Cleaning a new chain

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kgw2511
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Joined: 29 Mar 2020, 9:21pm
Location: Runcorn

Cleaning a new chain

Post by kgw2511 »

This morning was my first outing on a new bike, unfortunately the roads were damp.

Grateful for advice on how to clean the chain. I was thinking of using a stiff brush and also cleaning the cassette and chainrings with a damp cloth.

Thanks in advance.
rotavator
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Joined: 6 Jun 2016, 9:50pm
Location: North Wales

Re: Cleaning a new chain

Post by rotavator »

For a proper clean, I take the chain off the bike and leave it to soak in a tub of white spirit while I get on with cleaning the rest of the bike. Then take it out, wipe it with paper towel, replace it and oil it. You could use other solvents like paraffin but I would not recommend petrol!
gxaustin
Posts: 728
Joined: 23 Sep 2015, 12:07pm

Re: Cleaning a new chain

Post by gxaustin »

rotavator wrote: 19 Sep 2021, 7:23pm For a proper clean, I take the chain off the bike and leave it to soak in a tub of white spirit while I get on with cleaning the rest of the bike. Then take it out, wipe it with paper towel, replace it and oil it. You could use other solvents like paraffin but I would not recommend petrol!
I do the same but skip the oil and then put it in molten wax for 20-30mins. Wax keeps the chain much cleaner.
I believe you can buy wax preparations that can be applied cold too.
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Mick F
Spambuster
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Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Cleaning a new chain

Post by Mick F »

First thing I do with a new chain, is clean off the manufacturer's grease, then get it to the correct length and fit a KMC Missing Link and use White Lightning Clean Ride to lube it.

To clean the chain, take it off and put it in a jar of your chosen solvent and give it a good shaking. Fish it out and wash it in hot soapy water, rinse, and hang it somewhere to dry. Re-fit it, and then re-lube it.

By far the best thing though, is to buy a Cyclone chain cleaner and use some Screwfix degreaser mixed 50/50 with water.
Does the job in a jiffy and a wipe with a clean cloth and then re-lube. The whole job takes 15minutes.

Thread all about it here including the Screwfix degreaser.
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=129294
Mick F. Cornwall
the snail
Posts: 201
Joined: 5 Aug 2011, 3:11pm

Re: Cleaning a new chain

Post by the snail »

There are lots of ways to maintain you chain, I suggest using the search function on the forum, and reading some of the threads where this has been endlessly discussed before. You should be able to choose a maintainable regime that suits you and your level of OCD :D
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NUKe
Posts: 4154
Joined: 23 Apr 2007, 11:07pm
Location: Suffolk

Re: Cleaning a new chain

Post by NUKe »

gxaustin wrote: 19 Sep 2021, 11:56pm
rotavator wrote: 19 Sep 2021, 7:23pm For a proper clean, I take the chain off the bike and leave it to soak in a tub of white spirit while I get on with cleaning the rest of the bike. Then take it out, wipe it with paper towel, replace it and oil it. You could use other solvents like paraffin but I would not recommend petrol!
I do the same but skip the oil and then put it in molten wax for 20-30mins. Wax keeps the chain much cleaner.
I believe you can buy wax preparations that can be applied cold too.
me too but gxaustin .
I've also made a cold lube by dissolving wax in xylene as per Aus cycles video, the Colder UK climate needs higher proportion of xylene to keep it liquid in the bottle. to use in between waxes so far so good.
NUKe
_____________________________________
Jupestar
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Joined: 29 Feb 2020, 3:03pm

Re: Cleaning a new chain

Post by Jupestar »

Relatively easy to clean a chain depending on your view of what clean is.

This is my order.

1) spray on degreaser, make a cup of tea, then run it through a rag while turning the pedals.
2) cyclone cleaner as mentioned.
3) take it off, put in jar, shake, shake shake refit.
4) chuck it away and put a new one on.

i only do 3) if there is another reason to take it off, and it's worth refitting.

How you clean the chain is relatively straight forward, all the above work to get it back to life. Waxing is the next level never done it myself and the cyclone cleaner has ended the risk of going that far.

