How Do I Keep My Chain Super Clean? | GCN Tech Clinic

How Do I Keep My Chain Super Clean? | GCN Tech Clinic


Welcome back to another
episode of the GCN Tech Clinic where I help to solve your
bike problem, how cool is that? And I’m lucky as well,
because I absolutely love getting stuck into reading your problems and trying to help solve them. So, if you’ve got one, leave it down there in the comments section so I can help tackle it in a future episode. Anyway, let’s crack on with
the first question this week, and this one’s from
Christoph Mohr, who says, “Hey Jon, love the Tech Clinic.”
That’s a good one always to start with, Christoph, to
get your question answered. “I am looking forward on receiving a pair of old Campagnolo Shamals. Guess where that idea came from.” I can only guess … me, anyway, “I’m quite unsure how to deal with the Campagnolo rear hub situation. What is the simplest way of fitting them onto a bike with Shimano
105-SC from the mid 90s?” Christoph, you are a lucky lad, getting hold of a pair of
those Campagnolo Shamals, because they’re absolutely
stunningly beautiful. I can’t talk about them enough. Anyway, one way in which you
could well get your gears working absolutely fine is if
you’re using down tube levers. From memory, those 105 SC had two modes, friction, as well as index. Take them out of index, you’re going to old school, my friend,
so you’re not going to have that nice click noise positive shifting. Instead, you’re going to have
a little bit of guesswork and find out just what it was like to ride back in the 80s and 90s. So, if you have got that mode, use that. Alternatively, if you’re
using the 105 SC STI levers, get this, this could take a
little bit of hunting around, but there was a company
out there called Marchisio. I’ve only just found out
actually, they no longer exist, but good news for you
is they made cassettes that fitted onto a
Campagnolo free hub body, but had Shimano spacing inside and they also did it vice versa as well. It was an absolutely brilliant solution that many, many people
out there were using for quite some time because
the tolerances were big enough, basically, that you couldn’t
use one manufacturer’s levers with another’s cassette and
vice versa, all of those issues. Have a look around online,
Marchisio, and you should be able to get yourself sorted
on those lovely wheels. Let me know how you get on, and I want to see a picture of that too. Make sure you send it in. Next up is Samuel
Ljungqvist, and Samuel says “How do you keep your chain clean? When I have cleaned my
chain ad put lube on it, straight away it gets black and sticky and then I see all these
people riding around with a beautiful, clean,
metal-looking chain. What am I doing wrong?” Right then, keeping the chain clean, one of life’s little
mysteries that, so far, only few of us have managed
to actually really conquer. So, preparation is absolutely key here, so whilst you’re applying that chain lube, don’t go wild, spraying it
here, there, and everywhere. Simply start at the joining
pin or that joining link and apply it to the drop
there on the roller, a couple of drops say,
and then the next roller, the next roller, and the
next roller, and so forth, until you’ve done a complete
revolution of the chain. When you’ve done that,
back pedal it a few times, I don’t, know, say enough for 10 seconds, and then wipe away any
excess from the chain, and then importantly here
too, wipe away any excess from the jockey wheels and
also the chain rings too, because they can get incredibly gunked up, giving you that black chain. Now, important too, is to use a good quality chain lubricant, because that’s not going
to attract as much dirt, and then using lubricant fit for purpose. So, dry weather … dry lube, wet weather … wet
lube, seems simple right? Let me know how you get
on with that one, Samuel, because a dirty chain is
an absolute nightmare, and it doesn’t look
cool, especially if you got yourself a goldey looking chain. (cash register ding) Next question this week
comes from Protocol23. “Hi Jon, I wanted to
upgrade the Tiagra groupset on my 2006 Specialized Allez to Shimano Ultegra R8000 or to Shimano105. Currently my bike is
only having a BB-7420. Will the upgrade work? I need better suggestions,
budget is limited, but I hope you can help.” Now, this would be a
really, really nice upgrade on that bike, and that bike
is going to have a BSA, so a British-threaded bottom bracket. As far as I know,
