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What degreaser do you use on your chain and cassette?


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Curious, I am.  I have a namby-pamby degreaser, but want to find a good degreaser that is also in the bang for the buck category, but also one that will be good for cleaning the cassette once I take it off. 
 

What do you use?

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2 minutes ago, Bag of Dicks said:

Curious, I am.  I have a namby-pamby degreaser, but want to find a good degreaser that is also in the bang for the buck category, but also one that will be good for cleaning the cassette once I take it off. 
 

What do you use?

Brake cleaner.  

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55 minutes ago, Longjohn said:

I never grease my chains and cassettes so I have never had to degrease them. I use White Lightning clean ride on my chains.

Same with me. I switched to a different parrifin based lube who’s name escapes me but they don’t get really funky.  

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We only have two bikes in the home fleet with cassettes and derailleurs and they don't get ridden all that much, so every couple of years I throw them in the ultrasonic cleaner and make them sparkle. 

 Most of the fleet are IGH and the chains are mostly ignored. 

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10 hours ago, Bag of Dicks said:

Curious, I am.  I have a namby-pamby degreaser, but want to find a good degreaser that is also in the bang for the buck category, but also one that will be good for cleaning the cassette once I take it off. 
 

What do you use?

The cassette I clean with a rag and a spot of simple green.

For the chain, get one 2 liter bottle.  Put the chain in it along with some simple green.  Cap it and shake.  Pour out the simple green.  If still not clean enough repeat.  When clean, cut the top off the bottle to retrieve the chain.   Dirty deed done cheap.

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10 hours ago, Bag of Dicks said:

What degreaser do you use on your chain and cassette?

You remain oddly obsessed with this topic.

I don't use degreaser. I lube and wipe and am done for 100-200 miles until I lube and wipe again.  Not sure why you want to complicate the whole process.  Are you really going to clean the drivetrain prior to bringing your bike upstairs, and then lube it when you get downstairs again before a ride?  You might do much better simple buying a drivetrain cover.

$20.

evoc-chain-cover.jpg

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10 hours ago, Bag of Dicks said:

but also one that will be good for cleaning the cassette once I take it off. 

And WTF are you removing your cassette?????  That's a part that sits - unmolested - for years.  10k or 15k miles.  What kind of maniac are you? 

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I don't use degreaser any more. When I did, I used Purple Power, available from auto parts stores. Why degrease? Unless you are changing your brand or type of lubricant, you would like imbedded lubricant. I use Simple Green, available at most home centers, primarily to remove dirt and grit from the drivetrain. Those contaminants cause premature wear.

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46 minutes ago, Square Wheels said:

This with Simple Green, chain came out like new.

Pedro's Hands Free Chain Cleaner Chain Pig II MPN: 6100313 Cleaning |  Worldwide Cyclery

I use this method for tune ups.  What we don't understand is that RG doesn't have a garage, a hose or really anywhere to clean the chain.  He resides in an apt. that has no access to a garage, hose or even a terrace.  This really complicates things for a cyclist.  

This method is excellent, but I am concerned about splatter for him and mess.  

First, open all the windows and turn on your vent fan or exhaust fan.  Then spray WD-40 on the chain.  Use a rag to wipe off excess.  Run it through the rag for a bit, Use the rag to dig off some of the gunkier parts, the cogs etc.  When the chain appears dry and clean, regrease with lube.  Personally, I like dryish style lube, but I clean my chain before each ride, being a MTB rider.  It gets really icky.  My commuter bike is so full of ick, Let's not talk about how I "should" care about that bike.  I treat it like crap, and it just runs and runs. I do not run dumond or some of the heavier lubes because I clean mine so often.  On epic rides, the dryish stuff can be problematic.  It doesn't last.  I just hate the thicker lubes because my rides are shorter and I clean the chain so often.  My seek cries.

RG, maybe a floor mat that sits under the bike would help, or keep cardboard around for this purpose and to park the bike on.

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I have used diluted Simple Green in the past, but after reading an article in Bicycling Mag last year I began using Dawn.  I use the Park Chain Cleaner.  I still have the Simple Green,and may use it (diluted) to brush off the cassette.  

