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what degreaser to use?

Dec. 3, 2008, 11:10 p.m.
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Joined: Nov. 20, 2005

I was wondering what sort of degreaser people use to clean their chain and other bike components?

I have a bottle of Park Tools CB-2 Citrus degreaser that came as part of a chain cleaning kit. But it seems like that bottle only lasted me for a few cleanings, and it's bloody expensive for a degreaser…

Someone recommended 'Mineral Spirits'

Any recommendations?

Dec. 3, 2008, 11:12 p.m.
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Joined: Jan. 7, 2000

Simple Green or good ol fashioned varsol.

Dec. 3, 2008, 11:20 p.m.
Posts: 14543
Joined: Dec. 16, 2003

MEC biodegreaser, 4 litres for $14.25

Dec. 4, 2008, 12:34 a.m.
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Joined: Nov. 20, 2005

MEC biodegreaser, 4 litres for $14.25

Aha! Now that sounds like a much better deal. I really wonder why anyone would spend the $$ on that silly little Park Tools bottle…

Dec. 4, 2008, 12:36 a.m.
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Joined: Nov. 20, 2005

On the same topic, how often do you guys degrease your chain? I'm assuming frequency will change between summer/winter.

I recall someone telling me that degreasing too often will lead to premature chain wear, is this true?

Dec. 4, 2008, 7:53 a.m.
Posts: 14543
Joined: Dec. 16, 2003

Aha! Now that sounds like a much better deal. I really wonder why anyone would spend the $$ on that silly little Park Tools bottle…

for the same reason they spent $30 on the Park chain cleaner tool when the could have bought one from MEC for $5.50.

Dec. 4, 2008, 8:04 a.m.
Posts: 289
Joined: Dec. 11, 2002

On the same topic, how often do you guys degrease your chain? I'm assuming frequency will change between summer/winter.

I recall someone telling me that degreasing too often will lead to premature chain wear, is this true?

Not on your life! Keep that puppy clean and it will be a loyal and happy follower. Some people will replace the chain every 1500kms so the chain doesn't stretch enough to wear down the cassette. I will ride it til it starts to skip then replace both the chain [HTML_REMOVED] cassette. I'll use Varsol if I take the chain off for a good cleaning, if I just want to give it a light scrub I'll soak it in WD40, wipe it off with a rag and blow off the excess with a compressor. Relube and reinstall.

Dec. 4, 2008, 9:37 a.m.
Posts: 5731
Joined: June 24, 2003

On the same topic, how often do you guys degrease your chain? I'm assuming frequency will change between summer/winter.

I recall someone telling me that degreasing too often will lead to premature chain wear, is this true?

I read something recently where various bicycle chain lubes were tested for their ability to decrease friction. There was no measurable difference between any including water. They also stated that the real purpose of lube was to keep dirt out from the insides of the chain where dirt will accelerate wear.

I have heard it said that cleaning will or can cause the dirt on the outside of a chain to be forced into the inner workings.

The best bet is to use one of the lubes that uses a volotile carrier solution (if that is the correct term) like Prolink or Rock and Roll. Prolink is a heavy oil mixed with mineral spirits. When it is applied the mineral spirits which are thin disolve what's there and clean the chain, you wipe the outside thouroughly where oil does no good except to attract dirt, and the mineral spoirits evaporate leaving the heavy oil where it's needed. Rock and Roll is similar but the lube is in suspension in the thin fluid. The wax lubes are similar.

I use the above two lubes and find that I don't need to clean the chain much if at all. When I do I use the MEC enviro cleaner which is either Simple Green in a different bottle of something really similar. The Citruc cleaners are much more powerful, but I always want a Gin[HTML_REMOVED]Tonic when I use them.

Debate? Bikes are made for riding not pushing.

Dec. 4, 2008, 9:39 a.m.
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Joined: Sept. 20, 2006

Simple Green Concentrate. 4L for $12 at Costco. Much better than the MEC stuff.

Dec. 4, 2008, 9:43 a.m.
Posts: 5731
Joined: June 24, 2003

Not on your life! Keep that puppy clean and it will be a loyal and happy follower. Some people will replace the chain every 1500kms so the chain doesn't stretch enough to wear down the cassette. I will ride it til it starts to skip then replace both the chain [HTML_REMOVED] cassette. I'll use Varsol if I take the chain off for a good cleaning, if I just want to give it a light scrub I'll soak it in WD40, wipe it off with a rag and blow off the excess with a compressor. Relube and reinstall.

It is certainly a valid way to replace a drive train like that. The only downside is if you damage a chain halfway through its life cycle you will probably have to replace the rest or some of the other drivetrain parts too. If you rarely damage chains, it's not a concern though.

Personaly I think some people get way too anal about cleaning chains. I never take a chain off to clean it. Only to replace or do other work that might require the chain off. I prefere to change the chain when 24 pins measure at 12 1/16. I feel I get more life from a cassette and rings and shifting remains more consistently good.

Debate? Bikes are made for riding not pushing.

Dec. 4, 2008, 9:52 a.m.
Posts: 14584
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

get a go-no-go tool to measure chain stretch,they are 10$ OR just change them chain periodicaly maybe once a calender year or something,I usually get 3 chains out of a drive chain .It might be a wash $ wise as to riding a drive train till its junk vs buying 3 chains but you got shitty performnce thru that cycle and if something does break prematurely you are toast .

get 2 chains and rotate them at half wear would be the best way to minimise wear

simple green in the big jugs from mec with the mec chain cleaner is the cheapest way to clean a chain ,I don't know for sure but I think that MEC brand tool will break much easier than the way more expensive park tool so be careful with it and DON'T drop it

I don't clean much either I also use the prolink which I think does alot of the cleaning for ya

Dec. 4, 2008, 10:35 a.m.
Posts: 1470
Joined: June 8, 2007

Another vote for Simple Green…I use it full strength for cleaning my chain and randomly diluted for other bike cleaning duties. I think Superstore sells it for the same price as Costco as well.

Dec. 4, 2008, 10:37 a.m.
Posts: 3716
Joined: March 6, 2003

MEC 4L bottle and the MEC cleaner.

If my bike is filthy, I hose it off, bounce it, wipe the chain and lube with Prolink. I use the MEC stuff every 3 months or so. The Prolink after every ride keeps the chain surprisingly clean.

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Dec. 4, 2008, 11:06 a.m.
Posts: 7594
Joined: July 25, 2007

gasoline or simple green

Dec. 4, 2008, 11:34 a.m.
Posts: 1143
Joined: Nov. 13, 2004

i use solvent, give'r a good scrub and then hang up to dry

i have found that if i clean in solvent and then degrease with superclean (very strong version of simple green) the chain becomes rusty if it gets wet

if you just let it dry with the solvent, it'll continue resisting water for atleast a few rides

bikes:
04 norco 4by w/ 05 sherman firefly :(
07 KTM 144sx :)

I like to throw up prior to dropping into a-line. I find it makes jumping easier.

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