Dirt on rollers

Maintenance, accessories, operation. Anything to do with making your erg work.

Re: Dirt on rollers

Postby c2jonw » January 17th, 2018, 4:12 pm

Yes. WD40 is an exceedingly bad idea. Use plain water or windex (or other k*tchen non-abrasive surface cleaner).


Nothing wrong with WD40 on the monorail though it's generally not necessary- water or windex should be fine.

WD40 is, however, and exceedingly bad idea on the chain, unless you follow it up with some light oil. WD40 is mostly a solvent with minimal lubricating capability- fine for cleaning but not good for real lubrication. C2JonW
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Re: Dirt on rollers

Postby Citroen » January 17th, 2018, 8:17 pm

The biggest problem with WD40 is the extremely obnoxious volatile hydrocarbons in the solvent.
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Re: Dirt on rollers

Postby Ripples » January 18th, 2018, 12:01 am

I wipe down the entire machine: legs, rail, seat, rollers, and especially the entire flywheel and the perforated metal around the flywheel, using a damp cloth. While we can control the dust in our homes, some will always be present and I think all that air coming from the flywheel blows it around. Since I've been doing that maintenance, there's been no dirt buildup on the rollers.

I also keep my 2D covered with a sheet when it's not in use. It's winter here and I use a wood stove when I'm home.
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Re: Dirt on rollers

Postby Carl Watts » January 18th, 2018, 7:55 pm

Water on a clean cloth is the best.

The black is just very fine wear from the Stainless capping strip. The rollers "Polish" the strip if you keep them clean. Ignore the cleaning schedule and you end up with lumps on the rollers and on the slide and eventually these cause the capping strip to crack as they cause a pressure point.

If you want the rollers to last forever you need to wipe down the slide and clean the rollers after EVERY row. The rollers get "Pitting" in them if you don't keep them clean.
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Re: Dirt on rollers

Postby Anth_F » January 19th, 2018, 9:42 pm

After a 1 hour session about 14200 and a bit meters covered, things still looked clean'ish so i never bothered to wipe anything down, but toward the end of a 6k followup session after that little bumpety bumps started happening and a bit of a clicky noise that made for a very far from smooth rowing experience due to that black cruddy build up on the rollers. Basically, wipe down after each session is the lesson here and don't be lazy and leave it, even if it doesn't look that bad at a glance.
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Re: Dirt on rollers

Postby sekitori » January 20th, 2018, 1:41 pm

I always use Windex. I've used it on my Model D rail after every workout for fourteen years. It keeps the rail very clean and has had no ill effect on it at all. Once a week or so, I also apply a Q-Tip with Windex on it to the rollers themselves, sliding them back and forth as I do.

I always keep a spray bottle of Windex next to me as I row. Occasionally, I will feel a very slight bump on the rail. I'm not sure of the cause but stopping for a few seconds, applying a little Windex, moving the seat back and forth, and wiping it off gets rid of it.
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Re: Dirt on rollers

Postby jackarabit » January 20th, 2018, 3:25 pm

sekitori wrote:Occasionally, I will feel a very slight bump on the rail. I'm not sure of the cause but stopping for a few seconds, applying a little Windex, moving the seat back and forth, and


Excellent comments by Ripples on good housekeeping! In addition to the notorious black gunk, broken ends of human hair, the large diameter guard hairs of domestic pets, and hard particles of silica and similar mineral sands are common rail and roller contaminants.

If your rail is free of wax and skin oils, sloughed skin particles, and misapplied lubes and water dispersants, which it should be for those who have ears to hear the gospel of water or water mixed with surfactant or ammonia (Windex or Original Windex), a stray hair that lands on the rail and drives you crazy as the roller passes over it can often be swept away with the palm of the hand only without even stopping.

