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  1. #1
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    cleaning a chain with simple green?

    I always use it for my mountain bike chain when it is covered in dirt and mud. spray it on so the whole chain is soking, then wipe it down. Its not a penitrant like wd-40 but is it washing away all the impregnated greese in the links? if so what should I use to get the dirt off the chain?

  2. #2
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    Unless you trying to remove the lubricant from inside the rollers, the best method is to simply wipe your chain down with a rag.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackSpanker
    I always use it for my mountain bike chain when it is covered in dirt and mud. spray it on so the whole chain is soking, then wipe it down. Its not a penitrant like wd-40 but is it washing away all the impregnated greese in the links? if so what should I use to get the dirt off the chain?

    You are likely removing some of the lube in the rollers....that is okay you are probably removing some of the dirt etc as well form in the rollers.

    Then you you should rinse to get the simple green out of the rollers...then re lube to put the clean lube back in...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackSpanker
    I always use it for my mountain bike chain when it is covered in dirt and mud. spray it on so the whole chain is soking, then wipe it down. Its not a penitrant like wd-40 but is it washing away all the impregnated greese in the links? if so what should I use to get the dirt off the chain?

    Don't use WD-40 to clean the chain. You will damage the chain and wash away all the grease in and out. Very terrible.

    You can just use a cloth and brush to remove all the dust and dirt. then ou just apply some grease on the chain surface and thatis it. In this way, you could prolong the chain life and keep the performance of the chain.

    Normally, there is no need to "clean" the chain.

    Bikeforever

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeforever
    Don't use WD-40 to clean the chain. You will damage the chain and wash away all the grease in and out. Very terrible.

    You can just use a cloth and brush to remove all the dust and dirt. then ou just apply some grease on the chain surface and thatis it. In this way, you could prolong the chain life and keep the performance of the chain.

    Normally, there is no need to "clean" the chain.

    Bikeforever

    What!!! Sorry you need to get the dirt out from the rollers, or the chain is draggy and wears out, WD-40 does that just fine.....you then have to dry the chain, and re-lube....

    Works fine, oh yeah, I would get about 3 months life if I don't clean and re-lube, if I clean and re-lube I can get about a year...

    The only caution about WD-40 is that it will damage the seals your bearings so don't use it when the chain is on the bike, unless you are very careful.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    What!!! Sorry you need to get the dirt out from the rollers, or the chain is draggy and wears out, WD-40 does that just fine.....you then have to dry the chain, and re-lube....

    Works fine, oh yeah, I would get about 3 months life if I don't clean and re-lube, if I clean and re-lube I can get about a year...

    The only caution about WD-40 is that it will damage the seals your bearings so don't use it when the chain is on the bike, unless you are very careful.
    I never have or will use wd-40 to clean my chain. its a penitrant and it can sneak into the impregnated greese and wreak havoc on it. I dont know if simple green does the same but it gets my chain clean enough to eat off of.

  7. #7
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    You will hear a lot of anti-WD40 evangelism on this board. Just ignore it. WD40 makes a very effective chain cleaner/lube.
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackSpanker
    I never have or will use wd-40 to clean my chain. its a penitrant and it can sneak into the impregnated greese and wreak havoc on it. I dont know if simple green does the same but it gets my chain clean enough to eat off of.
    Bicycle chains are not internally lubricated like and Oring motorcycle chain. There is no "impregnated" grease inside the rollers. Simple green and WD40 are doing the same thing by degreasing the chain.
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stupendous Man
    Bicycle chains are not internally lubricated like and Oring motorcycle chain. There is no "impregnated" grease inside the rollers. Simple green and WD40 are doing the same thing by degreasing the chain.
    If you degrease the chain after every ride, you will need to thoroughly dry the chain and remove any of the solvent then relube. Besides being time consuming, this is also very wasteful. If the proper lube is used for the conditions you ride in, you should get many rides in all but the most heinously wet conditions. So all you need to do is wipe the chain clean and allow the lubrication that does stay in the rollers to work.

    You can use WD-40 as a solvent if you want, but there are much more cost effective and environmentally sound degreasing products out there such as the Simple Green or my preferred citrus degreaser.

  10. #10
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    A while back, there was a warning from SRAM not to soak your chain in Simple Green for a long period, since it degrades the metal. I use it watered down in my chain cleaning tool, followed by a hot water rinse to remove the degreaser and dirt. After the chain is dry, I relube.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stupendous Man
    You will hear a lot of anti-WD40 evangelism on this board. Just ignore it. WD40 makes a very effective chain cleaner/lube.
    +1 Agreed!!! I use WD40 to clean my chain all the time! Just Re-lube it and it's fine!!
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say. Joshua Stinebrink

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stupendous Man
    You will hear a lot of anti-WD40 evangelism on this board. Just ignore it. WD40 makes a very effective chain cleaner/lube.
    While it may be a good cleaner and water displacer, WD-40 is not an effective lube for a bike chain. Squeaky door, yes, but it does not have the viscosity to properly lubricate a moving bike chain.

  13. #13
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    yah....dont lube it with WD! hit it with triflow or boeshield!!! After you clean it!!!
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say. Joshua Stinebrink

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    What!!! Sorry you need to get the dirt out from the rollers, or the chain is draggy and wears out, WD-40 does that just fine.....you then have to dry the chain, and re-lube....

    Works fine, oh yeah, I would get about 3 months life if I don't clean and re-lube, if I clean and re-lube I can get about a year...

