brake cleaner fluid for cleaning sand and grime off chain- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. brake cleaner fluid for cleaning sand and grime off chain

    i haven't done this myself but a good friend of mine uses brake cleaner fluid to clean the sand and crap off his chain after words he uses soap and water. I was just curious to see if it is a good idea or not before i try it on my own bike it seems to work well though suggestions anyone?

    Thanks
    2010 Trek 4300

  2. #2
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    I use it from time to time, if the chain gets really gross. Usually try & use the non-chlorinated type, as it's less likely to cause rust spotting.

    If the chain isn't too bad, I just relube before a ride, give it a quick wipe-down & go. Keeps the chain fairly clean.

  3. #3
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    I've been asking about everyone I run in to about chain cleaning. I bought my bike used (barely) off a guy, and asked him about chain maintenance before buying. He said that if you take the chain in your hands, and try and bend it opposite the way it normally bends, like you're trying to snap it sideways and it sounds like there is sand in between the link plates, then it's time to clean the chain.

    I've hit that point with my chain, but I still don't know how I should go about cleaning it. Submerge it in a citrus based cleaner inside a Tupperware-type container or spray it down with brake cleaner or what? I've heard of some people putting it in an empty pop bottle with a couple ounces of degreaser and just shaking it around, rinsing it with isopropyl alcohol and then re-lubing.

    I know chain maintenance is widely debated, but how would you guys degrease and clean it? I lube it after every ride trying to flush some of the grime out from between the link plates, but it doesn't seem to work or I just accumulate more grit in my chain than anyone on the planet.

  4. #4
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    Its not hard to get sand build up in the tight spots of your chain ive heard taking it off and soaking it in a mixture of soap water and WD-40 then re oil it after. I dono my problem is that i dont want to take my chain off after every time i ride a trail or every week commute "sand/mud". So im looking for a way to get the sand and crap out without taking my chain off trying brake cleaner might help?
    Last edited by nightmoves001; 07-27-2009 at 09:26 PM.
    2010 Trek 4300

  5. #5
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    I just use diluted detergent on a dishrag, run the chain through it to clean off the sand and dust, then dry it off with an old T-shirt before lubing it. Not a method for the purists (eg remove chain, soak overnight, air dry, lube), but it keeps my chain clean and quiet.

    If you ride mainly in dry, sandy conditions with rare rain, wax lubes will help keep your chain clean. They just don't last long so you need to reapply frequently.

  6. #6
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    just make sure you clean it good and lube it with something good that will prevent rust from time to time, ive seen people ride with chains that looked like they were gona snap in half from rusting, so as long as you can keep the chain rust free and freely moving, your gona be ok. I use brake clean and poly lube after every ride that involves the chain getting seriously sandy and gritty. Especially after i clean the bike off with water. Surface rust on your sprockets isnt as big of a deal as long as it isnt crazy rust.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qatarbhoy
    I just use diluted detergent on a dishrag, run the chain through it to clean off the sand and dust, then dry it off with an old T-shirt before lubing it. Not a method for the purists (eg remove chain, soak overnight, air dry, lube), but it keeps my chain clean and quiet.

    If you ride mainly in dry, sandy conditions with rare rain, wax lubes will help keep your chain clean. They just don't last long so you need to reapply frequently.
    I have a bottle of Pedro's Ice Wax to give a try... I just want to get all of the oil based lube off before I put a wax based one on.

    I ride mainly on roads right now trying to get back in shape. I'll be moving to dirt more often soon, assuming I get less lazy and take the time to drive to dirt. Come winter, I'll be at Rays a couple times a month because I live 10 minutes from it, and I imagine it's pretty dusty in there.

  8. #8
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    I really don't think using brake cleaner is a very good idea, it is very strong and can easily get well into the chain removing all the lubrication. Best thing to do if you want to clean a grimmy chain is use a Power Link of some sort and take the chain off the bike, then drop it into some hot, soapy water to soak for a bit, then scrub it with a toothbrush, rinse it, dry it and apply your chain lube of preference.
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  9. #9
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    I have tried everything to clean my chain at onetime or another. When my chain needs cleaning now, I remove it and place it in a medium size gatorade bottle which is half full of Simple Green. Shake it for about five minute then take the chain out let it dry on newspaper.

    I then re-lube the chain with Liquid Wrench Dry Lubricant.

    Works for me....

  10. #10
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    I donít like brake cleaner because itís such nasty stuff, I leave it on the bike, spray it down with Simple green, take nylon bristled brush, scrub the part of the chain that is running over the cassette (the cassette holds the chain in place so I can put a little pressure on the brush as I scrub), and rotate the pedals backwards until I have cleaned the whole chain, then I rinse the simple green off, apply oil, and wipe off any excess.

  11. #11
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    New question here.

    [QUOTE=You want to clean a chain or ride?[/QUOTE]



    but it does sound like a good idea to remove the chain any pointers on how i can remove my chain properly, witch one is the master link and like for instance when i remove it when i put it back on it has to go in the same exact spot/gear i took it off of correct. excuse my noobish questions havent taken a chain off since the old GT Dyno from when i was a kid.

