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Old 05-02-2003, 01:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Anyone know how to clean a bike chain and gears?

My friend got me Pedro's degreaser and Ice Wax for Christmas, and I want to clean up my dad's bike chain and gears, since he's been letting me use it while mine was out of commission. Only problem is, I've never done it before, and I don't want to screw up his bike.

If anyone has ever done this before, or knows where I could find some decent instructions, I'd appreciate the help.
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Old 05-02-2003, 02:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: P.R. Mass.
I always took the rear wheel off and used one of those Park 1/2 brush - 1/2 captain hook cog cleaner and would go at it with that. Then I would take the degreaser and take an old toothbrush to the chain and gears and brush each link clean, then rag it down. Never used wax before b/c I was alway in the wet stuff and the wax concept scared me.

I'm sure there's a guru out there with real instructions - the above used to work just fine for me back in the day (when a bike was more than something that hangs from the rafters in the basement.)
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Old 05-02-2003, 08:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Last time I tried a can of WD-40 and an air compressor worked fine. Then again, my bike cost something like $110 years ago.
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Old 05-03-2003, 08:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the good suggestions. I didn't have any brushes, so I did the best I could with some rags. When I have the time again, and have some old toothbrushes (I suppose I could use my roommate's, but I don't think he'd appreciate it ) I'll do it right, but it worked well enough for the time being.
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Old 05-03-2003, 10:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: P.R. Mass.
Old tee shirts cut into little strips work just find (you could do the 'towel in the crotch version of The Twist' on your rear cluster of gears and work out just fine.
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Old 05-03-2003, 12:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Nice choice with the Ice Wax. It's by far the best chain lube I've ever used. Just remember this: as enticing as it may be, do not put in on pumpkin pie! It's not nearly as good as it looks. Yuck!

As for cleaning my chain, I just get a rag wet and soap and back pedal the crank while I hold the rag around the chain. Then I get a clean rag and do the same thing to dry off the water. Then lube it with the Ice Wax and you're done. If you want to really clean the gears, it's best to just go ahead and take them all off and scrub them individually with soap and a scrub brush.
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Old 05-04-2003, 04:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: P.R. Mass.
BoCo - I have not been in the loop on MTB stuff in years - is the Ice Wax stuff tolerant of being exposed to water?
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Old 05-04-2003, 11:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't ride in wet conditions so I wouldn't know, but I assume it's made to last no matter what the conditions. Try doing a search on Google for Ice Wax + reviews, and maybe you can find some other peoples' opinions.
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Old 05-04-2003, 12:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It says that it's water resistant on the bottle... of course, that doesn't necessarily mean much, but my friend who got it for me swears by it, and he rides some crazy shit, including some wet stuff.
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Old 05-04-2003, 04:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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In my experience, it lasts several rides in wet conditionss but like all things it wears off over time so you have to re-apply it every so often.
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Old 05-05-2003, 08:06 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Here in the UK there is a product called GUNK which is a really good degreaser. I think its made by a Canadian firm so you should be able to get it . I use it on my MTB and moped as it cuts through grime easily an evaporates in no time. They also make a really good chain lube that has molybedium in it .
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Old 05-07-2003, 05:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ComfortablyNumb
Here in the UK there is a product called GUNK which is a really good degreaser. I think its made by a Canadian firm so you should be able to get it . I use it on my MTB and moped as it cuts through grime easily an evaporates in no time. They also make a really good chain lube that has molybedium in it .
No doubt comfortablyNumb... I used to repair bikes, and I would take the rear wheel off, remove the chain and cogs and just soak em in Gunk while I cleaned and re-greased the bearings.. Just make sure to clean as much of the Gunk off as you can and re-oil. You are good to go!
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Old 05-07-2003, 12:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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ive used what i think is called "foamy engine bright" to clean off the gears and chain on my bike. really good at taking off the gunk...just need to be sure to wash it all off and then regrease everything afterwords.
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Old 05-08-2003, 02:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I've been riding mountain bikes for years, though I am hardly an expert, I can give you some of my experience. Spray degreaser on the chain with the rear wheel off. Really soak it. I just use Simple Green. Scrub the chain with a brass brush. Let it dry then put some lube on the chain I use White Lightning. Let it sit for a few hours before riding.
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Old 05-16-2003, 11:02 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I always just throw everything into a pan of gas...
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Old 05-16-2003, 05:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: Republic of Panama
If you are going to be doing this regularly I recommend you look at a chain cleaner. Park Tools (http://www.parktool.com/tools/CM_5.shtml) and Finish Line (http://www.finishlineusa.com/Mainten...tm#Brush%20Set) both do very good ones.

You simply put a little degreaser in the bottom, fix it around the chain, then spin the cranks. The little brushs inside get your chain looking like new in seconds!

Probably only worth it if you are going to do the job regularly, but it saves me a HELL of a lot of time messing around, and my chains last a lot longer so it is economical in the long run.

As for the sprockets, spray a LITTLE degreaser on them, then run a piece of rag in between to clear out the crap. What you dont want to happen is for the degreaser to go anywhere near the bearings in the middle of the wheel, or very soon they will have no grease left in them, and then they sound like a coffee grinder!
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Old 05-17-2003, 05:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Location: Center Ice
Finish Line makes a product that is a citris cleaner. It's all bio friendly and if you're really lazy involves no work what-so-ever. It comes with a little red straw that you put in the nozzle to get into all the cogs and links. Spray generously and rinse. You'll see the grease just melt off. If you want to conserve a little, spray and use a toothbrush, sock, whatever your method. Cost about $7 (US). I've used it for years.

Since no one has mentioned this, and I've been using it for years... please tell me if this is a bad method. I've noticed no damage, even in long term- but just in case...
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