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  1. #1
    Biscuit Boy Cosmoline's Avatar
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    What are you using for lubes and oils?

    I've started commuting by bike again after a decade in the cars. I remember back in college I used to spray my mountain bikes down with WD-40, but I don't know where the devil I got the idea of using a degreaser to protect bike parts! This time around I've been using M-Pro cleaner on the chain and CLP on the external metal parts. They're designed for firearms but seem to be doing very well on the bike at protecing it from water damage and keeping things lubed without getting gummy. The problem is, they're very $$ and I'm thinking of going over to cheap household oil instead. What are other people using?


  2. #2
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    20-weight motor oil in my Sturmey-Archer three-speeds, Phil grease for bearings, Park grease for anti-seize applications, White Lightning on chains and Phil Tenacious for most other applications. I use automotive wax on the frame and usually use Pledge wipes for cleaning. Simple Green is my degreaser of choice.
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  3. #3
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    I use Tri-flow and Finish Line, Teflon Plus. They are a little pricey but when it comes to chain lubrication, I want to use the correct product especially since I ride dusty, sandy trails. I use the same stuff on my road bikes.
    Edit: Like others posting here, I use automotive bearing grease when lubricating bearing surfaces.
    Last edited by roccobike; 06-15-06 at 08:29 PM.
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  4. #4
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Bar and chain oil on my bike chain and hubs. The stuff made for a chain saw. You can buy it by the quart or gallon. It is made to flow into the chain parts and the stuff is sticky so it stays on the chain. I also use it in hubs that have an oil port. I have 1,542 miles on a set of hubs and the chain on a bicycle I use for touring with no problems at all. The chain still checks good with a chain gage as well.

  5. #5
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    I have a drawer full. Depends on the bike, the weather, the use. I buy WD by the crate in winter.

    Just about anything (and often nothing) works on a clean well adjusted drivetrain.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member vw addict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n4zou
    I have 1,542 miles on a set of hubs
    NO WAY!

  7. #7
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    T-9 for the chain, Phil Tencious Oil for the freehub, and Park bearing grease for hub and headset bearings.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  8. #8
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vw addict
    NO WAY!
    I am retired, do 50 miles every other day for fun, and do at least a 500 mile trip once a month averaging 150 miles a day, WAY!

  9. #9
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    I still don't understand your point. I have over 4000 miles on my Spinergy wheels, and about 2500 miles on my Gipiemmes with no maintenance to the hubs whatsoever.
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  10. #10
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Teflon grease, and Pedro's Syn-Lube.

    Oh, and "blue" medium-strength loctite, for those times I do want to use a threadlocker.
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  11. #11
    Neither rain, snow... dsm iv tr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmoline
    The problem is, they're very $$ and I'm thinking of going over to cheap household oil instead. What are other people using?
    Household oil like 3-in-1 sucks. It's too thin, and flings off during rides onto your rims and tires -- good luck braking.

    For the chain, I use 20w50 motor oil mixed w/ 99% isopropyl alcohol (though I have used paint thinner in the past) in an old dishwashing detergent bottle. It's like $3 for the oil and $2 for the alcohol, making about 1L of lube for $5 CDN. The drip cap makes it perfect for lubing without waste, as long as you don't squeeze too hard. Generally, I mix it to be about 60% oil/40% alcohol, but you can change the mix to get the viscosity you want. After I lube it, I protect the rim with a rag laid lengthwise across the bottom of the tire, and spin the cranks vigorously. Then I clean off any spray that might have occurred, and wipe the excess off the chain. It's pretty much good too go after the solvent dissipates, maybe about 5-10 minutes.

    For the frame, I use Turtle Wax to wax after I wash with dish soap and hot water/cold to rinse.

    In hubs, I just use whatever bearing grease that my local auto shop has on sale. Auto bearing grease is more than sufficient for bike applications, like hubs and BBs. One squeeze tube will last a year or so dependent on rebuild frequency.
    "You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need."
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  12. #12
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    Motor oil, any type, for oil, including chain. Any grease for grease, although CV joint grease is very convenient because its in a tube and its cheap.

    The loads and temps on bikes are so miniscule compared to any motor application that the cheapest oil and grease is overkill.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  13. #13
    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n4zou
    I am retired, do 50 miles every other day for fun, and do at least a 500 mile trip once a month averaging 150 miles a day, WAY!
    I am sure he was joking. 1500 miles on a hub is nothing. My Mavic hubs have over 5000 miles and have never been opened......and that is still low milage.

