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Chain cleaning

Old 07-18-09, 08:39 PM
  #1  
SharpStone30888
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Chain cleaning

I'm getting my new road bike next month But I want to clean the chain/drivetrain on the old bike to see how much better I can get it running. I'm considering buying the park tool cyclone cleaner.

So you clean it with that, what do you do then, like to wash the cleaner off, do you just let it dry and then apply lube?

Also are other chain cleaner machine things just the same as the park tool one?? Could I get a cheaper one and it would still do the same job.

Thanks

Cheers,
Chris
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Old 07-18-09, 09:37 PM
  #2  
Kai Winters
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This is my tried and true method.
With the bike on a work stand and the wheels off and chain on outer ring I liberally spray WD-40 on the chain until it is well soaked...I'm turning the chain... Then I use an old tooth brush to lightly scrub the chain on top, bottom and both sides while turning the chain by the crank arm. It doesn't take a lot to loosen any gunk...maybe ten revolutions of the crank for each side. I then spray more WD to flush the crap off the chain and use a rag to wipe off the gunk while turning the crank until clean. Wipe down the chain rings and derailleurs. Once this is done I use a chain lube letting it soak in for ten minutes or so then wipe off the excess. I also drip a few drops of lube on the movement points of the derailleurs.
Chain is now clean and well lubed without a lot of residue to attract dust.
I've tried some of the cleaner systems but prefer this method. I used to take the chain off and do the "soak it" method but again I prefer this method.
WD is a great degreaser and moisture disperser.

PS: I also spray some WD on the cassette and wipe it clean with a rag as well. It takes a bit of work but is worth the effort.
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Old 07-18-09, 09:51 PM
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https://bicycletutor.com/no-wd40-bike-chain/
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Old 07-18-09, 09:57 PM
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I use Simple Green in the chain cleaner perhaps once a week and relube the chain about every third time with a teflon lubricant.

Works for me.
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Old 07-18-09, 10:13 PM
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Chain cleaning threads rule.
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Old 07-18-09, 10:18 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Kai Winters View Post
This is my tried and true method.
With the bike on a work stand and the wheels off and chain on outer ring I liberally spray WD-40 on the chain until it is well soaked...I'm turning the chain... Then I use an old tooth brush to lightly scrub the chain on top, bottom and both sides while turning the chain by the crank arm. It doesn't take a lot to loosen any gunk...maybe ten revolutions of the crank for each side. I then spray more WD to flush the crap off the chain and use a rag to wipe off the gunk while turning the crank until clean.

seems like a Parktool chain cleaner does all this with less effort
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Old 07-18-09, 10:34 PM
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Rags, citrus degreaser, brush. Use a hem, torn from old t-shirt or gonch, to "floss" between cogs. Run chain through rag, scrub, repeat. Re-lube. Wipe off excess.

Ride.
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Old 07-18-09, 10:38 PM
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I can't speak on the effectiveness of other chain cleaners, I bought the Park Cyclone one and it works great. And yes, I clean the chain with a citrus degreaser, let it dry, then lube. Maybe I'm a freak, but I get giddy when I see that black chain become bright silver again...
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Old 07-18-09, 10:56 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by steveymcdubs View Post
reread his post. he is using WD40 as a degreaser, then a chain lube. Now read your link... why WD40 is not a good chain lube.


WD-40 is fine, just dont use it as a lube.
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Old 07-18-09, 10:57 PM
  #10  
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I started using brake cleaner And it seems to work well. This is more time intensive, but if I am anal....
- CAUTION - If you value your paint job, take the chain off the bike first!!
Also, I always wear nitrile gloves (surgeon's gloves) when working on my cars/trucks/tractors or bikes.


I spray the chain several times with brake cleaner and all the grime and old lube just runs off. I then fold it up (roll it up) and place it in an old tupperware bowl with more brake cleaning fluid and scrub with an old toothbrush.
I hang it to dry, wipe down once more and then while it is hanging I oil the links from top down, let the excess drip off and then refold the chain and bend the links back and forth to work the oil in.
Put the chain back on (SRAM Gold Link).
I have done this several times and it seems to work well...
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Old 07-18-09, 11:00 PM
  #11  
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Chain off the bike via a KMC MissingLink and into a 20oz soda bottle or similar.
Fill 1/4 full with Simple Green, fill remaining way with HOT water.
Shake the chain around for a bit, let soak, shake, repeat until the Simple Green is simply black.
Empty out that Simple Green, add 3/4 bottle HOT water, shake to rinse.
Pour out that water, repeat the Simple Green. Chain will be sparkly clean.
Heat oven to lowest setting, line cookie sheet with foil, place chain on foil, bake for 10-15 minutes to drive all the water out of the links.
Relube with Finish Line Dry Teflon or equivalent.
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Old 07-18-09, 11:17 PM
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Thanks everyone for your input. From what everyone is saying I think I will leave the chain on the bike, but take back wheel off and suspend chain in rear dropouts (using the scewer). Spray casette with the wheel angled down on cassette side with citrus degreaser (to let degreaser drip out, but not into the hub), wipe cogs with rag (floss) and let dry.

Use chain cleaner with citrus degreaser, wipe with rag and let dry. Floss chainrings with rag.

Put wheel back on and apply lube to the top of the bottom rung of chain, run through gears both chainrings and all rear cogs. Sit for an hour for the lube to penetrate, then wipe off excess.

