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Thread: Biking fanatics - advice please

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    Flashaholic* shakeylegs's Avatar
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    Default Biking fanatics - advice please

    I'm pulling my mountain bike out of storage and need some rehab advice. It's been sitting for 3 years and was put away in great shape. I want to clean and lube the drive-rain. What's the best way to clean it and what should I use to lubricate it? Any thoughts on oil vs dry wax vs silicone vs plastic lube?

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    WD40 is a great degreaser, simple green is more eco-friendly. Saturate & wipe clean. I will assume that Napa is a relatively moist environment so for lube I personally would use something like White lightning EPIC or Purple Extreme synthetic. Air up the tires, adjust the brakes and shred!

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    Flashaholic* shakeylegs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    Thanks chaoss,
    Surprisingly, our weather is rather dry, even in winter. And the trails dry out rather quickly. So off road, I don't encounter excessive mud or moisture.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    Disclaimer: I'm no bike rider.

    I'd think you could go to your local motorcycle shop and ask what they recommend for motorcycle chains, and the same thing would probably work great for your bicycle. (Yes I know that most motorcycles use o-ring chains, while most bicycles do not.)

    Got Biodiesel?

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    simple green, water, and an old tooth brush. scrub the crap out of it, rince with water, and a light coat of chain lube would do.

    do not use WD40 as a lube, it will dry up and cause further damage to the chain in the long run.
    Last edited by 270winchester; 03-30-2008 at 11:50 AM.
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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    Your local bike store will sell lubes especially made for bicycle chains and drive trains. Also lots of internet articles on how to clean and lube a bicycle chain. Here is just one.

    http://www.wikihow.com/Lube-a-Bicycle-Chain
    I live in a van down by the river

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    Flashaholic* shakeylegs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by geepondy View Post
    Your local bike store will sell lubes especially made for bicycle chains and drive trains. Also lots of internet articles on how to clean and lube a bicycle chain. Here is just one.

    http://www.wikihow.com/Lube-a-Bicycle-Chain
    Thanks geepondy,
    I did visit our local bike shop and came home with progold chain lube as well as triflow. I've also scanned the internet and found various 'clean and lube' recommendations, however many differ substantially. Given the infinite methods, potions, and fanaticisms involved, this exercise is bordering on a religious journey. And so I seek the practical, "experienced" wisdom of biking CPF'ers.

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    I have used Triflow with good results, although that was mostly on the road bike. I use White Lightining now with great results. I don't know if there are any "latest & greatest" products, however.
    I'm sure the stuff from the shop is fine.

    If your chain is really a mess or has a lot of miles on it, it's better to replace it. A worn chain will wear out the freewheel and chainrings faster.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    I use a Park Tool Chain Cleaning Tool.



    After cleaning I use the Finish Bicycle Lube.


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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    +1 on Triflow. Great stuff.

    Do not use things like paint thinner to clean your chain/cassette. Even though it does a good job getting the greasy gunk off, you will most likely not get it all out of the links, and any left in there will just degrade the lube you put on.

    Pick a nice eco friendly citrus based cleaner as mentioned, scrub it all down, and make sure its rinsed really well. Dry it off, Give it a good lubing, and make sure to wipe off as much excess as possible. If theres a bunch still on there, it will attract more dirt and wear the chain faster.

    My $0.02. Happy riding!!!

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    Flashaholic* shakeylegs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by LED_Thrift View Post
    If your chain is really a mess or has a lot of miles on it, it's better to replace it. A worn chain will wear out the freewheel and chainrings faster.
    LED_Thrift, the chain has low miles and is in good condition.

    ernsanada, I saw the park chain cleaner and was curious if it actually does a better job than by hand. Some claimed the flexing of the chain as it moves through the reservoir improves cleaning.

    OK, so I'm starting to formulate my approach. Citrus oil solvent and tooth brush for starters, then Simple Green and "more tooth brush", some hot sun, then lube. I'm assuming the entire drive train will benefit from a cleaning and lube. Is it best to remove the chain or can all this be accomplished with the chain on? I'm inclined to leave it on.

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    Just like anything, you can put as much effort into this as you want. If your a casual rider, toothbrushes and simple green will do you just fine. If you find yourself riding several times a week, then you will probably want to clean your chain more frequently, so I would suggest one of the snap on chain cleaners like the park mentioned above. They work very well and make the process a lot faster and easier.

