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  1. #1
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    Is there such a thing as a "clean chain lube"?

    Hi all,

    I've gotten myself into the rut over the years of using on Dumonde Chain Lube (the Light and also Heavier (for summer) versions. the stuff is great, can go nearly a month without relubing, but dang the stuff is a dust/dirt/grime magnet.

    Is there anything on the market that is sort of clean, doesn't attract everything, lubes yet doesn't have to be applied once or twice every 2 weeks?


    Thanks for any replies.

  2. #2
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    No. Clean, doesn't attract everything, doesn't have to be applied once or twice every 2 weeks-as the old saying goes, pick two.

  3. #3
    tlg
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    Nope.
    Just take a rag and spin your chain through it after every ride if it bothers you. Takes <10 seconds. Your chain will be "mostly" clean.

    I got over the "clean" chain desires long ago. I don't give a crap what my chain looks like. It's quiet, lasts a long time, and requires no maintenance.
    Last edited by tlg; 06-05-2018 at 04:59 AM.
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  4. #4
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    I use Dumonde and have flirted with others. If you want long lasting good function stick with it. If you want a clean appearing chain don't use any chain lube. If you want something in between then Prolink is a decent balance of clean looking and function.

  5. #5
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    I use wax. I love it, but some people hate it.

    You can experiment with any 'dry' lube. They generally run much cleaner, but also require more frequent application, and generally don't hold up well when wet.

    Ceramic Speed claims their new UFO drip is as clean and dry as wax, is faster, and holds up longer than wax, even in wet weather.

    For nearly $100 a bottle, it should also include a bike mechanic to clean and tune your bike after ever ride...

  6. #6
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    There are no lubes that are:
    1) 'clean'
    2) good lubricants
    3)maintenance free

    Dumonde is great lube. The yellow/thin is the 'road' lube, and is formulated to be easier to apply. They're the same lube, the yellow is just thinner. Obviously you can use whichever you want whenever you want to use it, you'll just have to wipe the chain off more often if you use the heavier/green formula. If wiping your chain down every ride or 2 and applying lube more than once a week is a hassle I don't know what to say...I guess your time is incredibly valuable.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks, Jay and TLG

    With more bikes in this house (counting the wife's and kids' along with mine) than I can keep track of sometimes, staying on top of this becomes a chore. Trying to get either the wife and/or kids to remember to tell me when the chain is getting gunked up and/or noisy is futile. No matter how many times it is "in one ear and out the other". So, will stick with the Dumonde and just get to making myself spend a few hours one weekend morning, every weekend, walking around ragging them all, or, if necessary, de-gunking it (removing chain, cleaning it thoroughly, then washing it and re-applying Dumonde).

    With rags, when I did it before, I have seen it do one thing with the Dumonde that drove me crazy: using a rag drives the Dumonde into thick little islands or bands around the outside & inner links that is near impossible to get out w/o removing the chain. But, sigh, will give the "ragging" a go again. I thought or was hoping maybe somebody had come out with something that had the "wet" acting properties like Dumonde but somehow magically went on like the dry stuff.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    I got over the "clean" chain desires long ago. I don't give a crap what my chain looks like. It's quiet, lasts a long time, and requires no maintenance.
    ^This.^

    The best thing you can do to keep your chain as clean as it can be is to wipe the outside as well as you can after lubing.

    Right now, I'm using Mike T.'s home brew of 50% synthetic oil and 50% mineral spirits. It works at least as good as any "miracle chain lube" on the market and is a helluva lot cheaper. See Mike's article below on it. He gets over 10K miles on his chains:

    Chains
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  9. #9
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    I recommend home brew, if for no other reason that it's cheap enough that you can wipe down and lube all the bikes in the fleet whether they need it or not every week or two.

