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How Do I Keep My Chain Super Clean? | GCN Tech Clinic

Welcome back to another
episode of the GCN Tech Clinic where I help to solve your
bike problem, how cool is that? And I’m lucky as well,
because I absolutely love getting stuck into reading your problems and trying to help solve them. So, if you’ve got one, leave it down there in the comments section so I can help tackle it in a future episode. Anyway, let’s crack on with
the first question this week, and this one’s from
Christoph Mohr, who says, “Hey Jon, love the Tech Clinic.”
That’s a good one always to start with, Christoph, to
get your question answered. “I am looking forward on receiving a pair of old Campagnolo Shamals. Guess where that idea came from.” I can only guess … me, anyway, “I’m quite unsure how to deal with the Campagnolo rear hub situation. What is the simplest way of fitting them onto a bike with Shimano
105-SC from the mid 90s?” Christoph, you are a lucky lad, getting hold of a pair of
those Campagnolo Shamals, because they’re absolutely
stunningly beautiful. I can’t talk about them enough. Anyway, one way in which you
could well get your gears working absolutely fine is if
you’re using down tube levers. From memory, those 105 SC had two modes, friction, as well as index. Take them out of index, you’re going to old school, my friend,
so you’re not going to have that nice click noise positive shifting. Instead, you’re going to have
a little bit of guesswork and find out just what it was like to ride back in the 80s and 90s. So, if you have got that mode, use that. Alternatively, if you’re
using the 105 SC STI levers, get this, this could take a
little bit of hunting around, but there was a company
out there called Marchisio. I’ve only just found out
actually, they no longer exist, but good news for you
is they made cassettes that fitted onto a
Campagnolo free hub body, but had Shimano spacing inside and they also did it vice versa as well. It was an absolutely brilliant solution that many, many people
out there were using for quite some time because
the tolerances were big enough, basically, that you couldn’t
use one manufacturer’s levers with another’s cassette and
vice versa, all of those issues. Have a look around online,
Marchisio, and you should be able to get yourself sorted
on those lovely wheels. Let me know how you get on, and I want to see a picture of that too. Make sure you send it in. Next up is Samuel
Ljungqvist, and Samuel says “How do you keep your chain clean? When I have cleaned my
chain ad put lube on it, straight away it gets black and sticky and then I see all these
people riding around with a beautiful, clean,
metal-looking chain. What am I doing wrong?” Right then, keeping the chain clean, one of life’s little
mysteries that, so far, only few of us have managed
to actually really conquer. So, preparation is absolutely key here, so whilst you’re applying that chain lube, don’t go wild, spraying it
here, there, and everywhere. Simply start at the joining
pin or that joining link and apply it to the drop
there on the roller, a couple of drops say,
and then the next roller, the next roller, and the
next roller, and so forth, until you’ve done a complete
revolution of the chain. When you’ve done that,
back pedal it a few times, I don’t, know, say enough for 10 seconds, and then wipe away any
excess from the chain, and then importantly here
too, wipe away any excess from the jockey wheels and
also the chain rings too, because they can get incredibly gunked up, giving you that black chain. Now, important too, is to use a good quality chain lubricant, because that’s not going
to attract as much dirt, and then using lubricant fit for purpose. So, dry weather … dry lube, wet weather … wet
lube, seems simple right? Let me know how you get
on with that one, Samuel, because a dirty chain is
an absolute nightmare, and it doesn’t look
cool, especially if you got yourself a goldey looking chain. (cash register ding) Next question this week
comes from Protocol23. “Hi Jon, I wanted to
upgrade the Tiagra groupset on my 2006 Specialized Allez to Shimano Ultegra R8000 or to Shimano105. Currently my bike is
only having a BB-7420. Will the upgrade work? I need better suggestions,
budget is limited, but I hope you can help.” Now, this would be a
really, really nice upgrade on that bike, and that bike
is going to have a BSA, so a British-threaded bottom bracket. As far as I know,
Specialized didn’t ever use an Italian thread or
a press fit back then. So, yet it is going to work,
now some people out there will say “Well, hang on, you’re putting an 11-speed chain set
onto a 9-speed bike.” It’s gonna work, I’ve never run
into any problems with that, and I’m 99.9 percent certain
that it’s going to work. You’re going to save
yourself a lot of weight on that bike too by upgrading it that way. Now Lee Jefferson, he’s
fancying some off-road action. “Hi Jon, I’m looking to change my old aluminum road
bike into a gravel bike. Could you tell me, is it possible to put 11-34 on my Sora 9-speed cassette without changing the real derailleur? Thanks, Lee from South Wales.” Alright then, Lee, it does depend on the derailleur cage size
you’ve got fitted at the moment, but I’m pretty sure you
are going to, in fact, need a derailleur hanger extender. What’s that? Well, it
simply drops your derailleur just by a couple of centimeters so it can accommodate more
teeth on that rear cassette just by pushing it down a little bit. Now, you can pick them
up just for a few pounds on eBay and that kind of thing, so have a little look
around for one of those. Now, I hope you have thought
about this issue as well, because you are going to need, well, you’re going to be using
it as a gravel bike, so you’re gonna be taking it off road, therefore you’re going
to need bigger tires. So make sure that the
frame and also the brakes can accommodate that
extra volume that’s high. If you’ve got disc brakes, then
it’s not such an issue there with the actual clearance
around the brake, but you’re gonna want to make
sure it goes through the fork as well as well as the chain
stays and seat stays okay, so just look into that first. Clifford Romina wants to know “Is it okay to use chain lube on other parts of the bike apart from the chain. Say for example, the
joints of the brakes.” Right then, Clifford, it is. I use chain lube, believe
it or not, on gear cables, brake cables, as well
as pivots on the brakes, so feel free and go ahead and do that. Obviously, on some inner
gear cables and brake cables, it’s not necessarily
advised, because they do have teflon liners in there and