    After cleaning, I would rinse with water, if you have an air compressor, blow the links out and dry to remove any last sludge build up. Then lube up. If your climate is dry, I reccomend "dry" teflon lubes. Which leave less of an oily/greasy build up for dust to stick to and accumulate.

    My process for lubing... spin the chain backwards so it free wheels and apply lube generously as it goes around. Once you've lubed all the way around, spin the crank a dozen more times or so backwards to work the oil in. Then grab a shop rag and grab around the chain, continue to turn the crank backwards and soak a bunch of that oil off. Turn the rag around regularly until the oil stain gets smaller, you don't have to do this until there is no stain, you just want to get most of the extra lube off. Extra lube will just cause grit and dust to accumulate faster, don't worry, you can't wipe too much away, it will stay in the moving parts where it is needed.

    After each ride, repeat the oiling procedure above, you should then only have to clean your chain every month or so. Depending on the conditions you ride in of course.


    As far as the rest of the drivetrain, If you have the time and motivation, I would dissasembly the idlers on the chain tensioner and clean them off real well, depending on the quality of your componenets the idlers will have sealed bearings or bushings, in the case of bushings i usually slap some grease in there and re-assemble. Same deal, wipe away any extra grease to keep it from attracting dirt.

    Don't forget to spray some of that lube in the shift and brake cables anywhere that the cable comes out. Spray in then work the lever or shifter a few times, this will help extend the life of your cables and housings.

    I can give lube advice all day, if you want more just let me know.

    Ed

  13. #13

    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    I also use Pedro's Oranj Peelz Citrus Degreaser.



    After Mountain Biking I use the Parks Chain Cleaner twice. (When you use the chain cleaner you spin the chain backwards). Then I use a rag and clean off all the excess cleaner. I just spin the pedals and hold the chain with a rag. I have a bike stand which makes the job easier.

    I take off the back wheel and clean all the rear cassette. I use a rag and Simple Green.

    I clean the front chain rings with a rag with some Simple Green.

    I like to let the chain air dry.

    I re-install the rear tire assembly.

    I put a drop of the chain lube on each link. I like to start at where the chain link is (where the chain connects). So I know were to stop.

    When I finish with the chain lube I spin the pedals backwards and use a rag to clean off the excess lube. I go about 5 revolutions. I like to let the bike sit and let the dry out before I use the bike.

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    You can clean bikes?

    Learn something new everyday.

    I just slap some more Boeshield on and go. Lifes too short to clean my chain.
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by cave dave View Post
    You can clean bikes?

    Learn something new everyday.

    I just slap some more Boeshield on and go. Lifes too short to clean my chain.

    I used to do this after everytime I went Mountain Biking on Saturdays and Sundays. The dirt trails would cake everything up.

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    It's really ok to use Simple Green on your bicycle chain?
    I live in a van down by the river

  17. #17

    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    I would use Simple Green when I'd run out of the Citrus Cleaner. Seems OK. Plus it's biodegradeable.

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    http://www.whitelightningco.com/products/index.htm
    Is the way to go. They change their packaging every now and then. I use the one with wax. I had to fully degrease the whole drivetrain for the first application, if not it wont work. Then apply generously after every ride. I never had a problem with my lube, never have to clean them if there's no mud. The product works on or off road. It's very nice lube I have been using for the pass 5 years. Component wear is minimal.

    On the other hand, if you find White Lightning RaceDay, avoid it at all cost, it's the most crap product. I'm glad it's now removed from their website. I too tried the Finish Bicycle Lube. It's very smooth, but it becomes black very quickly, obviously it doesn't repel dust as it says on the package.

    I don't know much about other lubes, because most of them just make my drivetrain turn black.

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    Last edited by koala; 03-30-2008 at 10:50 PM.
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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    For less often and heavier cleanings Simple Green is fine, White lightning works great but don't let it sit for a long time on anodizing. I learned the hard way with that once. I probably do this once every two weeks.

    For in-between heavier cleanings WD-40 or Rem-oil, both the spray cans work well. I usually do this every two rides, dry the chain with a rag, then apply the working lubricant.

