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Stripping a new chain pre-Squirt with Simple Green?

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Stripping a new chain pre-Squirt with Simple Green?

Old 01-13-19, 01:10 PM
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Stripping a new chain pre-Squirt with Simple Green?

I just bought myself a new chain and I intend to try Squirt for the first time. Instructions say to apply only to a clean chain. Do you think stripping the factory lube using Simple Green (1 to 1) does an adequate job, or should I go all out and strip the chain to the bone using mineral spirits?

I'm trying to create a "green" workflow, so I'd prefer to use a non-petroleum-based degreaser, but OTOH, I want to be sure that I give Squirt the best conditions to work in. My concern is that perhaps the Simple Green will leave some factory grease.
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Old 01-13-19, 01:15 PM
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Mineral spirits. I just did that exact same thing a couple of days ago and I'm using Squirt too. I actually did a secondary wash with lacquer thinner, which is mostly acetone, just to be sure all the oil is gone.
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Old 01-13-19, 02:37 PM
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If I wanted it squeaky clean I'd use spirits, followed by the green, followed by a clean water rinse. Bake it in the oven to be sure it's bone dry and then hit it with the Squirt.


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Old 01-13-19, 02:53 PM
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This doesn't make sense. Why would you strip a factory lube from a brand new chain and apply another lube ??
What's the problem with factory lube ??
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Old 01-13-19, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
This doesn't make sense. Why would you strip a factory lube from a brand new chain and apply another lube ??
What's the problem with factory lube ??
Squirt is wax-based and not compatible with oil-based lube. As with other wax lubes, you're supposed to thoroughly clean the chain first.
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Old 01-13-19, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
This doesn't make sense. Why would you strip a factory lube from a brand new chain and apply another lube ??
What's the problem with factory lube ??
Factory lubes work amazingly well at collecting dirt and grime. Depending on riding conditions it would have to be cleaned soon anyway. High viscosity, heavy lubes which are designed for wet weather riding also do a good job at collecting gunk.

Placing the chain in a plastic jar (peanut butter jars work well) along with the solvent you are using, and shake it vigorously for about 2 minutes. Then empty the solvent when it becomes dirty into a larger jug for disposal. The solvent is good for 2-3 cleanings. Our town's trash collection facility collects hazardous waste a couple times a year and disposes of it properly. Wipe the chain with a paper towel and then do the "shake in the jar" with Simple Green. Rinse with hot water, and dry using the oven or a hair dryer, and lube.

This picture is from a 3-month tour where we had 35 days of rain and resorted to using a heavier lube after running out of my preferred chain lube. The chain was wiped down about a week (250-330 miles) before this picture was taken. Wet riding conditions, dirt roads and heavy chain lube can create a lot of gunk on the drivetrain. This was our last week so I didn't bother to clean it. I replaced the chain when we get home.


I use Sram chains with the quick release links (Power Link), and do this every time I give our chains a serious cleaning. I use a light semi-dry chain lube, and chains just need wiping of regularly between cleaning. The Power Link makes removing the chain from the bike an easy job.

Last edited by Doug64; 01-13-19 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 01-13-19, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
This doesn't make sense. Why would you strip a factory lube from a brand new chain and apply another lube ??
What's the problem with factory lube ??
Ride factory lube in the desert, and see how long it takes for a nickel plated chain to turn black from gunk build-up.

Hint....Not long, and not fun to clean off.

Last edited by Wileyrat; 01-13-19 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 01-13-19, 04:25 PM
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No need to used water to clean a chain, really. If you can't get mineral spirits in your locale, white gas (camp fuel) works equally well.

You know what Simple Green is good for? Dissolves the pitch right off of saw blades. That's pretty much all I use it for.
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Old 01-13-19, 04:33 PM
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Sheldon Brown said:

New chains come pre-lubricated with a grease-type lubricant which has been installed at the factory. This is an excellent lubricant, and has been made to permeate all of the internal interstices in the chain. The chain and this lubricant need to be warmed during application.

This factory lube is superior to any lube that you can apply after the fact -- well, unless...see below.

From this page
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Old 01-13-19, 04:37 PM
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Sheldon may have indeed been right about a lot of things, but the factory protectant that comes on chains is terrible. It's more glue than lubricant, and will pick up anything and everything. Stripping a chain right out of the package (at least for me) adds several hundred miles ot the life of every chain. Combined with using wax, I never clean a dirty chain. Chain gets cleaned just once: fresh out of the packaging. Then it gets waxed, and as a result, I haven't had to clean a cassette in 2 years.
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Old 01-13-19, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Sheldon Brown said:

New chains come pre-lubricated with a grease-type lubricant which has been installed at the factory. This is an excellent lubricant, and has been made to permeate all of the internal interstices in the chain. The chain and this lubricant need to be warmed during application.

