//Trail Status mouse over Java // Chain Maintenance ? Do's & Don'ts ?

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Webby

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Chain Maintenance ? Do's & Don'ts ?
« on: September 20, 2012, 12:16:04 AM »
I've done a search on this forum and didn't really find any topics specific to the proper techniques for Chain Maint.
So,,, I'm open for any suggestions.   ;D
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jerrywr

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Re: Chain Maintenance ? Do's & Don'ts ?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2012, 07:26:12 AM »
i don't know how proper this is but i will ride 2 to 3 rides, if the chain gets dusty i will take it off and soak it in gas. reinstall and coat it with oil, i like synthetic motor oil. let it set overnight and drip off.  put down cardboard.  then replace the chain after 2 seasons.
on road rides don't require as much cleaning (10 rides) before cleaning.

richmondrider

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Re: Chain Maintenance ? Do's & Don'ts ?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2012, 07:35:24 AM »
I like to wipe my chain clean after every ride with a dry rag until all or most of the grease and grim is off.  Then I apply TriFLow lube to the inner and outer plates, let it soak in a few minutes and wipe off the excess lube. Leaving too much lube on your chain will cause it to get dirty faster while riding and cause premature wear on your drivetrain.  I would also suggest picking up a chain gauge and checking your chain a few times througout the season.  Replace when the gauge says it's shot.
 
As far as don'ts I would say stay away from WD-40, it is a degreaser and will not do your chain any good.  And unless you have cleaned you chain first, any spray type lubes will just push dirt further into the chain and defeat the purpose of lubing your chain. 

David Kuehnen

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Re: Chain Maintenance ? Do's & Don'ts ?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2012, 08:52:09 AM »
I use a chain cleaning device (where to run chain through bath of degreaser while brushes scrub it) when it looks dirty. 
Then relube with your favorite.  I am using a Pedro's wax based chain lube and I like it but in the past I have been a tri-flow man.
+1 on cleaning off excessive lube.  It will gum up with dust and coat deraillieur puilleys and rear cogs, causing wear and shifting issue).  I


So keeping clean and lubed is the key. 




Checking chain wear/stretch is also important because not only is a worn chain prone to breaking at least 5 miles away from the trail head, it will also cause premature wear of chain rings/cassette.



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matte1401

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Re: Chain Maintenance ? Do's & Don'ts ?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2012, 08:52:46 AM »
I also just wipe the old grease off and re-oil the chain.  The new oil soaks into the chain and pushes out the dirt that you can't get at with the cloth.  For chainlube I use ProGold ProLink.  It goes on thin so it quickly soaks into the chain, but dries out overnight so picks up minimal dirt on the trail. 
 
Key thing is replacing the chain before it wears out your cassette.  You can just use a metal ruler for this and don't need to buy a special too, imo.   I bought a chain measurement tool a few years ago but I don't even use it anymore.  If you measure 12 links with a ruler, when the chain is tensioned and new, it should measure exactly 12".  The rule of thumb is that when 12 links measure 12-1/16" then it's time to replace the chain.  If it measures more than 12-1/8" then your cassette is worn and you'll want to replace both the cassette and chain.  If you just add a new chain onto a badly worn cassette it will quickly trash the new chain.
 
 

chuckdlou

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Re: Chain Maintenance ? Do's & Don'ts ?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2012, 09:11:50 AM »
i know this will stir the pot, but what the hell...as for maintenance, wipe clean and lube each ride...sometimes i stop and do it mid ride...i prefer white lightning clean ride...as for deep cleaning i remove the chain and put it in one of the large gatorade bottles, spray down with clean streak or simple green and shake the hell out of it...rinse, dry, re-install and lube...as for all this talk about replacing the chain "before the cassette wears" i don't buy it...the cassette was worn on the second ride...use the same chain until the whole drivetrain is shot and replace it as a unit if you want good shifting...will you have chain breaks?...sure, just put a power link in and keep riding...i had a chain with 7 power links before i replaced the drivetrain and it did fine...and yes, a sram power link will work on a shimano chain...

