Forum home Road cycling forum Workshop

Ultrasonic Chain Cleaners

fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
edited July 2016 in Workshop
Anyone used these ? The old Park Tool kit seems to work pretty well externally - but Not so well inside the chain links.

All my chains have the Quick Links fitted so I'm thinking if these would be the way to go ?

Any reccomendations ?
«1

Posts

  • step83step83 Posts: 4,007
    I use an old one I picked up from a certain online auction site. Came from a school or the like from what I can tell I get the same as you works really well on the outside but between the links is still gunked up. What have you been using with it? Cold or warm water and any cleaning agent or degreaser?
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    I always use degreaser in the chain cleaner - but its interesting you say that yours are still gunked up inside. I'd read accounts of stuff coming out absolutely immaculate. Maybe they weren't looking that close.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,206
    small ultrasonic tank from ebayamazonwhoever

    use a bit of old linen to remove as much external cack as possible

    if you put a chain through a full clean, it'll be stripped of all lube, you really need to oil each roller and leave in a chain box to seep in before you use it, i.e. best have at least two chains so that one can be ridden while the other is cleaned/lubed
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,019
    Do people really go to all this trouble for a chain?
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Some people go to great lengths to have their chain and kit running well. I daresay it saves you money in the long run.

    A mate has absolutely immaculate bikes. He gets so much more for them when he sells them on than you'd normally expect so it could be worth it.
  • step83step83 Posts: 4,007
    fenix wrote:
    I always use degreaser in the chain cleaner - but its interesting you say that yours are still gunked up inside. I'd read accounts of stuff coming out absolutely immaculate. Maybe they weren't looking that close.

    I think its mainly my own fault I need to do both chains again but this time ill make a stronger mix an use warm water, many of the specific cleaning agents you can get state to use warm water rather than cold.

    Regarding relubing the chain I generally lube it place it in a tub overnight wipe and reapply seems to work well ive not suffered ant sticking links etc.
  • mr_mojomr_mojo Posts: 196
    I've been looking at an ultrasonic cleaning machine. They come in various sizes, what size (normal in litres) are people using?
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,112
    Imposter wrote:
    Do people really go to all this trouble for a chain?

    My thoughts exactly. What's wrong with some citrus degreaser in half an old water bottle and a paintbrush? If it's good enough for the people who actually race bikes for a living then it's good enough for us donkeys.
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    Rag. Spray rag with GT85. Wipe chain. Ride.

    Note, I'm not saying GT85 is an appropriate lube for chains, it's just great at helping the rag to get the chain clean.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,019
    dodgy wrote:
    Rag. Spray rag with GT85. Wipe chain. Ride.

    Note, I'm not saying GT85 is an appropriate lube for chains, it's just great at helping the rag to get the chain clean.

    Even if you were saying that, it wouldn't be an issue. It works ok as a chain lube if used regularly.
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    Yes perhaps, but I didn't really get into *that* discussion again :)

    I've had a few mates with those chain cleaning contraptions (not ultrasonic) that think they're the best thing ever, until they come around my place and watch how I clean a chain, 30 seconds and it's bright as a pin. Hardly any waste to deal with either and I get good mileage from my chains and they're always quiet.
  • keezxkeezx Posts: 1,311
    dodgy wrote:
    until they come around my place and watch how I clean a chain, 30 seconds and it's bright as a pin.
    Only the outside of the plates, who cares about that? I don't , its maintenance for the eye.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,496
    Imposter wrote:
    Do people really go to all this trouble for a chain?

    It would seem at least one person does. He is most likely the only one though.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,496
    fenix wrote:
    Anyone used these ? The old Park Tool kit seems to work pretty well externally - but Not so well inside the chain links.

    All my chains have the Quick Links fitted so I'm thinking if these would be the way to go ?

    Any reccomendations ?

    How do you see ".... inside the chain links"? :roll:
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    He's not worried about seeing inside there, he is worried about cleaning inside there. Doesnt matter if you can see it or not - that is where the damage to the chain is done if not properly clean.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,496
    apreading wrote:
    He's not worried about seeing inside there, he is worried about cleaning inside there. Doesnt matter if you can see it or not - that is where the damage to the chain is done if not properly clean.

