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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    how often do you 'floss' your chain?

    i.e., push a rag through each chain link, instead of just wiping and brushing the chain? Just did mine, it looks clean and I'm happy, but wonder if it's worth the effort since the chain rings will push stuff out anyway. So perhaps it's enough to clean the drive train in general.


    thanks,
    -jl

  2. #2
    Senior Member z415's Avatar
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    I have never done that before. I used to use a chain cleaning device made by Park Tool that essentially does that, but then I lost a wheel brush axle and that becamse useless.
    Falling is learning...[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]...learn to not fall in a box.
    Any good American will watch THIS -and- WHERE WAS MY BIKE MADE?

  3. #3
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    wow ... that sounds like it's a lot of work. I usually remove the chain from my bike, soak it in paint thinner, brush all the sand and gunk off the chain, and resoak in paint thinner until I'm satisfied that it is clean. I'll then soak the chain in chain lube before remounting it back onto my bike.

  4. #4
    curmudgeon psirue's Avatar
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    soak the chain in lube?

    no wonder why you have to remove the chain to keep it clean.

  5. #5
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    A pipe cleaner bent in half works better and is a lot faster. Takes 5 minutes with my double recumbent chain. Once a week, when I clean the chain. bk
    Last edited by bkaapcke; 06-21-09 at 03:39 PM.

  6. #6
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Never. I do pressure wash the sombeech from time to time, however. Approx once a month October-April. Maybe once in June and once again in August.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  7. #7
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    I use a can of WD-40 and the little straw.

    I back the chain with a quartered-up rag, spray the hell out of it, wipe it dry, and then apply my (Mobil1 + odorless mineral spirits) homebrew with a toothbrush.

    I love chain cleaning/lube threads. Hold on a sec'. I'm gonna' crack a beer

  8. #8
    These go to 11. DavidLee's Avatar
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    Damn , that's a lot of unnecessary work IMO! I'm pretty simple. Wipe with paper towel, use wax lube, let dry & wipe excess.

  9. #9
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    Anyone else only lube their chain while naked during a full moon?

  10. #10
    curmudgeon psirue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLee View Post
    Damn , that's a lot of unnecessary work IMO! I'm pretty simple. Wipe with paper towel, use wax lube, let dry & wipe excess.
    exactly.

  11. #11
    Senior Member mzeffex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dewaday View Post
    anyone else only lube their chain while naked during a full moon?
    and i thought i was alone!
    Quote Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
    Are they talking about spectators feeding the cyclists? You know, like don't feed the bears?

  12. #12
    Senior Member shouldberiding's Avatar
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    Just about never.

    Spring - Fall: Wipe, lube, wipe. Repeat if necessary. Done.
    Winter: WD-40, wipe, wipe, wipe, lube, wipe. Done.

  13. #13
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    I read in a bicycle maintenance manual that one should never soak their chain in solvent. While it may make it easier to remove the outer gunk, the solvent flushes out the lube on the inside surfaces of the bushings and carries the superfine dirt into those crevices. I see their point, but have at times soaked chains because they were really encrusted. Then again, I don't expect to use those chains for very long anyway.
    My personal bike chains get a wipe job: wipe the dirt off when it becomes noticeable, wipe on a surface lube. I've found *** lubes to be the best. Since they're made for harsh conditions during war, I figure they should work on America's roads!

  14. #14
    Pleasurable Pain greyghost_6's Avatar
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    You all have it wrong! Its all about the Q-tips! Sheldon has the best article on proper chain cleaning, and sells his method's for a nominal fee. Here is a sample:
    [IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/TECHSU%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.jpg[/IMG]
    I had to re-learn how to walk once, but never needed to re-learn how to ride a bike. Cyclist for life.

  15. #15
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    These days I just use a Boeshield small bottle and put a fat drop on each link as I rotate it backwards. Takes a minute or so and I rarely clean the chain because this way it doesn't pick up much.

