Steam clean chain?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Tom Parker, Jun 19, 2003.

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  1. Tom Parker

    Tom Parker Guest

    I was looking at one of those Shark Steam Cleaners that Sears has for $100. I was thinking that
    might be a good way to clean gunk off of my chain and rings, as it would get into all the nooks and
    crannies and hopefully melt away the gunk. I could then towel everything down, further spin dry the
    chain, and then re-lube. Seems like this wouldn't be any worse then hosing down the chain, or
    getting caught in the rain. Or am I overlooking something?

    -- Tom
     
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  2. Kevan Smith

    Kevan Smith Guest

    On Thu, 19 Jun 2003 23:11:35 GMT, Tom Parker <[email protected]> from EarthLink Inc. --
    http://www.EarthLink.net wrote:

    >I was looking at one of those Shark Steam Cleaners that Sears has for $100. I was thinking that
    >might be a good way to clean gunk off of my chain and rings, as it would get into all the nooks and
    >crannies and hopefully melt away the gunk. I could then towel everything down, further spin dry the
    >chain, and then re-lube. Seems like this wouldn't be any worse then hosing down the chain, or
    >getting caught in the rain. Or am I overlooking something?

    A chain costs about 30 bucks, tops, unless you're getting a really fancy "racing" chain. You want to
    spend 100 bucks to clean it?

    Get some mineral spirits. Pour some in a jar. Put your chain in it. Agitate. Voila! Clean chain.

    --
    http://home.sport.rr.com/cuthulu/ human rights = peace Is this an out-take from the "BRADY BUNCH"?
    7:19:16 PM 19 June 2003
     
  3. Tom Parker

    Tom Parker Guest

    Well, I would certainly be using the steam cleaner for lots of other clean up jobs ... bathrooms
    come to mind, for one.

    Also, it's partly a convenience thing. Seems simpler to blow a little steam on the chain and wipe it
    try, rather than the more cumbersome chain removal and shake method. So hopefully I would keep the
    chain in better shape than I would otherwise. It's not the cost of a chain so much, as a "quality of
    life" issue (for the chain). :)

    -- Tom

    On Thu, 19 Jun 2003 19:19:46 -0500, Kevan Smith <[email protected]/\/\> wrote:

    >On Thu, 19 Jun 2003 23:11:35 GMT, Tom Parker <[email protected]> from EarthLink Inc. --
    >http://www.EarthLink.net wrote:
    >
    >>I was looking at one of those Shark Steam Cleaners that Sears has for $100. I was thinking that
    >>might be a good way to clean gunk off of my chain and rings, as it would get into all the nooks
    >>and crannies and hopefully melt away the gunk. I could then towel everything down, further spin
    >>dry the chain, and then re-lube. Seems like this wouldn't be any worse then hosing down the chain,
    >>or getting caught in the rain. Or am I overlooking something?
    >
    >A chain costs about 30 bucks, tops, unless you're getting a really fancy "racing" chain. You want
    >to spend 100 bucks to clean it?
    >
    >Get some mineral spirits. Pour some in a jar. Put your chain in it. Agitate. Voila! Clean chain.
     
  4. Fred

    Fred Guest

    I'm certainly no expert but my bike dealer had some advice. I wanted to use an autmotive degreaser
    and then hose it down. He explained that there is some risk of getting water in the bearings of the
    hub and bottom bracket and didn't recommend it. I don't think he was against using water to wash
    things, he just didn't like the idea of water under pressure. I don't think he'd like the steam
    cleaner either unless you remove the chain from the bike to clean it.

    Not wanting to remove the chain to clean it, I settled on getting the little chain cleaning machine
    from Park Tools. It brushes the chain clean with solvent as you turn the crank. Then you can wash it
    gently, dry it and then lube it. It works pretty well. I think Pedro's has a similar machine.

