The Muc-Off X3 Dirty Chain Machine has been my preferred tool to clean the chains on my Canyon Ultimate CF SLX roadbike and Scott Scale 925 mountain bike for many years. I use it with Muc-Off Bio Drivetrain Cleaner or Morgan Blue chain cleaner.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Design Muc-Off X3 Dirty Chain Machine
On the Muc-Off X-3 Dirty Chain Machine product page you can read the following description:
[…] Introducing the new Muc-Off X-3 Dirty Chain Machine! This patent pending ergonomic design boasts a heavy-duty construction and can clean your chain in seconds! […]
Included in the kit is a 75ml measure of Muc-Off Drivetrain Cleaner. This revolutionary little liquid can be either sprayed over the drivetrain or poured directly into the top reservoir of the machine, which is then released by a control button. This ensures the application of the cleaner is quick and easy to control. […]
The abrasive cleaning teeth and rotating brush wheels which have 120 contact points cover all areas of the individual chain link for a deep and thorough clean. Finally the excess dirty fluid drops into a second lower reservoir so it’s kept away from the clean chain. Muc-Off Drivetrain Cleaner is fully biodegradable and is safe to be disposed.”
The description summarizes the most important things that eventually forced me to make the switch from a goat’s foot brush (in Dutch bokkenpoot kwast) to a chain cleaning device like the X-3 Dirty Chain Machine.
- Heavy duty and durable design, with an ergonomic handle. It might sound obvious but I’m using a X-3 Dirty Chain Machine for over 7 years now, and it still works flawlessly. Some plastic designs are cheap, and bend over just by looking at it, or don’t have a handle.
- Secondly the X-3 Chain Machine has a control button, that allows you to direct the flow of chain cleaning fluid onto the chain. While it might sound as an open door, it is a necessary feature to have (from my point of view) but certainly not present in chain cleaning devices.
- Being able to clean the chain deeply and thoroughly. The X3 machine has 120 contact point, while some of the competition just have a couple of hairs on a rotating brush. Deep cleaning is key and the primary goal of a chain cleaning machine like this.
How to use the Muc-Off X3 Dirty Chain Machine
I first clean the mountain bike or road race bike with some clean water and spray it in with the Muc-Off Nano Tech Bike Cleaner (from the aluminum bottle for life spray can). When the Nano Tech can do some work, I will do the following steps with the Muc-Off X3 Dirty Chain Machine to get the chain back in race condition.
- Fill the X3 Dirty Chain Machine reservoir chamber with Drivetrain Cleaner
- Place the X3 Dirty Chain Machine over the chain and clip together
- Spin the pedals in a reverse motion (approx. 2 to 3 times, so the X3 Dirty Chain Machine is in a stable position against the rear mech
- Press the button at the top to release the Drivetrain Cleaner while continuing to rotate pedals until chain is clean (or until the reservoir chamber is empty)
- Detach the X3 Dirty Chain Machine
- Rinse your entire chain and drivetrain area with water (and or a piece of cloth)
- Rinse X3 Dirty Chain Machine with water and store until next use
After step 5 and before hosing off my bike, I tend to do some extra cleaning of the rear cassette and front chain ring with help of the Finish Line Grunge Brush and the rear derailleur gets some attention with the Dynamic Drivetrain Detailing Brush. After drying the bike and chain, it is time to re-lube again with one of the chain lubes I’ve reviewed on cycling-review.net
- Cerabike Wax Lube
- Morgan Blue Extra Dry Lube for MTB, Gravel and Cyclocross
- Spoke Works Smoove
- Wolf Tooth WT-1 Chain Lube
Concluding thoughts and wrap-up
I still have my first Muc-Off X3 Dirty Chain Machine that is still fully functional (after at least 7-10 years of service).
The price point of the X3 Dirty Chain Machine is around € 30,00 (and the same as Park Tool CM-5.3 Cyclone chain cleaning device). However you can also get service kit (basically the pink internals) of the X3 Dirty Chain Machine for the price point of around € 6,00. So with a little investment you can extend the life of the X3 even more.
I really like how the system is build, and the reservoir chamber is easy to fill with the Pressol Oil Sprayerbottle. I also use Morgan Blue Drivetrain cleaner that I put into the Sprayer bottle, and release into the reservoir chamber of the X3 Machine. The controlled release with the button on the reservoir is very easy and natural to do. So ergonomically it simply works.
The only similar working chain cleaning device is the Weldtite Chain Cleaning Machine. Let’s see if I can get my hands on that one. But it will be tough to beat the very durable Muc-Off X3 Dirty Chain Machine.
What chain cleaning device do you use ?