you don’t want to go around mixing in different chain lubricants with that teflon-coated material. Now, if you are putting them
on your brakes, on the springs, in the joints, in the little,
you’ve got little plastic bits and you’ve got a metal
braking arm in there, that kind of thing, you know what I mean if you look behind your brakes,
make sure that chain lube doesn’t drip down onto your wheels or braking surfaces at all,
because well, let’s face it, that could end up pretty nasty indeed. So just keep clear of any side walls, but, yeah, use it to your heart’s content. Next up this week is a
question from Gabe Hart. Gabe says “Jon, I have a
question about carbon wheels. I ride an S-works Roubaix
with Roval CLX carbon wheels. I ride very steep grades,
do I need to be concerned with generating heat on
the wheels from braking? Lots of horror stories on
the Internet about this. Is it all just nonsense?” Alright then, Gabe, there
are loads of scaremongers out there who love to
get their ten-pence worth or ten-cents worth by
writing something on a forum. Now, important to remember
here, is if you’re buying wheels from one of the big brands out there such as Roval like you’ve mentioned, they’ve had so much R&D go into them, you know, ways to make heat
dissipate more effectively when you’re braking, that kind of thing, so you don’t need to worry about anything. Personally, I’ve ridden down Alps, I’ve ridden down the Pyrenees, I’ve ridden down very steep hills and I’ve braked really, really hard and I’ve never had any problems with carbon clinchers or carbon tubers, and the same can be said too
from other GCN presenters when I asked around the office earlier on. So, don’t worry about it. Get yourself some decent carbon wheels, like what you’ve already got,
and you’re perfectly fine. At least, that is my take on it. Scaremongers on the Internet,
whew, it can be a scary place. Now Frizi Hugo is next
up, “I used a cassette with single sprockets,” so ones that were individually placed on, not
on a cluster of a spider, that kind of thing, “on the
new Mavic wheels they’ve got, and after 200 kilometers,
it’s already started to slightly damage the free hub body. Is there a way to use the
cassette without damaging the free hub, or do I
have to buy a cassette with all the sprockets on a spider?” Hi Frizi, this is actually a
really, really common problem out there on nearly all good wheels, because the free hub body
is made of a softer material than the sprockets are themselves, so as you’re generating torque, you’re kind of working
against that free hub body as you accelerate, as you pedal. But there’s nothing to worry about here, because like I say, nearly
all wheels out there do suffer from that unless you’re using an ultra-heavy free hub
body or a titanium one, something like that, that’s just not going to get damaged or
sort of scored as easily. It’s not necessarily
going to wear through, unless you use that for the
rest of your life, I imagine, because I’ve got wheels that
are many, many, many years old and they’ve never actually
stripped all the way through. Something more important
to think about, though, is how tight you’ve had
your cassette done up, because that could well
effect how much scoring is actually being done,
so use a torque wrench and make sure that lock
ring is done up fully tight, and once the cassette is
on there tightened up, it shouldn’t rock at all on
the actual free hub body. Next question is from Regina Blitz, who says “I love you, Jon.” That’s the first I’ve ever
had that happen to me on this. Anyway, “I have a brand new bike with complete R8000 Ultegra groupset and after two or three rides I noticed that the finish around the Ultegra logos on both the crank arms has distorted. The black finish around these areas now has some clear, white
kind of signs all across them. I noticed this after no
more than 200 kilometers. I’m worried that I may have
somehow warped the crank arms with the insane power I
may have put through them, but the truth is I’m a
very low power cyclist. So although this would be
flattering, I find it unlikely and the bike is too new for
this to be an age-related issue. Hopefully this is just normal
flex, right? Any insight?” Alright then, Regina, thanks for the love. Right, the logos and the lines on those cranks, what could it be? Well maybe, just maybe,
as you’re pedaling, your shoes or your overshoes
are very slightly rubbing on the crank arms and
you don’t even notice it because it’s a really,
really faint rubbing motion. Particularly if you’re using overshoes, you wouldn’t necessarily feel it, so that could well be rubbing
away those logos slightly. Now that’s certainly what
I think it could well be. If they are looking damaged, though, take it to a shop and actually get them to check in case, for some reason, something drastic has actually gone wrong. Alternatively, like you say, well, blame it on your power, if anything. Just say, you know,
you’re flexing this bike like nobody’s business and you’re, well, getting wattage bazookas
left, right, and center. P.S., I love you too. Final question this week
comes from Emiliano Martinez and says “I have a 2018
Giant TCR Advanced 0. Currently, I’m running
the Shimano Ultegra R8050, and was wondering if it’s
possible to piece together a way to convert from rim
brakes to disc brakes? If so, what will I need to make it happen? Thanks for the help.” Right then, Emiliano,
you are going to need first of all, a frame to
fit those disc brakes onto. Then you’re going to need some
new levers and also calipers and then also you’re going to
need some new wheels as well that you can fit those disc rotors onto. So, all in all, it’s
not as straight forward as you may well think,
and it could well cost you a fair bit too, so just bear
all those things in mind, and, yeah, let us know
how you get on with that. I’m intrigued as well to know why or what is your reason for
going from rim to disc. But yeah, go for it, if you’ve
got the budget, of course. Now, I do hope that I’ve been able to answer your questions this
week in the GCN Tech Clinic. If not, you ought to go leave it for me down there in the comments
and I’ll do my best to answer it in a coming episode. As ever as well, like and share this video with your
friends, give it a thumbs up, especially if a mate of yours
has got one of these problems. Now, it’s hopefully solved for them. And remember as well to check out the GCN shop at We’ve got riding kit, casual
kit, we’ve got little hats, we’ve got beer, bottle openers,
we’ve got pizza cutters. You name it, hopefully we’ve got it. And now, for another
great video, this time a maintenance video, click
just down here, there.