Specialized didn’t ever use an Italian thread or
a press fit back then. So, yet it is going to work,
now some people out there will say “Well, hang on, you’re putting an 11-speed chain set
onto a 9-speed bike.” It’s gonna work, I’ve never run
into any problems with that, and I’m 99.9 percent certain
that it’s going to work. You’re going to save
yourself a lot of weight on that bike too by upgrading it that way. Now Lee Jefferson, he’s
fancying some off-road action. “Hi Jon, I’m looking to change my old aluminum road
bike into a gravel bike. Could you tell me, is it possible to put 11-34 on my Sora 9-speed cassette without changing the real derailleur? Thanks, Lee from South Wales.” Alright then, Lee, it does depend on the derailleur cage size
you’ve got fitted at the moment, but I’m pretty sure you
are going to, in fact, need a derailleur hanger extender. What’s that? Well, it
simply drops your derailleur just by a couple of centimeters so it can accommodate more
teeth on that rear cassette just by pushing it down a little bit. Now, you can pick them
up just for a few pounds on eBay and that kind of thing, so have a little look
around for one of those. Now, I hope you have thought
about this issue as well, because you are going to need, well, you’re going to be using
it as a gravel bike, so you’re gonna be taking it off road, therefore you’re going
to need bigger tires. So make sure that the
frame and also the brakes can accommodate that
extra volume that’s high. If you’ve got disc brakes, then
it’s not such an issue there with the actual clearance
around the brake, but you’re gonna want to make
sure it goes through the fork as well as well as the chain
stays and seat stays okay, so just look into that first. Clifford Romina wants to know “Is it okay to use chain lube on other parts of the bike apart from the chain. Say for example, the
joints of the brakes.” Right then, Clifford, it is. I use chain lube, believe
it or not, on gear cables, brake cables, as well
as pivots on the brakes, so feel free and go ahead and do that. Obviously, on some inner
gear cables and brake cables, it’s not necessarily
advised, because they do have teflon liners in there and
you don’t want to go around mixing in different chain lubricants with that teflon-coated material. Now, if you are putting them
on your brakes, on the springs, in the joints, in the little,
you’ve got little plastic bits and you’ve got a metal
braking arm in there, that kind of thing, you know what I mean if you look behind your brakes,
make sure that chain lube doesn’t drip down onto your wheels or braking surfaces at all,
because well, let’s face it, that could end up pretty nasty indeed. So just keep clear of any side walls, but, yeah, use it to your heart’s content. Next up this week is a
question from Gabe Hart. Gabe says “Jon, I have a
question about carbon wheels. I ride an S-works Roubaix
with Roval CLX carbon wheels. I ride very steep grades,
do I need to be concerned with generating heat on
the wheels from braking? Lots of horror stories on
the Internet about this. Is it all just nonsense?” Alright then, Gabe, there
are loads of scaremongers out there who love to
get their ten-pence worth or ten-cents worth by
writing something on a forum. Now, important to remember
here, is if you’re buying wheels from one of the big brands out there such as Roval like you’ve mentioned, they’ve had so much R&D go into them, you know, ways to make heat
dissipate more effectively when you’re braking, that kind of thing, so you don’t need to worry about anything. Personally, I’ve ridden down Alps, I’ve ridden down the Pyrenees, I’ve ridden down very steep hills and I’ve braked really, really hard and I’ve never had any problems with carbon clinchers or carbon tubers, and the same can be said too
from other GCN presenters when I asked around the office earlier on. So, don’t worry about it. Get yourself some decent carbon wheels, like what you’ve already got,
and you’re perfectly fine. At least, that is my take on it. Scaremongers on the Internet,
whew, it can be a scary place. Now Frizi Hugo is next
up, “I used a cassette with single sprockets,” so ones that were individually placed on, not
on a cluster of a spider, that kind of thing, “on the
new Mavic wheels they’ve got, and after 200 kilometers,
it’s already started to slightly damage the free hub body. Is there a way to use the
cassette without damaging the free hub, or do I
