Chain lube below freeezing.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 36
  1. #1
    Master debator.
    Reputation: nOOky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    8,552

    Chain lube below freeezing.

    Just curious what others use. I use White Lightening all year round, but I've noticed when it's really cold out the chain gets very stiff. Riding when it's say, 15F, the shifting is a bit klunkier It works, but I'm wondering if I should switch to a different lube. It's got to handle rain and snow also.
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    21,053

    Oils

    Quote Originally Posted by nOOky View Post
    Just curious what others use. I use White Lightening all year round, but I've noticed when it's really cold out the chain gets very stiff. Riding when it's say, 15F, the shifting is a bit klunkier It works, but I'm wondering if I should switch to a different lube. It's got to handle rain and snow also.
    Unless you live in a dry and dusty climate, White Lightning is not a very good lube, and it certainly is a terrible lube when things get wet because it will quickly disappear. ProLink is an oil in solvent lube - you apply the lube and the solvent evaporates leaving an oil behind. It doesn't get stiff. You can make your own with 3-4 parts odorless mineral spirits mixed with the oil of your choice (gear lube, motor oil, etc.). Others like Rock & Roll, Dumonde Tech, and even Boeshield. Do a search on "chain lube" and you will find literally 100s of comments.

  3. #3
    Anphaque II
    Reputation: cda 455's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    6,176
    Quote Originally Posted by nOOky View Post
    Just curious what others use. I use White Lightening all year round, but I've noticed when it's really cold out the chain gets very stiff. Riding when it's say, 15F, the shifting is a bit klunkier It works, but I'm wondering if I should switch to a different lube. It's got to handle rain and snow also.

    During the Winter months I clean and lube my chain daily with kerosene.
    America's greatest threat: Congressional liberal Democrats

    Crimes Against Humanity: The History of The Democrat Party

  4. #4
    Bikes make girls hotter!
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    602
    I mostly make my own lubricants, Tri-Flow however is my fav but I mainly just use it on cleats.For shatty weather riding I use my normal mix of charcoal fluid and wax chain lube mixed 50/50 with motor oil. It is runny enough to get into the rollers and leaves that wet membrane feel to everything so you know it's not washing out from just road water etc.. .
    It is pretty much safe to assume I have no idea what I'm doing and that I need more fixing than my bike!

  5. #5
    Hai.
    Reputation: erik1245's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1,115
    Rock and Roll (blue) or Boeshield for me. That's for both the road bikes and the mountain bikes during the winter. I like them equally -- the only real deciding factor is which shop I'm heading to when I need more.

    My bikes see snow, slush, road salt, and, of course, cold. I think last winter I was riding down to about 15F.
    Man up, dumb down, and do one gear.

    /AYHSMB

  6. #6
    Railing the Berm of Life
    Reputation: Sheepo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    300
    Here is an idea, when its 15* F, stay indoors.
    Dirt is good for the soul

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,923
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo View Post
    Here is an idea, when its 15* F, stay indoors.
    Rule #8

  8. #8
    Master debator.
    Reputation: nOOky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    8,552
    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Unless you live in a dry and dusty climate, White Lightning is not a very good lube, and it certainly is a terrible lube when things get wet because it will quickly disappear. ProLink is an oil in solvent lube - you apply the lube and the solvent evaporates leaving an oil behind. It doesn't get stiff. You can make your own with 3-4 parts odorless mineral spirits mixed with the oil of your choice (gear lube, motor oil, etc.). Others like Rock & Roll, Dumonde Tech, and even Boeshield. Do a search on "chain lube" and you will find literally 100s of comments.
    I've had the opposite experience in the rain and during muddy mountain bike races. I use paraffin because it sticks so well and doesn't attract as much dirt.
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Dave Cutter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,904
    Quote Originally Posted by nOOky View Post
    .... I've noticed when it's really cold out the chain gets very stiff. Riding when it's say, 15F, the shifting is a bit klunkier It works, but I'm wondering if I should switch to a different lube.
    I've noticed when it's really cold out my joints get stiff. I would guess if I tried cycling when it's say, 15F, the knees and hip would be a bit clunkier but hopefully... they'd still work.

    It seems every cyclist has their own ideas about chains and lubes. I've settled on a light bicycle oil on a clean chain. Since it's the dirt and grit that [I believe] wears away at the parts... keeping the chain clean is my number one concern. A light oil applied and the [clean] chain wiped nearly dry so as not to attract debris and dirt.... works well for me.

    To clean the chain... I spray on a little simple green. Then wash with warm soapy water and allow the chain to dry completely before oiling. I sometimes use compressed air to blow dry the chain in cold weather.

  10. #10
    Anphaque II
    Reputation: cda 455's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    6,176
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo View Post
    Here is an idea, when its 15* F, stay indoors.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoelS View Post
    Rule #8

    And rule #5 and rule #9 .
    America's greatest threat: Congressional liberal Democrats

    Crimes Against Humanity: The History of The Democrat Party

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: looigi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    7,162
    Is there a "Rule" # for using only wet/oily lubes?

    IMO, dry and solid lubes (paraffin) might be OK as long they're in the joint, but after pressure and movement force it out from between the surfaces where it's needed, it can't run back in. Wet lubes continue to wick back into the joint and provide lubrication.