100 thoughts on “How Do I Keep My Chain Super Clean? | GCN Tech Clinic

  1. Hi Jon et al, I am looking to upgrade my chainset from 105 5800 to ultegra R8000, would this be possible without changing the 105 front/rear derauliers and shifters?

  2. Iirc 8spd campag is the same spacing as 7spd shimano so you should be able to use the campag cassette with the shimano shifters and rear mech, you'll just need to adjust the throw to lose either the smallest or largest sprocket on the campag block.

  3. Hi Jon, I'm looking to get some new wheels built, and since you've amply demonstrated your wheel expertise by wrecking your first, maybe you could help. What are the benefits of using straight pull spokes over J-bend? The wheels I'm looking at come in both options but I don't really know why to choose one over the other. Love the show, many thanks.

  4. Hi Jon, could you do an item where you point out the uses for the more obscure tools you’ve got on that wall behind you. I bet there’s a couple of them us home mechanics have never even heard of. What are we missing out on? #askgcntech

  5. Hi, nice one once again, Jon. I have a question, too.

    My dilemma: upgrade or replace?

    I have had a good ol' Trek SL 1000 (or 100SL, or something) for a few years now, with all the original components, like a (mostly) Sora group still in place. That includes 3×8 shifting. I have only replaced the saddle, stem and handle bar until now. I kind of like the lively feel of the frame and fork, but would like to ride with better components, in particular a 10 (or 11) speed cassette. Of course I could just get another bike, but what about upgrading to say a second hand 105 group? Apart from the question whether that would economically be smart, would I run into technical issues?

