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Should my chain be scrubbed or wiped ?

andyboyceandyboyce Posts: 156
edited June 2013 in Workshop
I keep reading conflicting reports about the best way to maintain the chain.

I have been using a chain scrubber. I use a de-greaser, then run it through the chain scruber filled with Muc-Off. Every 6 months or so, I take the chain off completely and soak it in paraffin.

I recently had a flyer from KMC chains saying that you should NEVER scrub the chain, but just wipe it down as scrubbing it, or soaking it will remove the lube in the links.

Please help !!

Posts

  • owenlarsowenlars Posts: 719
    This is a question of high philosophical debate which rivals the old ecclesiastical debate as to how many angels you can get on the head of a pin. I think it is a matter of opinion. Given the chain is generally a 1000 to 2000 mile component, and, unless you are very committed to bling or super lightweight, will cost you about twenty quid I think it is academic.

    The key message is keep it clean by whatever method, wiping or scrubbing or soaking and bung some decent lube on it.

    For what it is worth I use a chain cleaner with household detergent and then I take the chain off and rinse it in clean water, dry with a towel and hang up before putting back on and lubing. All complete in the time it takes to clean the bike. I will now stand back for the 'you can't use detergent it has salt in it brigade'. :wink:

    If it is hard to take the chain off because there is no power link then wipe with a rag and lube. Simples
  • I've tried the chain scrubber degreaser method and the wipe with rag sprayed with WD40/Gt85 (lubing after both) and it didn't make any difference to how long the chains lasted, how smooth they ran nor how clean they looked. So now I just wipe down with a WD40 rag and lube as its quicker.

    PS I would tend to believe KMC as they make chains for a living and I really don't buy the conspiracy theory that they want our chains to wear out quicker so they tell us not to degrease them.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    So now I just wipe down with a WD40 rag and lube as its quicker.

    You must be making good use of every single second if you find that time savings over a task that takes less than one minute (ie cleaning with a chain cleaner and relubricating) are a significant benefit! :wink:
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Rolf F wrote:
    So now I just wipe down with a WD40 rag and lube as its quicker.

    You must be making good use of every single second if you find that time savings over a task that takes less than one minute (ie cleaning with a chain cleaner and relubricating) are a significant benefit! :wink:

    My life is whirlwind of pure joy and I don't want to miss a second! Thinking about it its probably the filling and emptying, cleaning the chain cleaner which makes the spray a rag and wipe method more attractive to me but I wouldn't say I have any feeling that one is better than the other.
  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    I spray my chain with TF2 relatively frequently to keep it clean - and in the summer I tend to only use TF2 and not any other lubricant on top.

    If you go round once it looses the muck, and the second time round you can see the gunk coming out. Then I just wipe it down.

    Chain cleaners are too much effort for not a lot of reward from my experience. Although if you are letting your chain get very dirty then they are good for taking stubborn gunk off.
  • Dean01UKDean01UK Posts: 3
    A soft scrub maybe, with a chain cleaner or a soft brush if you want to get right in there yourself - but wiping with a good quality cloth (ie no fluff or loose snags) is fine - always use a splash of degreaser on the rag and then apply a wet or dry lube depending on the weather/ time of year. Personally, I do this after every 3 hours of riding, usually before the next ride, as straight after I can't be arsed - it's a very quick ritual that takes the same time as checking the tyre pressure. I treat every training or leisure ride like a competition - be prepared and limit problems.
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