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got carried away cleaning my chain today(29 posts)

got carried away cleaning my chain todayFrith
Aug 21, 2003 10:26 AM
It started out as a routine pre-lube wipe down of the chain and cogs and then I got to thinking about the little bits of grime in between each link. I thought about how it's that part that actually needs to be clean cause it's that part that comes in contact with the cogs and rings. Well one thing lead to another and my obsessive nature got a hold of me and before I knew it I was running a j-cloth between each link. The result was an immaculate chain. I wouldn't want to do that every time but it sure did look nice when I was done. I started thinking about how it might be worth it to invest in one of those chain cleaning devices. Do those things actually work? I want to hear all about the steps you guys take to clean and relube...what do you use and how obsessive do you get?
re: got carried away cleaning my chain today03Vortex
Aug 21, 2003 10:41 AM
get one. You are doing it the hard way. I use the Park Tool chain cleaner. Works well. An old toothbrush to supplement is also good.
just curious-CritLover
Aug 21, 2003 10:48 AM
- what's a j-cloth?

Must be thin to fit between the links... a regular towel/rag is impossible to fit in there.
just curious-Frith
Aug 21, 2003 10:54 AM
they are those thin blue rags that usually come in a kind of cardboard dispenser (but can also come folded in a package). I believe j-cloth is the brand name, but it's one of those things where everybody calls anything like it by the brand name (kinda like kleenex, or jacuzzi). Maybe they're a Canadian thing?
Yup, they're canadian...pedalpete
Aug 21, 2003 11:07 AM
I went looking for some when I was in the States one time, and couldn't find any.
There's no such thing!Ironbutt
Aug 21, 2003 10:52 AM
Actually, you havn't gotten carried away chain cleaning until you use a pipe cleaner inside each of the hollow pins on the entire chain, and run a rag through the inside of the links, every link. That takes lots of time. A couple of years ago, my wife solved the problem neatly- she gave me an ultrasonic parts cleaner for a birthday gift! Now that's an understanding wife! Incicentially, she does not clean her own bike. I think that that was the logic for the parts washer
re: got carried away cleaning my chain todayTriphop
Aug 21, 2003 10:55 AM
So what do you use to clean the cassette? I have not figured out how to do so adequately, without removing it from the hub cleaning each cog individually.

*I am sure I am doing it the hardest way possible and there is a simple brush which I have overlooked. :)
re: got carried away cleaning my chain todayFrith
Aug 21, 2003 10:57 AM
I just kinda pull the rag taught and do it kinda like flossing teeth, turning it as I go.
Park makes a perfectly good brush for cassettes...The Walrus
Aug 21, 2003 11:17 AM
...with a curved edge to the bristles and a hook on one end of the handle for pulling out those really big chunks of spooge.
Park makes a cassette brush -- works great (nm)pmf1
Aug 21, 2003 11:17 AM
re: got carried away cleaning my chain todaypowergyoza
Aug 21, 2003 11:48 AM
A tile grout brush is really good for cleaning the cassette. It's good on the jockey pulleys too. Cheaper than a bike specific brush.

Other tools in my arsenal:
*Tile brush
*Scotch Brite pad
*Teapot spout brush - really quick for cleaning chainrings!
*Dishsoap, degreaser, and glass containers for degreasing the chain.
cleaning my chainpmf1
Aug 21, 2003 11:15 AM
I clean a bike every 200-300 miles. I use Zepp citrus cleaner ($7/gallon at Home Depot) and a toothbrush on the chain. Clean the cassette with citrus cleaner and a Park cassette brush. Clean wheel rims (where brakes contact) and brake pads with a green scouring pad (Home Depot also sells these cheap) and some soap. Wash the frame with a sponge full of soapy water and hose everything down. This takes about 40 minutes. I let everything dry and then lube the chain and but the wheels back on. A repair stand is very handy to use when cleaning the bike.
I found the easy way - Home Brewbimini
Aug 21, 2003 11:34 AM
I use to use degreaser and a $30 chain cleaning gadget. Got the chain clean but the thin degreaser would splader and make a mess. Then follow up with a good lube.

I stared using home brew of 75% solvent and 25% 10W30. Just squirt it over a section of chain with a paper towel underneath. Do all section of the chain and then wipe it off with the same rag.

