Ahh we return the scene of the….chain.
If a review of the first part of this articles needed see link above for full details. So this was the new PC-1071 chain I had installed. I tried swiping off the excess lube and was left with this mess.
After read all the best practices, does and don’ts of how to handle a new chain including some wizardry from Sheldon Brown. I decided to strip the new chain of all the OEM lube completely by using gasoline. I used a 32oz bottle of Power Aid, which I clean throughly first and let air dry. I removed the chain from the bike and set aside the Powerlock connecting link. Moving outside to a better ventilated spot I placed the chain into the bottle and gently shook the to settle the chain down into the bottle. I added enough gas to almost cover the chain. leaving plenty of room for air and bubbles to agitate the chain for cleaning. I had never done this before so at this point I had no idea the timeframe needed to clean this chain. After a few shakes I was amazed at what had happened. Most of all the grim and dirt and earthy bits were gone. I didn’t shake to hard thinking I didn’t want to bend anything so I did a fair amount of rolling the bottle and swirling like you would a glass of scotch. I left the chain in the gas for about ten minutes to sit. I used an old cloths hanger I cut and bent into a small J hook to reach and pull out the chain slowly so not to spill and gas. The next photo is the raw result of the gas stripping process.
The chain was clean and it was virtually impossible to find any remaining lube or grim. The bottle of liquid shows a heavy deposit that certainly if left on and in my new chain would shorten it’s life considerably. There was a lingering smell of gas that I was concerned that if it stayed I would need to remove the chain but it dissipated within the day.
So now I have this super clean chain that have no lube on it or in it. So much so it squeaked a little. Reapplication of a penetrating lubricate was needed here. I typically use Boeshield T9 on my chains, but for this application I decided to use White Lighting’s Clean Ride Wax Lube. With this wax I applied it to both top and bottom of the chain, gently rubbed the wax into the chain and let dry. After it was dry and at close inspection had worked its into the linkages I wiped off the excess wax leaving a very clean silent chain still shifting smooth as expected. The next test would come after a few ride to see if the chain developed any sounds and if it picked up and debris.
These next few photo are what the chain looks like after two rides, one in the wet and one in the dry. Neither time did I wipe the chain down at all. Looking closely at these photo there is all but dust in a few spots otherwise very clean.
I am pleased with the outcome of this process and would make the suggestion anyone that this process should be considered with a new chain on a mountain bike. Maybe with a road bike it might not be needed due to the elements a chain isn’t exposed to but little doubt this was a worth while effort.