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Thread: Chain lube

  1. #1
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    Chain lube

    I ride about 100 miles per week in Southern California.
    The weather is nice almost every day.
    My chain is a part of the bike that needs the most amount of Maintenance. How often should I oil my chain?

  2. #2
    Rollin' Stones
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    That's entirely up to you. A clean chain is nice. I would hit it with a rag after it rains, to get road grime off. Otherwise, look into a Park Cyclone chain cleaner, some odorless Mineral Spirits, and the lube of your choice. The Mineral Spirits/Cyclone will clean the chain very well without having to take it off the bike. When it comes to lube, some folks use chainsaw oil, homemade brews and concoctions, or the stuff you buy at the bike shop. You use what you like.
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  3. #3
    carpe omnes
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    Regardless of the weather, I wipe my chain down after every ride and apply some Pro Link. I wipe the excess lube off and I'm ready to push off for the next ride. Some may call it excessive, but my drive train always looks fresh.
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  4. #4
    I play for keeps
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    Wipe it after every ride. the forces of riding will cause lube to push out of the bearings.

    some of the teflon based stuff you need to put on every other ride or so.

    I've been using DuMonde Tech for a few years now and it tends to last longer than the teflon stuff i used to use.

  5. #5
    Fecal indicator
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    chain cleaners are a PITA. homebrew lube is a PITA. I don't use either.

    just hold the chain using a rag and turn the crank several revolutions. do it again. the amount of crud on the rag should be noticeably less than the first time. if not, do it again.

    when you've removed as much of the crud as possible, apply the lube (not oil) of your choice and turn the crank a few times.

    repeat every 5 rides or so...if you ride is sloppy conditions, do it more often.
    eff all y'all...

  6. #6
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    Forget the chain cleaner, unless it rains / your chain gets really dirty.

    My chain maintenance:
    1). Wipe the chain down after every ride
    2). Apply T-9 Boeshield (made by Boeing, speaks to the aerospace engineer in me) once a week. Let it sit on the chain for about 5 - 10 minutes / wipe the chain down

    That's it. Unless your chain is really gunked-up, the above 2-step process should be sufficient.

    The only other thing is check the derailleur pulleys / cogs / chainrings, and make sure they aren't gunked-up either. If so, clean them. Doesn't do any good if you clean / lupe your chain, and then other parts of the drive train contaminate your clean chain with grit.
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  7. #7
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    I clean my chain every couple of rides with a rag which I have applied diesel fuel to. It cleans and lubes the chain, and it doesn't fly off. I always clean the chain after wet rides.

  8. #8
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    100 miles is nothing for good lube, unless it's dusty or muddy where you rode. I look at the chain before the ride (or after if I feel like) and if I see buildup of crud I wipe it off (also pulleys, crank and cogs). Then I'd apply lube if the chain seem dry (tiny drop per each link junction). Spin it, wipe it, go (road bike is easy, 5 minutes is all that's needed). I use Road Rage (perfect name choice to get you in mood for racing) on my road bike - it does not require drying, stays wet (minimal friction, penetrates well), no residue (besides usual contaminant, easy to wipe off), lasts "forever" under usual circumstances.

  9. #9
    I play for keeps
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxtox View Post
    .. homebrew lube is a PITA...
    Yeah...I don't get how that makes any sense to make home brew. I don't think too highly of myself but I do have some idea what my time is worth

  10. #10
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    Thanks
    good info

  11. #11
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    Yes, good info. The streets are sandy after the winter, the grit gets everywhere.

  12. #12
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    The sand is the big problem.
    I tried a dry lube product. It worked as far as no sand sticking. But I could hear my chain alittle and shifting was a little off. Now I'm using a carnauba synthetic , this leaves my chain dryer then wet lubes but still wet enough to lube all components.
    I have been doing a wipe down after every ride ( 30miles) Just wondering how often everybody else was addressing this issue.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Chain lube-imageuploadedbytapatalk1332699859.041475.jpg  

  13. #13
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    1/2 right

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxtox View Post
    chain cleaners are a PITA. homebrew lube is a PITA. I don't use either.

    just hold the chain using a rag and turn the crank several revolutions. do it again. the amount of crud on the rag should be noticeably less than the first time. if not, do it again.

    when you've removed as much of the crud as possible, apply the lube (not oil) of your choice and turn the crank a few times.

    repeat every 5 rides or so...if you ride is sloppy conditions, do it more often.
    I agree that chain cleaner are more trouble than they are worth. I do not understand what is so PITA about homebrew. You taker a squirt bottle, dump 1/5 to 1/4 of oil in it and fill with ODS. Takes maybe 30 seconds. After that you use like any other wet lube.

