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Thread: CX: Drivetrain Best Practices

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    holliscx's Avatar
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    Default CX: Drivetrain Best Practices

    Have noticed my cx drivetrain is as thirsty as a newborn puppy this season. How does one properly care for one's drivetrain when mud is on the menu every week? I've been using White Lightning FREQUENTLY but there have to be better products; my left brake lever (what can I squirt in there?) has started sticking after making out with a pressure washer. I would appreciate any advice, tips as far as proper bike care. Cliffs Notes: A for effort but my execution needs work.

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    ldamelio's Avatar
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    Default Re: CX: Drivetrain Best Practices

    Chain: hose or pressure washer to clear gross muck, then off bike (removable link a must) then shake it up with some citrus degreaser (soda bottle or disposable tupperware stuff from takeout joint), drag through clean rag multiple times in both planes, run backwards again through clean rag after remounting on clear drivetrain. Heavier lube of choice - I don't get too picky since it only needs to last 45 minutes - sparingly single drop each roller. rest of drivetrain blast with powerwasher or hose avoiding bearings to extent possible, clean with rag and degreaser, remount chain. If a real mess, pull cassette and clean cogs individually. Relube RD pulleys and derailleur pivot points with medium to light lube (Dumond, ProLink gold). No miracles here - it takes some time and you have to get used to viewing some expensive stuff as disposable with the right (wrong) kind of mud. I've killed sets of new brakepads and some pedestrian BB's (FSA) in a single weekend, chains maybe 6-8 races like this.
    PS: what brake/shift levers are you running ? Shimano I just blast with a teflon-based automotive lube (lasts longtr than WDE-40). I haven't managed to foul SRAM or Campy levers yet but would try the same first.

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    roseyscot is offline 2KClub
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    Default Re: CX: Drivetrain Best Practices

    if you're racing in mud, expect to spend twice as much time cleaning and rebuilding as you did racing. don't let the water from pressure washing sit on the bike. after washing, dry the bike and drivetrain, then I start with a wet lube (never white lightening) on the chain and a cable lube for the housing/cables if they need attention. If pivots, like in your brake levers are sticking or getting rough, I've been known to use WD40 (the aerosol allows you to get into otherwise harder to access crevices.

    I let the wet lube sit for at least a few hours, then come back and wipe off excess before using the bike again. If more wet weather is expected, I like something like white lightening to "lock" in the wet lube. Seems to keep the drivetrain working better throughout the race since I don't have a pit bike.

    Also, on the cleaning front, if you are using tubulars from Dugast, FMB, or Challenge, be sure to both clean and dry the sidewalls after a wet race. Don't let them sit with mud or excessive wetness or they will rot, guaranteed.

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    Shinomaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: CX: Drivetrain Best Practices

    Replace all your cables.

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    zetroc is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: CX: Drivetrain Best Practices

    Aren't Dugasts coming sealed now? Could swear I read that recently.
    steve cortez

    FNG

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    roseyscot is offline 2KClub
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    Default Re: CX: Drivetrain Best Practices

    Quote Originally Posted by zetroc View Post
    Aren't Dugasts coming sealed now? Could swear I read that recently.
    Next year, yes. Doesn't matter, they will still rot if you are not reasonably careful with them. Case in point? FMBs which already come sealed.

  7. #7
    Too Tall's Avatar
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    Default Re: CX: Drivetrain Best Practices

    Quote Originally Posted by holliscx View Post
    Have noticed my cx drivetrain is as thirsty as a newborn puppy this season. How does one properly care for one's drivetrain when mud is on the menu every week? I've been using White Lightning FREQUENTLY but there have to be better products; my left brake lever (what can I squirt in there?) has started sticking after making out with a pressure washer. I would appreciate any advice, tips as far as proper bike care. Cliffs Notes: A for effort but my execution needs work.
    Start using better chainlube for one. Wipe down the sideplates after every ride and becuase we beat the snot out of these bikes it is important to run a rag over everything and do a visual inspection because you never know what might shake loose!

    I'm a little biased, try this chainlube > NFS

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    fixednwinter is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: CX: Drivetrain Best Practices

    Quote Originally Posted by roseyscot View Post
    Next year, yes. Doesn't matter, they will still rot if you are not reasonably careful with them. Case in point? FMBs which already come sealed.
    Correct, the FMB's already come sealed but they can still rot. This year, I bought some tent sealer from a camping store, which is a sealant type that's designed to layer on top of existing sealant. I brushed that onto the sidewalls of my FMB's and that seems to help quite a bit. It forms a very slick and shiny surface. Mud and dirt slide off more easily.
    But it's still a wise idea to clean and dry the tubs anyway.

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