1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 35
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    29

    New question here. Should I listen to the LBS?

    Here is the story: I read the basic cleaning manual on how to clean the chain and cassette, so I called my LBS to see if they carry them, they said yes. So, I went into my LBS and asked for a SRAM power link. The sales guy said he had to go talk to the mechanic. I thought ok they keep them in the back where the shop is. He then comes back and tells me they don't use them they use the links from the chain. I then explain to him what I wanted to do and he said "don't do that you don't need to or want to break the chain to clean it. All you have to do is spray it with a little degreaser and rub the chain with a brush".

    However, I tried this before I even went to the shop an I still feel and see dirt and grit on the chain because of the thick and gunky factory grease that is still on the chain some what.

    So, my question is should I listen the LBS and try that again or should buy the power link and break the chain in order the use the mineral spirits in a jar method?

    Thanks in advance for the help.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    8
    Well, I've done this with my BMX bike a few years ago, although it was still a bit sandy. You might want to break one of the links (it'll be a pain in the butt to put it back together though so be ready) then place the chain onto a clean surface where it's dust/dirt/pavement-free. Preferably a table or something. Get a white cloth and use the degreaser, spray it on the chain, and brush the chain. Afterwards, wipe it with the towel. You might want to put some time into cleaning the chain though. Took me a full day to clean the chain and make it look clean + dirt-free.

  3. #3
    spec4life???..smh...
    Reputation: spec4life's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1,093
    There is no doubt that the chain is much easier to clean off the bike not to mention you can do a much better job. I have a missing link on my chain, same as powerlink, and i love it. I wouldnt have another cahin without it. It easily comes apart and then you can pull the chain right off and get it spotless.

    I dont think you would regret getting one...

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by spec4life
    There is no doubt that the chain is much easier to clean off the bike not to mention you can do a much better job. I have a missing link on my chain, same as powerlink, and i love it. I wouldnt have another cahin without it. It easily comes apart and then you can pull the chain right off and get it spotless.

    I dont think you would regret getting one...
    Are you talking about the master link? If you are, yes that's an alternative to opening up the chain without the use of the chain breaker. But again, if you're not careful with the master link, it can break from time to time.

  5. #5
    spec4life???..smh...
    Reputation: spec4life's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1,093
    No KMC chains come with a missing link that works like the power link.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    29
    Thanks for the replies guys.
    I dont think you would regret getting one...
    Yeah that is what I thought when I read the cleaning guide it sounded easy, quick and effective. However, I have read post on here from both people that love them and hate them so when the LBS guy freaked when I told him what I wanted to do it made me question the idea. I guess it was just because he wanted to sell me their Park cleaning brushes instead of me buying a $3.99 link. Any more opinions, thoughts or comments will greatly be appreciated.

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    responsible zombie owner
    Reputation: Qatarbhoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    655
    I've never taken a chain off to clean it. I apply degreaser and wipe with a rag, then apply Ice Wax or Dry Lube. I don't like to break stuff intentionally but admittedly I'm mechanically challenged.

  8. #8
    Five is right out
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    3,177
    I don't think the LBS was trying to rip you off. There are lots of different opinions on how to clean a chain, and people tend to be very vocal about the one they think is best.

    I prefer the Powerlink + jar method. It's easy and thorough. Others prefer the chain-mounted brush approach. I think the 'wipe with rag' method would be quite ineffective as it isn't going to clean *inside* the chain.

  9. #9
    responsible zombie owner
    Reputation: Qatarbhoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    655
    I forgot to add I'm also lazy. But I've had no issues with dirty chains.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: agabriel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    851
    I don't take my chain off to clean it, if its greasy it gets degreasier and a toothbrush. This has worked well for me. I have recently switched to a dry lube and my chain stays alot cleanier and my bike shifts better - depending on where you ride you might have a similar experience.

    Anthony

  11. #11
    ~I Ride In Circles ~
    Reputation: ZoSoSwiM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,629
    Powerlink fan here!

    I take my chain off routinely to soak it. Works well.. After cleaning with degreaser I rinse well.. then soak in rubbing alcohol to remove the degreaser entirely. My lube sticks well and the chain stays cleaner longer.
    [SIZE=3]
    ~ it's all good ~
    [/SIZE]

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sweetfilly7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    212
    I got one of the Park Tool chain cleaner tools, and I love it. You just snap it on over the chain, while still on the bike, sqirt some degreaser in there, turn the crank a few times and the chain is shiny and clean. Sooo simple, sooo easy. (and kinda fun too, in a weird way)

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    32
    +1 for the Chain gang- park tool cleaning device. Got one for my birthday and its great...and Fun
    Darn another Root...Pedal, pedal, pedal.....

  14. #14
    Ride the dream
    Reputation: EnglishT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,381
    Im gonna buck the trend now... and say that I would never use degreaser on my chains (anymore).

    I used to... but - chains seem to die quicker (and need more lube to keep them working right) when you clean them with degreaser.

    When you use degreaser it has a habit of getting right in deep into your chain, and is very hard to get out again. The result is that when you apply grease, it cant get deep in where its needed, because the degreaser is still there and gets rid of it.