    Also, dry lubes are worn into fine particles that are easily washed out by water. Wet lubes will continue to stick to surfaces.
    Last edited by looigi; 10-31-2012 at 05:28 AM.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  12. #12
    A wheelist
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    11,321
    Winter, summer, indoors, outdoors - Homebrew mixed 50/50. There are no negatives. Backpedaling the chain through WD-40 on a rag every time the bike is up on the stand keeps the chain clean and excess lube off the outside. Re-lube as needed. Job done.
    .

  13. #13
    CX'er
    Reputation: bikerector's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    863
    I've had pretty good luck the past 2 years using finish line wet lube with ceramic. It's messy as heck but keeps the rust at bay and things working. Only so much you can do against road salt in Michigan. Any dry or wax lube I've tried turns to paste and is a PITA to apply, I don't have a heated garage.

  14. #14
    Low rep power
    Reputation: saf-t's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    6,264
    Chain-L Has worked really well for me during the past few winters here in New England, where it's consistently below freezing during the winter.

    And no, I wasn't paid for the endorsement
    We'll be back soon, there will be more of us, and next time we won't be dropping leaflets.

    “The problem with quotes on the internet is that it’s hard to verify their authenticity” – Abraham Lincoln

  15. #15
    Roadbike Rider
    Reputation: Chainstay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,260

    Viscosity increase at lower Temp

    The reason there might be an effect with temperature is the chain lube will become more viscous at lower temperatures, which might effect the ability of a wet lube to wick into the high wear areas.

    Viscosity index - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    That's as far as I can take it since I have no idea how a 20 degrees C change will affect the viscosity. I am going to put some Pro Link outside as soon as it gets to freezing, (this weekend) and then I will provide a qualitative comparison.
    "It's supposed to be automatic, but actually you have to push this button. "
    — John Brunner (Stand on Zanzibar)

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: GRAVELBIKE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    507
    Dumonde Tech (regular and lite). Zero problems in sub-freezing weather.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: JCavilia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    14,702
    Quote Originally Posted by Chainstay View Post
    The reason there might be an effect with temperature is the chain lube will become more viscous at lower temperatures, which might effect the ability of a wet lube to wick into the high wear areas.
    That's as far as I can take it since I have no idea how a 20 degrees C change will affect the viscosity. I am going to put some Pro Link outside as soon as it gets to freezing, (this weekend) and then I will provide a qualitative comparison.
    That might not be a very informative test, since it will only tell you how the full-strength liquid behaves. In use, the more volatile solvents evaporate, leaving the heavier oils behind as lube. If you want to really test it, I'd think you'd have to put some in an open container and leave it out long enough for full evaporation, then put the resulting residue out in the cold, and compare with a similar sample kept warm. To have enough left over to tell the difference, you might have to waste a lot of lube.

    But I don't think it makes much difference, really. Any oil-type lube is probably thin enough at the temperatures we're talking about.

  18. #18
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: ddimick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    578
    Chain-L. The end.

  19. #19
    Roadbike Rider
    Reputation: Chainstay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,260
    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    I'd think you'd have to put some in an open container and leave it out long enough for full evaporation, then put the resulting residue out in the cold, and compare with a similar sample kept warm. To have enough left over to tell the difference, you might have to waste a lot of lube.

    But I don't think it makes much difference, really. Any oil-type lube is probably thin enough at the temperatures we're talking about.
    OK I won't do it with Pro-Link, too expensive to waste on an experiment.

    I'm thinking that any difference in shifting could be related to stiffer housing. When I ride in the cold I'm just happy to stay warm and enjoy the ride.
    "It's supposed to be automatic, but actually you have to push this button. "
    — John Brunner (Stand on Zanzibar)

  20. #20
    Pathlete and Pedalphile
    Reputation: redondoaveb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3,143
    Quote Originally Posted by ddimick View Post
    Chain-L. The end.
    +1. The 60 degree cold winters in So. Cal. really wreck havoc on my chain.
    If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    669
    Chain-L.

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: JCavilia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    14,702
    Quote Originally Posted by Chainstay View Post
    OK I won't do it with Pro-Link, too expensive to waste on an experiment.

    I'm thinking that any difference in shifting could be related to stiffer housing. When I ride in the cold I'm just happy to stay warm and enjoy the ride.
    I agree that differences in shifting are probably largely cable-related -- both stiffer housing and more drag from any lubricant on the cable inside the housing. On integrated shift/brake levers stiffer grease in the guts can also slow things.

  23. #23
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Waxbytes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    178
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    I've noticed when it's really cold out my joints get stiff. I would guess if I tried cycling when it's say, 15F, the knees and hip would be a bit clunkier but hopefully... they'd still work.
    ....

    .
    I find a hot rum tottie with cinnamon to work well to lubricate the joints.
    For chains any oil that stays liquid to 0 F should be good.

  24. #24
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: ddimick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    578
    Quote Originally Posted by redondoaveb View Post
    +1. The 60 degree cold winters in So. Cal. really wreck havoc on my chain.
    Sometimes it drops below 50 and we have to burn the furniture to survive.

  25. #25
    Anphaque II
    Reputation: cda 455's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    6,176
    Quote Originally Posted by ddimick View Post
    Sometimes it drops below 50 and we have to burn the furniture to survive.




    Yeah; I used to live in San Diego and when the temps dropped below 60*F we'd have to put on the Arctic down jacket and pants !
    America's greatest threat: Congressional liberal Democrats

    Crimes Against Humanity: The History of The Democrat Party

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.