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22 minutes ago, Dirtyhip said:

What we don't understand is...

...his need for degreasing the drivetrain.  I get his lube concerns from a few months ago, and I get the worry about a dirty drivetrain in a smallish apartment, but I think my $20 cover works best for a moderate level of riding through the year, where a simple wipe-down and relube is more than enough (IMHO).   It covers the drivetrain and makes carrying up and down stairs clean, and also keeps muck off in the apartment.

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8 minutes ago, Square Wheels said:

Shower

Possibly.  It sounds like a total PITA.  A bike would not easily fit in mine.  Maybe, park it with the drive train in the shower area, but you still need a wand to hit the parts you need, and there is no way to use a stand, so you can only run the chain in reverse, which has it's issues when you apply any pressure to it.  It wants to jump off the rings. 

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4 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

...his need for degreasing the drivetrain.  I get his lube concerns from a few months ago, and I get the worry about a dirty drivetrain in a smallish apartment, but I think my $20 cover works best for a moderate level of riding through the year, where a simple wipe-down and relube is more than enough (IMHO).   It covers the drivetrain and makes carrying up and down stairs clean, and also keeps muck off in the apartment.

Interesting idea.

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Ok, I am not riding a bike with a chain cover, I am not even going to look it up.  If it happens to be some sort of removable cover, I am not doing that either, it isn't a good solution from any angle.

As DH said, apartment living is different.  It is a fact that I don't have access to a hose, place to store or work on the bike other than in the living area.  The shower is too small to put the bike in.

My intention was to try a wax-based lube (squirt), I wanted not to have smudgey crap from the chain getting on anything touched when carrying the bike up and down and around narrow stairs, or just with incidental contact. 

I finally used degreaser on the chain by spraying directly on it, letting it sit, and using the abrasive side of sponges on all sides (emulating the Park-style cleaner, which I have had in the past) in very soapy water, wiping off, and repeating several times, then letting it fully dry after spraying the crap out of it with clean water. 

I couldn't get the chain fully clean, though, the degreaser I have was too weak.  I will not buy an "earth-friendly" degreaser, either, that stuff is crap and is proven to not work.  I don't like products that can't accomplish their intended purposes; if the world can put up with commercial and private planes, constant car traffic, and plastic everything, it is just gonna have to get used to me using degreaser that works.

Btw, I put paper bags down on the hardwood floor to catch the runoff.  Not ideal, but it is what it is.

After degreasing to a piss-poor result, I then thought I would research whether or not just applying Squirt to the chain would be fine, and every yahoo said the chain has to be 100% clean.  It isn't.  A conversation with a knowledgeable source said that wax lubes are shit in the wet and need constant reapplication, and another coupla videos I saw cast doubt that Squirt is even halfway decent enough to increase chainlife a significant amount over even having a dry chain, which I found bewildering, but worthy of more research later.

Since my chain is not 100% stripped bare, and it is often or is usually wet in the spring, I said "what the hell" and just applied standard lube and will until I run out of it and then try the Squirt.  The better degreaser quest is for when the weather will get less wet and I can test the wax lube out once I remove the cassette and get all the gunk completely off it, and the chain, too.  That can't happen until I have good degreaser, I don't like having a gunky chain and cassette with muck and sand and vaccine-based tracking devices grinding my drivetrain down. 

This is all very preliminary, as I haven't ridden since late August, but recent teases of warm weather have me prepping for riding season.

So there you go.  

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9 minutes ago, Bag of Dicks said:

then thought I would research whether or not just applying Squirt to the chain would be fine, and every yahoo said the chain has to be 100% clean

I wouldn’t use Squirt on my chain, Squirt is a sugary carbonated grapefruit drink that doesn’t lubricate well at all.

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15 minutes ago, Bag of Dicks said:

Ok, I am not riding a bike with a chain cover, I am not even going to look it up.  If it happens to be some sort of removable cover, I am not doing that either, it isn't a good solution from any angle.

As DH said, apartment living is different.  It is a fact that I don't have access to a hose, place to store or work on the bike other than in the living area.  The shower is too small to put the bike in.

