Indian Cyclists Network

WD-40 to remove dust & Grim from chain and derailleurs


Many people in this forum suggested to use Wd-40 to remove dust/grim from the chain and gear components.

But the below blog says us NOT AT ALL use WD-40 -

If that is the case, can I use diesel to clean the chain and the  derailleur

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Comment by Aaron Court on June 4, 2015 at 8:15pm
Ohh, sorry, I forgot to add the part about cleaning with volatile liquids (solvents are volatile too).
Ya, the volatile liquids will do the job too, but they do the job a bit too perfectly, stripping each and every spec of dirt and oil/lube fron the chain, leaving the chain bone dry, which really isn't a good idea, because relubricating the inside of the chain is very difficult.
The cheaper alternatives like sewing machine oil, Stroke 2 engine oil and Stroke 4 engine oil require a lot of cleaning, the worst being Stroke 4 oil (attracts the most dust).
I use Stroke 2 oil (also known as 2T oil). After washing the chain, adding 2T oil and then wiping off the excess, I still have to was my chain every week (my "riding environment" is very dusty).
IMO, sewing machine oil is similar to 2T oil.
Decathlon isn't like a proper bike store like those in England and/or the more developed countries. Decathlon sells a variety of bikes from the cheapest like MyBike to entry level carbon like FC7 and Rockrider 8 XC. Most of Decathlon's customers are weekend cyclists, so their chains aren't really going to face the "torture" that a regular/everyday ridden chain is going to face.
So, IMO, they (Decathlon employees) don't actually need to apply bike specific lube. Where as the people who buy Decathlon's higher end bikes are obviously going to maintain their bikes themselves, preferring to use good products with/on their bikes.
Comment by Venkat on June 4, 2015 at 7:11pm
Aaron : Thanks for the wealth of info you provided. SO do you suggest to go ahead with WD-40? Also, the decathlon folks advised me to just use sewing machine oil to lube the chains.. Is that OK?
Comment by Aaron Court on June 4, 2015 at 6:58pm
WD-40 is more like a cheaper along with faster way of cleaning the chain.
Cleaning your chain with water and dish washing liquid with only an old tooth brush is also a cheap way, but it's slower than WD-40, and is also harmful to the chain in one way because you're adding water, causing rust. On the other hand WD-40 prevents rust from coming back too quickly.
Now to quicken the above process, you buy special chain cleaning tools, which are expensive (I'm not saying they are useless), and maybe some solvents also.
So, just give a thought to the above methods and then choose which ever you would prefer to do.
Main thing is that your chain's life depends on several factors, ranging from basic quality, to maintenance, and to amount of power (Torque would be more appropriate) that a person can apply.
Trying to keep most factors (quality, washing, lubing) in check, is the only thing that one can do.
Get a decent bike specific chain lube, yes they cost like hell, but once you apply them, no chain cleaning for a month (or more).
There are two types of bike specific chain lube:
- Dry Lube -
Much more viscous than engine oil, but lesser than grease. Meant for use in dry conditions. After applying, one needs to remove the excess lube added (after 5-7 minutes or after spinning the chain a bit)
- Wet Lube -
Similar to oil, meant for riding in wet conditions.


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