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On-bike chain scrubber you think is better than a Park Tool CM-25?

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On-bike chain scrubber you think is better than a Park Tool CM-25?

Old 09-19-21, 05:33 AM
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MyRedTrek
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On-bike chain scrubber you think is better than a Park Tool CM-25?

I like the Filzer chain cleaner I have which has four scrub wheels with center and side brushes but it's developed stress cracks in the plastic housing after moderate use over a few years. I splurged on an aluminum-bodied Park Tool CM-25 because it seems obviously built to last - functionally it's identical to their plastic-bodied CM 5.3 Cyclone scrubber. The CM-25 has one large wheel with center and side brushes, two with center brushes. I haven't used it yet since I just cleaned the chain with the Filzer which is when I noticed the cracks so haven't had a chance to compare the results.

Anyone feel there's a clearly better on-bike chain scrubber than the CM-25 or do you feel it works about as well as any?
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Old 09-19-21, 09:37 AM
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I can not stand those things. I use a brush to put Pedro's degreaser on the chain, wait a few minutes, then remove with a cheap car wash sponge and soapy water. Spray with water, dry, lube.
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Old 09-19-21, 10:32 AM
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...I've never seen an on bike chain scrubber that I thought was a good design. The concept itself is probably flawed, so I guess the one you're talking about is as good as any of them. I do not understand the reluctance of many to simply remove the chain for cleaning, but there are many things I don't understand.
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Old 09-19-21, 10:48 AM
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Wipe the chain good with OMS or take off a quick link and dump it in OMS for a bit while you clean the rest of the bike. Done, no fancy tools and easy. Folks on bike forums at times make way too much noise (pun intended) on chains and lubing/cleaning. In the end unless you happen to ride in the worst of conditions it is too much focus on one item.
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Old 09-19-21, 11:40 AM
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I use this when I need to quickly brush off the chain:

https://www.rei.com/product/697481/f...sku=6974810019

But for any more significant cleaning I remove it and dunk it into a bottle of odorless mineral spirits.
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Old 09-19-21, 02:04 PM
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In defense of chain cleaner tools what they are saving you is time/hassle/mess. Fill, pop on, zip, dump, done. Nearly all the mess stays in the little box. They don't work as well as removing the chain but congrats you have saved 15 minutes by using one of these tools.

Here is a recent video reviewing many models. I have the Park Tool one myself and I think the Park and Pedros come out on top in his assessment. I also asked the local shop what they do and they are using the Park tool.

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Old 09-19-21, 02:07 PM
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I agree with the others to just take off the chain and soak/swish around in a jar of Odorless Mineral Spirits. I've used 3 different on-bike cleaners one of them being the Park Cyclone and all were messy, used excessive cleaner/solvent to get the chain clean, were a pain to clean up after use, and in general a PITA compared to popping off the chain, drop in a jar with a couple changes of clean solvent until reasonably clear, wipe down the chain and let dry, install, done. My experience is that the chain cleaners didn't save any time and often took more time. If you use OMS you can save the used spirits in a jar and let the gunk settle to the bottom after a couple days. Pour off the clear spirits into another jar and wipe out the gunk from the bottom and your used spirits can be used over and over again.
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Old 09-19-21, 02:24 PM
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Do you replace the master link each time or reuse it 2 or 3 times before replacing it? Seems like all the master links I have seen for sale say one time use only.
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Old 09-19-21, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
Do you replace the master link each time or reuse it 2 or 3 times before replacing it? Seems like all the master links I have seen for sale say one time use only.
...not sure why they say that, but they work with repeated opening and closing, and I see no mechanical reason not to do so.
Those Shimano break off chain pins are another matter, and are only good for one time.
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Old 09-19-21, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
Do you replace the master link each time or reuse it 2 or 3 times before replacing it? Seems like all the master links I have seen for sale say one time use only.
That "one time use" BS started with SRAM doing an end run around the Superlink patent.
It is all a moot point since the patents expired.
The link lasts as long as the chain, regardless of the claim of "non-reusable".

There are 2 kinds of Superlink-style (SRAM, KMC, etc) links: latching, and non-latching.
The former is a simple interference fit that requires a tool to remove (e.g. Park MLP-1.2) while the latter can be removed with bare hands.
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Old 09-19-21, 04:16 PM
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I like to mention that on my 8-10 speed KMC chains that I often use the same quick link for around 10-12K miles and almost 3 chains before there is visible wear in the QL. They get removed and re-used around 25 times for chain cleaning and never had a failure. I have no experience with 11 speed and durability but imagine it's close to the same. Agree with 3alarmer and Shimagnolo. Perfectly fine to use them over and over.
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Old 09-19-21, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
I like to mention that on my 8-10 speed KMC chains that I often use the same quick link for around 10-12K miles and almost 3 chains before there is visible wear in the QL. They get removed and re-used around 25 times for chain cleaning and never had a failure. I have no experience with 11 speed and durability but imagine it's close to the same. Agree with 3alarmer and Shimagnolo. Perfectly fine to use them over and over.
This is good to know. I was gonna toss my 11 speed Shimano ones after the third time I closed them, but being kinda cheap and not that powerful, I figure that they should stay fine until they latch by themselves without using the trident link pliers.
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Old 09-19-21, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
In defense of chain cleaner tools what they are saving you is time/hassle/mess. Fill, pop on, zip, dump, done. Nearly all the mess stays in the little box. They don't work as well as removing the chain but congrats you have saved 15 minutes by using one of these tools.

