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  1. #1
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Specific mechanics of chain lubrication

    Never mind which lube to use, how do you actually perform the task? I'm a bit new to the game, and am sure that I'm using (and wasting) far too much. The wrenches at the LBS told me to drip one drop of oil on each bushing. I try my best to do just that, but it's a bit tedious for the whole chain. And how do you keep track of where you started oiling so that you don't come back around and go overboard with redundant oil? It's not obvious to me from looking at the chain where I started lubing.

    Do you just spritz a continuous squirt on the chain as you reverse the crank? That would seem to be even more wasteful.

    What are the actual mechanics of your lubrication regimen? Enquiring minds want to know!
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Steev's Avatar
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    Some people just turn the cranks while dribbling lube on the chain.
    I do the one drop per link thing. I mark the outside of the first link with a black felt tip marker.

  3. #3
    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    I am convinced that most folks end up with too much lube on the chain for the reasons that you mentioned. I begin each lube with a good cleaning of the moving bits with a rag. This will also remove some of the residual lube from last time.
    Then lube the chain and moving bits. I use the drop per link process.
    And then wipe everything down again with a clean dry rag, especially the chain, to remove as much excess lube oil as you can. This will help you keep the chain clean.
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  4. #4
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    1. Wipe the chain down with a rag
    2. one drop per bushing. On the INSIDE of the chain.
    3. Spin it around a bit to work the oil in and the gunk out.
    4. Wipe it down with a rag again
    5. Congratulate yourself and go for a ride.

    To keep track of where you started, you can use the chain connector as a starting point if you're using one... or just mark it. You could also just count how many bushings are in your chain and count as you go.

  5. #5
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    The first thing to do is use a dispenser that you know will apply about 1 tbs of lubricant. I have a squeeze oil can that I know one stroke is app 1 tbs. You can also use experiment with a plastic squeeze bottle so that you know what amount you are applying.

    1. Wipe the chain with a rag.
    2. Hold the tip of the applicator against the bottom rung of the chain and as you squeeze the applicator, rotate the cranks backwards. Spin the cranks some more to spread out the lube.
    3. Leave the lube overnight so it penetrates.
    4. before the next time you ride, wipe the chain again. Leave the rag on the chain to remind you to re-wipe the chain.

    Takes less than 1 minute.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  6. #6
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    I usually pull up next to a giant tank of light sweet crude, open a valve, and cover the bike
    then I ride through the nearest frog pond to get the excess off.

    i smell like a giant container of vaseline for a week, but the bike...she don't squeaky no more
    Last edited by edzo; 10-19-07 at 12:50 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steev View Post
    Some people just turn the cranks while dribbling lube on the chain.
    I do the one drop per link thing. I mark the outside of the first link with a black felt tip marker.
    I've tried it all. Clean, not clean, each link/roller at a time, and dribbling while pedaling backwards.

    The definite winner is NOT to clean and only occasionally dribble a few drops on your chain as you crank it backwards.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis View Post
    I've tried it all. Clean, not clean, each link/roller at a time, and dribbling while pedaling backwards.

    The definite winner is NOT to clean and only occasionally dribble a few drops on your chain as you crank it backwards.
    FTW.


    the only time to clean it is if you have a pile o sand on the chain, it helps to rinse off the grit.

    otherwise, I leave my chains as is, and add lube as I go. it saves the environment to not clean
    yer dang chain all the time. just add oil now and then. the cruft on the chain actually helps keep
    water and mud out of it. scrape off the chocolate on the derailleur pulleys on occasion.

    if u are OCP then a dirty chain is unacceptable. but if you actually ride 'a boatload', then cleaning
    is a waste of time IMHO.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips. Yes, I wipe the chain down and even put it through one of those devices with brushes to clean it with citrus before lubricating again. And I only do this after a rainy/dirty ride (road bike). Otherwise, I rarely touch the chain.
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

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