chain lube
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Thread: chain lube

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    chain lube

    Whats the best chain lube ?

  2. #2
    Arrogant roadie.....
    Reputation: Dave_Stohler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    We are the 801
    We are the central shaft

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    Wrong forum

    Post this in the components forum. WD-40 is not a lube, but it is a pretty good cleaner.

    Three schools of thought: 1) wax lubes (White Lightning is the leading brand), 2) oil lubes (numerous brands, with probably TriFlow and ProLink the leaders), and 3) "magic" lubes that leave some sort of super dooper residue behind (Boeshield).

    Wax lubes, begun originally by folks soaking their chains in melted paraffin, tend to be clean to the touch, not hold up well in the wet, require relatively frequent application, and in White Lightning's case, are fairly expensive on an annual basis.

    Oil lubes may have all kinds of secret ingredients and additives, but hold up well in the wet, go long between applications, and if not applied properly, can be really dirty.

    Type 3 lubes claim that their ingredients leave behind some sort of much superior surface effect than wax or oil, and reported results are mixed.

    My own preference is for ProLink, which is an oil/additive package diluted perhaps 3X in odorless mineral spirits (OMS). You get a chain cleaning while applying due to the solvent effect, and then if you wipe things clean, oil is left only where needed after the solvent evaporates. TriFlow is just as good a lube, but very hard to wipe your chain clean enough after application to prevent a very messy build up. Some swear by simply diluting 1 part motor oil in 3-4 parts OMS and getting a much cheaper alternative to ProLink (which only costs about $6.5 per 10K miles IME). Recent simple tests have shown that ProLink leaves behind a more waxy residue than oil/OMS, so it is different than just that.

    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.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: froze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    I don't think there is a holy grail of lube for chains just as there has never been one for car engines! I use TriFlow (the original bike chain lube) for about 15 years and liked it a lot; but then some LBS got me to try wax lubes so I tried all of them and never liked any of them! The wax crap needs to be reapplyed every 60 miles or the chain will start to sound off, and where there is noise there is wear. In fact with the wax crap my chains lasted an average of 5,000 miles but prior while using TriFlow they lasted 12,000 miles! I then finally wised up and started using FinishLine Teflon Plus Dry and found this stuff would last a least 400 miles (I did this as a test) and never heard the chain complain; but I clean and relube every 150 miles anyways. I also discovered that the chain seems to have less friction which must be true because now I'm averaging 13,000 miles on chains. When you do apply it let it set for at least 12 hours then wipe the sides of the chain to remove any residue.

    There is another product I used briefly called Speed Skate Lube. I stopped using it because I don't like sprays, but it works great. I bought a new freewheel about 3 years ago and 8 months after I bought it it started to make loud clicking sounds, so I hosed it with the Speed Skate Lube and I haven't heard a peep out of it for over 2 years. But when I run out of the FinishLine I'm thinking about giving the Speed Skate Lube another chance; but I'll discharge it's contents into a drip bottle to make it easier. Here's a letter from the manufacture explaining their product:

    Dear Mr. Froze:
    I received your e-mail inquiry regarding a bike chain lube. You mentioned that you had tried our Tiodize Speed Skate Lube. This product has been used for years by several bike maintenance shops, with very good results. One of the largest shops on the West Coast,
    Action Sports in Bakersfield, Ca, has been using it exclusively in their repair shop, and sells it to their bicycle customers as a chain lube. As long as you wipe off the excess after spraying, you will eliminate almost all of the tendency chain lubes have to attract dust and dirt. The advantage of Speed Skate lube as a chain lube is that it is a very good
    penetrating lubricant. It also has corrosion inhibitors in it, unlike other chain lubes; making it excellent for protection in bad weather and when cycling through wet areas.

    Because Speed Skate lube has been widely accepted as a bicycle chain lube, we do not make a separate product for that purpose.

    Thank you for your inquiry.

    Wade Friedrichs
    Product Manager
    Tiodize Co., Inc

    Cc: Kerry Ryan Action Sports

    It was Kerry Ryan who sold me the Speed Skate Lube and they use it not only in their shop but on their racing team bikes and used it on their RAAM bikes during the race.

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