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What is that gunk on new chains?(10 posts)

What is that gunk on new chains?LC
Apr 19, 2001 12:11 PM
Will that sticky stuff on new chains react with either oil or wax based lubes? Do I need to clean a brand new chain and what is that stuff anyway?
re: greaseAkirasho
Apr 19, 2001 12:19 PM
A "new" chain may be installed immediately... or sit in a warehouse for years... Grease holds up much better for shipping and storing a chain (before sale or installation on a bike) than an oil based lubricant...

While it's effective in preventing corrosion... it's also a dirt magnet once installed. After installing a new chain, I degrease it and relube with my usual lube as necessisary.

Be the bike.
re: What is that gunk on new chains?DoubleK
Apr 19, 2001 12:56 PM
That gunk is a preservative grease I have always called Cosmoline (not sure if it really is anymore). Anyway, as the poster below indicates, it is a just to keep your chain from rusting on the shelf. It works great too, I've had an old Dura-Ace chain for probobly six years still in the bag and it's just like the day it came off the assembly line.

Anyway, you definetly want to get that stuff off the chain before you put it on your bike. It will gum up your chainrings and cogs and dirt will literally seek out your bike to set up residency. What I do is scrub the chain down really well with Gunk Foamy Enginebrite and then wash it off with water. Dry the chain, install it, and then make sure you lube it right away to prevent rust. That's my $.02 anyway. Later.
re: What is that gunk on new chains?LC
Apr 19, 2001 3:00 PM
Took my brand new Shimano HG-92 chain out of the sealed bag and put it in a clean jar with new solvent and shook it up real good. When I looked in the bottom of the jar there was a layer of fine metal fragments.

No wonder chains wear out so fast; add some oil to metal fragments and you have some nice grinding paste. Now I will have to try the same thing with a Sachs chain and see if I also get the metal fragments.
re: What is that gunk on new chains?Homer
Apr 19, 2001 8:03 PM
What solvent did you use on your chain?
re: What is that gunk on new chains?DrD
Apr 20, 2001 3:12 AM
I use a jar of mineral spirits - leaves no residue.

Terpentine will work too, if you don't mind the smell...
re: What is that gunk on new chains?LC
Apr 20, 2001 7:39 AM
Just some generic cleaning solvent used to clean auto parts.
re: What is that gunk on new chains?Dirk Lenart
Apr 20, 2001 9:48 AM
It seems a bit drastic to me to clean the chain in bottle of solvent as posters propose.

I also clean it, (Shimano even advises it), but only by running a rag with a little bit Citrusdissolver or WD-40 on it to get rid of the sticky outside.

Then I apply some lube (Boeshield). There's nothing wrong with the grease inside the chainlinks.

Dirk Lenart
Shimano Race Support Advicegrz mnky
Apr 20, 2001 3:49 PM
One of the Shimano mechanics said to leave the orignal grease on and ride for a while - I guess it's supposed to be good stuff. Not sure I *want* to know what's in it tho'.
agreeJack S
Apr 20, 2001 4:03 PM
and so do my LBS mechanics... if you degrease are you sure you get it all out anyway? and when you re-lube, are you sure that the lube gets into all the little spaces between each and every link?