March 20, 2008

    I'd like to know what is the most powerful degreaser to use with a Finish Line chain cleaner, about every 4th or 5th cleaning. I hear citrus-based degreasers are most effective, but the fine folks at Shimano don't recommend citrus, as it may damage the rubber and plastic found in Dura-Ace derailleurs.
    I've used dish soap then 2 rounds of Simple Green with good results, yet my Dura-Ace chain has collected road grime that Simple Green can't get out.
    So I used up the last of my Finish Line EcoTech. Then I nearly filled the chain cleaner with Finish Line degreaser (in the yellow aerosol can), topping it off with Simple Green. This concoction finally got off grit I'd been at for months using many cleanings with Simple Green and dish soap chain.
    Would a citrus-based degreaser or pure EcoTech give similar results as my “witches brew”—if used only a few times per season? Is it safe on the rubber based Dura-Ace derailleurs?
    Also, what bike grease is purely waterproof? I currently use a marine-grade white grease that stays on and works best.

Russ L.

    Gee, Russ, done any bartending?
    To answer your last question first: Marine grease does resist water better than some bike greases. I say “some” cuz a couple of bike-accessory manufacturers have simply repackaged marine grease. So if it works for you, stay the course.
    Depending on where you buy marine grease you might find it more or less expensive than grease made for bikes. In any case: When riding lots in wet conditions, the most water-resistant stuff might save you maintenance dollars in the long run.
    Next, lemme clarify the Finish Line degreasing product line: What Finish Line used to call EcoTech it now calls Multi Degreaser (AKA EcoTech2), and the stuff “in the yellow can” Finish Line calls Speed Degreaser (AKA Speed Clean).
    The helpful staff at Finish Line describe their degreasers thus, from least strong to most strong: Multi Degreaser, Citrus Degreaser, and Speed Degreaser. Altho Speed Degreaser (SD) will get off grime that Simple Green (or Multi Degreaser) won't, Finish Line sez SD might eat into rubber and metal—so you probably shouldn't use it on your sensitive Dura-Ace devices. And it sounds like Shimano has ruled out the Citrus Degreaser . . . tho if you feel lucky you can dilute it 50 percent with Simple Green and see how it does.
    If you don't feel married to Finish Line, check out a British product called Muc-Off. It apparently won't corrode components and, while I've never tried it, I've heard good things.

Mr Bike

Back to questions