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Old 05-01-06, 10:59 AM   #1
jeff-o
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Chain cleaner tools

My chain is in desperate need of a good, thorough clean. You can only do so much with a rag!

I've been looking at chain cleaner tools, everything from a $5.50 one from MEC, to a $40 model from Park Tools. What's the difference? Will one scrub the chain better than another?

Some of my bikes have powerlinks, so it's easy to remove them and drop them in a bucket of degreaser... Would this be a more effective method?

And finally, degreasers. I read some past topics on this, and have seen a few suggestions, including Simple Green, mineral spirits, and brake cleaner. There are orange-based degreasers, too. I'd prefer something that is biodegradeable, but also does the job.

So, what do I need to get my chain all shiny new?
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Old 05-01-06, 11:41 AM   #2
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waterbottle full of simple green and shake.
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Old 05-01-06, 01:08 PM   #3
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I have the Pedros and the Finishline chain cleaning tools. Of the two, I think I like the Finishline the best.

The Pedros drips solvent on the chain at the press of a button while the Finishline constantly submerses the cleaner brushes into the solvent. Both result in a very clean chain.
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Old 05-01-06, 01:14 PM   #4
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New chains are cheap and recyclable (fun intended).

Enjoy
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Old 05-01-06, 01:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by genericbikedude
waterbottle full of simple green and shake.
My prefered method, too.

Followed by rinsing the simple-green off in hot water, hanging it and drying with a hair dryer, and re-lubing.
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Old 05-01-06, 02:01 PM   #6
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I'm pretty impressed with the Finishline cleaning machine, works better than expected and is less messy than most.

Al
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Old 05-01-06, 02:24 PM   #7
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I'm pretty impressed with the Finishline cleaning machine, works better than expected and is less messy than most.

Al
I agree, the Finishline Product works much better then I ever expected and now have been using it for 3 years and it still works.

HOWEVER...if your chain is really dirty you should FIRST take it apart and follow the advice that genericbikedude gave. I have a solvent basin I use and I use a brush to get between the links better then let it soak overnight; but either way works. Once you have your chain really clean then you should use the FinishLine Cleaning Machine about every 100 to 150 miles to keep it clean. I use to take my chain apart every 500 miles or so for deep cleaning but now since I use the FinishLine Machine I only take it apart about every 5,000 miles and then it's not really anymore dirtier then it is when I use the FinishLine Machine.

Also there have been test done by various bike publications on all these chain cleaning machines over the years the FinishLine one always won in every publication.

Word of caution: do not spin the chain fast through whatever machine you buy because they will splatter dirty solvent all over you, your bike, the floor, etc.
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Old 05-01-06, 02:37 PM   #8
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I like this 'cause it's got a magnet at the bottom to separate the metal grit (iron filings) from the solution. The kit I purchased came with a Park cleaning solution. When it ran out, I use Simple Green. The tool works well. BTW, when the sponge brush wore out, I replaced it with any ordinary dishwashing sponge.
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Old 05-01-06, 04:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jeprox
I like this 'cause it's got a magnet at the bottom to separate the metal grit (iron filings) from the solution. The kit I purchased came with a Park cleaning solution. When it ran out, I use Simple Green. The tool works well. BTW, when the sponge brush wore out, I replaced it with any ordinary dishwashing sponge.
I'm glad you are happy with that. I'm about to order that over the Finish Line one (same amount of money).
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Old 05-01-06, 05:10 PM   #10
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simple green, an old tooth brush, and some elbow grease. lube the chain with your prefered product.
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Old 05-02-06, 09:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeprox
I like this 'cause it's got a magnet at the bottom to separate the metal grit (iron filings) from the solution. The kit I purchased came with a Park cleaning solution. When it ran out, I use Simple Green. The tool works well. BTW, when the sponge brush wore out, I replaced it with any ordinary dishwashing sponge.
Well I suppose you could glue a strong magnet to whatever chain cleaner you buy...
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Old 05-02-06, 09:56 AM   #12
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jane stop this crazy thing?
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Old 05-02-06, 10:05 AM   #13
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$5.50 one from MEC
Got this one. Works just fine.
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Old 05-02-06, 11:28 AM   #14
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About every time I ride, I take a plain old paper towel and grab the chain with it, spin the cranks backwards a few time. This keeps the chain very clean. About once every week or two I spray a little solvent, WD40, on the chain and repeat above. Then very sparingly lubricate and wipe off excess. The whole process takes about 3 minutes. I never take the chain off to clean, just replace when it stretches.
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Old 05-02-06, 02:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff-o
Well I suppose you could glue a strong magnet to whatever chain cleaner you buy...
Good idea. I will replace the orig magnet with a more powerful one. That's what I like with this tool, can replace some of its parts.
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