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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. I am not sure if this is a good thing to do or not, but after every ride (usually 35-50 miles), I usually spray some citrus degreaser onto a rag and wrap the rag around the chain while spinning the cranks. I also use a tooth brush with some degreaser and do something similar with the cassette.

Anyways, do I need to oil the chain after each degreasing? Thanks.
 

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Cni2i said:
Hey everyone. I am not sure if this is a good thing to do or not, but after every ride (usually 35-50 miles), I usually spray some citrus degreaser onto a rag and wrap the rag around the chain while spinning the cranks. I also use a tooth brush with some degreaser and do something similar with the cassette.

Anyways, do I need to oil the chain after each degreasing? Thanks.
Don't oil the chain after each degreasing. Contrary to popular opinion, oiling chains actually increases friction, reducing drive-train efficiency and increasing drive-train wear. Think about it! Remember the last time you drove over an oil slick? Those things are unbelievably sticky! Dry drivetrains are the best. After all, if you're taking off the grease and roadmuck, it's the roadbike in it's purest, cleanest, sexiest, bestest, fastestest form!

Now for a serious answer:

Dude, degreasing takes the lube off right along with the road grit. That means you have to relube it. It's not really horribly necessary to do it every ride - that's a lot of work. Instead, try making a mixture of Simple Green and dish soap. Slob it onto the drivetrain with a scrub brush, and scrub the hell out of that sucker. It'll get your chain shining, and far cleaner than just degreasing normally would. Additionally, the mixture works on the rest of the bike, meaning a cleaner, better shifting, longer lasting bike... with not that much work.

Keep it lubed and slippery (feel it with your finger, you'll learn what too dry or too wet feels like), and moderately clean, and your chain will last a LOT longer, and it'll be a lot quieter too.
 

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Cni2i said:
Hey everyone. I am not sure if this is a good thing to do or not, but after every ride (usually 35-50 miles), I usually spray some citrus degreaser onto a rag and wrap the rag around the chain while spinning the cranks. I also use a tooth brush with some degreaser and do something similar with the cassette..
It's not. That's way too frequent for solvent cleaning. If you want to wipe with a dry rag to get stuff off the outside, that's okay, but you're washing out lube from inside the chain where it matters.

And the kind of cleaning that estone suggests? that's something to do every few hundred miles, unless you get caught in a muddy rainstorm or something.
 

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JCavilia said:
And the kind of cleaning that estone suggests? that's something to do every few hundred miles, unless you get caught in a muddy rainstorm or something.
So about once a week! :p

You can do it to varying degrees of intensity - scrub-the-crap-out-of-it mode versus just-make-it-shiny mode
 
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Once a week ... that seems like a lot.

I wipe my chain with a rag maybe once a week (on a good week). I don't degrease it ever, but my chain lube (oil mixed with mineral spirits) does a fair job of that.

I put that stuff on, well, whenever I think of it, let it sit a while and wipe it off. Seems to do a good job ... I get a lot of life out of my chains without obsessing over chain nattiness.
 

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Slim Again said:
Once a week ... that seems like a lot.

I wipe my chain with a rag maybe once a week (on a good week). I don't degrease it ever, but my chain lube (oil mixed with mineral spirits) does a fair job of that.

I put that stuff on, well, whenever I think of it, let it sit a while and wipe it off. Seems to do a good job ... I get a lot of life out of my chains without obsessing over chain nattiness.
'swhat I do, too.

Re "once a week": you missed the smiley. Once a week, IF you ride several hundred miles a week. For me, not quite that often :)
 

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Never clean your chain

Cni2i said:
Hey everyone. I am not sure if this is a good thing to do or not, but after every ride (usually 35-50 miles), I usually spray some citrus degreaser onto a rag and wrap the rag around the chain while spinning the cranks. I also use a tooth brush with some degreaser and do something similar with the cassette.

Anyways, do I need to oil the chain after each degreasing? Thanks.
You don't ever need to clean your chain. 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 slowly 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 - keep pedaling the cranks for a minute or so to loosen all the dirt on the chain and to get full penetration of the lube.
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 or other dirty conditions), 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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What the OP is doing is waaay overkill. Sure, you want to have a nice clean drive train, but cleaning it after every ride is a bit over the top. That's the equivalent of changing the oil & filter in your car every time you buy gas. I clean my drive train using the exact method that Kerry does about once every 3-500 miles, and immediately after any rain ride.
 

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+1 with Kerry's routine. I do mine at about 500 mile increments. The casette comes off maybe twice a year for cleaning, Mid season and the bike tear-down during the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It seems that I'm definitely in the minority here...bit of OCD I suppose :D
Well, it's good to hear what seasoned cyclists consider good care for their drivetrain.
As always, appreciate the feedback and tips. :thumbsup:
 
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