My intention was to try a wax-based lube (squirt), I wanted not to have smudgey crap from the chain getting on anything touched when carrying the bike up and down and around narrow stairs, or just with incidental contact. 

I finally used degreaser on the chain by spraying directly on it, letting it sit, and using the abrasive side of sponges on all sides (emulating the Park-style cleaner, which I have had in the past) in very soapy water, wiping off, and repeating several times, then letting it fully dry after spraying the crap out of it with clean water. 

I couldn't get the chain fully clean, though, the degreaser I have was too weak.  I will not buy an "earth-friendly" degreaser, either, that stuff is crap and is proven to not work.  I don't like products that can't accomplish their intended purposes; if the world can put up with commercial and private planes, constant car traffic, and plastic everything, it is just gonna have to get used to me using degreaser that works.

Btw, I put paper bags down on the hardwood floor to catch the runoff.  Not ideal, but it is what it is.

After degreasing to a piss-poor result, I then thought I would research whether or not just applying Squirt to the chain would be fine, and every yahoo said the chain has to be 100% clean.  It isn't.  A conversation with a knowledgeable source said that wax lubes are shit in the wet and need constant reapplication, and another coupla videos I saw cast doubt that Squirt is even halfway decent enough to increase chainlife a significant amount over even having a dry chain, which I found bewildering, but worthy of more research later.

Since my chain is not 100% stripped bare, and it is often or is usually wet in the spring, I said "what the hell" and just applied standard lube and will until I run out of it and then try the Squirt.  The better degreaser quest is for when the weather will get less wet and I can test the wax lube out once I remove the cassette and get all the gunk completely off it, and the chain, too.  That can't happen until I have good degreaser, I don't like having a gunky chain and cassette with muck and sand and vaccine-based tracking devices grinding my drivetrain down. 

This is all very preliminary, as I haven't ridden since late August, but recent teases of warm weather have me prepping for riding season.

So there you go.  

Oh for crying out loud! Take the chain off and put it in a jar or something with degreaser and soak and shake it. Then rinse it off in the sink. Let it dry on a towel. You can wipe the gears off with a rag. What's the big deal?

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25 minutes ago, Bag of Dicks said:

Ok, I am not riding a bike with a chain cover, I am not even going to look it up.  If it happens to be some sort of removable cover, I am not doing that either, it isn't a good solution from any angle.

As DH said, apartment living is different.  It is a fact that I don't have access to a hose, place to store or work on the bike other than in the living area.  The shower is too small to put the bike in.

My intention was to try a wax-based lube (squirt), I wanted not to have smudgey crap from the chain getting on anything touched when carrying the bike up and down and around narrow stairs, or just with incidental contact. 

I finally used degreaser on the chain by spraying directly on it, letting it sit, and using the abrasive side of sponges on all sides (emulating the Park-style cleaner, which I have had in the past) in very soapy water, wiping off, and repeating several times, then letting it fully dry after spraying the crap out of it with clean water. 

I couldn't get the chain fully clean, though, the degreaser I have was too weak.  I will not buy an "earth-friendly" degreaser, either, that stuff is crap and is proven to not work.  I don't like products that can't accomplish their intended purposes; if the world can put up with commercial and private planes, constant car traffic, and plastic everything, it is just gonna have to get used to me using degreaser that works.

Btw, I put paper bags down on the hardwood floor to catch the runoff.  Not ideal, but it is what it is.

After degreasing to a piss-poor result, I then thought I would research whether or not just applying Squirt to the chain would be fine, and every yahoo said the chain has to be 100% clean.  It isn't.  A conversation with a knowledgeable source said that wax lubes are shit in the wet and need constant reapplication, and another coupla videos I saw cast doubt that Squirt is even halfway decent enough to increase chainlife a significant amount over even having a dry chain, which I found bewildering, but worthy of more research later.

Since my chain is not 100% stripped bare, and it is often or is usually wet in the spring, I said "what the hell" and just applied standard lube and will until I run out of it and then try the Squirt.  The better degreaser quest is for when the weather will get less wet and I can test the wax lube out once I remove the cassette and get all the gunk completely off it, and the chain, too.  That can't happen until I have good degreaser, I don't like having a gunky chain and cassette with muck and sand and vaccine-based tracking devices grinding my drivetrain down. 

