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Why does SRAM include in their chain instruction manual for the user to never clean the chain with degreaser or citrus based cleaner?

This eliminates most of the bike specific degreaser/cleaners as well as products like simple green or petroleum product.

How does one clean a chain besides with water and dish detergent (providing no citrus base)?

Dish detergent doesn't do a great job on chains and is time cunsuming if one is to do a good job.

Why would degreasers or citrus based cleaners be harmful?

Any insight?
 

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Nickel coating

I have been told that certain cleaners effect the nickel coating however I use a orange based cleaner and have had no problems, I just don't let it soak for long periods. Drop chain in container, shake, shake, shake and rinse in hot water, dry. relube & dry.
 

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DO NOT CLEAN WITH DEGREASER. The chain will get to dry and get kinks. Even if you don't leave in water long. I cleaned my chain with degreaser w/ a chain cleaner it striped all the lube off after I relubed the chain it got kinks in it. I ultimately relubed it enough so it no longer got kinks but I will never do it again. Clean it with WD-40. Works just as good if not better.
 

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SRAM Factory Lube sucks

I have been using SRAM chains for several years. I have used the PC-59 and the PC-99. The 99's on my XC bikes and the 59 on my DH and All Mntn bikes. The first thing I do when putting on a new chain is to size it, then give it a good soaking in a good bicycle citrus degreaser. Sometimes I even let the chain soak overnight. I rinse the chain in hot water then blow it dry with compressed air. I then lube it with whatever I'm using at that moment. I also soak the chain a couple of times during its useful lifespan, along with cleaning and re-lubing every ride. Yeah, I'm that compulsive. I usually change the chains on my XC bikes two to three times a year. My DH bikes can go a complete season with the same chain most of the time. I have never had any problems with the chains acting up. Nothing is as convenient as the power link. I always save the old links and carry a couple with me on every ride. It makes trailside repairs for myself (not that I have many, I have only broken one chain, on my Demo 9) or other riders a breeze, no need to fumble with a chain tool to reconnect, and no loosing those tiny $3.00 pins that shimano sells.
 

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vladamir said:
Why would degreasers or citrus based cleaners be harmful?

Any insight?
From the 2006 manual p39 "Do not use any grease-dissolving or acidic agents. Cleaning agent must be rinsed off after a few minutes with water."

Perhaps they were trying to be unclear. Certainly using water based degreaser which is acidic would be bad. My guess is they purposefully dumbed it down to not mention flammables for litigious reasons.

However, there is nothing inherently bad about using petroleum distillates in dissolving grease from your chain. I have read that regular paint thinner evaporates, and it seems to work OK for me. The paint thinner is packaged in a metal can so I know it is not acidic or is it as smelly as kerosene or other light distillates.

Lastly, you will be surprised how much junk settles to the bottom, and be patient as paint thinner works kind of slow.
 
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