Are chain scrubbers really any good?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Mick F
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Re: Are chain scrubbers really any good?

Postby Mick F » 25 Apr 2011, 10:26am

I've kept out of this conversation so far because I've never tried a chain scrubber so have no comments, but I feel compelled to comment now.

Robespierre wrote:The problem I think with using de-greasers is that they remove all the clean oil as well as the dirt.
What clean oil?? :shock:
There ain't no clean oil in a chain!
If there were, you wouldn't need to clean and lube it in the first place.


Robespierre wrote:When you clean and oil as I suggest the dirt runs out of the rollers.
Not all of it IMHO. How can you know?

Best thing is to do is as I keep suggesting (endlessly)(sigh).
Mick F. Cornwall

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gentlegreen
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Re: Are chain scrubbers really any good?

Postby gentlegreen » 25 Apr 2011, 10:33am

Quite a lot of red sandstone along my country-ish routes and I wear out wheel rims in as little as 3,000 miles.

I'm heavy, so is my bike, and I'm on my third chain and second cassette since last June - approx 1500 miles - whereas previously I seemed to go a whole year or more before with my "never cleaning, just adding more oil" method. :oops: The third chain is an SRAM instead of a Shimano - in case it was a bad batch.

I'm fairly sure I ruined the first chain last year by using a gizmo and the can of planet-friendly cleaner attached to it, but failing to rinse and properly dry before relubing.

My full clean now includes a rinse with water, then drying with a rag - sometimes waiting a few hours, then using WD40 to shift remaining water, then another rag, then relubing. Most weeks, it's just WD40 , rag and relubing.

I was on the cusp of going down the Mick F route, but I hate removing chains and definitely can't face removing the cogs.

So ... as I'm about to treat myself to a nice repair stand and I happen to have a low-geared motor, I envisage automating the process a bit - if I could only find a pump capable of handling mucky cleaning fluid and aiming it at the chain and sprockets ... I suspect that part may have to rely on gravity with me popping out occasionally to transfer the filtered liquid from the bottom to the top. I will use hot air for the drying phase.

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Last edited by gentlegreen on 25 Apr 2011, 10:47am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mick F
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Re: Are chain scrubbers really any good?

Postby Mick F » 25 Apr 2011, 10:46am

I want one!
:D
Mick F. Cornwall

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meic
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Re: Are chain scrubbers really any good?

Postby meic » 25 Apr 2011, 10:53am

Gentlegreen,

It sounds as if you may have bought a SRAM 830 chain which as MickF will testify is a chain to avoid.
The higher model, the SRAM 850 is much better for longevity.
Yma o Hyd

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gentlegreen
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Re: Are chain scrubbers really any good?

Postby gentlegreen » 25 Apr 2011, 11:05am

The chain I recently fitted is an SRAM 850 - most likely from reading these forums. :) - the two previous ones were Shimano HG-whatever ...

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Chris Jeggo
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Re: Are chain scrubbers really any good?

Postby Chris Jeggo » 25 Apr 2011, 11:27am

Robespierre wrote: The only portion that needs lubricating is the actual roller.


The interface between roller and bush transmits the force between sprocket tooth and chain, but the interface between bush and pin transmits the force between links. Both are important. Indeed, the dreaded chain 'stretch' is due to wear between bush and pin.

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Chris Jeggo
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Re: Are chain scrubbers really any good?

Postby Chris Jeggo » 25 Apr 2011, 11:42am

Robespierre wrote: ... I use old underwear, preferably washed, before being used for my chain. I just run the chain through the cloth several times and then apply a tiny amount of oil to each roller ...


A few other points.

I have found Finish Line 'Dry' to last well and attract little dirt, and usually clean my chain as above before re-lubricating. However, dirt does gradually build up on the transmission so the occasional wash does help, and I find the chain scrubber takes less time than other methods.

Chains only contain clean oil if they are:
(1) O-ring motorcycle chains before the O-rings wear out, or
(2) on hundred-year-old Marston 'Golden Sunbeam' bicycles, enclosed in 'The Little Oil Bath' and good for at least 100,000 miles.

Derailleur chains are flexible, so have sloppy joints, so have gaps, so let dirty water in. Whenever it rains, tyres throw up dirty water, which gets dirtier as it passes from the outside of your chain to the inside. It gets in everywhere -- only O-rings and chain-cases can stop it.

