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Cleaning & Maintaining your Drivetrain

Cleaning and maintaining your drivetrain might not be the most exciting task in the cycling world, but it sure is very important. After your brake pads and tyres, your drivetrain components are the fastest wearing ones, and as the name suggests, it’s what drives your bike forward - pretty important.

So if you give your bike it’s deserved tender loving care and maintain your drivetrain clean and well lubricated you can rest assured it’ll last longer and provide you with a more enjoyable riding experience.

The tools needed for this job are: garden hose or water bucket, bike specific (and ideally biodegradable) degreaser, sponges and brushes, clean towels and chain lubricant.


As previously stated we want to keep our drivetrain components (being chain, cassette sprockets and chainrings) clean and running smoothly. We’ve come up with this simple step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

If you’re taking the time to clean your drivetrain, we strongly recommend having a look at our Cleaning your Bike article before you start. You might find some useful tips on how to make the most of your time.

  1. Find an open outside area where you can make a bit of a mess and prep the bike for it’s shower. If you have a bike stand you should use it, as it’ll make it easier to clean and lubricate all the moving parts.

  2. Rinse the drivetrain down with clean water. Pro tip: If you don’t have a hose you can use your water bottle for that.

  3. Generously apply the degreaser onto your chain, cassette and chainrings, and let it sit there for around 10 minutes. We also recommend cleaning your rear derailleur pulleys, or jockey wheels, while you’re at it.

  4. Use the brushes and sponges to scrub all the components and repeat this step until you’re happy with the results. You may want to add a bit of degreaser to the equation here as well.

  5. When you see the shine coming back to your components it’s time to rinse all the degreaser down and dry the components using the clean towels. At this point we recommend letting the bike sit (in the sun if possible) for 15-20m just so it dries completely.

  6. Once you have a clean and dry drivetrain, it is time to lubricate your chain with chain lube and wipe down the excess. You may also want to lubricate all the moving parts, such as front and rear derailleurs and jockey wheels bushings.


Riding your bike right after cleaning and properly lubricating your drivetrain feels like a dream, and you can prolong that dream by regularly wiping your chain down and applying chain lube. We recommend doing this every other week or so, for improved performance and longevity of the components.

And by now you have all the information needed to keep your drivetrain in tip-top conditions. Feel free to contact us in case you have any questions or concerns and happy riding!


Disclaimer of Liability:

Bikes Online endeavours to ensure the quality of information contained in this Help Center is accurate however does not guarantee. Inadequate professional knowledge can lead to serious accidents to self and product, Bikes Online are not liable for any damage or injury resulting from these attempts. This applies particularly to damage resulting from incorrect repairs, adjustments or services. If in any doubt you should send your bike to a professional store, mechanic or qualified specialist. Bikes Online gives no guarantee or accepts liability for any of the information contained in this Help Center.

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