I've just acquired one of those Park Tool chain cleaning thingo's and you have to fill it with some degreaser then spin it around...
I'm interested to give it a go but anyone got any recommendations on some sort of non toxic, relatively environmentally friendly, citrus or similar degreaser? All the bike specific brands seem uber pricey.
How do you normally clean your chain? Must admit I've never degreased before, just a good wipe and re-lube...
I also agree with what Richard says above. Makes perfect sense to me to only degrease when it needs it!
Remove chain, soak in turps in a can. Agitate every now and then for 15 min.
Then grab the chain with a rag and pull the rag down the chain until its shiny and dry. Replace chain on bike.
Lube with......well I wont say what I use as that will start WW3. But its got two letters and two numbers in the name.
You need an SRAM chain connector to do this easily though.
What's easy about opening a SRAM chain connector? Or a Connex Whipperman connector? Or any of the others that don't need tools (swear words aren't tools apparently).
Isn't it funny that in the 'good old days', 3/32 chains were continuous because the gears put them under so much pressure and you couldn't use a connector (or some such reason) yet now, quality chains come with a connector.
Sram are only single use in that they recommend only open once unfortunately...most other brands are okay :)
Rubbish! I've use the same SRAM link for years, taken it on and off the bike maybe 50 times. The only reason SRAM say that its single use is cos Wipperman have the patent for a "reusable" chain connector.
Had Sram chains in the past with the connector. Eventually the link pin becomes loose and falls out :(
I wouldn't have thought its a patent issue, the SRAM 9 speed connector is reusable and the documentation says so. The 10 speed connector is the only one they say is "one-use" only.
The Whipperman connector is so much easier to use than the SRAM or KMC one.
I also use the $2 aerosol can degreaser from Supercheap. I buy them in bulk when they are on special 12 or 15 cans to a box. One can usually does about 4 cleans. So that's not too expensive.
I collect large sheets of cardbpard from the blue bins behind a the big stores ( big folded cardbpoard boxes ), stand the bike on the carboard and lean it against a tree or post in the bag yard, chain side facing the cardboard. That way the de-greaser and oil drips onto the cardboard and is soaked up, rather inot the garden soil.
A good squirt and you can see the dirt and dust just drop off the sprockets and chain. Then I just use my oil can filled with 20/50 car engine oil and squirt over the sprockets. Turn the pedals and change the gears with the back wheel lifted and that spreads the lubrication around all sprocket teeth and chain links.
I don't wash the degreaser off with water. Mainly because there is so much rust on the old steel rims I don't want to encourage it! lol
Finally I leave it leaning there for ten minutes or so to let any excess oil drip off before wheeling it away.
I do this before I head off for most longer rides. Or at least every second ride.
The citrus degreaser was used in the printing industry it fell from favor when it was suggested it was carcinogenic.
most organic solvents have health issues involved with their uses so minimize skin contact and breathing the fumes.
if you do it regularly a good wipe and re-lube is enough.
Would I be controversial if I suggest that sewing machine oil is a reasonable start for lubricants there are probably better lubricants but there are certanly worse it is cheap enough that you can use it before/after every ride.
oh....and all being said - I use rock n roll lube now.
It cleans and lubes at the same time......so the bottle says......
remove chain with the Connex connector, clean with kero in a heated ultrasonic cleaner, decant kero to settle for reuse next time. Using fresh kero, clean again using ultrasonic cleaner. Dry by using an air compressor blast, then lube with wax, store chain in ziplock bag. Install chain B or C using its Connex connector depending on the rotation cycle.