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Hello everyone

I know that before applying chain lube to a dirty chain (ProLink etc) it is required to first wipe the chain with a clean cloth and then apply the lube to a clean chain. No problems.

Question: should I first wet this cloth to wipe off the chain from dirt or use the completely dry cloth to wipe the chain before applying the chain lube?

thanks.
 

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You don't necessarily have to wipe it at all, depending on how dirty it is. But if you do, use either a dry cloth or one moistened with some kind of solvent, not water.
 

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info...

A dry towel will work OK is you grasp it firmly around the lower section of chan and give the crank enough turns to run the whole chain through a couple of times, but wetting a rag with a little mineral spirits will work even better.

FWIW, Prolink is largely mineral spirits and the reason I make my own homebrew that is 3-4 parts mineral spirits and oil. It only costs pennies per ounce instead of $2 per ounce, so you can apply it heavily enough to flush out some of the dirt.
 

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Captain Obvious
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i spray a little simple green on the rag and pedal the chain to wipe it down.
 

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C-40 said:
FWIW, Prolink is largely mineral spirits and the reason I make my own homebrew that is 3-4 parts mineral spirits and oil. It only costs pennies per ounce instead of $2 per ounce, so you can apply it heavily enough to flush out some of the dirt.
Second that. Clean and lube have become a single operation. Wipe, flood, crank, wipe again, flood again if still dirty, wipe again, let dry. put something down to catch the drips, and be gentle (crank slowly) to keep your rims from getting oiled.

I like to use disposable shop towels (heavy-duty paper towels, essentially) from the hardware store. They hold up to heavy wiping, and you don't have to use too many so the wastage is minimized. I try to hold down my use of throw-away stuff, but I figure the amount of soap and hot water it takes to wash very oily rags kind of makes it an ecological wash (so to speak).

tomk, maybe you've had no trouble with it, but personally I wouldn't use simple green that way. It's a detergent, and I don't use it unless I plan to rinse thoroughly with water (and then dry, of course). Maybe I'm being too cautious, but it seems to me the detergent residue may speed the breakdown of the lube.
 

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How to do it

acid_rider said:
Hello everyone

I know that before applying chain lube to a dirty chain (ProLink etc) it is required to first wipe the chain with a clean cloth and then apply the lube to a clean chain. No problems.

Question: should I first wet this cloth to wipe off the chain from dirt or use the completely dry cloth to wipe the chain before applying the chain lube?
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 - thoroughly 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've found after making a jar of homebrew that taking the chain off weekly and dunking it in the lube jar and cleaning it has really cut down on the sounds from my drivetrain. Chain is nearly always shiny, and clean!
 
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