Bicycle Travel > Gear Talk

Chain Maintenance on Tour

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Thanks for the responses so far, guys.

I've been using a product called Boeshield T9, it's a solvent/paraffin wax combo. It comes in a fairly convenient applicator bottle which I think will be ok to haul on the tour, and it does a wee bit of crud flushing. I suspect the crushed limestone of the GAP and C&O dirt will still accumulate fairly rapidly on the drivetrain. We can try water rinsing to remove a bit as well (A garden hose or even water bottle squirts might help. I'd heard in the past to avoid using high pressure water on components to avoid forceing grit into parts - I suspect this was primarily advised for protecting bearings).
I guess the mess of dealing with cleaning is really what I'm was haveing trouble picturing. My past touring, 99.9% improved surfaces, hadn’t presented the need for more than lubricating after at least several hundred miles. My  home technique has been SimpleGreen, a bunch of newspaper to keep drippings off the ground and rims/tires, then a last water rinse before disposing  newspaper, then lubricating. I'm thinking the plan for this trip will be monitor and lubricate, pick up bottle of SimpleGreen as needed, read newspaper, and have a five bike cleanup when the appropriate time/place is  reached.

dkokolo  - do you do old,old school melted wax application? Wax stick? Other?

Hondo - also wondered if you had a specific product too recommend.  And thanks for pointing out your Youtube , I'll check it out

Thanks again for the help so far  -  would still like to hear additional suggestions that are out there  :D  Tom

Tom,outside of washing my bike off once on the GAP/Towpath I didnt really worry about getting the bike clean until I got home. After I got home I then took the chain off and cleaned all the grit,dirt, grease off of it, the cogs, derailler,etc. I just use this stuff from walmart in the sporting goods section called White lightening EASY LUBE. they have one for dry dusty riding and one for wet. It seems to work pretty well. Also incase you havent found it yet, theres a really good site called BIKECANDO.COM on the net. This is really well put together for all you need to know about the trail. Have fun!

Old Guy New Hobby:
Havings used both and having ridden the C & O - Boeshield is the best for road riding IMO. White Lightening is better at not collecting grime, flaking off to keep the chain clean. I sure hope you have full fenders. It's amazing the difference between my bike and others in the group that didn't have fenders. 

dkokolo  - do you do old,old school melted wax application? Wax stick? Other?

Melted wax in a pot (can, actually, on tour). Tried White Lightening type wax lubricant; disappointed.

Mention was made of cleaning chain. My "cleaning" consists of wiping chain before dumping into pot. As mentioned, wax picks up very little grit; what is still on chain before dumping into pot falls to bottom of pot, and can be cleaned out later.

As far as chains go, the gravel of the GAP is worse than the mud of the C&O, in my opinion (I've ridden both end-end on my single bike). The mud washes off more easily and doesn't grit-up the chain to the extent that the GAP's gravel does.

For 10 days, I wouldn't worry too much about relubing, but would rather just wipe the chains clean at the end of each day. If you have access to a hose at the end of the day I would also occasionally rinse them off.

Last year we also rode about 100 miles of the GAP on our triplet. Talk about trying to keep chains clean! On the triplet we have four chains, including the child stoker kit. We had a bit of rain on the GAP ride and the chains got gritty pretty quickly. Rinsing them off with a hose helped a lot.


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