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Prolink Gold

In my experience these types of chain cleaners aren't too effective in cleaning the grit from the chain, they just rearranging it deeper into the chain. They also require lots of solvent. I would recommend using Prolink Gold on a regular basis (or similar home brew with mineral spirits and synthetic motor oil). One drop per link with rag under chain, then run the chain backwards through the rag applying pressure to the sides then top and bottom of the chain. I usually wait at least 12 hours before riding again. Clean and lube at the same time! I also use a pink bike wash spay on the entire bike and chain every month or two...I can't remember the name of the wash.
 

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Shut up legs!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would prefer taking the chain off and put it in the bucket and clean it with Park Tool chain cleaner. But after switching to SRAM Red, I realized their 10spd chain powerlock connecting link is meant for one time use only. It isn't designed to be taken apart repeatedly like the 8/9spd powerlock.

Does anyone know if there is any connecting link that will work with the 10spd Sram chain? I was told the 10spd Wipperman Connex won't fit the Sram chain.
 

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I've used the Park cleaning tool a few times on Mtn bikes, and it does a decent job.

It's not nearly as mess-free as Park makes it out to be. Lay newspapers or old rags underneath the chain.

I use the tool twice per chain, with odorless mineral spirits (aka paint thinner) as the solvent. I drain the tool, rinse out the gunk, and clean a 2nd time with clean solvent.

The solvent is a bit harder to safely dispose of -- I use an old 1-gallon paint can -- but I don't like using water or water-based cleaners on a chain.

Consider wearing cheap disposable nitrile gloves , unless you don't mind your hands smelling like paint thinner for the rest of the day.
 

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i find myself using the cheapo plastic contraptions.. but then just use that to get off the majority of the mess... then go thru it with degreaser and rag... gets it there pretty good... then regrease with prolink lube...
 

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No cleaner

kdub said:
Any recommendation for a good quality chain cleaner? I don't mean the fluid, but the plastic casing that goes around the chain with brush pullies.

I am willing to pay more for a quality one that can last awhile and does the job well.

Is the Park Tool one good?
No need for a chain cleaner. Assuming we're talking road riding, use the following technique for successful ProLink or homebrew lube (1 part motor oil to 3-4 parts odorless mineral spirits) application and use:

1 - wipe the chain, cogs, pulleys, and chainrings clean with a rag.
2 - drip on lube while pedaling (forward is better) so that the chain just starts to drip lube. Aim the lube between the side plates and between the bushings and the side plates.
3 - run through all the gears several times, front and back.
4 - wipe the chain, cogs, pulleys, and chainrings clean with a rag.
5 - repeat steps 2-4 if the chain was really dirty

Do this AFTER a ride, as you want to allow time for the solvent to evaporate before you head out on the road. If you do this every 300 miles or so (or when you get caught in the rain), you will not get any significant gunky buildup, and you won't have to clean the chain or the cassette. This leaves lube on the inside parts, and wipes it off the outside parts, minimizing dirt pickup.

No lube is "perfect." A brite shiny chain that is clean to the touch but is well lubed and gives long mileage is still not possible. IMO, ProLink is the best compromise.
 

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I'll third the ProLink recommendations. For quite a few years now, I've been in the habit of applying ProLink Gold to each roller individually after each ride, followed by a wipe-down after it dries some. I use one of those tiny plastic bottles with the near-hypodermic needle coming out of it, so I apply the lube pretty economically. Maybe two or three minutes per ride.

I've been running a 5.9mm C10 chain for a couple of thousand miles at this point - in very steep terrain, mostly - and it hasn't shown any signs of significant wear according to my Park gauge.

Maybe every half-dozen rides or so, I wet a thin strip of cloth with the lube and floss out the cassette as well.

I believe Lennard Zinn (made one of my bikes, and my cranks) now promotes this approach as well. I think it works well, and contributes to the longevity of these rather pricey chains. That said, 95% of my riding is in pretty dry conditions, although I do use the same regimen for my mountain bike, and family/kid bikes when the opportunity arises.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
1 - wipe the chain, cogs, pulleys, and chainrings clean with a rag.
2 - drip on lube while pedaling (forward is better) so that the chain just starts to drip lube. Aim the lube between the side plates and between the bushings and the side plates.
3 - run through all the gears several times, front and back.
4 - wipe the chain, cogs, pulleys, and chainrings clean with a rag.
5 - repeat steps 2-4 if the chain was really dirty
Yep. :thumbsup:
 

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I am somewhat anal about chain maintenance so I like having a Wipperman link so I can quickly take the chain off the bike and completely clean it. I've found a very quick and thorough way to do this:

1. I have a mason sized jar that I fill half way with mineral spirits
2. Put a wash cloth sized rag inside - the more rough the better
3. Put the chain inside the jar and shake
4. Then rinse clean with water and re-lube

This seems to be the cleanest method I've found. I have used those chain cleaning tools and have found them to be more trouble than they're worth.
 

