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Chain cleaning tool thoughts please

tomb57tomb57 Posts: 1,956
edited September 2016 in MTB beginners
Just realising the need for a clean and lubed chain anyone give me a heads up on cleaning tools, I am leaning
Towards the park tools cyclone , are there any better at same reasonable price and should I use it as a part
Of my cleaning programme or just on a monthly basis specially as I will be carrying on riding during winter
Regards
Tom b
Whoops who did that!

Posts

  • I bought a chain cleaning thingy a few years ago, but only used it about twice.
    With a quicklink in the chain, I find it simpler to quickly take chain off bike and put in plastic takeaway container with a bit of water and swarfega.
    Most of the dirt comes off after a short soak and shake of container, and just use a brush for any sturdier grime.
    Quick rinse of the chain in clean water, dry with old towel,refit to bike, and then apply chain lube and all done
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Haven't cleaned a chain for years.

    I use Squirt, wash the bike normally, and reapply lube as required.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
    edited September 2016
    Bit of rag and a brush for rear cassette.

    I used a chain cleaning machine once and it f****d my chain, stripped all the lube out

    Wash bike as normal, run chain through rag, spray a water displacer like GT85 and wipe it off by running chain through rag also helps to loosen dirt. Then lube and wipe off excess. Clean rear cassette with detergent/brush every once in a while. Jin done.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    yeah that chain cleaning tool is good - but it depends on the weather - I'd just look at the chain and work out if you need a proper clean or not.

    In the summer a rag and some GT85 seems to work.
  • My cyclone has been great so far.... Mind you I don't clean The Boss as much as I should...
  • I use a park tools chain cleaning tool on mine when I think it needs it, which is pretty often. Usually a couple of times a month at least.

    Put it this way, posting pics of my bike on this forum after a clean, people thought the bike hadn't been used off road. (It see's mud and grit every time I ride it.) The chain cleaner does such a good job your chain looks like a new chain afterwards. All you need to do is make sure you re lube it and allow it to penetrate the links overnight before your next ride.

    I get 1000 miles out of my KMC chains ridden in all conditions, mud, dust, rain, puddles, you name it. I wouldn't hesssitate recommending buying a chain cleaning tool.
  • kiniookinioo Posts: 776
    Well, I have park tools chain cleaning tool its good I use it occasionally.

    Usually i wipe chain with a rag and lube after every ride. Once a month I take the chain off and put it into plastic bottle with paraffin and give it a good shake - as new.

    C.
  • what i use is two 50p nail brush's. one on top and one under the chain as the brush will knit together. this with some of your bike cleaner really gets into each link for a deep clean and its so cheap you can replace the brush's as and when needed.

    this can also be done with two toothbrush's too,
  • A stiff long handled dishes brush and muck off degreaser spay works or me.

    Hose it, spray degreaser, leave, brush, hose, bounce bike, dry with tea towel, relube.
  • tomb57tomb57 Posts: 1,956
    Thanks chaps lots of tips to think about going to try some before buying the cyclone
    see if I save money either way I think I will be saving on chain wear,
    Regards to all
    Tom B
    Whoops who did that!
  • SMESME Posts: 348
    what i use is two 50p nail brush's. one on top and one under the chain as the brush will knit together. this with some of your bike cleaner really gets into each link for a deep clean and its so cheap you can replace the brush's as and when needed.

    this can also be done with two toothbrush's too,

    I use these too. Just bought a dozen off of fleabay for a fiver!
    I also use a little chain keeping wheel I made out of an old radio control aircraft wheel and various bits of hardware...

    bb4.jpg

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    chain_keeper.jpg

    And if you turn the brushes side on you get the sides of the chain clean too.
  • swod1swod1 Posts: 1,639
    Those chain cleaners are ok but found that even though I rinsed off the chain. the degreaser fluid was still deep in the chain links so once I refitted and oiled chain it wouldn't last long as the degreaser would resurface and break down the chain oil.

    Started to use squirt again until the winter months
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    I use the Park Tools cyclone and it works fine. Once it is run through I just clean the chain with kitchen roll, apply oil, let it soak in and wipe off the excess. A clean chain runs better and changes gear more smoothly but don't get too OCD about it.

    Just remember to put plastic bags over your disc brakes & rotors before you start.
  • LotaLota Posts: 9
    cooldad wrote:
    I use Squirt, wash the bike normally, and reapply lube as required.
    Yes, I also use Squirt!
  • tomb57tomb57 Posts: 1,956
    Again thanks everyone tried the two nailbrush system worked a treat nice clean chain gear change better also.
    Whoops who did that!
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,823
    JGTR wrote:
    I used a chain cleaning machine once and it f****d my chain, stripped all the lube out

    Er, thats kinda the point?

    Remove all dirty lube contaminated with lots of soil etc using degreaser. Re-apply lube, it's not hard to do, its a 10 second job.
  • I gave a shot to chain cleaning cassette but ended up sticking to a set of brushes (there's a special set on e-bay somewhere, contains both short and long brushes, as well as proper tools for getting grass out of the rear cassette - very cheap but also very useful). I'll go into explaining why.

    Most of the time, I just wipe the chain off with a rag, apply lube, give the cranks a good amount of spins and wipe the chain off again. I find that if I do this regularly (once every 100km or after harsh conditions ride), I don't really need to degrease or use brushes and the chain stays clean and smooth.

    When I do go into the hassle of degreasing the chain, I clean up the entire drivetrain as well. Using some not sure which degreaser in spray. Works pretty well.
    As for the brushing, I find that it's better to brush individual portions of the chain, rather than holding the brush still and spinning the cranks. It's also important to get all the degreaser off of the drivetrain. Apply water as needed.


    Some food for thought:

    A chain on a MTB will typically last for a bit over 1000km, over 1500 if you're light on the pedals. That isn't really that much. Now everyone has different riding habits, but since I got to the point where I need to change the chain every 1-2 months, I started to think about the economy of cleaning it. A cleaning cassette costs money and doesn't last long. Degreaser costs money. Thorough cleaning takes time and using degreaser too often may actually shorten the lifespan of a chain. And in the end, you still need to dish out money for a new chain.
    From my personal experience, the rag routine takes only very little time, works just as well and doesn't shorten the lifespan of a chain. So why put any significant amount of money, time and effort into something, that needs to be replaced on regular basis no matter what you do?

    So yes, definitely keep your chains clean, but don't overdo it. IMHO excessive cleaning of the drivetrain is an obsession rather than necessity. Come to think of it, I've probably been there myself, when I felt the need to clean every spot on the bike after each and every ride. The way I look at it now, a bit of dirt on the bike shows that it's not sitting in your basement all the time ;)
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