    Fred

    "Tom Parker" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Well, I would certainly be using the steam cleaner for lots of other clean up jobs ... bathrooms
    > come to mind, for one.
    >
    > Also, it's partly a convenience thing. Seems simpler to blow a little steam on the chain and wipe
    > it try, rather than the more cumbersome chain removal and shake method. So hopefully I would keep
    > the chain in better shape than I would otherwise. It's not the cost of a chain so much, as a
    > "quality of life" issue (for the chain). :)
    >
    > -- Tom
    >
    >
    > On Thu, 19 Jun 2003 19:19:46 -0500, Kevan Smith <[email protected]/\/\> wrote:
    >
    > >On Thu, 19 Jun 2003 23:11:35 GMT, Tom Parker <[email protected]>
    from
    > >EarthLink Inc. -- http://www.EarthLink.net wrote:
    > >
    > >>I was looking at one of those Shark Steam Cleaners that Sears has for $100. I was thinking that
    > >>might be a good way to clean gunk off of my chain and rings, as it would get into all the nooks
    > >>and crannies and hopefully melt away the gunk. I could then towel everything down, further spin
    > >>dry the chain, and then re-lube. Seems like this wouldn't be any worse then hosing down the
    > >>chain, or getting caught in the rain. Or am I overlooking something?
    > >
    > >A chain costs about 30 bucks, tops, unless you're getting a really fancy "racing" chain. You want
    > >to spend 100 bucks to clean it?
    > >
    > >Get some mineral spirits. Pour some in a jar. Put your chain in it.
    Agitate.
    > >Voila! Clean chain.
     
  5. Walter Mitty

    Walter Mitty Guest

    Tom Parker <[email protected]> brightened my day with his incisive wit when in
    news:[email protected] he conjectured that:

    > Well, I would certainly be using the steam cleaner for lots of other clean up jobs ... bathrooms
    > come to mind, for one.
    >
    > Also, it's partly a convenience thing. Seems simpler to blow a little steam on the chain and wipe
    > it try, rather than the more cumbersome chain removal and shake method. So hopefully I would keep
    > the chain in better shape than I would otherwise. It's not the cost of a chain so much, as a
    > "quality of life" issue (for the chain). :)
    >
    > -- Tom
    >
    >
    > On Thu, 19 Jun 2003 19:19:46 -0500, Kevan Smith <[email protected]/\/\> wrote:
    >
    >>On Thu, 19 Jun 2003 23:11:35 GMT, Tom Parker <[email protected]> from EarthLink Inc. --
    >>http://www.EarthLink.net wrote:
    >>
    >>>I was looking at one of those Shark Steam Cleaners that Sears has for $100. I was thinking that
    >>>might be a good way to clean gunk off of my chain and rings, as it would get into all the nooks
    >>>and crannies and hopefully melt away the gunk. I could then towel everything down, further spin
    >>>dry the chain, and then re-lube. Seems like this wouldn't be any worse then hosing down the
    >>>chain, or getting caught in the rain. Or am I overlooking something?
    >>
    >>A chain costs about 30 bucks, tops, unless you're getting a really fancy "racing" chain. You want
    >>to spend 100 bucks to clean it?
    >>
    >>Get some mineral spirits. Pour some in a jar. Put your chain in it. Agitate. Voila! Clean chain.
    >

    Campagnolo specifically warn against cleaning using high pressure "on the bike". Apparently water
    can, and does, get into the bearings at high pressure. And I guess that when it's in there ....

    --
    Walter Mitty.
     
  6. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Kevan Smith
    <[email protected]/\/\> says...
    > On Thu, 19 Jun 2003 23:11:35 GMT, Tom Parker <[email protected]> from EarthLink Inc. --
    > http://www.EarthLink.net wrote:
    >
    > >I was looking at one of those Shark Steam Cleaners that Sears has for $100. I was thinking that
    > >might be a good way to clean gunk off of my chain and rings, as it would get into all the nooks
    > >and crannies and hopefully melt away the gunk. I could then towel everything down, further spin
    > >dry the chain, and then re-lube. Seems like this wouldn't be any worse then hosing down the
    > >chain, or getting caught in the rain. Or am I overlooking something?
    >
    > A chain costs about 30 bucks, tops, unless you're getting a really fancy "racing" chain. You want
    > to spend 100 bucks to clean it?

    Except that cleaner can be used for other things, and is a 1-time expense. It could be used for
    years if it's decently made.

    > Get some mineral spirits. Pour some in a jar. Put your chain in it. Agitate. Voila! Clean chain.

    Yep; my preferred method, too.

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  7. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Fred" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:D[email protected]...
    > Not wanting to remove the chain to clean it, I settled on getting the little chain cleaning
    > machine from Park Tools. It brushes the chain clean with solvent as you turn the crank. Then you
    > can wash it gently, dry it and then lube it. It works pretty well. I think Pedro's has a similar
    > machine.