    Does he put his miles in while in a surgical operating room? :lol:
    Sorry, couldn't help myself. For me it's only a bicycle chain and not part of the manned mission to Mars.
  • janwaljanwal Posts: 471
    Ultrasonic cleaners work a treat.I actually use an Aldi one sold for cleaning jewellery my wife bought and never used!
    It will take a chain or a complete cassette.I fill it with white spirit and leave on for ten minutes.Come out spotless.just wipe down afterwards and relube with whatever you use.Personally I do use GT85 as a cleaner after every ride and relube with it before next ride.Have had discussions on here about it! It works for me though and the ultrasonic clean only needs doing about every six months as the regular use of GT85 doesn't pick up as much grit and muck as a lot of lubes I have tried.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    I use a garage parts washer a couple of times a year on cassettes, chainrings and chains when they're badly crapped up, but all other times a a Park Tool chain cleaner, wipe, re-oil, wipe off excess and forget it.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,327
    Only thing that would put me off is that 11 speed links tend to be one use only, ok I know that is recommended 1 use only rather than actual but I wouldn't want to split my chain every time it needed cleaning.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • step83step83 Posts: 4,007
    I did mine last night this time with warm water an some morgan blue. Its shiney inside and out. OK its stripped every ounce of lubrication out but means I can put some wax on now without worrying ive got anything else on it.
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,112
    There you go. And if you give them a bit more money in order to help them release trapped millions in a Nigerian account then it's a clean chain and a throbbing bank balance!
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,014
    If it's good enough for the people who actually race bikes for a living, and your bicycle maintenance budget matches those who actually race bikes for a living, then it's good enough for us donkeys.

    Fixed that for you - otherwise it's the crappest argument for anything!
    Faster than a tent.......
  • tommyfordtommyford Posts: 1
    Ultrasonic Machine mainly starting with Tank Dimensions: 11.5 x 5.5 x 6.0 in (29 x 13.9 x 15.2 cm)... Other sizes are also there but first you have to make sure what size you're looking for?
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    dodgy wrote:
    Rag. Spray rag with GT85. Wipe chain. Ride.

    Note, I'm not saying GT85 is an appropriate lube for chains, it's just great at helping the rag to get the chain clean.

    This is what I do, except I lube the chain after cleaning it. I tend to spray the chain rather than the rag which helps get some muck out on the inside of the links. Occasionally I might get the chainbath out but I find if this GT85/WD40/rag wiping is done regularly (every other ride), it keeps the chain clean so it rarely needs a deep clean.

    The only downside with this approach is if you use a lube that is quite thick and sticks to the chain (factory grease is really difficult to remove). I'm using ProGold ProLink which is quite thin and can be used as a cleaner itself, but the it needs to be reapplied regularly.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    I'm now firmly in the Dodgy camp with the GT85 and rag. Simple and works well - certainly this summer.
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,112
    Rolf F wrote:
    If it's good enough for the people who actually race bikes for a living, and your bicycle maintenance budget matches those who actually race bikes for a living, then it's good enough for us donkeys.

    Fixed that for you - otherwise it's the crappest argument for anything!

    What are you on about? :?
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,014
    Rolf F wrote:
    If it's good enough for the people who actually race bikes for a living, and your bicycle maintenance budget matches those who actually race bikes for a living, then it's good enough for us donkeys.

    Fixed that for you - otherwise it's the crappest argument for anything!

    What are you on about? :?

    I do hope you haven't spent all of the last three months since I wrote that post trying to work it out! :lol:

    What I mean is that any argument which says 'if it's good enough for people who race bikes for a living' without a qualifier that highlights how different things are for the professional in terms of what they do, how they do it, how much money they have to do it with, then it is not a good argument.

    So, if you are a professional rider who has just had his mechanic put a nice new chain on your bike and it got a bit grubby in todays stage then wiping it down with a rag a couple of times before binning it at 500 miles is probably fine. But that doesn't necessarily work if you want the chain and your drive train to last as long as it can. A rag is never going to clean the parts of the chain that you really need to clean.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    A rag and GT85 will clean a chain enough for it to last a long time. It might be possible to clean it better but I seriously doubt it would be effective in terms of additional mileage gained vs the effort and time required.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,112
    drlodge wrote:
    A rag and GT85 will clean a chain enough for it to last a long time. It might be possible to clean it better but I seriously doubt it would be effective in terms of additional mileage gained vs the effort and time required.

    Agreed - and for a deeper clean you just get a paintbrush, a bottle of degreaser and give it a good soaking then wash off and re apply your oil of choice. If you're buying an ultrasonic tank to clean your chain you need to get out more. Really.
  • twist83twist83 Posts: 761
    Imposter wrote:
    Do people really go to all this trouble for a chain?

    My thoughts exactly. What's wrong with some citrus degreaser in half an old water bottle and a paintbrush? If it's good enough for the people who actually race bikes for a living then it's good enough for us donkeys.

    Nothing... I am the GT85 cloth camp and lube. I did laugh at the comment about if you spend hours cleaning a chain then when you sell a bike it will be worth a whole lot more ;) I cannot say I have ever seen a second hand bike and thought ohhhh a shiny clean chain I will pay £XXXX more.

    Also to be honest for what a chain costs these days it is not worth my time (I value this more) for the sake of a £15-30 part. Some may say that is wasteful I guess...
Sign In or Register to comment.