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What should I clean my chain with

simonbikesimonbike Posts: 9
edited June 2009 in Road beginners
I am newbie and really love my Ridgeback Voyage 2009 that only a few weeks old. I would like feedback on how should I clean my chain and how often and if it wet what should I clean the chain with? Please advise me.

Posts

  • balthazarbalthazar Posts: 1,565
    Welcome Simon. This is probably the most common subject on the forum. Try a quick search (using the search link under your name up there on the right, not the one at the top of the page) to find more reading on the subject than you ever imagined!

    For the condensed version, read this:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/chain-care.html

    For the condensed, condensed, version: put some oil on it occasionally. Normal oil like you'd put in a car - there'll be some in your garage. Any other oil meant for lubricating mechanisms will do, however.
  • simonbikesimonbike Posts: 9
    Thanks,
    But I noticed the article is dated from 2004, and wonder if it out of date?
  • balthazarbalthazar Posts: 1,565
    simonbike wrote:
    Thanks,
    But I noticed the article is dated from 2004, and wonder if it out of date?
    No, apart from the section on swaged bushings, which are before your time. The article could have been from 1904 and it would be as relevant today. Chain technology has not changed much, and bicycles are nowhere near the forefront of it.
  • scapaslowscapaslow Posts: 305
    This is a contentious issue

    According to KMC you should only use soapy water if you have to and never any kind of solvent or chain cleaning device.

    http://www.kmcchain.com/index.php?ln=en&fn=service
    Chain technology has not changed much, and bicycles are nowhere near the forefront of it.

    Take a look at the new Trek District bike which has a carbon fibre composite drive train and needs no lubrication. I saw it last time i was in my LBS and the owner thinks that bikes like this could be the future - especially for winter bikes.

    http://www.trekbikes.com/int/en/bikes/urban/district/district/
  • balthazarbalthazar Posts: 1,565
    edited June 2009
    scapaslow wrote:
    Take a look at the new Trek District bike which has a carbon fibre composite drive train and needs no lubrication. I saw it last time i was in my LBS and the owner thinks that bikes like this could be the future - especially for winter bikes.

    http://www.trekbikes.com/int/en/bikes/urban/district/district/
    "Carbon fibre composite drive train" is a little aggrandising; that bike has a belt drive. Those things have been hovering around the periphery for decades, often designed by product designers from other fields (intending to 're-invent the bicycle'), who are appalled at the filthy mechanisms of ordinary bikes.

    The usual opposition to belt drive is that it is suffers losses through hysteresis that a chain and sprocket arrangement doesn't. I don't know if this is the case or not, but popularity has never registered more than a quiet blip, I suspect because of manufacturing practicalities – frames must be made with an aperture somewhere to admit the belt, and chainstays must be a limited and precise length, or many belts of different sizes must be made. Also, simply, it answers a question nobody is really asking: chains transmit power in nearly all of the world's bicycles, and they work very well. I bet that this isn't belt drives day yet.

    Inside combustion engines at 10,000 rpm, and no doubt in plenty more challenging industrial applications, is where real "chain science" and "belt science" is done. Bikes are play in comparision.
  • CyclingBantamCyclingBantam Posts: 1,299
    The best tip I can give is to wipe it well with a rag after each ride then re lube and wipe off the excess oil (You shouldn't be able to see oil built up on the chain). Mine run fine and it only takes 2 - 5 minutes, depending on how careful a job you do.
  • simonbikesimonbike Posts: 9
    According to KMC you should only use soapy water if you have to and never any kind of solvent or chain cleaning device.

    I thought that a wet chain would become rusty if water is added? Maybe I am wrong here!

    Are there any specific manufacturer lube should I go for?

    I have just discovered that WD-40 is to be avoid at all cost!

    I am now totally confused about cleaning the chain and wonder if I should not have posted my question in the first place.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    BenBlyth wrote:
    The best tip I can give is to wipe it well with a rag after each ride then re lube and wipe off the excess oil (You shouldn't be able to see oil built up on the chain). Mine run fine and it only takes 2 - 5 minutes, depending on how careful a job you do.

    +1, this is the way to do it. Messing around with additional solvents is largely a waste of time.
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  • Takis61Takis61 Posts: 239
    Napoleon D will be along in a minute, I use his tip - degreaser, then wipe with babywipes, allow to dry, relube.
    Perfect.
    My knees hurt !
  • simonbikesimonbike Posts: 9
    Ok Guys

    Thanks, but what band should I go for then that all I need to know please?
  • CranksCranks Posts: 129
    Golden Degreaser, made by the American company who make Purple Extreme lube which is amazing stuff.
  • rjh299rjh299 Posts: 721
    I use white lighting dry wax lube on good bike cos it doesn't get wet usually, and wet lube on work bike. Think it finish line cross country that comes pretty highly recommended. Check the web for videos on how to clean your bike and lube chain if your unsure, there's stuff on everything. Try youtube or bicycletutor.
  • Tony McTony Mc Posts: 180
    Oven cleaner and baby wipes sparkles like new :D
    and lube with finishing line dry
    Getting there
  • simonbikesimonbike Posts: 9
    Thanks guys for all the information.
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