It's Bike Month this month in the United States and that means all kinds of crazy bike related things are going on. However, for someone with no commute (working from home) that rides a whole lot, there just isn't that much to change. However, I've been having some issues with shifting on my road bike and while looking at my ride log I realized that I've had it exactly one year, have put 3189.6 miles on it, and the only drivetrain maintenance (aside from replacing the shifters after a wreck) I've done was replacing the chain at 2000 miles. This combined with a super sweet donation of ~20 cleaning wipes that Tim from Grease Monkey Wipes sent over to FM:Race, meant that I would celebrate bike month by actually doing a detailed clean of my drive train. It's not a terribly exciting story, but the pictures are fun:
Parts come off (and not just sort of off, all the way off)
Hands get dirty
Things finally are clean again (the front too)
This was a somewhat long process with part removing, degreasing, rinsing, scrubbing, more degreasing, reinstalling, greasing, and my hands had to be cleaned several times throughout the process. I used a Grease Monkey Wipe on the big chainring on the front the first time around, but it started out pretty dirty and before all the grease was removed, the wipe was pretty much all used up. Much more successfully, I used a fresh one on my hands at one point and it got them from relatively dirty to pretty clean. The wipes held up admirably and did a pretty good job getting grease off, and are perfect for carrying around in a saddle bag, but if you're going to be getting seriously greasy you'll need slightly tougher ammunition. I know people that keep rubber gloves with their bike tools and in their bike bags, but I seem to have less than my share of mechanicals so I only get greasy working at home and Fast Orange does an amazing job getting rid of crazy amounts of grease. I bought that container a few years ago and have barely put a dent in it. Both Fast Orange and Grease Monkey Wipes use all natural solvents, both leave your hands smelling citrus fresh, and form a great pair for degreasing your hands in all situations.