This is all very preliminary, as I haven't ridden since late August, but recent teases of warm weather have me prepping for riding season.

So there you go.  

So.. Go to your LBS, chat with them.  Buy a pair of socks.  Go back a couple days later with a coffee for the mechanic. Maybe ask if he knows of a spot you can clean your bike.  Of course he will offer his shop when it is slow.  Clean up after yourself and buy donuts once in a while.  :) 

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8 minutes ago, donkpow said:

Oh for crying out loud! Take the chain off and put it in a jar or something with degreaser and soak and shake it. Then rinse it off in the sink. Let it dry on a towel. You can wipe the gears off with a rag. What's the big deal?

I suggested this too.  Remove quick link, put in jar, shake and done.  You are still going to have to deal with dirty cogs.  I like SRAM chains for the quick link.  I think it is called that.

This no garage thing, or even sidewalk viability is a conundrum.  I don't think it is very easy for him to do down to the sidewalk to clean.  I am thinking fines and harassment for even trying that.

 

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3 minutes ago, Dirtyhip said:

I suggested this too.  Remove quick link, put in jar, shake and done.  You are still going to have to deal with dirty cogs.  I like SRAM chains for the quick link.  I think it is called that.

This no garage thing, or even sidewalk viability is a conundrum.  I don't think it is very easy for him to do down to the sidewalk to clean.  I am thinking fines and harassment for even trying that.

 

Yeah but it's not that hard.  I've done this and more in the living room and kitchen. I've replaced bearings and worked on all kinds of car parts in the kitchen before. Put a towel down, plastic sheet, whatever. So long as you don't have dogs, there's not a problem. 

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19 minutes ago, Bag of Dicks said:

A conversation with a knowledgeable source said that wax lubes are shit in the wet and need constant reapplication,

I don’t know what kind of knowledgeable source you talked to but I can guarantee you I ride in more rain than most people. I’ll start a day ride when it’s raining and of course a week long ride you never know what you are going to get. I had weeks that it rained for four days. Ride in the rain, set up your tent in the rain, take down your tent in the rain and ride all day in the rain again. I never have chain trouble.

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The only problem I ever have with chains is an accumulation of rock dust from the trails I ride.  This is very abrasive stuff but if you use dry lube it can simply be wiped off with a rag and an old paint brush.  I usually don't attempt to degrease a chain till it's got a couple of thousand miles on it.  I leave the original factory lube on it.

I have no idea what happens to my chain in the rain.  Fear of melting prevents my from riding in that shit.

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26 minutes ago, maddmaxx said:

 

I have no idea what happens to my chain in the rain.  Fear of melting prevents my from riding in that shit.

Speaking from experience, the chain gets gunkier. ;)

I ride in all conditions. Rain is a lesser worry than snow and ice. 

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Simple Green to clean then hosed off with water, Prolink Chain Lube to lubricate and allegedly it pushes out any grit in the chain.  Prolink has an initial small stink, so use it outdoors and let it sit an hour before you bring it inside.

 Since I ride almost exclusively on paved bike paths in dry weather, I don't get much gunk on my chain.  For times I ride through puddles and muddy areas after a rain and it's sticks to the bike, I bought a cheap set of brushes that came with one of those surround-the-chain scrubbers to replace the overpriced "Park" brand scrubber and degreaser solution I lost in the house fire.

2016098541_BikeCleaningTools(useSimpleGreen).jpg.215d6fb2dc96b12e56e653fe24b802ae.jpg

498828469_ProGoldProLinkChainLube.JPG.571eef6ee63d6b6efd7ea8515a562394.JPG

I also bought a cheap bike rack ($50.99 after coupon) that's Amazon's 4th best seller. I just need it to save my back and knees when adjusting stuff.

69912040_BikeStand(Amazon4thbestseller5ratingforvalue.JPG.193bacb2f44b6e381f618cfc6e5b83ef.JPG

 

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3 minutes ago, donkpow said:

Oh for crying out loud! Take the chain off and put it in a jar or something with degreaser and soak and shake it. Then rinse it off in the sink. Let it dry on a towel. You can wipe the gears off with a rag. What's the big deal?

