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Actual data for the chain cleaning debate



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 6th 04, 06:13 AM
TBGibb
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Default Actual data for the chain cleaning debate

To interject some real data into the chain lubrication debate I devised the
following method for comparing two methods.

1. Take one PC-48 chain, size it for the bike and then "break" it into two
equal sections
2. Join the two sections with second "Power Link."
3. Mark a section by cutting a shallow "+" sign in a rivet with a Dremel and a
cut off wheel so the individual chain sections would always be cleaned by the
same method.
4. Clean one section (called "washed") by thrashing it in paint thinner,
changing the thinner until there is a clean wash. It took 5-6 to do this. I
always used fresh (instead of thinner that was being reused by allowing it to
settle prior to being filtered through a coffee filter) thinner for the last
2-3 washes.
5. Clean the other section (called "unwashed") by throughly wiping it off with
a rag and then brushing it with a tooth brush.
6. Otherwise treat both sections exactly the same oiling both with Quaker State
chain saw bar oil.
7. Measure the chain sections as follows:
a. hang the chain section with a five pound weight on it (a set of
automobile cable chains).
b. measure with an 18 inch ruler that is ruled to 1/32 in the first inch.
Using that long a ruler allowed us to measure between the 1 inch
mark and the 13 inch mark so we could use that first inch and
extrapolate to 1/64.
c. have my wife confirm the measurements (we argued about them several
times).
8. Put the chain back together, oil it, wipe it down to remove excess oil,
replace it on the bike and ride it until the chain needs cleaning again.
9. Repeat until 24 links in one section measures 12 1/16.

Results:

Date Miles Elongation Elongation Notes
of washed of unwashed
chain chain
07/11/03 0
07/14/03 137.1 0 0 Dusty and
noisy
07/23/03 328.6 1/64 1/64 Dusty and
slightly noisy
08/01/03 607.24 1/64 1/64
08/11/03 819.71 1/64 1/64
09/02/03 1076.67 1/64 1/32
rain
09/19/03 1430.39 1/64 1/32
noisy
10/23/03 1801.17 3/64 1/32

11/07/03 2257.55 3/64 1/32

01/05/04 2739.52 1/16 1/32
Very dirty and noisy


Conclusions:
It isn't worth it to soak a chain out in solvent. I've stopped doing so, but I
will be very careful to measure often.
The presence of my wife Susan (an unbiased observer) in this was essential, I
(she) caught myself (me) seeing more wear in the "unwashed" chain than in the
"washed" one early in the trial.

Comments:
It was not easy to measure the chain to the 1/64 level, we spent some time
getting the light right so we could see the marks and either took the glasses
off (Susan) or used 4X readers (me) and we still had to work at it.
I used a needed fresh cassette at the begining.
The bike was my "beater" bike, a Cannondale M700. I use it for commuting and
errands. Part of the riding was on gravel trails.
The method could easily be used to compare other cleaning methods and other
lubricants.
I was prepared to take SRAM to task for advocating cleaning chains by wiping
them down with some kind of degreaser on the rag (trying to sell extra chains
are you?) HA! or NOT!


Tom Gibb
Ads
  #2  
Old January 6th 04, 06:35 AM
Jose Rizal
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Default Actual data for the chain cleaning debate

TBGibb:

To interject some real data into the chain lubrication debate I devised the
following method for comparing two methods.


6. Otherwise treat both sections exactly the same oiling both with Quaker State
chain saw bar oil.


You might be able to get better results if you measure before putting
the oil on.

Conclusions:
It isn't worth it to soak a chain out in solvent. I've stopped doing so, but I
will be very careful to measure often.


How about just shaking in solvent just once, instead of 5-6 as you did?
It will be interesting to see if washing in solvent just the once is as
effective as washing many times.

  #3  
Old January 6th 04, 06:52 AM
S. Anderson
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Default Actual data for the chain cleaning debate

"TBGibb" wrote in message
...
To interject some real data into the chain lubrication debate I devised

the
following method for comparing two methods.


snip NASA test procedure..


Tom Gibb


Yup, I concluded that years ago. My aggravation caused by cleaning a filthy
chain != cost of a new chain. In face, aggravation cost caused by cleaning
a filthy chain cost of new chain. I blow the $25 for a new chain every
year and toss the old one in the garbage. I just keep applying teflon "dry"
lube every other ride or so and that works for me. Scrape off the
accumulated crud (which is hard as a rock..) once a month or so..works for
me, but I ride in mostly good conditions. Your mileage may vary...

Cheers,

Scott..


  #4  
Old January 6th 04, 07:39 AM
Peter
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Default Actual data for the chain cleaning debate

Jose Rizal wrote:

TBGibb:


To interject some real data into the chain lubrication debate I devised the
following method for comparing two methods.



6. Otherwise treat both sections exactly the same oiling both with Quaker State
chain saw bar oil.



You might be able to get better results if you measure before putting
the oil on.


Conclusions:
It isn't worth it to soak a chain out in solvent. I've stopped doing so, but I
will be very careful to measure often.



How about just shaking in solvent just once, instead of 5-6 as you did?


