Chain Replacement

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by melslur, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. melslur

    melslur New Member

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    I'm changing a chain for the 1st time. 2 questions:
    1) The Shimano chain instructions start with "Use neutral detergent to clean the chain". That's a general statement right? Or do they mean clean it before using (since it is the 1st instruction)? It would seem odd to ship a chain in a state that requires cleaning before using, but it would also seem odd to have that as teh 1st instruction, before installation.

    2) I took out 2 links and have the pushed out pin sticking out the end. Is it fair to say that I just need to put the chain together on the bike, and push in the connecting pin (which will push out the old pin), using the chain breaker? I understand that I need to align the chain such that the connecting pin is on the "front" side in terms of direction of travel.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. discobean7

    discobean7 New Member

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    Chains ship with a very thick and tacky lube that will collect all sorts of road dirt if left on intact. To completely degrease would remove this lube from the inner chain parts. Instead try soaking your chain in something like Prolink for a day or so. I've had very good results with this approach.
     
  3. Slugster438

    Slugster438 New Member

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    ....To clarify:
    frequently, machine parts are shipped covered with a thick heavy oil that is intended mainly as a rust-preventative, and not as a lubrication. This is so that if the part happens to sit for a year in a warehouse, humidity isn't likely to get to it and eat away at it.

    If you want to do it right, you wash it with warm water+detergent, then lube it with "real" chain lube before use.
    ~
     
  4. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    I understand that Campag chains shouldn't be degreased before use. Maybe the factory grease used aren't the same. Just a wipe down of the excess is all that is required.
     
  5. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    Your second question is by far the most important. I have always completely pushed out the old pin before inserting the new pin. I am not sure that the new pin is designed to push out the old, and there may not be room in the end of your chainbreaker to accommodate the old pin and the stub of the new pin. This is a controversial point, but I always use a breakable link rather than the Shimano reconnection pin.
    With regard to the chain grease, I would simply lubricate it generously with a semi-solvent oil such as Prolink, and clean vigorously with a rag, and repeat the process freqently in the first few weeks, every time the chain got too dirty. I think that the detergent deal is overkill.
     
  6. melslur

    melslur New Member

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    Thanks everyone. I called the bike shop back and they said the lube on the chain was "good stuff", which is a little different that the opinions above. I also saw here (part f) that I can push the old pin out with the new pin. http://parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=25

    I put the chain back together. Based on the comments above, I will "lubricate it generously with a semi-solvent oil such as Prolink, and clean vigorously with a rag" as suggested by artemidorus.

    Another question though - do people generally buy chains with the right number of links, or is a longer 116 link chain standard, and most people just shorten it?

    Thanks.
     
  7. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Most people just shorten it. It is impossible for a chain manufacturer to make a chain specific to every chainring-cassette combination out there. As for cleaning the original gunk off of a new chain, I would suggest soaking it in good old WD40 for a day or two in a closed container(butter tub with a lid). After that, wipe it down and then hang it up to dry. When it has dried, lube it. The last time I checked, WD40 was less expensive than Prolink.
     
  8. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    You'd be using a hell of a lot less Prolink than WD40 simply lubricating the chain rather than soaking it. And you'd have lubricated the chain.
    I don't keep WD40 at home because I so rarely have a use for it.
     
  9. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Good point if you are using Prolink to lube the chain. I prefer wax so Prolink would not work in my case. It does not evaporate like WD40.

    My tool kit consists of WD40 and Duct Tape. If it is supposed to move and doesn't, spray it with WD40. If it moves and is not supposed to, secure it with Duct Tape.
     
  10. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    I just keep the wax or whatever is on the chain and give it a light lube too. I've never had any problems or premature wear - just change my 9 speed chains around 5000 kms - which is before they really need it in my case. I am light on gear:)
     
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