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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jurgen's Avatar
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    Winter drivetrain maintenance

    Hey folks,

    Just wondering how often you're cleaning/lubing/etc. your drivetrain during these saltiest, muddiest, grimiest months?

    It seems like I'm going through a LOT of lube to keep my chain from turning orange, and now I'm wondering if I should just clean and degrease the whole damn thing and start over.

    Any hints, suggestions, stories, or otherwise would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    AEO
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    Don't worry about the rust. Just keep the chain clean of dirt.
    Prepare a soda bottle, degreaser, cassette brush and lube
    Fill the bottle with some degreaser. Take the chain off, put it in the bottle with degreaser and shake it vigorously. This should clean the chain fairly well of built up dirt. fish out the chain with a tool or coat hanger and clean off with water. make sure chain is dry before applying lube.
    Clean the cassette and chainwheel with the brush. You only need to get the dirt off.
    Put the chain back on, and you're done.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  3. #3
    Banned.
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    If you don't leave the chain wet it shouldn't rust. Use wd40 if you have to, to drive out the water post ride. Then re-lube. I usually just make sure there is plenty of lube on there and ride.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jurgen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    Don't worry about the rust. Just keep the chain clean of dirt.
    Prepare a soda bottle, degreaser, cassette brush and lube
    Fill the bottle with some degreaser. Take the chain off, put it in the bottle with degreaser and shake it vigorously. This should clean the chain fairly well of built up dirt. fish out the chain with a tool or coat hanger and clean off with water. make sure chain is dry before applying lube.
    Clean the cassette and chainwheel with the brush. You only need to get the dirt off.
    Put the chain back on, and you're done.
    Well, the rust I have to worry about (to some extend) because it squeals like a piggy.

    How often are you doing this? Weekly? More? Less? Aren't you weakening the chain by taking it off and on again and again?

  5. #5
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    I have a bit of time to clean off the bike and a choice not to ride it when it's really messy out.

    http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...your-bike.html

    Ideally I clean my bike virtually every day I ride in bad conditions, usually right after the ride, and about every second-fourth day I ride outside. When I ride indoors my "bike cleaning clock" is on pause.

    Last week I rode 6 times, 5 outside, and washed my bike 4 times (one day the roads were dry). If you do this consistently it takes very little time to clean everything, including your drivetrain. If you can see what color your upper derailleur pulley is before you leave for a ride, you probably have a relatively clean bike. I hate getting really dirty cleaning a neglected drivetrain and keeping the bike clean all the time prevents me from getting really dirty.

    Clean drivetrains last longer and I don't want to be buying chains and cassettes unnecessarily,
    cdr

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jurgen View Post
    Hey folks,

    Just wondering how often you're cleaning/lubing/etc. your drivetrain during these saltiest, muddiest, grimiest months?

    It seems like I'm going through a LOT of lube to keep my chain from turning orange, and now I'm wondering if I should just clean and degrease the whole damn thing and start over.

    Any hints, suggestions, stories, or otherwise would be appreciated.
    First off do you have fenders? I found that when I 1st got my bike I didn't have fenders, and the front crank and chain were getting lots of road grit on them. After I put on a good set of fenders the chain has stayed remarkably clean.

    I ride just about every day through just about any weather and live not far away in Buffalo NY so we have very similar climates. I lube my chain every month during the Summers, and maybe every other week during the Winter. If I've been out in some truly dreadful stuff, like snow that is sticking to my entire drivetrane, or heavy rains, I'll lube the chain again the following day.

    I don't have any special cleaner tool. I just spay on some PB Blaster or Liquid Wrench (I have either one laying around for wrenching on the cars). Either one of these are penetrating lubes that will also help wash off some of the surface junk. I then use an old rag that I also spray some lubricant on and wipe the chain as clean as I can get it. I then use apply some bike chain lubricant. I had be using Pedros ICE Wax, but read various comments that SYN Lube was better for the very wet conditions of Fall through Spring. So far I've used it only once (last week when I bought it) and it did make the already smooth shifting and riding chain een quieter. So far I've gone nearly 1900 miles and there is no sign yet that the chain is "streching." Aftrer a heavy rain storm I'e sometimes seen a hint of rust so I am sure to apply an other coat of chain lube.

    Last week during the January thaw I took to oportunity to wash the bike. I had some Zip WAX car cleaner in the garage and mixed it up and put in into a spray bottle. With the nozel I can contro it so that I get a nice fine mist. I liberally coated the bike with the cleaner/wax. I then used my Python fish tank hose to bring some warm water outside (I was not going to use a garden hose) with ice cold water. I rinsed the bike without using and pressure to prevent washing any grease away from where I really need it. The bike turned out nice and clean and after drying I re-applied the chain lube.

