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Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 10-14-06, 01:04 AM   #1
roadraccer
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Simple Green to Clean Chain Anyone???

Is there any harm to clean the chain with Simple Green full strength, undiluted? My chain hasnít been cleaned since I had the bike for two years now, and Iím starting to get caked on grease on the chain now, and I just wanted to know if anyone has used Simple Green degreaser to clean their chain?
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Old 10-14-06, 01:14 AM   #2
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Two years without cleaning your chain ! We're going to have to report you to the OCP police.

Back on topic, I use Simple Green to clean the chain. I dilute it though. Probably 1:4 parts water. Works very well. Of course, I do this about once a month, so I don't have as much build up as your chain. Can't comment on how concentrated you'll need your solution to be.
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Old 10-14-06, 01:24 AM   #3
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The only problem I've heard of, is if you let it soak for to long, like as in a week. I've used it in a chain cleaner full strength and even half strength. Run the chain through 5-6 times with the degreaser, then with water. Works great. 2 years without a cleaning is scary. I clean mine atleast every 3 weeks in dry condition and after every wet ride.
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Old 10-14-06, 04:58 AM   #4
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I use simpple green to clean my chain with fine results.
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Old 10-14-06, 06:17 AM   #5
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I just cleaned my mountain bike with pure undiluted simple green. After 5 months of hard riding with no more cleaning than a simple hose-down, I figured it was about time. it worked like a charm. rinsed at the end with hot water, toweled dry, then lubed it up with some Pedros.

its amazing what a difference a cleaning will do. it's like going your whole life without knowing that you need glasses, and then finally putting them on for the first time. i didn't see any 'major' dirt in my cogs or anything, so i figured i was good. shifts so much better now after being cleaned.
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Old 10-14-06, 06:38 AM   #6
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Well, my experience with Simple Green for cleaning the chain is less positive. Even full strength, it disappoints. Finish Line Ecotech, or Pedros (orange peelz, I think) works much better in my experience. This is to clean a chain that had been lubed in oil, though. Perhaps if the lube is other than oil, Simple Green will work better.

I have since changed lubes to something drier, which, by the way, has stayed so much cleaner that I have not yet had the need to clean the chain yet.
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Old 10-14-06, 07:52 AM   #7
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Use simple green full strenghth and save your old toothebrushes as they are great for cleaning cassette and chain.
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Old 10-14-06, 08:02 AM   #8
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If you do use Simple Green, rinse it off thoroughly afterwards. The stuff is acidic and it will corrode your chain (and other bike parts). The US military has banned Simple Green from aircraft maintenance because of this problem (official reports are easy to find on the Internet). Simple Green reportedly came out with a metal-safe version of their product, but my local stores don't carry it.
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Old 10-14-06, 08:04 AM   #9
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What ever type of degreaser, you need to be concerned about residue it leaves. Water will remove the residue of Simple Green. The water rinse cycle has to be done a lot of times before you apply new lubricant.
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Old 10-14-06, 11:31 AM   #10
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Simple Green has of course a host of products.

For bicycle chain cleaning, is everyone referring to Original Simple Green?




Or is it one of their specialty products, such as their Pro Series Simple Green MAX automotive cleaner?





Simple Green Products comparison chart:

http://consumer.simplegreen.com/cons_comp.php
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Old 10-14-06, 02:04 PM   #11
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I used simple green at 1/2 the reccomened dilution to clean an ancient chain...not much luck. if the chain appears more black than metal...consider using it full strength.
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Old 10-14-06, 02:17 PM   #12
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I use the regular SG with good results.
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Old 10-14-06, 03:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadraccer
Is there any harm to clean the chain with Simple Green full strength, undiluted? My chain hasnít been cleaned since I had the bike for two years now, and Iím starting to get caked on grease on the chain now, and I just wanted to know if anyone has used Simple Green degreaser to clean their chain?

Simple Green?

