Bicycle Mechanics - Happy Bike
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My bike is happy! It got truely cleaned today, chain and everything. I often neglect my chain, but today it got the real-deal.
I use WD-40 for degreasing, and then Pedro's Ice Wax for lubricating afterward.
How often do you clean & lube? What do you use?
12-09-01, 08:03 PM
Cleaning a bike is good. It makes it rain around here! I use RP7 for degreasing, and I'm currently trying out a lube that my LBS recommended. I can't remember it's name just now (and no, I'm not going out to the garage to look at the can, you'll just have to wait until I'm out there next :p )
12-09-01, 08:29 PM
I lube my chain every time I ride. Give it a good dose of lube and then wipe off the excess. I think it helps flush some of the grit out too. Every couple of weeks I clean it good.
12-09-01, 08:31 PM
Funny... I did a big clean today of my road bike AND my MTB. [Ridind the MTB yesterday, it got really gunky.]
I cleaned both chains until they sparkled, both cassettes, bot sets of chainrings; I removed the pulley wheels and got the gunk out of the cage. I then washed the frames, etc. of both bikes.
I dried both with rags, and left them to airdry overnight. I'll lube in the morning.
I do a full clean as needed, as often as once a week depending on conditions and how much I'm riding. [At other times in the season, I'll do a full clean after a couple of weeks.] Most of the time, I do a quick-clean of the chain a couple of times a week.
For lube, it depends on the bike and the time of the year. I use White Lightning most of the time on the roadie [my main ride, you might suspect] during the summer [about May-September]. The rest of the year [October-December, March-May], I use the Finish Line silicon wet lube [I can't remember the exact name]. I tend to use Pedro's SynLube all year round on the MTB. I'm not quite as particular about it, and the Pedro's is relatively cheap. I lube every three or four rides.
I have been told that White Lightning isn't ideal for Campagnolo 10-speed, but I haven't had any problems. I find it shifts well, stays quite clean -- and I got 5500 km out of the chain before it had to be replaced.
I'm not sure WD40 is the best de-grease/cleaner. It's muder on plastics and rubber and may end up doing more harm than good.
12-09-01, 08:58 PM
Originally posted by velo
I use WD-40 for degreasing...
Careful there. Some folks around here get pretty riled up when you mention that stuff. I think there was even a motion for Joe to put it on the block list, but I can't remember. :)
12-09-01, 11:55 PM
I forgot to put what I use. When I do a thorough cleaning I use Bio-T. It's a citrus based industrial cleaner. I get it by the gallon from work. For lube I've used Pro-Link all this summer with great results.
The problem is that whenever you degrease a chain with a petroleum solvent (like WD-40), that keeps wax from adhering to the interior bits of the chain. In the end, your chain will wear very quickly.
If you are going to use a wax lubricant, you must use a citrus-based degreaser!
12-10-01, 04:15 PM
RP7 is a petroleum based degreaser. I have also used WD-40 in the past. I have only ever had one chain last less than 10,000km. I also ride in the rain all the time.
WD-40 is okay . I didn't know so many people didn't like it! I've been recommended it by more than one ace mechanic, so I'll continue to use it. I've actually had my chain for 4 years and it is just now in need of replacement in the spring. :)
Thank-you for your concerns about my bike's well being! ;)
I am one of those who does not use the dreaded "WD" word! Untill recently, if you read the can, one word you didn't find was "lubricates!" A locksmith friend of mine called it his best friend....a lock would get sticky, the owner would sprey it with that stuff, then the next thing you knew, the lock was ruined, and my friend got to sell a new one!
That stuff is an excellent penetrant, and, since it is alcohol based, displaces water very well. The problem? Once the alcohol evaporates, you are left with nothing. As a cleaner, it might be okay, but I also would worry about it lingering somewhere inside the chain and preventing a good lube from soaking in.
A chain has hundreds of little moving parts, and there are many excellent chain lubes out there designed to keep them all working at peak performance. I don't know about you, but my trusty bike works a lot better with a chain than without, so why take the chance?
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