Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Mountain Biking Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Check out this forum to discuss the latest tips, tricks, gear and equipment in the world of mountain biking.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-17-06, 04:31 PM   #1
TyBO
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Safe to clean chain with WD-40?

Hi,

I did a search of the forums and couldn't find a good answer to my question, so I'll ask here.

I have an old Specialized mountain bike with a somewhat rusty chain on it. I figure to clean the chain, I could just let it soak in a bowl of WD-40, and then just dry it off and apply bike lube. I've read some things on the internet however, that say WD-40 shouldn't be used on a chain as a lube. My question is, is it still safe to use for cleaning purposes?

Thanks in advance for the help!
TyBO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-06, 04:56 PM   #2
Gorsar
Why Be Normal?
 
Gorsar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Cary, NC
Bikes: 2005 Trek 4300
Posts: 205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
WD-40 is a water displacer/penetrating oil and would be fine to use to attempt to bring back to life a chain that's seen better days. It would break up the surface rust and penetrate the links to get where you can't. Typically to clean a chain I use Simple Green and then use a paraffin based lube on it. BUT, your questions is specifically aimed towards cleaning up an old chain.

Probably the best choice would be to get a new chain but then you'd really be better off getting a new cassette too, and that adds up. I'd do exactly what you're doing, clean that one up and see how it does..

Last edited by Gorsar; 05-17-06 at 05:15 PM.
Gorsar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-06, 05:03 PM   #3
TRaffic Jammer
Dances With Cars
 
TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Bikes: TBL Onyx Pro(ss converted), Pake SS (starting to look kinda pimped)
Posts: 10,527
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As a messenger it was my lube of choice in the winter, kept a can in my bag always. Yea use it for cleaning if you want it'll break up alot of the crap. Makes a wonderful cologne as well, for that mysterious grease monkey vibe.
TRaffic Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-06, 05:14 PM   #4
WorldWind
Hardtail
 
WorldWind's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Az. & Ca.
Bikes: Richey Everest, Supercomp, Richey custom handbuilt Road, and others.
Posts: 663
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here are some good answers.

Oiling your chain

Complete bike nooby is looking for information on maintenance

Beyond that once the smooth finish of your chain becomes rusted it is still serviceable but it now has a much more abrasive surface that will accelerated the wear of your rings and cogs. This is no real big deal but I point it out in case you want to prolong the utility of some perhaps hard to replace components. New chains start at about $9.
WorldWind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-06, 06:01 PM   #5
WannaGetGood
Commited Suicide
 
WannaGetGood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Abbotsford.BC
Bikes: 2001 Kona Stuff & 2004 Rocky Mountain Switch SL
Posts: 2,416
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I used it. It works, just only for about 1 ride. Get some real chain stuff.
WannaGetGood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-06, 06:42 PM   #6
FreeRidin'
Senior Member
 
FreeRidin''s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Boulderado
Bikes: Intense SS, Old spesh P series, ski/snow bike, fixie conversion
Posts: 1,474
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I used it to clean my rusted over chain too. I stuck it in a bowl filled w/ WD-40 over night and then washed the WD-40 off with water and then dried it. Finally slapped it back on the bike and lubed it up. It works wonders!!
FreeRidin' is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-06, 06:45 PM   #7
Flak
Flatland hack
 
Flak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Nowhere near the mountains :/
Bikes:
Posts: 3,228
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I killed many a chain as a kid using WD-40. I would advise against it, even as just a cleaning agent. If your cassette isnt ancient and still in decent shape, i think you'd be better off with a new chain. They are quite cheap.
Flak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-06, 07:12 PM   #8
pinkrobe
DNPAIMFB
 
