Chain cleaning

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neilob
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Chain cleaning

Postby neilob » 21 Oct 2009, 10:25am

I almost feel embarrased asking this question....but what's the best chain maintenance regime that is halfway between being anal and not bothering? My priorities are performance, reliability, and not damaging the drive train. I'm wondering if its best to frequently remove the chain, soak it in degreaser and then lightly oil before refitting. Thoughts??
Neil
Using a car to take an adult on a three mile journey is the same as using an atomic bomb to kill a canary.

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NUKe
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby NUKe » 21 Oct 2009, 10:35am

This thread sort of does it to death
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=28839&p=228953&hilit=Chain+Cleaning#p228953.
And the Mick F method is largely regarded as the best.
But If your a commuter with limited time for cleaning and lubing use something like
Progold Prolink lube
and check regular with a chain checker. Replace the chain as soon as it wears past 0.75% the chain becomes a consumable. But Sprockets and other drive chain components last longer.
NUKe
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Mick F
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby Mick F » 21 Oct 2009, 1:31pm

Thanks, Nuke, for the advert! :D

Start of the thread:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=28839
Mick F. Cornwall

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CREPELLO
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby CREPELLO » 21 Oct 2009, 3:50pm

Although I rarely hear anything good said about them, I use a chain cleaning unit attached to the rear mech to clean my chains. It's convenient to use, since I figured out how to use it properly!

*I replace the degreaser (currently white spirit, though I'm on the lookout for something more environmentally benign) about 3 times in the process, or until the liquid is almost clear in appearance. *The test for a clean chain is to flex it laterally and to listen out or feel for any crunchiness inside the chain. Absence of grit should ensure that the chain lasts longer and grinding paste cannot be produced from combining grit with the oil.
*I'll leave the white spirit to evaporate off the chain for a while. If using oil as a lube I don't think it's absolutely necessary to completely expel it and washing the chain is completely unnecessary.
*I'll then apply a single drop of oil to each link on the 'outer' side of the chain; the side which doesn't mesh with most of the drive train).
*Once applied. I rotate the chain whilst feeding it through my hand (I use Motorex bio-lube which is pretty benign, and much easier to get off your skin than other lubes) to ensure that the oil is fed inside each roller. This is the only part that actually needs the lubrication.
*Remove any excess oil by repeating the last step again but feeding the chain through a rag instead.
*I also find it useful to ride the bike a short distance and wipe the chain again because the pressure of riding will drive more excess oil out.

*When on tour, I'll often revive the existing lube with a quick squirt of WD40 and wipe clean of the excess (this mixture doesn't evaporate as quickly as WD40 on it's own).
*When the chain starts to look dry the second time I'll give it a little feed of oil and wipe the excess away to ensure that it won't attract grit too readily.

I don't claim it's the best method, but it works conveniently for me.

mw3230
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby mw3230 » 21 Oct 2009, 5:25pm

neilob wrote:I almost feel embarrased asking this question....but what's the best chain maintenance regime that is halfway between being anal and not bothering? My priorities are performance, reliability, and not damaging the drive train. I'm wondering if its best to frequently remove the chain, soak it in degreaser and then lightly oil before refitting. Thoughts??
Neil


Mick F's method is probably the Rolls Royce - far too like planned maintainance for me for me but good without doubt. I'm not sure if he'd accept the tag 'anal' however with the connotations that may have for an ex-matelot (with the greatest of respect to all readers)

thinks ....... if Mick does E2E escort services he's obviously an obliging chap, wonder if I post him my chain .. no probably not
Retired and loving it

reohn2
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby reohn2 » 21 Oct 2009, 6:10pm

Oooooooooooh!
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

prm
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby prm » 23 Oct 2009, 11:09pm

You can construct a chain/component cleaning tank by utilising a plastic, semi clear container.

If you fill the lower section with water, say 2ʺ. Place any perforated plastic/metal/wire grid to support parts while cleaning, at appox 1-2ʺ above the water. Then, fill the remainder with white sprit. With a fixed grid and sealed lid, can be used as a cocktail type shaker.

Any metal and grit will pass through the grid into the water, buoyant crud will rest on top of the water/sprit interface.

After resting for 24/48 hours, viewed side-on, the sprit is darkened, but virtually clear of any contamination, enabling reuse.

Hope this may help.