    I tried one of those (not the Park), & made a much bigger mess than the 'shake in jar of
    solvent' method.
     
  8. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Walter Mitty" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > Campagnolo specifically warn against cleaning using high pressure "on the bike". Apparently water
    > can, and does, get into the bearings at high pressure. And I guess that when it's in there ....

    Yeah, but then you see all those people with their $$$ bikes on roof racks buzzing along at 80 mph
    in the rain...
     
  9. Mark Smigel

    Mark Smigel Guest

    Tom Parker <[email protected]> wrote...
    > I was looking at one of those Shark Steam Cleaners that Sears has for $100. I was thinking that
    > might be a good

    Isn't "steam cleaner" a bit of a misnomer? All of the ones I've bought/rented all relied on hot tap
    water (about 140 deg F).

    MJ
     
  10. "Fred" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > Not wanting to remove the chain to clean it, I settled on getting the little chain cleaning
    > machine from Park Tools. It brushes the chain clean with solvent as you turn the crank. Then you
    > can wash it gently, dry it and then lube it. It works pretty well. I think Pedro's has a similar
    > machine.

    These "machines" are complete crap, having spent money on one one time. They don't do anything you
    can't do with an old toothbrush, and a toothbrush is more versatile and easier to clean.

    Claire Petersky ([email protected]) Home of the meditative cyclist:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~cpetersky/Welcome.htm Singing with you at: http://www.tiferet.net/ Books
    just wanna be FREE! See what I mean at: http://bookcrossing.com/friend/Cpetersky
     
  11. Walter Mitty

    Walter Mitty Guest

    "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> brightened my day with his incisive wit when in
    news:[email protected] he conjectured that:

    > "Walter Mitty" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    >> Campagnolo specifically warn against cleaning using high pressure "on the bike". Apparently water
    >> can, and does, get into the bearings at high pressure. And I guess that when it's in there ....
    >
    > Yeah, but then you see all those people with their $$$ bikes on roof racks buzzing along at 80 mph
    > in the rain...
    >
    >

    True: but I would guess it's not the same as a high pressure hose sprayed directly into the bearing
    casing. Most bikes are mounted lengthways on the roof rack and not side on.

    --
    Walter Mitty.
     
  12. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Walter Mitty" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> brightened my day with his

    > incisive wit when in news:[email protected] he conjectured that:
    >
    > > "Walter Mitty" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > >> Campagnolo specifically warn against cleaning using high pressure "on the bike". Apparently
    > >> water can, and does, get into the bearings at high pressure. And I guess that when it's in
    > >> there ....
    > >
    > > Yeah, but then you see all those people with their $$$ bikes on roof racks buzzing along at 80
    > > mph in the rain...

    > True: but I would guess it's not the same as a high pressure hose sprayed directly into the
    > bearing casing. Most bikes are mounted lengthways on the roof rack and not side on.

    Headsets can get a pretty good blasting from riding on a roof rack, but better modern ones are
    sealed well enough that it isn't a problem. If it's a concern, you can use one of those
    Lizardskin covers.

    Matt O.
     
  13. Tom Parker

    Tom Parker Guest

    According to the Sears web site it's 240 deg F (not 140).

    Also, several folks have warned about the dangers of high pressure, but my understanding is that
    this unit shoots out a more gentle steam mist, rather than a high pressure blast.

    -- Tom

    http://www.sears.co On 20 Jun 2003 07:01:26 -0700, [email protected] (Mark Smigel) wrote:

    >Tom Parker <[email protected]> wrote...
    >> I was looking at one of those Shark Steam Cleaners that Sears has for $100. I was thinking that
    >> might be a good
    >
    >Isn't "steam cleaner" a bit of a misnomer? All of the ones I've bought/rented all relied on hot tap
    >water (about 140 deg F).
    >
    >MJ
     
  14. Waxxer

    Waxxer Guest

    After years of off road riding and trying many techniques for cleaning, I find the high pressure
    washers do more harm than good. If you put a nozzle a
    1/4 of an inch from the surface you intend to clean expect A LOT of wate penetration into
    bearings etc.

