lube and noise
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Thread: lube and noise

  1. #1
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    lube and noise

    For the last couple month, I've got this faint metallic chunking sound when I stand up and sprint or power up a hill. At first, I though there some something loose in the drive train. I check everything on the drive train and nothing was loose. I took the bike back to the LBS and they couldnít find anything loose either.

    It occurred to me the other day that the chunking sound started when I switch lube. So, I scrubbed my chain clean and relube it with Finishline Teflon Plus and the noise went I way.

    Now, the lube that I switched to was Prolink. I was applying the same way I did the Teflon plus. One drop per link, spin the chain to work it in and then wipe off the excess lube. The stuff is much thinner then Teflon plus. I noticed a lot of it does tend to spin or drip of the chain. I assume that normal.

    Anyway, am I applying the Prolink right? If not, how do I apply it? If so, is the clinking noise normal?

  2. #2
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    not front derailleur rub???

    If it's not the front derailleur touching the chain (common when standing if the derailleur's not trimmed properly) then it may just be a case of "dry chain", where there's not enough lube to keep the chain quiet.

    I tired Prolink about 5 years ago and I noticed that the chain was noisier than usual.

    I talked with a factory rep about the lube and found out that it's mostly mineral spirits, which is the carrier for the "metal friction reducer". I put some Prolink in a small dish and waited for several days until the mineral spirits evaporated. What was left behind looked like plain oil to me.

    From then on, I started making my own lube with 4 parts mineral spirits and 1 part synthetic motor oil. This stuff costs almost nothing, so you can drown the chain with it to wash off dirt, wipe off the excess with a paper towel and never get any build up. It also works great anywhere you'd normally apply oil, like derailleur pivots and cables. I use about a quart of the stuff every year.

  3. #3
    B2
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    I've found the same thing.

    I've used Pro Link several times over the last few years and found it to be (ever so slightly) noisier. The first time I really noticed it, I too was using Finishline Teflon prior. When I switched back, the drivetrain was immediately more quiet. More recently I've been using Boeshield T-9 and have found it to be very similar to the Finishline Teflon. A few weeks ago I cleaned my chain prior to shipping my bike to California for a ride and then lubed it with Pro Link on arrival. I continued to use Pro Link for another week or two after I got back. I noticed that drive train was making a little more noise than I was used to so I cleaned the chain and applied Boeshield T-9, let it "dry" overnight and rode the next day. Like the Finishline, the Boeshield made for a quieter drivetrain.

    So far I've found the Boeshield T-9 to be the cleanest lube (as long as you let dry before you ride) with the Finishline Teflon a close second. Having said that... if you wipe your chain down and relube frequently, the "cleaner" aspect of a dry lube is not as important. YMMV

    Bryan

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    Quote Originally Posted by B2
    I've found the same thing.

    I've used Pro Link several times over the last few years and found it to be (ever so slightly) noisier. The first time I really noticed it, I too was using Finishline Teflon prior. When I switched back, the drivetrain was immediately more quiet. More recently I've been using Boeshield T-9 and have found it to be very similar to the Finishline Teflon. A few weeks ago I cleaned my chain prior to shipping my bike to California for a ride and then lubed it with Pro Link on arrival. I continued to use Pro Link for another week or two after I got back. I noticed that drive train was making a little more noise than I was used to so I cleaned the chain and applied Boeshield T-9, let it "dry" overnight and rode the next day. Like the Finishline, the Boeshield made for a quieter drivetrain.

    So far I've found the Boeshield T-9 to be the cleanest lube (as long as you let dry before you ride) with the Finishline Teflon a close second. Having said that... if you wipe your chain down and relube frequently, the "cleaner" aspect of a dry lube is not as important. YMMV

    Bryan
    Thanks for the info. How often is "frequently"? How many miles?

  5. #5
    B2
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    All I was trying to say is that if you wipe your chain and relube every ride, you will have a relatively clean drivetrain no matter what lube you're using (dry or otherwise).

    Personally I try to clean and lube every 50 - 100 miles. This usually means every other ride or so. Works for me. YMMV

    Bryan

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    Ymmv

    I ride in a relatively non-dusty environment, on pretty clean roads, and rarely in the rain. I've been using ProLink and the standard procedure for about 5 years, applying roughly every 350 miles. My Campy Record 9 chains last roughly 10K miles before hitting 0.5% elongation.

    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 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 2-4 if the chain was really dirty
    If you do this every 300 miles or so, you will not get any significant gunky buildup, and you won't have to clean the chain. However, 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.

