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Old 05-01-09, 09:07 AM   #1
kshapero
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Best degreaser for chain cleaning?

Like to hear what folks are using to clean the chain.
What about this guy?
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Old 05-01-09, 09:20 AM   #2
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nifty.

after a while you'll realize all you need to do is apply lube and wipe down with a rag or shop towel until the chain has shiny side plates and rollers.
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Old 05-01-09, 09:21 AM   #3
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Interesting kit

Would like to see one in use. I had a can of Clean Streak (without the brush doohickey). But I couldn't see a use for it. It was too hard to control where I wanted to put the degreaser. The aerosol was too high-pressure. I prefer a spray bottle.



For chains, I've got a Park Tool Chain Gang. It kind of a pain to fill and clean out, though. It's main advantage is you dont have to remove the chain to get it fairly clean. To be thorough, you can't beat removing the chain, and cleaning link-by-link.
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Old 05-01-09, 10:03 AM   #4
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I use WD and a rag ... on the bike.

I rarely>never clean them off the bike anymore ... unless I'm pulling the drivetrain apart for something else.

My theory is that ... if you clean it OFF the bike (soaking method), then you should lube it off the bike, too (soaking method) ... otherwise ... that deep, deep cleaning .... will remove the lube from the place it's needed most ... and the drip-drip-drip method of lubing ... won't get the lube in there.

Just a theory, of course.

If I do an off-the-bike cleaning, I use the citrus degreaser from Home Depot. Cheap. Effective. Tasty
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Old 05-01-09, 10:04 AM   #5
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The ONLY effective way to clean a chain:

LINK
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Old 05-01-09, 10:28 AM   #6
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I just replaced the chain on one of my bikes with a new KMC unit. On their website they say if you use a chain cleaning machine with a degreaser, you have ruined the chain. Being that I did that periodically for a few years and thousands of miles to the last KMC chain on the bike, it made me wonder if I have been damaging the chain more than helping it. I am thinking that I will stop using the degreaser in the machine and just fill it with water. Anyone else not using degreaser in a chain cleaning machine?
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Old 05-01-09, 10:37 AM   #7
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Brake Klean on a nappy shop towel. No need to take the chain off the bike for the entire life of the chain. This won't work for dirt and mud runners. bk

Last edited by bkaapcke; 06-06-13 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 05-01-09, 10:44 AM   #8
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Mineral spirits and a wide mouth jar.Remove chain,put in jar with spirits,close,shake,remove,swing chain like ninja,let dry,install,lube.Wipe down and lube between cleanings.Repeat 10 times,every 500 miles(road bike),replace chain.

Last edited by Booger1; 05-01-09 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 05-01-09, 11:32 AM   #9
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Is there any danger of damaging the finish on my bike when using a degreaser? Anyone know of a safe and effective one?
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Old 05-01-09, 11:39 AM   #10
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Is there any danger of damaging the finish on my bike when using a degreaser? Anyone know of a safe and effective one?
Finish line degreaser claims that there is no harm to any part of the bike.
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Old 05-01-09, 12:26 PM   #11
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I just replaced the chain on one of my bikes with a new KMC unit. On their website they say if you use a chain cleaning machine with a degreaser, you have ruined the chain. Being that I did that periodically for a few years and thousands of miles to the last KMC chain on the bike, it made me wonder if I have been damaging the chain more than helping it. I am thinking that I will stop using the degreaser in the machine and just fill it with water. Anyone else not using degreaser in a chain cleaning machine?
That's makes no sense at all. Cleaning a chain will never reduce it's life unless you fail to relube after cleaning. Using water in a cleaning machine would be a complete waste of time.

I've done a lot of chain wear testing, but I've never tried to document whether cleaning actutally improves chain or just makes for a cleaner looking chain. My opinion is that road grit is a chain's biggest enemy. Anytime you remove the old gritty lube and replace it with fresh lube, it can't hurt. Using inexpensive home brew, I have relubed a chain after nearly every ride and never removed it for cleaning.

To maximize cassette life, I prefer to use a 3-chain rotation and never leave a chain on for more than it's half life before switching to a new one. With a master link on the chain, for at least the second half of it's life, I prefer to remove a chain occasionally and clean it.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 05-01-09 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 05-01-09, 12:36 PM   #12
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I take the chain off the bike and give it a soak in gasoline every now and then. A splash of gas in an old tupperware container gets the chain remarkably clean. At $2.25 a gallon you won't find a cheaper cleaner either.
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Old 05-01-09, 12:44 PM   #13
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nifty.

