Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 55
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    271

    chain cleaner recommendation

    Id like to get one of those hand held chain brush contraptions but which one? Ive seen some for $5 and others for $50. Id rather it not break the first time i use it but Im also not running a shop and it will only get used like once a month.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: RobinGB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    356
    Two nylon bristle brushes mounted on a metal plate with a handle and you could make one for $20.00 +/- and it would be as good if not better then 90% of the ones out there.
    2012 Giant Reign 1

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    1,799
    I've worked at several different shops over the years and never saw anyone use any chain cleaner except this-







    -or an old toothbrush.

  4. #4
    Wanderer
    Reputation: Toff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    829
    I use a park chain cleaner contraption ($20) and it works very well.

    Amazon.com: Park Tool Cyclone Chain Scrubber: Sports & Outdoors

    I have the brush above also and it pretty much sucks.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    1,799
    Quote Originally Posted by Toff View Post
    I have the brush above also and it pretty much sucks.

    Those chain cleaning thingys are good for containing the mess made from cleaning your chain but in every other way a plain old brush is better IMO.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    41
    I like the Finish Line Grunge Brush

  7. #7
    Plays with tools
    Reputation: customfab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,132
    I've got a park chain cleaner and it's one of the better setups I've used. When I'm 'in the field' I use a water bottle that's been cut down and a paint brush. Put the bottle in the cage on the bike and paint the solvent on. Works pretty well

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gmats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,921
    Every one of those chain cleaner things that cleans chains on the bike leaves a mess. I think the best solution is to get one of SRAM or other master links. $3-5. When the chain needs cleaning, remove the chain, put it into a Glad or other sealing container. Put some solvent or other cleaner in with it. Shake shake shake. You'll get 90% of it off. Now use a tooth brush and just brush off the rest. Let the chain hang from one end and use a towel to dry and then add the lube.

    For speediness, I have just hung the chain, use a can of carb or brake cleaner and spray it clean. Add lube.

    Finally, if I really want to clean it well, I use a solvent tank or my ultra-sonic cleaner. Both expensive alternatives though.

    Good luck with that.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    140

    Performance Bike chain cleaner

    This is the one I use when I want to quickly clean my chain without taking it off the bike. It is $10.99 from Performance Bike.


  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mitzikatzi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,811


    I spray WD40 ( I know evil stuff) onto the rag and wipe the chain down.
    Let dry.
    Apply lots of lube to the chain and re-wipe the chain.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,349
    To clean chains I have two 1L glass jars, one of which is about half filled with mineral turps. I take the chain off (using the quick link) and chuck it in the jar. Next day, before I ride, I give the jar a good shake and the chain comes out sparkling clean. I hang it up over the jar to drip dry while I get my riding gear on. Chuck it on when I'm ready to ride with a quick lube of oil and away I go.

    If you leave the jar, all the dirt and grit will settle out of the turps. Decant into the other jar and then clean out the first jar. Use the second jar next time and repeat.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Hoban's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    417
    The SRAM quick link is a very handy piece. I take off the chain and sit it in a little bowl full of solvent and swish it around. Do that a couple times with new solvent and wipe clean. No brushing involved.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: grandsalmon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    888
    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch35 View Post
    I like the Finish Line Grunge Brush
    These are great if you want to do a fast "grunge" clean; many bikes at camp, in between daily rides. Then wipe lube wipe, move to next rig.

    More time -at home/shop, then add: 'the quick link is great to remove chain (rotate w the other one), put in that bottle of solvent, or water and simple green'. One bottle or two for stages of cleaning.


    .

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    11
    I have used non chlorinated brake parts cleaner with rag.

    That gets the chain squeaky clean. I then liberally apply Royal Purple MaxChain lube.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    151
    +1 on removing the chain and dropping it in a solvent. Just make sure it dries out (mineral spirits, my solvent of choice, evaporate pretty easily) and you lube it well afterwards. Easy to do, and works better than the on-chain cleaners (from what little experience I have with the contraptions).

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Bob12676's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    216
    +1 on the Park tool chain cleaner. I always pull the chain off the bike and scrub/dunk it, but some times it's not been enough. If the chain is really nasty I'll scrub it first, to get all the grit off the outside, then I put the chain back on the bike and run it through the chain cleaner - ends up like new!
    I've never tried mineral spirits before, but I think I will, sounds like it may be a winner.

