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  1. #1
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    What chain cleaner?

    I bought a Park chain cleaning tool today and I'm wondering what everyone uses for cleaner? I'm sure this has been debated endlessly but WTF, I'll ask again.

    I have a gallon of Greased Lightning from Lowes that I've used before for a few things. Is that OK or should I use something else? It sure gets the grease off.

  2. #2
    Senior Member cannonman's Avatar
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    I used the Park Took degreaser and then switched to Dawn when that ran out. I think the instructions for the Park Tool cleaner even says that you can use dishwashing soap. Dawn gets my chains nice and clean.
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  3. #3
    XO1
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    since switching to prolink chain lube, i have yet to have to use a chain cleaner. i dont understand how getting something like a degreaser inside of your chain where you want lubricant can be anything but bad. if it is doing its job, it is keeping fresh lube out when you go to relube after the cleaning. if you clean and lube with the same medium.... problem solved.

  4. #4
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    This is why I ask. On the one hand, using a degreaser will take everything off. On the other hand, you don't necessarily want it THAT clean. I'm still leaning towards degreaser, letting it dry, then a thorough coat with lubricant.

    In my mind chains won't last forever anyway, so as long as I can get it clean I'd be happy.

  5. #5
    XO1
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    I too don't think chains will last forever, however I have yet to wear out a chain since I started using prolink. I am not claiming any miracle properties, but I switched to it 3 years ago, ride on lots of dirt roads, and commute 5 days a week, so it certainly is doing something positive in that department.

    For the record, I use the park chain wear guide every 6 months or so to check wear progress.

  6. #6
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    If you can remove the chain, I find soaking it in mineral spirits really cleans the chain, and doesn't leave degreaser all over the place. Lube after rinsing off with water. On the bike, I am up in the air. Degreaser cleans but also winds up inside the links.

    I'll have to check out this prolink stuff!
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  7. #7
    Senior Member cannonman's Avatar
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    I started using Purple Extreme after I tested a sample I got in a goodie bag before a century. It seems to do what it claims, so that's also an option you may want to check out.

    http://www.purpleextreme.com
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  8. #8
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    clean or not a chain is gonna stretch and need replacing, right?
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Quote Originally Posted by cannonman View Post
    I started using Purple Extreme after I tested a sample I got in a goodie bag before a century. It seems to do what it claims, so that's also an option you may want to check out.

    http://www.purpleextreme.com
    Their degreaser also looks very cool!
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    clean or not a chain is gonna stretch and need replacing, right?
    I think the point is a dirty chain wears out other more expensive parts - like pulleys, chainrings, etc.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member cannonman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyK View Post
    Their degreaser also looks very cool!
    I pulled this off a review from another site:

    It's thicker than most and not the sort of degreaser you splash around. In fact, it's recommended you take your time and use a toothbrush to apply the stuff.

    I think I'll pass.
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  12. #12
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    I use household citrus cleaner in my chain cleaner. Although mostly my chain gets cleaned as part of my whole of bike cleaning: I paint the whole thing with a a green auto cleaning gel stuff (it's called CT18) and gently hose it off. Everything, tyres, chain, cogs comes out sparkalarkalarkaling.

  13. #13
    Gluteus Enormus mmmdonuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    clean or not a chain is gonna stretch and need replacing, right?
    Chains don't "stretch". The pins, rollers, and plates wear.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmmdonuts View Post
    Chains don't "stretch". The pins, rollers, and plates wear.
    Of course they do. They get longer i.e. 'stretch'. It is due to wear on the pins, rollers and plates.

    I'm not convinced cleaning the chain so thouroughly adds any life to the cassette or chainrings. I just wipe with a rag and re-lube. I thought cleaning was primarily for looking good down at the coffee shop

  15. #15
    Senior Member cannonman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warrandyte View Post
    I use household citrus cleaner in my chain cleaner. Although mostly my chain gets cleaned as part of my whole of bike cleaning: I paint the whole thing with a a green auto cleaning gel stuff (it's called CT18) and gently hose it off. Everything, tyres, chain, cogs comes out sparkalarkalarkaling.
    I would use with caution. I pulled up a couple reviews and some are saying that it's too harsh and eats up/drys out seals.

    http://perthmtb.com/node/5029

    I have some stuff called Formula 88 that I got at Home Depot, but you also have to be careful with it if you use it near painted surfaces.
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