  6. Hi Jon. I am using the previous generation of SRAM Red 22, with short cage rear derailleur. Officially it is for 11-28 only, but works fine with 11-30, although anything bigger would be pushing it. However, I have a 1×11 SRAM Rival derailleur sitting at home, and was thinking of using it. Do you think it would work with my 2x setup? Won't the clutch interfere with the front shifting somehow? Thanks ! #askgcntech

  7. Mavic freewheels all wiggle. This is something gcn will not say for obvious reasons. But I will. They wiggle, they rock, they groove. It is normal for mavic due to their bushing system.

  8. Protocal23 – I recently upgraded my Allez 2014 to 11sp 105, and would definitely do it again it made such a big improvement. Knowing the standard axis wheels it came with wouldn’t take an 11sp cassette, i looked at best options to solve this eg. New hubs or wheel replacement as i was on a budget also. Best outcome was picking up a pair of 2nd hand Fulcrum wheels with 11 speed freehubs. That also give the bike a wheel upgrade as well. In total it reduced the bike weight by 700g. But the improved shifting was what made it worthwhile. 👍🏻

  9. RE: Frizi Hugo. I had a situation twice where the cassette chewed right in to the freehub. at a point it began to cause a weird sought of slacking in the chain when free wheeling. which caused the chain to this the spokes often. I pulled the cassette off and installed a new Shimano cassette and chain. same issue. When i switched to the Edco Monoblock issue went away. I think this only happens to people who do lots of distance and only have 1 set of wheels so your bike gets used all year round. when you have more wheels you tend to switch from summer to winter and all that jazz. at least thats what i've found

  10. There is a tool made by park tools that was in a video that looked like a short pole saw but the video didn't say what it was can you tell me
    P.s. big fan #askgcntec

  11. #askgcntech at the Hincapie Fondo there was at least one instance of a carbon clincher wheel delaminating and failing. This was on 2.5+ mile(4K) descent of 10-12 % average.

  12. #askgcntech How can you keep your internal cables from rubbing against the holes where they enter? My cables have rubbing damage and make clicking noise on my rides. Thanks Jon!

  13. #askgcntech
    Hi Jon. I have the following issue, and your colleagues recommended to contact you for some assistance:

    I have an Ultegra Di2 system which I try to index (rear derailleur).
    Everything worked fine, except all my gears (11) are shifted with one position, meaning I cannot shift to hardest gear (smallest sprocket) and when I shift to easiest gear (largest sprocket) the chain "leaves" the sprocket and shifts in between the cassette and the spokes.
    I tried to adjust the low and high limit screws, but then I only got left with 10 gears. No more chain slipping between the cassette and the spokes, but still no shifting to hardest gear, because the high limit screw is not limiting anything, actually. 🙂
    Is it something that I am doing wrong? Or not doing at all?
    Thanks in advance for your help!

  14. #askgcn hey Jon . Tech clinic has really helped me a lot.

    I've noticed parts of my bike and chain have started to rust a bit. I know you can use Cola to remove rust but is it advisable to use it on a chain?

  15. I like using a eco friendly chemicals free cleaning solutions! Great way not to discoloration of my groupset or scewers! Plus I don't like using a cleaning solutions with Chems on my clear coat paint job!

  16. #askgcntech Thanks for the show! Always very valuable. Question: is it possible to use any of the SRAM X-Series chains on a rival groupset? Say use an XX1 chain? I have a XG-1150 (10-42) cassette and a Sram Quarq Prime AL crankset. By default the bike (Votec VRX) comes with a PC 1130 chain. What should one look for when straying from the default chains (e.h. using KMC, etc). Thanks!

  17. #askgcntech Hi Jon, Some chain quick links are advertised as being reuseable. Is it OK to reuse one that isn't advertised as such. Is there any difference? Thanks, bike.brain

  18. For a clean and very fast chain use wax, or squirt bike lube (a wax based lube)
    The wax won't collect any dirt, last for weeks of heavy riding, and has been shown to be very fast! WIN WIN

  19. Hi Jon, love the tech channel. How would you recommend cleaning the cassette on my smart turbo trainer? Is there any risk in cleaning it whilst it is still attached? I have a wahoo Kickr if that changes anything. Thanks, Patrick.

  20. i upgraded from 3 x 9 speed to a 2 x 11speed 42 back 36 front XT M 8000, DT Swiss 1501 one spline wheels set, Rockshox Gold RL 30 100mm best upgrade's ever for my Scott Aspect 903

  21. #askgcntech Jon:  this offseason I will go though my summer road bike inside and out.  what should I do to maintain my 105 5800 shifter/brake levers?  Is there any maintenance recommended for them?

