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Chain cleaning

paulus69paulus69 Posts: 160
edited November 2010 in The workshop
I am kind of winging it with looking after my bike, I do have a question about cleaning the chain on my bike.

After each ride I give the bike a quick wash and a squirt with GT85 (i prefer the smell of it to wd40)

About once a week I give the chain a rub with a cloth and some heavier wet lube

I plan on about each six weeks degresing the chain with come petrol and a little nyon brush and then drying i completly and relubing it

Am I on the right track? I don't use one of those spinny gadgets as they are the price of a new chain and I love the smell of the alternative (petrol)
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Specialized Secteur 2012 / Carrera Vulcan v-spec

Posts

  • sc999cssc999cs Posts: 596
    I'm not an expert on chain cleaning - I use a chain cleaning tool and citrus chain cleaning degreaser. However I know that you must not use WD40 because it strips the internal lubes from the chain. I don't know if GT85 has a similar effect. I'm sure Nicklouse will be able to answer your question properly but in the meanwhile try reading this for advice.
    Steve C
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,961
    GT85 has almost the same effect as WD-40 but it does leave some lubricating residue; not enough though; after a wet ride, I'll spray with GT, wipe off and then relube.
  • msp1msp1 Posts: 59
    I bought some Power Links http://www.evanscycles.com/products/sram/powerlink-gold-chain-connector-9-speed-ec008054 and a chain splitter. Take the chain off after every serious ride and put it in a plastic bottle with some white spirit and give it a good shake. Chain comes up like new. Dry it off then soke in GT85 for a while before wiping off excess and refitting chain. Still in the honeymoon stage with my Zesty :D
  • paulus69paulus69 Posts: 160
    msp1 wrote:
    I bought some Power Links http://www.evanscycles.com/products/sram/powerlink-gold-chain-connector-9-speed-ec008054 and a chain splitter. Take the chain off after every serious ride and put it in a plastic bottle with some white spirit and give it a good shake. Chain comes up like new. Dry it off then soke in GT85 for a while before wiping off excess and refitting chain. Still in the honeymoon stage with my Zesty :D

    I was thinking the exact same thing, the powerlinks don't weaken the chain or cause any issues do they, I only bought them as a repair if my chain broke.
    Me on Strava
    My cycling blog
    Specialized Secteur 2012 / Carrera Vulcan v-spec
  • msp1msp1 Posts: 59
    paulus69 wrote:
    msp1 wrote:
    I bought some Power Links http://www.evanscycles.com/products/sram/powerlink-gold-chain-connector-9-speed-ec008054 and a chain splitter. Take the chain off after every serious ride and put it in a plastic bottle with some white spirit and give it a good shake. Chain comes up like new. Dry it off then soke in GT85 for a while before wiping off excess and refitting chain. Still in the honeymoon stage with my Zesty :D

    I was thinking the exact same thing, the powerlinks don't weaken the chain or cause any issues do they, I only bought them as a repair if my chain broke.

    I haven't had any problems with the power links but always carry a spare in my mule. As a rule I prefer to use a "little" light oil. Too oily and the chain will carry grit/sand and effectively create a grinding paste. Less is more as they say.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    msp1 wrote:
    paulus69 wrote:
    msp1 wrote:
    I bought some Power Links http://www.evanscycles.com/products/sram/powerlink-gold-chain-connector-9-speed-ec008054 and a chain splitter. Take the chain off after every serious ride and put it in a plastic bottle with some white spirit and give it a good shake. Chain comes up like new. Dry it off then soke in GT85 for a while before wiping off excess and refitting chain. Still in the honeymoon stage with my Zesty :D

    I was thinking the exact same thing, the powerlinks don't weaken the chain or cause any issues do they, I only bought them as a repair if my chain broke.

    I haven't had any problems with the power links but always carry a spare in my mule. As a rule I prefer to use a "little" light oil. Too oily and the chain will carry grit/sand and effectively create a grinding paste. Less is more as they say.

    <touches wood> Not had an issue with Powerlinks, either, and always carry a spare.

