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  1. #1
    jfk
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    The sweet sound of freshly cleaned drive train

    Maybe it's just my imagination, but it feels faster and smoother. I am sure in addition to the sexy sound of near silence, it also makes me look 10lb lighter.

    Out of curiosity I tried the a method I found of Sheldon Brown's site (Chain Maintenance) by taking the chain off, putting it in an empty soda and shaking it up with some cleaner in the bottle. It works really, really well. Far better than any chain cleaner I used. It also showed me how effective "simple green" is compared to the regular soap I was using. As noted though, I had to cut the bottle open to extract my chain. I might just end up sacrificing a fake nalgene bottle to the cause next time round.

  2. #2
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    it makes a world of difference. i usually just put my chain in an old metal pan with a splash of coleman fuel in it and swish it around for a few minutes, then set it aside while i clean the rest of the bike. comes out like it's brand new. i gave away my park chain cleaner a long time ago and just do this now. the rest of it i clean with RemOil (it's a gun lubricant but it's basically just liquid teflon. try it once and tell me if you ever want to use anything else again.) after the chain comes out of its bath, i spray it down with remoil to clean the rest of the gas/grease mixture out of the links, put it all back together, spray it down with Rock'N'Roll, and it's like buttah.
    it might just be your imagination, but then it must be mine too. it ALWAYS feels smoother and i usually find myself in a higher gear than normal after i do this. i think the biggest difference comes from cleaning out all the crud that accumulates in the derailleur pulleys.

  3. #3
    I Ride for Donuts
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    Coleman fuel is a good idea. I've used carburator cleaner with the same results. Any solvent is pretty effective. For the simple green bath, I use a plastic container that came with some hot tub chemials that I got from a friend. It's got a wide mouth threaded lid, so it's easy to extract the chain.

    Do you guys do this bath/clean to get the factory lube/goo off before you install the chain the first time, or do you run it with that stuff before the first cleaning? I've done both and don't notice much of a difference. Factory goo is very smooth, but it seems to attract more dirt than my lube of choice, so I wind up cleaning it sooner.
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  4. #4
    Viva la Vida!
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    The sweet sound of freshly cleaned drive train

    I always remove the goo from new chains the same way you guys mentioned but I just use plain gasoline to clean the chain and drive train.
    I just use a wide mouth plastic juicy bottle.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    Do you guys do this bath/clean to get the factory lube/goo off before you install the chain the first time, or do you run it with that stuff before the first cleaning? I've done both and don't notice much of a difference. Factory goo is very smooth, but it seems to attract more dirt than my lube of choice, so I wind up cleaning it sooner.
    I'm on the road. I read somewhere that the lube it comes with is as good as it will ever be, so use it. And yes, it gets grungy fast. So nice while is lasts. New chain on now gone from silvery to gunmetal in maybe 100 miles.

    BrianMc

  6. #6
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    Quick links are fantastic, and on-the-bike chain cleaners are pretty terrible comparatively. For new chains I'll always wipe down the outside since that's what picks up the junk.

  7. #7
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    I rarely take the chain off anymore, quicklinks or no. Yes, it will get it cleaner, but if is just as dirty the next day from the dirt road or road grit (especially when it rains), I don't see too much point. A chain lube with solvent (like progold) plus a rag cleans it quite well, and is less sticky/dirt attracting than longer lasting lubes I've tried like Dumonde Tech. I've also used Progold to clean the chain and then something hardier if I know the bike will be seeing a particularly salty slushy period.

    I dislike the sticky grease on new chains. I'd rather clean some of it off than clean off sticky grease plus dirt. While not neurotic about removing it, a little Progold with the rag gets most of it off.

  8. #8
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    Lazy method: wipe, hose down liberally with rock n roll extreme, wipe. Does okay, seems to start getting noisy after about a week.

    More thorough: remove, soak in citrus degreaser or, if I'm feeling bold, acetone, with a little agitation. Let it dry, reinstall, and re-lube.

    edit: if I'm using the container + shake method, I use a 16 oz salsa jar. Not too deep and the mouth is very wide so it's easy to fish out the chain. I don't like doing this however because I worry about bending the links with so much horizontal deflection in such a short distance. I have no actual experience or references to back that assertion up, I'm just paranoid.

  9. #9
    MTB, Road, Commuting
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    You're supposed to clean them

    Yeah, yeah yeah, I do...sometimes. Except for the bike that I run Squirt on. That's lube is oddly addictive. You you have to put it on every ride but you don't' have to clean the chain ever! I've used it on my MTB for 2 years and I'm still not sure if I like it but I keep using it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanath View Post
    edit: if I'm using the container + shake method, I use a 16 oz salsa jar. Not too deep and the mouth is very wide so it's easy to fish out the chain. I don't like doing this however because I worry about bending the links with so much horizontal deflection in such a short distance. I have no actual experience or references to back that assertion up, I'm just paranoid.
    that's why i use the pan. it's an old backpacking pan (think 6" skillet with no handle) that i accidentally fried the non-stick off of so it's not good for much else, but you can lay the entire chain in there flat (spiral it) and then you only need 1/4" of solvent to degrease it. i just use the coleman fuel because i usually have some laying around.

  11. #11
    I Ride for Donuts
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    ^^ This is giving me ideas. I have a motorcycle with a leaky carb that I keep a pan under to catch gasoline drips... I could just throw the chain in there and let the dirt bike clean the mountain bike chain
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  12. #12
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    Well, this thread shamed me into doing a through cleaning on 3 of my bikes this weekend. The first one had a power link so I took it off to clean it with the shake scrub method. The second one had a power link but I opted for the clean on bike with the chain cleaner too. The third had no master link so I did that one on the bike too. Both methods had good and bad points but I think leaving it on is a little easier IMO.

    I couldn't tell you how sweet they sound because I ride with music but it was at least smooth.

  13. #13
    Back in the Saddle Again
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    I had the thought of getting a second chain and when one is ready for a cleaning, I swap it out with the clean one. Then taking time to clean the other. Repeat weekly.

    My reasoning is that I take the metro in the morning (6:30) and when I get off work I get home around 9:30/10:00pm and pass out around 11:00 after showering and getting lunch ready for the next day. So I get time on Sun to do work on the bike.

  14. #14
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    The two chains idea is nice. I like it.

    I had bought a big ol jar o' cherries at Sam's club for some cooking project my kids did. When they were done with that I took it to use for chain cleaning. Fill it with some simple green and throw the chain in there for a few hours. Swish it around and then rinse it off. The nice thing is that it has a huge wide mouth (like a gallon pickle jar) so I can just dip my whole hand in to grab the chain when it is time to come out. The only thing that could be better is if it were big enough to fit the entire cassette in. I like that I can reuse the cleaner for months and months rather than trying to carefully pour it into another container to keep it while not pouring the chain out with it or, even worse, just dumping the cleaner down the drain.

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