after a while you'll realize all you need to do is apply lube and wipe down with a rag or shop towel until the chain has shiny side plates and rollers.
That's my method, unless it's really nasty. In that case I'll use WD-40, wipe it off and let dry, then follow up with chain lube. Chain still looks almost new after this winter with that method.
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Old 05-01-09, 12:51 PM   #14
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el duke degreaser
http://web.mac.com/eldukedegreaser/E...ser_/Home.html
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Old 05-01-09, 02:55 PM   #15
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I take the chain off the bike and give it a soak in gasoline every now and then. A splash of gas in an old tupperware container gets the chain remarkably clean. At $2.25 a gallon you won't find a cheaper cleaner either.
Gasoline is a dangerous degreaser that is difficult to dispose of. Diesel fuel or mineral spirits are far better choices.
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Old 05-01-09, 03:55 PM   #16
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That's makes no sense at all. Cleaning a chain will never reduce it's life unless you fail to relube after cleaning. Using water in a cleaning machine would be a complete waste of time.
I think they are concerned about removing too much lube, the stuff down in the links. By soaking it in degreaser you remove all of the lube and then it is difficult to get the new lube back into all the pins. They recommend just wiping the chain with a rag and solvent, then adding new lube.

Not using solvent in the clean machine would still allow the brushes to clean the dirt and other solids off the chain, it just wouldn't dissolve the old lube. I don't think the way I was cleaning the chain before really shortened it's life anyway as I got 4000-5000 miles out of it. I just thought their comment was interesting regarding solvents ruining the chain. I may still use the degreaser as I tend to lube my chains pretty frequently.
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Old 05-01-09, 04:20 PM   #17
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I think they are concerned about removing too much lube, the stuff down in the links. By soaking it in degreaser you remove all of the lube and then it is difficult to get the new lube back into all the pins. They recommend just wiping the chain with a rag and solvent, then adding new lube.

Not using solvent in the clean machine would still allow the brushes to clean the dirt and other solids off the chain, it just wouldn't dissolve the old lube. I don't think the way I was cleaning the chain before really shortened it's life anyway as I got 4000-5000 miles out of it. I just thought their comment was interesting regarding solvents ruining the chain. I may still use the degreaser as I tend to lube my chains pretty frequently.
That's the huge fallacy - that you can remove lube and not be able to replace it. It's simply not true. You should disassemble a spare link sometime. The clearances are quite large. Any lube that flows very well will quickly flow inside the roller, then on into the gap between the sideplates, to the pin.

What's worse for a chain is leaving dirty lube around the pin and bushing, where it will cause elongation. I know that my method of lubrication works, since the pin and bushing show the least wear. My Campy chains may show 1/3 of the "allowable" 1/16" per foot elongation after 6,000 miles, but a Shimano chain, given the same treatment will reach 1/16" per foot elongation in only 3500-4000 miles.

Unfortunately, the rollers don't wear as well. The roller spacing increases from it's original .200 inch to .235-.240 after that much use. That wear is a combination of the decrease in the roller OD, the increase in the roller ID and the wear on the "shaft" that the roller spins around, formed into the inner plates, times two. The greatest wear point is the roller ID, as best I can measure.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 05-02-09 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 05-01-09, 08:39 PM   #18
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Mineral spirits and a wide mouth jar.Remove chain,put in jar with spirits,close,shake,remove,swing chain like ninja,let dry,install,lube.Wipe down and lube between cleanings.Repeat 10 times,every 500 miles(road bike),replace chain.
+1, but I don't change the chain that often - maybe every 2,000 or 3,000 miles. If the chain isn't stretched, she stays on the bike.
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Old 05-01-09, 10:34 PM   #19
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I use mineral spirits from Home Depot.
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Old 05-01-09, 11:06 PM   #20
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I have a three brush device that encircles the chain. THis device clamps to the top of an aerosol can, so I affix it to a can of WD-40. The brush contraption has a hole in it that admits the red nozzle extension from the WD-40. I run the chain backwards through the brushes while spraying WD-40 into the contraption, which simultaneously soaks the brushes as the chain is passing through them. It works really well. I then wipe the chain down thoroughly with rags, let dry and relube. Does this make any sense by the way? Maybe I can get pic of this...
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Old 05-01-09, 11:28 PM   #21
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I have used a couple of brands of citrus cleaner with good results. It is relatively cheap, environmentally friendly, and actually cleans the chain. Depending on the chain, I'll use a Park chain cleaner (Shimano with replaceable pin), or the soak and shake method (old gatorade bottle for Sram with power link).

FWIW, I cast my vote on the side of a clean chain.
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Old 05-02-09, 01:12 AM   #22
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Yup - I use this cleaning system everyday! It's great for bath-time with the kids, too!

http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html
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Old 05-02-09, 07:39 AM   #23
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Gasoline is a dangerous degreaser that is difficult to dispose of. Diesel fuel or mineral spirits are far better choices.
+1.
Gasoline is so hazardous that it should not be used for anything other than powering internal combustion engines.
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Old 05-02-09, 07:40 AM   #24
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Yup - I use this cleaning system everyday! It's great for bath-time with the kids, too!

http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html
twice a day for best results.
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Old 05-03-09, 06:06 PM   #25
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Simple Green diluted about 4/1 seems to work amazing well for me and of course the fact it is non-toxic helps. I only use it when I take the chain off, and then soak it in warm simple green in a container and swish it around for awhile. Always works well.
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