  22. Can I change my crankset from 10 speed to an 11 speed ? I have a campy record carbon 10 speed . I live in the mountains and the 52×39 is a little too much for my old legs . Plus , I’m just getting back from ankle surgery.

  23. Another option, instead of an extended derailleur hanger, is to use a mountain derailleur. What you need is a 9 speed derailleur (10 speed changed the cable ratios on mountain). I'm using a SLX 9 speed on one of my bikes with 10 speed tiagra, and it works great. Also, it'll probably shift a little nicer than an extended road derailleur, since it's designed for a wider range and will follow the angle better.

  24. #askgcntech Hi Jon, I currently have a Shimano Tiagra groupset on my bike for 5 years en 40 000K. I replaced every moving part at least one time, but when is it time to replace the whole groupset? I'm planning to buy the new 105 if necessary. Thx in advance.

  25. This guy really needs to wear a nappy/dyper on his head coz the amount of total bullshit he chats is unreal grrrrrrrrrrrrrr twat

  26. #askgcntech Hey Jon, should i worry if i get fat exceeding the carbon road bike weight limit? What about if i go in a poor condition street with my carbon wheels?

  27. I put a 10 speed 105 set on my early 2000’s Allez that I got from a 2012 Altamira and had no problems. Even put the Oval cranks on with a BB conversion (thread to press) that was only 55 dollars. Hope the conversion works as well as mine did!

  28. or, there is a company here in Oregon USA called Gevenalle. They make replacement STI levers that function like down-tube – index or friction by your choice. give that a look see. they might work for your application as well

  29. #askgcntech What would be the lightest and best Range (Km/miles) Intercom system between riders to use? Thanks. Great content as always. Thats why we love everything GCN.

  30. Thanks for all the comments, I'll have another look at those cranks and my shoes later; shoes rubbing who knew? (answer: Jon knew, because he is a total genius and bike god)! I thought it might be some protective film but could not see any, will look again too, also this never happened on my old bike with some lower end hollowtech cranks. PS love you Jon!

  31. Hi Jon! Love the tech clinic, I hope you can help… I have a beautiful steel Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel that I built up a few years back with with Dura Ace 7800 (53/39 chain rings). I want to fit a compact crankset to help getting my middle aged ass up those hills. I'd like to stick with Dura Ace if possible (I'm a snob, what can I say?) but DA 7800 didn't come in a compact so I'll have to look for a later set. I know I could probably go with DA 7900 if I can find one in good shape but a newer 11 speed would be easier to find. Would an 11 speed chainset work with my 10 speed group? Many thanks! Aaron. #askgcntech

  32. Melted ~1” of brake track on a Reynolds front wheel going down a `6% grade, and I’m not an internet hater. I was using the Reynolds brake pads and this is critical and wasn’t mentioned in your reply. Make sure your pads are as parallel vertically with the rim as possible and also they are centered vertically. I think mine were a little high so the first contact point might have been on the edge of the rim. New disc brake bike solved the problem.

  33. Clean chain? My secret is squirt dry wax and similar products (also used soudal wax). It might need a bit more attention than lets say your basic wet lube but it keep the chain (and your legs/trousers) clean at all times really. Even used it trough a Belgian winter without any special problems. I use it on both my MTBs and my CX/road bike. I just don't use it on my SS city bike as that does tend to be left in the rain at times and I want it to be low maintenance 😀

  34. Great show Jon! I've been building bikes for a few years and I find installing and calibrating SINGLE PIVOT rim brakes (THM, eecycles, SRAM aerolink etc) a true pain!…for example, getting the housing length just right and preventing brake rub etc. Honestly I have gone through meters and meters of outer cables and inner cable playing a trial and error game. LOL. Do you have any tips to make this job easier??

  35. #askgcntech Hi Jon, can you put clinchers on a tubular purpouse wheel(wheelset). Loving the channel, helped me with a lot of things, so keep it up!

  36. Hi John, lots of us will remember the video you did sometime ago about waxing chains. Now winter is coming is this something you would recommend we do? How did you and Si get on with the waxed chains? Did you revert back to conventional lube?

  37. #askgcntech, on the question of disc brake upgrades, how about running callipers at the back and upgrade to discs with a new fork and wheel at the front only? Similar to older cars who had discs at the front only. Would be a lot cheaper than getting a new frame!
    Not sure whether you already have done so, but how about a disc break special – cable vs hydraulic, maintenance, upgrades, etc.?

