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.
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  1. #1
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    WD-40 chain cleaner??

    hey guys just wondering if WD-40 can be used to quickly clean the chain. I know it should never be used to lubricate your chain. thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Climbs = necessary evil
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    WD-40 chain cleaner??

    Not sure but I've always been told to use Simple Green.


    Sent from my iPad Air 2 using Tapatalk (so I blame autocorrect for the spellin' errs)

  3. #3
    Crash Dummy In Training
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    I use regular dish soap and water and a Park Tools Chain brush then let it dry.
    Then lube it with Tri-Flow lubricant then wipe off any excess lubricant with a paper towel.
    I do this when I wash my bike after every ride.
    I wouldn't want WD-40 on my chain at all.
    Also check your chain for wear or have your local bike shop do it and change the chain when needed this will prolong your drive train.
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  4. #4
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    For a quick clean I like Liquid Wrench sprayed on an old bath towel. Hold it around the chain an spin the crank.
    Takes seconds.
    You aren't flushing anything out of the roller plate lube points. Then if you have more time add drops of Stihl bar oil to each roller and let soak in before you wipe off the excess.
    If I were using a WD product it would be the long-term corrosion inhibitor.
    WD-40 300038 Specialist Long Term Corrosion Inhibitor Spray, 6.5 oz. (Pack of 1): Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific
    I would use a CRC product first.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...JYCGCBM77MHNGY

  5. #5
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    no. it has its own oils and additives in it and wouldn't dry clean. it would leave a residue behind that would probably inhibit the lube you ACTUALLY want on there from sticking.

    For a quick clean, I don't use any solvents, really. I just give the chain a wipe with a rag. I start adding solvents when I'm doing a more thorough drivetrain scrubdown.

  6. #6
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    WD-40 just came out with a whole new line of bicycle specific cleaners, lube and degreasers. I usually find a brand that I like and stay with it...a mechanic in Fort Collins suggested that I give the new WD-40 stuff a try. I must say that I think their new products are phenomenal. I used their degreaser to clean my chain then applied their dry lube before a 70 mile race.

    What ever preconceived notions a guy might have from the old WD-40 should pass them aside and give their new stuff a try. It's good stuff.

    WD-40 BIKE | A comprehensive line of bicycle care products developed for cyclists and mechanics

  7. #7
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    oh, I'm using some of their wet/winter chain lube right now. it works. but that's not what the OP was talking about.

  8. #8
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    Sorry Nate, but no one making earlier posts really answered this guy's original question then. Yes and no. Old school WD-40, no. The WD-40 bike specific stuff, yes.

  9. #9
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    I saw several relevant answers. and I specifically answered the yes/no portion of the question with an explanation WHY I responded the way I did.

  10. #10
    Trail Ninja
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    I've used it sprayed on a towel to wipe off some seriously sticky gunk on the outside of the chain, when I was using IceWax from Pedros. Opted for something cheap, since I used to use ProGold, which seemed expensive for commuting especially since it needed to be reapplied any time it got wet. Now I use RockNRoll Gold lube, I just simply wipe with a dry towel as it stays clean enough to not need it.

    In terms of lubrication, it's not that bad. It's just very light and wears off from friction really fast. I see shops have GT-85 on hand, which is similar to WD-40 but is marketed to have PTFE/Teflon, and it actually performs worse. WD-40 does have a bike specific line of products, but their lube comes in drip form rather than aerosol, so it seems the follow is referring to the usual spray:


  11. #11
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    I've been using WD-40 for a while. I spray on a rag and wipe the chain down. Then a couple passes with some dry lube.

    IMO...too much thought goes into chains. They are cheap and easy to replace.
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  12. #12
    Trail Ninja
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    There's a cleaning guide in the sticky on top of this forum that covers WD-40 use. I found the guide agreeable the last time I went through it. I don't use degreaser nor use dish soap on my bike personally, using WD-40 instead for degreasing purposes, even for cases such as hub bearings, and never worried about the oil or grease not being able to stick (used it for cleaning my CK rear hub internals for the past few years). I don't have Simple Green on hand, since it causes "hydrogen embrittlement" (known for being blamed for aircraft failures, but also even bike chain failure after being soaked in it) and because I just don't find any need for it.

    Basically, responsibly use these chemicals as intended. I wouldn't be spraying WD-40 directly, due to the risk of overspray landing on stuff I don't want it on. I hear it's not friendly to rubber, with rumors suggesting that the rubber may dry out. Anyways, people have their own emotional feelings about stuff like this (and carbs, gluten, religion, politics, brand loyalty, vendor loyalty, etc.) so don't take anything to heart, as some may just be irrational overreactions. Inform yourself and make your own judgement. Or just get a fancy lube that cleans as it lubes, and consider the time saved in the price. 1/2 hour saved = how much $$ to you?