    As a result - when degreasing your chain, you either have to spend alot of time getting the degreaser off (hard, and still difficult to get ALL of it off), or you leave it behind and have to add alot more grease on for alot less benefit.


    I guess what im trying to say (through tonights beer) is that chains, for me, last longer by just cleaning off the old grease (with rag) and applying new grease than if I degrease it and put new on.

    My current chain has lasted me 6 months already (personal record - im nasty to chains) without degreaser - which blitzes any regularly degreased chain I ever had.
    (It could be because this is my first KMC chain, prev used SRAM, but I think its more down to the way I look after it).

  15. #15
    Canuckistan
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    131
    I personally clean my chain weekly by breaking the chain, immersing it in a parts bath, and scrubbing the heck out of it....Then...I wash my chain off with hot water in the sink to get rid of the parts cleaning fluid...after which, I take my air compressor and blow 120psi air at the chain to get the water out....after all that is done, I lube my chain with teflon lube, and wipe the excess off.

    All totaled, it takes me about 20 mins to clean my chain. My chains tend to last on average a full season, unless I twist them in a crash.

    I have a shimano 9 speed chain, and I just grab a bunch of new chain pins from work every so often.

  16. #16
    MTB Addict
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    631
    I pull mine if it gets really gunky. Ordinarily, I just wipe it clean, soak it in pro-link, let it sit for a minute, wipe it clean again (sometimes I'll do it twice if it's still dirty, or 3-5 times to get the factory lube off a new chain). It seems to get a good bit of stuff out of there.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    186
    To get an idea of just how effective it is to clean a chain off the bike, try cleaning it on the bike. Then take it off, put it in a bottle of hot water with some degreaser, and shake and let it sit for a bit. Then you'll see just how more effective taking it off the chain will be.

    I'm a big fan of the Powerlink - you'd be surprised how much junk is stuck deep within the chain that you can't get to even with spraying the chain down with degreaser and wiping it down with a rag.

  18. #18
    Bearded highlighter
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    242
    How long should a chain last?
    mine is going on almost a year now but I dont know what to look for as wear and tear of my chain.

  19. #19
    Canuckistan
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    131
    in terms of length of life of a chain, I would go, and get a $12 chain stretch tool from Parktool. once your chain has stretched to 0.75% or more, its time to replace it. Also, if your chain starts to get rusty, I would replace it....but thats a sign your chain isnt sufficiently lubricated

  20. #20
    responsible zombie owner
    Reputation: Qatarbhoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    655
    i've only ever changed a chain once in 4 years, after i twisted a link changing gears with too much enthusiasm. it helps that i don't ride in mud and it only rains about 1 week a year here but on the other paw there's loads of sand dust and other grit around.

    good to see EnglishT also favours the old rag method. you don't necessarily want to strip all the greasy goodness out of a chain IMO.

    CrazyCanuck, are you joking about your 20 minute chain cleaning routine? it reminded me of Sheldon Brown's April Fool joke about proper chain cleaning!

  21. #21
    Canuckistan
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    131
    Im not kidding about my whole cleaning routine, only...though, truthfully the chain isnt the only thing that gets cleaned in that 20 minutes, both derailleurs come off, and so do my cranks, as well as my cassette. Reason being, is I live and ride in a very harsh environment for bikes. When its not muddy, its sandy.

  22. #22
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    11,845
    There's different preferences and conditions.

    I've been running a SRAM Power Link on Shimano chains for singlespeeding and it seems to work well. I am usually too lazy to take the chain off, except for replacement, though.

    My usual chain maintenance is applying some spray lube and wiping with a rag. If the chain is really messy, I take out the degreaser (some cheap stuff for washing car engines). The SS bike gets it via a toothbrush, with the gearie bike I use one of those chain scrubber devices. Flush the degreaser out with water before lubing.

    Some say that frequent lubrication only helps in migrating all the gunk into the internal surfaces of the chain...

  23. #23
    responsible zombie owner
    Reputation: Qatarbhoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    655
    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyCanuck
    Im not kidding about my whole cleaning routine, only...though, truthfully the chain isnt the only thing that gets cleaned in that 20 minutes, both derailleurs come off, and so do my cranks, as well as my cassette. Reason being, is I live and ride in a very harsh environment for bikes. When its not muddy, its sandy.
    Wow, good effort. Respect due!

    Here, when it's not sandy, it's dusty. The sand is on the ground and the dust is in the air but it's always there. Steel bikes rust in minutes.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    521
    I've had very good results using a chain cleaner tool:
    http://www.parktool.com/products/det...at=5&item=CM-5
    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1217172451335

    They last a long time and the brushes are replaceable in most of them (though I've never worn out a set).
    Probably not as good as leaving a chain soaking in degreaser overnight but they do seem to work quite well.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: GuruAtma's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    3,434
    The Park chain cleaner is perfect for normal cleanings. I just use dish soap (as recommended by Park). Only if the chain is really super gunky do I take it off.
    我的镀铬光泽的冰柱一样,我骑在镇附近在我的低骑手自行车

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •