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Old 04-01-09, 07:36 AM   #1
UnsafeAlpine
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best way to clean a chain?

I was on Sheldon Brown's site yesterday, trying to figure out how to clean my chain. He suggested this. Is taking apart the entire chain really the best way to do it? If it is, does it matter what kind of chain I'm using? For the record, it's a Campagnolo Chorus 10 speed.

Thanks!
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Old 04-01-09, 07:47 AM   #2
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The only way to ASSURE complete cleanliness is to remove all of the pins and clean each link, bushing and side plate individually. That will produce the cleanest possible chain.

BTW, did you notice the date on Sheldon's article?
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Old 04-01-09, 08:02 AM   #3
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are there dates? I often wondered....I know he sometimes appended them with updates.
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Old 04-01-09, 08:11 AM   #4
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are there dates? I often wondered....I know he sometimes appended them with updates.
I presume this is meant in jest but, just to be sure there is no mistake, the original Sheldon Brown article was dated APRIL 1st. You do realize what that implies?
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Old 04-01-09, 08:16 AM   #5
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I presume this is meant in jest but, just to be sure there is no mistake, the original Sheldon Brown article was dated APRIL 1st. You do realize what that implies?
I understand what it implies, but it doesn't mean it is an April Fool's joke. Should I not bother to read today's newspaper because it could be a joke?
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Old 04-01-09, 08:25 AM   #6
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It was an April Fool's joke.

I can't advise you vis-a-vis today's paper.

Good luck, in either case
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Old 04-01-09, 08:25 AM   #7
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I understand what it implies, but it doesn't mean it is an April Fool's joke. Should I not bother to read today's newspaper because it could be a joke?
Every April 1 Sheldon would post an article like that one that was intended to be a joke. If you wish, you can ignore that aspect and clean your chain as he recommended.

Remember the Navy saying: "There is always the 3% that doesn't get the word."
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Old 04-01-09, 08:39 AM   #8
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count me in there

I've been reading SB's articles for years, I didn't know he did that though....and I sometimes did wonder about the vintage of the writings. But thanks for the heads up
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Old 04-01-09, 09:27 AM   #9
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I accually did that, then had all the part coated with teflon. I'll never have to lube the chain again.
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Old 04-01-09, 09:53 AM   #10
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How did you get the teflon coating to stick?
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Old 04-01-09, 10:15 AM   #11
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There is always the Napalm-Approach. Just cover the chain in Napalm and put a match to it. That'll get rid of any gunk.
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Old 04-01-09, 10:16 AM   #12
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The Campy chain links are sequentially numbered. It will probably take a high powered jewelers loupe to see the numbers engraved on each side plate and pin. I hope you kept each link and pin together, as they are precision matched by hand at the factory prior to numbering and assembly.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 04-01-09, 10:57 AM   #13
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Don't forget that you must ensure that the front and the rear sprocket links are reassembled in the right order.
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Old 04-01-09, 12:59 PM   #14
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There is always the Napalm-Approach. Just cover the chain in Napalm and put a match to it. That'll get rid of any gunk.
Haha, good one. Happy April Fools!
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Old 04-01-09, 01:00 PM   #15
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Or, you could just put it in the furnace and melt the quartz grit into a fine glaze.
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Old 04-01-09, 01:36 PM   #16
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You can take it to a restaurant and run it through the dishwasher if it's marked "dishwasher safe".
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Old 04-01-09, 02:10 PM   #17
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How did you get the teflon coating to stick?
Super Glue, duh.
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Old 04-01-09, 04:34 PM   #18
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Did you go to and read the very bottom statement on the mentioned Sheldon's page? Obviously not! It says:

Disclaimer
Note! This page is a joke! Note the date above!
ShelBroCo does not actually recommend taking your chain completely apart! Deakinol Rinsing Solvent, Shelbrothane Cleaning Solvent, Shelbroconol Pre-soak, and Deakins White RollerGrease are all imaginary products. If you are looking for serious advice on Chain Maintence, click here!


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Old 04-01-09, 05:22 PM   #19
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I can't hear in here from all the whooshing.
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Old 04-01-09, 05:36 PM   #20
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If the OP was serious, the most thorough one that I've heard was to take the chain off your drive chain, put it in a soda bottle full of degreaser, shake the hell out of the thing, take the chain back out. Dry, and then relube.

But I just use a chain cleaner too.

This is also a heck a lot easier for <= 9 spd chain using a SRAM PowerLock.
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Old 04-01-09, 05:58 PM   #21
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OP, ya gotta tell us - was quoting that article today a hilarious coincidence, or a great troll?

Well done either way.

As to getting teflon to stick, I personally use chemical vapor deposition. Those of you without a lab-grade evaporating device and diffusion pump might have to go with WD-40. Sure it's not a real lubricant, but whaddya gonna do?
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Old 04-01-09, 06:20 PM   #22
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will this perfectly cleaned chain work with my soon-to-arrive 900c wheels? or will i need to resize my chain for the new wheel diameter? i'm so excited!
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Old 04-01-09, 06:38 PM   #23
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will this perfectly cleaned chain work with my soon-to-arrive 900c wheels? or will i need to resize my chain for the new wheel diameter? i'm so excited!
Just don't let it shrink in the dryer and you should be good to go.
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Old 04-02-09, 04:54 PM   #24
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I have found a fairly decent method - I pop the chain off (with a quik connect link) and toss it in a bucket with boiling water mixed with some SimpleGreen. The degreaser is safe, and the heat helps break down the baked on grease. Mix it around and then rinse - and off you go!
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Old 04-02-09, 05:23 PM   #25
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I have found a fairly decent method - I pop the chain off (with a quik connect link) and toss it in a bucket with boiling water mixed with some SimpleGreen. The degreaser is safe, and the heat helps break down the baked on grease. Mix it around and then rinse - and off you go!
How does grease get baked onto your chain?
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