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  1. #1
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    Sandy drivetrain!

    Hello!

    I got a new bike about a 2 weeks ago, so it was really well lubricated and such... Today I went for a ride near the seaside and got sand everywhere in the chain and gears. Any suggestions on how best to clean it? Will I need to relube it all? I wanna try and take care of it.

    Cheers,

    Kieran

  2. #2
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    The best way to handle this is to clean it completely and relube. Depending on how bad it is and the grain size of your sand, you might get by with less by simply dry wiping the outside with a rag to clean off all the adhering sand (also clean the sprockets front and rear). Sometimes it helps to dampen the rag with solvent, like kerosene, mineral spirits, acetone, etc.

    Once it's clean decide if it needs relube (the lube works inside the chain, none is needed on the surface). If so relube it, allow the lube to penetrate and wipe off the excess. Then finish by taking all the wetness and stickiness of the surface using a solvent dampened rag.
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  3. #3
    Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race dddd's Avatar
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    No big deal, since chains uptake a steady flow of sand from the road anyway, but the sudden onset of the crunchies must have been alarming!

    I agree, just remove what's visible using mechanical means (rag) and commence a reasonable lube/wipe routine going foreward.

    Your drivetrain will be fine, but sand does also try to enter any un-sealed cable-housing end caps, so also tug on the cable to verify smooth take-up and return of the cable going back to the rear derailer. If it's shifting great then don't bother, except to guage how the cable's movement should feel when everything is working well.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Grit will speed wear, so Id apply a little solvent , like Kerosene on a rag [wearing a Neoprene glove if you wish]

    and run the chain around, through it, to let the dissolved lube release the Grit. then add fresh chainlube free of grit.

  5. #5
    S'Cruzer pierce's Avatar
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    I bet SHE's high maintenance!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pierce View Post
    I bet SHE's high maintenance!
    Ivett Venczlik - 'Miss Maxim Hungary' - she might be a little less high maintenance than Miss UK or USA...

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    I just lost my chain of thought ...

  8. #8
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    Where'd she go?!

  9. #9
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    Thanks a lot guys! Gonna give it a go with a dry wipe first. Tbh I may be overreacting and it's not all that bad! If that's not good enough, I'll try degreasing and what not! Cheers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by afrocleland View Post
    Thanks a lot guys! Gonna give it a go with a dry wipe first. Tbh I may be overreacting and it's not all that bad! If that's not good enough, I'll try degreasing and what not! Cheers!
    You may want to do a little research on best lubes to use near the beach. I've seen good reviews of T9 for sandy areas:

    http://www.rei.com/product/759028/bo...lubricant-4-oz

  11. #11
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    I live in Michigan and, even away from the beach, there is plenty of sand on some of our trails. As a couple people have said, lube is for inside of the chain, none on the outside. Make sure you pedal for a minute after lubing and then wipe down the outside of the chain very well. Maybe more than once. Also, use a "dry" lube. There are several out there. I have been using Finish Line Dry for a while now, but there are plenty of others too. A "wet" lube will be thick and sticky and will attract all manner of particles to your drivetrain where you don't want them. They are designed for mountain biking in rainy, muddy conditions, and for lubing other parts of the bike than the drivetrain.

  12. #12
    Senior Member escarpment's Avatar
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    I used to commute along lake michigan every day. Sand builds up fast in the gears and it sucks. Every so often I would use a toothbrush, rag, and soapy water to attempt to remove some of the grit. Relube of course. Eventually it eats the Drivetrain and there is nothing u can do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by escarpment View Post
    I used to commute along lake michigan every day. Sand builds up fast in the gears and it sucks. Every so often I would use a toothbrush, rag, and soapy water to attempt to remove some of the grit. Relube of course. Eventually it eats the Drivetrain and there is nothing u can do.
    Seems like a fully-enclosed chain guard would be helpful in such an environment.

  14. #14
    Senior Member jowilson's Avatar
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    I read this just last week: Cleaning a chain, the in depth way.

    It's seems rather painstaking and time-consuming so I'd set aside an afternoon for it. You probably don't need the chemicals they use, just some degreaser and grease.

    Josh
    The sun'll come out tomorrow.

  15. #15
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    IMO you want to clean your chain as seldom as possible, because you inevitably wash crud into the chain, where it's happy to stay; it's the kind of mechanism that ideally should be completely disassembled to clean properly, but unfortunately it's just not practical or even possible on a chain with riveted pins (well, you could get it apart, but then it's ruined).

    I consider it basically impossible to properly clean a chain. So, sand is the enemy. And you want as much lube inside the chain as will stay in there, but you also want it as dry as possible on the outside, so it doesn't pick up crud.

    Quote Originally Posted by jowilson View Post
    I read this just last week: Cleaning a chain, the in depth way.
    Hah, just looked at that after typing my post... Sheldon's right: anything other than complete disassembly for something like this is half-arsed.

    Hence, we're stuck with half-arsed for cleaning chains. This is why folks have rain bikes, aside from the hassle of fitting and removing mudguards.

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