Author Topic: Cassette cleaning  (Read 4656 times)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #50 on: March 06, 2019, 02:41:39 pm »
A baby wipe has been made specifically for that purpose whereas a old piece of cotton will be serving its second (or further) use.
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #51 on: March 06, 2019, 07:10:54 pm »
Don't bother!

Cassettes (on-road) last a long time.  I can't remember the last time I actually wore one out.  All I do is give it a wipe with a cloth when I change my chain, or flick obvious lumps of dirt off if I see them. 

I find that I have to change cassettes because they have added more sprockets much more often than because they have worn out.
:D

Yeah, I don't think cleaning them increases the life much (although I do wear mine out... I've been riding mostly 8speed for about 30 years).

But I think it helps keep your chain - and thus everything else - clean. You don't need to get them spotless - just shifting the excess.

Plus I think there's a general rule with cleaning - leaving dirt on attracts more dirt more quickly, so it will take more effort next time. But this is impossible to quantify; so I just use it as a reason for smugness when I have a few extra minutes to get something REALLY clean  :smug:
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #52 on: March 06, 2019, 09:16:31 pm »
All this cleaning of chains, cassettes and all is generating waste heavily laced with hydrocarbons. Unless the waste is going into a suitable treatment centre identified as hydrocarbon waste it is possibly better for the environment to leave it on the bike (having worked in a workshop where all the grease, oil and other crud was caught in separators which we paid to have emptied and the product disposed of correctly, whatever that may have meant ???). Waste doesn't disappear, it just changes its form!

Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #53 on: March 06, 2019, 09:31:03 pm »
All this cleaning of chains, cassettes and all is generating waste heavily laced with hydrocarbons. Unless the waste is going into a suitable treatment centre identified as hydrocarbon waste it is possibly better for the environment to leave it on the bike (having worked in a workshop where all the grease, oil and other crud was caught in separators which we paid to have emptied and the product disposed of correctly, whatever that may have meant ??? ). Waste doesn't disappear, it just changes its form!
I've heard it all now! ::-)

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #54 on: March 07, 2019, 08:34:29 am »
All this cleaning of chains, cassettes and all is generating waste heavily laced with hydrocarbons. Unless the waste is going into a suitable treatment centre identified as hydrocarbon waste it is possibly better for the environment to leave it on the bike (having worked in a workshop where all the grease, oil and other crud was caught in separators which we paid to have emptied and the product disposed of correctly, whatever that may have meant ???). Waste doesn't disappear, it just changes its form!
That's a fair point.  :thumbsup:

But I think dilution is a big factor. Some stuff is a problem no matter how much you dilute - because it accretes somewhere down the line into a problematic form (c.f. fatballs!). I think plastic is in this category (see: marine life with stomachs full of our waste). But other stuff is basically harmless if you dilute it enough.

I await an expert to categorise the hydrocarbons coming off our bikes.
(My guess is that what we clean off is mostly road dirt, so it's not worth worrying about ...)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #55 on: March 07, 2019, 09:10:50 am »
depends on the chain lube you use, I'd imagine. 

cheers

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #56 on: March 07, 2019, 10:12:39 am »
On the waste heirarchy for oily rags, I'd expect not many feasible options other than incineration with energy recovery
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #57 on: March 07, 2019, 11:16:37 am »
for really messy wiping of oily stuff I use paper wipes; they usually get burned afterwards.  Most cloth rags get used for less aggressive wiping/polishing duties and often get run through the washing machine a few times before they have had it.
 
cheers

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #58 on: March 07, 2019, 11:46:22 am »
depends on the chain lube you use, I'd imagine. 

cheers

Exactly. The Hydrocarbons aren't really the main issue here. The bigger problem is PFC's - perfluorocarbons. These occur in chain lube as PTFE. This washes off and gets into the environment.

The hydrocarbons from washing your chain etc... for the most part won't go into the environment as hydrocarbons. The action of the soap or degreaser is to act as a solvent, which should break down the hydrocarbons. My chemistry isn't so great, no doubt someone who knows more can comment on the products of the saponification, and their environmental impact.

We then have to get onto the subject of quantities. With 13000km under my belt, I've yet to fully use the 120ml bottle of lube I started with. Meaning that the total amount I've put into the environment, even if all of it was washed down the drain without going through any other process, would be less than a 3rd of a pint. There is also the issue of what the origin of the lube is, technically olive oil is a hydrocarbon, but it's of natural origin. Is the lube mineral oil based, or is it plant/animal based*?

It's not a clear cut argument one way or the other, and seeing as what goes down the drain, in any civilised country will get multiple levels of processing to remove all of the bits that aren't just water, I don't think it's something to worry about.

The environmental implications of having a wet wipe incinerated (the local waste disposal method of choice), is much more of a concern...