  16. #16
    Passista Reynolds's Avatar
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    I did it a few times, and thought I was the only one OCD enough to do it.

  17. #17
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    Psirue ...I would drench chain with Boeshield T9, wipe off access, and then remount ....

  18. #18
    curmudgeon psirue's Avatar
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    one drop per roller is enough. no need to drench anything.

  19. #19
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    i use mouthwash to clean my chain. not only does it keep my chain clean and lubed up, it also protects it from things like tooth decay and gingervitis. nasty.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemeister View Post
    I read in a bicycle maintenance manual that one should never soak their chain in solvent. While it may make it easier to remove the outer gunk, the solvent flushes out the lube on the inside surfaces of the bushings and carries the superfine dirt into those crevices. I see their point, but have at times soaked chains because they were really encrusted. Then again, I don't expect to use those chains for very long anyway.
    My personal bike chains get a wipe job: wipe the dirt off when it becomes noticeable, wipe on a surface lube. I've found *** lubes to be the best. Since they're made for harsh conditions during war, I figure they should work on America's roads!
    That idea is totally wrong. Any lube within the chain will quickly become contaminated with grit and becomes a grinding paste, long before any attempt at cleaning the chain. The clearances are large and grit gets in quite easily without any help.

    Anything you can do to remove the contaminated lube can't hurt a thing. I place my chains in an old water bottle filled about 2/3 with mineral spirits and shake it for about a minute as the first step in cleaning. The second step could be a second wash in clean solvent or a hot soapy water wash. If I use the soapy water, I finish with a final hot water wash, then wipe the chain dry and apply homebrew to displace the water and lube the chain. If you're using some sort of expensive lube in a small bottle, a single drop won't displace the water. That's where cheap homebrew works great. I hold the chain vertically from the center an apply the lube heavily, starting from the top and working my way down.
    Last edited by DaveSSS; 06-23-09 at 03:07 PM.

  21. #21
    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
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    Can I safely store mineral spirits in a 2 liter soda bottle? or should I purchase a separate container? or what are you doing with the mineral spirits after you wash the chain w/ the water bottle? i don't have any old containers of MS to use.

  22. #22
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    I floss the cassette occasionally, not the chain.

  23. #23
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    I used to have a cool Airstream motorhome.

    Motorhomes have -- among other stuff -- a "black tank" that holds the ... um ... sewage from the toilet.

    When you chatted with RV types, on their equivalent of BikeForums.net ... there was usually a lively thread about the BEST way to clean the black tank.

    Eventually, though, I would chime in with something like "Why are you all SO worried about getting this thing SPOTLESSLY clean? It's a sewage holding tank. That's all it does. Are you planning to baste a turkey in it, and then eat the turkey??"

    So ... my usual "wisdom" ... worth exactly what y'all are paying for it (): keep your chain reasonably clean and reasonably well lubricated, using nearly any reasonably trustworthy lubricant.

    Staying on top of it (doing the above regularly -- before it needs it) is probably the most important thing.

    That said, I do love watching these cleaning/lubricating threads, and would do nothing to see them go away

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by greyghost_6 View Post
    You all have it wrong! Its all about the Q-tips! Sheldon has the best article on proper chain cleaning, and sells his method's for a nominal fee. Here is a sample:
    [IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/TECHSU%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.jpg[/IMG]
    way to much time on your hands if you go to this extent. I use a sock and then turn it inside out to keep my shoe clean.... ride-on!

  25. #25
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    I'm amazed at the almost obsessive-complusive behavior of some people, especially with chain cleaning. Taking chains off, repeated soakings and rinsing, flossing between links, adding a drop of lube on eavery link, etc.

    I just squirt on citrus degreaser, wipe off, add lube and ride. Occassionally I use a park chain cleaner. It takes a minute and that gives me more time to ride.

    Besides a chain gets dirty again after the first ride.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

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