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Chain Cleaner

Old 06-22-09, 08:41 AM
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making
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Chain Cleaner

I know we beat this topic to death but I was thinking bout something on my ride in today in the rain. I ride about 150 miles per week. I switch back and forth between my road bike and my cross check. I took my road bike out yesterday and my chain fell off stopping at a light. No big deal I had it back on before the light changed but I noticed the rear derailer (sp?) was just plain gunky. The grease on my finger was terribly dirty. It seems like I just cleaned my chain and washed the road bike, I know it has been in the last couple of weeks. I also use finish line dry. It often rains during my commute and I just add more lube. I need to keep my chain clean and I need some eaiser way to clean it I will actually do at least weekly.

Here is my idea, I pass a car wash on my commute. Does power washing a chain and rear derailer cause problems. I know to keep it away from bearings and stuff. Then ride another mile while it dries and stop and lube it up. Bad idea? not as bad as not getting around to it for a couple hundred miles?
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Old 06-22-09, 10:09 AM
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You're right. This topic HAS been beaten to death.

In fact, the particular issue of car wash/pressure washer has been beaten to death.

I'll try to summarize my take: there is risk -- as you say -- if you get HP water near anything greased. If you're very careful, however, and do NOT do that -- you should be fine.

In crappy weather, though, I simply clean/degrease my chain, after every ride, using WD-40 (with a wadded up rag behind the chain) and the 'straw' attached to the nozzle. A good hosing down with WD, followed by a rag wipe/dry-off, followed by liberal application of my home-brew lube, and Bob's yer' uncle....

If the above doesn't seem to be enough, then -- if it were me -- I probably wouldn't do anything more. I'd simply replace my chain more frequently during the rainy season.
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Old 06-22-09, 10:14 AM
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I think I will try your WD 40 method first. I hate not maintaining my bike properly, but it is hard to ride and get to all the needed maintainence, both.
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Old 06-22-09, 10:19 AM
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I personally would not power wash anything on my bike. But that's just me.
When I rode more regularly, my road bike chain didn't accumulate the massive amounts of gunk you're describing in 150 miles a week. It could be the lube you're using is attracking dust and dirt, making the drivetrain gunk up faster.
I'd remove the chain, clean it thoroughly with and old toothbrush and kerosene - don't soak it, though. (I recommend kerosene because it works as well as anything but is less volatile = less flammable, less toxic fumes). Wipe it down with a rag that has some kerosene on it to remove the residual dirt. You should clean the front rings, freewheel cogs, and jockey pulleys at this time too.
Spray a good quality chain lube on a clean rag till it forms a little puddle, and pull the chain through that section of the rag while lightly closing your hand around it. This should deposit enough lube to reduce friction and rusting without attracking dust. Once a week, wipe it clean with a dry rag, then reapply a light lube.
There are many good lubes out there. Try a teflon-containing spray, which are "drier" than typical lubes and a great friction reducer.
Hope this helps!
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