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KelOnWheels
06-05-2013, 02:27 PM
... to get ALL the dirt off a chain?

Instructions for cleaning/lubing your chain always say to just keep wiping the chain until no more dirt comes off... I have never gotten to this point, even with degreaser.

Do these people have an infinite supply of rags or something?

These are the things I ponder at 5:30 AM when I'm cleaning my chain. :confused:

jabberwocky
06-05-2013, 02:34 PM
Sure. A jar of mineral spirits and an industrial ultrasonic cleaner will have a chain absolutely completely pristine in about 20 minutes. :)

TwoWheelsDC
06-05-2013, 03:07 PM
Also remember that certain types of lubes attract more dirt/grime than others. I've been using a wet conditions lube on my commuter...I use it so that I can ride in the rain and not have to re-lube all the time, but it attracts gunk like crazy. I use a light lube on my road bike and that doesn't attract much dirt at all...tradeoff is that I have to re-lube if it rains or my drivetrain gets wet.

KelOnWheels
06-05-2013, 03:39 PM
Sure. A jar of mineral spirits and an industrial ultrasonic cleaner will have a chain absolutely completely pristine in about 20 minutes. :)

OK, is it possible without taking the chain off? :D

jabberwocky
06-05-2013, 03:46 PM
OK, is it possible without taking the chain off? :DCompanies make these wonderful things called powerlinks, Kel. ;)

83(b)
06-05-2013, 03:52 PM
I've followed the Eco-Velo guide to chainwaxing since switching to biking in a suit awhile back. It seems to work really well for lubricating the chain and keeps grime off of my cuffs (aided, of course, by a decent chainguard).

http://www.ecovelo.info/2011/10/10/chain-waxing-101/

txgoonie
06-05-2013, 03:57 PM
You only have to do a super-duper, mineral spirits soaking cleaning every once in a while. I used my handy-dandy Park Tool chain cleaner once every week or two, and that holds off the need for deep cleaning quite nicely.http://www.parktool.com/product/cyclone-chain-scrubber-CM-5-2 I also wipe and re-lube my chain between every ride or two.

One of my teammates who specializes in 100-mile MTB races swears by chain waxing. I haven't gone that route yet, but it sounds interesting.

KelOnWheels
06-05-2013, 04:01 PM
Companies make these wonderful things called powerlinks, Kel. ;)

I found the one on my chain today! I was very excited. :)

KelOnWheels
06-05-2013, 04:03 PM
I've followed the Eco-Velo guide to chainwaxing since switching to biking in a suit awhile back. It seems to work really well for lubricating the chain and keeps grime off of my cuffs (aided, of course, by a decent chainguard).

http://www.ecovelo.info/2011/10/10/chain-waxing-101/

"Remove the chain and strip it using your favorite biodegradable degreaser (my favorite method is to fill an old plastic soda bottle 1/4 of the way with Simple Green, feed the chain in the top, put on the cap, shake like crazy, let it soak for 10 minutes, shake like crazy again, then rinse the chain thoroughly with water)."

I'm already happy :D

jabberwocky
06-05-2013, 04:13 PM
I can vouch that an ultrasonic does indeed get a chain very clean. You need to be very thorough about relubing afterward, because it removes every last speck of lube inside and out. I don't generally go to that length with chains though; only when they get extremely dirty or they get grit in them that the park cleaner isn't fully removing.

Ultrasonics are awesome for cassettes. A dunk in some mineral spirits and then 15 minutes in the ultrasonic with some dish soap will have a cassette looking brand new.

dasgeh
06-05-2013, 04:15 PM
I've followed the Eco-Velo guide to chainwaxing since switching to biking in a suit awhile back. It seems to work really well for lubricating the chain and keeps grime off of my cuffs (aided, of course, by a decent chainguard).

http://www.ecovelo.info/2011/10/10/chain-waxing-101/

Ah... this is why my husband wanted me to get a cheap, small crock pot. FYI, if anyone is looking, I paid $3 at a local thrift store.

GuyContinental
06-05-2013, 04:26 PM
... to get ALL the dirt off a chain?

Instructions for cleaning/lubing your chain always say to just keep wiping the chain until no more dirt comes off... I have never gotten to this point, even with degreaser.

Do these people have an infinite supply of rags or something?

These are the things I ponder at 5:30 AM when I'm cleaning my chain. :confused:

New bike if I'm following things correctly... probably means new chain with factory grease. Sheldon Brown (who gets many more points than I ever will) says it's the best protectant ever... I can't stand it. Vile stuff. Attracts filth like nothing else. First thing I do with a new chain is degrease the hell out of it (using a sonic cleaner) and then re-lube with a lube of MY choosing (generally a thin petro lube like Pro-Link).

rcannon100
06-05-2013, 04:43 PM
Do these people have an infinite supply of rags or something?


