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  1. #1
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    Which chain lube is better? Purple Extreme or Ice Wax?

    Hey, I just a new chain for my bike and I was wondering which chain lube is better? I bought Purple Extreme Synthetic Lubricant and I got a small thing of Pedro's Ice Wax for free.

  2. #2
    Neither rain, snow... dsm iv tr's Avatar
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    You are quickly walking into a debate the likes of which compares to God vs. No God, Capitalism vs. Communism, or any number of unsolvable issues.

    Try each one, and see what you like better.

    I use the lightest motor oil I can find, in a half-and-half solution with some paint thinner. The solvent allows the oil to reach the rollers, without being too gross and picking up a ton of dirt (one should wipe off excess lube from the outside of the chain if one wishes to avoid this).

    Keep in mind -- if you switch lube types (wax vs. oil), you should degrease the chain very carefully to ensure no oil contaminates the fresh wax-type lube.
    "You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need."
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  3. #3
    Lets Ride Trekke's Avatar
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    I always use White Lightning Epic chain lube. Seems to be very clean, makes the chain easy to clean and effective. I used wax for the longest time. Problem I had with wax was the eventual build up that was difficult to clean off. Just my thoughts.
    Phil

  4. #4
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    @dsm iv tr: I appreciate that you actually gave some helpful info along with the warning, but the "see which one you like better gets tossed around a lot on questions where there are not definitive answers... but there are stills relative pros and cons. When people ask questions like this, they're usually looking for information to help them make a decision. They know they're free to choose for themselves, express themselves, etc., but want to make use of culture and build on other people's experiences and knowledge instead of just learning it all themselves through trial and error.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsm iv tr
    You are quickly walking into a debate the likes of which compares to God vs. No God, Capitalism vs. Communism, or any number of unsolvable issues.
    Or even worse, Shimano vs. Campy!!

  6. #6
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    i love the solvent/chain lubricant type lubes. I use rock n roll gold. I wiped down my chain very thoroughly, then drip on rock and roll gold according to directions, then wipe off excess. Leaves me with as smooth running, quiet drive train as I have ever had. Prior to the switch, I used aerosol chain lubes, and there is no comparison, the drip on solvent/lubes are far superior. I have not tried the wax, so I cannot offer advice here, but from what I have read and heard, they seem like more work.
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    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  7. #7
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    For my part, I use ProLink, which is a very effective metal protectant that diminishes friction and doesn't attract dirt much. Riv recommends it as their favorite now (but I'd been using it before Riv said anything) and Performance sells a ton of it. Drip-on stuff.
    But I've never used wax. White Lightning stuff works well, but needs to be re-applied more often, in my understanding.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MudPie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery
    @dsm iv tr: I appreciate that you actually gave some helpful info along with the warning, ... but want to make use of culture and build on other people's experiences and knowledge instead of just learning it all themselves through trial and error.
    I tend to agree that one needs to experiment to find what chain lube works best for a given rider. There are too many variables involved (road or mountain, wet or dry conditions, desire for quiet, desire for lubing interval, corrosion protection...). Even among my off road ride buddies we all have our favorite and we tend to ride under the same conditions. Some like wax, some like dry petroleum based. Out of our 6 riders, we use about 4 different chain lubes (ProLink (my all-time fav), White Lightning, Park lube, and Rock n Roll). But we all agree that wet is out.

  9. #9
    BloomBikeShop.com BloomBikeShop's Avatar
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    I use ProLink which I think would be more like Purple Extreme (which I have, but haven't tried yet...)

    I've used White Lightning (wax type) but definitely prefer ProLink. Less gunk build-up and runs smoother.

  10. #10
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    Purple Extreme

  11. #11
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    I use 50/50 Mobil1:Mineral Spirits.

    After using most of the others at one point or another, this mix works just fine for me. I put it on after each ride (or two), allowing the mineral spirits to evaporate overnight, leaving just the Mobil1 behind.

    Good luck!

