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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got a new chain and have read a few posts on here about cleaning before installing.
There are some for and against.

I find the new chain (Sram) very tacky with factory lube stuff and can see everything sticking to it if I dont clean/remove it.

Is WD40 a recommended product? Or do you have other suggestions?
 

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Adventure Seeker
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I've done the homebrew that many people here use. Take 3 parts mineral spirits to 1 part motor oil. I can now say that the homebrew is some of the best advice I've received here. The mineral spirits clean away the grime, and also evaporates leaving just the oil. It made my drivetrain ride way smoother than with the stock lube it comes with.
I put the mixture in a bowl and very slowly ran the chain through it. Probably not the best way, but it got the job done!
 

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You are not going to get any kind of agreement on what's "best". Degrease, run out of the box, flip a coin.

I suggest wiping the outside of the side plates with a WD-40 soaked rag. It will remove the stick residue on the side of the plates - which don't need lubrication anyway. Other than this, I run the chain as delivered and lube as normal when it starts to get noisy.
 

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That sticky stuff isn't lube. Dirt will stick to it and make a mess. I wipe it off with WD-40 (or carb cleaner) and paper towels, and then lube the chain well after I install it.

Shimano chains come packed in oil now, so you just need to give them a quick wipe (and that's optional) and you are good to go.
 

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Off the back
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I sure wish some of the riders on my Saturday morning group ride would get a new chain. Three or four were squeaking like friggin tourists. And a couple of them said they just lubed their chains that morning! Then, when pressed, they admitted to riding with the same chain for years.

Bike shop owners love these types. Let's see...you need a new chain, cassette, chainrings, derailleur pulleys. That'll be $250, please.
 

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TheHeadlessThompsonGunner
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As others have said, that sticky stuff isn't lube. It's, like, creosote or something equally evil. I love it, and never clean it off. As others have said, to each his own: clean it, don't clean it - you'll find what works for you. I never clean my chains any more; I keep my bike clean, for starters, but otherwise I just ride it for 2k miles or so, with fairly regular lubes, and then toss it. It's kind of wasteful, yes, but many of those 2k miles are commuting miles, so I excuse it the way everyone else excuses bike waste, by saying, "heck, it could be worse, could be a car," etc.
 
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