    I find that the park chain cleaner or tooth brush to be just as effective without the collateral
    damage--motorcycle experience included. So, clean the chain and don't blow water into your BB etc.
    You will find that everything lasts longer. I believe the primary purpose of cleaning is to get the
    grunge off the wear surfaces of the chain. "O" ring chain mfgr's say explicity NOT to pressure wash
    because water gets in between the "O" ring and the links. The same holds true for bicycle chains.
    The fit between surfaces is very tight. Therefore do not blow water into the links etc. Let the oil
    grease maintain the barrier. As soon as you blow the greas out, your chain and other parts near by
    will wear that much faster. Most good mechanics you a damp cloth to remove the clumps of dirt and do
    nothing to impact the wear surfaces such as bearings.

    Get dirty! It is part of the sport. Also, do not use solvents like gas or Kerosene which seep into
    the aforementioned places. In the sumer time use a parrifin base lube. In the winter use a petroleum
    based lube.

    "Tom Parker" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > According to the Sears web site it's 240 deg F (not 140).
    >
    > Also, several folks have warned about the dangers of high pressure, but my understanding is that
    > this unit shoots out a more gentle steam mist, rather than a high pressure blast.
    >
    > -- Tom
    >
    >
    > http://www.sears.co On 20 Jun 2003 07:01:26 -0700, [email protected] (Mark Smigel) wrote:
    >
    > >Tom Parker <[email protected]> wrote...
    > >> I was looking at one of those Shark Steam Cleaners that Sears has for $100. I was thinking that
    > >> might be a good
    > >
    > >Isn't "steam cleaner" a bit of a misnomer? All of the ones I've bought/rented all relied on hot
    > >tap water (about 140 deg F).
    > >
    > >MJ
     
  15. Fred

    Fred Guest

    But you didn't read my post. "Not wanting to remove the chain to clean it"

    Fred

    "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > "Fred" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:D[email protected]...
    > > Not wanting to remove the chain to clean it, I settled on getting the
    little
    > > chain cleaning machine from Park Tools. It brushes the chain clean with solvent as you turn the
    > > crank. Then you can wash it gently, dry it and
    then
    > > lube it. It works pretty well. I think Pedro's has a similar machine.
    >
    > I tried one of those (not the Park), & made a much bigger mess than the
    'shake
    > in jar of solvent' method.
     
  16. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Fred" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > But you didn't read my post. "Not wanting to remove the chain to clean it"

    Yeah, but you didn't say why, the only reason I could think of was the messiness aspect.
     
  17. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Fred wrote:
    > ... Not wanting to remove the chain to clean it....

    My suggestion is to get a chain with a quick release link so it is easily removed from the bike. [1]
    Even the 300 links of chain on my lowracer is easy to deal with since it has 3 SRAM Powerlinks.

    [1] I refuse to purchase Shimano chains as long as they have that stupid design requiring new pins
    to reconnect the break in the chain.

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  18. Tom Parker <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > I was looking at one of those Shark Steam Cleaners that Sears has for $100. I was thinking that
    > might be a good way to clean gunk off of my chain and rings, as it would

    Most people have remarked on the obvious downside.

    I'm surprised nobody else caught the obvious upside.

    People are always complaining that their chain has "stretched" (sic).

    When this happens to you, you can simply steam-clean the chain, and it will shrink back to its
    original dimensions.

    (running it through the "hot" cycle of the washing machine might
    do the trick, although the manager at the laundromat might object).

    Hope this helps.
     
  19. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Tom Sherman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Fred wrote:
    > > ... Not wanting to remove the chain to clean it....
    >
    > My suggestion is to get a chain with a quick release link so it is easily removed from the bike.
    > [1] Even the 300 links of chain on my lowracer is easy to deal with since it has 3 SRAM
    > Powerlinks.
    >
    > [1] I refuse to purchase Shimano chains as long as they have that stupid design requiring new pins
    > to reconnect the break in the chain.

    I don't generally use Shimano chains either, but I've stopped using the Powerlinks since I've had so
    many that didn't fit due to manufacturing tolerances being off. I find it easier just to use a tool.
    I join Shimano chains with SRAM links left over from shortening new chains.
     
  20. [email protected] (mark freedman) wrote in message
    >
    > > I was looking at one of those Shark Steam Cleaners that Sears has for $100. I was thinking that
    > > might be a good way to clean gunk off of my chain and rings, as it would
    >
    Back on the original topic, I used ours on my relatively clean chan on my race bike (road) and found
    it to have very little effect. I didn't soak the chain in degreaser first though. Better to use a
    power link and solvent wash.

    Great for bathroom tiles tho'!

    Robert
     
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