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Home > Bike Repair > Drivetrain

2 star rating

How to Clean and Degrease Chainrings and Cogs

by Levi Bloom

You should always clean your rings and cogs along with your chain. Lots of gunk hides there, which can accelerate drivetrain wear if not cleaned often enough. This should be done once per month in dry conditions, but more often in wet and/or dirty conditions.

You need:

Cleaning Chainrings

1. Place the bike in a repair stand so that you have full access to the chainrings, and slide the chain off the rings.

2. Moisten a rag with degreaser.

3. Use the rag to wipe down the chainrings, removing all the built-up grime.

Cleaning Cogs

1. Remove the rear wheel from the bike so you have access to the entire cassette.

2. Start by scrubbing the cogs with a stiff brush (either a Park gear clean brush or an old toothbrush) to loosen the dirt. If you happen to have the Park gear clean brush, use the plastic end to scrape out the dirt deep between the cogs.

3. Moisten a rag with degreaser.

4. Use the rag to wipe down the chainrings, removing all the built-up grime.

5. Then, to clean the hard-to-reach spaces between the cogs, slide the rag down between the cogs, like you are flossing your teeth.


The tools for this repair can be purchased at:

Performance Bike, REI, or eBay.

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