cleaning the chain (newbie)

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Testa, Jan 15, 2005.

  1. Testa

    Testa Guest

    Hi,

    I need to clean the bike properly. I need to take the back wheel off and
    clean the chain and cogs. However, I am not very confident in doing this
    (taking off the back wheel).

    Should I go to a bike specialist? What are the best practices for cleaning
    out the chain?

    Answers most appreciated :)
     
    Tags:


  2. davek

    davek Guest

    Testa wrote:
    > Should I go to a bike specialist? What are the best practices for cleaning
    > out the chain?


    Sheldon Brown's website has plenty of good advice on the subject:
    <URL:http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html>
    I use his coke bottle method and I find it gives pretty good results.

    To remove the chain from the bike, get a CHAIN TOOL from your local bike
    shop (and ask for a demo how to use it - it would be far easier for them
    to show you than to describe it here). And while you are there, get a
    POWERLINK (what Sheldon Brown describes as an "aftermarket master link")
    so it is easier to put your chain back together afterwards (and, indeed,
    to take it apart again in future).

    For a lubricant, I use White Lightning, which is relatively expensive
    compared to some of the substances used by other URCers, but one small
    bottle lasts ages and I find it works for me. You pays your money, you
    takes your choice.

    d.
     
  3. "davek" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Testa wrote:
    >> Should I go to a bike specialist? What are the best practices for
    >> cleaning out the chain?

    >
    > Sheldon Brown's website has plenty of good advice on the subject:
    > <URL:http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html>
    > I use his coke bottle method and I find it gives pretty good results.
    >
    > To remove the chain from the bike, get a CHAIN TOOL from your local bike
    > shop (and ask for a demo how to use it - it would be far easier for them
    > to show you than to describe it here). And while you are there, get a
    > POWERLINK (what Sheldon Brown describes as an "aftermarket master link")
    > so it is easier to put your chain back together afterwards (and, indeed,
    > to take it apart again in future).
    >
    > For a lubricant, I use White Lightning, which is relatively expensive
    > compared to some of the substances used by other URCers, but one small
    > bottle lasts ages and I find it works for me. You pays your money, you
    > takes your choice.
    >
    > d.


    Dave,

    Thanks for the reply. That really is a good website.

    Now all it takes is for me to dismantle the bike. The bike needs ripping
    apart and every section to be cleaned thoroughly.

    I believe that the more money you pay initially (within reason), the less
    money you will need to pay out after (it will last longer). Therefore I do
    not mind purchasing the highest quality equipment if I know it will serve me
    well.

    Cheers and best regards.
     
  4. davek

    davek Guest

    Rick Armstrong wrote:
    > That really is a good website.


    Yes, indeed. Good old Sheldon Brown seems to have the answer to most
    questions. And I've always found the collected wisdom of URC to be
    pretty helpful too.

    > I believe that the more money you pay initially (within reason), the less
    > money you will need to pay out after (it will last longer). Therefore I do
    > not mind purchasing the highest quality equipment if I know it will serve me
    > well.


    That being the case, you want to go for the Park brand of tools. Their
    website is also very helpful when it comes to maintenance tips.
    <URL:http://www.parktool.com/>

    d.
     
  5. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Testa wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I need to clean the bike properly. I need to take the back wheel off
    > and clean the chain and cogs. However, I am not very confident in
    > doing this (taking off the back wheel).
    >
    > Should I go to a bike specialist?


    Ask your local bike shop for a demo. You might need to change an inner
    tube in the middle of nowhere one day and the know-how & practice will
    help.

    Tip: Shift to top gear (or one down from top) before removing wheel. By
    "top" I mean chain on largest front ring + smallest rear sprocket.

    > What are the best practices for cleaning out the chain?


    Most thorough is to remove chain and soak'n'shake in white spirit,
    parrafin or degreaser. (I second the SRAM Powerlink suggestion). Or to
    save taking the chain off, there are special clamp-on things, eg:
    http://tinyurl.com/5rjac - Barbieri kit.

    ~PB
     
  6. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    I scribbed:
    > Tip: Shift to top gear (or one down from top) before removing wheel.
    > By "top" I mean chain on largest front ring + smallest rear sprocket.


    Middle chainring is good on bike with triple chainsets, actually: leaves
    the derailleur at a convenient angle.

    ~PB
     
  7. Testa

    Testa Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <pwrinkledgrape{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >I scribbed:
    >> Tip: Shift to top gear (or one down from top) before removing wheel.
    >> By "top" I mean chain on largest front ring + smallest rear sprocket.

