Bicycle Mechanics - Degreasing/lubing chain...
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10-12-01, 04:13 PM
I'm thinking that it might not be a bad idea to get some practice working on my bike this weekend, and what better practice to start with truing a wheel that is slightly out of round, and to clean and lube the chain.
I'm probably going to use simple green to clean the chain (I've been using it on cars for years), but what should I use to lubricate it? Thinking of just using a motorcycle chain lube, as I've had good luck with the stuff before.
I'd like to also pull the chain off the bike; that way, I can just let it sit in both solvent (simple green) and lubricant (chain lube), instead of running it through a chain scrubber; I grabbed a chain tool, and it looks like it just pops out one of the pins...or am I an idiot and missing something?
Any caveats for a new DIY bicycle mechanic? :D
Turn the chaintool 6 or 8 turns. Enough to release the pin but not enough to push it through the side plate. After you wash and rinse with the Simple Green, dry it and soak in Boeshield T9 or White Lightening or you could spray it with TRI-FLO. I think motorcycle lube is too oily and will attract dirt. You want a silicon base lube that will penetrate the links and leave no oily film.
I have been reading some scary stories about Simple Green and SRAM chain failures [Bicycle Science, via Sheldonbrown.com]. Personally, I do not believe in cleaning chains, other than to wipe them down with a rag or toothbrush, and I never disassemble a chain except to replace it. I use White Lightning, which is adequate in my dry, moderate climate.
By the way, Sheldon recommends replacing any chain that has elongated by 0.5 percent, i.e., 1/16" per foot (24 half-links).
10-12-01, 09:46 PM
Take a look at Dumonde Tech Bicycle Chain Lube at:
Specially formulated for bike chains, however, you can buy the original green stuff at motorcyle shops for a lot less.
Check out the user reviews on various lubes at:
10-12-01, 11:51 PM
Main bit of advice: get a good book. I have several, but my favorite is Bicycling Magazine's Complete Guide to Bicycle Repair and Maintenance. Good step by step instructions. I even have the multi volume Barnett's manual. Great for reference, but the Bicycling book covers most stuff. Also, when a special tool is called for, buy it. Most do not cost much at all. There are only a few truly specific tools you might need for most stuff - cassette lockring remover, chain whip, crank puller. Just buy them as you need them. Read the instuctions several times on how to do a procedure so you understand exactly what you will be doing and facing at each step. Most stuff is not difficult, but certain things can be expensive to fix if you don't do them right.
I use Simple Green in my Park chain scrubber. I will have to go read what Sheldon says. It seems if one dries and lubes the chain properly then using Simple Green and water should not be a problem.
Matadon, when you replace your chain get a good SRAM. With the Power Link you don't have to use the chain tool. Many people consider them better chains.
10-15-01, 03:25 AM
Hey guys don't forget even with the "power link" a chain needs to shortened and sometimes lenghthened with a chain tool.
I'm kinda old fashioned and use deisel oil to soak and clean my chains. (Don't worry I re-cycle it onsite and re-use it, never throwing it away) Very often I'll wash with dish detergent and rinse, both with very hot water, it cleans better evaporates that way, as the lube I'm using these days doesn't like to be mixed with anything and I like to get the last bit of junk out anyway.
When I was younger (30 years ago) and had little cash, living in beautiful rain-soaked Dublin, Eire, I used to soak my chains in paraffin oil or even white spitits. I then heated up some vaseline in an old tin and immersed chain. The heat allows the vaseline to soak right into the bits when ordinary oils don't get to. Coll off and wipe dry with a rag. Now I ride in warm dry weather so no chain problems. I have a spare bike for the rain!
Hope this helps
The current wisdom on chain lubes is, basically, use an oil-based lube for wet conditions, and a wax-based lubricant for dry conditions. If you do use a wax-based lube, remember to never clean the chain with a petroleum-based cleaner. Remnants of the cleaner will desrtroy your lubricant, and the cleaning of the chain will actually shorten it's life.
10-16-01, 12:19 PM
I have found that the combination of dish soap for cleaning and white ligtning for lubing works rather well. I clean my Campy 10-speed chain in the Park chain cleaning machine with water and dish soap, I'll use it on my GF's 105 chain and SOMETIMES remove her cain, put it in a small tub with water and dish soap and agitate. I then run the cain through the machine twice with water to rinse [or agitate twice] and dry with a blow dryer. Apply white lightning, and that's it. The white lightning helps keep the chain clean enough that I don't have to do this too often.
And I don't ride in the rain.
What I do.
Put chain in container (Coffee can,Plastic container, etc.) and nail chain real good with De-solv-it(<--Good Sh*t) citrus solvent. Works wonders!
Shake chain in container till chain starts looking clean.
Brush whole chain with old toothbrush to get out the solvent unreachable gunk.
Rinse an wipe clean with thick cloth.
Spray whole chain lightly with Tri-Flow.
Put chain back on CLEAN sprockets.
Give the rear sprockets a few seconds of Tri-Flow.
Works for me.
Ain' nuthin' purtyer than a fresh cleaned chain and sprockets! :D
10-21-01, 06:51 AM
Leave your chain on your bike.
Use a toothbrush or a chain cleaning machine.
Use a solvent either simple green or the like or a chemical solvent.
Let chain dry .
Apply triflow or a similar oil.
Remenber wax is for legs oil for chains.
2 problems with that method:
The toothbrush won't get the dirt down between the links and along the sides of the bushings. It will get the dirt off the sides, but that's not what destroys the chain.
I tried simple green the other day, and while it did a wonderful job on the rings, rims and the frame, it didn't clean the chain worth a d@mn. I actually had to clean it a second time, this time with the normal citrus cleaner. Don't rely on simple green for chains-it seems to be more of a detergent than a solvent.
10-21-01, 05:33 PM
geeeeze, it sounds like some of you are getting to the point of massaging your chains!!!! LOL
10-27-01, 02:06 AM
Most of my degreasing seems to be from riding with slightly too lose trouser legs :(
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