Tips to get chain completely clean on-bike?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Verve2, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. Verve2

    Verve2 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2018
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have a Filzer CC3 chain scrubber which from what I read online is supposed to be a good one. I take great pains to get the cassette, jockey wheels and chainring clean so there's no contamination from them and scrub and rinse the chain multiple times so it's sparking. When you run your fingers or a rag down it, nothing comes off, at this point the chain and all gear teeth seem white-glove clean.

    Yet when I squirt on lube and wipe the chain, I'm getting residue on the wipe-down towel. What I'm guessing is happening is when the lube is applied, gunk is being irrigated out from under the rollers, where the scrubber brushes don't reach.

    Any tips on getting to that under-roller gunk without taking the chain off the bike and sloshing it around in solvent/degreaser?
     


  2. Bob Ross

    Bob Ross New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    361
    Likes Received:
    4
    Irrespective of whether or not it's wise to want to obsessively flush everything out from your chain

    ...you might want to try removing the chain from the bike and
    - putting it in an ultrasonic cleaner filled with a citrus degreaser; then
    - flush it with a water displacing agent (aka, WD-40); then
    - soak it briefly in odorless mineral spirits to flush out all of the WD-40 (otherwise that can prevent chain lube from penetrating under the plates/links); then
    - dry it, either w/ a heat gun, hair dryer, or just hang it to air-dry overnight

    That would definitely get you a near-mint clean chain. Which you would then have to lube,of course. And then you'd go on one bike ride, wipe down your chain, and realize that you were once again getting residue on the wipe-down towel.
     
  3. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,319
    Likes Received:
    294
    You don't need to spend money on a ultrasonic cleaner unless you really want to, they do work good but it's not necessary. All I use is Dawn for Dishes (without any type of citrus), a brush and a sponge, pour some Dawn on a wet sponge and then run the chain through the sponge a bunch of times, take the brush and get between the gears in the cluster, rinse gently with clear water; if the chain is really dirty repeat the above procedure. When that sponge gets dirty simply rinse out all the soap and reapply the Dawn and get it good and soapy then rinse again.

    After you're done rinsing dry the chain by running the chain through a rag then let it air dry.

    After it's dried relube of course.

    Normally what I do is I clean the entire bike first with the Dawn and the sponge, when I'm done with the bike and wheels I then clean the chain, after that's done I rinse the entire bike from top to bottom.

    I don't use WD40, the chain will not rust if you relube it. I used WD40 a couple of times but I found that after I relubed with my lube the chain got dirtier a lot quicker.
     
  4. doctorold

    doctorold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Messages:
    345
    Likes Received:
    8
    If you're dead set on getting it super clean, I would suggest running it through a chain scrubber multiple times putting clean fluid in the scrubber after each set. Sort of a "lather, rinse, repeat" kind of thing.
     
  5. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,723
    Likes Received:
    125
    HMmmm ...

    Because ALL chains need some sort of lubricant ...

    Presuming for a moment that the REAL concern is the chain's appearance ...

    Either a stainless steel or a high end Shimano (e.g., XTR) chain will look cleaner than a "regular" chain after is is wiped down ...

    But, Shimano's more expensive chains will not function any better than their less expensive chains if the latter are properly installled and maintained..​
     
  6. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    29
    Shiny chains and sprockets are nice to look at but is the effort to get them that way, worth it if two miles down the road it's picked up dust, again?

    I use Rock n Roll lube which is made to clean the chain as well as lube it, and I service it every 100 miles. I use a Park clicker tool for measuring chain wear, and Park recommends a new chain when the gauge reads .75. I fitted a new chain , according to Park's recommendation, on my fat bike with a ten sprocket cassette after 4,000 miles, but it was not giving me any problems. I was just erring on the side of caution. Other than that, I don't care if it's shiny or not.
     
  7. Verve2

    Verve2 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2018
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1
    I don't care so much about the chain being shiny as removing contaminants that will grind on the chain.
     
  8. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,723
    Likes Received:
    125
    Well, if you really feel the need AND if you are really motivated then ONE process which was used in the distant past was to :
    1. remove the chain from the bike ...
    2. put the chain in a GLASS jar which has a lid ...
    3. fill the jar 3/4-to-90% full with some KEROSENE (not gasoline!!!) which you can buy wherever they sell Hurricane Lamps ...
    4. put the lid on ... GENTLY shake the jar ... wait a few minutes ... shake the jar again
    5. then, let it soak over night ....
    6. remove the chain ...
    7. wipe it dry with a clean rag ...
    8. buy a couple of pounds of paraffin wax while you are buying the kerosene ...
    9. melt the paraffin wax in a DOUBLE BOILER (not directly on the stove!!!) ...
    10. slip the looped end of a wire coat hanger in the empty rivet hole on one end of the chain
    11. when the wax is melted, dip the chain completely in it for a minute-or-so and then remove & set aside to cool
    12. re-install the chain on the bike
    You can re-use the kerosene & paraffin wax ....

    Use a funnel + coffee filter when you pour it back into whatever container it is being stored in.​

    Repeat this every couple of weeks OR as often as you feel the need!
     
    #8 alfeng, Jun 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  9. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    29
    That is either a work of love, or torture. I'd recommend that if a rider is going to adopt that process, to have two chains, one on the bike, and the other getting the full treatment. Life is so much easier with modern lubes, though. :)
     
Loading...
Loading...