MickF's chain cleaning regime

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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360fix
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MickF's chain cleaning regime

Postby 360fix » 12 Jul 2009, 3:59pm

Desperately searching for MickF's CHAIN CLEANING REGIME. Can anyone please give me a pointer?

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Mick F
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Re: MickF's chain cleaning regime

Postby Mick F » 12 Jul 2009, 5:56pm

No.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Mick F
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Re: MickF's chain cleaning regime

Postby Mick F » 12 Jul 2009, 6:17pm

PS:

Well ok, as you've asked nicely.

I wonder where it is. Have you searched?
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Here we go.

Get a small tub or jam-jar with a tight-fitting lid. Half fill it with Gunk (engine degreaser) and pop your chain in it.
(It helps to have a Power Link or Missing Link so your chain can come off easily and regularly.)
Put on the tight lid and shake the the thing as hard as you can. When your arm gets tired, swap arms and do it again.
Repeat
Repeat
Repeat
Repeat
Repeat
Repeat
Repeat
Repeat

Go and have a cuppa whilst the chain stews in it's own juices, then give it a few more shakes later.

Remove the chain, and plunge it into the kitchen sink with very hot water and lashings of washing-up liquid. Give it a good shoogling and swishing. Hopefully, the muck and grime will come out. Rinse in hot clean water again once or twice.

The chain should come out of this clean enough so you can eat your dinner with it, if not, repeat the whole thing again with new Gunk.

Hang the chain in the sunshine or over something warm for some hours.

Meanwhile, remove your chainwheels and clean them off with either Gunk or WD40 and a cloth. The chainwheels are easy really, and usually they don't have to be removed entirely.

Also take off your cassette. Pull it apart and clean the sprockets individually as above. The small ones can be immersed in Gunk in a tupperware sort of tray. An old toothbrush is a good tool to use.

Reassemble the cassette, refit the chainwheels and then pay attention to the rear jockey wheels:
You don't have to remove the rear derailleur completely, just undo the jockey wheel axle bolts from the cage. The wheels will come out and you can pull out the bushes and spacers. Clean them all thoroughly, and clean off the muck from the wheels with either soaking them in the Gunk or wiping them off with a cloth and WD40.

Reassemble them with a small amount of grease, and reassemble the rear derailleur cage then re-lace your wonderfully clean chain.

Rotate the whole lot, making sure it all works smoothly, then lubricate the chain with your favourite chain lube.

DON'T use WD40, GT85, 3inOne, Duckhams 20/50 or anything like them. Use a proper bike-chain lubricant!
Mick F. Cornwall

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Mick F
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Re: MickF's chain cleaning regime

Postby Mick F » 12 Jul 2009, 6:22pm

Additional:

Repeat the above procedure every couple of hundred miles or so. The more often you do it, the quicker and easier it is.

Leave it too long, and the whole job is a pain.
Mick F. Cornwall

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360fix
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Re: MickF's chain cleaning regime

Postby 360fix » 12 Jul 2009, 7:19pm

Many thanks Mick. Sorry to put you to the trouble. I did try searching for it but without any luck.

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Mick F
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Re: MickF's chain cleaning regime

Postby Mick F » 12 Jul 2009, 7:21pm

The trouble is, is that it's hidden in other threads.

It's only typing the keys, no trouble at all!
Mick F. Cornwall

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Colin63
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Re: MickF's chain cleaning regime

Postby Colin63 » 12 Jul 2009, 9:28pm

Thanks for reposting that Mick. I've copied it and stuck it a 'Very Useful' file on the computer. I bought one of those plasticky chain cleaning devices. It gets a lot of the muck off for sure, but in my clumsy hands that muck ends up all over me and the bike!!

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Re: MickF's chain cleaning regime

Postby reohn2 » 12 Jul 2009, 10:10pm

Mick F wrote:Additional:

Repeat the above procedure every couple of hundred miles or so. The more often you do it, the quicker and easier it is.

Leave it too long, and the whole job is a pain.


