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  1. #1
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    Chain care. What do most people do?

    I have been riding about 80 miles a week for the last year and a half. I have two bikes a road bike and tri. Neither bike have I done any maintenance. In particular I have done nothing with the chain.

    What should I be doing? How often? I see chain cleaners and lubricants.

    What other maintenace do people do on a regular basis? Thanks for any help

  2. #2
    apocryphal sobriquet J.C. Koto's Avatar
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    I oil the chain every 100 miles or so. I remove and manually clean the chain, chainrings, and cassette every 500 miles or so. Cleaning the chain, IMO, really isn't necessary, but I do pick up a lot of dust from limestone trails etc, and prefer to not have dirt all over the drive-system.

    For oil, I just use "3-in-1" or motor oil. Nothing too fancy!

  3. #3
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Generally, all you need to do to a chain is keep it clean and lubed. You need a good lube (I like Pro-Link) and a rag. Liberally apply the former, and wipe with the latter. Ride and repeat.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  4. #4
    Bill
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    The first thing you SHOULD DO is to use the "Search the Forums" function listed at the top of the page. This topic has been covered so many times that there is volumes of opinions available for you to read and re-read. In fact if you did that your chain would drop off the bike into a heap of rust and grime because you would have no time to ride. That being said, "keep it clean and lubricated". There are too many ways to do that to rehash and likely all of them have already been elaborated on by myself and others and that info is just awaiting curious readers to search and find.

    Here's full and complete instructions.
    1. Click on "Search the Forums" near the top of the page.
    2. Enter "Chain lubrication" in the field labeled "Keyword(s):"
    3. Click on "Search Now" near the bottom of that page.
    4. Now here's the hard part - Wait approx 30 seconds and then begin reading through the multiple pages of search results.
    5. When done steps 1-4 take your bike to LBS and have them put on a new chain and you can ignore what you learned in 1-4 and get by for a while without doing anything else.
    Last edited by wmodavis; 09-04-08 at 04:48 PM.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I've come to believe that chain maintenance questions should be posted in the politics and religion forum.

    People seem to hold very strongly held beliefs that are also quite contrary to one another's.

  6. #6
    Senior Member d2create's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartturner View Post
    What should I be doing? How often? I see chain cleaners and lubricants.

    What other maintenace do people do on a regular basis? Thanks for any help
    Why bother now?!
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  7. #7
    mud
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    My procedure;
    1: Raise the bike off the ground, I have a work stand.
    2: Put chain on big ring and little cog, helps to prevent hand injuries.
    3: Turn crank and wipe chain with rag using a degreaser on rag only. Citrus or
    Simple Green diluted, do not spray!
    4: I also use a brush with natural fibers, fibers tend not to clog with gunk.
    5: Apply lube to each pin on chain, turn the crank a few times, let sit while cleaning
    the rest of bike. Wipe chain with clean rag, for lube I use Boeshield T9.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
    Mud
    I'm not old! I've always been wrinkled, balding with a spare tire.

  8. #8
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I ride mine until it either breaks, skips or is so cruddy it crunches. Then I will pull it off, clean it, oil it and put it back on for awhile longer. FWIW I normally ride IGH bikes so chain maintenance is pretty much a non issue.

    Aaron
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  9. #9
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    When the chain starts to make noise, I put oil on it.
    Chainsaw oil works ok.
    Just don't use something that will dry out.

  10. #10
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    so far i like Pro-link the best...just a little bit goes a long way. Same here, when i hear chain chatter it's time to lube, every 100k or so.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  11. #11
    Arrogant Safety Nanny
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    I agree with most of the people above. Lube when it's making noise, with any kind of lube labeled bicycle chain lube (currently I'm using Finish Line "Dry" lube). I also bought one of those "automatic chain cleaner" things with some degreaser for when it's really dirty, usually after a ride in the rain or after 2 or 3 regular lubings.

    I also bought a cheap chain wear indicator...kind of a "feeler gauge" that tells you when your chain has stretched too much. If you use a chain that is over-stretched, your cassette and chainrings will tend to become damaged as they match up with the stretched chain. Many people don't notice until they go to put on a new chain, and wind up having to replace much of the drivetrain (or so I've read/heard).

  12. #12
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    Since the chain is out there in the grime, there are really diminishing returns on attempting to keep it perfect.

