Gear For Venture is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Click to learn more. »

How to Clean Sprockets on A Bike

How to Clean Sprockets on A Bike

How to Clean Sprockets on A Bike – A Brief Description

You want your bike to be in a clean state, which shows that you maintain the bike effectively, and prevent your bike from wearing out prematurely. However keeping your bike in this new state is usually based on the maintenance of the bike chain, with less consideration for the sprockets.

Those parts that are not put into consideration are not easy to replace in case of wear. Often, they also result in poor biking experience because they can damage the chain and the rear derailleur, which are necessary for optimal biking activity.

To keep your drive train in a perfect working state, make sure you get rid of dirt from the sprocket and prevent lube from accumulating on the disc brake.

Despite the benefits of lubricating your bike, you should still wipe excess lubricant from the bike after each ride. Too much grease will attract more dirt, which will in turn cause the drivetrain component to wear out.

Cleaning Bike Sprockets

However, cleaning your bike sprockets is something that you can do in a matter of minutes if it is not completely dirty.

If your bike has just been washed and cleaned, you may only need to use an old rag and pipe cleaners to clean your sprockets. This video shows you how (Credit to GCN Tech):

For more severe cases, you would need to use a degreaser and a hard toothbrush.

Tools Required for Thorough Cleaning

If your bike is completely filled with dirt, especially during winter, you need to follow the guidelines below to make it clean again.

You need the following tools to remove the cassette from the wheel:

Steps Involved in Cleaning Bike Sprockets

Remove the skewer and the rear wheel, while placing the chain around the cogs on the cassette: Insert the lock ring tool into the sprockets, and use the wrench to make it steady. Loosen the sprockets by pushing the chain whip down. Because of the spacers in between each cog, use a zip tie to hold the spacers and cogs immediately after you remove them from the wheel.

Scrub the sprockets: Place the cassette in a bowl containing a degreaser and let it soak for minutes. Once you are sure that it is completely soaked, use the toothbrush to scrub the cogs until it is totally clean. Make sure that the degreaser does not come into contact with the bottom bracket or hub.

Remove the zip tie: You can now place the cassette back onto the freehub of the rear wheel by removing the zip tie. When you are putting the cassette into the wheel, ensure that you begin with the largest cog.

Place the lock ring into the sprockets: Upon successful insertion of the sprockets into the wheel, place the lock ring into the cassette and use your hand to screw it.  You can also make use of a wrench to make it tighter.


Cleaning your bike sprockets isn’t a difficult task. With a little work, your bike will be in tip-top condition after every ride!