Yes. These people are called mechanics. You can buy your infinite supply of rags at an autonmechanic store. You can buy them by the bundle (probably like 20). Or you can buy them by the box.

And if its not obvious, you do not want to leave greasy oil soaked rags around your basement. You might get visited by some other people who have an infinite supply of water coming out of hoses out of fire trucks. Use 'em and toss 'em.

My degreaser of choice.... biodegradable.... vinegar. Works great. I have an infinite supply in my basement (vinegar is cheap - can buy it by the gallon for nothing).

KLizotte
06-05-2013, 04:44 PM
"Remove the chain and strip it using your favorite biodegradable degreaser (my favorite method is to fill an old plastic soda bottle 1/4 of the way with Simple Green, feed the chain in the top, put on the cap, shake like crazy, let it soak for 10 minutes, shake like crazy again, then rinse the chain thoroughly with water)."

I'm already happy :D

This sounds like something that requires lots of practice to get it right. You can come over and practice on my bikes any time you want ;)

KelOnWheels
06-05-2013, 05:39 PM
New bike if I'm following things correctly... probably means new chain with factory grease. Sheldon Brown (who gets many more points than I ever will) says it's the best protectant ever... I can't stand it. Vile stuff. Attracts filth like nothing else. First thing I do with a new chain is degrease the hell out of it (using a sonic cleaner) and then re-lube with a lube of MY choosing (generally a thin petro lube like Pro-Link).

Yeah, whatever was on there was SUPER sticky. I should give it a good degrease I reckon :)

KelOnWheels
06-05-2013, 05:40 PM
This sounds like something that requires lots of practice to get it right. You can come over and practice on my bikes any time you want ;)

Directions unclear; head stuck in bottle :D

Rod Smith
06-05-2013, 06:22 PM
I never remove my chain until it's time to replace it and I never use degreaser. You don't need to do that stuff unless you really want to. Wipe it real good, at least 20 crank rotations. You don't need a clean rag, just use a part of the rag that isn't black yet. Put a little lube on, work it into the lower run of chain with your hand as you back pedal. Wipe off your hand. Wipe the chain again, same way, except with a rag instead of your hand, at least twenty rotations. Put a little more lube on, run the chain through your hand. Look at your hand. Notice it's not as black as it was the first time. Wipe off your hand, wipe off your chain, add a little more lube, work it in. Look at your hand. You hand isn't very black at all. Wipe off your hand, wipe off your chain thoroughly. It's clean enough now. If it's a silver chain, it looks shiny. It's just going to get dirty again. There's no reason to sterilize your chain as though it is a surgical instrument. Some people like to do that, but it's not necessary. Wash your hands and you're good to go! :)

Riley Casey
06-05-2013, 07:30 PM
Chain oil. Just like on a chain saw. I resisted this for years, believing the various voodoo nostrums about too sticky, not sticky enough, hyper slick blah, blah, blah. I finally tried real honest to goodness chain oil and it works like a champ. That and the fact that it's a fraction of the cost of bike shop chain lubricant. Having a never ending supply of worn out cotton socks helps with the wipe off and re-oil ritual too.

Just thought I'd muddy the waters but of course this has been a religious war since time immemorial. Protestants & Catholics, Shia & Sunni? bah - it's chain lube wars that really count.

hozn
06-05-2013, 08:20 PM
I agree with Rod. I used to do all sorts of things -- remove the chain, soak it in degreaser, or use one of those chain cleaners. Now I never remove my chain until it's time to throw it away and I never degrease it. I use Rock-n-Roll gold lube on my road bike and blue lube on my commuter (because it gets ridden in the rain). That stuff works fantastic at cleaning and lubing and now I spend effectively zero time and effort on this most boring part of the bike. And my chains last just as long or longer than when I did all the cleaning. I'm sure other lubes would work fine too, but I am a convert to the Rock-n-Roll stuff (and I went into this relationship pretty skeptical because it ain't cheap).

Vicegrip
06-05-2013, 09:23 PM
Having a 5 gallon heated high power ultrasonic cleaner and an air compressor in the home shop I tend to clean the chain once a month or so or after it gets run for a while in the rain. It comes out at 190 deg and flash dries in a few seconds. I follow up with a air jet blast to knock out any remaining water. I too use rock n roll gold and after a full on dunk cleaning I put the chain in a zip lock bag and squirt in some lube. I will roll it around from time to time while doing other things. this makes a little go a long way and lets the lube soak in and around the pins and rollers. You can clean a chain for 20 min and once you dunk it in a ultrasonic cleaner and flip the switch you will see a bloom of funk come off it. is this level of cleaning needed? Likely not.