    My favorite chain lube is tri-flow. Breakfree will work in a pinch but it cakes-up more quickly. I works well in hot climates though. I apply a blast of tri-flow before every ride.

    I ride moutainbike 4-5 times per week and do the occasional race.

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    I used to have one of the Park chain cleaning mechanisms, but found it not nearly as good as this method: get a Gatorade bottle, or any bottle with a wide mouth. Put your chain in it (assuming your chain has a QR link), and put a couple ounces of citrus cleaner (I buy mine, Finish Line Citrus Degreaser, by the gallon). Shake it up. Dump it out. Repeat if necessary. You can dilute it with hot water if you'd like. Make sure it's rinsed thoroughly - this is something the chain cleaning mechanisms don't do all that well.

    Let 'er dry, and lube 'er up. I like the ProGold lube you bought, however I buy it in a can, as it lasts longer (called PG2000 - EXACT same stuff, per the mfr).

    Good luck, and happy biking!

    john

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    White lightning is a great chain lube, use it every time.

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    Lot's of good advice in the preceding posts. I've used either Simple Green or a citrus based degreaser and a nylon brush (I use a veggie brush ) on the bike with good results. I also scrub the drivetrain with the chain on - I can get it pretty clean that way with minimal fuss which equals to more time cycling. If the lube on the chain has congealed into a sticky mess you may need to let the degreaser sit on the chain for a few minutes before scrubbing it off and even then you may need to repeat the process - or take the chain off and let it soak as jch79 suggested.

    I tend to prefer wet lubes, IMHO they tend to be more consistent performers than dry lubes in varying conditions. I've used Finish Line Cross Country for lubrication and have just started using Progold for the last 2 seasons. Both are pretty good but I prefer the Finish Line a bit more. Note: I apply lube by dripping onto each pivot and then wiping off the excess rather than spinning the pedals and drizzling it along the whole chain. It takes longer but it's less messy and you don't waste as much lube.

    Bear in mind that I'm primarily a roadie so my methods may not work as well for hardcore mountain bikers who frequently play in the mud. Oh, and don't forget to inspect your tires and tubes - they should be replaced if they are cracking. Good luck and may you always have a tailwind.

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by cave dave View Post
    You can clean bikes?

    Learn something new everyday.

    I just slap some more Boeshield on and go. Lifes too short to clean my chain.
    Haha. I live in New England and ride in the rain quite a lot. My bike doesn't rust from that. If I wash it using a hose then every part that can rust does rust. I don't know why rain doesn't do that but that's what happens. So I've learned not to wash my bike.

    Sure, I'll overhaul it and wash it then, but carefully dry and re-lube immediately, but I've learned absolutely not to religiously wash it after a messy ride. Just knock off the dried up gunk right before the next ride and go play in the woods.

    YMMV
    Peter

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    Sorry I'm a day late on this but here is how a true biking fanatic cleans a chain:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html

    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by cave dave View Post
    Sorry I'm a day late on this but here is how a true biking fanatic cleans a chain:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html

    Thanks Dave,
    I stumbled across Mr Brown a few days ago and was impressed by his attention to detail.
    I'm going on the attack this weekend but I've been wondering, stiff bristle of soft?

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by cave dave View Post
    Sorry I'm a day late on this but here is how a true biking fanatic cleans a chain:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html

    Hey, that was a day late - but it was funny.

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    While Dave mentioned Sheldon Brown's site (which has a WEALTH of knowledge), it should be mentioned that Sheldon passed away a couple months ago. He was the very definition of a bike FANATIC, and his expertise will be missed!

    And FYI, my method posted above is also mentioned on his site.

    john

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    I use Simple Green and a tooth brush then follow with either White Lighting (with wax) for winter and 2 in 1 oil during the summer.......yes 2 in 1. I've been using it for many years. Simple machine oil.
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    Thanks Dave,
    I stumbled across Mr Brown a few days ago and was impressed by his attention to detail.
    I'm going on the attack this weekend but I've been wondering, stiff bristle of soft?
    Stiff on the pins and soft on the links!
    Last edited by cave dave; 04-02-2008 at 06:02 PM.
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

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    Default Re: Biking fanatics - advice please

    I thought Sheldon's take on chain cleaning was facinating! I have to go now because I have to measure each electron in the batteries I'm recharging.

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