The Great New Chain Lube Debate! - Page 2

View Poll Results: Chain lube from the manufacturer...

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  • Leave it on

    70 64.22%
  • Get rid of it

    39 35.78%
  • I have a belt drive and can't be bothered with such banalities

    0 0%
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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons
    Once and for all, different chains come with different lubes on them, so there is no answer. For many years (well over a decade) Campy has supplied their chains with a lightweight oil applied. All you have to do is wipe off the surface lube to prevent dirt pickup. Shimano appears to have gotten rid of their old "S-wax"gunk and though the lube is heavier than Campy, you probably would be fine just to wipe off the surface. Any chain that comes with waxy lube should be at least exterior wiped with a solvent soaked rag to remove the dirt magnet gunk.

    There is absolutely no risk if you choose to remove all of the factory lube and apply your own (unless you're using something like White Lightning). Modern lubes will penetrate all the nooks and crannies and either displace or mix with the factory lube. Solven based modern lubes like ProLink or home brew (1 part oil to 3-4 parts odorless mineral spirits) will do this job easily and very well. The risk to removing the factory lube comes if you then do a crappy job of re-lubing the chain.


    Kerry, what type of oil do you recommend for your home brew?

  2. #27
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    Here's my experience with lube, and my thoughts/opinions:
    I agree with Sheldon Brown that the factory lube is great, because of my experience. When I first lubed my chain with a homebrew, I had put a LOT of miles on the new chain, more than should be ideally. I noticed immediately the reduced friction that I had, it helped me ride faster! That homebrew would last me about 100~150 miles before I would feel the friction building up.
    The next year, when I replaced my chain, I could feel how easily it would move, just like a freshly lubed chain. That factory lube kept the smoothness for over 200 miles, and that's when I finally lubed it. That's why I think factory lube is so good.
    My thoughts on dry lubes: I figured I'd give White Lightning a try, since it said it's self-cleaning. I can't find a lick of evicence that the lube is self-cleaning at all, after using it for about 800 miles. It doesn't attract nearly as much dirt as a dry lube, that's for sure. The silver look of the chain will always be visible, whereas my homebrew would help the chain look black after 40 miles. White Lightning works OK, but not as good as homebrew. It wears off faster, so after 60~100 miles, it's time to re-lube.
    So, I've decided that for most of my regular riding, I'll use dry lube. For the very big rides (MS150 and century rides), I'll use homebrew.
    I have a single track mind

  3. #28
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    Oil choice

    Quote Originally Posted by lucky13
    Kerry, what type of oil do you recommend for your home brew?
    Oil choice is nothing to lose sleep over. I've used automotive motor oil and 90W gear lube and noticed no difference. Some people get all wound up about it has to be synthetic motor oil (like Mobil 1) and others get similarly wound up about how it has to be 5w30 and can't be 10w40 or whatever. Others will tell you to get chain saw oil. IMO that's all bollocks. I'm currently using the gear lube because I had a bunch left over. Once that's gone, I'll just use motor oil.

  4. #29
    It's Good to be The King
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    Chains DO stretch...

    Quote Originally Posted by martinrjensen
    That stretch you're talking about? that's wear, chains don't stretch. The bearing surfces get worn and that allows more room between the links making it appear that your chain stretched
    Chains very clearly stretch. I get about 2500 miles from chains and I routinely lay them out on my garage floor next to their successor. The old chains are ALWAYS longer by about a half link. The rollers are worn for sure, but the chain IS longer as well.
    If you disagree with me, it's because you are wrong.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by fretking
    Chains very clearly stretch. I get about 2500 miles from chains and I routinely lay them out on my garage floor next to their successor. The old chains are ALWAYS longer by about a half link. The rollers are worn for sure, but the chain IS longer as well.
    This is a good explanation of what is happening from Sheldon.

    Chain "Stretch"


    Cyclists often speak of chain "stretch", as if the side plates of an old chain were pulled out of shape by the repeated stresses of pedaling. This is not actually how chains elongate. The major cause of chain "stretch" is wearing away of the metal where the rivet rotates inside of the bushing (or the "bushing" part of the inside plate) as the chain links flex and straighten as the chain goes onto and off of the sprockets. If you take apart an old, worn out chain, you can easily see the little notches worn into the sides of the rivets by the inside edges of the bushings. With bushingless chains, the inside edge of the side plate hole that rubs against the rivet has a smooth radius instead of a sharp corner. This probably contributes to the greater durability of bushingless chains.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by fretking
    Chains very clearly stretch.
    WRONG!!! They do elongate, but no human can stretch a chain.
    I have a single track mind

  7. #32
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    I leave it on til it gets dirty, then I soak it in ProLink til there's a nasty wet mess, then wipe it til the chain is clean-ish.
    * not actually a Rock Star

  8. #33
    All I wanted was a Pepsi!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    I leave it on til it gets dirty, then I soak it in ProLink til there's a nasty wet mess, then wipe it til the chain is clean-ish.
    I feel like I've seen this before.
    "If you have the guts to be yourself, other people'll pay your price." - Rabbit Angstrom

  9. #34
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    I immediately clean the chain, then give it a bath of hot paraffin.

  10. #35
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    Not to dis' Sheldon Brown, but the "lube" that comes on factory chains should actually be termed "massively efficient dirt/grit magnet." Get rid of that crap unless you want your chain and drive train to forever be a sticky, greasy mess and wear prematurely. Wax or dry lube is that way to go unless you live in swamp country.
    Well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion man. - The Dude

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