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  1. #1
    Gordon P
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    Lubricant Recipe

    Lubricant Recipe

    A while back there was a thread about what kind of chain lube Bike Forum members were using. I found a recipe on page 111 of John Foresterís Effective Cycling 6 ed. for lube.

    One part SAE 90 oil and one part paraffin wax with five parts white gas (naphtha?). Mix ingredients together and put into an oilcan. According to John, all of the wax may not dissolve right away and just to leave in the can.

    Has anyone tried this recipe? It sure would be a lot more economical then paying $7.00 clams for 60-ml. of Pedroís lube.


  2. #2
    Junior Member EpsilonArmati's Avatar
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    If you can find out what "white gas" is, I'll try it.

  3. #3
    Kev
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    If I remember correctly white gas is the stuff they use in cooking stoves for camping..

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    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    White gas is simply unleaded high octane gasoline.

    For purists, simply use Coleman fuel.
    Mike

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    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    I have seen this recipe before and wondered if anyone has tried it. I generally prefer dry lubes, and this seemed kinda messy. Anyone have a recipe for a drier lube?
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  6. #6
    Gordon P
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    If I remember correctly white gas is the stuff they use in cooking stoves for camping..
    This is correct, Iím not sure if naphtha is the same thing. Not sure if high octane gasoline is correct as naphtha is derived from shale or coal according to my dictionary.

    I generally prefer dry lubes, and this seemed kinda messy.
    It does sound messy, but SAE 90 is thick as molasses and diluted wax is gelatinous so maybe it wonít be too bad. The author explains that a liquid lubricant can get into the tight spots and flush out dirt. White gas is pretty clean, but not very volatile and will evaporate leaving the wax/oil behind. I heard that whipping the chain and applying the lube at night and wiping off the excess before you ride is a good way. I am almost out of lube, so I may try and make up a batch today and report back on my findings this week.

  7. #7
    Member fastedddie's Avatar
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    White gas (coleman lantern fuel) is very volitale.
    1999 Trek 720
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    No one knows what I do until I don't do it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Inoplanetyanin's Avatar
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    How much lube are you using?
    Are you lubing the chains of a 100 members bike riders that go non stop around US?

  9. #9
    Gordon P
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    White gas (coleman lantern fuel) is very volitale.
    Ok maybe it is, but not as bad as high octain gas.

    How much lube are you using?
    Are you lubing the chains of a 100 members bike riders that go non stop around US?
    What's it to ya? Just kidding, it costs about $6-7.00 for 59 ml. of Pedroís lube and $4.00 per litre of SAE 90. Money is the reason my friend.

  10. #10
    Spawn of Satan
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    This would make a great party. Invite your friends over and everyone bring one ingredient.

    Mix up a batch and then go home with a bunch of lube.

    Kind of like a beer brewing party!!!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Inoplanetyanin's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Gordon P


    What's it to ya? Just kidding, it costs about $6-7.00 for 59 ml. of Pedroís lube and $4.00 per litre of SAE 90. Money is the reason my friend.
    I have nothing against this recipe, contrarry - it sounds good.
    So far, for me personally, I don't see how could so much lube be necessary. This mix of oil and wax will probably work pretty well, as bike chains don't really put much stress on any lube.
    Cars components, on the other hand, have to withstand a lot of heat and friction, and as a result, will fail immidiately is moving parts are not lubricated.


    Bicycle chains, can be lubed even with regular engine oil, as long as it stays on it and keeps the chain oily, which will happen for weeks if not washed.

    Good thing about those expensive chain lubes is that they have a conviniet bottle with little nozzle, easy to apply, saves time and makes no mess.

  12. #12
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    hmm, why couldn't you just use plain motor oil?

    later

  13. #13
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Aemon_
    hmm, why couldn't you just use plain motor oil?

    later
    Plain motor oil works just fine. I would guess that 90% of all bicycle chains probably get lubed with motor oil. Mine always did as a youngster. It is just very messy. The idea of this lube recipe is that the dillute solution allows you to liberally apply a much thinner liquid that will work its way into the inner parts of the chain. The volatiles (white gas) then quickly evaporate leaving a thinner, hopefully less gunky, light film of lube than you would get with plain motor oil.

    As for the amount/cost. I am pretty liberal with lube, but it's not the cost. Spending $6-8 every few months on a bottle of lube is nothing. I just like giving odd things a try. Besides, I might like it better than store bought. I have tried several brands of lube and frankly see little difference for my 22 mile round trip daily commuting in all weather.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  14. #14
    Rider in the Storm
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    I use a mixture of 1 part motor oil, 3 parts mineral spirits (paint thinner). It's adequate, but I may try adding the wax - maybe it'll last a bit longer between lubes?

  15. #15
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Re/the lube formula, the Coleman Fuel is just a means of dissolving the paraffin/SAE 90. Once you dip your chain, the fuel evaporates, leaving the wax and oil. Any gas would work, but would leave behind some residual stuff. Soooo, if you take careful fire precautions, you can create the same lube w/out the gas by melting the paraffin, adding the SAE90, and dipping your chain.

