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  1. #1
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    pressure washer on chain?

    hello all.

    i'v read about a lot of chain cleaning methods including the little plastic automatic cleaners and also using powerlink chains so you can take them off and soak them.

    the other day i was digging around my garage and found a pressure washer for cleaning sidewalks. granted, the pressure is insane, but could a toned down version be useful to just blast all that gunk off without needing degreaser?

  2. #2
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    Messy

    Quote Originally Posted by harryzhong
    hello all.

    i'v read about a lot of chain cleaning methods including the little plastic automatic cleaners and also using powerlink chains so you can take them off and soak them.

    the other day i was digging around my garage and found a pressure washer for cleaning sidewalks. granted, the pressure is insane, but could a toned down version be useful to just blast all that gunk off without needing degreaser?
    I've used compressed air to force grit out of really dirty chains, but's it can be loud and will still fling dirt and chain poo all over the place. I'll place a rag underneath the section I'm spraying to collect the dirt. A pressure washer would be extremely difficult; they pump a LOT of water in a short time and then you'll be left with a bunch of waste water that probably shouldn't go down the drain.

    My prefered method for cleaning really dirty chains is to soak them in a water bottle full of lubricant, preferably one that contains mineral spirits or another type of volatile solvent. The solvent will soften up the existing lube in the chain (if it's still there) and lift some of the grit to the surface, and lubricate the chain, all while I do something else like clean the derailleur pulleys or the cassette. I never degrease chains, it often does more harm then good IMO and can be a lot of work to make sure all the degreaser and any water is out of the rollers before applying more lubricant. Degreaser will also annihilate any leftover factory lubricant (the really sticky stuff that comes on chains), which is an excellent lubricant (I usually wipe new chains with a rag soaked in a little degreaser to get it off of the exterior of the chain so it doesn't attract dirt). YYMV, chain lubrication and cleaning is an area of controversy, so my way isn't necessarily the only way.

    -R

  3. #3
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    I've heard of people taking a pressure washer to the bike and ruining a lot of parts by forcing water into places it does not belong. On the bike, I mean. If you are talking about cleaning the chain while it's on the bike, it seems like it would be a lot more trouble than it is worth, and it would not flush the inner load-bearing surfaces anyway. The best way to clean a chain is to keep it clean with a regular lube/wipe regimen, and when it needs a deeper cleaning (or any time you have it off the bike for other reasons) shake it in a soda jug with some kerosene. You can recycle almost all of the kerosene by filtering it through a coffee filter, and the chain will come out thoroughly clean, ready to be dried (wipe and air dry, or blow with a compressor) and relubed.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unemployed_mechanic
    I've used compressed air to force grit out of really dirty chains, but's it can be loud and will still fling dirt and chain poo all over the place. I'll place a rag underneath the section I'm spraying to collect the dirt. A pressure washer would be extremely difficult; they pump a LOT of water in a short time and then you'll be left with a bunch of waste water that probably shouldn't go down the drain.

    My prefered method for cleaning really dirty chains is to soak them in a water bottle full of lubricant, preferably one that contains mineral spirits or another type of volatile solvent. The solvent will soften up the existing lube in the chain (if it's still there) and lift some of the grit to the surface, and lubricate the chain, all while I do something else like clean the derailleur pulleys or the cassette. I never degrease chains, it often does more harm then good IMO and can be a lot of work to make sure all the degreaser and any water is out of the rollers before applying more lubricant. Degreaser will also annihilate any leftover factory lubricant (the really sticky stuff that comes on chains), which is an excellent lubricant (I usually wipe new chains with a rag soaked in a little degreaser to get it off of the exterior of the chain so it doesn't attract dirt). YYMV, chain lubrication and cleaning is an area of controversy, so my way isn't necessarily the only way.

    -R

    i see, do you know what that type of factory lube is? i've heard so much about this mysterious lube and why isn't it available after market?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by harryzhong
    i see, do you know what that type of factory lube is? i've heard so much about this mysterious lube and why isn't it available after market?
    the factory lube is a light coating of grease to keep the chain from rusting before its sold. attracts dirt like a magnet.

  6. #6
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    Exactly. That stuff that comes on the chains - or at least on shimano chains - is a cosmoline like substance that is there purely to act as a rust inhibitor while the chain sits on a shelf waiting to be purchased. It is NOT intended to be used as a lubricant. Strip it off with mineral spirits or kerosene and then use your favourite lubricant.

  7. #7
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    NO, if you buy a new chain simply wipe down the chain. The grease that it comes with is possibly the best stuff I've ever ran on a chain. I finished a build a few weeks ago and went with a SRAM 991. I asked the same question about degreasing and lubing. It was suggested/recommended that I wipe down the outside and run it until it needs lubing. Definatly some of the best advice I've gotten on here. The chain shifts like silk and silent as can be. I've put 253 miles on it since completed, still no issue.

    Just wipe it down and install.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekJeff
    NO, if you buy a new chain simply wipe down the chain. The grease that it comes with is possibly the best stuff I've ever ran on a chain. I finished a build a few weeks ago and went with a SRAM 991. I asked the same question about degreasing and lubing. It was suggested/recommended that I wipe down the outside and run it until it needs lubing. Definatly some of the best advice I've gotten on here. The chain shifts like silk and silent as can be. I've put 253 miles on it since completed, still no issue.

    Just wipe it down and install.
    I guess that depends on the chain. I've heard that Glietmo stuff on SRAM chains is good, but the stuff on Shimano chains is sticky grease that attracts dirt like fly paper. Yes, it lasts a long time, but your chain will be a filthy mess and will wear fast because of all the dirt and grit that gets attracted to it. I remove that crap by soaking in mineral spirits, then relubing with a decent lube like ProLink.

  9. #9
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    Good point, Shimano may be different. The 991 I have on is doing great. I do nothing more than wipe it down after a ride.
    The wood is being bent! Let me know what you need!

  10. #10
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    I've found that soaking my chain in simple green or whatever is available works really well. I rinse with hot water till it's clear then soak in some rubbing alcohol. I shake it all around a bunch and it comes out clean as can be.

    After the chain dries I place one drip of lube per roller and run the chain around with my thumb pushing down. I leave it to sit till I ride. When I wipe it off it comes out green like the lube.. not black.
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