For what purpose? Cleaning the chain thoroughly had no beneficial effect
that could be measured compared to no cleaning so why would you bother
trying any levels of superficial cleaning?

It will be interesting to see if washing in solvent just the once is as
effective as washing many times.


But based on the initial experiment "as effective as washing many times" is
the same as not at all effective.

I've never done such a careful evaluation as Tom did, but my impression in
comparing notes with others was that my chains and cassettes last just as
long with just re-oiling as those that are carefully cleaned periodically.

  #5  
Old January 6th 04, 08:50 AM
Kenny Lee
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Default Actual data for the chain cleaning debate

S. Anderson wrote:
"TBGibb" wrote in message
...

To interject some real data into the chain lubrication debate I devised


the

following method for comparing two methods.



snip NASA test procedure..

Tom Gibb



Yup, I concluded that years ago. My aggravation caused by cleaning a filthy
chain != cost of a new chain. In face, aggravation cost caused by cleaning
a filthy chain cost of new chain. I blow the $25 for a new chain every
year and toss the old one in the garbage. I just keep applying teflon "dry"
lube every other ride or so and that works for me. Scrape off the
accumulated crud (which is hard as a rock..) once a month or so..works for
me, but I ride in mostly good conditions. Your mileage may vary...

Cheers,

Scott..


Thanks TB. I used to clean my chain in solvent after every 200k. I've
stopped doing this out of laziness. Like Scott writes I just put on some
lube whenever my chain seems to want some. My only gripe is that after a
while you get all this crud build-up on the jockey wheels.

Kenny Lee

  #6  
Old January 6th 04, 11:48 AM
Derk
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Default Actual data for the chain cleaning debate

TBGibb wrote:be very careful to measure often.

The presence of my wife Susan (an unbiased observer) in this was
essential,

She must love you very much ;-)

Greets, Derk
  #7  
Old January 6th 04, 03:02 PM
Art Harris
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Default Actual data for the chain cleaning debate

TBGibb wrote:
Results:

Date Miles Elongation Elongation
of washed of unwashed
chain chain
01/05/04 2739.52 1/16" 1/32"



This data indicates that NOT washing the chain in solvent doubles
chain life. How do you explain that? Chain "stretch" is caused by wear
on the pins. Washing in solvent should remove internal grit better
than scrubbing with a toothbrush, and therefore result in longer life.

Are you sure you didn't mislabel the two chain halves? Also, just out
of curiosity, did you leave the original packing grease on when the
chain was installed?

Art Harris
  #8  
Old January 6th 04, 04:15 PM
Tim McNamara
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Default Actual data for the chain cleaning debate

(Art Harris) writes:

TBGibb wrote:
Results:

Date Miles Elongation Elongation
of washed of unwashed
chain chain
01/05/04 2739.52 1/16" 1/32"



This data indicates that NOT washing the chain in solvent doubles
chain life.


Right, that's exactly what his data shows and it contradicts the
conventional wisdom about chain cleaning and lubrication. Which
means further investigation and independent verification is needed.

IMHO a better solvent would be kerosene.

How do you explain that? Chain "stretch" is caused by wear on the
pins. Washing in solvent should remove internal grit better than
scrubbing with a toothbrush, and therefore result in longer life.


*Should* is the key word here, of course. It makes logical sense that
this would be the case.

OTOH, being lazy I rarely do this myself and just wipe the chain down
with a rag, lube it, wipe off the excess, and go. I get about 3,000
miles out of a chain; my Campy Chorus 9sp cassette has been in place
since 1999 and still runs perfectly with brand new chains, despite
having about 10,000 miles on it. OTOH I have to replace cogs on my
Sachs ARIS freewheels about every 2 years (say, roughy 5,000 miles on
that bike), the metal seeming to be much softer than the chromed steel
Campy uses.

I experimented with ProLink this summer out of curiosity and found
that it worked very well. I got about 400 miles out of each
lubrication before the chain got noisy, better than any of the other
boutique bike lubes I've tried. Boeshield was satisfactory but not
superior to good old motor oil.

Are you sure you didn't mislabel the two chain halves? Also, just
out of curiosity, did you leave the original packing grease on when
the chain was installed?


Good questions.
  #9  
Old January 6th 04, 05:10 PM
jim beam
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Default Actual data for the chain cleaning debate

interesting.

campy seem bipolar on the subject:

http://www.campagnolo.com/pdf/140-cat9V-2000.pdf specifies no slovents;

http://www.campagnolo.com/pdf/C10HD_L_CHAIN.pdf advocates solvent use.

shimano specify detergent:

http://bike.shimano.com/product_imag...CN_HG93_SI.pdf

personally, i'm lube only, no solvent.


Art Harris wrote:
TBGibb wrote:

Results:

Date Miles Elongation Elongation
of washed of unwashed
chain chain
01/05/04 2739.52 1/16" 1/32"




This data indicates that NOT washing the chain in solvent doubles
chain life. How do you explain that? Chain "stretch" is caused by wear
on the pins. Washing in solvent should remove internal grit better
than scrubbing with a toothbrush, and therefore result in longer life.

Are you sure you didn't mislabel the two chain halves? Also, just out
of curiosity, did you leave the original packing grease on when the
chain was installed?

Art Harris


 




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