View Full Version : cleaning the bike

03-31-2003, 04:56 PM
just wanted to pass along a little tidbit i discovered and to ask a question:

i needed a brush to clean the chain, and the drivetrain, but didn't want to pay a lbs high prices. i went to the dollar store and found a "denture brush." it can really get into the hard to reach places.

still need a brush with tougher bristles for the cogs. wow that bike can get grimy in the most hidden places.

QUESTION: i badly want to remove the chain and drop it in some warm water with some degreaser. i have read the directions on this website for how to break the chain. yet the part that scares me is that i won't be able to get it back on properly. does anyone have a suggestion?

COMMENT: i bought the "Performance" brand degreaser, and it is crap!!! stay away. i should have stuck with the suggestion on our website here about getting "Finish Line" instead.

04-01-2003, 07:07 AM
Hi! Godess,

I remember using a little tool I picked up in my old lbs that bascially pushes out the connecting pin between cogs and then pushes it back in to close - I'm sure Performance bike on line will having them - (http://www.performancebike.com/index.html) - actually I just checked and they do - they call them "chain tools" and they're about 6 bucks.

Good luck!

04-01-2003, 05:01 PM
Simple Green works great as a degreaser for the chain and cogs and I also use a Park Tools brush thingy. I forgot what its called but one end has stiff black bristles and the other end is curved and plastic and that seems to work well on the cogs.

I just cleaned my bike today and its so nice to see it nice and shiny again :)


04-01-2003, 09:54 PM
ohhhh, i never thought of simple green. why didn't i think of that. Duh! do you dilute it or just use as is?

do you also soak your chain in it?

04-02-2003, 05:07 AM
The Simple Green is just a spray on foam. I spray it on and let it sit for a couple of minutes then use that Park Tools brush on the cogs, chain, and rings and it works reallly well.

I don't want to take the chain off b/c I understand that it weakens the link. The Simple Green and brush work really well, although not perfect. Plus, I use ProLinK Gold chain lube which cleans the chain while its being used. RIght after a wash though, I lube up with Finish Line since its a little smoother than the ProLink stuff.

Since I don't do any road riding, my chain tends to get pretty mucky with all the dirt and mud so, I have to keep it clean fairly frequently and so far, that's the best combination that I 've found to work and I'm pretty happy with it :)


P.S. I sent you a PM a couple of days ago, wasn't sure if you had checked. I didn't want to clog the boards :)

04-02-2003, 09:22 AM
the zinn book did state that removing the chain on a regular basis does weaken it. that is another reason i am a little apprehensive on removing it. thanks for the tip on the simple green.

got the PM. no prob.

04-02-2003, 04:13 PM
ditto on using Simple Green...I've found that it's the best degreaser...also, if you don't have a "grunge brush" (got one from a catalog a while ago and that's what it's called), which has different bristles at each end, then a toothbrush works fine too...I know some folks who regularly use a pipe cleaner for insertion in their chain links, but I never have. I have made it a practice to replace my chain about every 2000 miles as preventative maintenance, following a veteran cyclist's recommendation. So far, no breaks, no chain problems whatsoever, so I prefer to regularly make that small inve$tment to keep it that way!
fyi, I've never taken my chain off to clean...I just clean and lube it regularly...cleaning after the ride...checking it and applying lube before I ride again.

04-02-2003, 04:18 PM
the tip I was given re: SG is to run it full strength in a chain cleaning device, then a dilution, then rinse in clear water and air dry


04-06-2003, 10:04 PM
Howdy! You gals should check out my article on bike cleaning on this web site. It is called "Happiness is a Clean Bike." In the article I recommend breaking the chain, and replacing the "broken" link with a Sachs Power Link which allows your chain to be removed without tools any time. Also, try full strength citrus degreaser from any hardware store as a chain soak.