wearwell wrote:Just noticed this thread. I may be repeating something but my theory of maximising chain life is to never clean it.
Oil it frequently but allow the black road dust to accumulate - it gets ground very fine - if you remove it it just gets replaced it with fresh sharp grit which will wear much faster. The old dust fills voids and "fairs in" spaces, giving protection from fresh grit by allowing it no place to lodge. It's a bit mucky if you need to handle a chain though.
I replace chains (and /or blocks, chain rings) when they start to fail i.e. slip over the teeth. You have to look closely to see which bits need replacing and perhaps even measure the chain to see how far it's gone.
Music to my ears. I hate cleaning chains. a filthy boring task. From an utterly unscientific viewpoint it seems that solvents etc do as much harm as good by washing out lubricant as well as dirt, then how do you know the new lubricant has got to where it's needed. I got so fed up with chain maintenance I took the advice on the DumondTech bottle literally "Don't re-lube until you can hear your chain". My aging hearing must be on the wane, other people were telling me my chain was noisy and I couldn't hear a thing. Ah well, that meant short chain life <1000 miles. Now after some argy bargy on the Adventure Cycling site I now lube my chain often and wipe the excess off with a paper towel (a used one) and things seem to be lasting longer. If it's been in the wet I wipe the chain off and relube. We'll see how this regime works out I've a tour coming up in May of about 1500 miles with some hills (Canadian parks)