CRANKALICIOUS GUMCHAINED REMEDY HIGH PERFORMANCE CHAIN CLEANER
Crankalicious Gumchained Remedy High Performance Chain Cleaner, does exactly what it says on the bottle. It will gobble even the most tenacious of ceramic lubes, and less sophisticated greases, with surprisingly modest effort.
Pros: Effective, economical, convenient and versatile.
Cons: Slower acting and pricey compared with some traditional solvents.
This is the chemical stripper component, used in Crankalicious K-Wipe Chain Cleaner . I was surprised to discover it’s a water based blend, fortified with “specialist cleaning agents”. These are apparently “more efficient than solvents alone”.
Yup, that includes turpentine/white spirit and similar workshop standbys. Nonetheless, it’s harmful if swallowed, in contact with eyes, and potentially fatal, if swallowed. Usual “Common sense” precautions apply. Store in a cool dry place, away from animals, children and foodstuffs. Wash hands thoroughly after use and use gloves, if you’ve sensitive skin.
It can be delivered in several ways, depending on whether you were looking to strip, or just clean.
Probably the most efficient, mess-free method, is via the humble, clip-on chain bath.
Pour a small amount into the reservoir, clip it on and whizz the chain through, for around 60 seconds, or until it’s until its gleaming. The subsequent, scuzzy-looking puddle sloshing around in the chain bath’s sump, is also, strangely satisfying. Rinse this through, promptly, using fresh water.
I’ve tended to decant a small amount, into a pot and baste it, into the transmission, via an old but clean paint brush. Holding the pot beneath, reclaims any spilt Gumchained remedy/lube, before it can leave those tell-tale spatter marks, on clean flooring. Clean stuff can be applied to other, grimy areas, including cleat mechanisms, or even sticky brake callipers.
Regardless, how you’ve administered it, run the links through a clean, dry rag. Now you’re ready to re-lubricate.
Cleaning surface grot/contaminant
So, you want to remove grit, mud, salt that’s embedded itself, without stripping/wasting perfectly good, useable lube.
In these instances, the Gumchained remedy can be diluted (1:1) with water and worked into the chain, rings, cassette, and derailleur cages. Silty, mucky stuff gone, welcome oily lube, untouched.
Given we were so impressed with the K-wipes, I was expecting something good and I’m pleased to report, it’s measured up. In the stripping stakes, petrochemical solvents have an edge and do evaporate faster.
Mind you, they’re also very flammable and quite harsh on the skin. Two neat coats, thinly applied, were sufficient to lift thicker wax and, middleweight wet blends, such as Smoove Universal Chain Lube , Weldtite TF2 Ultra Dry Chain Wax , and Green Oil Wet Chain Lube within a minute.
A quick two minute scrub with clean rag had the links sparkling, primed for new lube. Unlike Green Oil chain cleaner gel and some, similarly effective potions, there’s no need to rinse, which is another godsend, if bikes are otherwise clean. That said; the cleaning function is better suited to petro-chemical formulas, such as Weldtite Tf2 Extreme Wet Chain Lube.
Gumchained remedy is also quite effective, when removing residual grease from headset cups, bottom bracket shells etc. It will also remove adhesives. Handy, if you’re prepping a frameset, prior to respraying, or performing a similarly invasive, seasonal strip-down.
That said; we are talking fairly basic PTFE/Lithium greases and their eco-friendly counterparts, such as Green Oil Eco-Grease . More tenacious synthetics, including White Lightning Crystal Grease , needed three generous helpings and some enthused scrubbing before they’d shift.
Rags dipped in turpentine, achieved similar results in a single helping, whereas aerosol based degreaser sprays took thirty seconds and a single blast. However, though effective, these are both extremely flammable and, in aerosol form, expensive.
Though it’s true to say, a litre of white spirit will only set you back £3 and is a very useful, workshop standby, the Gumchained Remedy is tunable to suit different tasks.
Similarly, bike washes, will also lift soil, grit and other, organic contaminant, synonymous with wet blends.
Fine, say after a week’s wet weather/winter commuting, or training where, chances are, the whole bike will appreciate a good scrub and rinse. Not ideal, when times at a premium, and you just want to flush away superficial grot, before it can evolve into a toxic grinding paste.
Put into context, 70 ml of Gumchained Remedy has proved sufficient, for stripping four chains, rings and two cassettes, a headset and bottom bracket shell.
When all’s said n’ done, the Gumchained Remedy does a very competent job of stripping, or cleaning lubes. At face value it is quite pricey, compared to some super strength, generic solvent strippers. However, a little goes surprisingly far and unlike concentrates, such as their Pineapple Express or Fenwicks’ FS1, there’s no need to rinse with water, afterwards.