have to buy a cassette with all the sprockets on a spider?” Hi Frizi, this is actually a
really, really common problem out there on nearly all good wheels, because the free hub body
is made of a softer material than the sprockets are themselves, so as you’re generating torque, you’re kind of working
against that free hub body as you accelerate, as you pedal. But there’s nothing to worry about here, because like I say, nearly
all wheels out there do suffer from that unless you’re using an ultra-heavy free hub
body or a titanium one, something like that, that’s just not going to get damaged or
sort of scored as easily. It’s not necessarily
going to wear through, unless you use that for the
rest of your life, I imagine, because I’ve got wheels that
are many, many, many years old and they’ve never actually
stripped all the way through. Something more important
to think about, though, is how tight you’ve had
your cassette done up, because that could well
effect how much scoring is actually being done,
so use a torque wrench and make sure that lock
ring is done up fully tight, and once the cassette is
on there tightened up, it shouldn’t rock at all on
the actual free hub body. Next question is from Regina Blitz, who says “I love you, Jon.” That’s the first I’ve ever
had that happen to me on this. Anyway, “I have a brand new bike with complete R8000 Ultegra groupset and after two or three rides I noticed that the finish around the Ultegra logos on both the crank arms has distorted. The black finish around these areas now has some clear, white
kind of signs all across them. I noticed this after no
more than 200 kilometers. I’m worried that I may have
somehow warped the crank arms with the insane power I
may have put through them, but the truth is I’m a
very low power cyclist. So although this would be
flattering, I find it unlikely and the bike is too new for
this to be an age-related issue. Hopefully this is just normal
flex, right? Any insight?” Alright then, Regina, thanks for the love. Right, the logos and the lines on those cranks, what could it be? Well maybe, just maybe,
as you’re pedaling, your shoes or your overshoes
are very slightly rubbing on the crank arms and
you don’t even notice it because it’s a really,
really faint rubbing motion. Particularly if you’re using overshoes, you wouldn’t necessarily feel it, so that could well be rubbing
away those logos slightly. Now that’s certainly what
I think it could well be. If they are looking damaged, though, take it to a shop and actually get them to check in case, for some reason, something drastic has actually gone wrong. Alternatively, like you say, well, blame it on your power, if anything. Just say, you know,
you’re flexing this bike like nobody’s business and you’re, well, getting wattage bazookas
left, right, and center. P.S., I love you too. Final question this week
comes from Emiliano Martinez and says “I have a 2018
Giant TCR Advanced 0. Currently, I’m running
the Shimano Ultegra R8050, and was wondering if it’s
possible to piece together a way to convert from rim
brakes to disc brakes? If so, what will I need to make it happen? Thanks for the help.” Right then, Emiliano,
you are going to need first of all, a frame to
fit those disc brakes onto. Then you’re going to need some
new levers and also calipers and then also you’re going to
need some new wheels as well that you can fit those disc rotors onto. So, all in all, it’s
not as straight forward as you may well think,
and it could well cost you a fair bit too, so just bear
all those things in mind, and, yeah, let us know
how you get on with that. I’m intrigued as well to know why or what is your reason for
going from rim to disc. But yeah, go for it, if you’ve
got the budget, of course. Now, I do hope that I’ve been able to answer your questions this
week in the GCN Tech Clinic. If not, you ought to go leave it for me down there in the comments
and I’ll do my best to answer it in a coming episode. As ever as well, like and share this video with your
friends, give it a thumbs up, especially if a mate of yours
has got one of these problems. Now, it’s hopefully solved for them. And remember as well to check out the GCN shop at
shop.globalcyclingnetwork.com. We’ve got riding kit, casual
kit, we’ve got little hats, we’ve got beer, bottle openers,
we’ve got pizza cutters. You name it, hopefully we’ve got it. And now, for another
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just down here, there.