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Chain cleaning question.

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Chain cleaning question.

Old 05-19-09, 02:05 PM
  #1  
Scorer75
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Chain cleaning question.

So, instead of cleaning my chain on the bike, I have a spare chain and cassette I swap out for.

I've been dumping the old chain and cassette in a dish soap/water mixture, but it's not really getting cleaned, it still requires me to scrub the chain.

What can I put the chain into that will remove the grime from it without having to scrub the chain, or are there no free lunches when it comes to cleaning?
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Old 05-19-09, 02:09 PM
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You need this.
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Old 05-19-09, 02:09 PM
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degreaser? or just get a chain cleaning system and you dont have to worry about swapping it out
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Old 05-19-09, 02:17 PM
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Paintbrush + low odor mineral spirits
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Old 05-19-09, 02:25 PM
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Old 05-19-09, 02:26 PM
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I was ready to tell you to use the search, but this seems like a new question

I don't think there's anything that'd do that without scrubbing. You might not want anything that'd clean it off without scrubbing. If it did clean it off without scrubbing, it might a little too good.
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Old 05-19-09, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Second Mouse View Post
I would still technically call that 'scrubbing', but you might be right, maybe that's what the OP is looking for
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Old 05-19-09, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by vantassell View Post
I would still technically call that 'scrubbing', but you might be right, maybe that's what the OP is looking for
It also has the advantage of not having to take the chain off the bike.
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Old 05-19-09, 02:31 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

I'll try something a little stronger than dish soap and water. I guess a little bit of scrubbing will always be required.

Not a big fan of chain cleaners but thanks for the replies. And taking the chain off the bike with the master link takes seconds, and the cassette takes maybe 2 minutes, really no big deal at all.
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Old 05-19-09, 02:32 PM
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ultrasonic jewelry cleaner perhaps?
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Old 05-19-09, 02:34 PM
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If you're just looking for a stronger cleaner, Like Second Mouse suggested, go with the simple green. I use 1:1 mix with water for my drive train.
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Old 05-19-09, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Scorer75 View Post
What can I put the chain into that will remove the grime from it without having to scrub the chain, or are there no free lunches when it comes to cleaning?
https://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=3305
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Old 05-19-09, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
Paintbrush + low odor mineral spirits
That's a great method. I don't have to touch the chain, and it gets the chain + chainring looking spotless!
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Old 05-19-09, 03:29 PM
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My method:

*Take two 2-liter soda bottles (you could use any other type of bottle, but 2-liters are readily available to me because my wife is a Dr. Pepper addict who refuses treatment).
*Fill them both with about 2 inches of mineral spirits, insert the chain in bottle #1, cap, and shake vigorously for a minute or two.
*Leave the bottle to settle for a bit while you go to do other chores. Return and shake vigorously a second time.
*After it has settled a second time, cut the top off the bottle with a box cutter and remove the chain with a coat hanger. Much easier than trying to fish it out of the tiny bottleneck like I did the first time.
*repeat the procedure in bottle #2. You will be surprised how stuff comes out of the chain in bottle #2 even though the chain looks clean after bottle #1. I guess you could use a bottle #3, but that seems overly anal, even to me.

Mac
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Old 05-19-09, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
ultrasonic jewelry cleaner perhaps?
It works reasonably well, but if you mention it in the mechanics' forum it makes some members apoplectic. A dishwasher also works, but that'll make the spouse apoplectic.
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Old 05-19-09, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
It works reasonably well, but if you mention it in the mechanics' forum it makes some members apoplectic.
I have it on my "to buy" list.
I can't believe anything else could possibly be as effective at getting grit out of the rollers.

And if it give me something to rile up the old farts on the weekly chain-cleaning thread, even better.
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Old 05-19-09, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by neurocycler View Post
You need this.
wtf
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Old 05-19-09, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
I have it on my "to buy" list.
I can't believe anything else could possibly be as effective at getting grit out of the rollers.

And if it give me something to rile up the old farts on the weekly chain-cleaning thread, even better.
There's a bike shop in Minneapolis that has two industrial parts washers that are, essentially, fancy dishwashers. Those things are way better than anything you can do with an ultrasonic cleaner or any chain cleaning tool.
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Old 05-19-09, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
There's a bike shop in Minneapolis that has two industrial parts washers that are, essentially, fancy dishwashers. Those things are way better than anything you can do with an ultrasonic cleaner or any chain cleaning tool.

I think the next question would be.....Does my chain need to be that clean???
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Old 05-19-09, 10:09 PM
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of course you can gain 15 mph with a chain that clean
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Old 05-20-09, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by neurocycler View Post
You need this.
Wow!

I have always just bust the chain open, use lacquer thinner on it (wear gloves) in a stainless steel bowl with a small dish washing brush. Let it sit and dry (ten minutes, max, hang it) install and relube.
 
Old 05-20-09, 02:02 PM
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I once was a chain cleaning freak. I do still like the look of a clean chain and cassette, but I have realized that removing a chain/cassette for cleaning is a waste of time. Now, all I do is wipe it down with a towel lightly soaked in simple green. Let it dry, and relube. I still get over 3000 miles on a 10-speed chain. Works for me.
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Old 05-20-09, 02:09 PM
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I shake it around in a coffee can with mineral spirits. Let sit for a few minutes, then shake again, remove, wipe clean, then drop into a coffee can with a mixture of 4 parts mineral spirits and one part chain saw bar/chain oil. Let sit for awhile, drip dry, dry off with a rag and reinstall on the drive train. I get about 200 miles between lubes (if it doesn't rain) and it runs like a dream. Cheap, too.

You're dealing with steel, so it's not going to be damaged by the mineral spirits (or gasoline, for that matter). And soaking a chain in a diluted oil mixture ain't going to hurt it, either. The fact that my chain shifts smoothly, holds its lube for 200 miles and doesn't collect dirt or grit is all I need to know. I generally wipe it off after every ride.
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Old 05-20-09, 03:04 PM
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Can you simply dump mineral sprits down the drain when finished? Or will that hurt the pipes, or the water supply?
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Old 05-20-09, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Second Mouse View Post
This. It takes all of 3 minutes to have a spotless chain and cassette.
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