Chain & Drivetrain Cleaning

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The Dude Abides
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Chain & Drivetrain Cleaning

Postby The Dude Abides » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:51 pm

Hi,

I have been riding for a while but just new to this forum.

I just wanted to get a general consensus on what other do to clean their chain and other drivetrain components.

Do you guys take all the components apart periodically, so we soak the chain, do we use metho or what degreasers do use?

Im interested in what you all do in this regard!

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drlodge
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Re: Chain & Drivetrain Cleaning

Postby drlodge » Thu Jan 10, 2013 13:23 pm

After every ride:
- wipe crud/dirt etc off chain with rag, both on the outside plates and the rollers
- re-lube (using ceramic wet lube at the moment)

Once it a while (1,000 miles ish depending on use)
- deep clean chain, chain ring, cassette etc and relube
WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
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Hip Priest
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Re: Chain & Drivetrain Cleaning

Postby Hip Priest » Thu Jan 10, 2013 13:24 pm

I use a Park Tools cyclone to clean my chain. But it's probably just as good to use an old rag. Spin the chain through it until is clean, then re-lube.

Akirasho
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Re: Chain & Drivetrain Cleaning

Postby Akirasho » Thu Jan 10, 2013 14:02 pm

... over the past couple of years there has been a bit of revisionist thinking on cleaning a chain and I'll only address my personal views/experiences...

I generally try to keep a clean drivertrain (reduces overall wear and makes shifting easier. Times between said vary depending on riding conditions but the drivertrain will generally tell me when it's needed (sloppier/slower shifts, noise, gunky look).

Here is where there might be controversy. I also use a Park Cyclone with an automotive (Castrol Superclean in the States) degreaser (biodegradable) but some now say that such a deep cleaning removes lubricants from deep inside the pin bushing/bearings that can never be replaced. Perhaps, but I've been doing it this way for over 20 years with seemingly no adverse affects.

So, deep clean the chain with the abovementioned, then rinse with lots of water and towel dry if necessary... apply a film of WD-40, not as a lubricant but to displace any water left on the chain (the WD in WD-40 stands for water displacement) then wipe off excess (a lot will evaporate on it's own if your film is light), then apply your lube of choice... dropwise to each link.. give the drivertrain a few cranks (about 30 seconds) to allow lube to work into bearing/bushing and wipe of excess (lube is for the pins only, not the sideplates). Done.

For the cassette and rings I use the EX's toothbrush and the Castrol Superclean (be careful not to get the Superclean into ANY other bearings) and rinse and dry (if the cassette is really gunky, I'll remove it from the hub and soak the gears for a bit (note: Superclean can mar the finish (cosmetic) on some aluminium so be careful).

Most modern equipment now come with "sealed" bearings so I rarely need to repack wheels or BBs like the old days, but when I do, I prefer a teflon based grease (I usually stick with cycling marketed products because it's easier than researching alternatives).

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drlodge
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Re: Chain & Drivetrain Cleaning

Postby drlodge » Thu Jan 10, 2013 14:38 pm

Akirasho wrote: ...some now say that such a deep cleaning removes lubricants from deep inside the pin bushing/bearings that can never be replaced. Perhaps, but I've been doing it this way for over 20 years with seemingly no adverse affects.



I think this 'old wives tale' is over rated. a cleaner will indeed strip lubrication from the insides of a chain, but 99.9% of all lubricants used on chains these days are thin enough to get back into those areas. I used to use pterol to clean chains, then apply engine old. OK that was with a 5 speed bike so doesn't have the tight tolerances of today!

Better to deep clean and relube than to have a horrible gritty paste in there wearing things out quickly.
WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
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Buckie2k5
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Re: Chain & Drivetrain Cleaning

Postby Buckie2k5 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 15:44 pm

hold baby wipes and run the chain through it, job done. To clean cassette stretch the wipes and run them between sprockets. Saves the use of any degreaser etc that destroys bearings.

The Dude Abides
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Re: Chain & Drivetrain Cleaning

Postby The Dude Abides » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:46 am

Nice, never thought of baby wipes, plenty of them around the house at present. They have a lot of uses!

CRAIGO5000
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Re: Chain & Drivetrain Cleaning

Postby CRAIGO5000 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:44 pm

Decorators wipes are far superior.

1. 1 wipe does the whole chain, it doesn't break apart and it creates a degreasing foam which works into the rollers.
2. Rinse with water.
3. Chain cleaner filled with hot water and a small amount of sugar soap. You're chain will already look clean but the rollers will still have gritty crud around them. The chain cleaner bristles sorts that out.
4. Rinse with water.
5. Towel dry and leave for a few hours.
6. Re-lube the next day, wipe-down and ride.

I do this once a week as part of my bike clean and the chain is like new.
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