The Allsop Chain Cleaner is a molded plastic addition to an aerosol can of lubricant. The intention is to make cleaning and re- lubrication a single step. A rotating cam compressed by the top lever closes the Red plastic cleaner onto the aerosol can. A small needle supply tube pushed into the aerosol nozzle guides the pressurized lubricant through the outer shell of the cleaner into the three brushes which form the cleaning assembly. The cleaning assembly has a 3/4" wide opening which is pushed toward and around the chain, back pedaling while holding the nozzle down injects lubricant around the chain while the brushes loosen spent grease and dirt. The attachment, with a 5 ounce can of lubricant sells for around $20 Among the four chain cleaning devices we've reviewed, this is the only one that makes no deliberate provision to collect spent cleaner and continue using it. It is also the only one that obligates the user to continue buying aerosol delivered lubricant. It fosters wasteful, single use consumerism, and that is why we no longer sell it.
We've seen the Finish Line Chain Cleaner before, it was originally marketed in the United States by Vetta as the Vetta II Chain Cleaner. It was a superior unit then, and its still great now. Made by a company in Italy called Barbieri, (who is the actual maker of the Vetta Micro Telescopic pump with gauge pump), in Bologna. The Finish Line cleaner uses 1 ounce of cleaner in a single reservoir accessed by un-latching the top which swings away to allow the chain into the reservoir chamber. The cleaner is designed to suspend on the chain near the rear derailleur when closed and latched. The chain passes over an 8 paddled rotating brushes, then under another brush, and finally over a third. As the chain exits the device, plastic scrubbers scrape the sides and bottom of the chain a last time. Back pedaling with the cleaner in place permits the chain to pass through the solvent as long as necessary. The Finish Line cleaner comes with three replacement brushes, extra replacement scrubbers, and a 4 ounce bottle of their biodegradable Citrus degreaser to be used as a solvent in the Chain Cleaner. The Citrus degreaser has a cleaning value (known as "KB") of 110 which is higher than mineral spirits at 35 or commercial cleaners like Xylene at 95. Additional bottles are available separately. (The Finish Line cleaner isn't pictured because its clear plastic shape is too difficult to photgraph properly. Transparent or clear objects disappear.)
Park Tool of St Paul, Minnesota makes a chain cleaning tool in the United States. The Chain Mate is molded of Translucent Blue plastic in two halves. The lower half has a primary reservoir with two side chain brushes, and one brush that cleans the bottom of the chain. The top half of the cleaner separates to allow the chain between the pieces, and has a brush and roller assembly to guide and clean the top of the chain. A spring clasp locks the halves of the cleaner in place around the chain and back pedaling moves the chain through the brush assembly and cleaning fluid. There is a separate reservoir in the upper section, with a spring loaded release that allows clean fluid from this top reservoir into the lower cleaning section to replenish or dilute dirty solvent. The lower reservoir when properly filled requires 1 1/2 ounces of solvent, the upper replenishment reservoir has just over a 1 1/8 ounce capacity. $ Price in Catalog
Chain Brite is Park's recommended cleaner for use in their Chain Mate. It comes in a 16 ounce recyclable plastic bottle. The cleaner relies on petroleum distillates for its cleaning ability to dissolve grease. Caution should be used near an open flame. A silicone additive leaves a moisture repellant surface to the cleaned chain. $ Price in Catalog
This is the newest version of the Vetta Chain Cleaning systems. Made in Italy, the primary improvement is in the cleaning brushes. The Vetta III model is more efficient and cleans the chain of dirt, and built-up grease without the need to break or remove the chain. The chain stays intact on the bike at all times. The chain cleaner, (made of clear plastic, which is why it's so hard to photograph), with cleaning fluid in it's tank section, actually suspends off the rear derailleur cage. The device slides across the chain and around the derailleur, then you close the top and slide it forward, which locks the top, and seals the moving chain and cleaner in a fluid tight container. The Vetta III cleaner uses several molded plastic brushes that conform to the shape of a bicycle chain, which wipe the interior and exterior of the chain while it's moving through and out of the cleaning fluid. With the device installed around the chain, you merely rotate the cranks counter-clockwise and the Chain Cleaner does the work for you cleanly. Each Chain Cleaner comes with a spare set of brushes and uses just 1 ounce of cleaner or solvent. The device is well constructed and should, with careful use, never have to be replaced. $ Price in Catalog
This the recommended fluid for use in the Vetta III Chain Cleaner. It uses a biodegradable formula based on Isopropyl alcohol, some detergents, a citrus element based on orange rinds, and there are silicone fluids to restore a lubricative base in the clean chain. The Ph neutral fluid contains no dyes, carcinogens, artificial perfumes, or petroleum extracts, and is safe for disposal into any sewage system. 16 fluid ounce bottle $ Price in Catalog