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Old 04-26-08, 04:50 PM   #1
DnvrFox
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I Don't Clean My Chain. Anyone else?

I Don't Clean My Chain. Anyone else?

I suspect there are a whole lot of folks out there who don't CLEAN their chain, but are afraid to admit it.

I lube it regularly, I wipe it down real good after lubing it, but I definitely do not CLEAN it.

If I did, there would be a mess all over the garage, and, besides, I HATE doing mechanical, handy man types of things.

When the LBS says I need a new chain, I have them put one on - about every 2,000 miles.

I ride clean trails - they even sweep them!

Anyone else?

Waiting here anticipating a scourge of posts about how necessary and important it is to clean your chain.

(Have had the bike since 1999, 15 - 20,000 miles on it.

Same transmission as when new, runs smooth and as quiet as a - well, you name it, but it is one of the quietest bikes on the trail. New chains work just fine, and the cogs and rings look great.)

Last edited by DnvrFox; 04-26-08 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 04-26-08, 04:54 PM   #2
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- i don't clean 'em that often... usually about three times a year or when i see a lot of gunk and sand...

- but then again, i don't use 10spd gear...

(cleaning is no biggie really; i just doff a pair of gloves, shift to the low chainring, high cassette, undo the master link, then drop the chain into a pop bottle w/a little kerosene and shake, shake, shake)...
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Old 04-26-08, 04:57 PM   #3
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- i don't clean 'em that often... usually about three times a year or when i see a lot of gunk and sand...

- but then again, i don't use 10spd gear...

(cleaning is no biggie really; i just doff a pair of gloves, shift to the low chainring, high cassette, undo the master link, then drop the chain into a pop bottle w/a little kerosene and shake, shake, shake)...
See, you are talking about things of which I have no clue, such as "master link" and "undoing."
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Old 04-26-08, 05:11 PM   #4
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It's a choice. If it works for you then go for it.

I clean mine because it irks my mechanical side to hear the crunchy sounds. But I know a couple of other folks that just ride them until they are shot and change them using one of the cheaper options and change the rest of the drive train with similarly lower middle line options. For you and them the fuss to keep things clean and running smooth doesn't justify the effort vs cost issue. It's your bike and your choice.... *shrugs*
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Old 04-26-08, 05:27 PM   #5
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I don't clean my chain because of an old spray mechanism that allows for a spray can to attach to it to lube chain and brush chain at the same time; just love it, wish they still make it. I use a can of white lighting that works together quite well.
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Old 04-26-08, 06:12 PM   #6
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If you lube and wipe your chain, the lube should float a lot of the dirt into your wiping rag. You get a cleaning effect while lubing.
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Old 04-26-08, 06:16 PM   #7
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Don't really clean the chain either.
In winter, spray it off with some WD-40, go over it with a small brass brush, then wipe it
dry with a paper towel- this helps keep the rust at bay from road salt etc. Probably do this
every couple weeks, depending up on the weather.
In summer, hang the bike up by the seat, run a fine spray with a garden hose carefully over
the drive train- keeping direct spray out of the bottom bracket and hubs. While the grit is
flushing out apply the brass brush to the chain and deraileur cogs, wipe it dry with a paper
towel. While the bike is wet, I'll brush off any mud or dirt with an old vegetable brush.
Then apply a light spray of WD40 to the drive train and wipe it dry. Do this a couple times in the summer.
I know this process gets me scorn, I don't fret much over bike maintenance.
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Old 04-26-08, 06:19 PM   #8
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I don't clean my chain - and I ride on some of the worst stuff you ever saw for a bike. Nope, I don't even clean my bike.

Our mechanic does.
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Old 04-26-08, 06:23 PM   #9
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I have the know how to both clean and replace my entire drive train.

That being said, I occasionally clean the chains on my "Treasured"
bikes (the aluminum Schwinn 354, Raleigh Marathon for example).
I seldom if ever clean the chains on my workhorses such as my
daily commuter, the '88 Trek 820. I suppose that when the warm
weather settles in, if I have enough leisure time (a rare commodity
in my life), I'll probably clean the chains on my recumbents since it's
gotta be easier to maintain those mile long chains than to pay for new
good quality ones. I keep telling myself that if I had enough discretionary
time I would properly maintain all of my bikes, but I'm probably lieing to
myself.
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Old 04-26-08, 06:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
I Don't Clean My Chain. Anyone else?
I don't clean your chain, either.
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Old 04-26-08, 06:59 PM   #11
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If you lube and wipe your chain, the lube should float a lot of the dirt into your wiping rag. You get a cleaning effect while lubing.