  38. #askgcntech
    Hi guys, nice show !
    I have a little problem : i recently upgrade my bike by replacing 23c tyres with 25c tyres. Since i have done this, some gravel or some dead leaves are sticking to the tyres, and finally jam between the brake, the frame (or fork in front), and the tyres. It rub against my tyres, and it's slowing me. To put everything out of this place, i need to stop my bike, and spin the wheel in the over side. It happened generally at low speed, even if i released the calliper.
    I don't want to buy new 23c tyres. What can i do ?
    Thanks a lot !!!

  39. Hey Jon, can I put 11 speed chain (slightly worn) to 7 speed casette? I want it on my old bike, used only for really short trips to shop etc. so don't want to waste money on that.

  40. Hi Jon, luv the show. Could I fit a SRAM MTB X9 or similar long Derailleur cage to a SRAM ETap TT derailleur? The idea is to do a cheaper modification (hack) of over sized pully wheels on my TT bike? Thanks

  41. Use wax on the chain, stays super clean and so does the cassette and chain rings to, i imagine that the wear is lower to but not sure. been doing for past year and no problems what so ever. only down side is that you need some things to get started and some new chains and quicklinks to run few of them per time.

  42. Wax your chain if you want it to stay clean. Clean in petrol, rinse in Isopropol Alchohol, wash in soapy water, dry in the airing cupboard after swinging it round your head a few times and then stick in your bath of wax mixed with liquid paraffin. Ride for 5 to 600 miles without adding anything and then for another few use a drop of squirt or smoove until you notice it starting to gather on the jockey wheels. Time to start again 🙂 A cloth soaked in GT85 rubbed on the chain after a dirty ride will clean it well enough.

  43. Thank you Jon, great stuff as always, keep it up. I have a 2012 Roubaix Expert with Shimano Ultegra STI and would like to convert it to Di2, i know it is possible, however, is it worth it? I have asked a couple of the local shops and have so far received a thumbs down. Is it too much work involved to switch it over? please advise.

  44. #askgcntech Hey Jon! I have a major problem. A screw is stuck in my frame and I broke the head of the screw… How can I get it out? I’ve tried some solvent bit its still stuck 🙁

  45. #askgcntech I try to keep all my chains spotless, but recently the chain on my sons bike started jumping off the largest gear and moving down the cassette when back pedalling. It’s fine pedalling forwards. The derailleur isn’t moving, but the chain will also roll off the pulley wheels. The bike is a work ja24 kids bike so effectively 1x. The gears work fine, and I’ve replaced the chain, (which helped a little) I’m at a loss – any ideas?

  46. #askgcntech Hi Jon, greetings from Cardiff, California! (I hear you all have a Cardiff over there too, where some famous cycling dude comes from. Ha. 😉 So here's my question: I noticed recently that when my bike is freewheeling up on the stand there is a rumbling, grindy sound, and I can even feel it when holding the pedals. Using your very helpful videos I cleaned the freehub and the bearings, which were a little bit gritty. However upon reassembly I still have the issue, though maybe just a tad less pronounced. The cones and bearings looked fine (it is a stock Axis wheel that is a year old, though I've put a fair amount of miles on it). I did notice that the contact point when the cone is down in the cup felt a bit rough when spun. Do I need to apply more grease? I don't have a grease gun and didn't really pack the cup full of grease. Anything else I should try? Thanks a ton, love the show.

  47. hello john, i recently finished my winter bike with a 2005 shimano xtr crankset with corresponding bottom bracket and chainring, but no matter how much i tighten the bolts or lockring, or where i put oil and grease, i always get a creaking noise proportional to the torque i put in. i'd really like to trust it more in the snow in a couple of weeks (yeah in quebec we do ride in a LOT of sow)

  48. I love a clean chain. If it’s not staying that clean than you are either not cleaning/degreasing the entire drive train first or you’re using too much or the wrong kind of lube.

    I spray simple green bike degreaser and cleaner all over the chain, jockey wheels, crankset, etc. Then I take a cheap soft toothbrush and scrub away top, bottom, sides. Then I rinse with a spray bottle to “blast” away the grime. Spin and wipe to dry. Then, Finish Line dry lube dab on each of the rollers…let it set overnight and then wipe off excess. My drivetrain is as shiny and quiet as anyone.

  49. I figured out my “black chain” problem recently and haven’t had issues since – the simple solution was to shake up the lube bottle much more and longer than I had done before. I noticed I wasn’t shaking the bottle long/hard enough when I picked up a lube bottle with a translucent container in-store and realized how long it took to shake up the liquid inside into a good consistency. Good luck!

