How To Get A Perfectly Clean Cassette – GCN Tech’s Top Tips For Cleaning Your Drivetrain


– Now particularly during
this period of weather here in Europe our bikes
get absolutely filthy, and one of the areas that suffers the most is in fact your rear wheel,
because all the rubbish from the road tends to fly
up and accumulate onto it. Now, one of the areas of particular importance here is obviously the cassette. That’s ultra important on your bike, and they can in fact come
at a pretty penny too. For example a Campagnolo
Super Record cassette, that’s £425, 500 euros, or 580 US dollars. So it is worth taking care of that. So today I’m going to show you how to get it nice and clean, without even having to
remove it from the free hub, as well as a cheeky little bonus hub clean that you can do whilst riding along. Now this one is a really
nice and simple job to do. You can even do it before
or after washing your bike, depending upon how filthy
it is and also depending on how good a job you’ve
done at washing it. You are gonna need though a
couple of different things. You are gonna need an old
rag or an old t-shirt. Well Doddie from GMBN, I’ve just got this, this is his brand new tea towel. Also to get a really
good sparkling cassette you’re gonna need some of
these too, some pipe cleaners. Of course you don’t need it in the rainbow colored
edition what I’ve got here, but these make the world of difference. So with the back wheel removed, it does help if it’s
nice and clean actually, because you don’t wanna ruin your favorite trousers for instance. But you’re gonna put it something like this in between your legs, and then using your
old rag simply place it in between a couple of the sprockets. It’s easier of you start at one end of the cassette rather than in the middle. That way you know which
ones you’ve already cleaned, and you can work towards the other ones. The process though is
really, really simple. Grab it nice and tight, put
it in between the sprockets and simply go backwards and forwards. Now the ratchet of the free hub mechanism are actually preventing the
cassette from turning forwards, and in doing so you’re
removing all of that rubbish. Something to be ultra aware of here, because it happened to
someone I know very well, is a lot of the rubbish can
actually fall out onto the floor and if you’re not very careful you can end up stepping on that, and then traipsing it around your house and then your mother going
absolutely crazy at you. Or your other half, or your
loved one for instance. So just be very cautious about doing so, always clean up mess afterwards. Simply go through each individual sprocket gap and repeat the process, and you’re gonna have yourself a really nice looking cassette
at the end of the job. But we’re not finished just yet, oh no. Of course you could always apply a little bit of de-greaser on there too, just to make the job a little bit easier. But I like to use the good old fashioned John Cannin’s elbow grease to try and degrease the grease from the cassette. Also, when you finish using that rag, or that t-shirt, break
out the pipe cleaner. So repeat exactly the same process and I’m pretty sure you’re gonna
get rid of some more grime. As you can see, look at that, filthy, and I thought that was
nice and clean in there. I was gonna eat my dinner off of it, nope. So I’m gonna repeat the process, and just get even more of that grime out of the cassette,
then we’re nearly done. What about those little holes then in the cassette sprockets because they can actually fill up with grime and dirt, and it’s absolutely disgusting. Well, keep hold of that pipe cleaner, because you’ll be able to just thread that through nice and easily. They’re nice and small, the wire diameter. Just poke it through and you can then get rid of all that grime. It’s incredibly satisfying doing this. As well as using the
pipe cleaner to actually clean the grooves in
between the sprockets. These are a staple part of
every mechanics toolbox. What about that then, that’s absolutely sparkling clean now if
I may say so myself. James, he’s gonna be incredibly thankful for me cleaning his cassette. Hopefully he’ll buy me a
coffee later, won’t you James? Right, what about then
that little Billy bonus hub cleaning trick I told you about? Well in fact I haven’t told you about it yet, but I did mention it. Get yourself another pipe cleaner, and what you’re gonna
do is actually wrap it around the hub shell, not
too tight, not too loose. But you want it so that it certainly can move around it once you
twist the ends together. What are we gonna be doing here then? Well this is quite an old
school little bit of kit. You can actually make them out of leather, or kinda like a little
wire brush if you like. And in turn, when you’re riding along what’s gonna be happening
is that due to gravity, the heavies part, which
is going to be the ends which I twist together
will remain at the bottom of the hub shell, as the
hub shell spins around it. And in doing so this pipe cleaner is gonna be polishing the
hub shell as you ride. Maybe not the most elegant thing for your favorite race
wheels or such like, but certainly for a
pair of training wheels or commuting wheels it is gonna make sure that your hub shell
remains nice and clean. Because depending upon the
number of spokes in your wheel, sometimes that can be an absolute pain to get in there and get nice
and clean again can’t it? So there we are, not only has James now has got a really clean cassette, he’s also got himself an
ever cleaning hub shell. Of course do be aware that if
you are gonna use something, using a very abrasive type material here, I suppose you could actually
wear through your hub shell. But that would take some
extremely long number of hours on the bike I’m sure to do that. As ever, remember to Like and Share this video with your friends and also tell someone about it who has got a really filthy cassette
and needs to clean it, as well as the hub shell there too. Don’t forget too to check out the GCN shop at shop.clobalcyclingnetwork.com, where we have a whole heap of goodies. Including some of these
very limited edition Black Friday t-shirts,
as well as riding kit, caps, and some other goodies in there too. So don’t miss out on that
one, it’s very important. And now for another great video, how about clicking just down here. And I’m gonna see if James
gives me another coffee for well, cleaning up his hub shell, ’cause that’s gonna be
cleaning as he rides now.