So don't spend too long fighting it. The point of diminishing returns is soon reached.

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meic
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Re: Are chain scrubbers really any good?

Postby meic » 25 Apr 2011, 11:50am

gentlegreen wrote:The chain I recently fitted is an SRAM 850 - most likely from reading these forums. :) - the two previous ones were Shimano HG-whatever ...


I think that I have probably bought my last SRAM chain,

I wore out my first Shimano in 1200 miles and I get 2,000 out of the SRAMS (PC48/58 PC850) but they are better cared for than my Shimano was.
I have tried all different sorts of chain care regimes and the chain wear seems the same despite my efforts.

When the existing SRAMs are worn out then I will start using Campagnolo C9 chains.

As I have three bikes in regular use and use three chains in rotation on each bike, it will be a long, long time before I have any results to report on this new phase of the great experiment.
Of course the better that C9s are, the longer it will be before I have anything to report. :D
Yma o Hyd

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gentlegreen
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Re: Are chain scrubbers really any good?

Postby gentlegreen » 25 Apr 2011, 1:01pm

I was absolutely hopeless at bike maintenance until 2009 when I did my first group ride, and that year I also finally fell out with the shop where I bought my bike, and basically used to ride my bike into the ground then take it to the shop to have everything done, but it wasn't very often and I used to just slop oil on the chain - all sorts of random stuff I had lying around - I wonder how much actually got to where it was needed because of the build-up of gunge ..

Thinking about it, it's most likely changing my route to a more rural one, plus more and more Sunday rides on even rougher roads that has made the difference.

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Re: Are chain scrubbers really any good?

Postby kwackers » 25 Apr 2011, 1:26pm

gentlegreen wrote:Thinking about it, it's most likely changing my route to a more rural one, plus more and more Sunday rides on even rougher roads that has made the difference.

Am I reading this right?

If I may paraphrase: "Since I started "looking after" my chain it doesn't last as long, although it *may* be a change in route that's to blame".

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Re: Are chain scrubbers really any good?

Postby gentlegreen » 25 Apr 2011, 1:33pm

kwackers wrote:
gentlegreen wrote:Thinking about it, it's most likely changing my route to a more rural one, plus more and more Sunday rides on even rougher roads that has made the difference.

Am I reading this right?

If I may paraphrase: "Since I started "looking after" my chain it doesn't last as long, although it *may* be a change in route that's to blame".


The two have coincided - thus complicating my original theory.
I switched to my longer / rural homeward commute after I'd started doing Sunday rides and feeling I should start maintaining my bike properly - as I was doubling my weekly mileage and didn't want anything to go wrong miles from home.

A relatively clean, tarmacked route, and zero maintenance worked fairly well, but doubtless I might have got even more life out of my transmission if I'd maintained it...

Whereas as soon as I started riding on country roads, it would take a huge amount of effort to match the original performance I was getting - with grit getting directly into the works all the time - though perhaps a good thickness of oily gunge might at least keep some of the crud out of the workings of the chain ? :mrgreen:

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CREPELLO
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Re: Are chain scrubbers really any good?

Postby CREPELLO » 25 Apr 2011, 11:13pm

I've used the Weldtite chain scrubbing device for years and it has stood the test of time. It also appears to clean the chain, but it is so easy to stop cleaning when the solvent looks clean; however, there may be a tiny amount of grit still left 'inside' that I give the solvent an extra change now.

I will try taking the chain off and shaking it in a bottle next time. Too often I find I'm getting my hands covered in white spirit, which cannot be good. Or I need to find some tactile solvent proof gloves, or find a solvent that's more benign. Good thing about spirit is it's endlessly recyclable (sediment settles in a couple of days).

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Re: Are chain scrubbers really any good?

Postby ferrit worrier » 26 Apr 2011, 5:15pm

I use a combination of old tooth brushes and a pan scrubber thing like a giant tooth brush. lean bike against wall drip tray under chain pot of white spirit scrub bottom run of chain rotating pedals backwards. with big scrubber clean chain ring then a quick re scrub on the chain. Perhaps every third time I'll take the chain off and give it a good scrub, or sooner if the weathers been bad. I use finish line dry lube and the muck in the white spirit settles in the pot so you can use it again.

Malc
Percussive maintainance, if it don't fit, hit it with the hammer.