    One thing I do LOVE about my Gary Fisher bike is that all the cabled run along the top tube so they all stay fare away from the dirtiest part of the bike. I've had problems in the past with bikes were the cables run under the bottom cranck. They get all gummed up and crusty. So far a few very light squirts of some light penetrating lube applied once a month has been more than enough the keep everything working as good as new.

    Happy riding,
    André

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jurgen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrelam View Post
    First off do you have fenders? I found that when I 1st got my bike I didn't have fenders, and the front crank and chain were getting lots of road grit on them. After I put on a good set of fenders the chain has stayed remarkably clean.
    Yup. My Freddy Fenders do a good job of keeping me dry, but my bike not so much. (I'm already looking at making mudflaps to help.)

  8. #8
    AEO
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    I use SRAM chains with the power link so it's easy to take on and off.
    I'm a bit of a slacker so I only do it when I can feel my chain is seizing up on me.
    If you have freddy fenders, it's pretty easy to just poke some holes into the mud flaps and add a long strip of rubber (stair case moldings) that drape all the way to the bottom. which is what I did.http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/a...r/DSC01327.jpg
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jurgen's Avatar
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    Another slushy day in TO, another completely grimed-out drivetrain. Ugh.

    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    I use SRAM chains with the power link so it's easy to take on and off.
    I'm a bit of a slacker so I only do it when I can feel my chain is seizing up on me.
    If you have freddy fenders, it's pretty easy to just poke some holes into the mud flaps and add a long strip of rubber (stair case moldings) that drape all the way to the bottom. which is what I did.http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/a...r/DSC01327.jpg
    Yeah, that's exactly the sort of thing i was going to do. My rear fender actually doesn't reach all the way down to the bottom bracket because of the way the MTB front derailleur pokes out into the rear triangle (seriously, what is up with that?), so I was going to put a strip of rubber there, too.

    SRAM powerlink... shoulda known.

  10. #10
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    KMC Rustbuster chains are the solution for this. They are coated in a zinc/chrome alloy that keeps them from rusting. I have been riding one all winter and the thing is simply unstoppable. Best 13 bucks I ever spent on Ebay, the link below is to a site that sells em.

    http://www.salemcycle.com/salemcycle...ch0008_ds.html

    It's worth it for a chain that won't rust. The catch is I've only found em in 7/8 speed, no luck with a 9 speed version.

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by josephjhaney View Post
    It's worth it for a chain that won't rust. The catch is I've only found em in 7/8 speed, no luck with a 9 speed version.
    Wipperman stainless.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Cadfael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jurgen View Post
    Hey folks,

    Just wondering how often you're cleaning/lubing/etc. your drivetrain during these saltiest, muddiest, grimiest months?

    It seems like I'm going through a LOT of lube to keep my chain from turning orange, and now I'm wondering if I should just clean and degrease the whole damn thing and start over.

    Any hints, suggestions, stories, or otherwise would be appreciated.
    In the Uk, the roads are often gritted during icy weather, and then when the temps rise and it then rains my bike gets full of grit and other such road dirt. So I basically clean the drive chain every week in winter (using a chain cleaning bath with Finish Lines Degreaser, which is just fantastic!), and re-lube with Finish Line Cross Country Lube...

    http://www.finishlineusa.com/product...untry-lube.htm
    http://www.finishlineusa.com/products/degreaser.htm

    ... I used to get rust spots on the chain when I used a dry lube in winter, but since switching to wet lube the problem has gone away. But it IS only for wet or extreme conditions. In summer I switch back to a dry lube assuming we don't have a summer like we had last year! Obviously I clean the bike as well, but I only do a full re-lube and repack 4 times a year.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Jurgen's Avatar
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    Maybe switching to wet lube is a good idea. I'm using ProLink Chain Lube year 'round.

  14. #14
    weirdo
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    I like Powerlinks for easy chain cleaning too. Really, I`m more of an mtber than a road rider,and I live in a very dry area, so dust is more of a problem for me than wet. But I`m finding that my commuter chain looses lube FAST when the roads are yucky. Since there isn`t any dust to speak of this time of year, I just keep dousing it with as much Triflow as it can hold and don`t wipe any off. Maybe I ought to investigate some other lubes too.

  15. #15
    Senior Member scoatw's Avatar
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    Chain Maintenance is important. There are more moving parts in a chain than in any part on a bike. 544, I think. Keep your chain clean.http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html Also, If you're riding in the cold stuff with lots of salt or sand on the road, it a good idea to do a bike-wash. I take a jug of hot water and sponge and do a quick cleaning of the frame, fenders, and rims. I was reading on the 'net to put a drop of cycling oil on the ferrules of the spoke to keep them from rusting. Makes sense to me

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