Hows that sound?

New question? Where do you clean your chain? Considering its a messy job (involving degreaser), do you move your bike (+stand) out on the grass and work there. How about some indoor tips?

Chris
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Old 07-18-09, 11:35 PM
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I fill the Park cleaner with citrus based degreaser, run the chain through it for quite a while, dump out the dirty degreaser and clean out the chain cleaner, fill the cleaner with water and run the chain through it again. Then I wipe the water off the chain.

Chain comes out bright and shiny. Only thing left to do is apply lube.
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Old 07-18-09, 11:52 PM
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So no Sheldon link??
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Old 07-19-09, 12:08 AM
  #15  
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WD-40 has wonderful properties as a unstick for hinges and old rusty parts, but it is a solvent! This means it will dry out. Is this what you want your chain to do? It will look like a dried rusty wal-mart drivetrain we all have seen. What you want is a silicone based lubricant. This will stay on the chain (and subsequently the majority of the drivetrain) as "wet".
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Old 07-19-09, 12:12 AM
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I just use triflow to dilute the dirt and grime and wipe off and lube with triflow again. I also do this fairly often so there isn't much build up. I HATE cleaning chains.
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Old 07-19-09, 01:59 AM
  #17  
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You can replace the chain cleaner with Kerosene as well. Obviously, just be careful handling the stuff. Latex gloves and ventilation (outside) are a must!
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Old 07-19-09, 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by wreichert View Post
WD-40 has wonderful properties as a unstick for hinges and old rusty parts, but it is a solvent! This means it will dry out. Is this what you want your chain to do? It will look like a dried rusty wal-mart drivetrain we all have seen. What you want is a silicone based lubricant. This will stay on the chain (and subsequently the majority of the drivetrain) as "wet".
Please Carefully reread posts #2, #3, and #9. No one is suggesting using WD-40 as a lube, just as a degreasing agent.
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Old 07-19-09, 06:46 AM
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I use WD strictly as a degreaser and moisture dispersant. I've always known it is NOT a lube. I use a good quality lube...Tri-Flo, etc. as a LUBE.
If you go the spray route make sure to put something...newspapers, old piece of rug, etc...under the bike to catch the dripping gunk.
I don't like the "container" chain cleaning kits because I feel they just reuse gunk filled liquid to clean the chain. My method does not but whatever method you use is good for the chain. A clean chain, cassette and derailleurs means a smooth shifting quiet drive train.
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Old 07-19-09, 07:10 AM
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Use citrus degreaser in the Park chain cleaner. Rotate the crank about 15 times. Remove tool and clean it. Put a few drops of dishwashing soap in the cleaner and fill with hot water. Put it on your chaing and spin the cranks about 15 times. Rinse with running water - I use a garden hose.

For the cassette - use a long-bristle brush (Park makes one). Dip in citrus degreaser and scrub up the cassette. Rinse with water.

The cleaning usually takes me about 15 minutes.

Let everything dry (I wait overnight) and lube. To keep things fairly clean, make sure to wipe off excess lube.

To those using petroleum solvent-based cleaners - consider the impact on the atmosphere. A quick check shows that WD-40 has a VOC content of 21%. Every little bit helps!
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Old 07-19-09, 07:19 AM
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How often should I clean my chain?
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Old 07-19-09, 07:20 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
I fill the Park cleaner with citrus based degreaser, run the chain through it for quite a while, dump out the dirty degreaser and clean out the chain cleaner, fill the cleaner with water and run the chain through it again. Then I wipe the water off the chain.

Chain comes out bright and shiny. Only thing left to do is apply lube.
+1 About once a month I use the Park cleaner. Otherwise, a few times/week, just lube and wipe. After a wet ride, hose down, simple green and scrub brush. It is amazing all the gunk and debris that comes out using the Park cleaner that a scrubbing, wiping and hose spraying won't get. I also use an air compressor to blow off as much water as possible before lubing.
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Old 07-19-09, 10:34 AM
  #23  
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Some education about WD-40. It does contain 20-30% oil, so it will NOT dry out and leave nothing behind like a solvent. The oil is light in weight and if used as a chain lube it will result in more elongation than a good oil, like synthetic motor oil or 80/90W gear lube. I've proven this by deliberately using nothing but WD-40 as a chain lube for about 1200 miles on a Campy 11 speed chain.

If you use WD-40 as a degreaser, your regular chain lube will be diluted by and mixed with the solvent and oil in the WD-40. It might be wise to relube a second time after just a ride or two.

If I clean a chain on the bike, I use either mineral spirits or diesel fuel and either brush it on heavily or use a squirt bottle to apply a small stream and use a folded paper shop towel to catch the excess. This process takes longer and produces at least a couple of solvent soaked shop towels to dispose of.

I perfer to take my chain off, if possible, and place it in an old water bottle, about 2/3 full of mineral spirits or diesel. Shake for a minute or so and drain the solvent back into another container for storage and reuse. I then use hot soapy water for a second cleaning and finally a hot water rinse. Wipe the exterior of the chain dry. I use my regular 4/1 homebrew to displace the water and relube. That way, I don't have to deal with a second rate oil from the WD-40 mixing with my lube.
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Old 07-19-09, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by crazyskillz07 View Post
How often should I clean my chain?
whenever it,s dirty
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Old 07-19-09, 11:03 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by crazyskillz07 View Post
How often should I clean my chain?
DAILY!
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