This factory lube is superior to any lube that you can apply after the fact -- well, unless...see below.

From this page
Unless wet or dusty.

That tends to be most of the country, most of the time.
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Old 01-13-19, 06:12 PM
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I regularly wipe the chain with a dry rag and lube it with an 80/20 mixture of motor oil and WD 40. Have been doing that for a very long time...I should also mention that I use FG/SS drivetrains, they are more forgiving then a derailleur bikes and no special lube is necessary.
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Old 01-14-19, 11:33 AM
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I use a wax based-lube on all my bikes, but I never soak the chain beforehand to remove petroleum based-lube. I simply run the chain through a Park chain cleaner using a citrus- based cleaner. I'm sure that it doesn't get all the lube out, but I just go ahead and put on the the wax- based lube. Over the months I do this a few more times and eventually the chain becomes quite clean and pretty much stays that way.
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Old 01-14-19, 11:37 AM
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Wipe off the outside W a rag.. , the underside of the roller is what wears and needs the lubrication.
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Old 01-14-19, 11:41 AM
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A chain lube thread!!! Haven't seen one in like 5 days. 99 people do 99 completely different things and they all appear to produce great results. I've deduced it doesn't really matter as long as you do something other than nothing.

Last edited by u235; 01-14-19 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 01-15-19, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
A chain lube thread!!! Haven't seen one in like 5 days. 99 people do 99 completely different things and they all appear to produce great results. I've deduced it doesn't really matter as long as you do something other than nothing.
this reminds me I need to lube my chain AGAIN
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Old 01-15-19, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Squirt is wax-based and not compatible with oil-based lube. As with other wax lubes, you're supposed to thoroughly clean the chain first.
What advantage does "Squirt" offer over the factory lube?

I'd just run the chain as-is until it needs cleaning, then clean thoroughly and use Squirt if you really think it will matter.
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Old 01-15-19, 05:06 PM
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There are pre-Squirted KMC chains:

https://www.bike24.com/p2234014.html
https://www.cycletyres.com/kmc-11v-c...link-4037.html

Seems to be only available from Europe.
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Old 01-15-19, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
There are pre-Squirted KMC chains:

https://www.bike24.com/p2234014.html
https://www.cycletyres.com/kmc-11v-c...link-4037.html

Seems to be only available from Europe.
They come with quite the price premium though.
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Old 01-15-19, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
What advantage does "Squirt" offer over the factory lube?

I'd just run the chain as-is until it needs cleaning, then clean thoroughly and use Squirt if you really think it will matter.
It won't dirty up your legs or any of your pets.
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Old 01-16-19, 02:39 PM
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Squirt is my lube of choice on my road bikes and Simple Green is my degreaser of choice. I have found that soaking a new chain (I use FSA Team Issue, polished nickel chains) in Simple Green doesn't work quite as well as using mineral spirits but it does do a decent job. If you have an air compressor, blow out the residual mineral spirits from the chain with a pressure nozzle before applying Squirt. I use this method and the chain ends up very clean and very dry. I make two passes on each side of the chain. If not, I would soak the chain the night before you clean the bike and then let it air dry overnight. The mineral spirits should evaporate by the time you are ready to put the chain on the bike. Since Squirt is water based, you need to make sure that you get all the residual water out of the chain if you decide to soak it in water after degreaseing as it could dilute the Squirt.
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Old 01-16-19, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
Squirt is my lube of choice on my road bikes and Simple Green is my degreaser of choice. I have found that soaking a new chain (I use FSA Team Issue, polished nickel chains) in Simple Green doesn't work quite as well as using mineral spirits but it does do a decent job. If you have an air compressor, blow out the residual mineral spirits from the chain with a pressure nozzle before applying Squirt. I use this method and the chain ends up very clean and very dry. I make two passes on each side of the chain. If not, I would soak the chain the night before you clean the bike and then let it air dry overnight. The mineral spirits should evaporate by the time you are ready to put the chain on the bike. Since Squirt is water based, you need to make sure that you get all the residual water out of the chain if you decide to soak it in water after degreaseing as it could dilute the Squirt.
I've decided that I'll probably use the mineral spirits to strip a new chain. I'll have that container of mineral spirits for many years, as after my first cleaning and application of Squirt, I don't expect to have to clean the chain again. I've decided to use $15 SRAM 11sp chains. They're practically disposable!
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