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Cleaning sandy chains!
#1
Has anyone found a good method to clean/flush sand out of a chain? Living near the beach we see it all too often but I've yet to find a good way to clean it out, anyone got any tips?
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#2
The little boxes you can clamp around a chain to wash it without removing it from the bike work fairly well if you need to clean often and don't want to break the chain repeatedly.

This is one, but there's others
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/ProductDisplay?storeId=10052&langId=-1&catalogId=10551&productId=1030484&utm_source=Google_Product_Search&utm_medium=pla&utm_campaign=datafeed&cm_mmc=Google_Product_Search-_-PLA-_-Datafeed-_-Park%20Tool%20CG-2.2%20Chain%20Gang%20Cleaning%20System%20Null%20Null&CAWELAID=1009381251&catargetid=1630495529&cagpspn=pla

If you're near the ocean, it's also a good idea to lube all your "pivot points" like on brakes, derailleurs, etc more often and spray wax your metal parts. Salt air eats bikes dead.
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#3
I live in Venice Beach and ride the beach bike path. I get sand on my bike. First of all I keep everything dry and not over lubricated, than after a ride I use a paint brush to clean off the sand. Have not had any failures.

If you let the sand collect and clump up than you got lots of cleaning chores...

I got one of them chain cleaners and lubers still have not used it, one day.
Never Give Up!!!
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#4
I have only infrequently needed to do more than relube and wipe off the chain when on tour. In those few cases where there was a lot of sand and more was required I have done one of the following:

Found a hose somewhere to rinse off the drive train.
Found an outdoor water faucet without a hose and awkwardly sprayed off the bike from it. This was a total mess and we sprayed ourselves and our gear while wasting about an hour trying to get the grit out of our drive trains. It involved one person spraying from the faucet by using their thumb while the other moved the parts of the bike into the spray. So much for a wheel dip before crossing the country.
Bought a can of WD40 and used that liberally. This worked pretty well.



One other thing helps. Use a lube that does not attract or hold sand as much and wipe it off well after applying. Boeshield T-9 is fairly good for this. Other lubes may be better in that regard, but I do not know which ones.
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