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Thread: chain cleaning

  1. #1
    Senior Member Plow13's Avatar
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    chain cleaning

    i have a chain cleaner where it clamps onto the chain and cleans it that way but....i wanted to know if i should maybe take a link out of my chain and take it off and let it sit in some kind of solvent overnight....If this is a good idea, what kind of solvent do i use?
    Cervelo S1 2010 (road) Lemond Alpe d'Huez 2004 (road)
    Trek 4500 2006 (mtb) Gary Fischer Utopia 2008 (commuter)
    Redline Conquest 2009 (cross) Redline 925 2009 (single speed)

  2. #2
    cab horn
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    Not a good idea. And not necessary.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    Take chain off.
    Pop in pop bottle with mineral spirits.
    Shake, shake, shake. Shake again.
    Pop out of bottle.
    Let dry.
    Use rag.
    Put chain back on bike.
    Apply wax or lube
    Wipe exessive lube.
    Ride bike

  4. #4
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    A good method for working the dirt way down deep into the rollers.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  5. #5
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    I have this theory -- based on nothing whatsoever -- that if you CLEAN off the bike, you need to LUBE off the bike (gets it so clean that you HAVE to soak-lube to get it through to the business bits), and if you clean ON the bike, you can lube ON the bike.

    I "clean" using WD-40, a rag, and the WD straw. Thorough soaking.

    Then, I use my World Famous, Super Secret Homebrew (50/50 mineral spirits + Mobil1), applied with a toothbrush, AFTER the ride.

    Works great. Less filling. Cheap, cheap, cheap.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by neil0502 View Post
    I have this theory -- based on nothing whatsoever -- that if you CLEAN off the bike, you need to LUBE off the bike (gets it so clean that you HAVE to soak-lube to get it through to the business bits), and if you clean ON the bike, you can lube ON the bike.

    I "clean" using WD-40, a rag, and the WD straw. Thorough soaking.

    Then, I use my World Famous, Super Secret Homebrew (50/50 mineral spirits + Mobil1), applied with a toothbrush, AFTER the ride.

    Works great. Less filling. Cheap, cheap, cheap.
    Why apply the oil with the toothbrush? Could you put it in a little drip bottle (old nasal drip or eyedrop bottle, e.g.)? It seems that a drop would better travel down into the roller area, a toothbrush would just spread the oil on the outside of the chain. How's your system been working. Genuine curiousity.

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    Unless you ride in dirt or mud, there is no need to take it off the bike. No need to use that cleaning machine either. Soak a 3 inch spot on a nappy shop towel with Brake Klean, and gently grip the chain while rotating it. The cleaner will get taken into the rollers. Repeat. Then grip the chain with a dry part of the towel and rotate the chain quickly, until you feel friction heat in your hand. Repeat several times. All the dirt will come out onto the towel. Bend a pipe cleaner in half and run it down between the links. Lube and you are done. Time spent; about 15 minutes. Works great IF YOU DO IT REGULARLY.

    The 60 pack of white car towels at Costco are great, and you can wash them several times in the home washer. Just wipe out the dirt ring or your SO will have your butt in a sling. bk

  8. #8
    Senior Member fholt's Avatar
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    I bet there are as many chain maintenance routines as there are BF posters. I wipe the chain down with an old t-shirt to remove the superficial exterior grit then take it off (via master link) and put it into a flat bottomed container (I use one from baby wipes) and pour on the Triflow chain lube. Shaking this around a bit will work out a suprprising amount of crap, then I fish the chain out, wipe it down, and reinstall.

    I pour off the triflow into a baby food jar, and use it again and again. The crap settles to the bottom and it's not hard to then pour back out only the clean part. Just this week I switched jars discarding one with a good 1/2" of crud (pretty much solidified) in the bottom. Leave it alone for a couple of weeks though, adn you can pour off ALL the liquid without distrubing the crud.
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  9. #9
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
    Why apply the oil with the toothbrush? Could you put it in a little drip bottle (old nasal drip or eyedrop bottle, e.g.)? It seems that a drop would better travel down into the roller area, a toothbrush would just spread the oil on the outside of the chain. How's your system been working. Genuine curiousity.
    If you think about it ... my toothbrush (why would you think about my toothbrush? That's a separate issue) is a bit wider than my chain. That means I get lube coverage from side to side. THAT means that it's getting where it needs to get.

    The fact that the toothbrush, sitting "on top of" the chain while I apply it, also means that the lube gravity feeds through the chain without much (almost without ANY) drip/runoff.

    If you think about almost any oiler .... you're picking a spot, and probably not all that accurately, at that.

    My homebrew is in a spray bottle, but could be in ANY kind of container that readily allows dipping the brush head in, and then "scraping" off the excess before applying.

    I like my method a lot, actually, and I've sort of done all the others. For me, it's the absolute sweet spot of time in and results.

    It DID take me a little too long, though to STOP using that toothbrush .... as a toothbrush ... and just convert it to chain lube duty

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