  13. #13
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    I just use simple green in a chain cleaner and then water and then rubbing alcohol and then oil. Wd40 is more expensive than simple green anyways. I do the rubbing alcohol cause I'm impatient and it dries quicker.
    Last edited by ou2mame; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:50 AM.

  14. #14
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    Sorry, no WD-40 old school spray... just a very bad idea. 2nd Simple Green does not/ can not cause "hydrogen embrittlement", the only hydrogen in it is from the water base and has no real way of permeating the metal. Hydrogen embrittlement is often the result of unintentional introduction of hydrogen into susceptible metals during forming or finishing operations and increases cracking in the material.

    For Simple Green to actually cause an issue besides surface rust the chain would need to sit in the cleaner for months, and even then at worst i would only expect rust.

  15. #15
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    Simple green does cause something to aluminum. I recall seeing somewhere that it is specifically stated to not be used on aircraft. I've used it to clean aluminum manifolds & parts on car and it get it clean, but afterward the aluminum gets chalky. I'll rinse real well but it'll still do it to some extent. I try to stick with citrus cleaners for aluminum parts.

  16. #16
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    Good thing the chain isn't aluminum lol.. Something to consider if I had aluminum chainrings

  17. #17
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    I rarely 'clean' a chain beyond running it thru a rag after lubing it. Maybe a couple times a season, I'll hit it with a hose and brush quickly. I find no matter how much I'd clean them, I still have to change them at least once or twice a year from stretch, so no need to get crazy cleaning it thinking it's gonna last longer. Chains are wear parts, like tires and grips. I change them pretty regularly; helps rings and cogs last a bit longer as they don't get worn 'funny' by a stretched out chain and start grabbing and skipping.
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  18. #18
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    regular WD40 NEEDS TO STAY AWAY FROM A BIKE!!! Their new stuff, possible never tried it. your well known WD40 will prevent lubes from sticking properly and flush oil out of chain rollers. Worst thing you can do to a chain or any other lubricated component that you can access fully to clean (sealed bearing). Brake parts cleaner works perfect for this as it doesnt keep lube from adhering to things. I go with brake clean and rag/brush to clean outside of chain. Lube with wet lube and let soak in. spin chain a fair amount, clean off chain again (rag with brake clean on it, not direct spray) and ride the hell outta it. 2 cheap kmc x10 chains I have rotated through the last 2 years have been perfect still life (surpisingly with my big butt on the bike) on both chains.
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  19. #19
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    On mtbr, if you use wd40 on your chain the world will end. In real life it's not an optimal lubricant so your chain will not last as long.

  20. #20
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    Lol.. Wd40 always brings out the worst in people because other people use it completely improperly

  21. #21
    Trail Ninja
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    Quote Originally Posted by ou2mame View Post
    Good thing the chain isn't aluminum lol.. Something to consider if I had aluminum chainrings
    It's not only aluminum that it affects.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phinias View Post
    Sorry, no WD-40 old school spray... just a very bad idea. 2nd Simple Green does not/ can not cause "hydrogen embrittlement", the only hydrogen in it is from the water base and has no real way of permeating the metal. Hydrogen embrittlement is often the result of unintentional introduction of hydrogen into susceptible metals during forming or finishing operations and increases cracking in the material.

    For Simple Green to actually cause an issue besides surface rust the chain would need to sit in the cleaner for months, and even then at worst i would only expect rust.
    What about the gunk that is already present on a dirty chain?

  22. #22
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    What other types of metal?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    regular WD40 NEEDS TO STAY AWAY FROM A BIKE!!! Their new stuff, possible never tried it. your well known WD40 will prevent lubes from sticking properly and flush oil out of chain rollers. Worst thing you can do to a chain or any other lubricated component that you can access fully to clean (sealed bearing). Brake parts cleaner works perfect for this as it doesnt keep lube from adhering to things. I go with brake clean and rag/brush to clean outside of chain. Lube with wet lube and let soak in. spin chain a fair amount, clean off chain again (rag with brake clean on it, not direct spray) and ride the hell outta it. 2 cheap kmc x10 chains I have rotated through the last 2 years have been perfect still life (surpisingly with my big butt on the bike) on both chains.
    Problem with brake cleaner is it has MEK(methyl ethyl ketone) in it which is particularly nasty for your liver.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake January View Post
    Problem with brake cleaner is it has MEK(methyl ethyl ketone) in it which is particularly nasty for your liver.


    well that's why u dont sit there and drink it or try to get high off it. Use in a ventilated area or preferable just stand outside and clean ur chain. Improper use of anything in this thread will tear your body up.... Use common sense and get the safer types of brake clean. Beyond that I got a better chance of a meteor landing on my house than getting sick from brake clean. And if safe use isn't enough, im screwed anyway (14 yrs as ASE Tech )

    Ps: that reminds me, chain got nasty last weekend need to go clean it lol.
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  25. #25
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    Can't you drink wd40?

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