Winter Cycling - LPS products
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In consequence of the thread
Bike salt protection? (http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=499054)
I have tried out two LPS products No. 3 and No. 2. The first of these is supposed to act as a rust-inhibitor and the second as a lubricant withsome anti-corrosion protection. No. 3 is much thicker than No. 2. The product line includes also No. 1 that apparently reminds WD40. Up to this point, I have been using Boeshield T9 both in the role of a corrosion protector on the bike and a lubricant and protector on the chain. With t9, I have been losing the battle with corrosion, though, on the steel 2-legged kickstand mounted behind the bottom bracket. After using both LPS products for over a month, in rather harsh winter conditions, I can report my first impressions.
In harsh conditions, Boeshield would get washed off from the kickstand within about 10 days. By contrast, after the month, except for areas where metal rubs against metal, No. 3 stays on the kickstand quite unscathed. When sprayed, it forms a sticky layer on the surface and does not flow much. After a month, the sticky layer is still there. The salt accumulates over the surface of the layer, but does appear to penetrate through. Thus, the No. 3 trial turned out to be a success. Right now, I am trying to combine No. 2 with No. 3 to see what I can take care of areas of metal rubbing as well.
I have further tried No. 2 on the chain. So far I can report that No. 2 is at least comparable to T9 under winter conditions, in that No. 2 keeps the chain rust-free for 10 or more days. Other chain lubricants (ProLink, Rock'N Roll) will let, on the other hand, the chain rust in a couple of days in rain or snow. Since I have been changing the chain during the trial period, though, I cannot tell yet whether either T9 or No. 2 appears superior to the other in this application.
LPS 3 continues to a do fantastic job on the kickstand. Salt and mud accumulate over the layer of LPS 3 with the kickstand remaining protected underneath. There where LPS 3 cannot hold, I now apply Boeshield T9.
LPS 2 turned out not to be as good as Boeshield T9. LPS 2 remains wet after application, never seemingly drying out. Because of this, seemingly, it is more susceptible to getting washed off. While it is better than most lubes on the chain, it is not good as Boeshield. After two days of heavy rains, I noticed a shade of rust on the edge of the chain treated with LPS 2. That finding appeared consistent with the results of the systematic study of different treatments against corrosion done, however, on aluminum:
In the meantime, I realized that at least one vendor sells LPS 3 repackaged for use on bicycle chains. The manufacturer lists chains as one of the applications. I have been a bit hesitant about this application, because I figured that the layer of LPS 3 would be scrapped off. On the other hand, there are people who claim to use solid paraffin on the chains and some searches of the lists here revealed users of LPS 3 on their chains. Since LPS 2 was getting of the chain, I applied LPS 3 as a try. Since it is a so-called high viscosity liquid, I diluted it a bit with mineral spirits to make it penetrate the chain better.
Well, after 2 winter weeks on the chain, with the bike standing outside during the day and taking in particular 2 days+ of heavy chilling rain, LPS 3 appears to do a decent job. The reason it appears to work, against my expectations, is that it gets mashed on the chain into a paste. I will see how long it lasts there without reapplication.
In the meantime, another product, ACF-50 has attracted my attention. Like Boeshield, it comes from aviation industry, but over time has become quite popular on motorcycles. The bikers use it for winterizing their motorcycles, both applying it to the body as the chain. ACF-50 provides no lubrication but apparently mixes well with lubricants. This will be another one I am going to try.
A couple of days after my last post, just as I was getting to a third week with LPS 3 on the chain, it started to rain again and rust spots have appeared on the chain. Thus, LPS 3 does not appear to give an advantage over Boeshield with respect to protecting chain against rust, although it definitely plays such a role on other bike components, where it is not physically displaced. This outcome, in itself, moves the claims of paraffin wax protecting chains against rust, to the category of fables, since the sticky LPS 3 has a far better adherence to surfaces than paraffin.
I have next treated the chain with LPS 3 mixed with Boeshield and, in addition, ACF-50. The addition of ACF-50 has completely eliminated rust problems. I have now ridden 6 weeks since the application of my mixture, with snow, slush and rain during that time, bike standing outside during the day, and the chain does not want rust! With this durability of chain treatment, I may now move to other problems of life.
Wow! Nice write up..what is your mixture ration of the three products? I have been using Phil's tenacious for a couple years and it keeps the chain lubricated but man, what a sticky mess on the chain and gears! It certainly does the job though..
I am still experimenting. The addition of ACF-50 makes the chain stay wet, which I do not like either, but is, on the other hand, crucial for maintaining the chain rust-free. After 7 weeks since the application of the mixture and a couple of days of recent rain, I finally got first patches of rust. At the moment I think I have the ratio of 2:1:1 of LPS-3 to Boeshield to ACF-50. I suspect that using ACF-50 with just one of the two other could also yield satisfactory results. I will post after I learn more but, at this point, it appears to be an experimentation for a number of weeks.
12-10-09, 08:13 AM
This sounds like it's working great for you, so I'm going to try this. I was looking at purchasing lps 3, boeshield T9 and acf-50 and I was curious if you use aerosol spray cans (in which case, in what order do you spay them on?), or if you bought each of these in a liquid and premix them. If the latter, is there any problem with storing them premixed?
My current stock is in containers. I pour a bit of each into a glass jar and apply the mixture with a brush. I have not encountered any problems with the mixture staying there for a long time. It just separates a bit gravitationally, so I stir it before applying. With the chain, I now have gone to months between application. It possible that the mixture integrates better with the surface after few applications. I now went on to applying the mixture to anything that can rust, such as family car. It is amazing that it hangs on to wipers. I thought it would get washed off soon from such a place, but then the bicycle chain is also pretty rough.
Buying all components in containers can be pricey, but you may start by just spraying from a can into a jar. How spraying one layer at a time would work, I do not know.
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