it'll be ok lol

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn-Rider View Post
    The Park Tool GSC-1 Gear Cleaning Brush works great. Clean the drivetrain after every ride and it'll stay clean without any gunk.

    I also use this, it's the easiest thing to use & does a great job!

  18. #18
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    Take wheel off.

    Sit on ground, putting wheel on your legs.

    Medium thick shop towel, holding 2 corners of the towel, insert into gap between cogs.

    Pull towel back & forth. Cassette will spin as you do this so you don't have to turn it by hand.

    Insert towel into next gap between cogs. Repeat.

    Put wheel back on bike.

    No lube necessary.
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  19. #19
    Me ride.
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    I got one of those dustpan/nylon bristle brush combo sets from the dollar store for a few bucks.
    The brush bristles are long enough to get down between each of the cogs, and afterward it's easy to clean.

  20. #20
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    thanks for all the tips! that Park Tool brush looks like a great idea
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  21. #21
    Perpetual Hack
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    You mean you don't just soak it in simple green then get the hose and blast the crud away??











    WD40 has some light mineral oil in it, about 10% with the rest basically solvent and propellant. Was originally developed as a non-conductive agent to drive water out of electronics and coat with a light oil to prevent moisture from re-infecting.

    Works great as suggested by lightly spraying a rag (AWAY from bike) and "flossing" the cassette. This can be done on bike, but is much better off of bike, as that makes it easier to clean up the cassette and the rear mech/jockey wheels etc.

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  22. #22
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    I bought a foaming degreaser and a big stiffish brush from the dollar store. Ever couple rides i spray it on and just spin the pedals with the brush in there. Looks like new when im done. I always dry the cain and such after and relube.

    I have OCD for dirty drivtrains.

  23. #23
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    Brush n some degreaser. If the thing is really dirty like mud, leaves n stuff I use brush with soap watter ---> clean watter and spray it with compressed air after that. let it dry for about 30 mins and apply A LITTLE of WD-40. Then let it dry.

    Never had any problems with rusting, but my cassette is one of those fancy shiny ones lol

  24. #24
    J-Flo
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    Quote Originally Posted by machine4321 View Post
    I bought a foaming degreaser and a big stiffish brush from the dollar store. Ever couple rides i spray it on and just spin the pedals with the brush in there. Looks like new when im done. I always dry the cain and such after and relube.

    I have OCD for dirty drivtrains.
    Maybe I am paranoid, but I think spraying anything into the cassette risks getting it into the hub, as well as contaminating the nearby disk brakes. I use the Park Tool brush/scraper and have never had to use a solvent (do so only for an extra cleaning when I have the cassette off the bike for some other reason). Remember, only the cogs need to be really clean, and the whole thing will get dirty again the moment you hit the trail.

    The better SRAM cassettes are really easy to clean with the spiral-patterned holes in them and narrow spider holding it together. Cheaper cassettes are the most difficult because they are heavy with lots of deep slots to trap crud.

  25. #25
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    this thread made me clean my cassette lol... so yeah, thanks

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