Cleaning the cassette on the otherhand... thats the annoying part. and i hate seeing it full of junk. I end up taking it off. :roll:
mumbojumbo
Posts: 903
Joined: 1 Aug 2018, 8:18pm

Re: Cleaning a new chain

Post by mumbojumbo »

[Re: Cleaning a new chain
Unread post by rotavator » 19 Sep 2021, 7:23pm

For a proper clean, I take the chain off the bike and leave it to soak in a tub of white spirit while I get on with cleaning the rest of the bike. Then take it out, wipe it with paper towel, replace it and oil it. You could use other solvents like paraffin but I would not recommend petrol!/quote]

A new chain needs a wipe with a dry cloth if wet.White spirit will strip the chain of lubricant, and is somewhat OCD. Personally I would allow bike to dry in a draught and not make hard work!
gxaustin
Posts: 728
Joined: 23 Sep 2015, 12:07pm

Re: Cleaning a new chain

Post by gxaustin »

me too but gxaustin .
I've also made a cold lube by dissolving wax in xylene as per Aus cycles video, the Colder UK climate needs higher proportion of xylene to keep it liquid in the bottle. to use in between waxes so far so good.
[/quote]

That's interesting thanks.
busb
Posts: 196
Joined: 28 Sep 2017, 10:10am
Location: Berks, UK

Re: Cleaning a new chain

Post by busb »

I watched, heard & read so many differing & often contradictory ideas regarding chain cleaning. KMC recommend not cleaning a new chain before fitting according to a recent GCN vid because their lubricant has thoroughly penetrated the rollers. Quite when you stop relying on the original - who knows. Another video from god knows where suggests using petrol compared with an ultrasonic bath. I'm sure others could find info that refutes either!
I did use some dry lube back in winter to find it washed out during heavy rain within a couple of days & can remember the makers of WD40 suggesting their spray was perfect as a bike chain lube despite having too low viscosity for the job.
Stradageek
Posts: 1010
Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 1:07pm

Re: Cleaning a new chain

Post by Stradageek »

Am I alone?

I never clean a new chain, or an old one for that matter. A minimalist spray with GT85 every 2-3 rides and that's it.

I end up renewing chain+cassette every couple of years.

All of this may be aided by riding recumbents with long chains and some chain tubes but my three speed folder (and daily shopping bike) has the original chain from 1984 which I just lube with engine oil every 6-9 months - it's never been cleaned.

I realise that MANY other points of view exist :D
Jdsk
Posts: 11251
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Cleaning a new chain

Post by Jdsk »

busb wrote: 21 Sep 2021, 10:39pm I watched, heard & read so many differing & often contradictory ideas regarding chain cleaning.
Stradageek wrote: 22 Sep 2021, 8:12am Am I alone?

I never clean a new chain, or an old one for that matter.
It's a classic problem in evidence-based decision making: anecdotes, strongly held beliefs, massive attachment bias, commercial interests, and some plausibility... but a deficiency of comparative trials.

Unless anyone knows of any....

Jonathan
rjb
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Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 10:25am
Location: Somerset (originally 60/70's Plymouth)

Re: Cleaning a new chain

Post by rjb »

Jdsk wrote: 22 Sep 2021, 8:18am
busb wrote: 21 Sep 2021, 10:39pm I watched, heard & read so many differing & often contradictory ideas regarding chain cleaning.
Stradageek wrote: 22 Sep 2021, 8:12am Am I alone?

I never clean a new chain, or an old one for that matter.
It's a classic problem in evidence-based decision making: anecdotes, strongly held beliefs, massive attachment bias, commercial interests, and some plausibility... but a deficiency of comparative trials.

Unless anyone knows of any....

Jonathan
So how do you clean yours Jonathan ?
We would all like to know. :wink:
At the last count:- Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D
Stradageek
Posts: 1010
Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 1:07pm

Re: Cleaning a new chain

Post by Stradageek »

I feel that a bicycle chain, or just a chain manufacturer somewhere should know the answer. I was an electronic component reliability engineer and we had to know how long our chips would last!

However, having recently investigated the best charging regime for my wife's electrified trike and having had to plough through many, many pages of often conflicting manufacturers advice before getting a coherent picture, I'm not sure even this would work :?
Jdsk
Posts: 11251
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Cleaning a new chain

Post by Jdsk »

Stradageek wrote: 22 Sep 2021, 8:29am I feel that a bicycle chain, or just a chain manufacturer somewhere should know the answer.
Wouldn't that be great?

But producers of both chains and lubricants have commercial interests. And in many forms of competitive cycling it's easy and not very expensive to fit a new chain.

And if an individual tried to run a trial it would be very hard to control for the environmental conditions...

Jonathan
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