Cleaning & Lubing chain

Discussion in '"Shop" Talk' started by Kaleidopete, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. Kaleidopete

    Kaleidopete Well-Known Member

    Moe Mountain
    I thought I was happy with cleaning with Simple Green bike cleaning fluid and then lubing the chain with bike chain oil. But lately it's really gumming up and needs more frequent cleaning. I stopped at one bike shop that recommended "chain lube cleaner by Finishline". I bought it and used it, seems to clean great but uses just about a whole can per cleaning / lubing, @ $10 a can it's too much. They also said NEVER use simple green bike cleaner on a chain. What else is good?
    kerosene ?
  2. C8N

    C8N Well-Known Member

    I use zep citrus degreaser and this seems to work better than apc
  3. alex_k

    alex_k Well-Known Member

    Monmouth Jct
    I use mineral spirits. Simple green won't harm anything if you rinse a chain with water and dry it
    qclabrat, jShort and Kaleidopete like this.
  4. w_b

    w_b Well-Known Member

    central jersey
    Dawn, hot water, and an old bathtub scrubbrush. Repeat if necessary (usually not.) Dry well with an old towel and re-lube immediately.

    I've been using the White Lighning lube for many years; it does not seem to gum up nearly as much as some other lubes.
    jdgang and ReverendNewman like this.
  5. Karate Monkey

    Karate Monkey Well-Known Member

    You will get a different answer from every single person that posts in this thread.

    That said, here's my answer:

    If I decide a chain is filthy enough to clean, off the bike (but somehow not bad enough to just replace), I drop it in a jar of mineral spirits/kerosene, and let it sit for a day. Agitate it once/twice as I'm both around, and remember, then remove it and wipe it down. If someone it paying me to do it, I use whatever they're paying me to use, simple as that.

    The above compounds will thin any lubricant you then put on the chain, but as it flashes off, the lubricant will return to its original viscosity.
    thegock and alex_k like this.
  6. jShort

    jShort Well-Known Member Team MTBNJ Halter's

    Glen Gardner
    I use whatever citrus degreaser on a rag and run the chain threw it for a while.
    Then re lube.
  7. M3Tim

    M3Tim Well-Known Member

    Norm and rick81721 like this.
  8. jShort

    jShort Well-Known Member Team MTBNJ Halter's

    Glen Gardner
  9. huffster

    huffster Well-Known Member

    There really are so many opinions when it comes to this. Sometimes I am amazed at how much time people put into cleaning and lubing a chain. I like to keep it really simple and I spend minimal time on it and I feel like I get long chain life. Every couple rides, I use a dry rag to wipe the chain down. I do a thorough job, but I do it on the bike and it takes about 2 minutes. Then I lube both sides of the chain with Finish Line wet lube. Then I ride my bicycle a couple times. Then I repeat. The lube is under $10 and seems to last for months.
  10. rick81721

    rick81721 Well-Known Member

    I clean with Park Tool CB-2 citrus chainbright cleaner, then lube with Boeshield T-9. The 16 oz bottle of CB-2 has lasted like 2 years cleaning 4 bikes.
    Big Al likes this.
  11. David Taylor

    David Taylor Rex kwan Do

    Soak it in gas ftw
  12. qclabrat

    qclabrat Well-Known Member

    that's right people use it full strength then don't rinse with water for parts. After a few years it will mess up the external finish
  13. qclabrat

    qclabrat Well-Known Member

    Alex do you rinse after the mineral spirits or just let it evaporate then lube?
  14. alex_k

    alex_k Well-Known Member

    Monmouth Jct
    once or two in chain live-span (about 1000mi) I do full cleanup like Karate Monkey described and let a chain dry and then lube it. Once in a week or two I wipe a chain with mineral spirits, then with dry cloth and lube.

    I hate when it is too dirty or sounds dry but that's it. More I ride my bicycles less I care about chains. It is a disposable component.
    qclabrat likes this.
  15. soundz

    soundz The Hat Team MTBNJ Halter's

    Fort Lee?
    I never clean or lube it.
  16. ReverendNewman

    ReverendNewman Active Member

    Brick, NJ
    Over the years I was told to use soooo many different products. Boshield, LPS, etc. I use Gumout to degrease. Then, depending where or what I'm riding in, I'll either use White Lightning, or Liquid Wrench spray lube. You'll get a hundred different answers up here. The key is to find what u like and just maintain regular cleanings and lubes.
  17. jumpa

    jumpa Well-Known Member

    Jersey City
    That's what he/she said.
    soundz likes this.
  18. Dingo

    Dingo Well-Known Member

    White Lightning. Before every ride. Clean chain with terry cloth first, dose it with WL, wipe off excess.
    15 yrs and my chains last long time. I check chain wear with the park tool CC-2.
    Kaleidopete likes this.
  19. shrpshtr325

    shrpshtr325 Well-Known Member

    i lube on occasion with prolink gold, and then wipe off excess with a rag, chains are cheap enough i just keep an eye on wear and replace as needed, usually every 1k miles or so on the mtn bike i get 3-5 on the road bike depending on how many wet weather rides i do.
    Kaleidopete likes this.
  20. smufguy

    smufguy Member

    I am the same with the Simple green. Dilute it with hot tap water, soak it for 15 minutes, brush the chain and rinse it in the same Simple Green solution to get out the dirt. Then rinse it again in hot tap water rag dry it and let it dry out by my water boiler exhaust or by my furnace exhaust. In the morning I lube it up. I do this after every 5th ride or if the chain has a lot of build up on it.
    Kaleidopete likes this.

Share This Page