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  1. #1
    Embrace the weirdness. primaryreality's Avatar
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    Clean and Lube Chain?

    I don't have the tools, space or knowledge yet to do much of my own bike maintenance so this will probably be a dumb question--so be it.

    Should a freshly cleaned and lubed chain (allegedly done by my lbs as part of their "Basic Tune Up") still be covered with the same black gunk that I got all over my hands when I fixed the rear flat tire a few days ago? It doesn't appear to me that anything was done in the way of cleaning or lubing (the rear derailler also appears to be as dirty as it was before), but I'd just like to know before I take it back and complain.

    How can I be sure that the shop has really done all the work they charged me for? If I knew enough to do it all myself, I'd know, obviously, but then I wouldn't need the bike shop; eventually I will, but for now I need to be able to trust the people I'm paying to maintain my bike. Advice?

  2. #2
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    How freshly lubed? I clean and lube my chain every day (Pedro's dry lube), which is probably the cleanest lube I have used, but there is still a lot (a relative term of course) of goop on the chain every day after my ride (I ride daily). It was worse when I used standard Pro Lube. Also, cleaning and lubing the chain is not part of the tune-up at my LBS. They basically adjust all cables, derailleur, true wheels if needed, adjust brakes, check all bolts and attachments for proper tightness. I would not dream of bringing my bike to a mechanic if it was not meticulously cleaned. Most wrenches I know, have little respect for customers that bring in dirty bikes for adjustment/tuning.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  3. #3
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    If they charged you for cleaning the chain, it should be clean, but have a visible film of whatever lube they were using. I would expect the DR pulleys and such to be part of this.
    However, chain-cleaning is a bothersome chore that takes a lot of the mechanic's time, and I imagine that most, (myself included) think that folks should take care of this themselves.

    It's not difficult, just kinda messy. I use the degreaser, big sponge full of soapy water method myself. The mechanical chain cleaners, like the Park, work well if used with their own rather expensive cleaning fluid.
    Everyone seems to have their own favorite method.

  4. #4
    Embrace the weirdness. primaryreality's Avatar
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    I understand that most people do this themselves, and I should too, and it sounds as if it's not something bike shops usually do, and I'll know that in the future. But here's this bike shop's written description of what the $45 tune-up includes:

    "Our “Basic Tune-up” will address the needs of most bikes. We’ll adjust shifting, brakes, headset, hubs and bottom bracket (if applicable). We’ll also clean and lube your chain, true your wheels, wipe down the bike and take it for a test ride."

    So I just expected it to be done, and I don't think it was. Not a big deal, but I don't think I'll take my bike back there again, because if they state in writing that it's included they should have done it. But, more importantly, I can't help wondering if there's anything else they just skimmed over or skipped entirely, and if I'm relying on and paying someone to put my bike in good safe and reliable working order, that makes me not happy.

    Thanks for the info.

  5. #5
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    When I have finished cleaning and lubing my chain, chaninrings and cogs they sparkle and have no "black gunk residue" on them. It sounds as if your's were not cleaned properly if at all.

    Guy P.

  6. #6
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by primaryreality
    I understand that most people do this themselves, and I should too, and it sounds as if it's not something bike shops usually do, and I'll know that in the future. But here's this bike shop's written description of what the $45 tune-up includes:

    "Our “Basic Tune-up” will address the needs of most bikes. We’ll adjust shifting, brakes, headset, hubs and bottom bracket (if applicable). We’ll also clean and lube your chain, true your wheels, wipe down the bike and take it for a test ride."

    So I just expected it to be done, and I don't think it was. Not a big deal, but I don't think I'll take my bike back there again, because if they state in writing that it's included they should have done it. But, more importantly, I can't help wondering if there's anything else they just skimmed over or skipped entirely, and if I'm relying on and paying someone to put my bike in good safe and reliable working order, that makes me not happy.

    Thanks for the info.
    $45 for a tune-up? No thx. Most of this stuff you can do yourself for free. If you don't know how to, learn how to. It's not hard.

  7. #7
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    No thx.
    Long Live DOLBY!!!

  8. #8
    cab horn
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    Realize that was on purpose. Close to being ignored Raiyn.

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