Bicycle Oil
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Thread: Bicycle Oil

  1. #1

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    Bicycle Oil

    Road bike. I don't ride in rain or other adverse conditions, so I don't need much lubrication to "clean" dirty components.

    Yes, I know the difference between what gets oiled and what gets greased. I oil the brakes at the pivot points, brake handle pivots, chain, deraileur pivots and idler wheels.

    LBS has super, high tech oils. Seems like they run about $10 for two oz. I shopped around. WD-40 is a solvent, cleaner. It lubricates, but it's not optimal as a lubricant. Same thing with 3 in 1 oil, mineral oil, and too light.

    I found an oil can -- nearly impossible these days. I found mine at an industrial supply that stocks machine parts for marine applications. An "oiler" is used in machine shops for cutting fluids, and for general lubrication maintenance. Brass pump, nylon reinforced vinly tube, brass nozzle, 4 oz. I paid $3.

    So, my oil of choice is 10w - 30 motor oil. It seems the right weight for a bike, chain, etc. It's heavy duty oil to lubricate parts that heat up, fit tight and run at high speed -- an engine.

    I realize there are "detergents" in this oil. I wouldn't think the detergents would have any adverse impact on any bike components. Anybody see problems with using motor oil for general lube on a bicycle?

    What do you use?

  2. #2

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    You should probably consider searching this forum for "lube," "chain lube," or "lubrication"

    This is the cycling equivalent to asking somebody what religion to be, or whether to be a Democrat or a Republican.

    Happy hunting!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by neil0502
    You should probably consider searching this forum for "lube," "chain lube," or "lubrication"

    This is the cycling equivalent to asking somebody what religion to be, or whether to be a Democrat or a Republican.

    Happy hunting!
    Nahhhhhhhhh, not at all like politics or religion. I have a nice bike, Trek 1500, several others. Not looking for some high performance "race" lubrication. After all, the chain relatively speaking doesn't get a lot of load -- say compared to a motorcycle chain or a chain on heavy industrial equipment.

    Pivot points don't move fast, nor do they move far. Not a lot of load on them either.

    So it's not like you'd require some sort of "ultra-tech" lube. It's not like politics or religion. I think probably more like "What sort of toilet paper do you buy?"

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by RodeRash
    It's not like politics or religion. I think probably more like "What sort of toilet paper do you buy?"
    Doesn't matter . . . as long as it's two-ply.

  5. #5

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    Imho

    Quote Originally Posted by RodeRash
    Road bike. I don't ride in rain or other adverse conditions, so I don't need much lubrication to "clean" dirty components.

    Yes, I know the difference between what gets oiled and what gets greased. I oil the brakes at the pivot points, brake handle pivots, chain, deraileur pivots and idler wheels.

    LBS has super, high tech oils. Seems like they run about $10 for two oz. I shopped around. WD-40 is a solvent, cleaner. It lubricates, but it's not optimal as a lubricant. Same thing with 3 in 1 oil, mineral oil, and too light.

    I found an oil can -- nearly impossible these days. I found mine at an industrial supply that stocks machine parts for marine applications. An "oiler" is used in machine shops for cutting fluids, and for general lubrication maintenance. Brass pump, nylon reinforced vinly tube, brass nozzle, 4 oz. I paid $3.

    So, my oil of choice is 10w - 30 motor oil. It seems the right weight for a bike, chain, etc. It's heavy duty oil to lubricate parts that heat up, fit tight and run at high speed -- an engine.

    I realize there are "detergents" in this oil. I wouldn't think the detergents would have any adverse impact on any bike components. Anybody see problems with using motor oil for general lube on a bicycle?

    What do you use?
    IMHO, I prefer Prolink. But I mixed up a batch of 80W gear oil and mineral spirits (get
    the odorless kind). 1 part oil to 2 parts mineral spirits. The viscosity is very close to that of Prolink. Ya, I know viscosity is not the whole story. I also tried 10W-40.
    1 part motor oil to 1 part mineral spirits. I think its better to thin done the oil so that is actslike a cleaner. Lubing the chain actually washes little sediment away.
    Other people make up stuff that is too thinned down for me. ( I think 1:4 mixture is pushing
    one's luck, but they seem to swear by it.)

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by RodeRash
    Nahhhhhhhhh, not at all like politics or religion.
    Actually, I think that it's exactly like politics or religion.

  7. #7
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    Just oil

    I'm not a big fan of motor oil on bicycles because they are not the best when it comes to water resistance - the detergents are not on your side. I just use 20w electric motor oil, available at any hardware store, which is straight up oil. That said, it's not really much of an issue either way. Chains are a bigger challenge, but for pivot points, derailleur pulleys, cables, etc. any parafin based oil is fine. You're right that 3:1 is not a good oil - it's vegetable-based.

  8. #8

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    bingo

  9. #9

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    I've been using motor iol on my chains for a very long time, with no problems. Just take care that you don't get to much. You will experiance "throw off" if you put to much. It can get on your rim, and mess with the breaks.

  10. #10
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    Dirt pickup

    IME, the problems with using any oil directly on the chain are that it is hard to get it into the interior (due to high viscosity), that it is hard to wipe off the excess, and that as a result you get a lot of dirt pickup. This is the advantage to something like ProLink or home brew - you dilute the lube in a solvent, which allows full penetration into every space in the chain and flushes out the gunk. Then, you can easily wipe off the excess, minimizing surface oil and associated dirt pickup. If you oil a chain any where near so much that you have lube throwing off, you're going to have a dirt magnet on your hands.

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