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  1. #1
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    Idea! Easy way to clean cassette!!!

    Today I found out an easy way to clean out your cassette without taking it apart. Simply get pipe cleaners and run it in between each section. Hope I helped someone out

  2. #2
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    Check out Finish Line's Gear Floss, fantastic product for cleaning tight spots anywhere on a bike.

  3. #3
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    I got this plastic thing meant for that in a thrift store. It looks like an outside BB wrench that has dull teeth and it goes between the cogs. You rotate the cogs and this thing eats and pulls all the grime, weeds and grass out of your gears. On the opposite side it has a brush which works good.

    Thanks for the tip.

  4. #4
    Ride Instigator
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    In the dishwasher when the wife's not around...sparkly like new.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricko View Post
    In the dishwasher when the wife's not around...sparkly like new.
    I own you dude. I can tell your wife whenever you step out of line by not doing trail work or sending advocacy emails. Sorry; it's what I must do.
    I don't rattle.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the tip, I use something similar. I use old toothbrushes and dish brushes.

  7. #7
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    This may be frowned on by many, but I go to the car wash. Tip the bike upside down and hold the nozzle very close to the cassette. Do same with the chain as it runs through the rear derailleur wheels. Just be very careful not to aim the nozzle at paint you care about or possible entry path to bearings.
    If there is a little time left I might give my car a rinse

  8. #8
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    I use a wire brush - push it into/against the cassette, then touch the cassette on the pullback to rotate the cassette a bit, and repeat. Quick, easy, and clean enough for me.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmrider View Post
    This may be frowned on by many, but I go to the car wash. Tip the bike upside down and hold the nozzle very close to the cassette. Do same with the chain as it runs through the rear derailleur wheels. Just be very careful not to aim the nozzle at paint you care about or possible entry path to bearings.
    If there is a little time left I might give my car a rinse
    Seriously!
    Progress: Just because we have always done it that way is no reason to keep doing it that way.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmrider View Post
    This may be frowned on by many, but I go to the car wash. Tip the bike upside down and hold the nozzle very close to the cassette. Do same with the chain as it runs through the rear derailleur wheels. Just be very careful not to aim the nozzle at paint you care about or possible entry path to bearings.
    If there is a little time left I might give my car a rinse

    Keep rockin' that novel idea and get back to us down the road when the lovely results start to rear their ugly head. Take some pics, too...we like lots of pics.

  11. #11
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    Honestly, I've been doing this on the same to bikes for...well they are 90 92 models. Maybe i'm just a good aim

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmrider View Post
    Honestly, I've been doing this on the same to bikes for...well they are 90 92 models. Maybe i'm just a good aim
    That would explain your user name.

    The death of bicycle parts. R.I.P.
    Progress: Just because we have always done it that way is no reason to keep doing it that way.

  13. #13
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    I use old t-shirts and other tattered clothes for most of my bike cleaning needs. I cut them into squares. My clean the cassette I just fold a piece in half and stretch it out and get it into the cassette.. And I just pull and let it freewheel and rotate the cassette a few times and move to the next gear. It works really well and I just throw out the piece of cloth after.. Been doing it this way for 15 years now.. Its simple and makes them shiny. If they're really dirty I squirt some rubbing alcohol on it.

    Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

  14. #14
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    You guys are coming up with easy ways to clean a cassette without talking it off which are actually harder than just taking it off!..

  15. #15
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    I think using a t-shirt is pretty easy.. No need to break out the chain whip just to clean some grease and sticks out of it

    Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

  16. #16
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    Re: Easy way to clean cassette!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    You guys are coming up with easy ways to clean a cassette without talking it off which are actually harder than just taking it off!..
    But once you take it off you still need to use similar methods to clean the cassette, and it is harder to spin.

    Easier to clean on the wheel.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    But once you take it off you still need to use similar methods to clean the cassette
    But it's a lot quicker because you can slosh it around in solvent without worrying about it getting into your free-wheel or bearings. That's the biggest issue with cleaning it on the bike, removing the oil on the cassette without removing the oil you need.

    Take it off, shoogle it around in a tray of white-spirit using an old paint brush or something to get between the cogs, two-minutes and you're done. No risk of getting solvent in the bearings, splashing filth all over your wheel and tyres, it's just a better and quicker way of doing it.

