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How do you keep your drive train clean?(10 posts)

How do you keep your drive train clean?crankspinner
Jul 30, 2001 8:00 AM
I would like some ideas on easy ways to keep my chain and sprockets clean.

Even though I go easy on the Tri-Flow and wipe off the excess, it only takes a few miles for things to get gritty and greasy looking.

Breaking the chain is a hassle and I'm out of old tooth brushes!

Has anyone tried those chain cleaning gizmos. The one Park makes, looks as if it may work....

Any ideas would be appreciated.
re: How do you keep your drive train clean?grzy mnky
Jul 30, 2001 9:41 AM
Tried the gizmos with mixed results. They're pretty effective in taking the mess from the chain and spreading it around your work area. If the splatter doesn't do the trick you can accidentially knock the thing over when you're not paying attention.

I've found one of the best ways is to do a total bike cleaning using something like the Pedros Pit Kit and the Park cogset brush and sometimes the chain cleaner. The key is the citrus based degreaser (the Ace Hdw. brand concentrate works great) and a nice collection of brushes to get all the nooks and crannies. Another trick is to use a Power Link (not good for Campy 10) which allows you to pop the chain off w/out tools and you can then dunk the whole works in a coffee can of solution - just make sure you rinse and dry (compressed air is usually what's required) otherwise you get solvent left inside the links and lubrication will not cling.

One of the other keys is to NOT use Tri-Flow - that stuff is "liquid dirt magnet." Try some of the drive train specific specific lubricants that is supposed to dry. BTW - I'm not a fan of White Lightning - it's a poor excuse for a lubricant and then you've got the waxy build up. However, many others swear by it. finish Line has been my old standby, but recently started trying something new called "TCR" (?). don't have enough time yet for any feed back.
re: How do you keep your drive train clean?Ken
Aug 1, 2001 9:08 AM
After about 2200 miles I wanted to take the C-10 chain off the bike to give it a proper cleaning. Before I cleaned it on the bike. I could never get it clean to my satisfaction while the chain was on the bike. But to break the Campy 10 speed chain and put it back together the tradional way was too intimidating. I went and bought some 9 speed powerlinks and a new C-10 chain. With the new C-10 chain as backup, I decided to break the chain at the permalink. The delinking was easy. I cleaned the chain using a distillate of petroleum and put the chain back on using the powerlink. Took the bike for a short test ride in the hills nearby. Shifting was the same as ever only the chain was a lot cleaner.

SRAM 9 speed Powerlinks work with C-10 chains.

I use Pro-link, applied probably more times/fewer milesbill
Jul 30, 2001 10:01 AM
than a lot of people, with judicious wipedowns a few minutes after spinning the chain around a bit. And, even though you aren't supposed to have to with Prolink, because the stuff is supposed to wash out the grit in the pins, I clean the chain every couple of hundred (maybe 300 or so) miles with a chain cleaning device. As GM says, you are bound to make a mess with it, but I do think that they work, helping to clean the grit out from the spaces in the chain. I can't see how that stuff would not end up in the pins if you didn't clean it out from the spaces once in a while. I also wipe the chainrings, brush down the cogset, and use a brush on the rear derailer pulley sprockets (you know, sometimes, when I need to hide from the wife).
I have left my chain on for 2500 miles, and I have no intention of removing it until it needs a new one. If I needed any convincing before, a friend of mine wrecked twice from losing chains in triathlons, and I'm sure that it was because he fouled up removing or replacing his chain. Who needs that?
Pro-link techniqueKerry Irons
Jul 30, 2001 5:31 PM
Whether you use ProLink or the OMS/Mobil 1 mixture, the technique is the same. Wipe the gunk off chain, rings, cogs, and pulleys, then sluice the chain with lube, shift through the gears several times (front and rear), and then wipe everything till the rag is pretty clean. Do this every 300-400 miles, and you're good to go. The key element is to use lots of lube in the application, which displaces all the gunk and crud, which is then wiped off.
re: How do you keep your drive train clean?Steeeve
Jul 30, 2001 10:55 AM
I have used White Lightning for a couple years now. No problems. Added Bonus: When I transport my bike in my van, there are no greasy marks on the interior.
clean and lubeC-40
Jul 30, 2001 2:54 PM
I use a mixture of 4 to 5 parts mineral spirits to one part synthetic motor oil to "clean and lube" the chain. Apply the mixture heavily, to the lower section of chain between the rear derailleur and the crank. Catch the excess with a folded paper towel, held under the chain. Wipe each section of the chain, before rotating the crank to the next section. When the entire chain has been lubed, spin the cranks several turns, wiping with the wet towel. The wet towel can also be used to clean the cogs, derailleur pulleys and chainrings. Follow up with a dry towel. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes. If done at least once a week (more often in dirty conditions), the chain will never need removal for additional cleaning and there will never be any lubricant build-up. If you happen to neglect the chain for more than a week, apply the lube twice, to enhance the cleaning effect. The lubing should be done long before riding, to allow time for the mineral spirits to evaporate, leaving only a thin coating of oil.
re: How do you keep your drive train clean?Mike Prince
Jul 31, 2001 1:11 AM
After every ride, I take 2 minutes and wipe down the chain with a rag. Removes extra lube that oozes out of the chain during a ride and also removes the dirt and grime on the surface. Depending on how things look, I may wipe the jockey pulleys and run the rag between the cassette cogs if I'm feeling ambitious.

I am a two-year user of Pro-Link and applied properly it does a great job. At first I put way too much on and like Tri-Flow it was a dirt magnet. Once I learned that the lube belongs on the inside of the rollers only my chain and drivetrain became cleaner. I know when to apply more when I notice my chain making more noise than normal - I wipe the chain and apply lube as soon as I get home. I usually get 2500-3000 miles from a chain this way.

Maybe once a month I'll do a thorough cleaning with degreasers, removing the cassette (never the chain) and really scrubbing things, but for everyday use my method above keeps my drivetrain looking (and more importantly) working good.
I have a "breakable" chain...jba
Jul 31, 2001 11:10 AM
After getting sick of using a toothbrush to clean the chain on the bike, I bought a KMC SuperShuttle chain with the breakable/re-useable link. (Some have complained about this chain, but it's never given me problems.)

I just open the chain, remove it from the drivetrain, and dump it in a bucket of Simple Green for a few minutes while mixing it up. Afterwards, I wipe the chain clean with a rag (alot), spray it with WD-40 to remove water, let it drip off, wipe it clean again (alot), and apply small amounts of Tri-Flow to the links, let that drip dry, and put it back on the bike.

Sometimes, I remove the cassette and do the same soaking in Simple Green. Sometimes I leave it on the wheel and I just wipe all the junk off, spray it with WD-40 and keep wiping with a rag between cogs until it's clean.

The chainrings are easiest to clean with Simple Green and a toothbrush.

Thanks to all that posted....crankspinner
Aug 9, 2001 9:58 AM
Things are much cleaner.

I've switched to mineral spirits and mobil one and that seems to work for me...

Thanks agian,