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How often do you need to clean your chain?:confused: I usually try to do it every 50 miles or so is the good or should i do it more/less offen?
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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I go about 150 miles between cleanings and lube inbetween if I think it is neaded, this is with no off road rideing just going on down the road.
 

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I usually have to do it once a week and clean the rear cassette once a month, so much dirt and mud. I try to stick to that other then when I hear a mystery noise.

What are your thoughts on some minimal rust on the chain? Haven't had trouble but may be time for a chain swap?
 

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I ride a lot on dirt and get dirt and small debris in my chain and all over sprockets.. Would you recommend I use a typical bike wash and spray it down with a hose every other time I ride? Or should I not bother until it really starts to build up or is a wipe off of the chain with some paper towels sufficient..?
 

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IMHO (YMMV, etc etc etc) people forget that the drivetrain is an inter-related system; you're only as good as the weakest part. Example: You have a worn chain but your cassette and crankset are decent. You keep riding along until you eventually replace the chain. Well, all along your chain ground down your other components so now your new chain gets eaten up by your cassette and chain rings and wears out prematurely.

As far as rust on the chain (again, my opinion) I would replace it and with the new chain, keep it lubricated properly to prevent it rusting as quickly.

With dirt/mud/sticks/leaves/ninjas/pomeranians/grime all over the drivetrain, look at my first example. If you have a flithy cassette/chain rings with gritty dirt, but you clean the chain, you've only solved a part of the problem. Your chain is still going to get penetrated with grit that it picks up along its way as it goes around the cassette and chain rings.

IMHO, its best to take 20 minutes and do the whole job with cleaning rather than half a job in 5 minutes. That being said, if I'm coming home in a rain, I'll wipe the chain dry and lube it, but then I'll do a detailed cleaning/lube the next time I can.

If you're hearing noises from your drivetrain, maintenance is way, way overdue.
 

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Just to tag on to my previous post, rather than just using a paper towel, I've had the best luck with the

Park Tool Cyclone (2?) Chain cleaner
Park Tool Cirtus Chain Brite or Simple Green Bike Cleaner/Degreaser
Park Tool Cassette Brush
Various Lubes

For heavy, heavy build up, I'd suggest a Grunge Brush. It'll take some elbow grease, so to speak, but it is great.

I'm sure others have their own opinions on chain maintenance/tool lists, these are just the ones I've been having success with.
 

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I clean/oil mine about every other week (more if it's been raining). Probably more than I need too, but I enjoy spending the half hour or so cleaning the bike end to end. As kneedrachen said, just cleaning the chain isn't enough. You have to clean the crank, cassette and rear derailleur cogs too otherwise you'll immediately have grime right back in the chain.

At the same time I normally go over every inch of the tires looking for cuts, abrasions and anything that might leave me stranded on the side of the road.
 

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How often do you need to clean your chain?:confused: I usually try to do it every 50 miles or so is the good or should i do it more/less offen?
I use Rock & Roll lube (blue for mtn & red for road) which is a cleaner & lube. I apply it on about every other mtn bike ride. On the road bike, whenever it look/sounds like it needs it.
 

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How often do you need to clean your chain?:confused: I usually try to do it every 50 miles or so is the good or should i do it more/less offen?
Last month I replaced the SRAM PC-971 9 speed chain on my LHT after 7,100 miles over 2 1/2 years. The LBS estimated the chain was good for another 200 or 300 miles based on the stretch being a bit less than 1/16", but I decided to replace the chain anyway, before it damaged the cogs

I don't ride much in the wet, but do ride on a lot of grit. About 2,500 of the 7,100 miles were on gravel or crushed stone. A lot of miles were loaded, hauling an extra 35 to 45 lb. The drive train is 24/36/48 with an 11-34 cassete. On hills I generally spin rather than stand and hammer.

I do not remove the chain, nor do I use chain cleaning solvents or devices. Cleaning amounts to running the chain thru a dry rag after each ride till it is clean to the touch. I also wipe the cassettes and chain rings, and clean the gunk from the deraileur pulleys.

About once a month, or after any ride in the rain or on wet surfaces, I apply a teflon based lube, like Finish Line Teflon+. The chain gets one drop of lube per roller, then it is run thru a rag until it is dry and clean to the touch.

Added note on new chains ... The factory wax on a new chain is better than any lube I can possibly apply myself. I just wipe a new chain til clean after each ride, but, unless it starts to make noise, or if I ride a lot of gritty roads, won't add any other lube for a couple of months.

All that said, after looking at the widly different ways people maintain their drivetrains, I wonder if any one cleaning and lubrication policy is much better than any other.
 

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Clean and lube your chain before it is dirty and dry otherwise it will wear itself and the rest of your drive train out. There is no hard and fast rule as to how often. It all depends on the conditions that you are riding in. If it makes noise or god forbid doesn't seat properly on the cogs or chain rings you've waited too long. Spraying it with WD40 is a good way to loosen dirt and grime before you run it through a clean rag. WD40 is not a lube so you must then lube it. one drop in every link followed by wiping it down again so it is dry on the outside. The lube belongs in the chain not on it where it will only collect grit and grime and increase wear. Hope my two cents are worth at least a penny to you.
 
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