Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Bikes: True North tourer (www.truenorthcycles.com), 2004; Miyata 1000, 1985
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The Park Chain Cleaner works very well, although to do a good job, you must change the solution several times. There is also work involved in cleaning the chain cleaner itself. I usually wash the entire unit in hot water with lots of liquid detergent. The brushes and the foam piece attract a lot of grit and grease. If you don't clean the brushes and foam, you will be smearing your chain with gunk the next time you use the chain cleaner.
There are special chemical solutions you can buy for the unit, and I prefer them to the less expensive alternative, which is a homemade mixture of water and dish detergent. The homemade solution works, but you must repeat the procedure five or six times (approximately) to get the chain really clean. Also, you must make sure that the chain is absolutely free of water. Otherwise, the chain will develop rust, guaranteed!
When I use my homemade cleaning solution, I finish by spraying the chain with WD40 (petroleum distillate). This is one of the few situations I use WD40 on a bike. WD40 displaces the minute quantities of water that will eventually cause rust. After spraying the chain and waiting for it to evaporate, I apply "regular" chain oil.