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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:42 pm 
North Wales AEC / OWMTBC 2010 Champion
North Wales AEC / OWMTBC 2010 Champion
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 10:13 pm
Posts: 6066
Location: Chester
I've just spent a little while cleaning two chains the same I have done for decades. Take the chain off, and clean it with a toothbrush and mini wire brush in a large tin bowl with white spirit, cleaning the faces and between links. Washing off with soapy water, drying it and then a light oil.

I've never used the auto chain cleaners, do they work as well as the above method? I'm getting less and less patient with my old method.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:06 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:36 pm
Posts: 16742
Location: Yorkshire, England
When I remember to clean up a chain, I use a cheap aldi/lidl thing. But I take the chain off, put water with a squirt of washing up liquid in, then just pull, pull back, pull, pull back etc through. Even put the split link back on to just go round a few times.
Quicker than a tooth brush method.
Then lube it up, can actually use a similar method with one in a bath. But I just drop it in a ziplock bag and poor a lube in there and leave.

I will mention mine tend to come off (when I remember) if the chain is not being used for a while, hence leaving it in a bag with lube after cleaning. I found a cheap grease spray lube worked really well, must get some more but I cannot find the same brand.

It's been working well for the past year.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:23 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:57 pm
Posts: 4074
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
you mean the ones like this?

Image

IMO they work okay as long as you maintain the chain properly. If you recover some poor old bike from a shed or leave yours outside for a few days after a muddy ride, there's just no way these cleaners will get the dirt off the chain.

Also, keep in mind that the chain will pick up any dirt from the cassette and chainrings while cleaning. so for a full drivetrain clean, you'll need a brush anyway.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:51 am 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:33 pm
Posts: 8157
Location: new forest
i use them regularly and find they are pretty good, my cleaning style is:-

spray gearset with muc off/fenwicks etc, then attach the chain cleaner with some cleaner in it, back pedal the gear set for about a minute, then i use hot soapy water and an old sponge to clean the entire bike starting front to back finishing with the gearset, including wiping down the cassette (but with an even older sponge so effectively i have a sponge that is just for the gearset) then i lightly hose down the bike, leave it to drip dry, then stick it in my workstand, dry the chain with an old rag by holding the rag around the chain as i back pedal the bike, then i check through the gears/brakes, then spray lube the chain to help remove excess water.

this i find leaves the bike pretty spotless and ready for the next ride


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:59 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:29 pm
Posts: 1877
Location: Somerset
I've got a muc off chain cleaner, best thing going I reckon.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:02 am 
Karma Queen / Cake Meisterin
Karma Queen / Cake Meisterin
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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:02 pm
Posts: 6736
Location: North Yorkshire
We use a Park Tools one and we think it does a grand job

Alison


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:23 am 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:33 pm
Posts: 3972
Location: Brighton
i use this:

Image

works well enough with some degreaser in the bottom.
but i take the chain off afterwards, rinse/dry then lube.

i've kind of given up cleaning my chains as rigorously as i used to. these days i just sit it in a bowl of boiled water to soften the dirt, fairy liquid and a stiff brush then dry and stick it in a ziplock bag over night and wipe with a rag and fit before i head out the morning after.

those chain cleaners need a drip tray underneath!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:41 pm 
Retrobike Sponsor
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 10:33 pm
Posts: 2192
Location: Suffolk
I just use rock n roll lbe and wipe the excess off. Doing this I never have to clean the chain with a cleaner.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:35 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:06 pm
Posts: 4424
Location: Herts UK
I have one of those. never used it, bits of it a strew over the garage floor.

total waste of time and money IMO. A can of motorcyucle chain lube (grease dissolved in solvent so it is thin enough to penetrate the chain link), spray it on the side plates whilst spinning the chain, wipe off and job done.

(I used to clean chains in paraffin but that took out the grease so that you can hear it grinding - seems it is more difficult to get the grease back in where it is needed than to remove it).

the cleaning chain debate rages on every bike forum with the cleaners one one side and the non-cleaners on the other - noone has yet proven that one method is better than the other.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:01 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:40 pm
Posts: 41
Location: Great Malvern
http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html


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