Chain cleaning - Sand

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glueman
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Chain cleaning - Sand

Postby glueman » 29 Jun 2009, 6:09pm

One of our regular local routes has a good amount of eroded gritstone that is basically sand. It plays merry hell with the transmission and the chain is a sight for sore eyes by the end. It takes the best part of a can of GT85 just to flush it out and that isn't a complete job.
Avoiding sand completely on local tracks is very difficult and I'd be prepared to bet you could wear out the drive in 150 miles without TLC. Anyone found a prevention/cure for a sandy transmission?

gilesjuk
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Re: Chain cleaning - Sand

Postby gilesjuk » 29 Jun 2009, 6:27pm

SRAM powerlink on the chain. Take the chain off and clean it in some solvent and rinse with water. Disperse the water with some lube GT85 or similar or dunk the whole thing in oil. Wipe off the excess.

You can wipe the chain with a rag and meths or white spirit if the grit is only on the surface.

glueman
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Re: Chain cleaning - Sand

Postby glueman » 29 Jun 2009, 6:35pm

I suspect that's the only way. The chain has a powerlink but I've never gone down the solvent route on road bikes and it seems a bit excessive after an hour's mountain bike run in the evening but less bother than a new transmission every few weeks.
How can you agitate the chain sufficiently in white spirit to ensure the sand flushes out?

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Mick F
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Re: Chain cleaning - Sand

Postby Mick F » 29 Jun 2009, 9:46pm

Hi guys,
Not that I check in in this board very often!
Yes, get a Power Link, and get the chain off pronto.

Shove it in a can/bottle/tub with a tight-fitting lid and pour in some Gunk/white spirit/petrol/paraffin even WD40/GT85 or something.

Put on the lid and give it a good shake. Lots of it, shake, shake, shake .....

Fish it out and wash it in HOT soapy water, rinse, and hang out to dry in the sunshine.

Refit, and lubricate generously with your favourite lube.
Mick F. Cornwall

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yakdiver
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Location: North Baddesley Hampshire

Re: Chain cleaning - Sand

Postby yakdiver » 30 Jun 2009, 9:09am

yep what Mick said + 1
Alias Numbnuts

Edwards
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Re: Chain cleaning - Sand

Postby Edwards » 30 Jun 2009, 9:09am

I just wash mine with a hose then in Diesel with a brush and wipe of the excess.
Works for me not to much time spent getting the mud off every time I use the MTB. Not sand though.
Keith Edwards
I do not care about spelling and grammar

stoobs
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Re: Chain cleaning - Sand

Postby stoobs » 30 Jun 2009, 10:39am

Ultrasonic cleaner? Followed by a dry lube rather than a wet one.

Also, I wouldn't use an expensive solvent from scratch - perhaps diluted citrus degreaser at first, followed by more expensive variants as the mood takes you.

mick skinner
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Re: Chain cleaning - Sand

Postby mick skinner » 1 Jul 2009, 8:45am

best to clean a chain with hot soapy water and lube it when it's back on the bike.

if you don't want to bother taking the chain off; get the bowl of hot soapy water under the bike, put the chain on the smallest sproket and the smallest ring and just slip the chain off the chainring, you can then run the chain through the water cleaning it as it goes.

glueman
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Re: Chain cleaning - Sand

Postby glueman » 1 Jul 2009, 10:06am

mick skinner wrote:best to clean a chain with hot soapy water and lube it when it's back on the bike.

if you don't want to bother taking the chain off; get the bowl of hot soapy water under the bike, put the chain on the smallest sproket and the smallest ring and just slip the chain off the chainring, you can then run the chain through the water cleaning it as it goes.

Now that is a good idea.

mick skinner
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Re: Chain cleaning - Sand

Postby mick skinner » 2 Jul 2009, 2:46pm

:wink:

cameraman
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Location: Leicestershire

Re: Chain cleaning - Sand

Postby cameraman » 5 Jul 2009, 6:36pm

I bought a second hand Trek 4300 mountain bike the other week off e-bay, it was in very good condition just needed a damm good clean, at first impression I decided I couldn't be bothered with the chain it was in such a state, I stripped the rest of the bike & left the chain in the garage, everything else cleaned up like new. At the end of the evening I took one last look at the chain & decided to leave it overnight in a bath of "car alloy wheel cleaner", some special non acid stuff called "Very Cherry", the next morning I gave it a swish around & washed it under a hot tap & scrubbed it with an old toothbrush, I was amazed how clean it came up, hung it out to dry, relubed it & put it back on the bike. Apart from a couple of stiff links (easily sorted) it was perfect.

half cog
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Re: Chain cleaning - Sand

Postby half cog » 7 Jul 2009, 10:04pm

Hi.
We bike in the dales and its all gritstone around here. Pick up a chain bath. You need the type with the three wheel brushes . the chain goes over the first then down in to the solvent to go under the second then its brought back up again by the third. Finally there are plastic fins that flick the excess off. Stick the bike in all the middle gears and hang the bath over the chain just in front of the rear mech then back peddle ( by hand ). Do it two or three times untill you can side flex the chain by hand without any gritty sounds. Job done. Run it through a rag to dry and re lube. SJS sell them . I think that mines a barberry or something similar but you can get them from any decent mountain bike shop. I use parafin in mine. Cheap and it washes out the grit Do make sure you cover the back rim up with something though. Its never harmed the tyres on my Kona but the bit of washed of lube can causes the brakes to howl a bit untill its gone

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chris5675
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Re: Chain cleaning - Sand

Postby chris5675 » 23 Jul 2009, 12:39pm

think its already been mentioned but... I use a power link chain, put it in an empty plastic tub or bottle, add white spirit or paraffin and give it a good shake. do this two or three times cleaning the bottle each time, rinse with boiling water then scrub up with hot soapy water... clean the transmission in the same way (but go light on the white spirit) use a stiff brush and soapy water, rinse, let it all dry, then reattach the chain and re lube using a dry lube for sand, wet lube for winter, finish line is good 8)

gilesjuk
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Re: Chain cleaning - Sand

Postby gilesjuk » 24 Jul 2009, 10:23am

Pressure washing will get rid of the grit. However this is best done off the bike. Soaking the chain in oil after is recommended.

I don't think anything else is possible. Other than to get a Rohloff and fit a chain cover. Or singlespeed it.

JonCS
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Re: Chain cleaning - Sand

Postby JonCS » 3 Aug 2009, 10:53pm

I ride in a sandy area most the the time and clean my (& family's bike chains) either with a chain cleaner that hooks onthe the chain (in situ) with brushes that scrub the sides & centre filled with a water based de-greaser. OR when its really dirty or I've been lazy and not done it for ages, remove chain with power link and use an ultrasonic bath, which is big enough to drop the derailleur into as well, 5 mins in there and most of the very fine grit has fallen off.

I've tried all sort of lubes over the years, but for sand a dry lube with Teflon works very well as the sand doesn't stick to the chain, so you don't have to clean after every ride if its been dry.

HTH
Jon