  50. #askgtntech
    Hi Jon,
    When I pedal around sharp corners or taking a U turn my shoe tends to hit the front wheel. Is there anyting that can be done about this or is my bike simply to small for me? I've recently had a bike fit and my cleats was moved back, I haven't been outside with the bike since then but I fear that this will be an even bigger issue after the fit.

  51. Dripping lube onto the chain is counterproductive. The vast majority of lubes attract dirt and the dry lubes don't last very long. If you want a clean chain that is also properly lubricated, there's no substitute for a hot soak in a lube bath composed of 1 pound of paraffin (wax) and 9 ounces of motor oil, preferably a pure synthetic. I lube my chains every 300 miles. This solution lasts forever (I've been using mine for about 20 years) saving you lots of money because you don't have to buy those silly drip-on lubes. For roadies like me, when it's time to relube, I don't have to clean the chain first because it doesn't pick up road dirt. The paraffin/motor oil solution works in any weather though if the ride has been through heavy rain, it's always a good idea to clean and lube the chain regardless of the lube used.

  52. #askgcntech I upgrade my Ultegra 6780 di2 with support for synchronised shifting. Default it suggests to shift two gears up/down on the rear but you don’t get a straight set of gear ratio’s. I am using 50/34 with an 11/25 and to get a straight set of gear ratio’s I should move it 4 gears at the back. Is that wise since default di2 suggests two gears

  53. Hi Jon, I am off to Alta Badia in a few weeks and was thinking that I could probably do with a larger cassette. I am running Ultegra 6870 Di2 with a standard length rear mech. What is the largest cassette I can use? #askgcntech

  54. Hi Jon! Love the Tech bit! I'm interested to upgrade my #ExclusivelyTriathlon tt Quintana Roo Illicito's (2013) AKA "Shakira"'s cockpit and fancy Profile D's aeria ultimate hydration system. Do you reckon I can use it with that frame? I know I need the aeria ultiamte stem atleast… Though the front of the frame is little bulged and that makes me wonder about the fit.

  55. Hi gcn, love all of your content and have done for some time now. I have recently been given some ultegra 6800 parts. Derailers, leavers and breaks. I need to get some more parts to make it all work so I was wondering whether the new 105 R7000 chainset would be compatible. I need a new cassette and chain also. Thanks for the help guys !!!

  56. Dan – I’ve seen the degreaser you use in the video for sale at UK screw based high street stores – do you apply neat or water it down. I read it can be quite harmful to aluminium. Cheers 🙂

  57. #askgcntech I have oil leakage when putting pressure on the hydralic breaklevers on my Shimano ST-RS505. Its a small spanner screw it looks like. The leak from around the screw. Its not mentioned anywhere online or in Shimanos own documentation and my LBS don’t know what it does. I have tried screwing it using a fork but it doesn't move. Shimano document where you can see it illustrated but not mentioned in any way:
    Picture of the screw that leaks and its only the left breaklever:
    What is wrong and how do I fix it?

  58. How Jon, how do I make sure my front wheel and stem are perfectly aligned? I've been "eyeballing it" for years, but I usually start questioning my alignment job in the middle of a rid when I realize I didn't do such a good job!

  59. Hi Jon,

    This question has been on my mind for a while now. I ride a late 80's koga miyata road bike which has a 6 speed uniglide cassette fitted. I want to convert the UG hub to an HG hub to fit a hyperglide cassette but have no idea where to start. Not really keen on replacing the hub or wheel cause I want to keep it as stock as possible. You have any experience converting UG to HG?

    Greetings! 🙂

  60. The way to keep your chain clean is to CLEAN IT! EVERY RIDE!
    Im speaking for those who ride off road or in winter conditions. It doesn’t take much oil to do it right, nor much time once you get a good procedure down.
    First clean off old oil and dirt. Apply a very small drop to each link, one at a time. You dont need much! Work in in with fingers and by riding and shifting gears. THE KEY is to wipe down outside of chain until its shiny! Leave as little oil on outside as possible. It is nothing but a dirt magnet. I always bring a eye drops bottle with chain lube on rides and a rag. On long rides, wet or dusty rides Ill do it mid ride. It may save an otherwise broken chain.
    By taking care of drivetrain often you keep eyes on your baby more often and can spot potential problems. Remember walking sucks! The call of shame is even worse!!