  18. #18
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    I can't say that I've ever used more than a squirt of alcohol on my cassette ever.. If you're soaking it while on the bike you're going it wrong

    Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ou2mame View Post
    I can't say that I've ever used more than a squirt of alcohol on my cassette ever.
    It depends how dirty it is. If it's really manked up the easiest thing to do it take it off.

  20. #20
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    I use dry lube so mine doesn't really gather much.. I guess if I was using some sticky **** I might want to.. But a little simple green on a piece of cloth would work too

    Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

  21. #21
    James.Hamilton
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    For quick cleaning in use a tooth brush and/or a cloth between crevices. For a more thorough clean I will take the cassette off for a good soak then hit it with a brush . I do agree that it is easier and more effective to take the cassette off. One trick to remember is when you remove it use a zip tie or something to keep all the cassette pieces in the same order.

  22. #22
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    I borrow an ultrasonic bath from bubbleheads at work, throw the whole drive train in there once every 6 months or when it's filthy with a liter of biox and it comes out like new. Otherwise just wipe it down with isoprop and a one of those cassette brushes

  23. #23
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    I think it's faster and easier to clean it with it on the wheel unless it's really disgusting, I use a rag and floss between each cog.

  24. #24
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    Use a shoe string. It wraps almost all the way aroung the cassette while your spinning. The lube on your chain will transfer to the cassette. I was using way too much lube which attracts dirt. Less is more with most lubes.
    The bike doesn't make you go fast.
    You make the bike go fast.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ou2mame View Post
    I use dry lube so mine doesn't really gather much..
    Oh yeah, that dry lube like they use in car engines.....oh no, hang on! ;0)

  26. #26
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    Re: Easy way to clean cassette!!!

    Grab shop rag, fold over in half, slide between cogs, rub back and forth, repeat. When rag gets dirty, fold in different place, continue.

  27. #27
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    I was washing my bike today so I thought I would give that a try. It worked great. I couldn't believe how filthy that pipe cleaner got.

  28. #28
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    Air compressor and a dollar store dish brush...150 psi thru a 5mm nozzle tip,been doing it for years...I use it on the chain too,removes ALL dirt,sand whatever that works its way in to the small crevices .....

  29. #29
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    Re: Easy way to clean cassette!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by billyrayeast View Post
    Air compressor and a dollar store dish brush...150 psi thru a 5mm nozzle tip,been doing it for years...I use it on the chain too,removes ALL dirt,sand whatever that works its way in to the small crevices .....
    Hell yeah. Works like magic. Just be careful not to force dirt into bearings etc. Never had an issue in 10 or so years.
    CRAMBA Chairman

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    But it's a lot quicker because you can slosh it around in solvent without worrying about it getting into your free-wheel or bearings. That's the biggest issue with cleaning it on the bike, removing the oil on the cassette without removing the oil you need.

    Take it off, shoogle it around in a tray of white-spirit using an old paint brush or something to get between the cogs, two-minutes and you're done. No risk of getting solvent in the bearings, splashing filth all over your wheel and tyres, it's just a better and quicker way of doing it.
    ^this^

    While the cassette is soaking, clean the rest of the bike. If you're up for an additional 90 seconds, drop the chain in there too. And, then wait for "Dude, new drive train or just the cassette and chain?"

    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
    Roadies who don't mountain bike are usually d***s.

  31. #31
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    Re: Easy way to clean cassette!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    But it's a lot quicker because you can slosh it around in solvent without worrying about it getting into your free-wheel or bearings. That's the biggest issue with cleaning it on the bike, removing the oil on the cassette without removing the oil you need.

    Take it off, shoogle it around in a tray of white-spirit using an old paint brush or something to get between the cogs, two-minutes and you're done. No risk of getting solvent in the bearings, splashing filth all over your wheel and tyres, it's just a better and quicker way of doing it.
    I can not remember the last time I have used any solvent, other than just a bit on the rag, to clean a cassette or chain, and I only use wet lube. May have been 20 years ago.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    If you're up for an additional 90 seconds, drop the chain in there too.
    Once the chain gets really full of crud this is how I clean it. Wash in solvent, rinse in water with a little detergent and dry in the oven! I then oil it on the bike but I think I'm going to try soaking it in a thicker oil then wiping off the excess.

  33. #33
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    Pipe cleaners
    2016 Cannondale Scalpel Si Carbon 3 (27.5)
    2013 Specialized Camber Carbon
    2011 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp

  34. #34
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    I used to soak my cassette and chain in solvent, but then I had all this dirty solvent around in bottles. Does anyone out there filter and re-use their solvent? Does anyone out there have a parts washer set up at home?

