How do you clean your chain?

JES2020

Well-Known Member
Region
Other
There are about as many ways to clean & maintain a chain as there are folks who ride bikes. All of us have our own particular regimen.

Every hundred miles or so, I twist the chain between my thumb and forefinger to get a "feel" for how much grit is in the rollers.

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When it's time, I clean the chain with a Park Cyclone cleaner, CB4 fluid, followed by several applications of dish detergent.

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It's amazing just how much crap a chain picks up:

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Before lubing but AFTER cleaning, I check the chain for wear using a Park CC-4 Gauge. You can get false readings when measuring a dirty chain due to debris in the rollers.
In this case, the chain has more than .75" of play and I'll replace it at the end of this season.

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Park Cyclone cleaner , this is the tool I recommend as well, keeps the mess to a minimum and is the easiest method I have found.
 

YoGe

Member
Alternatively, if you have this 5mm Allen socket in your toolkit, you can save yourself $35. This works perfectly for the Creo Turbo. (If you're fastidious, you might want to wrap a strip of duct tape around it , or create some sort of foam collar to preserve the pristine finish on your crankarm. OK, so you saved $34.90. :)

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AllenO

New Member
Region
USA
Re the free-wheeling crank: use an 8inch zip-tie to temporarily bind the crank arm to the chainring. You’ll then be able to turn the crank and chain backwards (for cleaning). When you’re done cut the zip-tie and discard. You can 20 or 100 pkgs and hardware stores, Lowes, Home Depot.

Lube: Squirt. Wax-based lube. Green label formula is made for ebikes. Heard about it from a Leonard Zinn column (he recommended it). Use it on all my bikes.

Chain cleaning tool: Pedro’s Chain Pig. Better and easier to use than Park Tool’s.
 
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BioWheel

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Re the free-wheeling crank: use an 8inch zip-tie to temporarily bind the crank arm to the chainring. You’ll then be able to turn the crank and chain backwards (for cleaning). When you’re done cut the zip-tie and discard. You can 20 or 100 pkgs and hardware stores, Lowes, Home Depot.

Lube: Squirt. Wax-based lube. Green label formula is made for ebikes. Heard about it from Peter Zinn. Use it on all my bikes.

Chain cleaning tool: Pedro’s Chain Pig. Better and easier to use than Park Tool’s.

You don't need a zip tie. Instead of turning the crank arm backwards, just turn the front chain ring with your hand. And, according to one post here, Specy doesn't recommend running the chain backwards for cleaning. Pedro's seems like a cheap and good alternative to Park but plastic equals danger for a chain cleaning tool. They don't tend to last that long.
 

gpburdell

Active Member
Region
USA
You don't need a zip tie. Instead of turning the crank arm backwards, just turn the front chain ring with your hand. And, according to one post here, Specy doesn't recommend running the chain backwards for cleaning. Pedro's seems like a cheap and good alternative to Park but plastic equals danger for a chain cleaning tool. They don't tend to last that long.

Where'd you see that? Post #38 claims SBC says it's fine to do so with the motor off.

Which makes sense when you think about how often we roll our bikes backwards - and thus spinning the crank backwards - anytime we're maneuvering the bike out around the garage or bike rack or whatever. I'd wager that causes far more backward revolutions than the occasional chain lube or cleaning.

I have started using my vehicle bike rack to elevate the bike for cleaning/lubing because I haven't found a rack that will support my e-bike without tipping.
Park Tool PCS-10.3 holds my Vado 4.0 securely.

Edit to add - it is not inexpensive, but I considered it a buy-once-cry-once tool that should last me forever.
 
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MacCrackin

Member
Region
USA
City
Minnesota, Central
You aren't concerned about blowing water into the motor under pressure?
Pressure washer is ultimate danger to every moving part.
It can by-pass spokes into the rims, surely into hubs. Even using one on motorcycle, It's used more like rain shower to prewet only. Best option is 2 gal farm /garden sprayer with soap already mixed in - and good Terry cloth cut up rags of towel in 5x5 squares. Custom cut paint brush, using sharp scissors to taper cut paint brush to a shallow broad point - gives the brush good tough straight in scrubbing action - if there's tough grease build up - dip the brush into small cup of Naphtha which is a very clean solvent for paint mixing, but very gentle overall, and dries very fast. If chain was scrubbed down the same way with this, it'll look like new inside and out. Then sprayed on Teflon chain lube - about $15 a can - it goes on wet and dry to the touch moments later, and instant smooth action into all the rollers - Uses on stubborn semi truck roller doors now effortless - you'll wonder why engine oil was ever used again. And always makes a mess.

A Terry rag dipped into Naphtha - best quick wipe down of chain to get through grime quick. Rags- thrown away, or left in bowl of solvent will be perfect next time. Keep bowl/container sealed.

Have nasty oil stain from car on driveway from five yrs ago,, again Naphtha Will make it a never happened event. Last time at Menards - about $10 a gallon. But may have increased like everything else.
Got a tricky grimed project,, just ask. Cheers