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Cleaning Derailleur Pulleys / Jockey Wheels


Myth
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I am curious how you guys keep your derailleur pulleys (or jockey wheels) clean?  I have noticed that after a while, even if you chain your chain regularly/properly, a fair amount of gunk starts to accumulate on the jockey wheels.  It seems like a mission to me to get this aforementioned gunk off. Especially if you do not want to completely de-grease the bearings inside the pulleys...

 

Any advice?

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I use sunlight dish liquid with a sponge to get into the deep corners.

 

I spray lube on to each of the pivot points of the derailleur. I then put a drop or two of my chain lube (Squirt) into the bearings of the jockey wheel.

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I have an old spoke....bashed flat and wide at the end...when the bike is up on the stand I just turn the crank and gently but 'effectively' hold the flattened spoke against the jocket wheel and scrap the gun off, wipe with lappie and good to go...Every couple of months I remove the wheels and clean the bearing/bushing and all is sweet...Small flat screwdriver also works...

Edited by Mojoman
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I just pinch the open side of the wheels with a rag or my old T shirts, and cycle the gears around until all the muck is off... Hasn't failed me yet and doesn't take much time or effort.

 

Ive found it gunks up heavily when too much chain lube is applied but I'm no expert.

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I just pinch the open side of the wheels with a rag or my old T shirts, and cycle the gears around until all the muck is off... Hasn't failed me yet and doesn't take much time or effort.

 

Ive found it gunks up heavily when too much chain lube is applied but I'm no expert.

This.

And occasionally a more detailed clean when the chain is off.

Give the chain a wipe after applied lube has settled to remove excess which generally causes the build up.

Edited by Thomo
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I remove the Rd cage plate, take out the wheels, clean them, and every so often, remove the bearing covers, clean and regrease them. Be careful with cleen green, it's very good at removing grease/lubricants, found out the hard way, lol. My cleaning ritual, remove the chain, dunk it in parafin, remove rear wheel, clean the cassette with a brush and rags, then the Rd wheels.

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This.

And occasionally a more detailed clean when the chain is off.

Give the chain a wipe after applied lube has settled to remove excess which generally causes the build up.

 

Thanks...yeah that's the one thing I never do, although I don't "overlube" I never wipe of excess afterwards...need to get into the habit of doing that.

 

I also usually use a piece of rag and pinch it together between two fingers while rolling the jockey wheel in between, which gets most gunk off...I just never seem to get them "spotless" clean in this fashion.  Guess its time to try a toothbrush...

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If you remove the derailleur plate and clean the pulleys seperately, please put some medium threadlock on the bolt afterwards.

I've had to help people home with lost derailleur wheels twic in my life. Don't be that person when it's totally avoidable.

Edited by PhilipV
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If you remove the derailleur plate and clean the pulleys seperately, please put some medium threadlock on the bolt afterwards.

I've had to help people home with lost derailleur wheels twic in my life. Don't be that person when it's totally avoidable.

I've been meaning to do that. Took the wheels off during lockdown for a proper clean and didnt have thread lock.

still need to stock up.

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If you remove the derailleur plate and clean the pulleys seperately, please put some medium threadlock on the bolt afterwards.

I've had to help people home with lost derailleur wheels twic in my life. Don't be that person when it's totally avoidable.

Duly agreed????
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I am curious how you guys keep your derailleur pulleys (or jockey wheels) clean?  I have noticed that after a while, even if you chain your chain regularly/properly, a fair amount of gunk starts to accumulate on the jockey wheels.  It seems like a mission to me to get this aforementioned gunk off. Especially if you do not want to completely de-grease the bearings inside the pulleys...

 

Any advice?

 

 

The hard curved plastic end of the chain brush is designed to remove the gunk build up. Couple that to a 80/20 mix of H2O/IPA and a old used soft tooth brush should get in clean in under 3min.

Best to clean the chain immediately thereafter

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