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chain lubrication and road salt

This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  rice rocket 1 yr, 8 mos.

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paulheckbert

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Feb 2 2013 at 10:26am #

What do you all do for lubrication and cleaning of your bicycles in winter?
Any special measures when there’s salt on the road?
Do you lube more often in salty conditions?

There’s been A LOT of salt on the roads in the past two weeks, and my chain and bearings sound terrible.


jonawebb

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Feb 2 2013 at 10:38am #

Any time things sound bad you must lubricate. I use Wd40 to clean the chain, wipe off, then a chain lube and wipe off. But if your bearings are noisy you’ll have to take things apart and service them.


Marko82

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Feb 2 2013 at 11:05am #

I suggest using a power link so it’s easy to remove the chain. You can then clean & lube the chain by any number of methods.

My usual method is to put about a cup of gasoline in a quart glass jar and put the chain in and swish it around for a minute or two. This does a great job of cleaning the gunk off, with the only down side of what to do with the dirty gas. I have a backyard fire-pit and use the gas as a fire starter (just watch those eyebrows). Of course you could probably use a more environmentally friendly citrus fluid and do the same thing.


Drewbacca

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Feb 2 2013 at 1:32pm #

I’d stick with the gasoline/kerosene/wd-40 approach. Citrus might work… but it will take longer, and will possibly etch the chain and cause pitting corrosion if soaked too long; this could be detrimental to an already thin 10speed chain although it might be safe on a thicker chain.

Of course, doing a citrus/vinegar soak once or twice probably won’t hurt. We used to use lemon kool-aid mixed into a paste to clean some of the steam-traps when I was in the Navy. It would be easier to just pick up some naval-jelly at the hardware store for this purpose (phosphoric acid). But again, playing with acids is likely more abrasive than you would want.


rice rocket

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Feb 2 2013 at 5:48pm #

I got an ultrasonic cleaner on Amazon for $35, this thing is amazing. You can clean w/ just hot water, or you can use solvents too for tougher gunk.

I put chains/cassettes in a plastic bag, some hot water, and a splash of Simple Green. 10 minutes later rinse, and it’s nearly spotless. Re-lube chains right after to eliminate the possibility of rust.

Seriously lifechanging for my bike maintenance. No aggravating scrubbing, getting grease stains on your walls, etc.


pbeaves

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Feb 3 2013 at 12:04am #

i use a Park Chain scrubber cleaning tool.
its pretty nice, clamp it around the chain, spin pedals for a few minutes & it scrubs the chain clean. dry off excess moisture then lube the chain afterwards.
it comes with a bio-degreaser, but you can get the same results with a few drops of liquid dish soap.

most bike shops have them. around $25 for the unit, $35 for the kit that comes with a larger bottle of degreaser & a small brush.


Benzo

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Feb 3 2013 at 12:18am #

@rice rocket – can you fit 52t or other large chainrings in that ultrasonic cleaner? I’ve been considering that for parts cleaning.


rice rocket

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Feb 3 2013 at 3:46pm #

That one, maybe up to a 44t? It’s made to fit CDs and DVDs, so that’s the largest item you can fit in. You can stick it in hanging out the top, rotate it, and clean the other half though. For a larger one, you’re looking at at least 100 bucks if not more.


Drewbacca

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Feb 3 2013 at 4:48pm #

My vote is just get a folding bike and a dishwasher! :P


pbeaves

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Feb 3 2013 at 10:00pm #

you could jsut put the items into a ziplock with some rubbing alchohol, duct tape them to your backside, then do about 20 min of zumba.


rice rocket

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Feb 4 2013 at 12:26pm #

Sorry, by 44T I mean 39T…

I was looking at my compact thinking it was standard, and it looked like I could go a couple teeth bigger.

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