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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Pro Link versus White Lightning

    I read a thread here at one point that sang the praises of prolink so I got some and am using it as my chain lube. However, a couple of the folks I have been riding with and a repair guy at the bike shop both recommended white lightning. They commented that it works great and that it was less prone to picking up grit and grime that can wear bike components. I don't know if this is a topic like Campy versus Shimano or some such, but I was wondering if there is a consensus as to what the "best" product is or, at the least, I would like to know pro's and cons.

    Thanks for any thoughts.

  2. #2
    Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luvwine
    I read a thread here at one point that sang the praises of prolink so I got some and am using it as my chain lube. However, a couple of the folks I have been riding with and a repair guy at the bike shop both recommended white lightning. They commented that it works great and that it was less prone to picking up grit and grime that can wear bike components. I don't know if this is a topic like Campy versus Shimano or some such, but I was wondering if there is a consensus as to what the "best" product is or, at the least, I would like to know pro's and cons.

    Thanks for any thoughts.
    Mostly Campy v. Shimano, really.

    But that said, I far prefer Prolink between the two. Prolink is just oil in solvent, and when you use as directed (really douse your chain and wipe clean) on a regular basis, it keeps your chain clean as well as lubed. In my experience, the wax-based nature of White Lightning makes it sub-par for the dual purpose clean/lube. The wax doesn't fully clean off with application of new lube, so it builds up. With Prolink, I didn't have to take off the chain and clean it--it stayed clean enough with regular lubing--but with White Lightning I had to take it off and give it a real dunking in mineral spirits to get the gunk off.

    But I mostly use a homebrew version of Prolink--just do a search on homebrew here and you'll find TONS of posts about it. It's just 10W30 (or 40) cut with mineral spirits--I do 4 parts spirits to one part oil, but some folks do a different mix. It's very much the same as Prolink, and works just as well in my experience. And it's unbelievably cheap, so it's no big deal to really flood the chain.

    I use White Lightning on my Speedplay Zero cleats, though, precisely because it doesn't wear off as fast.
    "jazz gives you large testicles"--aliensporebomb

  3. #3
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    WL uses

    Quote Originally Posted by Luvwine
    I read a thread here at one point that sang the praises of prolink so I got some and am using it as my chain lube. However, a couple of the folks I have been riding with and a repair guy at the bike shop both recommended white lightning. They commented that it works great and that it was less prone to picking up grit and grime that can wear bike components. I don't know if this is a topic like Campy versus Shimano or some such, but I was wondering if there is a consensus as to what the "best" product is or, at the least, I would like to know pro's and cons.

    Thanks for any thoughts.
    WL is OK if you ride in dry, dusty conditions. Otherwise, it is not a very good lube, and if it ever rains, you are instantly in "chain squeak country." The best application for WL in bikes is to keep Look pedal cleats quiet.

  4. #4
    POGUE MAHONE
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    I have been using ProLink for over a month I'm still waiting for the cleaning to start
    I followed the directions but I'm still not impressed. I found the last lube I used, Pedros syn lube to last longer and wasn't any messier as far as the "self cleaning" aspect goes.
    My kickstand is busted.

  5. #5
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    I'll settle this once and for all

    And tomorrow I'll put the Campy-Shimano debate to rest, too....

    I've used both quite a bit, and WL was my favorite until ProLink came along. I still use it in the dead of summer on my mountain bike, because we have serious dust around here and WL doesn't seem to hold onto it.
    As far as lubricitiy, though, I think ProLink wins by a wide margin. It lasts two or three times as long on my bikes (not a big issue because I lube often, but still). And it really does help keep the chain clean--cleaning used to be a weekly chore, and now I don't do it once a season. I just flow on some ProLink, run the chain backward through a towel and I'm gone.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by SCC
    I have been using ProLink for over a month I'm still waiting for the cleaning to start. I followed the directions but I'm still not impressed. I found the last lube I used, Pedros syn lube to last longer and wasn't any messier as far as the "self cleaning" aspect goes.
    Which directions did you follow? Assuming we're talking road riding, use the following technique for successful ProLink or homebrew lube (1 part motor oil to 3-4 parts odorless mineral spirits) application and use:

    1 - wipe the chain, cogs, pulleys, and chainrings clean with a rag.
    2 - drip on lube while pedaling (forward is better) so that the chain just starts to drip lube. Aim the lube between the side plates and between the bushings and the side plates.
    3 - run through all the gears several times, front and back.
    4 - wipe the chain, cogs, pulleys, and chainrings clean with a rag.
    5 - repeat steps 2-4 if the chain was really dirty

    If you do this every 300 miles or so (or when you get caught in the rain), you will not get any significant gunky buildup, and you won't have to clean the chain or the cassette. This leaves lube on the inside parts, and wipes it off the outside parts, minimizing dirt pickup.

    No lube is "perfect." A brite shiny chain that is clean to the touch but is well lubed and gives long mileage is still not possible. IMO, ProLink is the best compromise.

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