New Member with Chain lubricant ?
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  1. #1

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    New Member with Chain lubricant ?

    Greetings Illustrious Riders!

    It's taken me some time to find you - sort of like chasing the pack for 27 miles, but I've finally caught up and here I am. As a little introductory info, I'm 48 years old and riding an almost one year old Giant Cypres SL FBRB. I can do pretty well with that bike. Prior to the Cypress I rode a...sorry to say it, a Marin San Anselmo for about 2 years. THAT's the bike the helped me lose 50 pounds so it served its purpose. As an act of redemption I'm thinking VERY strongly of buying a TCR-2 Composite. While the Marin helped me lose weight the Cypres SL has helped make me stronger to the point that I believe I'm justified in going to the next level with the TCR-2.

    Having written all of that, I'm wondering about chain lubricant. My bike mechanic is currently pushing Psycho Lube but I don't know...it seems to be water soluble and since I will shortly have a roof rack on the Forester I'm not so sure I want the PL to dissolve when hit by rain and drip onto my nicely waxed roof.

    What type of lube (chain, thank you very much ) do you folks use?

    Your wise comments are appreciated.

  2. #2
    Sticky Valentine
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    I'm pretty new to this type of cycling, but I did race BMX/dirtjump/street for quite a while, so I stick with what I know. Once I started using White Lightning, I never turned back. As far as dirt and grime goes it's the best as far as I'm concerned, and it's not expensive. But I'd also be interested in hearing what other people think. Maybe my White Lightning is terrible for road biking ;)



    joe

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDaddio
    I'm pretty new to this type of cycling, but I did race BMX/dirtjump/street for quite a while, so I stick with what I know. Once I started using White Lightning, I never turned back. As far as dirt and grime goes it's the best as far as I'm concerned, and it's not expensive. But I'd also be interested in hearing what other people think. Maybe my White Lightning is terrible for road biking ;)



    joe
    I'm not a big fan of white Lightning or any wax lube. They don't seem to last and they can flake off and gum the cassette.

    Recently, I've switch to home brew and the stuff works very well. It's basically 4 part mineral spirit to 1 part synthetic motor oil. The mineral spirit acts as a carrier for the oil. It allows the oil to penetrate in between the pin and rolls. And since mineral spirit is solvent it also helps flush the grime and gunk out of the chain.

    Not to mention the stuff is cheap as hell.
    Last edited by Jett; 09-22-2005 at 10:07 PM.

  4. #4
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    You've just asked one of the most common and most inflamatory questions that get asked here. Brace yourself.

    That said, the most generally recommended chain lubes here are Prolink and homebrew (4:1 or 3:1 mineral spirits/synth oil mixture). Both are very similar in the end.

    Here are a few links to other recent threads that covered the topic:

    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=35275
    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=34468
    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=34384
    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=33605
    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=26420
    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=28373
    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=25514

  5. #5
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    PsychoLube rocks!

    It's been almost 700 miles since I last lubed my chain. Been using PL for over a year. I have to clean and lube after a ride in the rain, but I don't know of any lube that makes it through rain.

    FWIW, I generally wait until my whole bike needs to be cleaned to touch the chain. That generally happens somewhere between 500 and 800 miles.

    Highly recommended.
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  6. #6

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    white spirit?

    Is mineral spirit in the US the same as white spirit sold in UK / France?

  7. #7
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Velo
    Is mineral spirit in the US the same as white spirit sold in UK / France?
    Don't know, but it is also called 'paint thinner' here. - TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDaddio
    I'm pretty new to this type of cycling, but I did race BMX/dirtjump/street for quite a while, so I stick with what I know. Once I started using White Lightning, I never turned back. As far as dirt and grime goes it's the best as far as I'm concerned, and it's not expensive. But I'd also be interested in hearing what other people think. Maybe my White Lightning is terrible for road biking ;)



    joe
    I have tried WL and was very disapointed. The entire drivetrain got very dirty and was hard to clean. I may have screwed up when I initially applied it though. Now I'm using PL and it works just fine. But I used other lubes and they worked jsut fine as well. IMO it's more important to keep your drivetrain clean and lubed regardless of the lube.
    Quael' dich, du Sau.

  9. #9
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    I use Finish Line teflon lube on my road bike. It works well enough but dends to accumulate into a thick goop on the chain. Its also hard to clean off, even wth degreaser. You need to apply it every couple of rides. I'm going to try White Lightning and see how that works.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnotherRedRyder
    Greetings Illustrious Riders!

    It's taken me some time to find you - sort of like chasing the pack for 27 miles, but I've finally caught up and here I am. As a little introductory info, I'm 48 years old and riding an almost one year old Giant Cypres SL FBRB. I can do pretty well with that bike. Prior to the Cypress I rode a...sorry to say it, a Marin San Anselmo for about 2 years. THAT's the bike the helped me lose 50 pounds so it served its purpose. As an act of redemption I'm thinking VERY strongly of buying a TCR-2 Composite. While the Marin helped me lose weight the Cypres SL has helped make me stronger to the point that I believe I'm justified in going to the next level with the TCR-2.