WRONG!  The quicklink thingy that came with the chain doesn't give me confidence that I'd get more than a couple cleanings out of it before it would fail or introduce some stretch or drivetrain slop.  Plus, it is just easier leaving it on, I don't want to buy a bunch of pins from Shimano, either. 

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6 minutes ago, Bag of Dicks said:

WRONG!  The quicklink thingy that came with the chain doesn't give me confidence that I'd get more than a couple cleanings out of it before it would fail or introduce some stretch or drivetrain slop.  Plus, it is just easier leaving it on, I don't want to buy a bunch of pins from Shimano, either. 

Well, you'll just have to quit cycling, then. Sorry. :dontknow:

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20 minutes ago, Dirtyhip said:

I ride in all conditions. Rain is a lesser worry than snow and ice. 

As do I, and just a week or two ago, I got caught in some rain.  What did I do?  After the ride, I took a garage towel, and dried my frame - wiping off the leaves and gunk that sticks to the downtube and chain stays.  I wiped & dried the rims.  Then, with one of my chain rags, I loosely wrapped the chain, back pedaled a bunch to wipe and dry the chain. Then, finally, I reapplied a coating of Rock N Roll Gold, back pedaled a bunch to get it into the links, and then wiped off the excess.

Easy peasy. No "cleaning" or "degreasing".  Wipe, dry, reapply lube.  It really isn't rocket science. 

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Citrus degreasers or Simple green.  I have one of those chain cleaners for quick use, but once a year I'll pull everything off an clean it good.

WD-40 is not a cleaner or lube, it's a water displacer.  It will push around dirt so you can wipe it off, but it leaves a residue that actually attracts dirt.  It will act as a lube until it outgasses enough then it's just a residue that attracts dirt.  And it's useless for keeping air where it belongs

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26 minutes ago, Bag of Dicks said:

WRONG!  The quicklink thingy that came with the chain doesn't give me confidence that I'd get more than a couple cleanings out of it before it would fail or introduce some stretch or drivetrain slop.  Plus, it is just easier leaving it on, I don't want to buy a bunch of pins from Shimano, either. 

...I can buy brand new, factory lubricated KMC chains for 5-6-7-8 speed cogs for ten bucks on Amazon. So I fit a lot of new chains.

I'm not saying I never clean a chain, but mostly I just toss them if they get really crummy. (Actually, I give them to the bike co-op, and I presume they re-use them.)

 

If you are riding something around New York that is newer and more advanced than an 8 speed cog-set, it will probably get stolen before you need to clean the chain.

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

^^^^^This space provided for individual comments on how all my bikes were stolen from said bike co-op ^^^^^

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22 minutes ago, Square Wheels said:

How about a self serve car wash?

No such thing in NYC.

3 minutes ago, Page Turner said:

...I can buy brand new, factory lubricated KMC chains for 5-6-7-8 speed cogs for ten bucks on Amazon. So I fit a lot of new chains.

If you are riding something around New York that is newer and more advanced than an 8 speed cog-set, it will probably get stolen before you need to clean the chain.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

^^^^^This space provided for individual comments on how all my bikes were stolen from said bike co-op ^^^^^

I have a 2016 Dura Ace bike, and it will never be locked or left anywhere other than my apartment.

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43 minutes ago, Bag of Dicks said:

WRONG!  The quicklink thingy that came with the chain doesn't give me confidence that I'd get more than a couple cleanings out of it before it would fail or introduce some stretch or drivetrain slop.  Plus, it is just easier leaving it on, I don't want to buy a bunch of pins from Shimano, either. 

Try the SRAM chain next time.  The quick link is legit.  We use them in our family and swear by them.  Honest.

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3 minutes ago, Dirtyhip said:

Try the SRAM chain next time.  The quick link is legit.  We use them in our family and swear by them.  Honest.

...I feel the same way about KMC quick link chains, but only because they are generally cheaper to buy. My brand loyalty gene is defective. Also, they are more quickly removed and installed with a quick link pliers, which I cannot believe everyone doesn't have at this point in time. 

 

spacer.png

 

 

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