At 3:30ish in this video, they set light to a front derailleur. Why? Degreasing it? Waxy lube that needs melting in? I can't think of a good reason. Any ideas?

  • 4
    It looked cool and intentional, but it also looks like a really quick way to melt any bushings or plastic spacers in your FD.
    – WTHarper
    Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 11:53
  • I have heard of setting light to disc pads, but they are designed to get hot...
    – mattnz
    Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 20:14
  • 1
    @mattnz one time I got oil on my disk pads. I threw both the pads and disks in a fire. The discs got cleaned up. The expensive pads crumbled immediately!
    – Vorac
    Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 6:59
  • 1
    @Vorac: Yeh, that would happen... What you do is pour a teaspoon of meths on them and set that on fire. The oil burns off without excessive heat.
    – mattnz
    Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 20:37
  • @Vorac Were they 'Eco' type green pads? I've baked sintered pads in the oven and set them alight with alcohol, and never had crumbling. I'll be more careful now! Commented Mar 20, 2013 at 7:09

1 Answer 1


Well I thought we needed an answer to this, so I just phoned the shop. He's a nice fellow (as you can tell from the vid) and said that his mechanic is convinced that this method works to free-up seized and corroded mechs. Apparently dousing it in something like GT85 and lighting it for a very short time boils in the lube, and works.

I assume that the combination of a penetrating lube, some heat, and vapour would achieve this as a last resort for badly seized metal components. I've done something similar on bearings when trying to get them out of BMX cups in the past.

  • 2
    Heat is a good way to loosen metal-metal fittings (for bearing cups but also stuck seatposts, pedal spindles, and quill stems) but I would never recommend it if there was a chance of melting or deforming any of the plastic components on modern derailleurs (or of lighting yourself or your home on fire...the same reason using gasoline as a degreaser is foolish.) A safer option would be to use a heat gun.
    – WTHarper
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 16:13
  • @WTHarper Yep I heartily agree! Care needed :) Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 17:07
  • Good sleuthing on that question.
    – WTHarper
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 18:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.