  35. #35
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    I just use simple green for that stuff.. Its cheap enough to dilute and dump

    Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

  36. #36
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    taking it off really is the easiest way and most thorough way. 5 minute job if that. No need for shortcuts if at home/in the shop.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Once the chain gets really full of crud this is how I clean it. Wash in solvent, rinse in water with a little detergent and dry in the oven! I then oil it on the bike but I think I'm going to try soaking it in a thicker oil then wiping off the excess.
    and what oldzaskar and Mr. P said.

  38. #38
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    I'm not sure if this is true, but it may be a good percentage of riders don't have a chain whip in their tool box. I agree it is a 5 minute job if you have one.

  39. #39
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    Easy way to clean cassette!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryElf View Post
    I'm not sure if this is true, but it may be a good percentage of riders don't have a chain whip in their tool box. I agree it is a 5 minute job if you have one.
    Yeah true that, for the sake of keeping your cassette in good nick twenty bucks ain't much and IMO should be one of the first tools you buy.


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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryElf View Post
    I'm not sure if this is true, but it may be a good percentage of riders don't have a chain whip in their tool box.
    Well, that's a different discussion but considering that just about every bike tool kit comes with one, even the cheapies, it's a tool every cyclist should have.

  41. #41
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    I use the hems from old Tshirts as floss. Tear them off and and they're just the right width .

  42. #42
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    I just use an old chain and vice grips.. Never bought a whip changed many cassettes lol

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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Well, that's a different discussion but considering that just about every bike tool kit comes with one, even the cheapies, it's a tool every cyclist should have.

    I didn't own a chain whip or cassette tool till 3 days ago. Got by with a neighbor's tools. He bought an old, old kit from an old timer and they've all been passed around our 'hood like a dirty whore. Got to a point when I needed it, I had to ask 3 different neighbors for it since a couple of them are bad about returning the sh*t they borrow. So much for spontaneous bike projects that relate to the cassette so I tripped up to Art's Cyclery the other day and invested in a Park SR-11 whip and the FR-5G tool. Together they were about $30. I also have a solvent tank. My cassette is now gleaming!

  44. #44
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    Easy way to clean cassette!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Well, that's a different discussion but considering that just about every bike tool kit comes with one, even the cheapies, it's a tool every cyclist should have.
    All you really need is an old chain and a pair of visegrips.


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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripower View Post
    All you really need is an old chain and a pair of visegrips,
    Yip, anything will do. You could nail a bit of old chain to a piece of wood too. Heck of a lot easier than getting the old screw-on free-wheels off! Man, they could be a nightmare. A few months ago I had a real battle with one, it was solid and would not budge. In the end I crushed the gears in a vice until they broke off then crushed the free-wheel body until I could get a bite on the inner spindle with the vice. Yeah, free-hubs are pretty good.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripower View Post
    All you really need is an old chain and a pair of visegrips.


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    I use a single drop of ATF on each chain pivot after the thick lube wears off a new chain. After a little soak time I wipe of the excess. I use socks, cut lengthwise to spin the hub to clean the cassette. Rain, dust, or mud can cause me to up my maintenance schedule occasionally, but I only clean and lube a few times during the life of the drive train. I don't own enough solvent to even start to soak a cassette, and I don't want to own it or use it. Chain whip, or not, I only remove my cassettes when I am replacing them or the stuff they attach to.

    I must be old, cheap, and grumpy. Socks are free. My $6 quart of synthetic ATF has lasted 6 years and its still heavy. Parts washers? Power washers? Solvent? Pipe cleaners? Soaking time? How much to come to my place while I'm at work and do all this fancy stuff to my bike?

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by adaycj View Post
    I don't own enough solvent to even start to soak a cassette
    White spirit works fine. Very cheap. You don't need to immerse the cassette, just some white spirit in an old paint roller tray and brush the gears with an old paint brush. It literally only takes a few seconds.

  48. #48
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    Next time I clean my cassette I'll take a video.. It will take me under 5 minutes, no disassembly required lol

    Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by ou2mame View Post
    Next time I clean my cassette I'll take a video..
    No point. Even considering that logical means you loose! ;0)

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    White spirit works fine. Very cheap. You don't need to immerse the cassette, just some white spirit in an old paint roller tray and brush the gears with an old paint brush. It literally only takes a few seconds.
    But why? So it will be cleaner? I already get multiple years out of a cassette anyway.

    Maybe beer will work

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