    Plus, it works.
    Too old to ride plastic

  10. #10
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelgianHammer View Post
    Thanks, Jay and TLG

    With more bikes in this house (counting the wife's and kids' along with mine) than I can keep track of sometimes, staying on top of this becomes a chore. Trying to get either the wife and/or kids to remember to tell me when the chain is getting gunked up and/or noisy is futile. No matter how many times it is "in one ear and out the other". So, will stick with the Dumonde and just get to making myself spend a few hours one weekend morning, every weekend, walking around ragging them all, or, if necessary, de-gunking it (removing chain, cleaning it thoroughly, then washing it and re-applying Dumonde).

    With rags, when I did it before, I have seen it do one thing with the Dumonde that drove me crazy: using a rag drives the Dumonde into thick little islands or bands around the outside & inner links that is near impossible to get out w/o removing the chain. But, sigh, will give the "ragging" a go again. I thought or was hoping maybe somebody had come out with something that had the "wet" acting properties like Dumonde but somehow magically went on like the dry stuff.
    A few hours? If you have 10 bikes it should take about 10 mins. The reason the lube is getting like that is you're waiting to long between applying it and it's drying out. You might also need to wipe more off when applying.
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  11. #11
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelgianHammer View Post
    So, will stick with the Dumonde and just get to making myself spend a few hours one weekend morning, every weekend, walking around ragging them all
    Do you have a few hundred bikes?
    It's literally a 1min process. Put the bike in repair stand: 25sec. Run the chain through a rag: 10sec. Get the bike out of repair stand: 25sec.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    If you want a clean appearing chain don't use any chain lube.
    And listen to the sqeaking while your chain grinds itself into an early grave. But it looks good!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Do you have a few hundred bikes?
    It's literally a 1min process. Put the bike in repair stand: 25sec. Run the chain through a rag: 10sec. Get the bike out of repair stand: 25sec.
    And that's with 50 seconds wasted. No need for a repair stand to wipe a chain.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    If you want a clean appearing chain don't use any chain lube.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    And listen to the sqeaking while your chain grinds itself into an early grave. But it looks good!
    That method is for viewing pleasure and photographing purpose. Riding is a different world in this case.

    It's like the difference between this
    Name:  ff_2079386_xl.jpg
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    and this.
    Is there such a thing as a &quot;clean chain lube&quot;?-2004-g11a.jpg

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvber View Post
    That method is for viewing pleasure and photographing purpose. Riding is a different world in this case.

    It's like the difference between this
    Name:  ff_2079386_xl.jpg
Views: 264
Size:  9.4 KB

    and this.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2004-g11a.JPG 
Views:	40 
Size:	109.1 KB 
ID:	322847
    LOL!

    Bvber,

    You do know where I live, right? That picture is considered a nice, sunny day for VTT riding that all family members (except me) do on the bike. When you're pushing upwards of 25+ bikes in a house full of people, and most of those are used for VTT all over these oh-so beautiful condition, chain maintenance becomes a nightmare. Thanks for giving me a laugh with the pic. At least your not like the certain idiot in this thread who once again posts useless drivel about a situation he knows zippo about, all in an effort to find meaning in his life where sadly he just doesn't know when to shutup and/or not post. Moderator, how many people are you going to continue to let this idiot irritate?? Are you going to lose everybody who posts here allowing this to continue? There are more than two handfuls of people who have reported this just in the past 3-4 months, so......???

  16. #16
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    Lombard,

    Thanks for Mike T's link...may give that a whirl since I have all that stuff in the garage. I'd completely forgotten about it.

  17. #17
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelgianHammer View Post
    LOL!

    Bvber,

    You do know where I live, right? That picture is considered a nice, sunny day for VTT riding that all family members (except me) do on the bike. When you're pushing upwards of 25+ bikes in a house full of people, and most of those are used for VTT all over these oh-so beautiful condition, chain maintenance becomes a nightmare. Thanks for giving me a laugh with the pic. At least your not like the certain idiot in this thread who once again posts useless drivel about a situation he knows zippo about, all in an effort to find meaning in his life where sadly he just doesn't know when to shutup and/or not post. Moderator, how many people are you going to continue to let this idiot irritate?? Are you going to lose everybody who posts here allowing this to continue? There are more than two handfuls of people who have reported this just in the past 3-4 months, so......???
    Don't be scared, go ahead and use my name. What part of either of my posts could be taken as picking on you or being mean? You're the one calling me an idiot. Why don't you just be an adult and put me on ignore?
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  18. #18
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    people are still getting worked up over a chain lube thread?

