I've been on 3 rides already (my bike is a 2002 Trek 4500) totaling about 6-8 hours, and I'm going on another ~2 hr. ride tomorrow, and I feel that it's time I cleaned my chain. It's accumulating some pretty heavy black gunk. I'd like to ask some basic questions now....
1. I've searched previous posts on the forums, but I cannot seem to find whether the majority of people take their chain off to clean it or not, do you rotate the chain around and clean it or do you take it completely off? If so, I don't have a chain tool. Are they all made the same or are there better models? And is this ALL I need to remove the chain and reinstall it?
2. I see some posts where people simply state that they apply some sort of degreaser to the chain, then they apply the lubricant. Should there be any sort of rinsing between these 2 steps?
3. Are the "chain scrubbers" worth the money?? Or are they less efficient than a good hand scrubbing or whatever the alternate is...
4. Is there a "best" chain lubricant and a "best" chain degreaser, and if so then what are they?
As you can see, beginner questions, but I'd appreciate any answers or opinions!!