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Thread: chain machines

  1. #1
    Rabbit Herder
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    chain machines

    are those chain machines worth the $$? how well do they work?




    My chain was wicked dirty so I tried to clean it up over the weekend. I took the thing off and soaked it in some degreaser overnight and tried to lube it up, but there was still some gunk in between the links that I couldnt get out. would one of these suckers work well, or should i just demote my toothbrush to bike detail?

  2. #2
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Personally I'd demote your toothbrush - I tried a cleaner and it did an okay job, but not a lot better than degreaser and cloths with chain on bike, let alone off.
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

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    Rabbit Herder
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    yeah, but it is such a pain in the azz to take the damn chain off all the time....

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    Senior Member Bobatin's Avatar
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    I have one. I like it. I think it works realy well.
    So, if you're in the car, waiting impatiently. . . get over it - you're not that special.
    "Its not what you take when you leave, Its what you leave when you go."
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  5. #5
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Luken8r
    yeah, but it is such a pain in the azz to take the damn chain off all the time....
    What sort of chain are you using? - the SRAM powerlinks are pretty quick to undo IMO ...
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

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    Rabbit Herder
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    its some shimano something or other. maybe i should just swap out one of the links for one of those SRAM jobs. i had one on my old chain and it worked pretty well after i snapped a link

  7. #7
    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Richard D
    What sort of chain are you using? - the SRAM powerlinks are pretty quick to undo IMO ...
    I just built up my bike, and threw an SRAM powerlink on the Shimano 9 speed chain... it is super easy to get on an off.. and cheap too... about $4 USD... much cheaper than a chain cleaner.. and easier to just let the chain soak in some solvent... then re-install

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    Rabbit Herder
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    now that i think about it, thats not a bad idea. i think the sram link i got last year when my chain went *poing* was like a dollar or something stupidly cheap. maybe ill stop by that shop on the way home tonight

  9. #9
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    I have a Sram power link, and I clean my chain OFF the bike. I find it much easier and it does a better job.

    I let it soak in solvent. I put it in a container with a lid or cap. (a 2-liter soda bottle works really well) and add some solvent and shake it like crazy.

    Seems to get in between all the links.

    I then rinse it with clean water and hang it to let it dry overnight!

    L8R
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    Rabbit Herder
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    one odd thing that i noticed when i soaked my chain on saturyday was when i came back to it on sunday morning, there was some rusty crap that was spewing from the rivets. I cleaned it off, but some left the chain stained and i couldnt rub it off.

  11. #11
    Carfree Retro Grouch hayneda's Avatar
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    That stuff is crap designed to separate you from your money.

    Dave
    who keeps a clean chain without spending money on chain cleaners
    Bikes are either fixed or broken

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    60mph in the 42 ring! Dave Stohler's Avatar
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    Eh, by the time you clean up the mess on the garage floor, your hands, and the rims of your bike, you might as well have pulled the chain and cleaned it properly.
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  13. #13
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    I use a park chain cleaner on the MTB which doesn't have a power link yet. Fill it with full strength Simple Green from Wally World and it cleans the gunk off just fine.

    For the road bike with a powerlink, I soak in an old gatorade container. Both methods work fine. It's just a chain. After 10 minutes of riding, it's dirty anyway. No need to get it perfect.

  14. #14
    60mph in the 42 ring! Dave Stohler's Avatar
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    Well, simple green is something that shouldn't be used for cleaning machinery. I've seen countless thousands of dollars worth of damage done to rotating machinery due to misinformed people cleaning the things with either Simple Green or WD-40. Neither is meant to be a cleaner, and Simple Green is really quite caustic. Add to that the amount of detergent additives simple green has in it, I'd consider it to be somewhat less useful for cleaning a chain than a bar of Ivory soap would be. FWIW, the US military has banned the use of Simple Green, and for good reason, too!
    If you need to clean a chain, please, please use a solvent. Mineral spirits, denatured alcohol, or one of those citrus cleaners available at a bike shop is what you need. Simple Green works wonders for cleaning tar off of car bodies, and I occasionally use it for external cleaning on my bikes, but never, never on a chain.
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    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Simple Green is not meant to be a cleaner? Caustic? What is the caustic ingredient in SG? Interesting that the manufacturer calls their product 'All Purpose Cleaner'.

    I even checked the Material Safety Data Sheet on the manufacturers web site. The product is non-reactive with minimal skin effects on contact with mild eye irrtant the only significant hazard.

    As far as being less useful than ivory soap, I cannot say how useful ivory is for cleaning a chain. But I can say that Simple Green cleans it quite well. Much better than mineral spirits and without the environmental issues with disposal of mineral spirits. Since Simple Green is water soluble, it's a simple matter to rinse the chain clean.

    I use SG in various strengths to clean my bike and have not seen any evidence of corrosion or other damage to the rotating machinery on the bike. Of course, I don't do stupid things like spray the stuff into my hub bearings. My chain shows no sign of wear after 3000 miles. Does the damage come all at once?

    I was curious about the claim that the US Military has banned the use of SG. I couldn't find any internet link supporting the claim. I doubt that there would be any general ban on the product by the entire US Military since each branch of the service tends to set their own rules. I would be interested in specifics on the supposed ban. I've seen some pretty nasty cleaning agents used on military equipment. The SG website even claims the stuff is used at over 200 military bases.

  16. #16
    60mph in the 42 ring! Dave Stohler's Avatar
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    Last edited by Dave Stohler; 07-15-03 at 01:23 PM.
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  17. #17
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    "Chain Cleaners" can work pretty darn well. I take my Sachs chains off the bikes for hardcore cleanings, but use a chain cleaner for "interim" jobs, quite often.

    I used to be a major fan of the "Bibox", which is sold at Performance among others, because it is compact and works quite well. Several months ago, I wound up with a Pedros machine, which costs about twice as much as the Bibox, but does an even better job of cleaning the chain. They are both very effective ways to clean a bicycle chain, and do better, faster work than merely using a toothbrush on the installed chain.

    FYI, I use ZEP Citrus degreaser in my chain cleaners. It's sold in gallon bottles at Home Depot and Lowes, does a fine job and is easier on my purty nails and fingers than other products.

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