    To the OP, I clean and lube every 150 miles if its dry

  14. #14
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    Don't just clean your chain, get the jockey wheels, cassette, and chaining rings too. you shouldn't need to do that as often though. Maybe every third lube or so unless you have visible crud build up. Also if you are getting a lot/frequent crud build up that might be a sign you are too heavy handed with the lube.

  15. #15
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    OK, bare with a newbie please. How do we clean in between the gears & tight spots?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by locustfist View Post
    Yeah...I don't get how that makes any sense to make home brew. I don't think too highly of myself but I do have some idea what my time is worth
    Really? 5 minutes to mix 1 part oil w 3-4 parts mineral spirits = 1 quart of lube that lasts years. Given commerical brews cost $1-2/oz, spending 5 minutes to save $50 AND you reduce the amount of time that you might have to spend to go buy a 6 oz bottle of lube.

    Most people go buy the commercial stuff and that's fine. Your contribution to the economy is appreciated.

  17. #17
    Endurance Cyclist
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    Standard lube - I wipe down and then apply some fresh lube (dry lube) after every ride. I have recently begun using the Graphite/wax method (described on other sites) on one of my bikes and so far it's been awesome.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy2302 View Post
    OK, bare with a newbie please. How do we clean in between the gears & tight spots?
    Take the wheel off

    Spray with citrus degreaser. A bottle of Zep is like 3 bucks at Home Depot/Lowes. 10 bucks for bike shop equivalent.

    Get a brush and go to work.

    I remove the cassette every couple times I clean it to get in there real well.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by horvatht View Post
    The sand is the big problem.
    I tried a dry lube product. It worked as far as no sand sticking. But I could hear my chain alittle and shifting was a little off. Now I'm using a carnauba synthetic , this leaves my chain dryer then wet lubes but still wet enough to lube all components.
    I have been doing a wipe down after every ride ( 30miles) Just wondering how often everybody else was addressing this issue.
    Chain looks alright...that cassette is nasty

  20. #20
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    I use Chain-L. and got about 750 miles on it last summer. I almost never ride in the rain, but it does get wet occasionaly After applying it I wiped the outside of the chain thoroughly, then again every once in a while (every few 100 miles) and it stays clean and quiet. FWIW, but I'm a minimalist when it comes to cleaning and lubing and get plenty of wear and good shifting out of my chains.

  21. #21
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    Standard advice

    Quote Originally Posted by horvatht View Post
    I ride about 100 miles per week in Southern California.
    The weather is nice almost every day.
    My chain is a part of the bike that needs the most amount of Maintenance. How often should I oil my chain?
    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 chain rings clean with a rag. If there is gunk on the cogs, floss between them with a rag wet with OMS.
    2 shift to the big ring and the smallest cog and drip on lube while pedaling slowly 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 - keep pedaling the cranks for a minute or so to loosen all the dirt on the chain and to get full penetration of the lube.
    4 - thoroughly wipe the chain, cogs, pulleys, and chain rings clean with a rag.
    5 - repeat steps 2-4 if the chain was really dirty

    Do this AFTER a ride, as you want to allow time for the solvent to evaporate before you head out on the road. If you do this every 300 miles or so (or when you get caught in the rain or other dirty conditions), you will not get any significant gunky buildup, and you won't have to remove the chain or the cassette to clean it. This leaves lube on the inside parts, and wipes it off the outside parts, minimizing dirt pickup.

    No lube is "perfect." A bright 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 among commercial lubes. Other people have different opinions.

  22. #22
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    Does it matter whether you do this before or after you wash the bike? I washed my bike today, then lubed it... then had to wipe down parts of the bike again that got dirty again.

    Is that normal, or is newly applied lube not removed by washing a bike?

  23. #23
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    Wash then lube

    Quote Originally Posted by Moonnerd View Post
    Does it matter whether you do this before or after you wash the bike? I washed my bike today, then lubed it... then had to wipe down parts of the bike again that got dirty again.

    Is that normal, or is newly applied lube not removed by washing a bike?
    Washing removes the lube. Wash first, then lube, then wipe.

  24. #24
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    Thanks for clarifying!

  25. #25
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    I lived and commuted in Long Beach for several years and I would recommend cleaning your drive-train every couple of rides, that sand and road grime is nasty stuff. The easiest way I learned to keep the chain clean without taking up too much time is:

    -Every other ride use chain lube and wipe down the chain.
    -Once a week use a scrub brush to just knock some of the sand out of the cog.
    -Then once a month take everything apart and clean it well.

    As for lube, I use Rock N Roll's Extreme lube since I apply it often.

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