  61. Hey Jon, I'm starting a project with a Niner Air 9. I',m gonna convert it to a drop bar and need some advise on shifters/brakes. I currently have a Sram X7 rear mech, and I'm wondering if I should stick with it or would it be easier to find a 9 or 10 spd. set up ( shifters and rear mech ) and start fresh?? TY Jeff

  62. Jon, love the show. My rear brake is humming loudly.The front is fine. I have a Specialized Tarmac SL6 S-Works with direct mount rim brakes, HED 4 Plus wheels that have a metal textured brake surface. I have set the toe in on the shoes, cleaned the rim brake surface, tried 3 different pads of varying softness. I have dissembled, cleaned, and relubed the entire brake assemble. Any suggestion?

  63. Ultrasonic cleaner set to 70- 80 degrees celcius and hot water with a dash of chain-degreaser and industrial soap. Repeat two times or more if necessary. One Crock-pot with a mix of hot molten kerosene-wax, kerosene-oil for suppleness when wax cools down (you dont want the kerosene-wax to chip). Dunk your clean chain in the hot wax for 5 min. Hang on a nail to cool down and wipe off excess wax before it hardens. Keeps your chain waxed, smoooooooth and CLEAN for 200-300 km

  64. Hi Jon, First time caller, avid watcher. I have a Scapin Bandit that has followed me around the world in races and recreation since 2004. Quite simply my favourite Bike I've ever had and meticulously maintained. It has slowly but noticeably developed a front end speed wobble(oscillation and procession) that is keeping me off the bike for fear of stressing the frame. I've checked the usual suspects like wheel balance, headset, suspension play. Every braze/weld from the BB forward show no visible damage or stretched paint. Is it time to see a frame doctor?

  65. Sorry I couldn't find the right place to ask this question. Can you do a feature on cyclo cross pedals and shoes please?

  66. i cannot believe you guys are hawking that garbage WD-40 lube !! it is filthy ! it will make your drivetrain filthy in no time. Use PEDRO'S ICE WAX. always clean and quiet. i guess it's the price you pay to be sponsored, selling crap to unwitting, inexperienced riders.

    No offense. I love the show, but let's call a spade a spade, shall we? WD $) lube is garbage. DO NOT USE !!

  67. Jon,
    I like your tech clinics. They are my favorite. I have a question regarding a recent comment you made. You stated that you change your chain about five times before you have to change your cassette or chain rings. How often do you replace your chain?

    I am in a dry climate (Arizona), and I use dry chain lube. I religiously clean my chain, cassette, and chain rings every 80 to 120 km taking time to well lubricate the chain. I replace the chain (CN-HG53/93 compatible with my 9 speed Deore groupset) when the wear reaches 0.75%. This happens typically between 1500 to 3000 km. However, I find that my middle chain ring and cassette seem to need replacing about the same time as the chain. I do tend to run in the middle chain ring and the same cassette sprocket most of the time owing too the rather flat topography I ride. I try not to cross chain much, and I share the load with the third chain ring when possible.

    What am I doing wrong to have to replace the chain ring and cassette coincident with the chain, or am I keeping them so well maintained that my chain is not wearing as fast as most folks. Thanks in advance for your help.


  68. Hello John,

    Thanks for the great show content and your dedication to solve our bike problems!

    I am riding a late 80s / early 90s Giant steel frame which I upgraded over the past years from it’s original 6spd set-up. I was running a 10spd shimano Wheelset with an 8spd cassette with no issue on it before. Due to wear I had to replace the Wheelset. I fitted a 11spd Campagnolo Scirocco wheelset on it and ever since I have a somewhat snapping / grinding sound especially on the higher gear sprockets. I have the impression that the chain links kind of stick on the sprocket teeth when passing through / exiting the cassette. I think the chain line is off yet I don’t know what to do about that.

    I installed the 8spd cassette with the little campagnolo supplied spacer (for the 9spd cassettes) and it fits snug. I though realized that it sits further outwards on the freehub body towards the frame than the cassette did on then Shimano wheels.

    I am running a KMC 8Spd (X8) chain and keep on top of my Maintenance and everything is spotless. Also my derailleur is perfectly aligned & not bent. The derailleur actually mounts directly to the frame.

    Please help with ideas on how to solve this! Would a different free hub body maybe help?

    Thank you!


  69. Rock n Roll Gold wax based lube stays clean for me. Has a solvent in it to the chain, so us plenty each time. Cleans and lubes, very shiny. Only lube i found that doesn't turn black on first ride. Clean with a rag after each ride.

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