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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 03-29-14, 05:16 PM   #1
rekon
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Keeping Clean from Chain Grease...

On my recent commutes to work I have worn shorts and each time I get chain grease on my legs. It seems inevitable.

How do you guys prevent bike grease from getting on your legs?
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Old 03-29-14, 05:23 PM   #2
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One thing I do to prevent a "chain tattoo" is always unclip or put my right foot on the ground when stopping. On group rides I've noticed that the people with calf tattoos are the ones that stay clipped or mounted on the right pedal.

As far as "getting chain grease" on your legs, it sounds like you're using a pretty wet lube. I've been using DuPont Teflon Chain Saver for quite awhile with good results and it's a pretty dry lube.
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Old 03-29-14, 05:47 PM   #3
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A chain cover or full chain case?
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Old 03-29-14, 05:47 PM   #4
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One thing I do to prevent a "chain tattoo" is always unclip or put my right foot on the ground when stopping. On group rides I've noticed that the people with calf tattoos are the ones that stay clipped or mounted on the right pedal.

As far as "getting chain grease" on your legs, it sounds like you're using a pretty wet lube. I've been using DuPont Teflon Chain Saver for quite awhile with good results and it's a pretty dry lube.
I will try the right leg thing when stopping. The grease Isn't too bad.

Hmm... does anyone have chain guards on their bike? I'm wondering if that would prevent the "chain tattoo". Although, a chain guard may look weird on my CX bike.
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Old 03-29-14, 05:49 PM   #5
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As far as "getting chain grease" on your legs, it sounds like you're using a pretty wet lube. I've been using DuPont Teflon Chain Saver for quite awhile with good results and it's a pretty dry lube.
This.
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Old 03-29-14, 05:59 PM   #6
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+1 drier lube. I use Rock n' Roll Gold Lube @ Rock"N"Roll Lubrication - Homepage
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Old 03-29-14, 06:06 PM   #7
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Here's a simple chain guard from VO that might work for your purposes: VO Alloy Chainguard - Chainguards, Frame Protectors, Kickstands - Accessories

it's pretty low profile, so maybe it will look okay on your bike. It's about $30.

Edit: Never mind. I just noticed that it won't work with a front derailleur. Sorry.
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Old 03-29-14, 06:42 PM   #8
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Don't worry about grease marks. When you stop just wipe the grease off your leg.
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Old 03-29-14, 06:55 PM   #9
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Don't worry about grease marks. When you stop just wipe the grease off your leg.
Yep that's what i'm down now. I get to work and wipe it off. It's just a little annoying.
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Old 03-29-14, 07:19 PM   #10
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Chain tattoos are something normally associated with newer riders. You don't need chainguards or special lubes, you just have to keep your leg away from the chain. I think it's something you'll have to figure out for yourself. I recall getting tattooed when I was starting, but over time the frequency became less until now I can't recall the last time it happened. Unfortunately, I can't articulate what I do to avoid it. Much like walking, it's something that happens subconsciously.

I suspect all you need to do is to pay attention for a while and make sure you keep the bike away from your leg. After a while it will become second nature much like unclipping before you stop.
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Old 03-29-14, 07:24 PM   #11
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I wax my chains. No more chain lube to attract road grit that will get all over my hands, legs or articles of clothing if I drop them on the chain or rub against it. Now life is lollipops and butterflies.
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Old 03-29-14, 07:25 PM   #12
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Lean the bike to the left when you stop.
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Old 03-29-14, 11:08 PM   #13
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How does the wax hold up in the cold (-10F) ? It seems like it would be fine for mild temps but doesn't it crumble away in the extreme cold? This winter I tried Liquid Wrench Chain Lube and it worked great. It actually has a "set-up" time to firm up. Spray it on, let cure for an hour and wipe off excess.
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Old 03-29-14, 11:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moochems View Post
Melted paraffin (candles) remove the chain and soak it in the wax. Swoosh it around, give it a minute, pull it out, wipe off the excess and re install.


more to it:

Do this with a brand new chain that has been degreased, then washed and dried.

use so e graphite too if you want

Sram power link having chains (pc870 for 8 speed) make removing/installing the chain easier

Not only will chain smudges be a ing if the past but also your drivetrain will last longer. More miles in your chain, more miles on cassettes and rings. Also, research I've do e suggests elated paraffin is the best performing lube. Steals the least energy, means you go faster. Not important to me on my commute, but an interesting perk.


if you google paraffin graphite chain Garth you should find some very nice info, from a user named garth from a different bicycle forum.
Interesting! I'll look into to.
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Old 03-29-14, 11:29 PM   #15
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Chain tattoos are something normally associated with newer riders.
I'm a newbie... I accept that. I will try to pay attention to the chain.
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Old 03-29-14, 11:31 PM   #16
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Wipe the chain after you lube it. Also a wax lube will reduce it.
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Old 03-30-14, 03:53 AM   #17
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Part of newbies getting chain tattoos is the whole leg position thing, another part is that newbies have dirty drivetrains. I can grab my chain and only will have a light grey mark on my hand. Although I also owe a lot to Rock'n'Roll absolute dry lube. Absolute dry is self cleaning and repels dirt well.