    The only caution about WD-40 is that it will damage the seals your bearings so don't use it when the chain is on the bike, unless you are very careful.

    Sorry~I don't make this clear. When I mean "don't clean", I mean no need to put the chain into wd-40 or solvent stuff. It will damage the chain. We definitely need to clean the chain to prolong the chain life, but I mean in a carful way just like you said and in a correct way to do it. Thank you for let it clear.

    bikeforever

  15. #15
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    Shimano and SRAM only recommend wiping off the chain with a rag to get rid of the grit and grime. Then relube.


    But as a shop mechanic, I use a degreaser - like simple green - that I soak the chain in. But when using a degreaser, you must thoroughly rinse all the degreaser off the chain and make sure that the chain is completely dry before relubing. Use of an air compressor helps this process along. Then use your favorite chain lube.

  16. #16
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    Here is my take: the cause of most chain wear is grit, sand, dirt, metal particles, etc. that stay on the moving parts of the chain. Oils and greases simply hold all that stuff in suspension and further the cause of wear.
    For regular cleaning I use a blast of water sufficient enough to knock off the grim left on the chain, jockey wheels, cassette, and chainrings. Yes H2O! I then let everything drip dry.
    Follow that with an compressed air gun or even a leaf blower to dry further.
    Finally I re-lube with something like White Lightning, a WAX based lube, or other DRY FILM lubricants that won't hold grit in suspension.

    I used to take apart the chain, cassette, etc., and ultrasonic clean, then dunk in a hot parafin/solvent solution, but I've gotten lazy. I think my new method works well enough, as I have yet to see much difference.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simplemind
    Here is my take: the cause of most chain wear is grit, sand, dirt, metal particles, etc. that stay on the moving parts of the chain. Oils and greases simply hold all that stuff in suspension and further the cause of wear.
    For regular cleaning I use a blast of water sufficient enough to knock off the grim left on the chain, jockey wheels, cassette, and chainrings. Yes H2O! I then let everything drip dry.
    Follow that with an compressed air gun or even a leaf blower to dry further.
    Finally I re-lube with something like White Lightning, a WAX based lube, or other DRY FILM lubricants that won't hold grit in suspension.

    I used to take apart the chain, cassette, etc., and ultrasonic clean, then dunk in a hot parafin/solvent solution, but I've gotten lazy. I think my new method works well enough, as I have yet to see much difference.
    thats great with the water. it blows all the crap away. but I would take the casette off because you are going to blow high powered water into the wheel bearings then they will rust to crap. its safer to get it wet. soap and scrub then rinse.

  18. #18
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    I take a rag spray SimpleGreen on to soak it and wrap the rag around the chain and spin the cranks. If the chain is really dirty I might have to do that a few times. Then I wipe off the same way with a dry clean rag, then apply the lube. In the winter I take very light grease and put on a rag and run the chain through it, coating the chain in a very thin coat of grease. It works very well in keeping water and crap off the chain.
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  19. #19
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    Spray on the WD40, wipe off the gunk and excess, go ride.
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackSpanker
    thats great with the water. it blows all the crap away. but I would take the casette off because you are going to blow high powered water into the wheel bearings then they will rust to crap. its safer to get it wet. soap and scrub then rinse.
    Never had an issue with the cassette/wheel bearings, as they are pretty well sealed and not in the direct line of spray. I just spray straight down on the teeth and rotate! If you have a known issue with water intruding in the bearings with low pressure water spray, I would like to know.
    Last edited by Simplemind; 12-09-2009 at 06:33 AM.

  21. #21
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    I soak and scrub for a few minutes in Simple Green, then flush with hot water, then throw it in the over on warm for about 15-20 minutes. This typically gets done after the muddier/dirtier rides only. Chain always looks brand new and I haven't had one problem.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  22. #22
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    Sure!

    Just make sure you rinse thoroughly and get the water out so it doesn't rust. WD-40 is good for that. Let it sit after application overnight to do it's work then lube with a proper chain lube. I like to use compressed air and lube right away.

  23. #23
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    My method
    1. Fill el-cheapo Nashbar chain cleaner with about a 5:1 water:Simple Green solution
    2. Back pedal chain thru cleaner until you think it's clean enough (usually like 5-10 passes for me)
    3. Clean out chain cleaner. Fill with water. Repeat step 2.
    4. Repead step 3 (and 2) until the rinse water stays clear
    5. Blow off chain with compressed air
    6. Since water hides everywhere, spray chain with WD40 while backpedaling.
    7. Wipe excess WD40 off with a rag
    8. Next day (or before next ride) lube the chain (I often even skip this, but shouldn't)


    Depending on the conditions I might do this after every ride, or not touch the thing for a dozen rides. Not saying it's right, just saying it's worked for me. To clean the cassete I use a small brush, and rinse with a Round-Up sprayer full of water (use that on the whole bike actually). No high pressure stuff for me.

    Simular to my tools of choice.




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  24. #24
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    I use Rock N Roll or ProLink. Its a easy, super cleaner and oil in one.

    WD40 is a awesome cleaner for mountain bike and Motorcycle O-ring chains.

    It does not matter how good your lubricant is abrasive debris is not removed.

  25. #25
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    I like to keep my whole bike clean and go through lots of simple green. When the bike is really dirty, I: (1) spray the whole bike off with a water hose using a light mist (2) spray the whole bike down with simple green (3) let sit for a few minutes (4) rinse with water hose mist (5) with towel, dry chain, then the rest of the bike (6) lube chain. I've never specifically tried to clean my chain...I just clean the whole bike....shiny.

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