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Cleaning up an old chain
#1
I'm getting ready to sell a bike that has sat untouched in the garage for about 15 years. I've cleaned it up (hosed it down, ran the chain through my cleaner about 4 times, brushed all of the grime off of the gears, re-lubed everything, etc), but the chain is still quite stiff. It runs fine, but when I pedal backwards the chain sags quite a lot. Should I take the chain off and soak it in something? Or is there a better way to go about this?
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#2
it needs a new chain.

soaking the chain was a VERY VERY BAD thing to do. That removes the internal grease lubrication built into the chain at the factory, that there is no way to replace.

Hosing a bike down is also VERY BAD. Did your rebuild the wheel, bottom bracket and headset bearings afterwards? They all need it now.
Nigel
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#3
I didn't soak the chain, I was asking if I should. As far as hosing it down, I just sprayed the rims, spokes, and frame. The joints I just wiped down. Give me a wee bit of credit.
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#4
Yea I agree with Nigel, would be better to replace the chain if it is sagging at the top when you pedal it backwards. However it also could be a sticky cassette/freewheel too. That case replace the freewheel if that is what it is, or have the hub for the cassette maintenanced.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#5
I don't think it's worth it. It's a 20-year-old Trek 820. I was going to sell it for $80 as it's otherwise in good shape. I don't want to spend any money fixing it up.
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#6
You could soak the chain in a thin oil such as 3 in 1.
You need to get the oil to penetrate the rollers and pivots.
I dribble oil onto the chain while turning the cranks.
Leave to soak overnight then wipe the excess off.
Don't get oil on the wheel rims or the braking will be useless Sad

Even so a new chain would only be a few dollars and may help the sale to see a new shiny chain.
Beware though a new chain may show worn sprockets so you takes your choice.
[font=Trebuchet MS]Ride hard or ride home alone![/font]
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#7
If your going to replace the chain anyway, this is how I de-rusted my winter salt-coated stiff chain on the cheap:

Spray with WD-40 and let it soak for a few hours. Then clean it off and lubricate with regular oil. You may need to do this a few times. Take the bike for a few rides to loosen up stiff links.

If its really bad then you can take it off and soak it in some oil... I dumped mine in the oil drain pan for a week after changing the car's engine oil. Get a toothbrush and scrub the chain's links free of any dirt and grease within the chain-links.

Paint thinner *might* work as a cheap degreaser... just make sure you clean it off thoroughly & lubricate when your done.
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#8
(05-09-2011, 02:38 PM)speedkar9 Wrote:  If your going to replace the chain anyway, this is how I de-rusted my winter salt-coated stiff chain on the cheap:

Spray with WD-40 and let it soak for a few hours. Then clean it off and lubricate with regular oil. You may need to do this a few times. Take the bike for a few rides to loosen up stiff links.

If its really bad then you can take it off and soak it in some oil... I dumped mine in the oil drain pan for a week after changing the car's engine oil. Get a toothbrush and scrub the chain's links free of any dirt and grease within the chain-links.

Paint thinner *might* work as a cheap degreaser... just make sure you clean it off thoroughly & lubricate when your done.

The WD40 and paint thinner will remove the factory applied grease - that can never be replaced, for ever ruining the chain.
Nigel
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#9
Well, I guess it's a moot point. I stopped by my local bike co-op with the chain, and they seemed to think it was in pretty good shape. I guess I'll try it again.

Thanks for your help, folks.
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#10
(05-09-2011, 09:01 AM)AlienCollective Wrote:  I don't think it's worth it. It's a 20-year-old Trek 820. I was going to sell it for $80 as it's otherwise in good shape. I don't want to spend any money fixing it up.

If it's gone that far the dip mate. And then spray with 3 in 1 grease. While off then wd40 through the gears, followed by a chain bath, the 3 in 1 oil. Would bring it up perfect.

Or just get a new one. Most people keep there chain and bike moving. 12 month in a shed or outside needs lots of retuning.
The factory grease is a water based so a dip would be good.
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#11
I'm new to this, but found that Honda (Motorcycle) makes two Chain Lubes... One heavy and sticky... Stay away from that...
But they make a light chain oil in a spray, and I found that this, and a rag can work wonders on a chain that has sit for years. Old Gitane, used to be my mother's, given to wife in 1970..... And she started riding it this year...
Spray, wait a while, wipe, repeat... After a few go rounds of this, the chain cleaned up quite nicely...
No problems shifting.... Smooth operation....


(05-08-2011, 09:52 AM)AlienCollective Wrote:  I'm getting ready to sell a bike that has sat untouched in the garage for about 15 years. I've cleaned it up (hosed it down, ran the chain through my cleaner about 4 times, brushed all of the grime off of the gears, re-lubed everything, etc), but the chain is still quite stiff. It runs fine, but when I pedal backwards the chain sags quite a lot. Should I take the chain off and soak it in something? Or is there a better way to go about this?
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