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Diesel as chaincleaner?(14 posts)

Diesel as chaincleaner?Pewe
Jun 18, 2003 2:00 AM
Is it OK to use diesel (the same stuff that you can buy on a gasstation) for cleaning your chain? I use a Campy C10 chain and heard that diesel is esp. good since it doesn't completely dry out you chain.
It will clean the chain.the bull
Jun 18, 2003 4:09 AM
So will any fuel or solvent.I dont think its the best way to do it.It would remove too much oil from inside links and as you rode it would sling back out.
I would say keep chain wiped off with rag and reoil every 100 miles or so depending on riding conditions.
If this is not good enough then I would clean with a brush and some degreaser.
I don't understand this argumentpitt83
Jun 19, 2003 6:39 AM
The chain is made entirely of metal. Metal doesn't dissolve in organic solvents last I checked. Hence, what could possibly be wrong with cleaning in Kero, pain thinner, any solvent? You're going to replace the lube, and hopefully, clean the old off 100%

I've heard the commetn about stripping the oil out of the chain being bad, but isn't that the purpose?
I should have been more clear!the bull
Jun 19, 2003 10:56 AM
First of all its not a argument.
I said it would clean the chain.
then I offered my advice on how I would clean a chain.
I dont clean chains like that.
You can but I dont.
I Keep my chains wiped off and clean on the outside.
I use a water based lube (Ice wax) Before the chain gets real dirty I wipe it off and lube then wipe it agian until it is clean.It never even gets bad enough to where I need a brush and degreaser.

Lets say you soak a chain in solvent.
It removes all oil.
Then there is going to be some solvent still deep in chain.
Are you going to ride it like that?
and add some oil-I hope not.
You could blow it out with compressed air but then deep in the chain it will be dry then you have to give the chain a good soaking in you prefered lube.
Okay why not just wipe chain down and lube every couple of rides.
If you take the chain off the bike to soak it then your going to put it back on?
Hmm okay what ever.
If I am going to take a chain off I replace it.
I replace my chains long before they wear out.
The drivetrain looks clean and my cassettes last a long time.It sounds expensive but I have never had a chain fail(except on a mtb)and the cassttes last longer (campy cassttes are not cheap and I use full ti).

As for WD 40 or whatever- no way!
I would never put that crap on my chain.
Its not a lube and it atracts dirt.
I should have been more clear!Spoiler
Jun 19, 2003 1:12 PM
If you're using water-based lube you won't want solvent residue on the chain. But if you're using a solvent based lube, then it's no big deal.
Solvents evaporate, so unless you install and ride the chain while it's still dripping with solvent, it will take care of itself.

"Are you going to ride it like that? and add some oil-I hope not."

Why not? Anyone who uses Prolink is doing just that. Prolink and similar lubes are just oil and solvent mixed together. Shortly after application, the solvent evaporates.

"Okay why not just wipe chain down and lube every couple of rides."

This works fine for a month or so of steady riding. But you're only cleaning the outside of the chain. What about the inside of the rollers? By continually wiping the chain with a rag, you're forcing the oil and grit deep inside the rollers.

"You could blow it out with compressed air but then deep in the chain it will be dry then you have to give the chain a good soaking in you prefered lube."

You don't have to drop the chain in a bucket of lube to get penetration. One good sized drop of lube on top of a roller will work its way inside in its own. If you can manage to keep the lube on the inside of the chain while keeping the outside dry, it won't attract and pick up so much sand, grit, and dirt.
Hey I know you guys like to argue but I dont care anymore!the bull
Jun 19, 2003 2:05 PM
My chain is clean.
I use Ice wax.
When I go to re-lube it I use it heavily.
Then I hold my fingers on the chain and spin the crank.
This works clean lube in and and mixes with the lube that is in there.Then I wipe off the excess lube with a clean rag. If you do it every 100 miles or so it stays clean.
No flame at you intendedpitt83
Jun 20, 2003 4:50 AM
Just that I've read the argument about "removing all the oil from inside" before. The whole thing is metal and I'd prefer to strip everything. Why would you filter engine oil and put it back in? Same argument as incompletely cleaning a chain.

You're right about removing the cahin too often. Every time you open a link, you weaken the chain. Doing that for cleaning sake too often is more harm than good.

You're technique works fine for you and, for simplicity, I now use simple green and a chain box followed with a rag wipe. I do that twice monthly and probably am doing better than just the semi-annual strip in the dunk tank of paint thinner.

I lube with Pedro's extra dry teflon and that works for me. Some people swear that IceWax will polymerize and gunk up requiring more frequent cleaning and holding more dirt inside the globs. Doubt that, especially since you seem like you clean often, but I've read it.

I agree, WD-40 is evil. Nothing more than aeresol kerosene and god knows what else. Brake cleaner works great to clean, but is strong stuff. (use with adequate ventilation)

As always, YMMV.
I used oil to lube chain before I went to wax.the bull
Jun 20, 2003 10:36 AM
When I rode mtn bikes.
No matter how often I clean the chain it would alway give you "Fred leg" if you touced the chain.Oil seems to attract more dirt than wax.
Spolier is right I dont disagree with him.I feel he is twisting my words around, though.
Clear kerosine or mineral spirits ...Humma Hah
Jun 18, 2003 6:03 AM
Diesel stinks. Clear kero is more refined but almost the same thing, and smells better.

I prefer a low-volatility mineral spirits from the paint store. I keep some in a couple of gallon paint cans, one dirty, the second for rinsing. I put the chain or other parts in a hardware-cloth basket, immerse, and agitate. When done, I just seal up the can to use again.
Jun 18, 2003 7:20 AM
I read a book written by a mechanic for some Euro team in the 80's. He used diesel to clean the chain, cogs and rings. Of course, all the cleaning took place outside, and the drivetrain was done first, so fumes wouldn't be too bad.
I suppose you could use it, but personally, unless I do a rain ride, I rarely do more than wipe the chain with a clean rag, and relube.
After rain rides, I'll drag out the chaincleaner if I can feel crunching inside the links. Simple Green and hot water does a great job, followed by ample rinses in clean water to prevent any corrosion from the cleaner.
re: Diesel as chaincleaner?sparklenuts
Jun 18, 2003 7:51 AM
i like mineral spirits, a widemouth pepsi bottle to shake in and wash in hot water. Apply some prolink and wipe down. Works great. Get a SRAM link so it's easy to take off your chain. I have tried all of the others mentioned and Kero and Diesel are nasty. Mix 3 pts. mineral to 1 syn motor oil, slather on, wipe down and let dry overnight, the mineral spirits clean and the small amount of synthetic oil work their way into the chain (sort of home made prolink) This is of course no sub for taking the chain off and washing.
I use WD 40arderra
Jun 18, 2003 1:04 PM
I use it to clean all of the moving parts, derailers, chainsets etc. It cleans all the moving parts and lubs them at the same time.
Are you just baiting us...TFerguson
Jun 21, 2003 4:56 AM
For the 100th time, WD40 is not a lubricant.
re: Diesel as chaincleaner?M_Currie
Jun 18, 2003 6:35 PM
I can sort of see the point, since diesel has some lubricity (must do, or it would gobble up injection pumps); on the other hand, if you're using some other lubricant after you clean, it seems more useful to use something with better solvent qualites and let it dry the chain out. The chain, unlike, say, a precision ball bearing, will not be damaged by being dry for a short while.

If you're cleaning ball bearings, diesel is a very good idea, though.