Components Deep Clean

k-dog Posts: 1,652
edited October 2012 in Workshop
Decided to give my best bike a good clean now that I have a proper winter bike and I thought I'd give one of those ultrasonic baths a try. I filled it with white spirit substitute and dunked some components in it. Sorry, just phone pics and I didn't take pictures of everything but I thought some of you would want to see what it did.

My derailleurs and brakes got really gunked up last winter and I could never get them very clean or working smoothly - I stripped down the rear derailleur and threw the bits that could go (one jockey wheel has a bearing so left that out and just wiped it off) into the bath and let it do its thing for 3 minutes. At this point I'd already wiped the outer and scraped off the worst of the buildup around the jockey wheels but you can see the greasy dirt on the parts that are hard to get to.


The dirt just floated away and left everything all shiny as you can see.


Left it all in the tub - but I just kept putting stuff in and it still worked fine.


The chain was the best I think - before.


After - nothing but letting it drip dry. With a bit of a rub afterwards it looks even better. Got Chain-L to try on it when I get everything back together with new cables and Rock n' Roll Cable Magic - which did a nice job on one of the kids bikes the other night.


Couldn't save my front derailleur though - still very stiff even after soaking in oil so I bought a new one - got matching Ultegra (used to be 105) for £17.99 on CRC.

Looking forward to it all being shiny and working like it should - just need the weather where I can take it out without it happening again - for now I'll stick to my SS with full mudguards and discs.
I'm left handed, if that matters.


  • Impressive, and those are only £30 I see. Hmmm...

    What white spirit substitute did you use - and why a substitute?
  • k-dog
    k-dog Posts: 1,652
    Just the cheap stuff from Homebase!

    I've never been sure why it's a substitute and not the real thing - I suppose it's just some sort of spirit.

    I think I paid £20 for the unit in Aldi a few months ago.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.
  • Good stuff, is that Rock N Roll cable stuff any good?
    Trek Domane SL7 GEN4
    Planet X RT58
    Cannondale CAAD 10 2012.
    Pain.. Is weakness leaving the body.

  • jermas
    jermas Posts: 484
    You might need to strip the rear derailleur right down and re-grease it. There are two coil springs inside the pivots, one at the mounting bolt and the other in the lower pivot. Both of these areas need plenty of waterproof grease to stop rust and operate smoothly. The white spirit has probably washed away this grease. Looks nice and clean though.
  • Make sure you rinse the WS substitute off with plain water. Most of the "Green" substitutes are corrosive to metal if left on long enough and have nothing in common with real WS except that they remove grease. It may not be a major issue in this case but if they were my parts I would play it safe and rinse.
  • k-dog
    k-dog Posts: 1,652
    Hi again.

    Super busy week so haven't looked at this.

    I did miss a step in what I did - when I took the components out I ran them under the tap to rinse off the white spirit - they were clean but there was a sort of greasy residue that sat on them and it rinsed off easily.

    I did think about stripping down the whole derailleur - I got the Park tool directions but didn't fancy doing more than I did. With the depth of the solution I didn't submerge the coil springs - although I'm going to take a look and maybe clean them off and regrease them - the main problem was the state off the jockey wheels which are now sparkling.

    Worked really well on the chain which is obviously a much simpler thing.

    I just got that cable lube and haven't tried it before - I did replace the cables on a new bike for my 7 year old recently and put a drop in the existing housing and it certainly felt very smooth. Just a drop on the open end of the housing and after a second it disappeared inside so it seems about the right consistency. It was cheap and I just got regular cables to see how it works. I'll let you know - will probably be a few weeks before I get the whole thing back together. Just had the BB faced so after cleaning the frame I'll start reassembly.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.