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Chain Cleaning

Old 06-14-05, 09:11 PM
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tansc
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Chain Cleaning

Hi

I'm going to clean up my bike, and I'm wondering whether I should remove the chain with a chain breaker? I've never done it before, and I've read how new chains (bought it about 4 months ago) get damaged easily and stuff...so yea, what do you guys think?

Regards

Tan
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Old 06-14-05, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by tansc
Hi

I'm going to clean up my bike, and I'm wondering whether I should remove the chain with a chain breaker? I've never done it before, and I've read how new chains (bought it about 4 months ago) get damaged easily and stuff...so yea, what do you guys think?
I think the only good and thorough way to clean a chain is remove it from the bike and give it a good soaking/scrubbing. If you have a Shimano chain, you'll need to buy new replacement pins - they don't want you reusing your old pin. Driving pins out and in is a real drag, no fun.

If you're serious about maintaining your chiain, remove a link and replace it with SRAM's powerlink. The Powerlink is a "master" link that can easily be removed without tools - you can remove it (and your chain) in a few seconds. Replacing it takes half that time. The link is completely reusable. The Powerlink costs about $4.00. If it's time, consider replacing your chain with a SRAM brand chain - they come with the Powerlink.
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Old 06-15-05, 02:18 AM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by MudPie
The Powerlink is a "master" link that can easily be removed without tools - you can remove it (and your chain) in a few seconds. Replacing it takes half that time. The link is completely reusable.
I'm a PowerLink fan myself, but if memory serves, SRAM cautions that they should not be re-used beyond the service life of one chain. (When replacing the chain, replace the PowerLink too.)

Ref: the SRAM chain manual

-JAB
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Old 06-15-05, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jab
I'm a PowerLink fan myself, but if memory serves, SRAM cautions that they should not be re-used beyond the service life of one chain. (When replacing the chain, replace the PowerLink too.)
That stands to reason. And since your new SRAM chain will come with a PowerLink, you can toss the old one in you tool kit / saddle bag for an emergency spare.
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Old 06-15-05, 09:57 AM
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I'll second (or is it third or fourth now???) getting a PowerLink for the chain. I'm using PowerLinks on 2 Shimano chains at the moment, though when the chains wear out I think I'll just replace them with SRAM chains. The PowerLink shouldn't cost you much - my LBS sells a set for $2.

So, get a chain breaking tool and remove the chain. Put it in a container of degreaser (I use a long rectangular container with citrus degreaser) and put the container on top of the washing machine for a full cycle. The vibration of the washer will coax out an amazing amount of debris. Next, rinse the chain well with water, then put it in the sun to dry for a few minutes (or use a hair drier). Put the chain back on the bike, connect using the PowerLink, and lubricate well.

Repeat every couple of hundred miles, depending on conditions.
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Old 06-15-05, 09:58 AM
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You'll also want to search the forum for many, many more threads on chain cleaning. It comes up quite frequently. Much knowledge lies within....
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Old 06-15-05, 11:40 AM
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Good idea on putting the container on the washing machine... last time I strapped the container to my hardtail to take with me on the commute to vibrate stuff out rather than shaking it by hand.
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Old 06-15-05, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by MudPie
I think the only good and thorough way to clean a chain is remove it from the bike and give it a good soaking/scrubbing. If you have a Shimano chain, you'll need to buy new replacement pins - they don't want you reusing your old pin. Driving pins out and in is a real drag, no fun.

If you're serious about maintaining your chiain, remove a link and replace it with SRAM's powerlink. The Powerlink is a "master" link that can easily be removed without tools - you can remove it (and your chain) in a few seconds. Replacing it takes half that time. The link is completely reusable. The Powerlink costs about $4.00. If it's time, consider replacing your chain with a SRAM brand chain - they come with the Powerlink.
Sheldon Brown has a good page on Chains.

The chain cleaning method he mentions works great. Beats the heck out of the old toothbrush method.
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Old 06-15-05, 01:12 PM
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How do you remove the powerlink without tools. I just had to remove one the other day and I had to get a set of vise grips to hold a couple links before and after the link to take the derailer tension off the link then a set of needle nose and screw driver to pry the thing together to get it off...am I doing something wrong?
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Old 06-15-05, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by kritter
How do you remove the powerlink without tools. I just had to remove one the other day and I had to get a set of vise grips to hold a couple links before and after the link to take the derailer tension off the link then a set of needle nose and screw driver to pry the thing together to get it off...am I doing something wrong?
Practice makes perfect. It shouldn't be that hard. I pull mine apart every few weeks on each bike and have never needed anything more than my hands.
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Old 06-15-05, 01:17 PM
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Removal tips:

http://www.execulink.com/~dtierney/w....htm#PowerLink
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