When I am just oiling the chain I drip lube on the links as I move the chain along with a rag. the rag soaks up excess and cleans the chain as it goes. I have to say I like the sound of a clean, lightly oiled drive train running big ring the middle of the cogs. SSSSSSSSSSSSSS. On the other hand there are better things to do and focus on while on a bike ride.

DismalScientist
06-06-2013, 07:57 AM
Sheldon Brown says this: http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html

Riley Casey
06-06-2013, 08:57 AM
Anyone ever notice how "Sheldon Brown says" is sort of the bike equivalent of quoting the Constitution or the old testament of the bible?


Sheldon Brown says this: http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html

rcannon100
06-06-2013, 09:10 AM
Hum. I might try one of the environmental lubes. Behind the Label: chain lube (http://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/behind_the_label/269783/behind_the_label_chain_lube.html), Ecologist 2009


Once in the environment, PFCs (TEFLON) have been shown to accumulate in organs like the liver, gall bladder and thyroid gland. In primates, including humans, exposure to one of Teflon’s breakdown products, PFOA, has led to an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). A prolonged state of hypothyroidism is a risk for obesity, insulin resistance and thyroid cancer.

Dickie
06-06-2013, 09:51 AM
A quote from Sheldon himself:

"New chains come pre-lubricated with a grease-type lubricant which has been installed at the factory. This is an excellent lubricant, and has been made to permeate all of the internal interstices in the chain.This factory lube is superior to any lube that you can apply after the fact.Some people make the bad mistake of deliberately removing this superior lubricant. Don't do this!The factory lubricant all by itself is usually good for several hundred miles of service if the bike is not ridden in wet or dusty conditions. It is best not to apply any sort of lube to a new chain until it is clearly needed, because any wet lube you can apply will dilute the factory lube."

jabberwocky
06-06-2013, 09:53 AM
I tried leaving the factory grease on once. Once. The problem is, that stuff is sticky as hell, so every speck of dust/dirt/pollen/insect/etc that gets anywhere near it sticks to it. Forever.

Tim Kelley
06-06-2013, 09:57 AM
I tried leaving the factory grease on once. Once. The problem is, that stuff is sticky as hell, so every speck of dust/dirt/pollen/insect/etc that gets anywhere near it sticks to it. Forever.

I made the mistake of taking a mountain bike with the factory grease on the chain out in sandy conditions for it's first ride ever. Never again.

Dickie
06-06-2013, 10:01 AM
Never had a problem myself, but I guess I am just cleaner than you guys :) I also use only Campy chains so maybe the Italians aren't that greasy... Ugh, I'm gonna get flack for that right?

Rod Smith
06-06-2013, 05:54 PM
Hum. I might try one of the environmental lubes. Behind the Label: chain lube (http://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/behind_the_label/269783/behind_the_label_chain_lube.html), Ecologist 2009

I should have said to wear a rubber glove when working the lube into the chain with your hand. I don't but maybe will after reading this. Not just to avoid contact with toxic chemicals that may be absorbed through the skin, but also to avoid a lot of scrubbing when you wash up after lubing. It's sort of impossible to get all the black off your hand otherwise. :(

brendan
06-07-2013, 12:49 AM
I've moved into the "just lightly clean and relube the chain, infrequently, until it (and probably my cassette) needs to be replaced" camp. This is usually indicated by my chain breaking.

Next issue: what do you do with old chains and cassettes?

Brendan

TwoWheelsDC
06-07-2013, 08:12 AM
Next issue: what do you do with old chains and cassettes?

Brendan

http://www.etsy.com/listing/130836925/reclaimed-bicycle-chain-link-earrings?ref=v1_other_1

consularrider
06-07-2013, 08:26 AM
... Next issue: what do you do with old chains and cassettes?

Brendan
Mine go in the recycling bin after being wiped off.

culimerc
06-07-2013, 08:41 AM
If anybody is ditching chains cassettes or Chain Rings please let me know. The little missus wants to try to make rain chains out of them.

dasgeh
06-07-2013, 09:10 AM
Next issue: what do you do with old chains and cassettes?


If I had more time, I would try to do some projects with them. As I have negative free time, I'm hoping that Pheonix bikes will take them, and work with students/artists to make more bike-related art and jewelry and sell it. There's great inspiration from the internet, but it seems hard to find places to buy them. Seems like a little shop of bike-related art would be a great fundraiser.

Would others buy it? Henry, would y'all be willing to take that on (I know, I know, with all of your free time)?

brendan
06-07-2013, 05:30 PM
http://www.etsy.com/listing/130836925/reclaimed-bicycle-chain-link-earrings?ref=v1_other_1

Heh, I always thought quick-links would make good (and useful) jewelry...