Cleaning chains?

The place for discussions on what piece might fit where, where to buy it from, how to fit it, etc.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
MartinF
surf god
surf god
Posts: 1023
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 10:06
Location: N of Bristol. Prob in the pub
Contact:

Cleaning chains?

Post by MartinF » Wed Aug 04, 2004 10:36

Ok - the chain on my old bike is in a bit of a state & needs a good cleaning.:cry:

Apart from the proprietary chain cleaning tools, what does one use in terms of cleaner/degreaser to get the crud of the chain & restore it's pristine sparkle? :idea:

Martin

User avatar
MartinF
surf god
surf god
Posts: 1023
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 10:06
Location: N of Bristol. Prob in the pub
Contact:

Post by MartinF » Mon Aug 09, 2004 11:16

Ok - in the absence of any other suggestions, I used white spirit, which seemed to do the job pretty well.

However, I managed to first lose a roller from the open end of the chain link (which I eventually found again on the patio some hours later) & the plastic container I used (an ice cream container) appeared not to be white spirit-proof, and leaked all over our patio table. :oops:

Martin

User avatar
Graham_U
surf god
surf god
Posts: 981
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 10:08
Location: Nth.Wiltshire

Post by Graham_U » Fri Aug 13, 2004 16:34

I use WD40 and an old toothbrush on my roadbike, followed by a bit of 3in1. If its really mucky it gets a dab of soapy water first.

Assume your stuff is a bit chunkier, and probably a lot muckier so maybe an old washing up brush.
Graham

User avatar
MartinF
surf god
surf god
Posts: 1023
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 10:06
Location: N of Bristol. Prob in the pub
Contact:

Post by MartinF » Fri Aug 13, 2004 21:15

Certainly the toothbrush!! Essential for getting the crud out between the links. Trouble is, my teeth keep coming out black ever since...

MartinF

User avatar
Ian Long
surf god
surf god
Posts: 862
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2004 17:36
Location: Chew Valley
Contact:

Post by Ian Long » Sun Aug 15, 2004 09:40

I'm afraid I recommend a proprietry chain cleaner.

For years I have used Finish Line's clip on chain cleaner and found it very effective. Alas they don't last that long before they snap - I think I have just broken my third, however they do a very good job.

The finish line version is proving hard to find, everyone seems now to sell a more box shaped one with a red lever that swings up over the top. I reluctantly bought one and found it totally useless - it was fiddly, hard to use and completely useless at cleaning the chain. After two attempts I reverted back to the broken finish line version.

I have now replaced it with a park tool chain cleaner, a similiar beast with cogs and brushes, but it doesn't clip onto the derailleur, it just has a handle you hold. I am delighted to report that I think this does an even better job than my trusted old finish line cleaner - praise indeed. I still use finish line degreaser in it, other water based cleaners have never seemed to do such a good job but are probably better for the environment.

My cleaning ritual occurs while the chain is still attached to the bike and goes something like:

Run chain through a rag to clear off the worst of the grim.
Attach chain cleaner and run chain through it for around 20-30 seconds
Dry chain as much as possible by running chain through dry rag
Liberally oil chain
Leave over night
Run chain through clean rag to remove excess oil

If you have a chain with a quick release link you can probably do a better job of drying the chain by taking the chain off at that point, whether or not it is worth the extra time and effort I am not sure - I haven't been tempted to try yet. From my experience, the most important points in the list above are running the chain through the cleaner for a reasonable length of time and b.) leaving the chain over lubricated for as long as possible to allow the oil to get right into the links before wiping off the excess.

Happy cleaning,
Ian.
If found, please return to the pub.

RhinoT16S

Post by RhinoT16S » Wed Aug 18, 2004 08:49

Lordy, there's a whole lot of cleaning going on :D

I'd recommend purchasing gears that still work when they're brimmed with crud - then sometimes hose down, WD40, toothbrush, WD40, rag wipe, bedtime. Thats all the attention the stumpy ever gets (UNLESS its been ridden in the sea/estuary to HS depth - then a full strip is req'd).

In my experience the black death that builds on the mech sprockets / tensioners has a greater effect on smooth shifts than the chain itself..
but then i could be a bit strange.

Post Reply