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Thread: cleaner

  1. #1
    TLN
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    cleaner

    whats your preference on cleaners for chains, rings, cassettes and the like?

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    riding a Pinarello Prince orguasch's Avatar
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    for chains-orange degreaser
    for cassettes-orange degreaser
    rings-what rings
    "Racso", the well oiled machine;)

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    I ride a REAL Schwinn!
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    For chains, I use Park Chainbrite if I am using a chain cleaner. It works better than everything else that I have tried.

    For rings/cogs/gummed-up stuff, I use Pedros Bio-degreaser and a bottle of Schwinn Foaming degreaser, which seems to never run out, but works well anyways. I have found Performance de-greaser to be very ineffective.

    To lube it all up I use Phil Wood/Finish Line cross-country/ Pedro's Extra Dry depending on the conditions and what it is being applied to on the bike.

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    Senior Member streners's Avatar
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    i'd agree with the chainbrite comment, i love the stuff, best chain cleaner i've ever used, dirt and muck just seem to fall off, don't know whats in it but it smells like paint thinners...

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    Just make sure you use a cleaner/degreaseer, not a detergent (like simple green, etc.) Some people also use WD-40, which is probably OK as a cleaner, but it is not much of a lubricant.
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

  6. #6
    8speed DinoSORAs Ed Holland's Avatar
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    For what its worth:

    I used to clean the chain with washing up liquid, hot water and a brush. This took a long time, was messy and not particularly effective. It was also hard to get the chain dry again before re- oiling. - Think how long it takes for all the water to evaporate from inbetween all the rollers, pins and bushings. Oil and water don't mix, so unless the chain is properly dried the lube won't get to where it is most required

    Most recently I have been experimenting with a chain cleaner gizmo. I ignored the water based detergent supplied with it and bought some white spirit (paint thinner). This is a cheap and very effective solvent for the old chain oil. For a really dirty chain, about 3 changes of solvent in the cleaner brings the chain up clean. I try to dispose of the waste spirit carefully and work outside to ensure good ventilation. The process is still messy but it is quicker and far more effective than scrubbing with detergents. Plus the solvent dries off more quickly than water - and any slight residue is miscible with the new oil if the chain is not totally dry before re-lubing (better to be really dry though). Chain is then oiled and the excess wiped off and I'm back on the road. From experience, the chain runs really well after this process.

    Cheers,

    Ed
    Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.

  7. #7
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    I use either Dawn or Joy best degreasers or an orange based degreaser we carry where I work these are very cheap and available any store I just spay it on and let it sit for a minute run a brush over them (and use a chain cleaner for the chain) and wipe off
    Matthew 6

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    Duct tape won't fix that slotibartfast's Avatar
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    I'm sold on Simple Green. Got to dilute it, though. I just soak some on an old sock and backpedal my chain through it. Works great. Then I use a toothbrush to get all the cogs. When done, just wipe it off, lube, and go.
    It's no matter, no distance, it's the ride.....Stephen Stills...Throughfare Gap

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    I use either Dawn or Joy
    Simple Green. Got to dilute it, though. I just soak some on an old sock
    Both of these are detergents! Are you getting ALL the detergent out from between the links? I don't think so.....
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

  10. #10
    8speed DinoSORAs Ed Holland's Avatar
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    Both of these are detergents! Are you getting ALL the detergent out from between the links? I don't think so.....
    D*Alex - you are absolutely right. Any remaining detergent will emulsify the oil between the links and ruin its ability to lubricate (assuming it is able to get in there at all). If using detergent, rather than a solvent to clean a chain it should be rinsed and dried completely before re-oiling, otherwise the oil can't do its job. Even if a solvent is used, drying the chain properly is the best way to go because any remaining solvent would thin out the oil until it evaporated.

    Who'd have thought there was so much science in cleaning a bike chain?

    Ed
    Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.

  11. #11
    Look Ma, NO hands!
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    Gee! I've been using el-cheepo auto carb cleaner that I pick up at Wally World for around 78 cents. It is acetone and methol alcohol in a presurized can. It doesn't do a fast job on the built up wax, but on the chain and thiner deposits it brings it rite off. CAUTION! This will eat some plastics, and it will burn!

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    Senior Member Dougmt's Avatar
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    I second the carb spray. In fact I JUST got back from a ride getting some. I have used industrial strength cleaner... stuff that makes the other orange cleaners look like bath water but it doesn't even come close to the .78 cent wally world cleaner. The amount of salt laden sandy grit were getting on our chains on the Texas coast is apalling. The carb spray cleans like nothing else! Here's an example... after cleaning your chain your way slightly twist the chain back and forth. Here that crunchy sound? that's bad. Now clean with the carb spray and do the same... it smooth sounding and CLEAN. I can use it while the chain is still on the bike because I have a completely chromed bike (mid 80's schwinn sierra comp in baby blue, baby blue is atop the chrome in some places, chain stays are all chrome)
    Also, after trying the synthetic oil/paint thinner combo I'm going back to the pedros stuff. The motor oil is like a sand magnet. May work very well in other enviroments but seaside isn't one of them.
    Doug

  13. #13
    Zippy Engineer Waldo's Avatar
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    At our shop we use White Lightning Clean Streak, which works reasonably well. Most any citrus based degreased is a solid bet as well.

  14. #14
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I have been using Simple Green and like it for general cleaning (diluted, of course) but haven't been happy with how it works on the chain and cogs. I have a can of paint thinner laying around and was thinking about using that next time. I'll try Ed Holland's method.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  15. #15
    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    I gotta go with the Carb Cleaner.. I read it earlier in another post, and gave it a try.. it kicks butt !! I could eat off the chain and cogs afterwards... but make sure you have some ventilation, or you'll get HIGH as a mutha ! I forgot this last time and did it in a closed garage.. i swear I dreampt that I was being chased by a giant burrito that night !! But yeah carb cleaner works well for big jobs,.. Pedro's works well too for touch ups

    Jeff
    Jeff

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    8speed DinoSORAs Ed Holland's Avatar
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    The carb cleaner sounds like a great idea. I have some experience of solvents as I work in a research lab. The acetone/methanol mixture will cut through grease and dry quickly. Just so long as the acetone doesn't attack the paint on my bike, or dissolve the plastic chain cleaner. Will give this a try when my bottle of paint thinner runs out.

    Cheers,

    Ed
    Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.

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    I just spray a whole lot of wd-40 from the can into the back gearset and turn the pedals. I'm sort of new to bikes, and it's not a really good method, didn't know how to do it before, but after this post, I think I'll try other methods. Paint thinner eh? I use about 1/4 of a wd-40 can per clean, and very difficult to keep off the rims.... I don't know where I can get carb cleaner from.

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    From an auto parts store, maybe? I mean, DUUHHH!!!!
    Just get a can of citrus degreaser, like those who actually know what they are doing use.
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

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    Speaking of carb cleaner.... If you are taking the chain off of the bike and want to clean it thoroughly, you can buy a bucket of solvent (carb cleaner) at any auto parts store. It is about the same size as a one gallon paint can and it has a basket inside which hold small parts while they are submerged in the solvent. Simply use a rag to remove any heavy deposits of debris on the chain and then leave it in the solvent over night. In the morning, just spray it off with the aerosol variety and it will sparkle like new. BTW, that citrus based stuff is worthless crap and I wouldn't waste my time with it.
    A man's actions influence his attitude as much as his attitude influences his actions.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Dougmt's Avatar
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    I agree with you on the citrus stuff. As a substitute for formula 409 it's passable but as a chain cleaner it's lacking.
    Doug

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