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New Chain - To Clean first or Not


ouzo
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Tried to search, but I fail at the search of the hub.

 

I recall some discussions around this, but cant recall the conclusion. 

When putting on a new chain, do you clean the factory lube off first or install with the factory lube and add some of your favourite onto that ?

I'm not talking about a high end chain here either, this is a SRAM PC1110

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I must say I don't bother to clean the factory grease off. I wipe the chain down a bit when I fit it and then after rides and eventually start lubing with Squirt or similar. So far no drastic drive train wear has been noted and the transmission usually shifts better than with any other lube on it.

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Thanks

 

I did 80km with it yesterday, its a bit on the noisy side, so will probably give it a clean this weekend and re-lube. So maybe another 80km on it before I get the time to do it

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The factory lube is far, far superior to anything you can do.

 

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KMC recommends you to take away the excess grease from the chain's outside by spraying some (eco) cleaner along the chain and immediately wiping it. By removing the grease outside you will prevent it from atracting too much dirt. Make sure the grease inside the chain is not affected! So no, do not degrease before use!

 

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I agree with both Headshot and Eldron - it's super sticky and attracts gunk, but it's also really effective inside the chain. I soak a rag in isopropyl and clean the gunk off the outside, but I leave the factory stuff inside to do its job and seal it in with a dry lube. Takes a long time for it to wash out, even in the wet.

 

The problem with washing the factory lube out from between the rollers is that it's very difficult to get a wax lube to penetrate all the way in afterwards unless you do the whole boiling thing, which is a bit of a hack.

 

If you don't mind a slightly grubby chain, an oil based lube will penetrate way better and give you far better chain life.

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Each time I've put on a new chain, whatever is on there reminds me of a motorcycle chain lube. Super-sticky and just waiting for a blanket to come along to stick to it too

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3 minutes ago, droo said:

I agree with both Headshot and Eldron - it's super sticky and attracts gunk, but it's also really effective inside the chain. I soak a rag in isopropyl and clean the gunk off the outside, but I leave the factory stuff inside to do its job and seal it in with a dry lube. Takes a long time for it to wash out, even in the wet.

 

The problem with washing the factory lube out from between the rollers is that it's very difficult to get a wax lube to penetrate all the way in afterwards unless you do the whole boiling thing, which is a bit of a hack.

 

If you don't mind a slightly grubby chain, an oil based lube will penetrate way better and give you far better chain life.

100%

Lube is for between the moving parts of the chain not for interaction between chain/cassette/chainrings - too much of any lube will attract unwanted dirt resulting in the grinding paste I spoke about.

I'm a degreaser fan myself - spray some on a cloth and hold the chain while you pedal backwards. 

On a side note - Squirt has the best penetration of wax based lubes in my opinion.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Headshot said:

I must say I don't bother to clean the factory grease off. I wipe the chain down a bit when I fit it and then after rides and eventually start lubing with Squirt or similar. So far no drastic drive train wear has been noted and the transmission usually shifts better than with any other lube on it.

same, I clean my chain/drive train every week but I don't clean it when it's clean 🤣

Edited by Jbr
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I have slowly become convinced that Squirt is the best for a MTB chain - one of the most efficient (low drag) drip-on lubes on the market and it repels dirt sufficiently well that grit stays out of the chain (and it's local!). BUT: they are very clear that you have to strip the chain of factory grease first to get these benefits AND you need to lube your chain after your ride, not just before the next one. I assume that it is good enough at getting where it needs to go as I find that with this routine, I get clean, long-lasting chains.   

For my road bike however, I still use an oil (Finishline wet) - maybe I'm a traditionalist, but it just feels right, and with care (not too much; clean often) drivetrains last nearly forever.

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factory lube is a good stuff. its got all the chain needs. Just remove the excess as that there to protect the chain from the elements during its long journey from factory to bike shop to your bike.

Once you do need to relube it then I go the whole boiling candles while humming hypnotic tunes (this ensures the wife takes the kids out for ice cream so I don't get disturbed by those "he's weird" comments)

I also make my own lube which thus far is proving to be superb and means I no longer use those little samples for anything other than a bit of trailside lubing. Even the Luburetta gets the home made stuff now.

There will always be dirt on the outside of your chain no matter how hard you try. A few squirts of hand sanitiser on a rag and wipe wipe wipe..

 

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ok, so the verdict is then to clean off excess for now. 

thanks, thats quick enough to do this evening.

 

Still concerned about it being slightly noisier than the chain I took off, but that could be drivetrain wear. Although the sound is about the same as when I had the original KMC chain on

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