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Chain Cleaning tools(20 posts)

Chain Cleaning toolsAztecs
Aug 27, 2001 4:14 AM
Looking into getting a chain cleaning tool. Are these worth it? What models should I look at? Park, Pedros?

Thanks for any input
re: Chain Cleaning toolsVelocipedio
Aug 27, 2001 4:30 AM
I like the Park C-5. Works like a charm.
A Toothbrush and some mineral spirits...Greg Taylor
Aug 27, 2001 5:10 AM
...works best of all. I own the Park chain cleaner, and it really doesn't do much more than clean the crud off of the outer chain plates -- looks nice, but functionally it isn't cleaning where you need it, on the inside of the chain.

If you have a SRAM chain with a power link, just pop it off, and soak the chain in some mineral spirits. I use a plastic tub that used to hold disposable baby wipes. Clean out the grit and crap on the inside with a toothbrush, rinse, and let dry. While the chain is drying, clean the chainrings and the cassette -- they have crap on them that will undo all of your hard work on the chain if you don't clean them too! Pop the chain back on, lube with your favorite lube (I like ProLink), and you are ready to rock.
I second this method.Mel Erickson
Aug 27, 2001 5:31 AM
A couple of days ago I scrubbed my chain with diluted simple green and a toothbrush, slapped it back on, relubed, and off I went. Still had some noise and checked the chain when I got back. What I thought was clean was still somewhat cruddy (really should get those bi-focals). Took it off again and let it sit in a tub of mineral spirits, scrubbed with a toothbrush, let dry, lubed, slapped it on. Voila, silence is golden.
metal toothbrushBreezydz
Aug 27, 2001 8:49 AM
Gun shops sell wire brushes the size of a toothbrush and smaller. Some have one of each on either end. I like these better 'cause the bristles don't fray as quickly when I use them on the rear cogs. I don't remove the chain except to throw it out when it's done.
If you're using a metal brush I hope itLive Steam
Aug 27, 2001 10:41 AM
has brass bristles. Anything else will certainly be detrimental to you components.
metal toothbrushMel Erickson
Aug 27, 2001 11:10 AM
I like the wire brush idea but I just use my old, discarded toothbrushes. But then again, I can't bear to throw something out that might have a second use. I used to administer a solid waste disposal and recycling program and old habits die hard.
I third itpmf
Aug 27, 2001 9:59 AM
I never remove my Shimano chain (except to change it). Too much trouble. I use citrus cleaner from Home Depot and a tooth brush. Mineral spirits if its really a mess.
I rarely clean mine any more ...Humma Hah
Aug 27, 2001 5:17 AM
I'll clean a chain used off-road that has gotten muddy, but rarely a road chain any more. The lube that comes on the ones I've been using (about $10 each) tends to stay in place and not pick up dirt. Any attempt to clean and lube the chain seems to

a) wash dirt down INTO the links

b) make the surface a dirt magnet.

Before the factory lube starts to go, I've got enough stretch and lateral play in the chain that I retire it. Singlespeeds are less subject to deraillment if they have a fairly fresh chain.
Doesn't work for me HummahMel Erickson
Aug 27, 2001 5:26 AM
My drivetrain starts to sound noisy and doesn't shift as well when it gets dirty. I'm not a fanatic about cleaning my chain but I do it when it starts to tell me it needs cleaning (2-4 weeks?). What type of chain do you use? The factory grease that comes on the SRAM chains is fairly sticky. It picks up dirt and wears away on my chains just like other lubricants.
Chromed Diamondback DBX chains ...Humma Hah
Aug 27, 2001 2:33 PM
... intended for BMX. Maybe that's the key, they're dirt chains and the lube may be different -- its kinda waxy.

They'd be a little short for the derailleur, and I'd not make any guarantees about the master link working on a derailleur.
I never take the chain off except to throw it away.MB1
Aug 27, 2001 5:41 AM
I wipe the chain off every time I lube it, the pulleys and chainrings too. Every so often I scrub the cassette with Simple Green. I believe in regular maintenance and try not to let things get out of hand.
re: Chain Cleaning tools4bykn
Aug 27, 2001 6:04 AM
I have one of those chain cleaners, but found I can do a better job of cleaning myself. I soak the chain with SimpleGreen, let sit for a minute, and then use the garden hose to "power wash" all the crap out. All with the chain on the bike. The key is to let it dry completely and then lube well. Every other time I remove the back wheel and give the cassette the same treatment. Keeps everything shiny and new-looking.
Toilet Brushjtolleson
Aug 27, 2001 7:47 AM
A toothbrush works too, but the bristles are a little too short in my book.

Chain cleaning tools can be good, but they only clean the chain. I use Simple Green and a toilet brush, and can scrub chain, cogs, and derailleurs all at the same time. Scrub, rinse, wipe, dry, relube. Go easy on the lube (even the best can attract dirt or leave geeky shark's teeth on your right calf). Rags are fine, but don't have the scrubbing capability of a brush with longer, stiff bristles. Any good degreaser works, but Simple Green is cheap and effective.
re: Chain Cleaning toolsMeDotOrg
Aug 27, 2001 7:54 AM
There seems to be a lot of bad feelings about chain cleaners, but I would like to put in a good word about Finish Line's chain cleaner. Works well for me. Yes, I have a toothbrush and Simple Green (which I use instead of expensive degreasers) but the Finish Line cleaner does a good job.
Second the Finish Line recommendationOld School
Aug 27, 2001 8:40 PM
I use it with generic citrus degreaser, seems to strip things pretty clean. On my new bike I use ProLink, but see my post up higher on the board about Paraffin...I am thinking of returning to my roots. With paraffin, you don't clean the chain (unless it was lubed before and you are waxing it for the first time...you just drop the old chain (VERY CAREFULLY) into the hot wax and wiggle it around a bit when it comes up to temperature...clean wax will replace the old wax and any grime that was on the chain. Every now and then you popped the cooled block of wax out of the pan you kept it in and pared off the dirty stuff on the bottom, and you were back in action with clean wax.

Somebody remind me why I am lubing my chains now...???

Off to the hotplate!
Just like mini-pumpsmr_spin
Aug 27, 2001 8:10 AM
It doesn't hurt to use a chain cleaner, but none of them work all that well. Sorta like mini-pumps. Lower your expectations and you won't be disappointed.

The only reason I still use a chain "cleaner" is that it gets the degreaser (or whatever you use) all over the chain and its interior parts, somewhat like soaking the chain would do. That's great for the "inside" of the chain, but for the outside, it does nothing a rag couldn't do better. I clean the outside by hand with a brush.
now you said it...2-day license
Aug 27, 2001 10:46 AM
degreasing the "interior" of a chain... where you will never ever get lube back between the links. Ed Z's gonna come tear you a new one.
Durability of chain cleaners poorDaveG
Aug 27, 2001 8:42 AM
I've used several chain cleaners, including Park, Finish Line, and Bibox. They all clean the chain well, but every one of them broke down quickly. These things are just made too cheaply to work over the long haul. I'd be willing to pay more for one built like a tank, but no one offers that. I'm using the rag and occasional toothbrush plan now and that's just fine.
re: Chain CleaningLI Biker
Aug 27, 2001 9:23 AM
I use White Lightning (not raceday) on my road bike and never clean the chain. Just wipe it with a rag, clean the chainrings, cogs, etc. and lube it. For the cleaing I used rags and sometimes a toothbrush. Often the chain lasts 5,000 miles.