  17. #17
    Picture Unrelated
    Reputation: zebrahum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    4,924
    Quote Originally Posted by mitzikatzi View Post


    I spray WD40 ( I know evil stuff) onto the rag and wipe the chain down.
    Let dry.
    Apply lots of lube to the chain and re-wipe the chain.
    If you need to do anything other than this then you need to re-examine your lubing procedure. Immersing in solvent dissolves the grease around the rollers which is where you need the grease and doesn't flush the dirt and grit. This leaves you with more friction and the same amount of crap floating around your rollers. Short of waxing your chain (not talking using wax lube but the oldey-timey chain waxing with paraffin), I'm not sure any method is very good at properly lubricating rollers.

    By wiping the plates clean (with a small amount of WD-40 sprayed on a rag) you preserve the lube already in the rollers. You follow this up with lubricating the chain, pedaling through a few cycles then cleaning the chain off clean again. It works great.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    25
    Using TigWorld's idea, I use 2 spaghetti sauce jars, one with just enough Purple Cleaner and the other with just enough of chain lube. Wipe off crud then put chain in jar with cleaner, shake and let soak if have time, hang over jar to drip and dry, put chain in lube jar, shake well, hang over jar to drip then wipe off excess.

  19. #19
    Plays with tools
    Reputation: customfab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,132
    I'm a firm believer in keeping chains on the bike. I've seen too many master links fail to trust them. Plus there isn't anything worthwhile you can do to a chain off the bike that you can't do while it's on the bike.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: grandsalmon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    888
    Quote Originally Posted by siata94 View Post
    Using TigWorld's idea, I use 2 spaghetti sauce jars, one with just enough Purple Cleaner and the other with just enough of chain lube. Wipe off crud then put chain in jar with cleaner, shake and let soak if have time, hang over jar to drip and dry, put chain in lube jar, shake well, hang over jar to drip then wipe off excess.
    I think this works well when one is rotating chains. I do an average of two chains -road or MTB, to slow wear (through stretch mainly) the more expensive cassettes & (rings), also a performance kept higher/longer per session of a total swap-out.

    The KMC quicklink has been most dependable, so switching out is not a concern. So the "jar" has also been a good cleaner container to agitate and get the chain prepped for the next shift. I use an old chem bottle so I can shake really well.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    731
    I've gone from "anal chain clean/maintenance guy" to "**** it"

    I've got 7 bikes in the household between commuters, road, mountain/etc for me and the wife. I switched all the mountain bikes to Squirt Lube which is pretty clean and the road/commuter bikes run Chain-L and ProLink, whichever is handy. I wipe down the chain quickly on every bike after every ride and use that Park brush above to clean out the leaves/etc out of the cassette every now and again, and haven't actually "cleaned a chain" in forever. When I wash the bikes I throw some more water/cleaner on the chain area, but that's it.

    I measure every other ride and as soon as they get to 0.7 wear on the gauge, I toss and throw on another chain. Been working well with very little effort.

    -Tom

  22. #22
    Registered text offender
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,111
    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    If you need to do anything other than this then you need to re-examine your lubing procedure. Immersing in solvent dissolves the grease around the rollers which is where you need the grease and doesn't flush the dirt and grit. This leaves you with more friction and the same amount of crap floating around your rollers. Short of waxing your chain (not talking using wax lube but the oldey-timey chain waxing with paraffin), I'm not sure any method is very good at properly lubricating rollers.

    By wiping the plates clean (with a small amount of WD-40 sprayed on a rag) you preserve the lube already in the rollers. You follow this up with lubricating the chain, pedaling through a few cycles then cleaning the chain off clean again. It works great.
    I have an ultrasonic cleaner on order and am considering running my bike chain through a cycle with water as it is polar and won't dissolve the grease. A soak in WD-40 will displace all the water followed by a good wipe and application of chainlube is what I have in mind.

    Maybe excessive, but no scrubbing required and should do a significantly better job of getting the grit out of the nooks and rollers.

