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New Shimano chain - to clean or not to clean?(5 posts)

New Shimano chain - to clean or not to clean?Rob West
Feb 4, 2004 7:36 AM
I've just bought a new Dura Ace 9 speed chain - it is covered in some pretty sticky grease. Surely this stuff needs to come off - right? I know that people say you are not supposed to clean chains too much so that you do not remove the lubricant deep in the rollers, but the grease it comes in can't do anything other than act as a dirt magnet.

I used White Lightning on my last chain which worked OK but the chain went rusty in no time - any suggestions?

re: New Shimano chain - to clean or not to clean?Doc Hollywood
Feb 4, 2004 8:59 AM
Different rules of thought on this.

Some people just install the chain and ride it until the chain is grungy enough until needs to be cleaned. They clean the grunge off and then they relube with their favorite potion. The stuff on the chain, cosmoline, is just a material that that is used to pack steel based materials to prevent them from rusting/corroding during shipment and storgage. Is is derived from paraffinc waxy materials and petroleum distillates. It does have some lubricating properties, but probably isn't the best for longer term chain life.

Others, like me remove the "packing grease" before installing the chain and then lube with a more fluid chain lube. I find that the chain flexes easier and doesn't pick up every dust molecule near the chain. The "packing grease" can be removed with a variety of liquids, but I find that paint thinner or mineral spirits is very efficient. I also recycle the organic solvent so that I can use it many times before I dispose of it properly.

As far as chain lube, I can't stand White Lightning because it doesn't last and just gunks up your chain. My recommendation is to stick with a wet (oil-based) lube versus a dry (wax lube). First, wax isn't really a great lubricating material and tends to wear off quickly.

My favorite lube is Slick Willy Slick-N-Dry for dry conditions. Lasts a long time, very water resistant, and very clean. I also find that repeated use of the Slick Willy requires much less full chain cleaning. I usually clean my chain (off the bike) only once a year and can get 7000 to 9000 miles per chain. YMMV.

clean and lube at the same time...C-40
Feb 4, 2004 9:38 AM
The popular 3-4 parts mineral spirits to one part synthetic motor oil is the perfect thing for a new chain. Apply the mix heavily and wipe the exterior of the chain clean with a folded paper towel. This lube requires several hours for the solvent to evaporate. I like to lube right afer a ride to allow the chain to set overnight before riding. Reapplly the lube after the first ride and you'll be set.
Is it a 7700 or a 7701?ekdave
Feb 4, 2004 10:44 AM
the 7701 has the dimples in the pins. the older 7700 has the pins which look like they have been hammered on two sides.

The 7701 comes with a different packing grease than the 7700. I find the 7701 grease is a fantastic lube. In fact, I really would love to get some of it! Works great on my Mtn bikesa and the road bike. Literally lasts 3 times longer than whatever lube I end up putting on top of it. And Ive tried EVERY lube. Rock-n-roll, waxes, Prolink, motorex, you name it. I havent tried the Shimano brand lube however. Hmmmmmmm. ???

On the other hand, the 7700 (as well as many Sedis/Sachs/SRAM chains Ive installed) comes packed in what can only be described as dirt-attraction glue. Simply aweful.

Ive had a piece of 7701 chain laying on my back driveway for over 1 year now. Havent touched it. Sucker looks like new!
Is it a 7700 or a 7701?Rob West
Feb 5, 2004 12:42 AM
It is a 7701 but still has the gunk - I'm in the UK so that might account for the difference.