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What to use when cleaning chain

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by deadmeat, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. I've checked various posts regarding chain lube, but still unsure as to what to use.

    Many seem to use kero or citrus degreasers. Kero is pretty good at removing all sorts of hydrocarbon sh!t off -- reason why they are used to clean dirty oil-burning car engines. But, as a former student of materials engineering, I don't think kero is the right choice because what it can do to O-ring and lube inside.
    Citrus degreasers...I don't know much about them. Bloody label doesn't really say what's inside other than the propellant. I hear they're good for cleaning outside of engines and shop floors.
    I use citrus terp to clean and repack ball bearings and remove fouled-up lube from chains on my push bike. I believe they are the best for this sort of cleaning. BUT there is a nasty catch...chain must be taken off because it has to be brushed while immersed in the terp for proper cleaning.
    Somewhat frustrated and confused, I went out on Monday to ask folks at autObarn if there is any way to clean chain without removing it. They recommended applying PowerPlus "Clean Brake" on a rag and using the rag to clean. Being extremely gullible when three or more salesmen say the same, I bought it without much thought.

    So, my question are...
    1 Has anyone tried this brake cleaner spray thingo on their chain? If yes, is it any good?
    2. Know any other solution to my problem (no kero; thorough cleaning w/o taking chain off)?

  2. I bought a can of motul chain clean last time i bought lube and that seems to work pretty well... Previous to that ive always just used kero.
  3. with the motul do u just spray and leave or u have to use a cloth??
  4. The can says spray on and let dry for 5 minutes and if very dirty lightly scrub with a soft brush.

    Though i usually just scrub it until its completely free of anything anyway...
  5. Phanoongy will be able to advise you best.
  6. sweet ill look into it

  7. My owners manual (Suzuki) recommends using kerosene.
  8. where can u get that ... Grunge Brush thingo??
  9. just use ur old tooth brush mate :wink: :LOL: :LOL:
  10. but those things look like they will clean both side of the chain
  11. No, and nor would I. Kerosene is not going to attack the o-rings of a chain - most manufacturers actually recommend using it, however the organic solvents in brake cleaner (typically acetone, toluene, xylene, n-heptane, methylene chloride, or tetrachloroethylene) most certainly will.
  12. I just use a petrol soaked rag and wipe both sides of the chain at the back sprocket as you spin the rear wheel with the bike on a paddock-stand; watch you don't catch a finger between the chain & sprocket, I assure you, it will hurt (the F word will be used) even if you don't lose the end of your finger.

    Then I give it a light lube with a clear (not that it makes much of a difference) lube.
  13. + 1

    Don't use metho, it'll dry the "o" rings, kero keeps them lubed.
  14. I use Motorex Chain Clean 611

    Available from all leading bike shops(!) and BikeMart in Ringwood.

    The net effect is that I rarely have to adjust the chain, it keeps it clean and washes out most dirt and gunk.
  15. I always use kero to clean my chain, it recommends it in my manual. I used to use petrol, (only a coupla times luckily) till I found out it screws up the O-rings on the chain.Keros definitely the go IMO
  16. Or you could fit an automatic chain oiler and never have to worry about cleaning your chain again.
    (I wouldn't even bother cleaning the chain before fitting, as the thinner oil and a warm chain will do this for you.)
  17. I use a citrus based degreaser as its very effective and seems to be less harsh on the o-rings as its a natural degreaser. You can get citrus degreasers at a good bicycle shop.
  18. Let me get this straight - you went to Autobarn to get advice on bike maintenance?

    Whats wrong with your local bike shop?

    As for the question you already have the answer. Brake clean is for cleaning brake dust and the like off brakes and so uses solvents appropriate for the task. These almost inevitably will not be suitable for removing lube and road dirt from chains.

    The chain manufacturers seem to generally recommend a mineral based solvent (like kero). I use a citrus solvent in a rotating brush device that attaches to the chain similar to that used for pushbikes.

    As for lubrication I used to swear by a product called Chain Wax but noe have an oiler installed. Oh and you still need to clean your chain with these. If the iol can get in it can carry dirt in with it.
  19. Kero works for me too - cleans very effectively, and hasn't yet had any obvious detrimental effects on chain performance or life.