  12. #12
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Some good observations in this thread. My advice is that if you keep the chain clean just about any lubrication will work. They all help reduce wear and prevent corosion. Some work better in wet conditions than others, but I believe that the key is to keep the chain clean. With new gadgets like Connex, cleaning is easy to do and does not take very long. By the way, I use Prolink.

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    purple extreme is very dry if you let it dry for a few days before you use the chain. I got about 400 miles between applications. but the rain seemed to kill it pretty fast.
    the biggest differences between lubes are A how long they last between applications and b how much of a mess they make out of your chain.
    seems you can get pretty good b at the cost of a. the driest lubes I have found have been purple extreme if you let it dry and honda's chain lube. honda's lasts a bit longer in the rain. it only attracts a ltitle bit of black on the chain that really has to be wiped hard to be removed. so it does not get on your leg and stuff.

  14. #14
    Neither rain, snow... dsm iv tr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudPie
    There are too many variables involved ...

    MudPie is absolutely correct, and this correlates with my original post.


    timcupery -- The intent is not to discourage discourse on the two lubes, but rather to remind the original poster that this exact same thing has been covered, and it always ends up with "find out for yourself" due exactly to the fact that there ARE far too many variables to cover. With little to no external criteria given, our opinions are of almost no value other than consensus agreement, which may not even be applicable to the situation. No information on the terrain the poster will be riding on, or even on the intended use of the bicycle itself was given -- simply "which is better?" is not sufficient data to work with, at least not for me.
    "You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need."
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  16. #16
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I tried icewax for a while, It seems to have worn off very quickly, and the first puddle you hit forget it. Plus i felt like i had to reapply it constantly. Tri-flow works very well, but when that ran out i gave prolink a try. Been using that for 3 or 4 months now, working very well.
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  17. #17
    Lets Ride Trekke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildjim
    Sheldon gives great advice. So don't take my post as being anti Sheldon. However, I feel that his advice is not practical for many cyclists. Not every cyclist has the tools or ability to remove and clean a chain after every couple of rides. I have never removed a chain for cleaning but have installed every new chain I have ever bought. Instead I just try to do the best job I can while the chain is still on the bike knowing and accepting the fact I am not cleaning my chain to optimum standards. In this case I have balance effort and reward against risk and cost. I look forward to the time when I have the ability, time and other resources to do it right.
    Phil

  18. #18
    wildjim
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trekke
    Sheldon gives great advice. So don't take my post as being anti Sheldon. However, I feel that his advice is not practical for many cyclists. Not every cyclist has the tools or ability to remove and clean a chain after every couple of rides. I have never removed a chain for cleaning but have installed every new chain I have ever bought. Instead I just try to do the best job I can while the chain is still on the bike knowing and accepting the fact I am not cleaning my chain to optimum standards. In this case I have balance effort and reward against risk and cost. I look forward to the time when I have the ability, time and other resources to do it right.
    The information is from Jobst Brandt and Sheldon Brown is displaying it for reference.

    Please take the time to read the entire article.

    I believe that anyone interested in doing bicycle maintenance should read all of the articles written by Jobst Brandt. As Sheldon Brown and many others have realized the value of Jobst Brandt's documentation based on fact and experience.
    Last edited by wildjim; 12-04-05 at 06:40 PM.

  19. #19
    Lets Ride Trekke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildjim
    The information is from Jobst Brandt and Sheldon Brown is displaying it for reference.

    Please take the time to read the entire article.

    I believe that anyone interested in doing bicycle maintenace should read all of the articles written by Jobst Brandt. As Sheldon Brown and many others have realized the value of Jobst Brandt's documentation based on fact and experience.
    I have read both Brandt's and Sheldon's references and original work many times and agree with the accuracy and valuable experience they provide. We are fortunate to have these resources.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html
    Phil

  20. #20
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trekke
    Sheldon gives great advice. So don't take my post as being anti Sheldon. However, I feel that his advice is not practical for many cyclists. Not every cyclist has the tools or ability to remove and clean a chain after every couple of rides.
    If you use Sram master links, as I do, no tools are required to remove the chain. However I for one never advocated removing and cleaning the chain "after every couple of rides."