    Ways to make chains last a long time:

    1. Keep the chain clean and well-lubed. It's the gunk on the chain that acts as a grinding compound and destroys the chain. I use ProLink, with the standard procedure, every 300-350 miles. This also means a quick re-lube if you get caught in the rain. IME, wax lubes do not meet this requirement.

    2. Spin a high cadence. Those who stomp stress the chain far more.

    3. Ride in the big ring when you have a choice. Keeping the chain on the larger cogs greatly reduces stress and there is less chain angle in the 53/18 than in the 39/13.

    4. Ride in non-dusty regions. The grinding paste that forms on the chain is a combination of lube and dirt. If your local climate is dusty, this problem will be far worse and your chain will wear that much faster.

    5. Buy good quality. IME an SRAM 99 series chain lasts about 60% as long as a Campy Record 9. Cassette cogs and chain wheels wear at different rates too, and this influences chain wear.

    6. New chain = new cassette cogs. Many will argue for frequent chain replacement to save their cogs, but the cogs still wear, even with a new chain. The partially worn cogs will cause faster chain wear. The math on chain/cassette replacement (for me) looks like this. Campy 9 speed chain, $25, Chorus 9 cassette $60. Total miles, 10K. Cost per 100 miles = $0.85. The math for people who say to replace the chain every 2500 miles to avoid wearing the cogs too fast: DA chain $24, DA cassette, $75. Assuming ZERO cassette wear (bad assumption), cost per 100 miles = $.96.

  7. #7
    Ken
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons
    I ride in a relatively non-dusty environment, on pretty clean roads, and rarely in the rain. I've been using ProLink and the standard procedure for about 5 years, applying roughly every 350 miles. My Campy Record 9 chains last roughly 10K miles before hitting 0.5% elongation.

    6. New chain = new cassette cogs. Many will argue for frequent chain replacement to save their cogs, but the cogs still wear, even with a new chain. The partially worn cogs will cause faster chain wear. The math on chain/cassette replacement (for me) looks like this. Campy 9 speed chain, $25, Chorus 9 cassette $60. Total miles, 10K. Cost per 100 miles = $0.85. The math for people who say to replace the chain every 2500 miles to avoid wearing the cogs too fast: DA chain $24, DA cassette, $75. Assuming ZERO cassette wear (bad assumption), cost per 100 miles = $.96.
    I've always tried to replace my chain whenever I can measure chain elongation of 1/16 of an inch. This is the standard that I've been told that will get the most life out of a cassette and to a lesser degree the chainrings. After the fourth chain change, it's time to replace the cassette too. Some of my friends in our bike clube follow your method. They never replace the chain until they feel they need to replace the cassette also. They do both at once. For them it's as you wrote about 10k miles. Would using this method shorten the life of the chainrings? Also how do you know when to change the cassette chain?

  8. #8
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    Prolink

    i have used prolink for the last 3 years on both mt and road (started with the road crew last season, and i am riding 4x more road now) i found that prolink has worked best for me,especially mt because it is more dirty. when i get where i am going (either mt or road) i first take out my bike and lube the chain with prolink (make sure that none drips onto road wheelset and get's on the brake surface--becuase it will be the worse noise you can imagine while braking) i then proceed to get dressed and ready to go. the last thing i do is get a rag and hold the chain with the rag as i spin the drivetrain (this cleans the chain very well) finally i put a little prolink back on and i am on my way. not noisy and shifts great. i have tried the teflon lube and like the prolink better. i clean my mt drivetrain after every ride and road drivetrain depending on the miles!

    Just my $.02, oh and where can i find mineral spirits so i can make my own lube (getting expensive)
    The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.' --Ronald Reagan

  9. #9
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    Need to let the carrier evaporate

    Quote Originally Posted by Jett
    Anyway, am I applying the Prolink right? If not, how do I apply it? If so, is the clinking noise normal?
    An important step in using lubes with a volatile carrier (like Prolink) is to let the lubed chain set for awhile to allow the carrier to evaporate & leave the oil in place. I lube the night before so I have at least an overnight evaporation time period.

    The function (I think) of the the low-viscosity oil-in-carrier mixtures is to get the oil deeper into chains to provide better lubrication. If you don't allow time for the carrier to evaporate, the low-viscosity oil-in-carrier mixture can be flung out of the chain as easily as it soaked into the chain. It's also messy when that happens.

    My drive train is very quiet after lubrications in this way.

