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  1. #1
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    easy way to clean a cassette?

    without taking it off?

    thanks

  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?

  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
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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
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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.

    <img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Jxcij-7freI/UETIKjUjxqI/AAAAAAAAANE/cBr28QG8kkA/s400/ptgcb1-1.jpg">

  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.

    <img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Jxcij-7freI/UETIKjUjxqI/AAAAAAAAANE/cBr28QG8kkA/s400/ptgcb1-1.jpg">
    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.

  19. #19
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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

  21. #21
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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

  26. #26
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    I used to just find a twig the right diameter, and push the crud out of the grooves. It usually took breaking off several twigs to get the job done. Now that I am using 10 speed cassettes, the twigs have to be thin, and don't hold up.

    I guess I need one of those Park tools, or make something out of a plastic milk container.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    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.
    I think this is a great plan, however, it doesn't get the crud in the base of the tooth. That still probably needs to be addressed with the brush.

  28. #28
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    use worm soapy water and on old tooth brush. after your done do the same with your chain then apply bike friendly lube to the chain. do not use wd40. any bike mechanic will tell you not to do so. its the best way to ruin things on on your rig

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jfloren View Post
    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.
    Thats why i bought a foaming degreaser. It stays in place and diesnt tend o get where it isnt supposed to. Pulled the hub apart few nights ago and it seemed ok.

  30. #30
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    I have yet to have any crud deep down. But i clean my cassette every few rides. Also do use heavy chain lube. It seems the heavy oil lubes really hold on to the crap. I use thin wax lube.

  31. #31
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    I just keep riding until the dirt falls off.

  32. #32
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    I have used WD40 to clean my sportbike chain for years, followed by chain lube. If a motorcycle chain on a 900CC sportbike can survive it, so can your cassette. WD40 does not cause armageddon.

  33. #33
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    It is easier than all that...ascrap of corrogated cardboard fits exly & snugly between cogs. If you have not cleaned in a looong time spray a very little chain lube on casset before inserting cardboard and slowly turn crank Quick & free ...muddog

  34. #34
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    bucket of water with some dish soap in it, a bristle brush, and the hose.
    If you arent bleeding, you arent riding hard enough.
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  35. #35
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    Don't screw around--get the Park brush or another brand like it and some simple green and yer done

  36. #36
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    I use a dry rag and floss the cassette. Grease and grime doesnt bake onto cassettes, no need for anything harsh... usually no need for any soap or solvent at all. If its an extra nasty muddy ride, Ill use the park cassette brush. Otherwise the rag cleans them spotless.

  37. #37
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    ok cheapest way is to take it off and dip it in gasoline or paint thinner, since you dont want to take it off i guess toothbrush bit of wd 40(but i would avoid it use some house cleaning product to degrese it)

  38. #38
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    Pipecleaners soaked in spirits.

  39. #39
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubbsy View Post
    Pipecleaners soaked in spirits.
    That is a huge waste of spirits

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mzorich View Post
    That is a huge waste of spirits
    If you suck them dry after it's actually very cost effective.

  41. #41
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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!
    I use orange cleaner instead of WD.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    without taking it off?

    thanks
    warm soap and water with a rag...then rinse.....

    Clean enough....

    If you get anal use the rag like floss.

    Well on the cassette wel you know.

  43. #43
    the catalan connection
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    I think there are basicaly two schools of cleaning: the wet and the dry. I wish I could get soap and water allover the drivetrain, but having no backyard anymore I'm sticking to dry cleaning.
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  44. #44
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    I just pull the cassette and the crankset, throw the pair into the dishwasher et voila - like new they are.

  45. #45
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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.

    <img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Jxcij-7freI/UETIKjUjxqI/AAAAAAAAANE/cBr28QG8kkA/s400/ptgcb1-1.jpg">
    I just cleaned my cassette and used this. Worked great. I cleaned it dry. Came out perfectly clean and it was easy. First time I have cleaned it months.
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  46. #46
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    I use on of those Park brushes as the above poster pictured, But I still find it best to pull the cassette off after a few rides and throw it in the garage sink with some orange degreaser and a brush. Clean it off with hot water and blow off with compressed air. It also gives me a chance to check the freehub, jockeys, skewer tension, etc.
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  47. #47
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  48. #48
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    The trick is to not let your cassette get overly gunked up. Try to keep it clean on a regular basis. Flossing with the edge of a rag works well.

    Compressed air works really well too at blowing the dirt out. Just don't hit your bearing seals with the compressed air.

    If you pull your cassette off, I would suggest using simple green and a brush. Then rinse with water and use compressed air to dry it off.
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  49. #49
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    For about $20, you can get the tools to take the cassette off. This would seem like your best long term plan since the tools will also be used when it is time to replace the cassette.

    This is if you want the cassette to shine. It doesn't have to though. You need clean contact points (teeth and ramps), but those can be cleaned with a stiff brush or rag.
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  50. #50
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