    Quote Originally Posted by Trekke
    I have never removed a chain for cleaning but have installed every new chain I have ever bought. Instead I just try to do the best job I can while the chain is still on the bike knowing and accepting the fact I am not cleaning my chain to optimum standards. In this case I have balance effort and reward against risk and cost.
    This is my approach as well. I hardly ever clean my chains. See my chain maintenance article at:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/chains

    Sheldon "Too Lazy" Brown
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  21. #21
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsm iv tr
    timcupery -- The intent is not to discourage discourse on the two lubes, but rather to remind the original poster that this exact same thing has been covered, and it always ends up with "find out for yourself" due exactly to the fact that there ARE far too many variables to cover. With little to no external criteria given, our opinions are of almost no value other than consensus agreement, which may not even be applicable to the situation. No information on the terrain the poster will be riding on, or even on the intended use of the bicycle itself was given -- simply "which is better?" is not sufficient data to work with, at least not for me.
    Yeah, but having background information, and the variables under which it was collected, is useful to make these decisions. If we didn't have culture (information transfered from others so we don't need to figure things out ourselves) we'd still be chasing deer with our bare hands.
    I agree that there are many variables, and that there is not definative answers, but variables are still finite and, for most road riders (not what this thread is directly about, I know) there aren't very many variables.

  22. #22
    Lets Ride Trekke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    If you use Sram master links, as I do, no tools are required to remove the chain. However I for one never advocated removing and cleaning the chain "after every couple of rides."




    This is my approach as well. I hardly ever clean my chains. See my chain maintenance article at:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/chains

    Sheldon "Too Lazy" Brown
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    Thanks Sheldon, this is great advice. I may look into a master link. I ride both Shimano and campy drivetrains and have had great reliability with both. I clean the chain and drive train at least every week and relube. The current Veloce cassette and chain have 4,900 miles on them and still perform very well. My maintenance is to usuall replace the chain and cassette every 6000 miles or so. I get the same performance from Shimano parts however I still ride my original shimano cassette I first bought in 2001. It has 15,000 miles on it.

    Thanks Again
    Phil

  23. #23
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    atf automatic transmission fluid! i have used this to lube my chains for the past twenty years ever since i found out that mercedes benz specifiies this for their truck standard five and six transmissions. yese, not ninety weight oil. i figured that it must have such great lubricating qualities why not a bike chain. i have one bike with approximately 35,000 miles on it and never have had a problem with a chain or chainring using atf. relube every 1000 miles or so. only problem is that it is prone to collecting road grime.

  24. #24
    Neither rain, snow... dsm iv tr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery
    Yeah, but having background information, and the variables under which it was collected, is useful to make these decisions. If we didn't have culture (information transfered from others so we don't need to figure things out ourselves) we'd still be chasing deer with our bare hands.
    I agree that there are many variables, and that there is not definative answers, but variables are still finite and, for most road riders (not what this thread is directly about, I know) there aren't very many variables.
    The lack of background information is precisely what I noted was missing from the original post.

    What lube you use is not as important as hunting methods, language, or medicine. As for equating it to some kind of cultural milestone, that's overkill for what we're talking about. I think the choice should be made on a personal basis, and while I agree nothing is harmful about asking, if one wants a truly useful answer, one should study the properties on their own, in the situations they'll be using the product in.
    "You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need."
    Vernon Howard

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  25. #25
    Flat Ire
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    1- The disadvantage of wax is that it is not as slippery as petroleum-based products.
    2- I've been using Dumonde Tech Lube Lite, which puts a plastic film on the chain parts to make them slippery. I don't know how much mileage I could get out of it, but I re-lube at least every 300 miles "just because". Rain doesn't seem to affect the mileage. What I like about it is that I never have to use degreaser. To clean the chain I use soap and water; works great, and I always have a clean shinny chain.

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