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Cleaning up my chains?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Ok so I've been wanting to clean my bike for awhile now, but I am little short on cash so I really haven't gone out to get specific bike-cleaning tools, soaps or cloths. I know I can use standard detergent around the house to wash down most of my bike but what I'm really stuck on is the chain and the gearset. It seems i have to get a degreaser and lube to clean it up. But I don't have the cash to do so, and i've heard that people use kerosene or thinner as a degreaser and Singer oil to lube it up, sounds like a bad idea?

 

And also a few nuts and bolts have rusted slightly because i forgot to wipe them down after being caught in the rain, any idea how to fix that? I'm not really handy with this kind of stuff but i love cycling do help?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 4

Well, IMO if you are really short on cash for this, thinner is fine to clean the drivetrain with; I just did that on the used parts that I built up my bike with.  Careful with anything that is flammable like kerosene; definitely do not use gasoline.  For lube, again anything that lubes will be better than nothing, and I would venture to say that sewing  machine oil will not hurt your drivetrain.  It's a  little light and may not last long.  A homemade  lube that was popular a few years  back on another forum was oderless mineral spirits mixed at a low ratio with synthetic motor  oil (OMS:Oil = 10:1 or something like that).  Apply liberally and often. Of course if you have to buy both of things, you could go to a bike shop and buy lube (albeit a much smaller quantity).  My point being that you don't need to be too fussy; but when you get a few  bucks,  try to get a chain cleaning tool  (Park, etc), some environmentally-safe degreaser, and some chain lube.  (And don't do anything extreme like put sewing machine oil in a bearing that needs grease--that will damage it.)  Hope this helps and let the comments begin.  Steve

post #3 of 4

If you can spare $10.00, you can get a bottle of ProLink Chain Lube.

 

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1030901_-1_1598508_20000_400042#pr-header-40__0594 

 

The great thing about ProLink is that it cleans and lubes at the same time. This saves you from having to spend another $20  - $30 on a chain cleaning tool plus whatever solvent they specify in addition to a chain lube. And it saves you time since you only have to apply the ProLink and then wipe off the excess. It is best applied a day or two before riding so that it has a chance to soak into the chain and dry a little. It will work OK even it applied right before a ride but it picks up a little extra dust.

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_A View Post

Well, IMO if you are really short on cash for this, thinner is fine to clean the drivetrain with; I just did that on the used parts that I built up my bike with.  Careful with anything that is flammable like kerosene; definitely do not use gasoline.



Paint thinner is also quite flammable.  Flammable materials are fine to use--IF THEY ARE USED IN AN OPEN AREA, LIKE OUTSIDE!  You just have to take appropriate precautions to not have sparks around.  But I agree on not using gasoline--it has too many additives and impurities that can leave a varnish behind.

 

Simple Green works well for cleaning most of the bike (don't spray it into the bottom bracket or headset area--spray on a rag and wipe), then wipe down the chain and gears with paper towels or rags and re-lube with a good synthetic lube.  Putting a degreaser on the chain isn't necessary and can actually be detrimental to the chain (it gets into the rivets/bushings, then causes the new lube to sling off prematurely).

 

Jason

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