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I was headed out to give my bike its once a month or so cleaning and was thinking...hmmm....what will work on that messy rear wheel? As I looked through the cabinet my eyes fell on Formula 409. Well since its ok to use in a kitchen, its gotta be reasonably safe (right?). So I grabbed it and headed out with my bucket-o-cleanin-stuff.

To my delight and wonder, spray it on, wait 10 seconds and wipe it off with a paper towel or brush it off with a long bristled plastic brush and BLING shiny goodnes. Then I gave it a quick water rinse for good measure. As I was working on the wheel some got on the chain and as I lightly dabbed at it there was a shiny clean chain as well ( of course that lead ot a whole cleaning and re-lubing. Formula 409 its not just for the kitchen anymore :p
 

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Might be a good idea...

Hmm... Why did I never think of that? I'll have to give it a go for the wheel clean up. However, I'm not sure if it would be the best way to clean the chain in regards to the o-rings, but then if you make sure ya re-lube it, maybe it's ok. Food for thought, anyway.

Klotz
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was a bit hesitant at first on the chain too, but I figured that cleaning would be taking it all the way down to clean metal then re-lubricating. Seems to be great thus far...but I will let ya know if it disintegrates or something lol
 

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It always amazes me to read of members haphazardly spraying anything on a bike without first getting as much info beforehand.

We have discussed Simple Green, which is similar to 409, in the past. Anyone that has worked with a product containing aluminum knows you do not use either product. They are alkaline. They are base compounds (>pH7). They will set up corrosion on aluminum surfaces.

The MSDS sheet has an aluminum contact warning. It specifically states to rinse and wipe dry any contaminated surfaces.

Both compounds contain lye. If you feel comfortable that you can apply the product without getting it on any al surfaces, and rinse and wipe them if you do, then go for it. But before you do that, you might want to consider what is happening to the chain lubricant behind the seals, much less the seals themselves. I suspect the seals might withstand the 409, but I also think it will penetrate seals on chains that have moderate mileage. It would be prudent to ask the chain manufacturer and not rely on anecdotal internet info.

Several years ago I worked on a Porsche 944 suspension. It was covered with corrosion and required some $$$ component replacements. We had never seen this before. Turns out the owner was fastidious and routinely cleaned the visible components with Simple Green. It set up surface corrosion which then penetrated mating surfaces. Very ugly.

I just think it is foolish, but your bike to do with as you wish.
 

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Thanks for the info OldNDumb. I wanna say I read in Cycle World or Motorcyclist magazine that Simple Green was useful as a clean cleaner, and I wasn't aware it was harmful. My point is, I didn't just grab something and start using it.

Currently, I use a dedicated cleaner for motorcycle chains, Motorex Chain Clean 611, but unfortunately it takes half a can to clean the chain, it doesn't really do a good job of cutting through the grime, and it's not particularly cheap. There was a time when I used Simple Green, and it did a far better job cleaning than the Motorex Product.

When I was younger, I didn't clean or adjust the chain at all.... :)

Thanks for everyone's input.

- John
 

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Kerosene cleaning followed by relube is a safe procedure. The problem is that it can be messy. One of my friends came up with the idea of placing a wallpaper tray under the chain to catch the mess.

104851_front200.jpg

Now, minimal mess by placing it on news paper to catch the splatters.
 

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For those who like to spend money on stuff for the bike, Google "chain drain", or check out the review on webbikeworld.com
 

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About every 1/4 I feel like I'm in the twilight zone with cleaning and Simple Green.

Repeat after me:

1. Magazine writers and editors are stupid.
2. Magazine writers and editors generally don't know what they are talking about.
3. Magazine writers and editors are stupid.

Simple Green is very caustic. If you want to take the chance of watching the aluminum on your bike turn into a substance that looks like talcum powder go right ahead.

Heed OnD's advice. With some things there aren't any easy spray on spray off solutions.
 

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I'd just like to add that most of the problems with chain cleaning start with using too much lube in the first place. Modern "O" ring chains have the lubricant sealed in the chain the "O" rings help seal in the factory lube and keep out dirt.

When you lube a chain after it is cleaned all you need is a very thin film on the the "O" rings to keep them soft and flexible. Lube any where else is wasted, flings onto the wheel and attracts dirt. I have a small can of PJ 1 Clear that I have used on my my previous bike and on my Sprint (18,000 miles chain in good shape for more) and it still have more in the can. I have use the Chain Clean 611 also, but I use very little because I don't need to clean a bunch of excess lube off the chain. In this case less is more.
 

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I'd just like to add that most of the problems with chain cleaning start with using too much lube in the first place. Modern "O" ring chains have the lubricant sealed in the chain the "O" rings help seal in the factory lube and keep out dirt.

When you lube a chain after it is cleaned all you need is a very thin film on the the "O" rings to keep them soft and flexible. Lube any where else is wasted, flings onto the wheel and attracts dirt. I have a small can of PJ 1 Clear that I have used on my my previous bike and on my Sprint (18,000 miles chain in good shape for more) and it still have more in the can. I have use the Chain Clean 611 also, but I use very little because I don't need to clean a bunch of excess lube off the chain. In this case less is more.
I agree with the over lube comment but unless you want your side plates to rust away I would lube them too especially if you ride in the rain a lot or in countries that use salt on the roads.

Chain killers are:
Rust
too dry
over tight
way to loose
Caustic products that attack O rings
Dust, dirt and grit

Regular cleaning of the chain, a light film of lube on sideplates and rollers is what you want.

I am not a quiet touring type rider and my chains last around 50,000kms.

DaveM:cool:
 
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