Shark

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Re: Chain Maintenance ? Do's & Don'ts ?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2012, 09:29:07 AM »
I also just wipe the old grease off and re-oil the chain.  The new oil soaks into the chain and pushes out the dirt that you can't get at with the cloth.  For chainlube I use ProGold ProLink.  It goes on thin so it quickly soaks into the chain, but dries out overnight so picks up minimal dirt on the trail. 
 
Key thing is replacing the chain before it wears out your cassette.  You can just use a metal ruler for this and don't need to buy a special too, imo.   I bought a chain measurement tool a few years ago but I don't even use it anymore.  If you measure 12 links with a ruler, when the chain is tensioned and new, it should measure exactly 12".  The rule of thumb is that when 12 links measure 12-1/16" then it's time to replace the chain.  If it measures more than 12-1/8" then your cassette is worn and you'll want to replace both the cassette and chain.  If you just add a new chain onto a badly worn cassette it will quickly trash the new chain.

This. X2....

Fyi chainsaw bar oil is far superior to most lubes made for bikes....absolutely no need to lube every ride, more like every 2 weeks now.
Fat is where it's at!......Tires that is.
Moved to Idaho....:) Now I actually *mountain* bike.

David Kuehnen

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Re: Chain Maintenance ? Do's & Don'ts ?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2012, 09:29:41 AM »
i know this will stir the pot, but what the hell...as for maintenance, wipe clean and lube each ride...sometimes i stop and do it mid ride...i prefer white lightning clean ride...as for deep cleaning i remove the chain and put it in one of the large gatorade bottles, spray down with clean streak or simple green and shake the hell out of it...rinse, dry, re-install and lube...as for all this talk about replacing the chain "before the cassette wears" i don't buy it...the cassette was worn on the second ride...use the same chain until the whole drivetrain is shot and replace it as a unit if you want good shifting...will you have chain breaks?...sure, just put a power link in and keep riding...i had a chain with 7 power links before i replaced the drivetrain and it did fine...and yes, a sram power link will work on a shimano chain...
If you replace chain in time, the chain rings and cassette can live through two chains.  In long run, it maybe cheaper to change chain before rest of drivetrain is worn out.
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tony

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Re: Chain Maintenance ? Do's & Don'ts ?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2012, 09:37:54 AM »
You're supposed to lube the chain?  I just sell the bike and buy a new one right before everything wears out.

David Kuehnen

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Re: Chain Maintenance ? Do's & Don'ts ?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2012, 09:54:19 AM »
 :D I do the same thing with cars...replacing tires and changing oil is just silly 8)
David Kuehnen, PE

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jerrywr

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Re: Chain Maintenance ? Do's & Don'ts ?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2012, 10:02:54 AM »
some chainsaw bar oils can give you stinky fingers.  warning

Shark

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Re: Chain Maintenance ? Do's & Don'ts ?
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2012, 01:10:08 PM »
some chainsaw bar oils can give you stinky fingers.  warning

Same with cheap toilet paper....  ;D
Fat is where it's at!......Tires that is.
Moved to Idaho....:) Now I actually *mountain* bike.

Webby

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Re: Chain Maintenance ? Do's & Don'ts ?
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2012, 03:47:25 PM »
 ;D WOW,,,  can I open a can of worms or what ?  lol
I've ridden several rides now (157 miles to be exact) on my new bike and all I've done so far is re-oil chain (Tri-flow Superior Soy Lub.), and clean the gunk off the derailleur pullies and dig any foreign matter from between the gears on the cassette after each ride. 
I was wondering if anyone used those "chain cleaning scrubber" things, or if those were just a SALES gimmick for MTB'rs  ? 

Thanks for all the info also  ;)
Happy Happy Happy ------- Trails that is !!!

David Kuehnen

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Re: Chain Maintenance ? Do's & Don'ts ?
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2012, 04:25:45 PM »
I use one, but it may not be as thorough as removing the chain and soaking/brushing in a bath of degreaser.
David Kuehnen, PE

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gmcttr

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Re: Chain Maintenance ? Do's & Don'ts ?
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2012, 06:45:38 PM »
...It's my understanding that when the chain reaches 12.5" pin to pin, it's time to replace it. Replace it sooner if you don't want to replace the whole drivetrain as others have mentioned.

12 1/2" ?  :o  I would think the teeth would be completely worn off of the cassette and chain rings by the time the chain had worn that much.

 

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