Since it was too cold outside to run a hose comfortably I took the bike downstairs, into the laundry room. I prepared a bucket with some warm water and a dab of dish soap (just enough to make a few bubbles on the surface). Next to me were three rags and an old toothbrush. I took one rag and wet it with plain water and wiped down all the non-oily parts of the bike. Then I took another rag and wet it with the soapy water and wiped the same parts. With the third rag I dried all the wet parts. In order to get to the hard to reach places I took the wheels off. The front wheel is an easy one to take care of, but the back wheel requires a little more dexterity. I've found it's easier to deal with it if it's in the smallest gear. Once the rear wheel was off I started taking care of all the oily parts (as in the drivetrain). First I used the soapy rag on the chains. Then, when that was exhausted I took the old toothbrush to it. The rag got most of the oil and dirt from the exterior of the chain, but inside there was still plenty. Using the toothbrush, with the bucket below catching the runoff, I was able to (very slowly) make my way around the whole chain and get it far cleaner. Then I rinsed the chain with the hose (bucket still below) and tackled the gears in a similar fashion. Once all the gears and chain were rinsed and dry I grabbed some lubricant and got it lubricated, making sure to shift through all the gears before wiping the excess off.
|Drivetrain before cleaning|
|Drivetrain after cleaning|