Cleaning in the Field
What do people do to clean drivetrains during multi-day trips? I am faced with the problem of cleaning a very gritty drivetrain during multi-day trips or races. Some of the race coursers that I race at are very sandy and if you mix in some water, the bike is a bit of a mess. What do the rest of you do?
My thought is spraying with some kind of degreaser but I am away from water sources unless I have brought it with me.
You can always find a water faucet. If you truly can't find anything the next best thing is a chemical sprayer. They hold enough to clean the drive train and don't shoot out at high pressure. Between that and a small spray bottle of your favorite solvent you should be good to go.
You should investigate your lube choices. Make sure you are using the optimal lube for conditions and clean and re-lube as often as you are able. On long single day rides I'll throw a portable bottle of lube in my pack with a rag.
Wipe clean, lube, wipe clean; repeat as frequently as needed.
Instead of having to clean the drivetrain you should get, as zebrahum said, the correct lube for your riding conditions. I used to apply the finish line wet lube, it always left my chain full of grime and grit. That one is good for wet conditions. It served its purpose during the rainy season but it made a mess in the dry season.
I've been using the Finish line Dry Teflon lube lately. It is a very clean lube. It leaves your drivetrain clean. However, it wears fast. I apply it about every third of fourth ride. If you are going to a multi-day trip, just take the little bottle with you.
as mentioned before, finish line wet lube is really good when used with the appropriate environment. in the dry months i love white lightning clean ride (liquid dry wax) . when it wears away it takes dust and grit with it. good stuff.
If I am in a dry dusty area, the bike will be covered in grit and dust, including the chain from pre riding the course the day before. I do not mund lining up om
N the start line with a dirty bike but I would like to be lining up with a clean drivetrain. I can try a different lube but I am not sure that is really the issue. I am not using a wet lube now. I have thought about a chain cleaner such as the park chain scrubber.
if you're in a dry dusty area def go with WL clean ride or something comparable. i've never used anything else, so sorry i can't help ya there. what lube are you running/tried? lube def sounds like your prob if you have grit hanging out on your drivetrain with dry conditions. the wax lubes are good cause they dry, then as the wax eventually wears off it takes dust with it. its an ingenious idea. try it
I can't believe how may people still think wax based lubes are where it's at.
Originally Posted by fishwrinkle
I take a mountain bike trip every year, pack my bike and travel somewhere and ride trails for a couple of weeks.
What I've found for quick cleanings is to have a removable link (SRAM etc). Remove the chain, hang it length wise from a piece of wire or something. Use carb or brake cleaner with the red straw thingy to blow out and clean the chain. The cleaner dries pretty quick. Then while the chain is hanging, I lube from the top link down. While the chain's hanging with lube on it, I'll also go and do a quick cleaning/wiping/brushing of the gears. Put the chain back on and you're good to go. Usually takes me about 10-15 minutes.
Hope that helps.