Lifeline Bio Cleaner £7.99 per 1 litre
Degreasing a well-lubed and well-used chain is not one of life’s more enjoyable experiences, or was not until the reviewer discovered Lifeline BioCleaner. It is made by Morgan Blue, a Belgian company that supplies lubes and cleaning products to many of the top professional race teams, and is said to be 97percent bio-degradeable. Even if that leaves three percent nasties floating around, this is still a vast improvement over the kerosene-based stuff I previously found to be effective at dissolving grease before being washed off. Even then that degreaser left an oily residue, whereas Lifeline BioCleaner leaves the chain squeaky clean. It is also said to be safe for use on rubber and plastics.
Application is best done by brush from a tray to avoid both wasteage and contamination of the whole bottle. The scent is soapy and not unpleasant. Apply undiluted directly to the chain, working it into the links with the brush to loosen oil and grit. Then simply wash off. Manufacturers Morgan Blue suggest doing this with warm water, but hot water containing car shampoo is even more effective. The top technique is to fill a large sponge with soapy water, wrap it around the chain and squeeze while pulling the chain through the sponge by turning the pedals. Repeat as necessary and then go round with clean water to finish the job; leave to dry or run the chain through a dry cloth, then apply your favourite lube and go.
Care should be taken not to get the cleaner near bearings nor to leave it on paintwork exposed to direct strong sunlight.
The pic shows a 2000 mile Dura-Ace chain after just such a clean; damn near immaculate. Do the sprockets, chainrings and jockey wheels at the same time and your transmission will look (and run) virtually as good as new.