Bicycle Mechanics - Any thoughts about Silicon spray lubricant?
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My front derailure was sticking a bit. Sure, I should have taken it off the bike, cleaned it thoroughly, and lubricated it, but I didn't have time.
I used several different oil based lubricants, but nothing worked.
Then, I sprayed some hardware store variety silicon lube and VOILE', it worked. It worked so well, I sprayed some on my rear derailure too.
Why don't I hear silicon spray lubricant mentioned more in bicycle maintanance circles? Is there something I am missing here - some organic problem with silicon lubricant that is waiting to bite me in the ssa?
04-13-01, 10:41 PM
You know I am not an expert on bike repairs, but...
I once put some silicon "oil" (not really designed for lubrication, but I thought, 'Darn, this stuff is really slippery, and it says it's silicon (really techno-cool).' So I put it on the chain.
Hit a cool rainstorm on the way home. Soon I started hearing this sound, like chirping birds. By the time I got home, I was cringing past every person within earshot of me, hoping they wouldn't think I was riding a cheap bike!
Good news, though. It disappeared after I added a little petro-based oil. Guess that'll larn me: never use oil labled "Xerox". ;)
I used to use Liquid Wrench spray silicon. Big can of it was around $2 and for the longest time it had a $2 rebate, so it was definitely a deal!! I think it works pretty good. I used it until I switched to dry lube (White Lightening). I ride MTB 95% of the time and it just works much better, doesn't attract all of the dirt.
If you don't ride in the dirt, I would say use it for day to day riding. For wet weather, switch to something that sticks a little better.
On a side note, I've noticed that any lube/cleaner marketed for bikes is way over priced. Best cleaner I have found is Simple Green at $8/Gal. Pedro's cleaners run about that much for 16 oz. Also heard about a guy who swears by chain saw lube for his chain. Thick and cheap, doesn't wash off.
04-15-01, 04:41 AM
I think silicone works great on derailleur and spring pivots and spring stops as well as bushing type pully wheels, as it does not attract dirt. I don't feel it is right for chains as the "load" is far heavier and the silicone is easily "washed out" as mentioned above. I give the parts mentioned a quick spritz every couple of rides or every ride if it's wet season.
04-15-01, 05:45 AM
Silicon spray is good to clean your bike faster;
If your riding a dirty and wet track the soil is all over your bike, then you go home and clean your bike,its a
dirty job but someone`s got to do it!
Next time you go for a"bad" track, spray some silicon oil for example on your lowest frametube, bottombracket and brake section (NOT on brakepads and rims, just in case.... :D)
The most silicon sprays are not extreme waterrepellent, so if you going to clean your dirty bike the soil washes away easily.
The point is that the dirt stitches on the layer of silicon instead of your frame.
It costs you a fortune to buy so much silicon spray,but i`ve discovered a B-brand for 1 Euro (about 4 us dollar)/bottle, that's a real bargain!
toolfreak - I use the same trick w/ WD-40. Hold a rag behind the tubes and spray, then rub down w/ the soaked rag. Works pretty good, doesn't use to much and WD-40 is cheap!
Great idea, Guys, to use Silicon Spray as an "Easy Off" to make bike cleaning easier. This might be particularly helpful on the right rear chainstay which always gets dirty from road grime.
Being a bicycle collector and refurbisher, one thing I will warn you about is that the solvents in both silicon spray and ESPECIALLY WD-40 will soften up the decals on your bike and possibly remove them. In fact, this is one of the tricks we use to remove old decals.
Of course, if your bike's hihghlites are painted rather than decals, no problem.
04-15-01, 11:30 AM
Hey Mike, good point!
I guess i`ve to clean one of my two bikes at the "old brushing & ragging way"
My excuses for the uncompleted reply, i never thought about the fact that the solvent is aggressive on decals, which is pretty logic! :o
I've used both Silicone Spray and Silicone Grease for years and they are extremely effective as a protective coating, but not as an anti-friction lubricant (so don't use the stuff for chains). Ideal applications for the stuff is :
Spray : Spray ad wipe on all surfaces (especially alloys) for protection against the elements
Grease : I rub it into exposed cables and coat on the OUTSIDE of mechanical parts due to it's water repellancy. (On the actual friction parts I use proper grease)
One of the great pro's of using this stuff is it acts as a rubber conditioner - fantastic for wherever you've got those little rubber seals and grommets.
my two cents worth....
Mike - I've used WD-40 etc. for years to get stickers off. But, I've never had problems with the stickers when cleaning my bike as described above. Probably because it is a wipe on/wipe off operation, while sticker removal generally requires a good soak and sit - sometimes a couple of times. At least that's been my experience.
04-18-01, 10:38 AM
Just wanted to add a couple of things I've found out.
I've used Silicone to spray down my bikes (minus brake pads & rims) AFTER I clean it!! I dry the bike off and then spray (with a rag) the whole frame down and the shifters and derailleurs. The silicone seems to displace any left over drops of water I missed. The spray is pretty cheap and gives my bike protection against corrosion. I live in Florida about 1/2 block from the water. So everything rusts or corrodes.
I'm not a big fan of WD-40, it's actually a solvent and only works as a lube for a very short period of time. I use the silicone on all my moving parts, shifters, derailleurs, pedals, etc. except my chain, I use White Lightning with good results. I just got some of Pedro's Ice Wax, so I'll keep you posted on how that works. My guess is it's pretty much the same as the White Lightning.
What I did want to mention, is a product called PB Blaster. This is the best SOLVENT I've found. If you've got a rusted bolt, it will loosen it up in no time. Also, neglected hubs that need to be rebuilt get cleaned very well. Another feature about it is it loosens up rubber seals. I used it on a mini-pump that wasn't working at all. After spaying the internals with it and coming back after 24 hours, the pump worked better than new. I then tried it on my shock pump that wasn't working. I can now pump it up to 250 psi without a problem.
Has anyone else used this stuff? Any other applications for it?
04-18-01, 11:44 PM
Silicon spray to clean, tight! never even thought of that. All my stickers are under clear coat so it works nicely. after that, i get that McGuires car detailer spray and shoot some of that on. Dirt falls off alot faster, water beads up, almost like a wax job without alot of work!
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