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Time to clean and lube my chain

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Time to clean and lube my chain

Old 05-03-11, 02:42 AM
  #1  
Univega
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Time to clean and lube my chain

Time to clean and lube my chain. I used to spray it with WD40 to remove the old oil and dirt, drying with a towel. Then I let it dry. Later I would apply chain lube.

I was thinking of trying the Park Cyclone Chain Scrubber. Reviews are very mixed. I did a search on this forum and there isn’t much. Anyone use it? It looks like plastic and wonder if it holds up. Messy?
Worth the purchase? Alternative models?

BTW: I was thinking of trying Philwood Tenacious Oil instead of my TriFlow. Is there a difference as long as you clean and lube as needed?
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Old 05-03-11, 02:46 AM
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I've used it.

It works pretty well, but it's definitely messy. You'll get extra greasy gross liquid on your chainstays, seatstays, and some other random places. Definitely preferential to do it outside.

That said, it works pretty well on the actual chain. You still need some sort of toothbrush type item to clean the crank and cassette, though, otherwise all the gunk you cleaned off the chain goes right back on it.
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Old 05-03-11, 05:40 AM
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I have one and use one. Do it outside, wipe down the chain, lube the chain and then wipe down any splatter on the frame or wheels. Does a good job on the chain, but can be a little messy.
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Old 05-03-11, 06:38 AM
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I find the chain cleaner does a good job, don't spin the crank too fast and throw an old towel under the chain cleaner to protect the chainstay and rear wheel. Minimal mess to clean off the frame that way. I use the chain cleaner every 500-750 miles and in between cleanings I wipe off the chain and apply more Prolink (every 100 miles or so). The chain is staying very clean this way.

And use something else other than Triflow. I used to use that on my hybrid bike and it is a dirt magnet, resulting in a black greasy chain. Progold Prolink has been MUCH better, just put a drop on each link and wipe it off, wipe off the chain after every ride and re-apply every 100 miles.

Here's a picture of my chain, it's probably been 500 miles since the last cleaning, still looking good:


Last edited by kh6idf; 05-03-11 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 05-03-11, 07:09 AM
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yeah chain cleaning is always messy. I'm thinking about removing my chains before doing a thorough cleaning next time. the time it takes to remove and re-attach the chain is probably less than the time it takes to clean the rest of the bike! ... hahaha
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Old 05-03-11, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy Somnifac View Post
I have one and use one. Do it outside, wipe down the chain, lube the chain and then wipe down any splatter on the frame or wheels. Does a good job on the chain, but can be a little messy.
Any alternatives less messy? I know there are other brands of chain cleaners.
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Old 05-03-11, 07:29 AM
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I spray on WD40, wipe down the chain really well and then apply Chain-L every other ride. Works for me. Oh yeah, always clean a chain out of doors.
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Old 05-03-11, 08:55 AM
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[QUOTE=kh6idf;12588051]I find the chain cleaner does a good job, don't spin the crank too fast and throw an old towel under the chain cleaner to protect the chainstay and rear wheel. Minimal mess to clean off the frame that way. I use the chain cleaner every 500-750 miles and in between cleanings I wipe off the chain and apply more Prolink (every 100 miles or so). The chain is staying very clean this way.

And use something else other than Triflow. I used to use that on my hybrid bike and it is a dirt magnet, resulting in a black greasy chain. Progold Prolink has been MUCH better, just put a drop on each link and wipe it off, wipe off the chain after every ride and re-apply every 100 miles.


kh6idf: That is one clean chain for 500 miles of riding. I’ll have to give Progold Prolink a try. Where do you get it?
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Old 05-03-11, 09:13 AM
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Once you remove your chain and bathe it in mineral spirits, your bike will thank you for the small amount of time you took to do so. No mechanical chain cleaner will get a drivetrain as clean, and it is actually less messy. While the chain is soaking in the glass jar, you can either remove the cassette and clean in Simple Green (my choice) or use the same solution with a toothbrush and a rag while the cassette is on the wheel. Be sure to wipe down the jockeys while the chain is off and hit the chain rings as well. Once a month for me, takes about half an hour.
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Old 05-03-11, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Univega View Post
Any alternatives less messy? I know there are other brands of chain cleaners.
Sure, remove the chain and soak it it in mineral spirits. Pull the chain out and wipe it down as it comes out of the mineral spirits. The chain cleaner in question can be a little messy with the splatter, but it's certainly a quick and easy way to get the job done.
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Old 05-03-11, 09:48 AM
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You can get Prolink at Performance, REI and probably most bike shops.

I do wipe the chain with an old t shirt after every ride and re-apply prolink every 100 miles, and that keeps it pretty clean as you can see in my picture. When enough black stuff accumulates inside the links I run it through the chain cleaning tool. Taking the chain off and giving it the mineral spirits bath would be even better, but I read that Shimano recommends keeping the chain on the bike.
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Old 05-03-11, 12:20 PM
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Check this out:
http://www.nordicgroup.us/chain/

Chain saw oil?
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Old 05-03-11, 01:27 PM
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Park tool is a pretty clean job imho. Wipe off all the cleaner and lube you can afterward! The only thing worse than not cleaning a chain is leaving stuff on the chain to attract/collect more dirt and grime.
Keep some brake cleaner around to dab on the rim. Brake cleaner is a god-send.
My buddy, who I trust to tune up my skis(and I don't let anyone do that) swears by stuff called Tri Lube for chains. I would take that advice to the bank.
Personally I thing the least amount of stuff on your chain, the best.
Chainsaw bar oil? Ever see how THICK that crap is?

