Cleaning and Lubrication?

Barrio Barranco

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 24, 2018
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I've watched the EMBN vid on cleaning a bike, and so far have just given it a light hose down when I've returned. I'm not putting any pressure through the hose but also not going to avoid the motor. I had the side panel off the other day and the 3 electric connections are water"resistant" I assume- wonder if they should be silicone greased up where the connectors push together?
I see that Muc-Off have released a whole raft of E-Bike specific cleaning/lube products...is this necessary??
I've been using Pro-Link lube on the chain but it's a rather thin lube and washes off easy- upside is the chain never gets filthy picking up all the grit and making a nice grinding paste(like with Finish Line wet lube which destroys chains unless you meticulously clean them after each ride), but I wonder if it's too thin to be protecting it in use??

What chain lubes do the eMTB'ers of the forum use?
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
10,667
4,376
i just use the wet dry muck off stuff on my chain tho i do keep it clean.

as for cleaning i use warm water with a tiny bit of fairy liquid with a damp cloth and only use a hose pipe on the rear cassette if needed.

when its dry i use muck off protect and shine ;)
 

Ballynoes

Pedelecer
Jul 13, 2017
248
143
Perthshire Scotland
Similar to soundwave..I just hose mine lightly and use a damp cloth to clean most of the delicate bits.

If it really muddy, I strip it down, scrub the bits off the bike and just wipe the frame and motor down.

Sadly I love stripping bikes down and rebuilding them.. :rolleyes:
 

MikeS

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 29, 2018
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Having spent years trying to protect motorbikes from the salt of a UK winter, I'm convinced that the standard advice from manufacturers to hose down the bike is just about useless. In my experience the salt solution dries and forms something like a water repellant layer which a light hosing just bounces off. If you are prepared to do several hosings with gaps in between, I guess there's a chance that one of the hosings will start to dissolve that layer, but then I think all that happens is that the strong salt solution then trickles into all the nooks and crannies.
IMHO the best bet is to liberally cover the bare metal parts (particularly screw and bolt heads) with acf50, then don't touch it for a few rides. If some of those rides are in heavy wet conditions then you have no option but to wash the bike properly like one of the above posts suggests, and that's with a brush and shampoo. Then you need to dry it (a sidekick air blaster is a godsend for this), then go over it again with the ACF50.
...... or you could replace all the corroded bits in April for about £100 and decide that's about 10 hours of your time :oops:
 
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Ballynoes

Pedelecer
Jul 13, 2017
248
143
Perthshire Scotland
Maybe should have elaborated that I use a light hosing just to wet the bike, then the usual brushes with hot water and de-greaser, rather than a power washer .

Sorry should have elaborated. I just use the damp cloth around the electrical bits so I don't soak those parts. :)
 

Barrio Barranco

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 24, 2018
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I'm not going near the roads around here until the salt is gone so that is not an issue, for cleaning I might go back to a bit of washing up liquid or maybe buy some TFR (traffic film remover) which I've read is a very cost effective alternative to "Muc-Off"...motor factors sell it and you can dilute it to what you want.
Not many places are stocking the Muc Off E-bike range of stuff, and I see that Finish Line do an E-bike specific lube too but reviews for that are few... My 8 speed EX1 is a pretty heavy duty chain compared to say a 12 speed one, so might just get some Pro Gold Extreme and stick with that?
Read lots on chains and it's a minefield of information and ideas, but starting to think that a good scrub and wipe and frequent lube might be better than a degreaser (I read a big almost argument over WD40 on here a few yrs back!!) and lube....didn't realise chains can be ruined by degreasing?
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
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you can use degreaser but dont soak and leave the chain in it but i have always used a damp cloth to remove most of the crud then use wd40 and a rag to clean and shine it up and then lube as normal.

my original cassette that had done 1000s of miles still sold for 70 quid and was fine on a normal bike with no slipping.
 

Barrio Barranco

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 24, 2018
261
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Last night I wiped off all the oil/dirt and cleaned between the links. The chain has a "power LOCK (not LINK)" which being matt black sticks out like a sore thumb from the rest of the links, but as this cannot be reused I'm stuck with in-situ cleaning....I've ordered 2 litres of Muc-Off bike cleaner for the "normal" parts of the bike(normally £10 a litre, £5 from Tredz) and a couple of bottles of the Muc-Off E-bike Wet Lube with ceramic(?)....Will see how it goes and use it sparingly.
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
10,667
4,376
if it is that pink stuff make sure you remove all of it as it can eat away at the paint work esp if not diluted and sprayed on the bike out the bottle.
 
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soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
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1548969837491.png

if you have one of those you can reuse it mine has never came undone lol
 

Ballynoes

Pedelecer
Jul 13, 2017
248
143
Perthshire Scotland
I have never cleaned a chain ON the bike, I always take it off and clean if off the bike, then just put a new quick link back on. Gives me a chance to inspect all the wheels in the drive train carefully, and only take 10 mins.
 

Barrio Barranco

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 24, 2018
261
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The problem with this being EX1 would be the fact it's so specific to e-bikes I doubt there would be a quick link suitable from another chain that would fit? I'd need to get vernier calipers and measure the width, then compare that to other chains with solid pins.
Winstanleys do a new chain for £16.99 so will probably just replace it when it gets to the 0.5% stretch to save the cassette...
 

Barrio Barranco

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 24, 2018
261
96
52
Well...after much faffing about I've made the discovery that my super dooper, "e-bike special chain" must share the same dimensions as a regular 10 speed chain- as the connector is SRAM, matt black and has "10S" on the side. A few articles say this too and that in absence of the EX1 chain a 10spd can be used at a pinch... I removed the power lock tonight(easy enough long nosed pliers on opposing diagonals) as I want the chain cleaned off properly before putting on the new lube. The power lock looks ok(all still matt black) so will probably reuse it, as the options now are:
1- play safe and put on a new link each time (£2.50 a link from Merlin)
2- take a chance and reuse one 2 or 3 times (or until joining the chain becomes too easy, or no audible click etc)
3- try a Wipperman connex or KMC link as they are supposed to be reusable?? But would they be compatible with SRAM and the rest of the chain design? I wonder what damage a broken E-bike chain could cause under heavy load??!!!
 

Ballynoes

Pedelecer
Jul 13, 2017
248
143
Perthshire Scotland
IMHO, I am not convinced there is, or is a need, for an specific EMTB chain.

A chain is a chain, they will all stretch, possibly slightly quicker on an EMTB because we can put "more power" through the pedals. The only difference I see is the quality of the chain itself, if you buy a cheap brand it will wear or possibly break quicker.

I stick with quality chains and links, after all the one thing which will stop you in your tracks is a broken chain, EMTB or not.

As for soundwave's mate using an 11sp chanin on a 10sp cassette, that will wear the cassette as it's not the correct thickness. If I read the post right.

All chains are exactly 1/2inch between each link, but they differ in the thickness, as you have to have a thinner chain as the number of gears on the cassette goes up, simply because they still have to fit in the same space on the rear hub. So if you replace say a 9sp cassette with an 11sp one, you will have to replace the chain also.

Just my 2p worth..
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
10,667
4,376
his 10 spd chain broke and used one of my 11spd power links to fix it ;)
 

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