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Old 07-07-06, 10:17 AM
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I also am of the opinion that you never soak the chain in solvent to remove lubricant from the internal parts of the chain. Unless you have soaked the chain in muddy water there should be nothing but lubricant in the chain, which is a good thing. If you have been soaking the chain in muddy water which you would do if your riding an ATB in muddy conditions using solvents alone will never get that grime out of the chain anyway and its best to discard the chain so as to prevent damage to your cogs and chain rings due to excessive ware and subsequent chain stretch. Having worked in industry where chains were used in heavy machinery I will tell you what we used for chain lubricant. Bar and Chain oil made for use in chain saws. We used a pump oilier to spread the oil across the chain links. That oil is made with additives to allow the oil to penetrate the links and it's sticky so it stays on the chain even at high speeds, like on a chain saw! When you apply it and spin the pedals backwards you will see the oil "string" between the chain and sprockets. It tends to get messy when doing this but it's worth the added effort to use this oil. I have never been able to ware out a bicycle chain when using Bar and Chain oil as a lubricant and properly cleaning it at regular intervals. As for cleaning, a big furry pipe cleaner bent once and pushed through each link gets all the grime out of the links easily.
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