    Forresters mixture is good for the tourist, or whatever, who doesn't want to pack pans, etc., for heating paraffin.

    But ultimately, it's still basically just a paraffin lube. There's better!

  16. #16
    Senior Member leilin's Avatar
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    hi guys, I am trying this formula. ist of all I am an engineer and a chemist. i would say that this is a very good formula. at least as good as other big money brand.

    the way lube work on the chain is to let the lube get into or between small places inside the chain, when viscosity is low, then liquid is easy going into that small places, by capilliary forces, like you sip your soda in fast food place, in order to lube the metal part, any oil will do the job, the way Jone did was to use as thick oil as possible, that way lube stays there longer

    for the white gas i do not know what that is, i guess just the type of volatile gasline, so i bought a gallon of camp fuel from walmart, 3$.

    from chemistry, when the substances are similar, they are soluble for each other, that means orgnaic substance are soluble in organic substance, SAE 90 oil can be resolved in any kind of oil, include white gas, camp fule,

    I did not get the wax in receip because I do not belive that wax will help, so far the receip has worked very well.

    I ususlly ride bike 200 miles a month, and I lube chain using this receip every month.


    PS you may not know, any lube sold in market is base on the rules that

    1 get the lube thin enough to let the capilliary force to suck the lube into the places they need to stay

    2 according to the riding condition, find the proper "real" lube stay there, (in the receip, Jone use thick oil which is very good for dry condition, by the way I am in Texas)

    3 the solvent has to be evaporrate and let the "real" lube stay there as long as possible,

    4 do the marketing and charge constumer big money.

  17. #17
    Senior Member gazedrop's Avatar
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    Quote: White gas (coleman lantern fuel) is very volitale.


    Ok maybe it is, but not as bad as high octain gas.
    For all intents and purposes, octane has nothing to do with volatility (in this case, volatility being described as how easily it will ignite under normal atmosphereic conditions...)

    What exactly is white gas? Some searching on the web didn't do too much to resolve the issue, as some say that it is just unleaded gasoline, and others say it's another name for naptha. It is not kerosene, though...

    Coleman fuel, however is mostly naptha. Look here:
    http://www.gearreview.com/gearfaq/wgcoleman.asp
    and here:
    http://www.coleman.com/coleman/Colem...ategoryID=7100

    Irregardless of whether or not white gas is unleaded gasoline, DO NOT use unleaded gas from the local gas station pump. Automotive specific gas is a soup of 120 or so different compounds brewed to meet internal combustion, EPA, and government minumum/maximum regulations. Some of these compounds are very nasty little molecules, and only have benefits in the high temperature/high pressure environment of an engine.

    All that being said, if I were to attempt the recipe myself, I would just grab a bottle of camp fuel or naptha, whichever was more convenient at the time, and not worry about splitting hairs solvent-wise...

    Oh, yeah... WEAR GLOVES! Most of us plan on doing this stuff for a lifetime, and a lifetime of minor skin absorbtion adds up...

    -Erik

  18. #18
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    I thought all unleaded gas was called "white gas", but regardless, it's just not what I would use as a solvent for lubing my chain.....don't want the fumes, skin contact, or fire hazard around my garage. This is solvent overkill IMO; aren't most cleaners and lubes are going water-based to avoid these hazards?

    Also, 90W oil or wax is too heavy for me. These aren't motorcycles, why use a thick oil or grease adding drivetrain drag. A few ounces of extra chain drag sure isn't what I want. Tried the Ice Wax, and don't like the heavyness of that stuff either.

    Seems to me this mix is close to the WD-40 or cheap spray lubes anyway. I've used these, and they seem to work fine. Spray the stuff onto a rag or directly on the chain after a ride, then wipe clean before going out.

    Teflon "dry lube" is also available at the hardware stores in big spray cans. I've got some of that now, and it does seem to be "cleaner" than using the WD-40 stuff.

    I've also tried Sears chainsaw lube. It's available in large jugs. Looks a lot like a 15W-50 synthetic oil to me, but rather sticky. Seems to me any oil that stays on the outside of the chain only attracts dirt anyway. A 0W synthetic oil might be good to try too.

    Lots of options for chains....I don't know what's best.

  19. #19
    Gordon P
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    Well I tried this recipe and it didnít work very well for me. The consistency wasnít fluid enough and was more slush like. The camp fuel or naphtha dissolved most of the wax but not all, leading me to believe the wax I used was not all paraffin as the recipe suggests using. I plan to try this recipe again, so if you do try this let me know if your batch is successful.
    Regards,
    Gordon

  20. #20
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    WD-40 is not a lubricant. It is a solvent and water dispersal agent. The reason that it appeared to be dirty on your chain is because it was dissolving the gunk on the inside of the chain and allowing it to run to the outside. If you do use it as a chain cleaner, be sure to follow it up with a good dry type chain lube.
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