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It's Good For You!
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As far as solvents go...by far the most effective degreaser I have found is Davies DC-99. A gallon will last you many, many years. Go to www.dwdavies.com to learn more. You can also used it to clean your grease rags, greasy spots on your jersey, etc. It's the bomb and it's biodegradable too. Comparing it to other products, is a kin to drinking warm 3.2 beer after a long ride intstead of your favorite cold brew. I make a mix of 4:1, water to DC-99 and put it in a spray bottle.
 

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... I used to despise the machines and prefered to clean by hand... but I gotta admit that after I pick'd up a Park Cyclone at a swap meet for $5 USD... and after filling it with Goo Gone (citrus based degreaser/cleaner) I've softened my views...

There are still times when a "hand job" is good enuff, but I've got a large fleet and sometimes it's just quicker to line 'em all up and have at it!

Caveat. My Park Cyclone is messy. Spatters and spills occur so plan accordingly (I either do it outside or put a few newspapers neath the stand) but otherwise... datz my recommendation.
 

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1. Get the Park tool that removes break-links. Even SRAM Powerlock/link can be reused if removed with this tool. The Park tool costs about as much as a chain cleaner, and chain cleaners are mostly useless.

2. At $4.00 per gallon, still, nothing is cheaper or cleans a chain better than gasoline.

3. Remove the link, crank the chain off into an old coffee can or plastic soft drink bottle, pour in a little gasoline, give it a swirl, repeat as often as necessary.

4. Remove the chain from the can/bottle, wipe with a rag or paper towel and reinstall. Once reinstalled, lube with whatever you choose. Prolink is good, but to be honest, just about any kind of chain lube will do, including homebrew.

5. If you insist on cleaning your chain on the bike, you might try air-tool oil as a cleaning lubricant. It's relatively cheap, and the amount of crap it will drive out of a chain will amaze you. The down side is that it can be a little more messy than traditional cleaning with other lubes (you'll go thru a lot of rags/towels wiping the chain down), and it's mostly for cleaning, not for long-lasting lubrication.
 

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StillRiding said:
... nothing is cheaper or cleans a chain better than gasoline...
I'd strongly urge to reconsider using gasoline for this purpose. It contains known or suspected carcinogens (eg, xylene, benzene) that are absorbed through the skin.

And, gas is so flammable and easily ignited, that a static electricity spark could have tragic consequences ...
 

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tom_h said:
I'd strongly urge to reconsider using gasoline for this purpose. It contains known or suspected carcinogens (eg, xylene, benzene) that are absorbed through the skin.

And, gas is so flammable and easily ignited, that a static electricity spark could have tragic consequences ...
Yeah, I guess I'll start running my car, lawnmower, weedwacker, roto-tiller, dust-blower, portable generator, snow plow and bass boat on ethanol....can't be too careful.
 

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Gasoline is not just flammable - it's explosive. Although it might be an excellent cleaner, it's hardly designed for that. Use the right tool for the right job. Gasoline isn't it.
 

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Popular citrus chain cleaners cost between $51.60 and $103.20 per gallon. Gas is still a little less than $4.00 and I have a 5 gal can of it in my tool shed. So far I haven't blown myself up filling my lawn mower, so I'm willing to hazard an explosion while cleaning my chain.

I guess I'm just a crazy risk taker. Worse still, I fill my water bottles right from the tap! Oh the humanity!
 

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StillRiding said:
Popular citrus chain cleaners cost between $51.60 and $103.20 per gallon. Gas is still a little less than $4.00 and I have a 5 gal can of it in my tool shed. So far I haven't blown myself up filling my lawn mower, so I'm willing to hazard an explosion while cleaning my chain.

I guess I'm just a crazy risk taker. Worse still, I fill my water bottles right from the tap! Oh the humanity!
I have abosolutely nothing against you wanting to kill yourself. But, in the chance event you start to respect your well being I suggest mineral spirits/paint thinner. Still plenty of health risks and flamability for your love of unnecessary risk but much less so than gasoline. Reasonably inexpensive. One can will last a very long time so the few extra $'s/gallon won't really matter. Also works great at removing stains from rugs where carpet cleaners have failed miserably.
 

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I've used the Park chain cleaning machine for years and am very happy with the results. I fill the reservoir with Simple Green and run the crank backwards about 70-80 times. Then I dump the old cleaner, rinse the machine, fill the reservoir with water and do it again. I finish up by wiping the chain down with a clean dry rag, allow the chain to dry for an hour or two, then relube. The chain comes out so clean that I can run my fingers along it and not pick up any dark markings.

Oh yeah, the issue about using Simple Green on chains: I figure the 3 minutes the chain is immersed in the stuff won't cause any adverse reaction between the solvent and the metal.
My chain comes out sparkling clean and I don't have to worry about disposing petro-based solvents.
 
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