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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    9

    Chain cleaning tool

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    I am planning to buy a chain cleaning tool, the kind that clips on the chain and you rotate the chain through a degreaser. I have seen Park tools, Pedros and Finish Line advertised. Any thoughts on the best one to get?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    I have Park Tools', and I've used Performance's house brand, whatever it is. I find the Park works well, but there's a knack to using it in terms of where to hold it so you don't pull the chain off, but I've had the same issue with the other one, so I think this is common to all of them. One thing I don't like about it is that the metal "clips" that hold the two halves together can be hard to open and close, especially if they're on the chain. I've been putting my bike on the trainer to clean it, and it's easier for me to hold the halves together with one hand and backpedal with the other. It has the added bonus of keeping the pace of pedaling slow.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    8,783
    Don't let me stop you from throwing your money away however you wish. All I need is some Rock N' Roll lube, some old socks and tee shirts and maybe a few Q tips.
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
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    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Austria
    Posts
    374
    I have the Park tool thing and another nameless one. I don't notice any difference between those two.

    I don't like to use them very much because the process tends to end in quite a mess of greasy liquid, but they get the chain really clean. MUCH cleaner than an old rag and chain lube or an old toothbrush ever would. Still, I prefer to use an old rag most of the time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,560
    I have the Park Tool chain cleaner and really like it. It's the only one I've used so I can't make a comparison.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Quote Originally Posted by Susan View Post
    I don't like to use them very much because the process tends to end in quite a mess of greasy liquid
    I strain the solvent through a shop-grade paper towel and reuse it. Granted I still lose a considerable amount of solvent into the environment but reusing it does minimize it.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Austria
    Posts
    374
    Great idea, I will do this the next time. I bet a coffee filter would work well too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,260
    Best thing I've ever bought for cleaning my chain are those value packs of microfiber cleaning cloths you can get at auto stores or home depot. They pick up dirt and grease soooo much better than t-shirts. I also will use old tooth brushes and I do have a chain/cassette cleaning "wand" with scrubbies to loosen any really dried bits of grime.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,738
    I'm a member of the "rag and degreaser" club, since I have an endless supply of old t-shirts. I agree with Reesha about the microfiber cloths though- they work great!

    Many years ago, I tried a chain cleaner. I found it to be messy and one more thing to clean after use. YMMV.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,403
    Something like Citrus-solve (citrus degreaser, auto parts or hardware) or Simple Green, is a great alternative to solvent. I'm surprised that some of you still use solvents when there are these and other environmentally friendly products and methods out there. When I got my Park gizmo years ago, I ran undiluted Simple Green in it, and it worked great, even on really nasty mountain bike chains.

    Here's my preferred method now. I do not know if you can put a Power Link on a road bike chain, but this is what I do for our 6 mountain bikes.

    Remove chain from bike. Put in a small container with a lid. Pour Citrusolv over the chain so it's completely submerged. Soak overnight if you want. Here's the secret: shake the jar to dislodge any crud. The chain works against itself to loosen gunk. rinse the chain really well, air dry and reinstall. Method B would be to leave the chain on the bike, spray it down really well, and go after it with a toothbrush. I think the jar idea came from Sheldon Brown.

    As for solvent, I do hope you are wearing gloves and disposing of it as hazardous waste when you are done with it. It's really nasty stuff, and should be avoided at all costs. (I work in groundwater/environmental cleanup and remediation)
    Last edited by Irulan; 06-04-2012 at 06:32 AM.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Citrusolv and Simple Green are solvents. Simple Green contains glycol ethers. Citrus degreasers (including the Park Tool brand, which according to its MSDS is one of the less toxic ones out there) contain terpenes and/or pentenes. Gloves (and respirators) are definitely a good idea, but it's important to remember that most gloves, especially disposable ones, are penetrated by these toxins in a short amount of time.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,403
    well you know more than me. When I think solvents I'm thinking the hard stuff.
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    Quote Originally Posted by Irulan View Post
    ...Remove chain from bike. Put in a small container with a lid. Pour Citrusolv over the chain so it's completely submerged. Soak overnight if you want. Here's the secret: shake the jar to dislodge any crud. The chain works against itself to loosen gunk. rinse the chain really well, air dry and reinstall...
    This is what I do, my LBS convinced me this was the easiest approach and they were right! At least that is what I found, less mess and fuss. I've a SRAM chain on both Gunnar and mountain bike with power links that are reusable. The only thing is you have to be careful to not lose the power link like I did the first time

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Rowland Hts, CA
    Posts
    473
    I just bought the Park's Tool along with their chain cleaner. It works AWESOME!!! I hook my bike on to my bike rack, put a large towel underneath the bike. Then I fill the Park's Tool with chain cleaner and put the tool on the lower part of the chain. Clip the two parts together and slowly back pedal the bike. My black chain is now a dark silver!!! Of course, the chain cleaner works better after you degrease the crankset and the rear cassettes and the jockey cogs which was a "big pain the the behind".
    ____________________________________

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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,213
    Another Simple Green and chain in a jar fan.

    Brewer switched to wax for a while--no grease, no solvent --I'm not sure what's up with that.
    Each day is a gift, that's why it is called the present.

 

 

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