    Thanks
    2010 Trek 4300

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightmoves001


    but it does sound like a good idea to remove the chain any pointers on how i can remove my chain properly, witch one is the master link and like for instance when i remove it when i put it back on it has to go in the same exact spot/gear i took it off of correct. excuse my noobish questions havent taken a chain off since the old GT Dyno from when i was a kid.

    Thanks
    Just thread it through the rear derailleur properly (on the cogs) and over your best guess as to the correct rear cog, then through the front, and then join the chain at the master link or gold link or whatever. The rear derailleur will put the chain onto the correct gear on the cassette when you pedal, no harm done.

  13. #13
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    since no one's posted it yet - "The PROPER way to clean and lube a chain"
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  14. #14
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    ok i dont have a chain tool could i use a punch? to take apart the master link?
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  15. #15
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    don't do that. you won't get it back on. if your chain is shimano, it probably doesn't have a true master link. you will need a chain tool. if it is a sram chain, look for the gold link. if you have one, you can slide the side plates in your hand (like you are trying to shorten the chain) and the link will pop free. i know it is confusing, but you'll understand when you see the link.

    if it is a shimano, you should also buy a replacement pin because if you use the original pin, you will have a weaker chain. (i've never had a problem, but you might as well do it the right way).

    my suggestion... get a sram chain as soon as that one wears out.
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  16. #16
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    BTW...

    i use simple green and a scrub brush to clean my chain.
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  17. #17

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    Eventually the bla bla will end and you'll find yourself more confused than ever.
    Mineral spirit is called.Go to an Home Depot,It's in a gallon bottle. You can remove the chain or simply use a brush to clean it.Also good for any moving part on your bike .

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    since no one's posted it yet - "The PROPER way to clean and lube a chain"
    I'd rather pay for a new chain than go through all of this work. I clean my chain regularily using one of the orange based degreasers or Simple Green (whatever happens to be around) I have a couple of brushes I use and I am very satisfied with the results I get in 15 mins.

  19. #19
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    cool i think ill just stick with the bake cleaner and wash the components/chain in a dish soap mixture right after i use it. Thanks a ton guys for the feedback i may try some of these other suggestions latter down the road. Im lazy and dont want to take my chain off i think i can manage with out doing that either with the brake cleaner or some mineral spirit.

    Thanks!!
    2010 Trek 4300

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    since no one's posted it yet - "The PROPER way to clean and lube a chain"
    Haha, yeah right. because we all have 5 hours to clean our chain. I think next time I change the oil in my car I'll just rebuild my engine, too! Sheldon Brown is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to bikes, but that's just not realistic.

  21. #21

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    sheldon brown is such a slacker.. you should totally be micropolishing each individual plate by hand, once per cleaning. twice if you're really thorough

    prolink has solvents in it. it cleans, degreases, relubricates and dries out completely, all in one go. drip on, wait, wipe off. done.

  22. #22
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    Low odor and cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by dueruote
    Eventually the bla bla will end and you'll find yourself more confused than ever.
    Mineral spirit is called.Go to an Home Depot,It's in a gallon bottle. You can remove the chain or simply use a brush to clean it.Also good for any moving part on your bike .
    It works for me as the citrus stuff and simple green will break down fresh lube unless you rinse it off. An air compressor comes in handy to blast the old gunk from the links quickly also.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85
    Haha, yeah right. because we all have 5 hours to clean our chain. I think next time I change the oil in my car I'll just rebuild my engine, too!
    I thought the same thing, you just put it into words.

  24. #24
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    Um, really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spinner54
    I'd rather pay for a new chain than go through all of this work. I clean my chain regularily using one of the orange based degreasers or Simple Green (whatever happens to be around) I have a couple of brushes I use and I am very satisfied with the results I get in 15 mins.
    Did you guys not get that he was joking? Read the warnings about the solvents used.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by gthcarolina
    Did you guys not get that he was joking? Read the warnings about the solvents used.
    Yeah one of his kits includes 57 Powerlinks to replace all the chain links.

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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by gthcarolina
    Did you guys not get that he was joking? Read the warnings about the solvents used.

    This illustrates a lot about human nature. People who spend a lot of time cleaning their chain do not have a sense of humor. But I must admit they have some fine looking chains.
    To avoid injury, do not ride with your eyes closed

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacon11
    I thought the same thing, you just put it into words.
    It...was...a...joke.
    "The quality of the box matters little. Success depends upon the person who sits in it."
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeboater
    It...was...a...joke.
    Thank.... you... smartass... it's... not... like... I... didn't... get... it.
    Now with eggs.

  30. #30
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    ... and if we just ...

    You...are...wel...come...HEY, "smartass"? Man, that's cold.


    Thanks for editing the original response, BTW.
    "The quality of the box matters little. Success depends upon the person who sits in it."
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  31. #31
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    I used to hit with wd40, water, then again with wd40 to displace the water. then lube chaina side plates.

    the Lbs told be about this orange oil base degreaser, Finish Line
    Citrus BioSolvent Concentrate; it melts caked on grud like hot butter. then I lube it up and coat the side links to prevent rusting
    Last edited by nagatahawk; 08-31-2009 at 03:13 PM.

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