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  1. #1
    PCM
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    Question Coating on New Chains

    I'm never sure what to do about this... when installing a new chain, should the chain be cleaned and lubed before first use or is the coating that comes on the chain out of the box a lubricant that can be left on until new lubricant is needed?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Los Barriles, BCS, Mexico
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    I wipe some of the excess off the chain after install then ride until it's time to lube the chain.
    Trying to cram the rest of my life into the rest of my life!

  3. #3
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    ditto.

    install, wipe, ride, lube.

    usually get 200-300 miles before it gets noisy.

  4. #4
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    Just read an article on Velo News. Leave it on and ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PCM View Post
    I'm never sure what to do about this... when installing a new chain, should the chain be cleaned and lubed before first use or is the coating that comes on the chain out of the box a lubricant that can be left on until new lubricant is needed?
    Generally it's wipe and ride. The only caution to this is if the chain comes with a sticky wax coating, as some used to do. Not common any more but Shimano chains use to be packed in something like Cosmoline that needed to be removed because it was a massive dirt magnet. Not the case any more. Can't speak for all brands you might find on the Internet.

  6. #6
    is riding in MOPP4
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    Leave the factory lubricant alone. Take the chain out of the package, install, ride, and lube after a few rides.
    Wake me up when it's alarm green.

  7. #7
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    You will never again have that chain better lubed than day one.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mackgoo View Post
    Just read an article on Velo News. Leave it on and ride.
    It's so sticky and picks up lots of dirt. I use a light wax lube like White Lightning Clean Ride and a rag to get most of it off.

  9. #9
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easyup View Post
    You will never again have that chain better lubed than day one.
    You think so, huh? It really depends on the chain. SRAM chains? I hate the **** they apply with a passion. EVERY SRAM chain goes in the solvent tank til that sticky crap is gone. Then it gets lubed and wiped down.

    Most Shimano chains seem to be ok out of the package these days, but some are still pretty sticky, so they get the tank as well.

    KMC are generally great, install and wipe down.

    Did I mention how much I hate the sticky crap SRAM uses?
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  10. #10
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easyup View Post
    You will never again have that chain better lubed than day one.
    Baloney. Factory lube is just ok, you're lucky to get 2-300mi. But I get 700-1000mi between lubrication with Chain-L. So yea, that's a better lubed chain than day one.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Baloney. Factory lube is just ok, you're lucky to get 2-300mi. But I get 700-1000mi between lubrication with Chain-L. So yea, that's a better lubed chain than day one.
    I see your point as the OP asked about removing lube from a brand new chain so replacing the lube with Chain-L would be "better" than day one, seems silly but definitely better. After that if you perfectly cleaned the deleterious material out of the pins/rollers and used Chain-L, again better lubed.

  12. #12
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easyup View Post
    I see your point as the OP asked about removing lube from a brand new chain so replacing the lube with Chain-L would be "better" than day one, seems silly but definitely better. After that if you perfectly cleaned the deleterious material out of the pins/rollers and used Chain-L, again better lubed.
    I wasn't talking about cleaning out the factory lube. Apply Chain-L after the factory lube, and you have a chain better lubed than day one.
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCM View Post
    I'm never sure what to do about this... when installing a new chain, should the chain be cleaned and lubed before first use or is the coating that comes on the chain out of the box a lubricant that can be left on until new lubricant is needed?

    Thanks.
    Not to get into semantics or be pedantic but lube does it's thing not by being "on" the chain but by being "in" the chain. Lube "on" the chain is no good as it collects dirt and creates gunk.
    My point in mentioning that is to point out why you should always wipe down any chain lube job (factory or home) and worse case scenario is you'll waste 6 seconds if the factory job didn't need it.

  14. #14
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easyup View Post
    I see your point as the OP asked about removing lube from a brand new chain so replacing the lube with Chain-L would be "better" than day one, seems silly but definitely better. After that if you perfectly cleaned the deleterious material out of the pins/rollers and used Chain-L, again better lubed.
    Your first post stating that a chain will never be as well lubricated as when it's installed out of the box is misleading for a couple of reasons. As I posted there are many different factory applied lubes. Some are more((much more) like an anti-corrosive packing grease than a chain lube. If ridden w/ this 'lube' much more grit and grime will stick to the chain and it will be noticeably harder to wipe off than if a light viscosity chain specific lubricant is used. As for what counts as 'better'...better what? Less drag? More corrosion resistance? Ease of cleaning? Longer lasting?
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    Well, according to RBR, here's what the manufacturers say about the factory lube, grease, sticky stuff, or whatever it is (and general chain maintenance): Chain maintenance advice from the experts | Road Bike News, Reviews, and Photos
    My blog about bicycling: http://offthebackweb.wordpress.com/

