I'm looking to upgrade my drive train cleaning process and am looking to purchase an ultrasonic cleaning machine. I've done a little research but was wondering if any chainlinkers use them and what they recommend? Thanks.
I have one of these that i use for cleaning parts when i'm restoring bikes. It does a really great job on most parts but if something is really greasy the water just gets too loaded up with goop and it takes 3-4 water changes to get something grease free.
You really don't need to totally degrease a chain to get it clean -you really only need to clean the goop off of the sides.
I take my nicer chains off and soak them in a bottle of Marvel mystery oil mixed with mobil-1. The marvel does a really great job of lifting the grime and grit and the mobil-1 helps get into the innards of the chain to refresh the lubricant with the help of the marvel. After soaking for a few hours (or a few days) i pull it out and wipe the loose crud off the outside with a cloth. i might let it soak again if it hasn't all wiped off.
After all the crud is gone and wiped-off and what i've got is a nice clean semi-oily chain i hang the chain up over a container and let all the loose oil drip off for a day or so. Most of the thinner stuff drips off or dries and when i'm done a final wipe makes it about how a new chain comes out of the sealed plastic bag in the box.
This isn't that much work but it can be time-consuming on a bike that gets ridden quite often. i've got 2 chains that i rotate through this method so when one chain is getting a bit dirty after a long ride or a rainy day washes much of the oil off i can just swap it with the prepared chain.
I save the ultrasonic cleaner for stuff that isn't so greasy. if it is something i need degreased i use something like simple green first and rinse off most of the oils and only then do i put it into the sonic cleaner. with 2 liters of water there really is only so much oil it can take off of a part before it gets saturated and isn't cleaning any more.