pinkrobe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Cowtown, AB
Bikes: Titus El Guapo, Misfit diSSent, Cervelo Soloist Carbon, Wabi Lightning, et al.
Posts: 4,654
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My chain rusted solid three times this winter [lots of road salt to melt the snow and corrode my bike], and I brought it back to life all three times with sloppy quantities of Finish Line Wet XC lube. It's alot like Phil's Tenacious Oil, but not as sticky. Hose'r down with that, go for a ride to 7-11 to get a Slurpee, wipe it down when you get back. Repeat as necessary. Don't drink your Slurpee too fast or you'll get brain freeze. Here endeth the lesson...
__________________
Proud Member of the HHCMF
'06 Cervelo Soloist Carbon | '09 Titus El Guapo | '09 Misfit diSSent | '09 Wabi Lightning
pinkrobe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-06, 09:13 PM   #9
trevor
dirt is good
 
trevor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: winnipeg,mb-Canada
Bikes: norco wolverine
Posts: 284
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This reminds me of when I told my dad that I needed to lube my chain and that I would do it when I got home from school. But when I got home my dad told me that he couldnt find my Chain Lube that I had specifically for my bike so instead he just used gun oil :O I hope it doesnt do anything gay to my Chain or anything like that.
trevor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-06, 09:16 PM   #10
concernicus
Senior Member
 
concernicus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Santa Cruz
Bikes: doesnt matter. just ride.
Posts: 425
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
its gross. keep it away from bikes
concernicus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-06, 09:18 PM   #11
sheba
ec velo
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: eau claire, wi
Bikes: XC: PUSS; Winter Beater: GT avalanche SS; Jump: Transition Trail or Park; Fixie: Steamroller
Posts: 179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
this is a hotly debated topic. wd40 vs. advanced chain lubes. I've used both. Depends on how much you care about/ how much you've spent on you bike. I use wd40 on my single speed winter beater; wd40 will never touch my 3k xc racing machine.
sheba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-06, 10:21 PM   #12
toonces27
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've always used wd-40 for a chain lube. My last bike I bought new in '96. I rode it for 8 years and only replaced the chain once. Just lube your chain before and after every ride and also after washing your bike.
toonces27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-06, 01:12 AM   #13
Noif666
I'd rather be riding
 
Noif666's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Bikes:
Posts: 144
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I use WD-40 to flush the nasty road gritty bits out of my chain, give it a good wipe, repeat until pretty dern clean and finish up using some proper chain lube.
So far it has worked a treat and I ride my bike just about every day rain, hail or shine.

Hope that helps
Noif666 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-06, 02:13 AM   #14
bkrownd
kipuka explorer
 
bkrownd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Hilo Town, East Hawai'i
Bikes: 1994 Trek 820, 2004 Fuji Absolute, 2005 Jamis Nova, 1977 Schwinn Scrambler 36/36
Posts: 3,293
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Its good that WD40 displaces water and carries away grit. The next question is whether proper chain lube will displace what WD40 leaves behind after its volatiles evaporate away. If not, it may be a problem.
__________________
--
-=- '05 Jamis Nova -=- '04 Fuji Absolute -=- '94 Trek 820 -=- '77 Schwinn Scrambler 36/36 -=-
Friends don't let friends use brifters.
bkrownd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-06, 08:19 PM   #15
PM7771
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Plymouth, MA
Bikes: Trek 820 mtb, DeVinci Podium
Posts: 108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
well I'm THINKING (for a change)......... that most of us get the idea...

WD40 isn't a good lubricant, but it can have a good use cleaning, and prepping a chain for a good lubricant. I see alot of threads for guys using, (abusing) WD40, 'cuz we've been brought up thinking this is a lube;

I have half a dozen lubes - some dry, some wet, and don't ride in either real wet or real dusty conditions but will say that the (nearly) silent "hum" of a clean well-lubed chain is wonderful.
PM7771 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-06, 08:54 PM   #16
Shaman
Senior Member
 
Shaman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
WD-40 is a miracle fluid for many purposes and squeeky chains is one of them.

But, beware! Mixing WD-40 with other lubes will break down the hard working lubes on the axle bearings and also will break down the lub in your freehub. If you regularly WD-40 a chain, plan to rebuild/relube your axle bearings more often.

Everything in moderation!

BTW, another way to drive out water is isopropal alcahol, the %'age kind. Then you know the chain is ready for a proper chain lube.

Funny comment on the Water Lube... Water is actually a very good lubricant... used properly
Shaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:33 AM.