Dirt bike chains I do the opposite. I put a lube on them and then coat the chain with lithium spray SO crap gets stuck on the grease and doesn't get to the o-rings. But with dirt bike chains, the rollers are sealed anyway. All you are doing is trying to keep the chain from rusting.

But, like anything there will be TONS of opinions on this. Don't ever ask what oil to use in an engine on a discussion board

Last edited by bigbadwullf; 05-03-11 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 05-03-11, 01:53 PM
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http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html
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Old 05-03-11, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Holy crap, that makes my maintenance look sloppy.

Wait, did I just get Punk'd?
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Old 05-03-11, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
A Sheldon Brown classic!
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Old 05-03-11, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Univega View Post
Check this out:
http://www.nordicgroup.us/chain/

Chain saw oil?
I was thinking the same thing, now I am going to try it. I think they mean the bar chain oil, not the gas mix oil. That stuff is pretty thick, and is somewhat resistant to flying off in use. So it should be a non-issue for a bike chain. Plus it is really cheap.

I have used the Dumond Tech stuff for a number of years now and generally like it, but it is $$$. I use the yellow for regular road, and the green (thicker) for winter/spring and my kids bikes.
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Old 05-03-11, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Univega View Post
Time to clean and lube my chain. I used to spray it with WD40 to remove the old oil and dirt, drying with a towel. Then I let it dry. Later I would apply chain lube.

I was thinking of trying the Park Cyclone Chain Scrubber. Reviews are very mixed. I did a search on this forum and there isn’t much. Anyone use it? It looks like plastic and wonder if it holds up. Messy?
Worth the purchase
? Alternative models?

BTW: I was thinking of trying Philwood Tenacious Oil instead of my TriFlow. Is there a difference as long as you clean and lube as needed?
I don't know what they cost, but I have had several of them through the years. I rarely use it, as I generally keep my chains clean and rotated, to begin with.

The great thing about the Park Tool cleaner, is that they sell the internal parts as a separate purchase to repair, replace the brushes or the sponges.

The key thing is to immediately clean it out, especially the sponge after use. The lock down clamps are a pain in the ass and are prone to flying off, but that is not a big deal. The handle is useless.

The Park chain cleaner fluid works very well, but so does generic disc brake cleaner at your local autoparts store. It works good enough, especially if you are not removing your chain. If this is a first clean on a really dirty chain, you will be pleased with the results you get.

Most times these days, I put a little of the Park Cleaner, or Mineral spirits (if I am out of the Park stuff) in a glass pickle jar, put in the chain to be cleaned and shake. This does a pretty good job when needed - but then again, I don't let my chains get dirty to begin with. Otherwise if not taking the chain off, just the lube itself, when you wipe the excess off, will clean the outer surface of the chain. Or you can squirt some of the Park cleaner fluid on a shop rag and wipe your chain as you pedal backwards, this will also clean a not so dirty chain, but it will be a never ending smear fest if the chain is loaded up with grime.
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Old 05-03-11, 04:52 PM
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I use a Park chain cleaner on my bike with the Campy chain which does not have a removable link. It works well enough.
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Old 05-03-11, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by zac View Post
...The Park chain cleaner fluid works very well, but so does generic disc brake cleaner at your local autoparts store. It works good enough, especially if you are not removing your chain. If this is a first clean on a really dirty chain, you will be pleased with the results you get...
Do you mean the Brake Cleaner that comes in an aerosol can? That stuff is really volatile.
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Old 05-03-11, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by zac View Post
Most times these days, I put a little of the Park Cleaner, or Mineral spirits (if I am out of the Park stuff) in a glass pickle jar, put in the chain to be cleaned and shake. This does a pretty good job when needed - but then again, I don't let my chains get dirty to begin with. Otherwise if not taking the chain off, just the lube itself, when you wipe the excess off, will clean the outer surface of the chain. Or you can squirt some of the Park cleaner fluid on a shop rag and wipe your chain as you pedal backwards, this will also clean a not so dirty chain, but it will be a never ending smear fest if the chain is loaded up with grime.
I have about 4k miles on my chain and it still measures right on 12 inches, so it's not wearing yet. When my chain starts making noise (every 200 to 300 miles, I think), I wipe it down with mineral spirits on a rag, scrub the links with mineral spirits and a toothbrush, wipe down again, let dry, wet lube, let dry, wipe off excess. The chain has never been off the bike, never been soaked.

The thing is, I can't really ever get it very clean. After the scrubbing, it looks clean but what I wipe off is still pretty grimy.

But like I said, it's not really wearing yet so I guess I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. I hesitate to take it off and soak it.
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Old 05-03-11, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
You beat me to it.
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Old 05-03-11, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
First time I saw that, I didn't get it. Site popped up and immediately I looked at pictures. Saw the whole chain disassembled. Never read a thing. I was like, "Screw that. I don't have a chain breaker" and closed the page. That was long time ago.
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Old 05-06-11, 09:42 AM
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The picture of kh6idF miles chain after 500 is impressive. Progold Prolink does not seem to attract dirt. Sheldon Brown recommended Phil Wood Tenacious oil. However, I am tempted to give that idea of chain saw oil a try.
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