    I agree, if you remove the grease there is more friction, but dirt is very abrasive and if I can get the stuff out of my chain and not disturb the grease by pushing a button and walking away for 15 minutes... well, I think it's worth trying.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    411
    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    If you need to do anything other than this then you need to re-examine your lubing procedure. Immersing in solvent dissolves the grease around the rollers which is where you need the grease and doesn't flush the dirt and grit. This leaves you with more friction and the same amount of crap floating around your rollers. Short of waxing your chain (not talking using wax lube but the oldey-timey chain waxing with paraffin), I'm not sure any method is very good at properly lubricating rollers.

    By wiping the plates clean (with a small amount of WD-40 sprayed on a rag) you preserve the lube already in the rollers. You follow this up with lubricating the chain, pedaling through a few cycles then cleaning the chain off clean again. It works great.
    I couldn't agree more. I have a couple of those chain cleaning devices at the shop I work at and all they do is collect dust. The times I have used them, I still have to wipe the chain down with a rag after using them. My method is simple. Isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle, a rag, and an old tooth brush if a chain is really messy.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    If you need to do anything other than this then you need to re-examine your lubing procedure. Immersing in solvent dissolves the grease around the rollers which is where you need the grease and doesn't flush the dirt and grit. This leaves you with more friction and the same amount of crap floating around your rollers. Short of waxing your chain (not talking using wax lube but the oldey-timey chain waxing with paraffin), I'm not sure any method is very good at properly lubricating rollers.

    By wiping the plates clean (with a small amount of WD-40 sprayed on a rag) you preserve the lube already in the rollers. You follow this up with lubricating the chain, pedaling through a few cycles then cleaning the chain off clean again. It works great.
    This discussion is very similar to the never ending base cleaner versus hot scraping argument relative to ski and snowboard bases. There are few absolutes and it's an art and not a science. The anti base cleaners espouse that the cleaners 'dry out the ski and snowboard bases' and kills the the glide built up over several waxings. Others (and wax manufacturers) advocate that cleaning the bases gets rid of crap picked up from the snow, ie grease, dirt, pine pitch, etc so you can get a better bond with the next waxing.

    I think there is a middle ground/balancing act with variables for both ski bases and bike chains. It depends on where you are and ride, current conditions among other variables. Also, how much time you have and doing something is better than blowing it off entirely.

    I've taken a 'tweener' approach for both ski base and chain cleaning and 'lubing' (wax is essentially a lube). Yes grit is abrasive to chains and keeping them lubed and clean is important. So basic topical wipe downs on a regular basis is good along with re-lubing. Depending on how bad it gets simply cleaning with the lube to flush out dirt and grit may be fine for routine maintenance, coupled with a serious cleaning (on or off the bike) followed by multiple re-lubes (similar to waxing cycles) every once in a while.

    FWIW, one very avid skier and cyclist swears that putting his chain in a crock pot with ski wax (I'll need to revisit the actual mix and process on this) is a great solution for keeping the chain lubed and protected. I messed around with using fluorinated wax due to it's hydrophobic characteristics with mixed success.

    EDIT:
    I pop the master link, drop the chain into a laundry bottle and swish it around.

    Then drop the chain into 225F crockpot with wax in it. Wait until the bubbles stop - done.

    Fish it out and thread it through the dérailleur as soon as it cools.
    A blend of ski bench scrapings, Zardoz, paraffin, and microcrystalline.

    I've a grid in the crock pot the chain sits on, the nasty bits settle out below that (except for any hairs, but those don't get in between the plates).

    Straight paraffin flakes off in the cold, need something more pliant.

    ~ 400 miles.
    Note: Zardoz = Teflon, IIRC.
    Last edited by Alpinord; 03-06-2013 at 06:40 AM.
    SlideWright Outdoor Gear Tools & Wares
    Bike * Ski * Snowboard * Camp & more

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    713
    I'm sort of curious about this. I've never had much luck with the spray and wipe approach - it makes the outside of the chain look great, but leaves all the gunk inside the links where it is the biggest problem. After abandoning soaking chains in degreaser (it destroys them over time - they become very brittle and break), I've gone to a chain cleaner tool (typically Pedro's), and I've been satisfied with the results. However, it is messy and I have to do it outside which isn't much fun when it gets cold.

    What ultrasonic cleaner did you order? Do you anticipate that straight water will be sufficient, or are you planning to use some sort of cleaning agent with it? Please post up when you've had some experience - I'd really like to know how this works.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 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
  •