J


* For the purpose of this statement I'm ignoring the fact that mineral oils are derived from plants/animals that existed millions of years ago, you know what I'm trying to say, stop being pedantic :p
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ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #59 on: March 07, 2019, 01:56:27 pm »
depends on the chain lube you use, I'd imagine. 

cheers

Exactly. The Hydrocarbons aren't really the main issue here. The bigger problem is PFC's - perfluorocarbons. These occur in chain lube as PTFE. This washes off and gets into the environment.

The hydrocarbons from washing your chain etc... for the most part won't go into the environment as hydrocarbons. The action of the soap or degreaser is to act as a solvent, which should break down the hydrocarbons. My chemistry isn't so great, no doubt someone who knows more can comment on the products of the saponification, and their environmental impact.

We then have to get onto the subject of quantities. With 13000km under my belt, I've yet to fully use the 120ml bottle of lube I started with. Meaning that the total amount I've put into the environment, even if all of it was washed down the drain without going through any other process, would be less than a 3rd of a pint. There is also the issue of what the origin of the lube is, technically olive oil is a hydrocarbon, but it's of natural origin. Is the lube mineral oil based, or is it plant/animal based*?

It's not a clear cut argument one way or the other, and seeing as what goes down the drain, in any civilised country will get multiple levels of processing to remove all of the bits that aren't just water, I don't think it's something to worry about.

The environmental implications of having a wet wipe incinerated (the local waste disposal method of choice), is much more of a concern...

J


* For the purpose of this statement I'm ignoring the fact that mineral oils are derived from plants/animals that existed millions of years ago, you know what I'm trying to say, stop being pedantic :p

doesn't so much break them down as surround them with hydrophylic/hydrophobic ends to hold them in suspension as oil droplets in the wash water.  If you wash it down the drain, some of it wil be degraded in the sewage works biologically, some will not and will end up in the environment.  Thsi is why commercial carwashes have an environmental permit with conditions of compliance. 

Your impact will in itself be minimal, but accumulated with the other casette-polishing cyclists out there may add up.  What it would be vs the inpact from the Dutch offshore sector, road runoff, other industrial applications I couldn't say.

As a vague handwavy assumption thoughy, maybe half your lube into the acquatic environment either marine or freshwater and the rest on land? The fact that it was critters or trees millions of years go is not relevant - oil dug up from the ground is not sustainable on a human lifescale.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #60 on: March 07, 2019, 02:46:23 pm »
On the other hand, I expect the volume of hydrocarbons I've used for cleaning and lubricating bicycles in the last decade pales in comparison to the amount spilt on Diesel Corner[1] in the average month.

Let's sort out the motor vehicles, then worry about the bicycles.


[1] A junction near a fuel station on one of my regular routes where I had a nasty off in 2010, and now proceed at dead slow.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #61 on: March 07, 2019, 10:32:39 pm »
Handily I create socks with holes in at roughly the same rate as I floss my cassettes.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #62 on: March 08, 2019, 10:18:28 am »
Handily I create socks with holes in at roughly the same rate as I floss my cassettes.

Do you sleep-walk?
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #63 on: March 08, 2019, 06:57:44 pm »
Based on that question mattc, do you sleep in your socks ?


mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #64 on: March 08, 2019, 07:20:48 pm »
Only if I know I've left dirty cassettes lying around!
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #65 on: February 23, 2021, 04:07:35 pm »
I recall using Gunk as my engine cleaner of choice when I was a lad.

I now have an ultrasound bath and have been a little disappointed that gobs of grease haven't been removed from parts I've ultrasounded (is that a word ?)

Do you reckon using Gunk in the ultrasound will be alright ? 
Rust never sleeps

Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #66 on: February 23, 2021, 04:24:51 pm »
I recall using Gunk as my engine cleaner of choice when I was a lad.

I now have an ultrasound bath and have been a little disappointed that gobs of grease haven't been removed from parts I've ultrasounded (is that a word ?)

Do you reckon using Gunk in the ultrasound will be alright ?
Having experimented with all manner of cleaning media, I passed my ultrasound cleaner on to another YACF'er on account of similar disappointment.
They might be alright on jewellery or pen parts, but my one was a bit shite on bike bits.

Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #67 on: February 23, 2021, 07:27:57 pm »
We had an ultrasound bath in my very first job and it was brilliant, though the solvent used was neat acetone. That saw all manner of automotive parts on the sly. I'm therefore wondering if the fluid I'm using simply isn't strong enough, and I'm conscious that getting hold of litre bottles of acetone is probably problematic now.
Rust never sleeps

Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #68 on: February 23, 2021, 08:44:18 pm »
We had an ultrasound bath in my very first job and it was brilliant, though the solvent used was neat acetone. That saw all manner of automotive parts on the sly. I'm therefore wondering if the fluid I'm using simply isn't strong enough, and I'm conscious that getting hold of litre bottles of acetone is probably problematic now.
It is tricky.
It took trips to a several of pharmacies before I was enabled with the quantity of acetone that I desired.
Most will only sell it to you thimble-cup quantities.

Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #69 on: February 23, 2021, 08:49:22 pm »
I recall using Gunk as my engine cleaner of choice when I was a lad.

I now have an ultrasound bath and have been a little disappointed that gobs of grease haven't been removed from parts I've ultrasounded (is that a word ?)

Do you reckon using Gunk in the ultrasound will be alright ?

If you have gunky sorts of bits to clean, Gunk with a suitable brush and a hose down afterwards will invariably be better than ultrasound. An industrial fountain parts washer will also be better and ecological cleaners do exist (although the muck that is washed off with them and settles in the bottom of the barrel is just as nasty as it is with any other cleaner).
When I worked in a workshop with this sort of problem, apart from the separator our main tools were a fountain (rental, recycled every 6 weeks) and a parts washer that was basically a giant dishwasher. It used industrial detergent  and hot water that was changed once every 6 months. The water went into the separator to be pumped by the waste cleaners. A visiting rep used our "dishwasher" as a test to sell a similar item to a firm rebuilding turbochargers because they couldn't get decent results with an ultrasound cleaner

Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #70 on: February 23, 2021, 08:51:25 pm »
I recall using Gunk as my engine cleaner of choice when I was a lad.

I now have an ultrasound bath and have been a little disappointed that gobs of grease haven't been removed from parts I've ultrasounded (is that a word ?)

Do you reckon using Gunk in the ultrasound will be alright ?

If you have gunky sorts of bits to clean, Gunk with a suitable brush and a hose down afterwards will invariably be better than ultrasound. An industrial fountain parts washer will also be better and ecological cleaners do exist (although the muck that is washed off with them and settles in the bottom of the barrel is just as nasty as it is with any other cleaner).
When I worked in a workshop with this sort of problem, apart from the separator our main tools were a fountain (rental, recycled every 6 weeks) and a parts washer that was basically a giant dishwasher. It used industrial detergent  and hot water that was changed once every 6 months. The water went into the separator to be pumped by the waste cleaners. A visiting rep used our "dishwasher" as a test to sell a similar item to a firm rebuilding turbochargers because they couldn't get decent results with an ultrasound cleaner
^
This.

Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #71 on: February 24, 2021, 11:01:54 pm »
While on the subject of ultrasound cleaners: these are basically for fine cleaning parts and surfaces that are already clean from crud. My experience of them has been in garden machinery workshops where they are used for cleaning and clearing carburetters off lawnmowers and brushcutters and chainsaws (often jet  and tract cleaning). The parts are already free of crud. One of the best ways of wrecking an ultrasound cleaner is to use it with cruddy parts and then not clean it properly afterwards (a common occurrence in certain establishments; forgetting to switch it off after the elapsed time is equally effective). Cleaning parts by other means before putting them in the ultrasound is the best procedure.
The other thing about ultrasound cleaners is their way of working. Basically they explode bubbles of oxygen on the surface being cleaned, which creates very slight erosion of the part. How much? Stihl (chainsaw and brushcutter makers) in their tech doc advised that carburetters should be cleaned in ultrasound a maximum of three times in their lifespan. The fourth time was likely to have eroded the part beyond its working tolerances. Following this advice one would be foolish to repeatedly clean things like rear mech parts in ultrasound because of the risk of creating play in pivots (thinks wickedly of the bod who will break his electronic shifting by changing the tolerances cleaning his cassette in ultrasound. No it won't happen but it's a nice idea  :demon:)

KM

Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #72 on: February 25, 2021, 09:06:49 pm »

Have just given my cassette a damn good clean. The small rings that are separate I could put through the ultrasonic cleaner, but the larger block of rings that are a single unit are too big to fit in my cleaner. I had to make do with citrus degreaser spray, a brush, a tooth brush, and cloth. It was laborious, messy, and made a right mess of the sink. The size of the block makes it a bit hard to do the Sheldon shake.

What is the best way of cleaning a cassette? There seemed to be something a bit like mud, and even the odd bit of twig deep between the sprockets.

Is there a better way? Or should I just be hunting a bigger ultrasonic cleaner?

J

Oh, just noticed that this thread is nearly two years old. Any road up, just pointing out that if the larger sprockets on the cassette are riveted together rather than on a spider you can just tap out the rivets, discard them and you have a load of loose sprockets that are a doddle to clean. That’s what I do.

Hot Flatus

  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Cassette cleaning
« Reply #73 on: February 25, 2021, 09:12:35 pm »
The big question is why?

I've never removed a cassette for cleaning, let alone dissemble one. Pontless waste of time.

Just get some Morgan Blue Chain cleaner, apply with a dish brush. Rinse off 5 minutes later.