Every couple of hundred miles or so :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: blimey Mick! it'll never be on the bike.
Every five hundred I could cope with(maybe)but two hundred,its not worth the hassle.I'd never get any riding done,what with two tandems and three solos to maintain.
Mick have you tried you're system with White Spirit instead of Gunk?and instead of slooshing in the sink,have a seperate lidded jar 2/3 full of hotish water with plenty washing up liquid in it.
Out of the Gunk or White Spirit bath carefully pulling the chain through an old rag to remove the excess Gunk/WS,then give it a good shaking in washing up liquid bath/jar.
Just a variation on a theme.
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Mick F
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Re: MickF's chain cleaning regime

Postby Mick F » 13 Jul 2009, 7:23am

Yes, no problem with white spirit I should think, but Gunk is water soluble WS isn't.

Every couple of hundred miles is ok, as with a Power Link the chain can be off, clean and lubed whilst you eat your tea. The sprockets and rings won't need doing very often at all if your chain is always clean.

30 minute job, let the chain dry on your bike, lube up in the morning?
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: MickF's chain cleaning regime

Postby reohn2 » 13 Jul 2009, 9:59am

Mick F wrote:Yes, no problem with white spirit I should think, but Gunk is water soluble WS isn't.......


White Spirit has an advantage in that it can be left to settle for a couple of weeks after cleaning a chain with it (or until its clear,it depends how much muck is in it)then decant the clear WS off and reuse over and over and......I use a couple of old jam jars(the type with reusable lids) for this, decanting the clean stuff into the second jar,the muck left at the bottom of the first jar can be cleaned out using an old rag.

PS WS cleans chainrings and cassttes very well too.

To each his own though or put anther way, whatever strums yer strings.
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Mick F
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Re: MickF's chain cleaning regime

Postby Mick F » 13 Jul 2009, 10:13am

Agree about WS. It works with cleaning paint brushes too. Let it settle, pour it off!

The thing is though, as I said WS won't wash off with water, so when you apply your chosen lube, it will be contaminated with the residue of the WS. My way gives a spotless, dry chain.

Maybe some lubes don't actually mind WS, but I'll bet if you read the instructions, it will tell you to apply the lube to a clean and dry chain.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: MickF's chain cleaning regime

Postby reohn2 » 13 Jul 2009, 10:44am

Mick F wrote:Agree about WS. It works with cleaning paint brushes too. Let it settle, pour it off!

The thing is though, as I said WS won't wash off with water, so when you apply your chosen lube, it will be contaminated with the residue of the WS. My way gives a spotless, dry chain.

Maybe some lubes don't actually mind WS, but I'll bet if you read the instructions, it will tell you to apply the lube to a clean and dry chain.


Mick, It does wash off with hot water and washing up liquid,trust me.

As I said to each his own.
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CREPELLO
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Re: MickF's chain cleaning regime

Postby CREPELLO » 13 Jul 2009, 11:09am

White spirit is toxic to the aquatic environment, so I would urge anyone using it not to put residue down the sink. I use it myself, but miss out the soapy water part of the process (perhaps that's why the WLCR I bought recently didn't work quite as well as I'd hoped :roll: ). To be honest, I can't be asked with that bit - with my lube, I just let the cleaned chain dry on the bike ( I use my own patented on the bike chain bath method) then re-lube.

It is good for re-using (partly why I use it) but I've recently discovered isopropyl alcohol, which also gives excellent results. The chain gunk dissolves well and the contents settles at the bottom of the storage jar. In addition, being an alcohol, it evaporates entirely, leaving no residue so I can't see a soap water bath being necessary. It is a product of the petrochemical industry, so it doesn't have perfect green credentials, but it is not highly toxic to the environment, nor to yourself, as long as you don't drink it :wink: .

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Re: MickF's chain cleaning regime

Postby Mick F » 13 Jul 2009, 11:40am

Is it alright with orange juice?
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: MickF's chain cleaning regime

Postby CREPELLO » 13 Jul 2009, 1:28pm

With a little splash of citrus degreaser it will make it more palatable.