    >
    > Middle chainring is good on bike with triple chainsets, actually: leaves
    > the derailleur at a convenient angle.
    >
    > ~PB
    >
    >


    Pete,

    Thanks for your input. However, I'd like to know if you plan to take the
    back wheel off from your own bicycle?

    Cheers.
     
  8. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Testa wrote:

    > Pete,
    >
    > Thanks for your input. However, I'd like to know if you plan to take
    > the back wheel off from your own bicycle?


    :) No immediate plans since my bikes don't need their back ends seen
    to any time soon, but I expect to remove a back wheel next time I need to
    change a tyre or service the hub or something like that, or maybe just to
    clean the bike if it gets really filthy. Normally an easy job for me
    (which I and most experienced cyclists have done countless times) but
    isn't right now because of my not-quite-mended hip.

    I mentioned getting a demonstration only because it's difficult to put
    these kind of instructions into words and it's very important for safety
    to have the quick release skewer closed properly when refitting the wheel.

    However, some instructions are here:
    www.parktool.com/repair_help/FAQtires.shtml

    Note. It's not essential to remove wheel to clean chain and sprockets.

    ~PB
     
  9. > And while you are
    > there, get a POWERLINK


    My LBS said these aren't suitable for bikes with derailleur gears. Are
    they right, or are they lying little minxes?
     
  10. James Annan

    James Annan Guest

    Mark Thompson wrote:

    >>And while you are
    >>there, get a POWERLINK

    >
    >
    > My LBS said these aren't suitable for bikes with derailleur gears. Are
    > they right, or are they lying little minxes?


    Just ignorant.

    James
    --
    If I have seen further than others, it is
    by treading on the toes of giants.
    http://www.ne.jp/asahi/julesandjames/home/
     
  11. Tosspot

    Tosspot Guest

    Mark Thompson wrote:

    >>And while you are
    >>there, get a POWERLINK

    >
    >
    > My LBS said these aren't suitable for bikes with derailleur gears. Are
    > they right, or are they lying little minxes?


    He is indeed an untruthful little Mustela. They come in different
    widths though. The main problem is finding the bloody thing again when
    you *finally* get round to cleaning the chain :-(
     
  12. Jon Senior

    Jon Senior Guest

    Tosspot wrote:
    > He is indeed an untruthful little Mustela. They come in different
    > widths though. The main problem is finding the bloody thing again when
    > you *finally* get round to cleaning the chain :-(


    Always clean the Powerlink first. Then remove the chain. Trying to get a
    Powerlink off when it's sporting several months of road crud is a
    nightmare. And if you've not used one before. Practise taking it off
    when the chain isn't under tension and before it gets dirty. That way
    you'll have a better idea of what's going on when you do try to remove
    it later.

    And squeeze the plates together as well as from the ends. I wasn't aware
    that you had to do this and thus shunned the damn things for years. Even
    to the extent of using a chain tool to break the chain at a different link!

    Jon
     
  13. Tosspot

    Tosspot Guest

    Jon Senior wrote:

    > Tosspot wrote:
    >
    >> He is indeed an untruthful little Mustela. They come in different
    >> widths though. The main problem is finding the bloody thing again
    >> when you *finally* get round to cleaning the chain :-(

    >
    >
    > Always clean the Powerlink first. Then remove the chain. Trying to get a
    > Powerlink off when it's sporting several months of road crud is a
    > nightmare. And if you've not used one before. Practise taking it off
    > when the chain isn't under tension and before it gets dirty. That way
    > you'll have a better idea of what's going on when you do try to remove
    > it later.
    >
    > And squeeze the plates together as well as from the ends. I wasn't aware
    > that you had to do this and thus shunned the damn things for years. Even
    > to the extent of using a chain tool to break the chain at a different link!


    Ah, Yoda-San wisely speak. I shall try that as mine is gently
    accumulating winter crud and I was thinking another month and I'll
    *have* to clean it. Rohloff, the only way forward methinks.
     
  14. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Mark Thompson wrote:
    >> And while you are
    >> there, get a POWERLINK

    >
    > My LBS said these aren't suitable for bikes with derailleur gears.
    > Are they right, or are they lying little minxes?


    They're thinking of old-style connecting links and must be ignorant of
    SRAM Powerlinks which are different and specifically made for derailleur
    chains.

