chain bakin'

While my chain bakes… I can’t help but wonder… how does everyone else clean a chain?

Techniques? Advice? Oils? Wax?

I’m a big fan of the simple green + shake, wash, dry, lube. But then - I hear a good shaking only does so much :wink:

Did you use self-raising lube Nath? You’ll end up with a flat baked chain otherwise…

But seriously - I use ProLink lube and have for years now. It’s a light oil that wipes off really easily and (best of all) cleanly, which stretches the intervals between required full chain degreases.

I can’t recommend it enough!

Never thought of baking a chain. Interesting idea, I’ll have to try it. I can never be bothered waiting for the chain to dry properly.

This way I get a dry chain, and a freaked out housemate! Excellent!

I second ProLink. Great stuff.

I use cheap chains and clean them when I can’t stand the noise anymore, then I replace it with another cheap chain.


Dumb question: Why the fuck are you baking a chain???

I’m probably going to get shit for saying this …

I spray lots of WD40 (or similar lubricant) on my chain to clean it. Spray and wipe, spray and wipe. Yes, I’ve heard all the bad things that WD40 can do on a chain but it works for me. My chains get changed once or twice a year anyway so any damage that results from WD40 is neglegible.


Oh, and the best way to clean a chain (or so I’ve heard) is to put it in a sonicator bath with some detergent first followed by a sonicator bath with diesel oil. Dry and install back on the bike.

Something to try if you have a spare couple of grand for a sonicator.


Any ultra sonic cleaner would do the job I guess wtk.

You can buy them for cleaning jewellery at a reasonable price I think.

Err… chain cleaner anyone?

Works well on my non-fixed bikes (spit). Haven’t tried to put the fatter chain from the fixie through it, but I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t fit…

Don’t you need some chain slack via the derailleur to make them work?

I just bath mine in degreaser and stick that in an ultrasonic cleaner for a predetermined amount of time (when I remember it’s in there), then rinse, reinstall and oil. If you’ve never done it you’ll be shocked how much crap comes out.

I do have a cheap saucepan that I was going to try melting paraffin in and throwing the chain in that sometime soon, motorcycle style.

Soak in the parts washer, scrub like fuck, compressed air dry, lube to death, repeat.

Dunno… suppose I gotta try now don’t I?

Third for pro link

And love to bake my chain. Though the missus doesn’t like it!
It works a treat though

Errr, nobody has yet explained that apart from making it hot and expand, what does baking ones chain actually do? Does it force all the crap out of the links and rollers?

I suck at breaking chains, even with those naff master links. So taking it off isn’t an option.

Instead: take your oldest under-pants, cut them into ribbons about an inch wide. At this stage, your partner should walk in, ask why you are cutting under-pants into ribbons, then leave before you can give an answer. This should leave you with about half an hour uninterrupted.

Take an under-pants ribbon, run both ends through a link, then pull the ribbon back and forth, thus cleaning the link and the pin/turny bit. Repeat.

For lube I use something in a yellow bottle. The whole process leaves the chain silent and smooth, for about a week. But I can’t wear-out under-pants that quickly, so it only happens once every couple of months.

Well I dunno about WD40 damage, but it’s certainly NOT a lubricant.

Pardon my ignorance.


It is however a dispersant (of water, grease and other things), and as such one can presume that it will move gunk out from between the plates, pins and rollers of the chain. As long as you relubricate sufficiently after cleaning with WD40, no damage should ensue.

Pardon my ignorance.


Don’t be like that Des.

WD=Water Displacer