Mineral sand Is less easy to deal with imo as it will embed in the rollers and is not usually easy to remove. Best answer here is prevention which can mean a dedicated pair of shoes which are kept near the rower or in the heel clips at all times or, as a minimum precaution, never worn for outdoor lawn and garden chores, shopping trips or even a walk to the mailbox or the soles cleaned thoroughly after one forgets to take the previous precautions.
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Re: Dirt on rollers

Postby csdavisa2e » January 23rd, 2018, 8:27 am

I use a scotch brite pad too to wipe away the dirt...


My understanding was that a scotch-brite pad was too abrasive. I use Scott disposable shop towels (& Windex) for everything on mine, which works fine. I think it also helps to do it immediately after each use, before any sweat has a chance to dry.
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Re: Dirt on rollers

Postby Edward4492 » January 23rd, 2018, 11:08 pm

I service ergs in eight gyms and crossfit boxes, so I'm cleaning several hundred machines a year. I use Simple Green, haven't seen any negative affects on machines I've been cleaning for several years. Really cuts the dirt. The rollers and rail need to be cleaned after every row. Crossfit boxes are the worst, they use lots of chalk for olympic lifting and it cakes up on the ergs. Spray the slide and rollers, light on the rollers so you stay away from the bearings. Use a rag or paper towels and push the seat away from the rag as you clean the roller (front and back). No lubricants, acts like a dirt magnet. I use a plastic knife for stubborn particles, never anything metallic. Or as mentioned, scotchbrite bads.
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Re: Dirt on rollers

Postby smeeagain » January 29th, 2018, 11:39 am

Citroen wrote:
ornatewobbegong wrote:Would WD40 be a bad idea? :?

Yes. WD40 is an exceedingly bad idea. Use plain water or windex (or other k*tchen non-abrasive surface cleaner).



As several folks have said, water really si the best. I had my Model D1 serviced today and the guy said he only ever recommends water as the cleaner of choice
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Re: Dirt on rollers

Postby Anth_F » January 29th, 2018, 12:15 pm

csdavisa2e wrote:
I use a scotch brite pad too to wipe away the dirt...


My understanding was that a scotch-brite pad was too abrasive.


I use a Worn pan scrub one! So it's Not abrasive at all, and gets the black off the rollers quick and easy.
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Re: Dirt on rollers

Postby swingshiftworker » January 29th, 2018, 8:09 pm

Ditto. Same problem. First used W2, then acetone and now just soapy water to clean the rail and rollers.

Didn't have this "problem" when I only rowed occasionally but now that I row 10k meters daily, it's a daily maintenance requirement.
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Re: Dirt on rollers

Postby ornatewobbegong » April 4th, 2018, 8:36 am

This continues to drive me mad. I've been cleaning my erg before and after every session and yet I can only row for about 20 minutes before I start to feel the slight 'bumps' through the seat. Most of the time I can't even spot any dirt on the rail or rollers...

Am I being stupid?
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Re: Dirt on roller

Postby jackarabit » April 4th, 2018, 9:30 am

Most of the time I can't even spot any dirt on the rail or rollers...

Am I being stupid?


No you aren’t stupid but you are seeking the most obvious culprit (the black gunk) with eyes only. Single strands and pieces of pet and human hair are nearly invisible but create a localized obstacle of considerable diameter. A single broken eyelash is like a log in the path of the rollers. I have successfully brushed these away wiith the palm of one hand while rowing at reduced pace with the other. Hard particles of mineral sand are also hard to detect visually but are a pita if they are allowed to embed in the rollers. Some ounce of prevention measures:

1) vacuuming, dry mopping immediate area or entire room
2) dedicated pair of shoes that stay strapped to the stretchers or at least aren’t worn outdoors.
3) hair net(?)
4) reread Ripples’ post above, ditto my post above.
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Re: Dirt on rollers

Postby Carl Watts » April 4th, 2018, 5:17 pm

Vacuum the room for starters.

Also note that even bits of what you are wearing can drop onto the rail in the form of fibres.

Worst "Speed Bump" I ever hit was when a bit of skin from a callus on my hand fell off and landed on the rail !!!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Literally had to stop rowing and sort that out.
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