Sunday, March 18, 2007
Dirty Chain Hell
During the winter, I broke a shifter cable on my blue commuter -- the one with the yellow fenders. I took it in to my spacious and luxurious workshop for repairs. I also found the rear wheel was grinding and difficult to turn with my hands.
I wanted to ride to work the next day, so I resurrected the bike that has the political yard signs for fenders. That was several weeks ago.
Today, I got around to starting the necessary repairs on the blue bike. The chain and cassette are orange with rust. I removed the chain, cassette, rear derailleur, and crank for a thorough cleaning. Here's the point of this post: I soaked the parts in Simple Green. I read a few years ago, that some riders believe Simple Green causes chains to break. I thought those guys were nuts. How could something like that cause a chain to break? I've used Simple Green since the early '90s and had no problems. I worked at a shop that used it for everything. I even brushed my teeth with it.
I followed all the links I could find by searching in the rec.bicycles. and alt.bicycles. usenet groups. This led me to the simple conclusion that if metal is allowed to soak in a bath of Simple Green it may weaken. I've never left parts to soak in the stuff.
Here's a link to a usenet discussion that sums up the Simple Green topic nicely.
Here's a link to a few Velonews tech letters that are helpful.
My conclusion is that it's fine to use Simple Green, but don't soak your parts in it and rinse them thoroughly after cleaning.
I did that today and my laundry tub is a big mess, but my bike parts are very clean. I've just about reassembled the bike. I plan to install some nice riding, supple, fatso tires and ride that baby again soon.
Question 1: What do you use to clean your chain and parts?
I'm taking suggestions for fat, supple, nice riding 559 tires. I'd like 32 to 40 millimeters, please.
And I made the part up about brushing my teeth with Simple Green.
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