Just as clean, just one step, and the chain stays cleaner / longer since the lube is only inside the chain not on the outside. The solvent in the mix allows all the lube to be removed on the outside surfaces. When the solvent evaporates you have good oil based lube where you need it.
Rock and Roll Lube is the same way....Gregory Taylor
Aug 21, 2003 12:01 PM
I'm running Rock n' Roll Gold lube on my Dean (Campy Chorus/Record) with excellent results. It doesn't build up or collect crud, and lubing the chain serves to clean it. I think that this cleaning action is a function of the carrier that they use for the lubricant -- it smells fairly volatile.
re: got carried away cleaning my chain todaySCOOTERINSLC
Aug 21, 2003 11:37 AM
I simply remove the chain and toss it in a small Folgers instant coffee jar, put on the lid and shake. (The jar, not me) While that is soaking I brush off the cassette, cogs etc, with a toothbrush dipped in degreaser (Not the one I'm currently using) Reinstall sparkling clean chain, shazzam, 5 minutes.
re: got carried away cleaning my chain todaySCOOTERINSLC
Aug 21, 2003 1:04 PM
Maybe I should mention that there IS degreaser in the coffee jar. Thought it was magic, eh? lol
Pedros Chain CleanerAlpedhuez55
Aug 21, 2003 11:57 AM
I like my Pedros cleaner. It is quick and does a great job. I will run the chain throught ther cleaner, dry the degreaser off with a rag then apply the lube. It it is wet I use Icewaxx or dry I use Prolink or Pedro's Dry Lube. I will clean the cogs and chainrings if they look dirty as well.

Mike Y.
How about if your "Italian" frame was made in Taiwain? (nm)irregardless
Aug 21, 2003 12:32 PM
Excellent point, but posted to wrong thread? (nm)geeker
Aug 21, 2003 1:16 PM
LMAO!!!! (spits water onto monitor screen) That's the...MVN
Aug 21, 2003 3:27 PM
funniest thing I've seen all day!!
Yep (nm)irregardless
Aug 21, 2003 3:59 PM
My Routine...OPUSsum
Aug 21, 2003 12:53 PM
Every time I clean my chain...

Remove chain.
Soak in warm soapy water.
Dry with rag multiple times.
Spray every link with WD-40.
Dry with rag more times.
Clean in between every link.
Clean outside of every link.
Lube every link.
Run through gears.
Clean with dry rag.

Time elapsed: 1 hour 15 minutes.

Now who's obsessive?
yikes! ...nmt0adman
Aug 21, 2003 1:26 PM
Re: My routine: How much to you earn /hr? Buy a new chain!!nmSpunout
Aug 21, 2003 3:49 PM
re: got carried away cleaning my chain todayflying
Aug 21, 2003 1:24 PM
When cleaning bike every other week or so......
I take off the C-10 chain & soak it in a coffee can of gas.
When done cleaning bike I dry the chain reinstall & tri flo it. You should see the grime at the bottom of the can ;-)
I know many dont like gas & say it may dry out any rubber O rings etc but I have done this for over a dozen years no problems.
My quick methodoff roadie
Aug 21, 2003 8:05 PM
Replace chain yearly, rings and cassette bi yearly. Double frequency for mountain bike. Old chains go on the singlspeed.

Nah, actually I do the Zepp degreaser / tothbrush thing about once every 2 months (not so bad if you do 4 chains at a time) and I've been known to do the "chain floss" when I see big hunks of crud, but I still end up replacing a lot of drivertain bits each year, especially on the mountian bike. Shop wrench says this is normal for how I ride the MTB's (very hard, year round, in snow, mud, and sand), and my road bike sees a fair number of miles too.

The road bike actually does pretty good with just a good rag wipe on the moving chain and some Finsih Line XC. On group rides, my bike is one of the quietest and fastest shifting, though that may be because I know how to adjust shifters and lots of riders evidently don't.
My quick methodJack9
Aug 21, 2003 11:30 PM
I clean mine with Simple Green and a toothbrush, hose it off real well, blow all the water off with compressed air, (I bought a 5 gallon air compressor just for this purpose) spray on some brake cleaner while spinning the crank, blow that off, put a drop of Finish Line on each link.
I heard about someone who uses a leaf blower to dry his chain.
re: got carried away cleaning my chain todaylord_shadow
Aug 22, 2003 1:00 AM
I got all you guys beat for quickest way to clean up a drivetrain. I saw it in a magazine a while back and was a bit hesitant to try it, but after doing it once, I will never clean my bike any other way.
1. apply turpentine to chain, cassette, and chainrings. I use a paintbrush to apply.
2. spray off turpentine with cold water at low pressure.
3. dry with soft cloth. OR if you live in phoenix like me, wait a few minutes and it will be bone dry from evaporation.
4. done

The turpentine does not harm your finish, decals, carbon components, etc... Just don't go spilling it all over your bike because you don't want to get it into your bottom bracket, wheel bearings, headset, etc. You really don't need to use much. The turpentine breaks down road grease like nothing that I have ever seen before. Plus, it rinses off completely clean. There is absolutely no evidence that a degreaser has been on your bike after you hose it off. Your drivetrain will look new and the whole process only costs you about 5 minutes.

Happy riding,
MTB after every ride!retbchboy
Aug 22, 2003 5:17 AM
Park Chain cleaner works great.
I use Simple Green, got it at Sams. If it's really bad I do it twice and once with water, then one drop of oil on every link. It takes me all of 10 minutes and it shines and works better than new.
Now the rest of the bike is covered in mud but the entire drive train SHINES.