Bike maintenance is an essential part of being a cyclist, and cleaning your bike’s cassette is one of the more challenging tasks. The cassette is the part of the bike that holds the chain in place and enables gear shifting. Keeping it clean and well-oiled is essential for a smooth ride. This article provides easy-to-follow steps for cleaning a bike cassette using tools such as a chain whip, cassette removal tool, brush, degreaser, cloth, air compressor or compressed air, and lubricant. It also gives tips on taking care of the rubbish fallen on the floor while cleaning and deep-cleaning with a pipe cleaner. Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or a beginner, these simple steps can help you maintain your bike and prolong its lifespan.
How to Clean Bike Cassette in Simple and Easy Steps?
The cassette is part of your bike that holds the chain in place. It’s what makes it possible for you to shift gears on your ride, so it’s important that you keep it clean and well-oiled. If your cassette has gotten dirty or rusty over time, here are some common tools that can be used to clean a bike cassette:
- Chain whip: A specialized tool used to hold the cassette in place while removing the lockring.
- Cassette removal tool: Used to remove the lockring on the cassette.
- Brush: A small brush, such as a toothbrush or a dedicated cassette brush, can be used to scrub the individual teeth on the cassette.
- Degreaser: A cleaning solution that can be applied to the cassette to help break down grease and grime.
- Cloth: A clean, dry cloth can be used to wipe down the cassette after cleaning to remove any remaining dirt and grime.
- Air compressor or compressed air: Can be used to blow out any dirt or debris that may be lodged in the cassette.
- Lubricant: After cleaning, a bike-specific lubricant should be applied to the cassette to keep it running smoothly.
Step 1: Remove the Rear Wheel from the Bike
To remove the rear wheel from the bike, you’ll need to first loosen and remove your chain. This is done by reducing (but not removing) one side of your chain with a chain tool. Then, you can use that same tool to loosen and remove both derailleur bolts so that they’re ready for removal when you take off the rear skewer.
To do this, insert one end of your Allen wrench into one bolt hole at a time; then turn counterclockwise until each bolt begins moving freely within its respective slot. Once each has been loosened enough so as not to obstruct the removal of either piece by hand or with pliers, proceed with removing them entirely before proceeding further down this list!
Step 2: Position Yourself
You can use a bike stand or repair stand to position your cassette. If you have one of these tools, place it on the ground and then carefully place your cassette on top of it. Be sure that you place the cassette in such a way that when you’re sitting on your bike and pedaling, there is no chance that it will fall off. If you need help with this step, check out our guide on choosing an indoor bicycle trainer or read through some reviews of our favorites here!
Step 3:Pour Degreaser into a Small Bowl
Once you have your degreaser and bowl ready, pour enough degreaser into the bowl to fully submerge the cassette. You don’t need to use a lot of degreasers, just enough to cover the cassette and allow it to soak for a few minutes. During this time, the degreaser will work to dissolve any built-up dirt, grime, or grease that may be stuck to the cassette.
Step 4:Scrub the Rear Cassette
To scrub the rear cassette, use a rag to wipe it down. Make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies of your cassette. Then, take another clean rag and wipe off any excess water from your chain.
Next, use another clean rag to wipe down both chain rings (the part that attaches to your crank). You may have heard people say “wipe” but I prefer “brush” because it sounds more fun! Now do this for both sides of your rear derailleur as well as both brake calipers if there are any on your bike (look at pictures online if necessary).
Step 5:Use the Rag In Between the Sprockets
Start by folding a clean rag in half and inserting it between two adjacent sprockets. Then, carefully move the rag back and forth to scrub the area between the sprockets.
Be sure to use a rag that is clean and free from any debris or grit that may scratch or damage the cassette. It’s also important to be gentle when cleaning in between the sprockets, as excessive force or pressure could bend or warp the teeth on the cassette.
If you’re having trouble getting the rag in between the sprockets, you may want to try using a specialized tool like a cassette cleaning brush or pick. These tools are designed to fit in between the sprockets and can be used to remove any remaining dirt or grime.
Once you’ve finished cleaning in between the sprockets, use a clean, dry rag to wipe down the entire cassette and remove any remaining dirt or debris. It’s important to make sure the cassette is completely dry before reassembling your bike, as any leftover moisture could cause rust or corrosion over time.
Step 6:Take Care of the Rubbish Fallen on the Floor
- Wear gloves. This is the easiest way to avoid getting any of the dust or grime on your hands, which will make it harder for you to clean up later.
- Avoid getting it on your clothes. You don’t want to be wiping off dirt every time you move!
Deep-Cleaning with a Pipe Cleaner
There are several ways to clean your cassette, but one of the most effective methods is with a pipe cleaner.
- If you don’t have one on hand, you can usually find one in any grocery store or drugstore.
- Use it to clean out all of the gunk from inside your chainring and cassette.
You should also remove both parts from your bike before cleaning them so they don’t get damaged during washing. To remove these two pieces from their respective spots on your bike:
How to Clean Your Cassette Without Bothering to Remove It
You have to remove the rear wheel to clean a cassette, but there’s no need for you to take it off if you don’t want to. All that needs to happen is for you to pour a little degreaser into a bowl, dip your rag in it and scrub away!
You can also use a pipe cleaner with some rubbing alcohol on one end (or just some plain old soap) and run it through all the cogs of your cassette.
The Bottom Line
Cleaning a bike cassette may seem like a daunting task, but it is essential for maintaining the smooth functioning of your bike. Following the simple steps outlined in this guide will make the process much easier. By removing the rear wheel, positioning yourself, pouring a degreaser into a small bowl, scrubbing the cassette, using a rag in between the sprockets, and deep cleaning with a pipe cleaner, you can ensure that your bike cassette stays clean and well-oiled. Remember to use the appropriate tools, be gentle, and take care of any rubbish that falls on the floor during the cleaning process. By doing so, you can prolong the life of your bike and make your rides more enjoyable.