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what is the best stuff to use when cleaning cams???
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puffypika


Jan 12, 2005, 2:59 PM
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what is the best stuff to use when cleaning cams???
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my cams have gotten gritty from the use over summer and fall...i was just wondering what should i use to clean them properly, so i can get ready for some not raining weather...it took me forever for me to get a rack and i severly need to learn how to take better care of my babies...puffy


tchamber


Jan 12, 2005, 3:22 PM
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Re: what is the best stuff to use when cleaning cams??? [In reply to]
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Some sort of degreaser, some people recommend kerosine, while I prefer citrus degreaser (it smells nicer, and is more enviro-friendly, although it takes a little more work to clean thouroghly).

Don't get any on the slings.

Lubricate cam heads. You can use graphite lube, T9, WD40, I suppose mineral oil... best thing to do would be to go to the local bike shop and get whatever the guy says won't attract a lot of dirt.

Voila!


Partner eyecannon


Jan 12, 2005, 4:24 PM
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Re: what is the best stuff to use when cleaning cams??? [In reply to]
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You can clean them with WD-40, but it's a bad idea to use it as a lube because it gunks up.

Clean with WD-40, rinse with hot water, lube with any dry bike chain lube (white lightning, krytech - same stuff as metolius cam lube).


harrisha


Jan 12, 2005, 4:57 PM
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Citrus degreaser and a tooth brush will do the job, that's a bike shop and drug store run. A thing to watch out for when relubeing any rock gear is make sure what ever you use isn't wax base. I use wax based lube on my bike because the force is sufficient enough to move the parts but on climbing gear it will make your cams, biners, and anything else with moving parts hard as h#$@ to operate as the wax will cause them to stick. If you can't figure the problem with this out right off the bat it presents a major safety hazard-gates not closing, poor quality placements if the lobs don't expand enough in a crack, and harder cleaning.


simplesoul


Jan 12, 2005, 5:32 PM
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Re: what is the best stuff to use when cleaning cams??? [In reply to]
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Deffintly go with white lightning the stuff is wonderfull for anything you would EVER need to lube up....hahaha lube up....but really white lightning has worked for me in the past and never let me down...If your local bike shop doesnt have it then stop going there. Any good shop will have it....enjoy the Lube! :wink:


jimfix


Jan 12, 2005, 6:13 PM
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Clean the heads with a solvent like isopropanol methanol or acetone, after using hot soapy water. This will remove any old lube etc. The solvent will aid drying. Avoid contact with the slings, however I have seen reports that solvents have no effect on webbing strenght, (As a chemist I'm inclinded to agree, its acids and bacis to watch out for).

Using compressed air (canned or from a compressor if you have one) or better yet eletrical contact cleaner will help blow out any grit and help dry those hard to reach areas.

Once their squeeky clean (and they will squeek), use your lube o' choice. White lighting is a good option, and will atract less dirt than oil. I use graphite powder. It takes a while to wear in, but it won't stick to dirt. Avoid graphite slurries. Good lube, but you lose the adrantage of low dirt attraction.


j_from_the_307


Jan 12, 2005, 6:24 PM
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Re: what is the best stuff to use when cleaning cams??? [In reply to]
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Note: This all comes from mountain biking experience, but it should apply to cams the same.

Wax based lubes really don't stick that bad if you do them right.

Apply lube generously, work into chain/cam by flexing a bunch. This will work the lube into the joint and back out, when it comes back out it brings a bunch of the dirt/grit out of the joint with it. Wipe as much of it off/out as you possibly can. Apply lube again, this time sparingly. Flex joint a few times to work lube in again. Wait a few minutes (do another cam) giving the wax/lube mixture a chance to settle/harden/dry, then wipe off as much as you can around the joint, leaving a thin layer around the contact points. This doesn't leave a lot of lube on/around the joint, but even a thin layer is quite water/grit resistant, and there is still enough on the inside of the joint. Flex the joint a few more times and wipe off the excess again. The less you leave on the exterior, the less grit it will attract, but the sooner you'll have to re-apply it.

The real problem with most wax based lubes (white lightning) is that they are only good for warm weather. When it gets colder than about 40 degrees the wax starts to harden and just flakes off. Unless you're only climbing in warm weather, this is bad.

I like Krytech. It's wax based but doesn't suffer from the same flaking problems that most other wax based lubricants have. I've ridden with it in subzero temps and not noticed any problems.

Wax based lubricants also don't last as long as other lubes the first few times you use them. Most of the wax part rubs off fairly quickly. Most of the water/grit resistance disappears along with the wax. The more you use them though, the more lubricant base you build up and its starts to last longer. I used to ride quite hard in muddy/wet conditions and this turned into about every other ride that I'd have to re-apply the lubricant.

With cams though, they don't see nearly as much movement/exposure as a bike chain. The joint moves maybe 10 times per climbing day versus 1000s of times for a bike chain. I've had Krytech on most of my cams for about a year now and I'm not even close to having to re-apply it yet.

I'd suggest going down to your local bike shop and asking what they'd recommend for local conditions. Each lubricant has it's own merits. When I lived in the desert I pretty much just used White Lightning because it was more dirt/grit resistant than anything else my local shop carried. Now that more of my riding is in an alpine/mountain setting with sopping wet meadows, lots of creek crossings, low temperatures, and year round snow drifts, I've switched to Krytech. White Lightning only lasted for 1/2 the ride up here.

Krytech attracts just a bit more dirt than White Lightning, but if you want a lubricant that's good in any conditions, I haven't found anything better. The difference shouldn't be noticeable on cams unless you like to drag your cams through the dirt. If that's the case, I hear Epoxy will keep the dirt out for years. =P

--J

I never write short responses do I?...


j_from_the_307


Jan 12, 2005, 6:36 PM
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Re: what is the best stuff to use when cleaning cams??? [In reply to]
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Oh yeah, and NEVER use degreasers unless the amount of dirt/grime has reached the LUDICROUS level.

Wipe off as much on the exterior as you can, then with White Lightning or Krytech, use a generous amount, work it into the joint, then wipe off all the grit it pulls out before it dries out. Even if there's a bit of rust in there, let the lube pull it out- it will pull out most of it the first time. You can do this as many times as you need to get most of the grit/grime out, then apply one more time and let it set/dry for a few minutes and wipe off excess.

If you use degreaser, you ruin the lubricant buildup already in the joint and have to start over on it. That is also provided that you get all of the degreaser OUT of the joint again. Make sure you let it dry out completely before applying any lubricant.

Paint thinner works quite well as a degreaser if you absolutely have to remove everything. Let it dry at least an hour before applying lubricant. Overnight is a better bet.

--J


harrisha


Jan 12, 2005, 6:57 PM
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"Note: This all comes from mountain biking experience, but it should apply to cams the same.

Wax based lubes really don't stick that bad if you do them right." J_from_the_307

Wax based lubes don't lessen friction they shield from dirt. Therefore they work great on bike chains because they prevent dirt from sticking to the chain and gunking it up. I use wax lube on my bike. On climbing gear though you don't have the torque like you get with a crank shaft and pedal so there is a negative effect on the gear's moving parts. You can go to a bike shop though and get a none wax based lube to use on climbing gear. If you go to a good shop they should be able to set you up with the right thing just be specific about your needs.


thetroutscout


Jan 13, 2005, 12:54 AM
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I know Metolius has cam lube made just for this. It's like 4 bucks and the right way to do it.

^^ike


puffypika


Jan 13, 2005, 2:59 PM
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thanks for the input guys, white lighting sounds like a plan to me...i guess i will give my babies a bath tonight...thanks puffy


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