    For most of our purposes, it is enough to clean it every now and again somehow and then oil it somehow.

    jim
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  13. #13
    CAT5 joe_5700's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmodavis View Post
    The first thing you SHOULD DO is to use the "Search the Forums" function listed at the top of the page. This topic has been covered so many times that there is volumes of opinions available for you to read and re-read. In fact if you did that your chain would drop off the bike into a heap of rust and grime because you would have no time to ride.
    After you follow your full and complete instructions and you happen to find a thread and have something to add to it, people like you will rip the poster for bumping an old thread. Sometimes rehashing topics that have been covered many times before can bring about new ideas or methods.

  14. #14
    I'm a Cyclist! Missbumble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mud View Post
    My procedure;
    1: Raise the bike off the ground, I have a work stand.
    2: Put chain on big ring and little cog, helps to prevent hand injuries.
    3: Turn crank and wipe chain with rag using a degreaser on rag only. Citrus or
    Simple Green diluted, do not spray!
    4: I also use a brush with natural fibers, fibers tend not to clog with gunk.
    5: Apply lube to each pin on chain, turn the crank a few times, let sit while cleaning
    the rest of bike. Wipe chain with clean rag, for lube I use Boeshield T9.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
    Mud


    OH Mud - That is very helpful to the Bee! I clean the bike at a friends since I live in an apt - but I can definitely clean my chain as you suggest. Ok how many miles before you clean or in between cleanings? Where do I find a brush with natural fibers?

    And to the OP - Cleaning the bike is extremely satisfying...youmay become addicted! :0

  15. #15
    Goon
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    Here is a great guide on chain cleaning

    http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html
    No matter how bad things get, they can't get any better, and they can't get any worse, things are what they are, so you better get used to it Nancy, quit your B*tchin'

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  16. #16
    Senior Member brokenknee's Avatar
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    1985 That was pretty good.

    It seemed really complicated until I finally scrolled down to the bottom of the page.
    Clarity to Agreement (Dennis Prager)

    alot? a lot.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    How about soaking the rag used to wipe off excess lube with a little Old Spice?

  18. #18
    Goon
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokenknee View Post
    1985 That was pretty good.

    It seemed really complicated until I finally scrolled down to the bottom of the page.
    Did you read the warnings?
    No matter how bad things get, they can't get any better, and they can't get any worse, things are what they are, so you better get used to it Nancy, quit your B*tchin'

    -Church

  19. #19
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cg1985 View Post
    Here is a great guide on chain cleaning

    http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html
    Yep, that's the method I use. I try to clean it daily using that method to be sure my chain is in good working order.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cg1985 View Post
    Here is a great guide on chain cleaning

    http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html
    Good Lord!!! Is this guy serious? It seems buying a new chain would be faster and cheaper than this route to dissassemble and lube each roller and link separately with different lubricants, along with buying his cleaning kits. (Probably not the best way to start my first post in these forums by complaining, but I think this is overkill.)

    Larry

  21. #21
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69-er View Post
    Good Lord!!! Is this guy serious? It seems buying a new chain would be faster and cheaper than this route to dissassemble and lube each roller and link separately with different lubricants, along with buying his cleaning kits. (Probably not the best way to start my first post in these forums by complaining, but I think this is overkill.)

    Larry
    Perhaps you missed this bit of info near the bottom of the page: "This page created April 1, 2007"

  22. #22
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    God bless you, Sheldon Brown. Still making me laugh from the Great Beyond.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  23. #23
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    OK, I've been had. When I saw him dressed in his hospital scrubs and gloves, I figured surely this guy is kidding. I'm new to the serious biking hobby/obsession, so who knew what these guys are like?

    Thanks for straightening me out!

    Larry

  24. #24
    Senior Member brokenknee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cg1985 View Post
    Did you read the warnings?
    I have to admit, I am more of a skimmer than a reader when it come to some things. I did go back and read the warnings, had I done that to begin with I would have caught on sooner. The warnings are most likely the funniest thing about the whole process.

    Great link, it make me laugh even though the doctor said on Wednesday it will be at least one more month before I can try to walk again. Broke my knee back on July 5Th. (Hopefully I will be able to start riding before winter starts in)

    Alright I will quit whining now and get back to skimming the post.
    Clarity to Agreement (Dennis Prager)

    alot? a lot.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokenknee View Post
    the doctor said on Wednesday it will be at least one more month before I can try to walk again. Broke my knee back on July 5Th. (Hopefully I will be able to start riding before winter starts in)
    Lucky you! You should have just enough time do a thorough chain cleaning using the Sheldon brown method. Your chain will be "squeeky clean" literally.

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