Author Topic: Chain Cleaner  (Read 7163 times)

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Re: Chain Cleaner
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2011, 10:41:54 am »
My bike mechanic GDMBR touring partner last year turned me on to the waxed-based White Lightning "Clean Ride" (there are three different formulations).  He was so passionate about it when I asked his opinion in front of the bike lube selection at the hardware store in Pinedale, that I was compelled to buy a bottle over my own oil-based preference (Pro-Link).

Although I had to apply it every day, it did keep my drive train much cleaner than ever before.  The working parts of the chain were bright - not black - and any build up was easily flicked off the rear deraileur pullies, cassette, and chain rings.  It didn't negate my need to clean the bike while in town, but it kept my bike operating smoothly between washings.

Since I spend up to five minutes inspecting my bike every evening anyway, for me it's no great inconvenience to also lubricate the chain.  Inspections gives me a "heads-up" on many potential problems that at worst can be addressed at the next bike shop before suffering a tour-impacting breakdown in the middle of nowhere.       

Offline cara2u

Re: Chain Cleaner
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2011, 02:03:01 pm »
In response to cleaning a chain while on tour, I take the chain off the bike and drop it into a discarded plastic bottle with some citrus cleaner,
solvent etc., whatever is readily available. Cap it and shake the bottle vigorously, remove and wipe the chain dry. Re-hang and lube. Of course you need a a quick disconnect master link for this process.

     When it comes to lube, wet lube for wet climates and dry lube for dry climates. No matter what lube you use try to put a drop on each barrel on the chain rather than the entire chain.   

Offline PeteJack

Re: Chain Cleaner
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2011, 11:02:13 pm »
This is like religion. Chain cleaning a is major waste of time. I buy spendy chains (Connex) and get about 3000 miles out of them before my Park Tool gauge tells me they have stretched too much. I use DuMonde Tech lubricant when I can hear the chain like it says on the bottle. Why worry about rust on a chain? It's the insides of the rollers that wear, rust on the links doesn't affect that. As far as I can see cleaning a chain washes lubricant out of the rollers and only increases wear. Rather than get obsessed with lubing your chain carry a wear indicator and check it every few hundred miles Change the chain when it shows 0.75% wear because it will be at 1% in no time, in my experience in about 200 miles. This way you don't have to carry messy cleaning kit and avoid riding with a stretched chain which will do in your cluster.

I've read people who claim to get 20K out of their chains to which I have two responses (1) disbelief (2) don't you have anything better to do with your time? To me a chain is a consumable.All this cleaning ballyhoo reminds me of a friend who, when I was appalled at him paying to get his oil changed in his car, told me "To me it's worth not having to change my own oil" So toss $20 - $50 into the budget for a new change now and then, it's worth it. What would you rather be doing at the end of a long day, eating or cleaning your chain?

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Chain Cleaner
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2011, 04:07:17 am »
I go along with PeteJack on that one. On my last ST transcontinental tour I used a $10.00 chain straight off the shelf at Wally World. I used White Lightning all the way across the continent. I had no chain problems whatsoever.
Let the lube dry before you hit the road each time or it will pick up dust and grime before it dries. A little wax build-up is no problem at all. Just scrape it off the derialeur pullies. It's nothing.

I did install a new chain and freewheel after getting back to FL for the 500 mile roundtrip tour down to Key West and back.

As for $10.00 Wally World Chains. I used one from FL to CA. Back in FL where I am from I kept using it for months, and took off on another transcon tour. The chain broke in Mobile, Alabama. I fixed it and kept going and finally changed the chain in Houston.

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Chain Cleaner
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2011, 10:41:33 am »
...or which motoroil to use in your motorbike.
Duh.  Mobil 1 synthetic, of course!  ;)  ;D  (user:waynemyer)