Best way to keep a chain clean?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best way to keep a chain clean?

    I just cleaned my chain using a finish line chain cleaner and chain cleaning tool. After I finished I moved the chain from side to side and still felt a bunch of grit. What is the best/proper way to clean a chain? I assume that I need to remove from the bike and soak it in something since the on bike cleaning doesn't seem to work. Also what is the best stuff to use for soaking? At the same time do I soak my cassette as well?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I have a Sram PC-99 chain, so removing is pretty easy. Anyways, I just remove my chain and drop it into a gatorade bottle or any bottle with a wide mouth. I pour some simple green into and mix a little water with it and I shake it several times. This really gets the dirt and grease off of the chain. After doing that, I take it out of the bottle, rinse it with some water, and make sure that its clean. Then I throw it into a rag and let it fry for a couple of hours. After doing this I put it back onto my bike and lube it with White lightning. Usually I try to clean my chain after every other ride or when it is really muddy.

    The cassette I remove maybe once a month. I also let it soak into some simple green/water mixture and scrub it with an old toothbrush. Just take your time cleaning and you should get your stuff pretty clean.
    Keep Pedaling

  3. #3
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    If you remove your chain to clean it you need to replace the link you opened with a new end-link. Reconnected links are never as strong as the original connections were. They won't be as secure under side-loads. I get most of the grit out of the links by spraying the chain with the hose while turning the cranks backwards. Aim the hose downward at the bottom jockey pulley. Then I hold a dry terrycloth towel in my hand and wrap that hand around the bottom chain and crank it backwards through the towel to dry it. Then repeat this process with an oily towel. It works a little better if you make the chain bend as it goes through your hand. If you use a dry lube apply it instead of the oil.

    I even sometimes "floss" my chain with pipe cleaners or a shoestring.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogwood
    I even sometimes "floss" my chain with pipe cleaners or a shoestring.
    You might consider a hobby or something to occupy your free time. Consider biking. It's fun and excercise.

  5. #5
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    Ditto on the SRAM chain. Power Link makes taking the chain off a snap. I don't clean the chain often but when I do, it goes in a spaghetti sauce jar and mineral spirits. Usually only after I forget to apply lube for a while and I have to use a wet lube mid ride.

    I usually prefer dry lubes but you have to let them setup (typically overnight). My current favorite is Rock N' Roll Extreme or Absolute Dry (I can't tell the difference). It lasts serveral rides and sets up quick.

    Whatever you use, be sure to wipe it off thoroughly. Lube on the outside of the chain isn't going to do any good and is only going to make a mess.

  6. #6
    Trail rider and racer
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    First off be sure to get yourself a SRAM chain or a SRAM powerlink, so that chain removing becomes an easy task for you. Secondly, I generally remove my chain, drop it in a gatorade or powerade bottle and shake it and let the chain sit in some citus based degreaser. I then run the chain through a chain cleaner and dry with a cloth in a downward manner and then apply a dry lube or if the conditions are really sloppy a wet lube. Be sure to let the lube sit overnight before riding.

    That all said, it is always good to clean your rear derailleur pulleys of any muck! Additionally give your cassette a clean too...

    Trevor!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottjr
    I just cleaned my chain using a finish line chain cleaner and chain cleaning tool. After I finished I moved the chain from side to side and still felt a bunch of grit. What is the best/proper way to clean a chain? I assume that I need to remove from the bike and soak it in something since the on bike cleaning doesn't seem to work. Also what is the best stuff to use for soaking? At the same time do I soak my cassette as well
    use a removable link ( I use a KMC Missing Link ) so the chain can be removed easily. I have always reused the chain connector - many times and have never had one fail - don't believe their marketing story about having to use a new one each time! I first use an emulsifying cleaner such as Gunk engine cleaner, and a soft bristle cleaning brush to loosen all the crud. Spray down the cassette and derailleur pulleys and the chainrings with the emulsifying cleaner, brushing these as necessary to loosen . Spray down with a hose. Make sure you don't get any cleaner or over spray on your brake disks! Take the chain and rinse with hot water. To finish the chain off - a strong hot water and liquid laundry detergent solution with the brush. Rinse well. I then use a hot air gun to dry the chain. You cannot lubricate a chain unless it is bone dry, especially inside the rollers. Don't believe BS about any moisture displacing lubricant - if you try to lube a chain that is not completely dry after a serious degreasing, then you will have a squeeky chain out on the trail

  8. #8
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    I've done stranger things to my bike than just flossing the chain. I had to go 6 weeks w/o riding because I landed a big jump upside down and dislocated a shoulder. Every day I removed one bead of my tires just to see if my Stan's was drying out yet!

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