Regards

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Beakyboy
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby Beakyboy » 25 Oct 2009, 3:25pm

Mick F wrote:Thanks, Nuke, for the advert! :D

Start of the thread:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=28839


Do you do house calls Mick? I have a couple of chains and indeed a whole house that could benefit from such thorough cleaning.
May the wind always be at your rear!

Jonty

Re: Chain cleaning

Postby Jonty » 29 Oct 2009, 8:16pm

I simply rub mine with a clean cloth every month and apply some lube. Once a year I give it and the gears a good wash and scrub with warm soppy water, rinse, let dry thoroughly and then lube. Seems to work for me. However I give it a good clean every time I ride if there's salt on the roads.
jonty

whoops
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby whoops » 29 Oct 2009, 11:04pm

Dubbin can also be used as a moisturiser and chain lubricant.

Obviouasly not for brake shoes. :D :D :D

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ferrit worrier
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby ferrit worrier » 30 Oct 2009, 7:48pm

At the risk of serious groans coming my way. I have an air compressor and a parrafin gun. I position a container under the chain ring and rotate the chain back while blowing the crud off with the parrafin, I set the regulator to about 50 psi this cleans the chain and chain ring, I then place rags over the bottom of the back wheel to protect the tyre and blast out the rear cassett and mech. dry off the chain with a clean cloth and lube with engine oil. I allow the parrafin to settle then pour back into a separate container. during the week I'll drop a bit of oil onto the chain, front and rear mechs' more so if its been raining.


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

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CREPELLO
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby CREPELLO » 30 Oct 2009, 8:00pm

ferrit worrier wrote:At the risk of serious groans coming my way. I have an air compressor and a parrafin gun. I position a container under the chain ring and rotate the chain back while blowing the crud off with the parrafin, I set the regulator to about 50 psi this cleans the chain and chain ring, I then place rags over the bottom of the back wheel to protect the tyre and blast out the rear cassett and mech. dry off the chain with a clean cloth and lube with engine oil. I allow the parrafin to settle then pour back into a separate container. during the week I'll drop a bit of oil onto the chain, front and rear mechs' more so if its been raining.


Malc


Hey FW, I'm not groaning. Whats not to like about such a satisfying blast with a compressor. I'd give it a go if I had one. But does it pass the 'crunch test' I described in my post?

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ferrit worrier
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby ferrit worrier » 30 Oct 2009, 8:28pm

Do you know I've never actualy tried it! but I can say that it does feel clean when you run the chain through a rag in your hand, and once the "Crud" has settled in the container there is quite a bit of muck in the bottom, so it gets somthing out of the chain. It also feels smoother.

As an aside, I was talking to a young girl cyclist at work yesterday someone had given her a MTB she told me the gears weren't working so I went out to have a look, Chain bone dry, rear mech bone dry, front mech bone dry, cables Yep! bone dry. not a spot of oil anywhere! my advice get some oil on that lot! to start with. so this morning I packed my small bottle of oil, when she came in I had a look at the bike, still no oil...... there is now. so hopefully we can get it into some sort of shape. :)
Percussive maintainance, if it don't fit, hit it with the hammer.

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Kevin K
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby Kevin K » 30 Oct 2009, 9:37pm

CREPELLO wrote:Although I rarely hear anything good said about them, I use a chain cleaning unit attached to the rear mech to clean my chains. It's convenient to use, since I figured out how to use it properly!
I use a chain cleaner with Gunk; works a treat.
Kevin K. Glasgow

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CREPELLO
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby CREPELLO » 30 Oct 2009, 10:03pm

Kevin K wrote:
CREPELLO wrote:Although I rarely hear anything good said about them, I use a chain cleaning unit attached to the rear mech to clean my chains. It's convenient to use, since I figured out how to use it properly!
I use a chain cleaner with Gunk; works a treat.

Thanks for your forthcoming honesty Kevin. Should we start Chain Cleaning Unit Users Anonymous? Maybe we could get a few more users to admit their activity under strict anonymity!! I believe there must be more of us out there, otherwise they would be too unprofitable for manufacturers to make. Or do most people buy one, try it and don't get the hang of it?

I must admit that I didn't take to the Weldtite one I have when I first bought it and would try all sorts of other ways of chain cleaning. More recently I've found out how to use it in a smooth fashion (it used to be too jerky and make loads of uncontrollable chain slap. Somehow I've overcome that. And it does actually scrub the chain clean.