    Back to the question:

    I have used several things. Just about anything will lubricate the chain enough. The real issues are, something that will stay on the chain for a while, resist rain and water if you need it to, and the big one is will it stay clean.

    WD40 will lubricate a chain, it just dosen't do it for very long.
    Silicon spray works great, but not for very long. It stays very clean in sandy environments.
    Chainsaw or motorcycle chain lube will lubricate. The problem is that they are sticky and attract dirt. Not good on the road, and REALLY bad on a MTB.
    I was using BoeShield, but I would get a sticky reidue that I didn't like.
    I tried ProLink and thought it ran a little dirty.

    For off road wet conditions I use Cross Country.
    On the road I use White Lightning.

    Just my personal opinion, your milage may vary.

  14. #14
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    You might try the various chain wax products and home brews. The have to be applied more often but do leave less residue on cloths.
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  15. #15
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    For hubs and BB's that use grease I use that red flight rated aircraft grease. That stuff never ever dries out and is impervious to water. The local airport or aircraft supply shop has it in small tubes for a couple of bucks all the way up to 40 Gal drums. For bicycles the small Tube will last you for years. Grip shifters need lube as well. A small pack of Shimano shifter grease that comes in a small pack like ketchup at the local burger joint will set you back mucho bucks and you only get enough for one set of shifters. White Lithium grease is the same stuff and is available for $1.98 a tube at your local auto parts store and will do many bike shifters.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    T-9 for the chain
    I use Pedros Dry for lube, I only ride my Sarthe when it's dry, unless caught in a rainstorm on a long ride. I've used T-9 for framesaver, but wondered what it's like as a lube.

    Is T-9 better as a dry or wet Lube? and how dirty does it get?

    The pedros works really well as a dry Lube, I never have to "clean" the chain, except by lubing and wipping off the excess.
    2006 Lemond Sarthe
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  17. #17
    Mooninite shakeNbake's Avatar
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    Regular auto shop grease.



    And a teflon dry lube for the bike.

  18. #18
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    Pedro's Extra Dry as a regular lube for the chain

    Park PolyLube as a grease, so far i've used it for the headset, BB, and various threading, good stuff!

  19. #19
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    depends on what conditions you ride in

    For the drive train: What matters most for good and reliable running is a clean and lubricated drive train. Whatever you use, wipe and clean often. What you use should depend on the conditions you ride in. I tend to only ride in dry conditions, so ProLink it is. I've tried home-bru 30w motor oil mixed with mineral spirits. That concoction drew too much road filth, as did lower weight bar/chain oil (Ever seen the guts of chain saw after a couple uses? Real messy). ProLink really is nice. As to the cost, new chain + cogs on a road bike = between 5 and 15 ProLink bottles, depending on the chain/cog setup.

    ffff

  20. #20
    Downhill Racer PhilThee's Avatar
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    Phil Wood waterproof grease for the hubs and headset.
    I'm using DumondTech lite chain lube.
    Last edited by PhilThee; 06-17-06 at 04:52 AM.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member bison33's Avatar
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    I get all my lube from work. I'm an aircraft mechanic....if it's good enough for aircraft, it's good enough for my bikes....and besides, it's free.

  22. #22
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bison33
    I get all my lube from work. I'm an aircraft mechanic....if it's good enough for aircraft, it's good enough for my bikes....and besides, it's free.
    +1
    This space open

  23. #23
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bison33
    I get all my lube from work. I'm an aircraft mechanic....if it's good enough for aircraft, it's good enough for my bikes....and besides, it's free.
    bison33, could you please then tell us the aircraft lubes that you use, and also how do you like them?

    Regards,
    Regards,

    Jed

  24. #24
    Hirsuite moustache'd
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    So far, I've been happy enough using park grease. One tube for $8 has lasted through total rebuilds of 3.5 bikes, with enough left for another two at least. I use Ice Wax for the chain (never ride in the rain), and Tri-flo for everything else. I've got the feeling that it's too light, but haven't ran into problems yet.

  25. #25
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    I discovered a neat trick for lubing cable casings. Drop by your local Wally World and look for Super TECH White Grease in the spray can. It comes with a straw taped to the side of the can and make double sure its there before you buy it. When you need to lube your cables simply remove the cable, put the straw in the spray nozzle, and put about 1/4" of the straw in the cable casing on the shifter or brake lever end and shoot the grease into the casing. A quick shot is all that’s required. When you push the cable back in the housing the cable will help push the grease into the casing.
    I put a Moustache Handlebar with bar end shifters on a classic bike and with all the bends and casing length required the shifting was hard from cable friction in the casings. Lubing with white grease took care of that and now shifting is very easy and smooth.

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