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Dirt and metal particles on your bike’s chain can accelerate chain and sprocket wear and cause shifting or other performance problems.  Park Tool sells its Cyclone chain scrubber to keep your bike’s chain clean and operating at peak performance.

The scrubber fits over the chain, and a series of rotating brushes remove the grime from the chain as it passes through the Cyclone.  As the chain exits, sponge material draws the remaining solvent from it.  The reservoir holds plenty of solvent, and a magnet at the bottom removes metal particles from the fluid to keep them from getting back on the chain.

You can buy a kit with the Cyclone chain scrubber, gear cleaning brush, and cleaning fluid for $20 to $30 depending on the retailer.

Chain Cleaner [Park Tool]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

18 Responses to Bike Chain Cleaner

  1. ToolGuyd says:

    I have tried a system similar to this and found it to be terribly ineffective.

    Once you get the hang of things, removing the chain entirely results in an overall easier and more extensive cleaning. Furthermore, as the chain soaks in cleanser, the cassette and chainrings are more exposed and similarly easier to clean.

  2. McAngryPants says:

    What ToolGuyd Said.

    Foaming bike degreaser, good stiff brush, hose with good hard spray…ta-da!

  3. Dan says:

    It depends a lot on the cleaner. Some of these are much better than others; the Park one works pretty well, it actually puts the chain through fluid and past brushes, whereas cheaper ones tend to not have much effect. I wouldn’t want to be breaking/re-fixing the chain as often as I clean it, even with superlinks or suchlike.

    Agreed about cleaning the rest of the drivetrain, though, that’s certainly easier with the chain out of the way (especially the sprockets).

    (As for forceful hose spraying, you’d better have decent seals, or you can end up spraying the grease entirely out of the bearings — now, it’s also worth stripping and repacking hubs/bottom bracket every so often, but again, less often than I’d clean the chain).

  4. Barri says:

    Get some of that purple stuff and a pastic tub with lid put the chain into it and shake it about like hell for 2 mins then blow of with a air hose or powerful water spray and it’s done. For more stubon dirt use a stiff chain brush. These things are a mess and pointless.

  5. Émile Essent says:

    Saw the first one of these 15 or 20 years ago…

  6. Rob says:

    I’ve got one, although it is not from Park, and I love it. It’s easy, quick and it does a great job. I use WD-40 in it. I have a little stand that gets the wheel off the ground, which is a necessity with one of these devices.

    I don’t think mine is messy, although I do store it in a zip-loc bag.

    After I am done with the chain cleaner I wipe all the WD-40 off with a clean rag and then apply Finish Line Dry Teflon Lube, which my bike mechanic strongly recommended. It is inexpensive, works very well and does not attract dirt like some lubes do.

    Finish Line has also become my preferred lubricant for my micrometers and some of my other measuring tools in my shop.

  7. Velosapien says:

    I’ve used one of these or a similar one made by Pedro’s. They work really well when used as they should. These things are designed for regular chain maintenance intervals usually after every one or two rides or untill the chain is dirty enough. Filling them up with the chain degreasers made by Park or Pedro’s works quite well. Rinse the chain with water when done, let dry and relube. Removing the chain to clean up is a waste of time and will eventually lead to chain failure at the disconnect. Besides, leaving the chain soaking in certain cleaners (simple green for example) for extended periods is known to cause failure by making the steel brittle.

  8. @Velosapien:

    Do you have a good source about soaking steel in simple green making it brittle.

    I use Simple Green for cleaning both carbide and steel blades and bits — sometimes soaking them for really bad pitch buildup. I would hate to think I’m actually doing damage.

  9. Slow Joe Crow says:

    I’ve used one of these for years, clean the chain, let dry and use a use a dry wax lube like White Lightning. The Park Cyclone has a magnet in the bottom and I am amazed at how much crap collects down there when I clean an oil lubricated chain. Wax lube chains seem to stay cleaner, although you have to be careful to get full coverage since I have occasionally seen rust spots after riding in the rain.

  10. Barri says:

    Best way to apply wax to a chain is heat it a little with a blow torch and then apply the wax this way the wax will use capillary action to get into every area. Wax works well but it need to be redone to often to make worth using. I have taken my chain apart over 50-60 times this year alone and my chain link is still perfect.

  11. Kurt says:

    Nothing in their FAQ states Simple Green makes steel brittle:

    http://www.simplegreen.com/solutions_faqs.php?search_query=steel+brittle&btnShowAll=Show+All&search_query_backup=steel+brittle

    There is a link near the top of the FAQ where you can call or email them to get a direct answer though.

  12. MarkPH says:

    I don’t own a bike but back then when I was searching the internet about similar cleaner to WD-40. I found many bike websites raving about Dupont’s Teflon Multiuse Cleaner for cleaning bike chain. Some even said that after using WD-40, they sprayed in Dupont’s stuff and even more grimes comes out.

  13. Brau says:

    I feel this product is bogus because it’s not the dirt on the outside that ruins the chain, it’s the dirt inside. The only way to get that out is to flush it out with a fluid (WD40 or solvent) then re-lube the chain.

  14. Jereme Green says:

    Different sometimes the chain could get pretty bad. I believe this tool would be great for people who ride their bike very often

  15. Mike lee says:

    Just use a rag and some degreaser!

  16. MarkPH says:

    If the chain is really bad, I’ll just hosed it down with jet-streamed water first then spray on some cleaner.

  17. Velosapien says:

    I’ll try to find the link to the simple green stuff but this came up a few years ago at the mtbr.com forums. People complaining of premature failure after leaving chains soaking for extended periods in the stuff. It has something to do with the alkalinity of the solution making the steel brittle. It was confirmed by people from both Sram and simple green. Note that the problem is not using stuff like simple green to clean chains. Thats perfectly fine even though there are better products. The problem is leaving the chain submerged in it repeatedly for extended periods. Just use the stuff and wash it off.

  18. Velosapien says:

    http://velonews.com/article/9216

    “While Original Simple Green is an excellent all-purpose cleaner/degreaser, it was not designed for long-term storage of bike chains or other parts. While we stand by the efficacy of the product, and believe it to be an excellent cleaner for bikes and bike parts, we feel we must stress the importance of using the product according to the label instructions. Under no circumstances should anything be stored in any formula of Simple Green.”

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