    Having written all of that, I'm wondering about chain lubricant. My bike mechanic is currently pushing Psycho Lube but I don't know...it seems to be water soluble and since I will shortly have a roof rack on the Forester I'm not so sure I want the PL to dissolve when hit by rain and drip onto my nicely waxed roof.

    What type of lube (chain, thank you very much ) do you folks use?

    Your wise comments are appreciated.

  10. #10

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    I use White Lightning and like it, but it's a pain to remove when cleaning parts. Ordinary oil based lubes will dissolve readily in mineral spirits, the waxy residue from WL must be scrubbed pretty well with a stiff brush to remove it.

    I need to look into PsychoLube or try some 3:1 synth/mineral spirits when I rebuild my road bike drive train.

  11. #11
    Game on, b*tches!
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    It's good stuff, but a big waste, IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by purplepaul
    PsychoLube rocks!

    It's been almost 700 miles since I last lubed my chain. Been using PL for over a year. I have to clean and lube after a ride in the rain, but I don't know of any lube that makes it through rain.

    FWIW, I generally wait until my whole bike needs to be cleaned to touch the chain. That generally happens somewhere between 500 and 800 miles.

    Highly recommended.
    You are right about PsychoLube, but I didn't like the spray can application. I am now using tried and true prolink. I highly recommend it.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Velo
    Is mineral spirit in the US the same as white spirit sold in UK / France?
    White spirit in the UK is not the same. I speak with experience, white spirit and paint thinners dont mix with motor oil they seperate like water and oil. The only thing i could find in the UK that would do the job is Parrafin. The type used for old fashion heaters, the only problem is, i think most of the American members here use the mineral spirits purely as a carrier which then evaporates once the oil has reached its destination. Parrafin wont evaporate. If anybody knows of a better thinner please let me know.

  13. #13
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    The idea behind White Lightning is

    That you do not have to remove any excess. It is supposed to flake off as it becomes soiled, loaded w/grit. Any build up on the cassette, specifically on your two smallest gears is easly knocked off w/a screwdriver tip or a rag.

    Note the diff when handeling a WL chain v/s an oiled chain. Your hands are significantly cleaner. & the transfer grime is easly wiped of, far more easly & throughly than oil grime.

    WL may not last quite a long but in my experience it is far easier & cleaner trhat oil(s).

    Application tip:
    -Put chain on big ring up front & 2nd largest gear in back.
    -drape a thin rag over chain stay 7 one on the floor(& part of the rim) to catch drips.
    -drip on each link roller, top section & bottom section of chain & let set/evaporate about 10 min, depending on the air temp.
    -pedal chain backward one length of straight chain, whichever one is shortest.
    -repeat drip on chain rollers.
    -do this 4 times & you have your chain well lubed, Each rolled covered top & bottom(well penatrated).

    The application method I describe saves me a lot of WL fluid v/s the method on the bottle which wastes fluid by having you spin the chain continously while dripping. Also the bottle method will get an excessive amount of WL onto the derailer(assy) & into the cassette, between the gears where it will do nothing except be a pain to clean off w/out cassette disassembly.

    It doesn't take any more time to do it this way. In fact I find that it saves time at full cleanup, in that you'll spend less time cleaning excess lube off of places it doesn't belong on in the 1st place!

    You do have to take a bit more care, do it in advance, & not be slapdash. Prior planning, what a concept! But gee you just might catch something loose or stuck in your tire PRIOR to a ride.

    Take a little time upfront for far more un-interupted riding & easier maintainance later.
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  14. #14
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piles
    White spirit in the UK is not the same. I speak with experience, white spirit and paint thinners dont mix with motor oil they seperate like water and oil. The only thing i could find in the UK that would do the job is Parrafin. The type used for old fashion heaters, the only problem is, i think most of the American members here use the mineral spirits purely as a carrier which then evaporates once the oil has reached its destination. Parrafin wont evaporate. If anybody knows of a better thinner please let me know.
    What do you use to thin oil based paints? - TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  15. #15
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    Mineral Spirt vs Paint Thinner vs White spirit

    Mineral Spirits and Paint Thinner are not the same. Both can be used to clean paint brushes but Mineral Spirits has a higher oil content while Paint Thinner has more volatile components. In the U.S., there is something called white gas which is used in Coleman stoves and backpacking stoves. It of course is highly flammable and is very highly refined. Maybe this is the equivalent of white spirit in the U.K. which of course is different than Mineral Spirits or Paint Thinner.

  16. #16
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    WL problem

    The problem with WL (and other wax lubes) is that if you say "water" near them, they disappear from your chain. I've had WL start squeaking in less than 20 miles on a slightly wet day. Squeaking means that your chain is dry metal on dry metal. And, WL does not leave much of a film on metal surfaces, which is where the lubrication takes place. 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.

    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.

  17. #17
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    I like this one

    http://www.slickwillylube.com/clyde1/products.htm
    It seems to last a bit longer than Prolink or the homebrew discussed above. The heavier "Slush Armor" formula works well on my commuter bike, which sees a lot of rain. I agree with Kerry's application tips.

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