    +1 for taking the chain off and soaking it after a long ride. I tend to soak mine in FS-1.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • BR 1979BR 1979 Posts: 296
    sc999cs wrote:
    I'm not an expert on chain cleaning - I use a chain cleaning tool and citrus chain cleaning degreaser. However I know that you must not use WD40 because it strips the internal lubes from the chain. I don't know if GT85 has a similar effect. I'm sure Nicklouse will be able to answer your question properly but in the meanwhile try reading this for advice.
    What properties does your citrus chain degreaser have that WD40 doesn't?

    As for "strips the internal lubes from the chain", these are not motorcycle Xring/Oring chains we're talking about - Where is this "internal lube" on a pushbike chain?

    Not having a go at you, but there is a lot of old flim-flam talked about regarding bike chains.

    Personally I degrease mine on a regular basis (using powerlink to remove) with whatever's to hand (normally white spirit) and then lube with some sort of oil (wiping off any excess very thoroughly).

    The most important point (in my opinion) is not to over lube as you're simply giving something for grit to cling to.
  • powerlinks are the best way to join a pin in terms of strength as the joining pins ala shimano weaken the link plates.

    Personally I don't soak chains, but prefer to keep them clean preventing the need. WD-40 or GT85 to clean via a cleanish rag then once the chain runs clean a bit of lube, then leave and wipe dry.
  • sc999cssc999cs Posts: 596
    BR 1979 wrote:
    sc999cs wrote:
    I'm not an expert on chain cleaning - I use a chain cleaning tool and citrus chain cleaning degreaser. However I know that you must not use WD40 because it strips the internal lubes from the chain. I don't know if GT85 has a similar effect. I'm sure Nicklouse will be able to answer your question properly but in the meanwhile try reading this for advice.
    What properties does your citrus chain degreaser have that WD40 doesn't?

    As for "strips the internal lubes from the chain", these are not motorcycle Xring/Oring chains we're talking about - Where is this "internal lube" on a pushbike chain?

    Not having a go at you, but there is a lot of old flim-flam talked about regarding bike chains.

    Personally I degrease mine on a regular basis (using powerlink to remove) with whatever's to hand (normally white spirit) and then lube with some sort of oil (wiping off any excess very thoroughly).

    The most important point (in my opinion) is not to over lube as you're simply giving something for grit to cling to.

    I'm said I'm not a chain expert. I use citrus degreaser because it came with the chain cleaning tool. As regards WD40, just do an internet search for "WD40 bike chains".

    OP posted
    After each ride I give the bike a quick wash and a squirt with GT85 (i prefer the smell of it to wd40)
    which to me implies that if he didn't prefer the smell of GT85 to WD40, then WD40 would have been an acceptable alternative. If he'd said
    After each ride I give the bike a quick wash and a squirt with WD40 and then lube the chain with xyz
    that would have been different. I'm just pointing out that using WD40 as a lube is not considered a good idea for those riders who may not realise that WD40 is a solvent, not a lubricant.

    Finally regarding internal lube, where do you think the lubricant ends up when you oil the chain???

    Edit: Just searched for GT85 as well. Interesting results.
    Steve C
  • BR 1979BR 1979 Posts: 296
    sc999cs wrote:
    Finally regarding internal lube, where do you think the lubricant ends up when you oil the chain???
    Exactly. That's where you want the lube. Any lube on the outside of the chain (bar a smidge for rust prevention and moving across cogs) is excess.

    My point is that on a very "open" chain there is no real "internal" or "external" to lube. Anything you put on/in the chain will be internal/external/generally all over the place - Whether it be something to degrease, or something to lubricate.

    It's just metal linked together, with pretty big gaps everywhere.
  • paulus69paulus69 Posts: 160
    Thanks guys, there seems to be a mixture of advice, I shall try soaking my chain in salt water to see if that is a good degreaser :)
    Me on Strava
    My cycling blog
    Specialized Secteur 2012 / Carrera Vulcan v-spec
  • sc999cssc999cs Posts: 596
    paulus69 wrote:
    Thanks guys, there seems to be a mixture of advice, I shall try soaking my chain in salt water to see if that is a good degreaser :)
    Did you look at Sheldon Brown's chain cleaning page I linked to? They'd like the way you think :D
    Steve C
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