Wipe the chain before every ride with a paper towel or rag. Lube every 100-300 miles or so. Use a chain cleaner when necessary and don't forget to clean the rear cogs. I use credit cards that I get in the mail from companies wanting me to sign up, wrap a paper towel around it, and pedal while placing it between each cog. Also clean the derailleur cogs and front chainring. Do this and even if you do get a mark on your leg, it will be so faint you will barely notice.
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Old 03-30-14, 05:01 AM   #18
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Chain guard disks work somewhat. I found that my pants still got sucked into the chainring and chain if using the big ring.

I have an SKS Chainboard on my touring bike. It works REALLY well. No chance of getting the ole tattoo anymore and I can wear whatever I want. The bike has 3x8 gearing so derailer gearing is not compromised. There are many other options for single speed. It took some fiddling to get installed. The commuter bike has one of those crappy chain guard disks that inevitably crack and break.

Two things really key for installation of this particular model - 1. Your drive side bottom bracket cup needs to press against the faced off edge of the bottom bracket. Phil Wood style bottom brackets sit inside the threads only and won't work - ask me how I know. I found an upgrade kit for my Phil Wood BB that provided an extended threaded cup and retention ring for E-type bottom brackets or chain guards. Nice!
2. There needs to be decent clearance between the big ring of the crank and inside of the crank arm. My Sugino RD2 crankset didn't have enough and I wasn't a fan of removing the the big ring to make it fit or start shaving things. My Shimano Alivio crankset has a tremendous amount of clearance. Unfortunately, the Q-factor is much higher which may bother some people. I'm a big guy so I don't even notice. My MTB has a wider stance.
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Old 03-30-14, 05:50 AM   #19
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I have an SKS Chainboard installed on my Xtracycle with a 3x8 drivetrain.
I managed to luck out, hard, in that I had no installation issues.
I think that it may be due to the fact that I ordered the one for a 48t chainring, and mine is only 42. Also I have a Deore dual pull front derailleur, that mounts lower on the frame than the stock Alivio did. I didn't have to cut out the part of the Chainboard that is designed to be removed for derailleur clearance.

The crankarm and chainwheel clearance is very, very tight. I have got just enough clearance so that the crankarm doesn't hit the Chainboard.

I installed the Chainboard for drive train protection from the elements, as opposed to preventing chain tattoos.
I also made a cover from a flexible cutting board, for the non drive side, that is duct taped to the chainboard.
Now about 80% of the chain ring(s) is/are protected from crud thrown up from the front wheel.
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Old 03-30-14, 07:03 AM   #20
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Old 03-30-14, 07:03 AM   #21
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Chain case and internally geared hub. Solves this problem and many many more. Having a full case keeps you and your bike cleaner and keeps road gunk out of your drivetrain so a lot less maintenance (like maybe once every 10 or 15 years). The American fascination with trying to commute on something made for racing instead of the simpler route of commuting on something made for commuting is fascinating.

Last edited by CrankyOne; 03-30-14 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 03-30-14, 07:14 AM   #22
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Knee socks ;-)

I'm on board with EnsitMike ... except that I wipe my chain down as soon as I finish a ride. Keep it clean and don't over lube which is common for new riders (right behind not lubing at all.)
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Old 03-30-14, 07:21 AM   #23
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Chain case and internally geared hub. Solves this problem and many many more. Having a full case keeps you and your bike cleaner and keeps road gunk out of your drivetrain so a lot less maintenance (like maybe once every 10 or 15 years). The American fascination with trying to commute on something made for racing instead of the simpler route of commuting on something made for commuting is fascinating.
I agree!
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Old 03-30-14, 09:12 AM   #24
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Expect to spend a lot of time cleaning the old lube off the first time you do, and don't forget to clean the cassette and chain rings too. You won't need to take so much time doing that in the future if you use one of the dry lubes, and the teflon lube I use leaves everything looking nice and clean for a long time - even longer than the life of most chain lube threads.
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Old 03-30-14, 10:45 AM   #25
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