You need battery acid if its been 2 years.
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Old 10-14-06, 04:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny99
If you do use Simple Green, rinse it off thoroughly afterwards. The stuff is acidic and it will corrode your chain (and other bike parts). The US military has banned Simple Green from aircraft maintenance because of this problem (official reports are easy to find on the Internet). Simple Green reportedly came out with a metal-safe version of their product, but my local stores don't carry it.
Yes. Simple Green can be highly corrosive and can also lead to brittle metal failure due to hydrogen embrittlement. It's safe to use on your chain as long as you don't let it sit for too long and you rinse it off very well afterwards. You also need to make sure it's all gone before applying lube because the lube won't stick otherwise.

Here's a picture of my Wippermann 911 chain after repeated prolongued soakings (before I knew better) in Simple Green (50/50 diluted with water). It eventually succumbed to brittle metal fractures. Notice the cracks in the sideplate leading outwards from the pins.



There is an article by Leonard Zinn that talks about this as well.
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Old 10-15-06, 01:01 AM   #15
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I used to use 50% water, 50% simple green in a spray bottle. Spray on cogs and wipe clean immediately. Let dry (5 min) then lube.
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Old 10-15-06, 03:48 AM   #16
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I've tried acetone, Simple Green, and paint thinner for chain cleaning. Of those three, I find that paint thinner, followed by air-dry, and re-lube is by far the best.
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Old 10-15-06, 08:33 AM   #17
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In a chain cleaning tool, simple green is great. I would never soak any chain in a degreaser, as the degreaser will completely strip the chain links an pins of all lube, making it harder to re-lube,

In your case, wear some goggles for spatter, and put some elbow grease into cleaning with a toothbrush if you don't have a chain cleaner. There really aren't any good short cuts after two years of delinquency!
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Old 10-15-06, 09:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadraccer
My chain hasnít been cleaned since I had the bike for two years now, ?
OH
MY
GOD
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Old 10-15-06, 09:47 AM   #19
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Used kerosene. Works like magic.

I guess I'm spoiled since we have a kerosene parts cleaner.
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Old 08-24-08, 12:56 PM   #20
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Simple Green Bike Cleaner 20oz. Aerosol

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadraccer View Post
Is there any harm to clean the chain with Simple Green full strength, undiluted? My chain hasnít been cleaned since I had the bike for two years now, and Iím starting to get caked on grease on the chain now, and I just wanted to know if anyone has used Simple Green degreaser to clean their chain?
Has anyone tried "Simple Green Bike Cleaner 20oz. Aerosol"? This is a special bike cleaner from SG. See the amazon link below.

http://www.amazon.com/Simple-Green-C...9604011&sr=1-2
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Old 08-24-08, 01:01 PM   #21
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what about rubbing alcohol?
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Old 08-24-08, 01:04 PM   #22
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Best thing I have found is to use "Brake Parts Cleaner" from auto parts store. Comes in a large spray can. Apply by spraying directly on chain in a bucket, wipe with rag, repeat. It evaporates off in 2 minutes with no residue on the chain. I would be careful spraying it while the chain is on the bike since it can corrode/damage plastic and paint. If you must do on the bike, just soak a rag with it and apply by hand. Believe me, I've tried LOTS of things to keep the chain clean (Including SimpleGreen. which didn't work well) and this is the cheapest, easiest, and most effective, IMHO.
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Old 08-24-08, 01:05 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadraccer View Post
My chain hasnít been cleaned since I had the bike for two years now

Assuming you've been riding the bike in that 2 years, it mostl likely is worn past the point where it should be replaced. Get a new chain, (and likely cassette) and start cleaning the new chain on a periodic basis.
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Old 08-24-08, 01:20 PM   #24
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I use dish soap on my chain and cassette.
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Old 08-24-08, 01:37 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meghdoot View Post
Has anyone tried "Simple Green Bike Cleaner 20oz. Aerosol"? This is a special bike cleaner from SG. See the amazon link below.

http://www.amazon.com/Simple-Green-C...9604011&sr=1-2
I got some as a raffle prize at a race. It works pretty well, I don't know if I'd buy it.
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