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Gritty sounding chain movement

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Gritty sounding chain movement

Old 10-01-10, 07:21 AM
  #1  
damnable
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Gritty sounding chain movement

HI everyone,
Something doesn't feel quite right.

Last week I cleaned the chain and chainset for the first time on my new roadie. I'd been riding around a bit in the wet and some grit was getting around so I thought it was time for a try.

I followed the instructions I found on the net. Got a cloth to get rid of obvious crap, used a chain degreaser, wiped it down and applied new lube.

However, since it's less smooth then it was before. Instead it feels gritty. Shifting is fine, but it's as if I can feel every link as the chain hit the cogs through the pedals. It's not really noticeable at high cadence but going slow it definitely is. I've checked and there's not rubbing on the derailler guides or anywhere else.

It's been raining so I've only been riding on the trainer since the clean and I have noticed that a lot of the lube has transfered to the floor (lucky it's vinyl).

The only think I can think of is that the lube I used is just not that great - it's the stuff that came with the cleaning kit. Is there anything I might have done wrong? Or what can I do to make it better?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 10-01-10, 07:30 AM
  #2  
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I would personally suggest removing the chain from the bike and soaking it in a jar of de-greaser over night , then re-lubing it. It is also possible that since you cleaned it the previously built up road grit was just acting like sound dampener.

One other thing is wait till you get it outside. My bike always sounds absolutely horrid on my trainer, gear shifting stinks on my trainer and the like. But once it hits the road everything smooths out.

Also on a side note what part of the country do you live in? It's been raining hard here the last few days aswell.
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Old 10-01-10, 09:57 AM
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Not sure what type of degreaser you used or how it was applied, but spraying and/or wiping the chain won't do it. If you want a really clean chain, it needs to be removed and dropped into a container of a good solvent like mineral spirits, then agitated. I use an old water bottle for this purpose. There is no need for long soaking. Mineral spirits will do the job in about 1 minute, if the bottle is shaken vigorously. The problem then is removing the dirty solvent that remains in the chain. I've done it two ways. A second cleaning in clean solvent will do it. After the second rinse, I wipe the exterior of the chain and apply myhome brew lube that is also thinned with mineral spirits.

An alternative is to give the chain rinse in hot soapy water to remove the dirty solvent, followed by a hot water rinse and a wipe to dry. Old water bottles work well for that, too. Applying my regular home brew lube displaces the water and lubes the chain.

If the mineral spirits is stored in a old water bottle, it can be reused many times. The dirt will settle to the bottom in just a few hours. Pour clean solvent off the top, into another bottle to clean the next chain.
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Old 10-01-10, 10:14 AM
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A superficial cleaning by rubbing the outside of the chain with solvent and a rag could actually make things feel grittier by pushing road dirt into the rivets more. Also, if you wiped the chain clean but there was built-up gunk on the cogs of the cassette or the chainrings, this would make the chain ripe for attracting all the built-up gunk to it and the clean rivets. It's like using antibiotics less than the prescribed amount of time--you wiped it clean enough to be a fresh plate for the bad stuff to come back . As others have said, agitation or a good brushing or something that will actually get rid of the dirt on the inside of the links is important. Look closely at the chain and see if there's still gunk inside of the links. Also wipe your chainrings clean when you clean the chain. Finally, remember that most chain lube has solvent in it; best practice for the re-lubing is to let it sit and soak into the rivets over night, then come back and wipe down the outsides of the chain after the solvent's evaporated away.
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Old 10-01-10, 10:56 AM
  #5  
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that gritty feeling will lessen the more you ride it. you relocated a bunch of crud with your cleaning method. now worries though, i do the same thing, get that same gritty sound after, and i get excellent mileage from my drivetrains.
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Old 10-01-10, 11:57 AM
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Here's my method and it works very well. 1. Remove the chain - use a quicklink to make this easy. 2. Using a bottle to shake, or a ~7" diameter bowl to swirl the chain in, put mineral spirits in the container...but just a quarter inch deep...and swirl/shake well. Remove the chain, dump the mineral spirits 3. Repeat #2 until there is nearly no visible dark dirt showing. It won't help to dunk the chain in 3 inch deep solvent...a little is sufficient. Three or four rinses/shakes with a small amount it better than once with a lot. 4. Use soapy hot water to vigorously rinse the mineral spirits out and then vigorously rinse in clean hot water. 5. Put in a low, low oven for 30 minutes to dry. Remove, allow to cool and oil as desired the wipe the outside till it's free of exterior oil.
If you buy a second chain to swap out you will find it easy to do this procedure. You can avoid rinsing with soap/water if you use a solvent that will evaporate quickly but that usually means it's flammable. If you take great care, you can even use gasoline but for obvious reasons it's not the safest thing...but if you DO use gasoline then after dunking/swishing/repeating a few times the chain will be clean and the gasoline will evaporate from the chain reasonably quickly. The key is a few repeated shakes in a small quantity of solvent followed by removing the solvent by evaporation or washing. If you don't get the chain really, really clean the world won't end. 95% of riders end up oiling a chain that has a lot of small dirt inside the rollers and they still roll just fine. I like a clean chain.
Note that the dirty mineral spirits will settle out and next time you go to clean your chain you will be able to just pour off the mineral spirits from the container with dirty mineral spirits...the dirt will have sunk to the bottom. Obviously if you really clean your chain you should clean the entire drive train....
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Old 10-01-10, 04:35 PM
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To properly clean a chain it has to come off of the bike. https://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/chain-care.html
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Old 10-01-10, 05:14 PM
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If you have cleaned the chain completely and it still feels rough it is probably worn. I would not have believed it if I had not seen it several times during my career but a dirty chain and cogs can actually hide wear until cleaned.
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Old 10-01-10, 06:09 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
If you have cleaned the chain completely and it still feels rough it is probably worn. I would not have believed it if I had not seen it several times during my career but a dirty chain and cogs can actually hide wear until cleaned.
Absolutely wrong. A worn chain will never sound gritty. I've used a Campy chain for 6,000 miles and caused severe wear on the rollers and side plates (but little elongation). It never produced any gritty sounds. Grit is grit. Normal wear does not produce gritty sounds.
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Old 10-01-10, 06:29 PM
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The towel/degreaser/wipe method doesn't work well on new chains that still have the sticky factory lube on them. Once that is all gone, it should work fine for a road bike. The key to making it work well is do it every 75-100 miles. bk
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Old 10-02-10, 01:22 PM
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I followed post #3 - I just soaked mine in mineral spirits. I put the chain in a old bottle, added the mineral spirits and let it sit for 30 minutes. Came back and shaked it up just to remove some of the extra crud from the chain. I let it dry for a few minutes, wiped it down and put it back on the bike. Fairly easy with the quicklinks. Lubed the chain and it looks brand new again.

What a difference. I have used a chain scrubber tool before and while it did the job - removing the chain and using this method is easier for me and probably removes more gunk.
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Old 10-04-10, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Absolutely wrong. A worn chain will never sound gritty. I've used a Campy chain for 6,000 miles and caused severe wear on the rollers and side plates (but little elongation). It never produced any gritty sounds. Grit is grit. Normal wear does not produce gritty sounds.
Well, I did not say gritty, I said rough. I was allowing for the fact that the OP may not have completely cleaned the chain, so it could be a combination of the two factors. Others had already addressed the fact that it may have still been dirty.
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