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Chain Often Clunky After Clean and Lube - Park Chain Cleaning Tool to the Rescue?

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Chain Often Clunky After Clean and Lube - Park Chain Cleaning Tool to the Rescue?

Old 07-28-18, 03:19 PM
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Chain Often Clunky After Clean and Lube - Park Chain Cleaning Tool to the Rescue?

I don't clean my chains that often, ever few hundred miles or so. I use ProLink oil. I find that around half the time I clean and lube the chain (lots of oil, probably way more than necessary), it's somewhat clunky and not smooth for the next ride or two and you can hear the grit working it's way out (or back into) the pins. Not sure why sometimes it's problematic and other times it's fine, I'd assume it has to do with the amount of grit as well as the type of grit, but either way I can only speculate that the clunkiness is caused by the chain not being clean enough.

Anyone else experience this, and would the Park Chain Cleaning Tool eliminate that?
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Old 07-28-18, 08:57 PM
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How do you clean your chain now?

Park or otherwise, those little plastic boxes with rotating brushes dunking your chain into a tablespoon of solvent don't particularly do much for me... they're supposedly "mess free" but in reality the wet chain draws the fluid out of the box & around your cogs anyway then fling it all around.

Floor, frame & bystanders get splattered.

Whilst the groundon crud remains in the nooks

Rinse & repeat.

Methink if I'm gunna be making a mess, might as well do it properly! I use a can of suitable solvent, squirt at moving chain & blast most of the dirt off into the environment. Small stiff brush knocks off any decreased cruddy solids still hanging on. Let it dry then reapply fresh lube.

If you do it regularly your own chain shouldn't get too cruddy anyway. I get to clean the worst crud because I play with C&V & work on other's bikes... it's easier to clean it before I start dismantling, than to cleanup the mess after a pile of dirty parts.
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Old 07-28-18, 09:05 PM
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Currently I gently hold a paper towel wrapped around the chain under the chain stay and pedal backwards 30-40 times to get the crud off. Then I take a clean paper towel and cradle it under the chain and slather oil across 10-12 links above the towel, move the chain and repeat until the chain is oiled. Then dab each pin with a drop before pedaling the chain backwards through the clean (and now oil soaked) paper towel I previously held while oiling, just to get the dripping excess off.
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Old 07-28-18, 09:55 PM
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As others have said, these chain cleaning devices don't usually work so well.

They might get the outside of your chain clean, they also manage to push all the grit inside of the chain, substantially decreasing chain life, and making a huge mess.

I remove the chain and wipe down each link at a time, relube, and wipe again to remove the excess. (oil only needs to be inside the chain)

If you have grit inside the chain you might need to soak the chain in mineral spirits or similar type of solvent to remove all the grit.

I havent used solvent in years, wipe and relube works well enough, in my experience.

Last edited by SHBR; 07-28-18 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 07-29-18, 02:52 AM
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I use a Park Chain Gang cleaner, and it works flawlessly, and greatly extents the life of my chains. I use the automotive of Simple Green solvent, full strength, then run the chain through the cleaner for a couple of minutes. Then I rinse out the cleaner, and run the chain through using plain water. I do this a couple of times until the water remains someone clean. Then I dry the chain with a towel, let it dry for an our or so, then oil it. I put a drop on each roller, across the ends of the end plates. I used to do this 500km (once a week), but now do it once a month, as I don't have time to ride that much anymore.

If you want to do it the old school way, use a quick link on your chain, then take it off every other week and clean it in a can of Berryman's solvent, or pail of kerosene.
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Old 07-29-18, 03:03 AM
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I use the Park Tool CM-5.2 Cyclone chain cleaner with chain cleaning fluid. There is a tiny amount of spatter and this is governed by how you are holding the tool (horizontal angle, vertical upward or downward tension on the chain). There is a sweet spot where there is virtually not spatter and the trick is not to pedal backwards too fast.

It cleans the chain just fine and I use a drivetrain cleaner on the cassette and chainrings, agitating with suitable brushes before rinsing off. The drivetrain comes out sparkling clean.
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Old 07-29-18, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by taz777
I use the Park Tool CM-5.2 Cyclone chain cleaner with chain cleaning fluid. There is a tiny amount of spatter and this is governed by how you are holding the tool (horizontal angle, vertical upward or downward tension on the chain). There is a sweet spot where there is virtually not spatter and the trick is not to pedal backwards too fast.
It cleans the chain just fine and I use a drivetrain cleaner on the cassette and chainrings, agitating with suitable brushes before rinsing off. The drivetrain comes out sparkling clean.
Yep, this pretty much sums up my view and experience, too. After quite a few years away from any serious riding, I've gotten back into it in the last year or so, and recently dredged up my trusty old Park chain machine, and a couple bottles of Pedros citrus de-greaser.
Sure, it's a little sloppy and a bit of a PITA, but it ain't that bad, and as long as I don't try to skimp on the de-greaser (that seems to be the trick), it gets my chains sparkling clean.
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Old 07-29-18, 12:54 PM
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So I bought the chain gang combo this morning, used it, what an excellent product. Chain came out sparkling clean after two cycles followed by three wash cycles and pouring a little fresh water over the chain at the end to finish it off. Dried it, waited an hour or so, and lubed each pin and it's operating smooth and quiet now.

Now time to do my hybrid too.

Very happy with the $30 purchase. Didn't use the brush yet since the rest of the drivetrain is pretty clean still being a new bike.
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Old 07-29-18, 01:28 PM
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Just say no to water
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Old 07-29-18, 03:53 PM
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2 for 2 today, hybrid is smooth and clean.
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Old 08-01-18, 04:22 PM
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Chain might need replacement

How old is your chain? Mine was clunky after a thorough clean and lube, too. Turned out what it really needed was replacement, not cleaning.

Cleaning eliminated most of the noise and made the drive feel very smooth, but at random times and on moderate climbs the sounds and gritty feeling would come back. On inspection and comparison with the new chain, the difference and wear was obvious. The only negative was the wasted time and kerosene from cleaning the now-to-be-trashed old chain.
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Old 08-02-18, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by powerten
How old is your chain? Mine was clunky after a thorough clean and lube, too. Turned out what it really needed was replacement, not cleaning.

Cleaning eliminated most of the noise and made the drive feel very smooth, but at random times and on moderate climbs the sounds and gritty feeling would come back. On inspection and comparison with the new chain, the difference and wear was obvious. The only negative was the wasted time and kerosene from cleaning the now-to-be-trashed old chain.
This! If your chain is making noise, definitely check the wear on it. Waiting too long to replace it can really screw up your drive train. Chain checkers are cheap and easy to use. Also be sure to the pulley wheel on the rear derailleur, gunk gets in there, and it's really easy to miss.
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Old 08-02-18, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by powerten
How old is your chain? Mine was clunky after a thorough clean and lube, too. Turned out what it really needed was replacement, not cleaning.

Cleaning eliminated most of the noise and made the drive feel very smooth, but at random times and on moderate climbs the sounds and gritty feeling would come back. On inspection and comparison with the new chain, the difference and wear was obvious. The only negative was the wasted time and kerosene from cleaning the now-to-be-trashed old chain.
I've got the park chain wear tool, no wear. It was just dirty.
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