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Baloney. Factory lube is just ok
    Not baloney. The lube is deeper inside the pins (where the lube matters) than you get later on down the road. Granted, what's on the outside of the chain is what's bad. Also granted, there are higher quality lubricants available too, but you'd need to thoroughly soak the chain submerged for a while, but very few people do that.
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  17. #17
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peanya View Post
    Not baloney. The lube is deeper inside the pins (where the lube matters) than you get later on down the road. Granted, what's on the outside of the chain is what's bad. Also granted, there are higher quality lubricants available too, but you'd need to thoroughly soak the chain submerged for a while, but very few people do that.
    lol. It soaks in enough to last 700-1000mi. How much more deeper do you think it needs to go?
    Lube only needs to get into the rollers. Which isn't hard at all.
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  18. #18
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    I use either paraffin wax or a paraffin wax based lube. Therefore the stock chain lube and for that matter any oil based lube is not compatible.

    When I buy new chains, each one gets soaked for a couple days in a jar of odorless mineral spirits, shaking/stirring every few hours or so. I rinse it well when I remove it and hang it to dry for another couple of days. At that point there's zero lube left on the chain at all and it's ready to be installed and live it's life with the wax lube.

    TLDR: Just don't mix different kinds of lube unless they're the same base.
    use a torque wrench

  19. #19
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vagabondcyclist View Post
    Well, according to RBR, here's what the manufacturers say about the factory lube, grease, sticky stuff, or whatever it is (and general chain maintenance): Chain maintenance advice from the experts | Road Bike News, Reviews, and Photos
    The manufacturers apply the stuff, what the hell do you expect them to say?
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    You think so, huh? It really depends on the chain. SRAM chains? I hate the **** they apply with a passion. EVERY SRAM chain goes in the solvent tank til that sticky crap is gone. Then it gets lubed and wiped down.

    Most Shimano chains seem to be ok out of the package these days, but some are still pretty sticky, so they get the tank as well.

    KMC are generally great, install and wipe down.

    Did I mention how much I hate the sticky crap SRAM uses?
    This.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peanya View Post
    Not baloney. The lube is deeper inside the pins (where the lube matters) than you get later on down the road. Granted, what's on the outside of the chain is what's bad. Also granted, there are higher quality lubricants available too, but you'd need to thoroughly soak the chain submerged for a while, but very few people do that.
    Your argument applies to some kinds of chain lube and not to others. Solvent-based lubes like ProLink fully penetrate every nook and cranny with no difficulty. When the solvent evaporates, you have lube fully penetrated into the chain. Thicker lubes and things like White Lightning wax lubes are not as good at penetration.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peanya View Post
    Also granted, there are higher quality lubricants available too, but you'd need to thoroughly soak the chain submerged for a while, but very few people do that.
    very few people do it because it's completely unnecessary.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    You think so, huh? It really depends on the chain. SRAM chains? I hate the **** they apply with a passion. EVERY SRAM chain goes in the solvent tank til that sticky crap is gone. Then it gets lubed and wiped down.

    Most Shimano chains seem to be ok out of the package these days, but some are still pretty sticky, so they get the tank as well.

    KMC are generally great, install and wipe down.

    Did I mention how much I hate the sticky crap SRAM uses?

    I just received a new Sram chain, and I can't believe how sticky it is! I think I'm going to try to degrease it before installing. I can only imaging that every piece of dust and dirt would stick to it if I didn't.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmason898 View Post
    I just received a new Sram chain, and I can't believe how sticky it is! I think I'm going to try to degrease it before installing. I can only imaging that every piece of dust and dirt would stick to it if I didn't.

    No, no, no. Don't do that! The lube that is put on the chain in the factory is a superior lubricant. It is indeed sticky, so the best thing to do is this:

    Take a clean rag and spray the rag with WD-40. Then wipe the outside of the chain with this WD-40 soaked part of the rag. This will get the sticky stuff off the outside of the chain while leaving it inside the rollers where it is doing good.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    No, no, no. Don't do that! The lube that is put on the chain in the factory is a superior lubricant. It is indeed sticky, so the best thing to do is this:

    Take a clean rag and spray the rag with WD-40. Then wipe the outside of the chain with this WD-40 soaked part of the rag. This will get the sticky stuff off the outside of the chain while leaving it inside the rollers where it is doing good.
    Ok, thanks for the tip. I'll do as you suggest.

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