  10. #10

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    Jett,
    I'd say you want to use a little more Prolink on the chain, as 1 drop per link probably isn't enough. I like to get the chain wet, and backpedal for a minute or so. Then I let it sit for 5-10 minutes, backpedal again for a minute, then wipe the chain until it's dry. This leaves some lube inside the rollers, where it matters, but keeps the outside fairly clean.
    The noise you hear is pretty normal - it's the rollers sliding on the pins. Heavier lubes damp this motion, so you don't hear it. This also depends on the chain ltself, and the wear.
    I've still got a bottle of Prolink I'm using on my commuter, but my road bike gets RocknRoll Gold, which I find better for my conditions, and roughly the same price. I haven't noticed the "jingling" sound since switching, either. It sets up pretty clean, and lasts roughly the same time as Prolink did.
    Not trying to advertise anything, just offering an option.
    Jon.

  11. #11
    Ya, what ATP said...!
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    I use prolink as well

    These threads on chain maint come up frequently and eventually convinced me to try Prolink. I think the thing I like about it is that it does dry up very quickly and forces me to relube and take much better care of the chain. While Triflow seems to keep the chain quieter longer, it was putting more time between cleanings. I was cleaning every 2 to 3 weeks (major cleans as well since there was quite a bit of grime built up), now I'm cleaning once or twice a week depending on miles and the cleans only take about 5 or ten minutes since there isn't much grime to float out. Prolink works great but it's not the lazy man's lube.

  12. #12
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    Drivetrain life

    I live in pretty flat country, and over 80% of my miles are on the flats. This means I use a few cogs pretty heavily. With a Campy Record 9 chain, I consistently get 10K miles before reaching the 0.5% elongation limit (1/16"), and at that point I also have 2 or 3 cogs that need replacing. On occasion, I have replaced only 3 cogs, but that ends up costing nearly as much as a full cassette.

    I just replaced the large chainring (which I use almost exclusively) after 65K miles. I could have squeezed some more miles out of it - shifting was still OK but it was getting a little "rumbly" when pedalling and the chain could be lifted about 2/3 of the height of a tooth. Surprisingly, the teeth were not getting any wave shape to them, though they were a bit pointy compared to the new ring.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbykr
    Just my $.02, oh and where can i find mineral spirits so i can make my own lube (getting expensive)
    You could find in any hardware store, like home Depot. They're usually kept in the paint section. If you can't find mineral spirits you can possibly substitute paint thinner. Some correct me if Iím wrong (about the paint thinner).

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PdxMark
    An important step in using lubes with a volatile carrier (like Prolink) is to let the lubed chain set for awhile to allow the carrier to evaporate & leave the oil in place. I lube the night before so I have at least an overnight evaporation time period.

    The function (I think) of the the low-viscosity oil-in-carrier mixtures is to get the oil deeper into chains to provide better lubrication. If you don't allow time for the carrier to evaporate, the low-viscosity oil-in-carrier mixture can be flung out of the chain as easily as it soaked into the chain. It's also messy when that happens.

    My drive train is very quiet after lubrications in this way.
    Are you suggesting I don't need crank the chain to work the lube in like I do with dry lube? That the prolink will work itself in overnight?

    Yes, it really messy when the stuff get flung out.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jw25
    Jett,
    I'd say you want to use a little more Prolink on the chain, as 1 drop per link probably isn't enough. I like to get the chain wet, and backpedal for a minute or so. Then I let it sit for 5-10 minutes, backpedal again for a minute, then wipe the chain until it's dry. This leaves some lube inside the rollers, where it matters, but keeps the outside fairly clean.
    The noise you hear is pretty normal - it's the rollers sliding on the pins. Heavier lubes damp this motion, so you don't hear it. This also depends on the chain ltself, and the wear.
    I've still got a bottle of Prolink I'm using on my commuter, but my road bike gets RocknRoll Gold, which I find better for my conditions, and roughly the same price. I haven't noticed the "jingling" sound since switching, either. It sets up pretty clean, and lasts roughly the same time as Prolink did.
    Not trying to advertise anything, just offering an option.
    Jon.
    I guess I'll have to look into RockNRoll now. I've heard a few good things about mostly from mtn bikers.

  16. #16
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    Noise

    My ProLink experience was very similar to that described by B 2 above. I switched 3 bikes from Whitelightning to Prolink and all three developed a slight buzzing noise, but certainly not what I'd call a clunking noise. I now use Boeshield T-9 and it is the quietest lube I've tried. That doesn't mean it is better than ProLink, but it is quieter. For a clunking sound I'd be checking for chain stretch and tooth wear, or maybe a loose cassette.
    ~Al

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jett
    Are you suggesting I don't need crank the chain to work the lube in like I do with dry lube? That the prolink will work itself in overnight?
    I spin it around a few times at low speed and then let it sit overnight.

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