Here is a recent video reviewing many models. I have the Park Tool one myself and I think the Park and Pedros come out on top in his assessment. I also asked the local shop what they do and they are using the Park tool.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQkhnfflaDM
Thanks - I see that the Bikehand is the same as the Filzer unit I have. Something that video made me realize is that the plastic Park Tool Cyclone has a magnet at the bottom to catch metal debris as does the Bikehand/Filzer but the aluminum Park Tool doesn't. I'll have to figure a way to rig one. I'm thinking some flexible magnetic strip across the bottom that's a snug fit against the sides of the case.
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Old 09-20-21, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...not sure why they say that, but they work with repeated opening and closing, and I see no mechanical reason not to do so.
I use mine for the life of the chain, and am a naturally paranoid risk-averse person.

Those Shimano break off chain pins are another matter, and are only good for one time.
This is the answer to your first question (why I was reluctant to remove the chain for cleaning).

I switched to wax about the same time the Shimano quick links came out and my life became a lot cleaner, easier, and my drive train stuff lasts at least twice as long.
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Old 09-20-21, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
In defense of chain cleaner tools what they are saving you is time/hassle/mess. Fill, pop on, zip, dump, done. Nearly all the mess stays in the little box. They don't work as well as removing the chain but congrats you have saved 15 minutes by using one of these tools.
I keep chains in rotation, if i need a clean one, pop the link, thread the clean one and put the link on and boom, Iíve beat your time by 10 minutes, and ALL off my chain mess is where it should be, not nearly all. All those cleaners ever did was spray dirty fluid all over the floor as it dripped off the chain as it comes out of the tool.
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Old 09-21-21, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by canopus View Post
I keep chains in rotation, if i need a clean one, pop the link, thread the clean one and put the link on and boom, Iíve beat your time by 10 minutes, and ALL off my chain mess is where it should be, not nearly all. All those cleaners ever did was spray dirty fluid all over the floor as it dripped off the chain as it comes out of the tool.
You can't beat me by 10 minutes when the whole procedure only took me 5 minutes. I also get very little spray with the Park tool.

Time issues aside, I am not an expert bike mechanic and I'd rather not have to figure out if my master link re-attached well enough. The downside for failure there can be severe.
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Old 09-21-21, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
Time issues aside, I am not an expert bike mechanic and I'd rather not have to figure out if my master link re-attached well enough. The downside for failure there can be severe.
I am not a master bike mechanic either; you may want to consider these: Amazon.com : Super B 2-in-1 Master Link Pliers (The Trident) : Sports & Outdoors
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Old 09-21-21, 11:47 AM
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How do you tell if the link re-attached well? When I looked into this it seems like you need to be aware of the sound made by a "good" re-attachment and if it doesn't click in well enough you need to replace the link. So I decided to pass on removing my chain for cleaning. This is why you need to know your stuff before removing chains regularly.
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Old 09-21-21, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
I am not an expert bike mechanic and I'd rather not have to figure out if my master link re-attached well enough. The downside for failure there can be severe.
I got nothing really if you can't handle a ML.. never had one fail, but I've only been using them for 42 yrs...
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Old 09-21-21, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
How do you tell if the link re-attached well? When I looked into this it seems like you need to be aware of the sound made by a "good" re-attachment and if it doesn't click in well enough you need to replace the link. So I decided to pass on removing my chain for cleaning. This is why you need to know your stuff before removing chains regularly.
I don't think it is quite as esoteric as what you seem to have described. The determination is not based on the quality of the sound of the quick links snapping close. I put the quick links in place and pull the chain from either side to align the quick links, which should not close from that slight force; if they do, they are too loose. Then I use the Trident quick link pliers (which I linked to above) to close them and the force required tells me whether they are too loose or still good. If you are really concerned, make a note of how many times you have used them, and toss them after a limited number of closures.
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Old 09-21-21, 06:19 PM
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My bicycle has a 10 speed chain and I have always used Shimano's pin to connect. Chain is Shimano. I decided to try a quick link on my last chain replacement and found that around 3K miles there was wear in the quick link chain holes caused by the sloppy fit of the quick link(KMC). The quick link pins were fine, it just that there is play in the pin fit to the holes and this wears over use. If I measured my chain for wear with the quick link in the measurement it showed it was worn out. But, if I measured with the quick link not in the measurement then the chain was still good to use. So, a quick link to me is adding a machined part that has poor tolerances to the two chain holes it is connecting. With the Shimano pin you have to use a chain tool to force the pin in and I have never seen that pin to wear out before the whole chain does.
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Old 09-21-21, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...I've never seen an on bike chain scrubber that I thought was a good design. The concept itself is probably flawed, so I guess the one you're talking about is as good as any of them. I do not understand the reluctance of many to simply remove the chain for cleaning, but there are many things I don't understand.
Going by what I've read elsewhere there's no need to get the chain factory clean including inside the rollers, that the goal is to get the majority of the crud off, which the cleaner does. I'd say the Filzer/Bikehand with its four brushes, magnet, built-in fill port and the way it keeps the chain in a straight path which facilitates both easy loading and easy movement of the chain is well designed - the main flaw being that it's plastic and subject to fractures. Too bad they don't make an aluminum version of it the way Park Tool has done.

Originally Posted by canopus View Post
I keep chains in rotation, if i need a clean one, pop the link, thread the clean one and put the link on and boom, I’ve beat your time by 10 minutes, and ALL off my chain mess is where it should be, not nearly all. All those cleaners ever did was spray dirty fluid all over the floor as it dripped off the chain as it comes out of the tool.
Aren't you just deferring the time? If you're rotating chains at some point you're spending additional time cleaning them.

I always clean the chain and rinse it in the driveway on a bike repair stand - the chain crud returns to the environment it came from along with some biodegradable citrus degreaser. More of a problem if you live in an apartment I suppose but I'm pretty sure a long, shallow plastic tub that you can get at Walmart would catch the runoff.

Last edited by MyRedTrek; 09-22-21 at 08:26 PM.
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