    ~PB
     
  15. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>,
    Testa ('[email protected]') wrote:

    >
    > "Pete Biggs" <pwrinkledgrape{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >>I scribbed:
    >>> Tip: Shift to top gear (or one down from top) before removing
    >>> wheel. By "top" I mean chain on largest front ring + smallest rear
    >>> sprocket.

    >>
    >> Middle chainring is good on bike with triple chainsets, actually:
    >> leaves the derailleur at a convenient angle.

    >
    > Thanks for your input. However, I'd like to know if you plan to take
    > the back wheel off from your own bicycle?


    It's very easy to the back wheel off. If you bike has tyres fatter than
    the rims (all mountain bikes and most hybrids and tourers) you'll need
    to release the brake mechanism first (unless you have disk brakes). For
    V brakes, simply pull the 'noodle' (curved metal tube) out of the cage
    in which it sits. For cantilever brakes, release one end of the
    straddle wire from the cantilever arm (if you look you'll see that one
    end of the straddle wire unhooks easily). For Shimano (and some other)
    caliper and dual pivot brakes, release the little lever by where the
    brake cable comes into the brake; on Campagnolo dual pivot brakes, the
    release is a button on the brake lever on the handlebars.

    Once the brake is released, shift gear to the smallest rear cog, release
    the quick release lever on the rear axle, and push the wheel down (on
    some bikes forward and down) out of the dropouts.

    Job done.

    Installation is the reverse of the removal process.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    X-no-archive: No, I'm not *that* naive.
     
  16. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Mark
    Thompson ('[email protected]') wrote:

    >> And while you are
    >> there, get a POWERLINK

    >
    > My LBS said these aren't suitable for bikes with derailleur gears.
    > Are they right, or are they lying little minxes?


    Good ones are suitable for deraileur gears; indeed if you buy a good
    SRAM 9 speed chain it will come with a powerlink. Hugely recommended.
    Someone makes after market magic links for Campag ten speed chains, but
    I haven't tried one yet.

    Joining modern 9 and 10 speed chains with a chain tool is nothing like
    as easy as old five speed chains. The pin insertion pressure is far
    higher.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; better than your average performing pineapple
     
  17. "Testa" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Hi,
    >
    > I need to clean the bike properly. I need to take the back wheel off and
    > clean the chain and cogs. However, I am not very confident in doing this
    > (taking off the back wheel).
    >
    > Should I go to a bike specialist? What are the best practices for cleaning
    > out the chain?
    >
    > Answers most appreciated :)
    >

    Follow the advice given in this thread but you really must learn how to take
    off and put back your rear wheel. If you do not then sods law dictates you
    will get a rear wheel puncture. If you have a good LBS I'm sure they'd give
    you some guidance.
     
  18. davek

    davek Guest

    Simon Brooke wrote:
    > indeed if you buy a good
    > SRAM 9 speed chain it will come with a powerlink.


    8-speed SRAM chains also come with a Powerlink. At least, the one I
    bought a few months ago did.

    d.
     
  19. davek

    davek Guest

    Testa wrote:
    > Thanks for your input. However, I'd like to know if you plan to take the
    > back wheel off from your own bicycle?


    You don't need to remove the rear wheel to clean the chain.

    However, last weekend I took the rear wheel off so as to be able to
    remove and clean the cassette - being an SRAM cassette, you can
    completely dismantle it to give each cog (and, indeed, the spacers) a
    thorough clean.

    This is one of those jobs that is very easy if you have the right tools
    and impossible if you don't. First off, you need the right cassette tool
    to fit the locknut that holds the cassette in place (ie a Shimano tool
    for a Shimano cassette, a Campag tool for a Campag cassette). Secondly,
    you need a chain whip to hold the cassette still and stop the freehub
    rotating while you undo the locknut.
    (pictures of above here:
    <URL:http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/FAQcogs.shtml>)

    As for taking the wheel itself off the bike, this should be
    straightforward enough - either flip up the quick-release lever, or undo
    the nut with a spanner. It does get a bit more complicated if you have
    things like hub gears, coaster brakes or disk brakes.

    What type of gears and brakes do you have on your bike?

    d.
     
  20. In article <[email protected]>, Jon Senior wrote:
    >Tosspot wrote:
    >> He is indeed an untruthful little Mustela. They come in different
    >> widths though. The main problem is finding the bloody thing again when
    >> you *finally* get round to cleaning the chain :-(

    >
    >Always clean the Powerlink first. Then remove the chain.


    If he's having trouble finding the Powerlink, that could mean cleaning
    the whole chain first (clean the worst off on the bike, then find the
    link, remove and do a thorough job).
     
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