And another quick question.....

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Panter, 14 Oct 2007.

  1. Panter

    Panter Just call me Chris...

    How clean does the transmission need to be kept on my road bike?

    On my first MTB, I managed to destroy the transmission in 5 months because I was religiously lubing the chain, but not cleaning it. The resulting grinding paste made very short work of it.

    I've just spent half hour thoroughly cleaning the transmission on my SCR which has done 176 miles from new as it seemed to have a fair bit of Black gunk on it.

    Does it need to be kept very clean or can I just oil the chain after every other ride ?
  2. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    The cleaner you keep the chain and sprockets the longer they will last as roadgrit will act as a grinding paste on the componants over the course of time. However, you do not need to worry about making them shine like a new pin after every ride. I clean my chain and cassette when I clean the bike, which can vary from after one ride to once a month depending on the weather. If it is dry you don't need to worry much as long as you give the chain a drop of lube once a week or so. Don't worry about the chain looking a bit black, the oil does that.

    To clean the drive train I use WD40 and a paintbrush, five minutes with that is as good as any other method I have ever used.
  3. ash68

    ash68 New Member

    In general my summer bike needs a clean every 2months or so and just a bit lube inbetween times.Due to the extra mud/muck on the roads my winter bike gets the chain etc cleaned every 2 weeks, around 450-500 miles.There's plenty of good chain cleaning sprays in the bike shops, then a good lube to keep everything running sweet. Bought some purple extreme to try over the winter.£10 for a small bottle, it's had some good reviews,so I guess I'll see if it's just hype or not. Some people reckon swapping chains every 500 miles or so prolongs the chainring/cassette life,might give that a go this winter as well.
  4. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    a quick links is very handy Panter. I can have my chain off, clean and back on in 5 minutes...
    Usually, chain still on, spray with WD, then wrap a cloth round the bottom of the chain and slowly turn the cranks. The muck gets wiped onto the cloth.

    Occasionally, chain off, lay on a flat (disposable)surface, spray liberally with WD , then give it a good wipe and repeat if neccessary. To be fair, i have access to an airline, which is fantastic for blowing out a chain...christ, you should see the gunk come out...
  5. OP

    Panter Just call me Chris...

    Thanks guys, appreciated :biggrin:

    I'm amazed at how grubby it was TBH.

    mind you, just about very time I've been out on it it's rained..................

    Don't those quick links weaken if you keep taking them off?

    and, are those chain cleaning bath things any good? :rolleyes:
  6. Jack

    Jack New Member

    I have one of the chain cleaners. I do about 50/60 miles a week at the moment, and will try to clean the chain every couple of weeks with it. It's a bit messy and doesn't quite work exactly as its meant to, but the chain always comes out clean after a couple of runs through so I can't complain. Then I run it through a rag in my hand a couple of times to dry it off, and put some purple extreme on.
  7. Right then, 'Unckle Mickles Foolproof Chain Maintenance Programme is as follows.

    (1) Purchase a bottle, not an aerosol, of proper chain lube (not WD85, not GT40, not 'oil', not 3 in 1, not even basil infused virgin olive oil although any of the above will work better than nothing. Just) of the kind manufactured by Finish Line, Pedros, White Lightning etc and sold in your local bike shop.

    (2) Wipe your chain with a rag (Cotton. Old T shirts or sheets are ideal) until no more black gunk comes off on the rag. I do it with the bike in a work stand, set the bike in top gear and drag the lower run of chain through the rag.

    (3) Apply lube to the chain ensuring that every link gets a drop. If the chain is warm all the better. Then spin the pedals backwards a few times, this allows the lube to get to the inside of the chain by capillary action.

    (4) Wipe the chain until the rag comes clean.

    (5) Lube.

    (6) Wipe.

    (7) Wipe.

    (8) Ride a few miles and wipe again.

    As a general rule aim to spend ten times longer wiping the chain than applying lube and the last thing you do is wipe it.
    There should be no lube on the exterior surfaces of the chain save a thin barrier against oxidization.

    No degreaser. No chain cleaning machine. Job done in four minutes.

    Repeat as often as you like, the more often you do it the cleaner your chain will be and the longer it will last.
  8. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Mickle is pretty much what I do.

    Some guy I was working with recently asked me how long my chain sets last... I replied why - he wore out some XTR stuff in 1 year (once a week rides) just using GT85 and didn't ever clean the drive system at all - I said no wonder - I use Finish Line and keep the whole drive system clean - he said.. oh it sounds expensive.... erm he was riding some Scott Carbon MTB with XTR and trick stuff and complains about lube..... no hope....
  9. OP

    Panter Just call me Chris...

    Ok cool, thanks, I'll give that a go :ohmy:

    One more thing, if I may. That will take care of the chain, should I give the sprockets a spray with something to prevent them from rusting?
  10. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Just run a rag through the sprockets to keep clean - the oil on that and the chain will be enough. Don't go to mad on sprockets, as you could damage the hub's greasing, unless you know what you are doing
  11. OP

    Panter Just call me Chris...

    Top stuff, thanks guys :ohmy:
  12. Sprockets are invariably plated, nickel on entry level and chrome (on top of nickel) for the posher stuff. They wont rust. Where the plating wears through the tooth leading edge what little lube is deposited from your imaculately clean chain will prevent rust. What little rust might appear is not a big deal anyhoo as your sprockets are made from a high quality treated steel alloy. Tough stuff, very unlike car body type mild steel. Lube will do nothing of note if applied to your sprockets except provide a sticky surface for dust and crud to accumulate.

    Degreaser will remove lube from inside the chain where you actually want it.
    Degreaser must be washed off with water from the inside surfaces of the chain lest it degreases and breaks down any fresh lube applied thereafter. Emulsion. Yuk.

    If you are happy to degrease your chain wash the degreaser out completely, dry the chain completely and then relube it then go ahead. I tried it. Its a waste of good Top Gear watching time.

    Bear in mind that there is close to zero friction between the chainring/sprocket and the chains exterior surfaces. All the action happens between the roller and the pin so thats where you need your lube.

    (ps. Cycle chain is formulated to be;

    Tenatious, to adhere to the surface of the metal, yet.....
    non sticky, so that it repels dirt.

    Robust, to survive the enormous pressures it suffers within a chain, yet....
    freeflowing, so it can get where it is required).

    (pps. 3in1 for example is freeflowing but cannot cope with high loads. Isnt tenatious, it will end up on the carpet, yet is incredibly sticky if you throw dirt at it. It is oil, it is not chain lube.)
  13. John Ponting

    John Ponting Über Member

    clean and degrease with paraffin - no water, no moisture, no gunge, just a clean chain and transmission with residual oil on all surfaces including pins and rollers. Final wipe with a t-shirt.
  14. Essentially then you are using parrafin as a chain lube John?
  15. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    I have a new tin of wd 40...I know it's not a lube (I have proper lube) but I didnt know it was a chain degreaser as well?
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