The Sounds of Silence (new chain and lube)
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  1. #1
    My back hurts
    Reputation: mickey-mac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000

    The Sounds of Silence (new chain and lube)

    I've been riding Chorus 10 speed since March 2001. I've always gone with a Campy 10 speed chain and used White Lightning as my lube. In fact, I'd been using WL since about '96. Recently, I switched to a Wipperman Connex chain and homebrew lube with mineral spirits and Mobil 1. I've only ridden about 175-200 miles since making the change, but I have to say the difference is amazing. Even with a brand-new Campy chain, I had a fair amount of noise. The drivetrain is now almost completely silent now in just about every usable gear combination. I don't know whether it's the chain, the lube, or a combination and also don't know whether the newly-achieved noise decrease will last, but I'm a happpy guy right now.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    can't be the chain...

    I've used nothing but homebrew for about the last 6 seasons. I found the wipperman chain to be nosier than campy, using the same lube. Many chains retain there initial grease-type lube for a while. The chain may get a bit noisier after several applications of home brew.

    Dry lubes often result in a noisy chain. The are generally cleaner, though.

    I reapply the home brew (4/1 mix) nearly every ride if the conditions are dusty. It doesn't take much more time than simply wiping with a rag. My chains typically have less than half of the allowable maximum wear after 3000 miles, so I know it does a good job.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    My Wipperman broke on a ride and I suppose if I didnt feel it skip first it might have hurt. Never happened with any Campy chains (I have had lots). I only had 2k on it and it was well maintained.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Bill70J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    I don't want to re-ignite the chain lube debate, but here it goes ...... I have used White Lightning and Pedro's Dry Lube for a long time. However, I recently switched to the "witch's brew" of mineral spirits and syn lube (Mobil 1). My experience is that, given the same chain and same riding conditions, the witch's brew is much more quiet and makes the shifts much more crisp. Downside: Expect to wipe down and re-apply the lube after every ride - and do a thorough chain cleaning (off the bike) after every 200 miles. This stuff attracts everything.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    not applying it correctly...

    If "clean and lube" as I like to call it, is applied properly, you should never have to remove the chain for cleaning, since it gets a fair amount of cleaning every week. If the chain does need cleaning, just apply the lube twice and you're done. I do give the cassette a brushing with a toothbrush dipped in mineral spirits or "clean and lube", followed by wiping with a paper towel 2-3 times a season to keep it looking clean.

    I use a mixture of 4 to 5 parts mineral spirits to one part synthetic motor oil to "clean and lube" the chain. Apply the mixture heavily, to the lower section of chain between the rear derailleur and the crank. An old Prolink bottle or contact lens solution bottle work great as applicators. Catch the excess with a paper towel, folded 8 layers thick, held under the chain. Wipe each section of the chain, before rotating the crank to the next section. When the entire chain has been lubed, spin the cranks several turns, wiping with the wet towel. The wet towel can also be used to clean the cogs, derailleur pulleys and chainrings. Follow up with a dry towel. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes. If done at least once a week (more often in dirty conditions), the chain will never need removal for additional cleaning and there will never be any lubricant build-up. If you happen to neglect the chain for more than a week, apply the lube twice, to enhance the cleaning effect. The lubing should be done after riding, to allow time for the mineral spirits to evaporate (leaving only a thin coating of oil) before the next ride. This stuff is a wet lube, so expect a slight wet/black look to the chain after riding. A wipe with a dry towel after each ride will keep the chain looking good.

    When I ride on dirty roads (almost always around Denver) I apply the lube after every ride, which is probably excessive, but I don't get a buildup problem and my chains show virtually no elongation after 3000 miles. I probably use a quart of this mixture every season.

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