A few months ago I was sent a sample bottle of El-Duke degreaser to try out on my bikes, and after working on getting bikes super-dirty in the meantime, I’m in love. It took me a few months to really get a chain super-narsty to give this stuff a really fair shot. But after the monsoon-like weather we’ve had recently it was easy to get a chain to the point where it was so dirty that it was grinding grit into the rings.
Using my Park chain cleaner I went after my hyper-messy chain using El-Duke and it really cleaned the heck out of that chain. In fact, I ended up ruining the chain due to cleaning. I’d intended to lube the chain after cleaning it, but I got distracted packing my bike gear for a weekend cycling trip.
Fast forward to the next day and my super-clean bike chain is mounted to my car’s rack for the seven-hour drive to my destination and watch as the clouds roll in. About three cumulative hours of rain fell on my bike.
The next morning my chain was rusted nearly solid. I’d pulled off so much of the grease that when I forgot to lube it again it was left utterly bare. That’s good cleaning.
The solution is non-toxic, bio-degradable and doesn’t smell like chemical or oranges. It’s sold by a small company which limits the distribution of the solution, there are no more than a dozen places that stock it. If you can find it, pick up a few containers as it’ll quickly become a staple in your workroom.