Perzackly for definitely!

Bicycles are no different to any other chain-drive machine with respect to chain maintenance. Frequent lubricating is the best maintenance there is. Excessive attention can be just as bad as no attention.

I really dislike the modern-day "OMG it needs to be CLEAN!" WD-40 approach, where folk frequently clean off the chain with a dispersant and then bung more lubricant on top of it. I know some folk who do that with their motor bikes - and then wonder why their chains get dry so quickly!
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Old 04-26-08, 07:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
I lube it regularly, I wipe it down real good after lubing it, but I definitely do not CLEAN it.[/I]
Uh. That is what I call cleaning my chain, but I do use more oil than is really needed. If you mean take it off the bike, or use one of those gizmo's, then, no, I don't clean mine, either.
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Old 04-26-08, 07:22 PM   #13
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Just in case you folks haven't seen it, here is the Sheldon Brown method for a really thorough chain clean & lube: http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html
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Old 04-26-08, 07:49 PM   #14
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Also for proper bicycle maintenance: Each spoke must be removed from the wheel and hand-polished, once a week.
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Old 04-26-08, 08:00 PM   #15
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I use the quick links and might remove the chain once or twice a year and put it in some Simple Green solution and relube. I'll also relube after riding in the rain....well maybe. My chains only last around 5000 miles-and one set is a 10 speed. What am I doing wrong??
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Old 04-26-08, 08:16 PM   #16
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I bought a bike cleaning kit two years ago and it had a chain cleaning gizmo in it. I use it every couple of weeks as well as cleaning off the gogs and then relubing everything. You don't need to be a mechanical genius to use it - it just clamps over the chain. I find the bike runs just a little smoother and feels a little faster when I clean the chain & gears well. I used white lightning until a bike shop pointed out how much buildup I was getting and how hard it was to clean out. For years I did not clean - just gave a few squirts with white lightning. Never changed the chain either. Put about 10 yrs on the bike that way then replaced the chain & casset.
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Old 04-26-08, 08:20 PM   #17
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Dirt under your fingernails is not a bad thing . . .
Dirt on your chain is!
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Old 04-26-08, 08:32 PM   #18
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Darn, I shouldn't have read this thread. Just reminds me I have over 3000 miles on current chain. Sprayed some lube on it a couple times, no cleaning, I'm bad. Cars over due for an oil change as well. Can't explain why I did change oil in lawn mower.
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Old 04-26-08, 08:52 PM   #19
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I asked the question

"I Don't Clean My Chain. Anyone else?"

and I get a lot of advice and stories about how folks clean their chain.

Now, come on folks.

Who out there DOESN'T clean their chain?

Fess up now!

No more of this faint sense of superiority some of you have that I am feeling as I read some of these posts about the wonders and joys of chain cleaning.

Stop now!

Only real chain non-cleaners need respond!

No more from you phonies.
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Old 04-26-08, 09:22 PM   #20
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Make a poll!
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Old 04-26-08, 09:27 PM   #21
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Make a poll!
I would, but my wife isn't pollish.
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Old 04-26-08, 09:30 PM   #22
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Sorry DnvrFox.

I'm sorta in agreement with byte speed that lubing and wiping the chain is cleaning it. That either makes me (according to your portrayal of it all) a chain non-cleaner or it makes you a chain cleaner after all.

I'm now officially confuzzled
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Old 04-26-08, 09:30 PM   #23
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I wipe them off with a rag, that's about it. I know people who used to take the chain off the bike and put it in melted wax. Crazy! I'd rather read BF.
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Old 04-26-08, 09:36 PM   #24
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Don't yank my chain . . .
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Old 04-26-08, 09:38 PM   #25
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Sorry DnvrFox.

I'm sorta in agreement with byte speed that lubing and wiping the chain is cleaning it. That either makes me (according to your portrayal of it all) a chain non-cleaner or it makes you a chain cleaner after all.

I'm now officially confuzzled
Naw, to "clean a chain" you got to remove it and shine it all up with some gunky stuff. Wiping is not cleaning!
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