    damn.

    i'll consider this good news for the future of the internet bicycle forum.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  19. #19
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    I’ve been using Mike T’s formula also. It’s cheap and it seems to work well

  20. #20
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfrancois View Post
    people are still getting worked up over a chain lube thread?

    damn.

    i'll consider this good news for the future of the internet bicycle forum.
    No, he's just getting worked up because I posted in his thread. He doesn't like that.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelgianHammer View Post
    ...Trying to get either the wife and/or kids to remember to tell me when the chain is getting gunked up and/or noisy is futile. No matter how many times it is "in one ear and out the other". So, will stick with the Dumonde and just get to making myself spend a few hours one weekend morning, every weekend, walking around ragging them all, or, if necessary, de-gunking it (removing chain, cleaning it thoroughly, then washing it and re-applying Dumonde).

    With rags, when I did it before, I have seen it do one thing with the Dumonde that drove me crazy: using a rag drives the Dumonde into thick little islands or bands around the outside & inner links that is near impossible to get out w/o removing the chain.
    I've tried many chain lubes, and mostly use Dumonde Lite and Rock N Roll Gold now. Also use Chain-L on brand new chains to get them started.

    My take is Dumonde Lite has little or no cleaning action. Whereas Rock N Roll Gold is both a cleaner and lube, with suspended teflon particles (unlike most homebrew lubes).
    So about every 100-150 miles a shot of Rock N Roll, followed by a good wipe with rag.

    And about every 500 miles Dumonde AFTER Rock N Roll.

    I wipe the chain about every 50 miles or so. Not on a bike stand. Takes literally 10 seconds. That rag gets really dirty.

    Your wife and kids CAN do this for their own bikes, right? Maybe the won't, but they can.

    My chains now lasting over 6-8K. I don't get too detailed about exact mileage on this stuff, got other things to do...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelgianHammer View Post
    Lombard,

    Thanks for Mike T's link...may give that a whirl since I have all that stuff in the garage. I'd completely forgotten about it.
    I thought I'd give it a shot since Mike gets over 10K miles out of his chains. Trouble is, I have enough bikes that it will be awhile before any one of them gets 10K more miles, LOL!

    Note where Mike mentions using a WD-40 soaked rag to clean the outside of the chain in between lubes. It's one of those "get a round to it" things as I'm not terribly obsessive about having the cleanest chain around.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    A few hours? If you have 10 bikes it should take about 10 mins. The reason the lube is getting like that is you're waiting to long between applying it and it's drying out. You might also need to wipe more off when applying.
    I think you're both exaggerating just a tad? I'd say 10 minutes per bike is reasonable if you are doing it correctly as in a drop on each link, not just a quick continuous squirt while running the chain backwards. Every 500 miles is all you need, sooner if you get caught in the rain. No need to remove chain.

    Hammer, don't take CX's sharp responses too seriously. He knows his s#!t so we put up with his barking. He's right about wiping the chain immediately after applying. Remember that lube only does any good on the inside of the rollers. Any lube on the outside of the chain is only good for one thing - attracting dirt. If you wait too long after lubing before wiping, the volatile cleaning solvents will have evaporated leaving only the thick lubricant which will then be sticky. Once again, follow Mike's advice.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    A few hours? If you have 10 bikes it should take about 10 mins. The reason the lube is getting like that is you're waiting to long between applying it and it's drying out. You might also need to wipe more off when applying.
    10 bikes in 10 minutes?

    Slowpoke.

  25. #25
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I think you're both exaggerating just a tad? I'd say 10 minutes per bike is reasonable if you are doing it correctly as in a drop on each link, not just a quick continuous squirt while running the chain backwards.
    No, we're just talking about wiping down the chain between lubes.

    In response to.... "just get to making myself spend a few hours one weekend morning, every weekend, walking around ragging them all"
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