Bicycle Mechanics - Solvent and lube question
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07-15-03, 06:46 AM
This weekend I am going to give the road bike a good cleaning/degreasing. I have some FInish Line EcoTech spray degreaser and I'm ready to roll.
My intention was to wash the wheels while on the bike, then remove the wheels to clean the drivetrain. The cage on my front dr can be opened to allow easy removal of the chain for cleaning/degreasing. Once the chain is off I was going to spray degreaser on the cassette and chainrings, scrub them with my Park brush, then gently hose the parts down.
-- Can I hit the derailleurs with the degreaser as well, or will this harm them in some way?
-- Once I degrease the cassette do I need to hit it with the lube, or is the lube on the chain enough?
Mightypudge, cleaning/degreasing/lubing your bike is a good idea.
If I were to do it, I would
(a) not hesitate to use a bit of degreaser on the deraillers.
(b) After degreasing the chain (letting it rest in a bottle filled with solvent works well, just as wiping it ) you indeed need to lube it (only the "joints"). Lubing the cassette, IMHO, is NOT necessary. Instead, that would be counterproductive.
Simple Green works just as well as Finish Line and is a quarter of the price. I use it diluted 3-4:1 for simple degreasing and 2:1 to clean the chain using a Park chain cleaning box. If you don't have time to let the chain dry before relubing then rubbing alcohol will greatly reduce chain water content and dry fast. WD 40 can also 'displace water' and let you defer true lubing to another time. Just letting the chain dry will result in a cosmetically irritating but insignificant patina of rust in a day or so. Note: Simple green can remove paint if allowed to dry insitu. But you are supposed to rinse it off. Only noted this when the plastic bottle cracked in the garage and it dribbled and puddled on some tool boxes and nicely crumpled the paint over several weeks. Steve
07-15-03, 02:08 PM
Simple Green isn't a solvent. It shouldn't be used for chains or bearings.
07-15-03, 03:11 PM
you don't necessarily need to use a solvent degreaser to clean your chain... it's a matter of personal preference really.....
in fact some people prefer detergent-based degreasers because detergents will break up and suspend dirt particles....
organic solvents on the other hand will work well at thinning out the grease and gunk and penetrating to the innards of the chain... but won't necessarily do very well at getting the grit out.
07-15-03, 03:31 PM
You're going to need to pull apart the rear derailleur as well.
My suggestion: Go to your LBS and ask for a SRAM PowerLink. It's a master link that enables you to remove your chain without having to "break" it time after time.
SRAM's are designed with serious mountain biking in mind, and I've not ever had mine come apart unexpectadly. Some people have, but I think they didn't connect them properly.
Anyways, they're about $5.00 and well worth it.
I get a 2-liter bottle and fill it about 1/5 with Simple Green or a Citrus Degreser, or Eco-Tech (love the smell of that stuff) then I dilute it some with water to about 1/3 full. I drop in the chain, replace the cap, shake like crazy, remove the chain, rinse it with clean water, hang it up to dry overnight.
Next day, I instal and then drop one drop of lube, (I prefer Pedro's Dry Lube or White Lightning) to each pivot. Backpedal the bike for a while then wipe off any excess lube.
I also drip some lube at each pivot on the derailleur (front and back) and each of the jockey pulleys (little cogs on the rear derailleur).
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