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  1. #1
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    Silicone on Bike Chain?

    WHat are your opinions on using a silicone based lube for bike chains? I haven't seen where it has been discussed anywhere.

  2. #2
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    I'll stick to Finish Line dry thanks.

    DEMON

  3. #3
    d_D
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    Try it, the worst that can happen is the chain will wear out quicker.

    All you really need is something that is easy to apply, is thin enough to work it's way into the chain, and is thick enough not to run out in use and is cheap.

    I don't really think there will be a problem, pretty much anything works as a chain-lube, just use whats cheap.

  4. #4
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d_D
    Try it, the worst that can happen is the chain will wear out quicker.

    All you really need is something that is easy to apply, is thin enough to work it's way into the chain, and is thick enough not to run out in use and is cheap.

    I don't really think there will be a problem, pretty much anything works as a chain-lube, just use whats cheap.
    Pretty much anything? Ummmm NO! Ranger go to the LBS and ask them what they recommend for your area and riding style. Do NOT cheap out and put bacon grease on your chain or something "cheap". The money you save will cost you five times as much (at least) whenever you have to replace your munged up driveline after using the wrong stuff. Better yet go to www.mtbr.com and look at chain lube reviews.

  5. #5
    newbie newbie georgesnatcher's Avatar
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    The best lube I have found so far is Pro Link. This after years of Finish Line, Tri Flow and assorted other products. The greatest thing about this lube is that you can usually get the chain clean by just wiping it down. I have also found that unlike wax based lubes Pro Link is thin enough to cover the entire chain.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Dry sandy area: use a dry lube like a wax or plastic
    Wet muggyt area: use an oil with PTFE
    Silicone is a no-no here in Coastal South Carolina. Silicone itself is sand. It seems to work well at first until you first ride in the rain and it washes off.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

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

  7. #7
    Deported by koffee allgoo19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    Silicone is a no-no here in Coastal South Carolina. Silicone itself is sand.
    Silicone:
    Any of a group of semi-inorganic polymers based on the structural unit R2SiO, where R is an organic group, characterized by wide-range thermal stability, high lubricity, extreme water repellence, and physiological inertness and used in adhesives, lubricants, protective coatings, paints, electrical insulation, synthetic rubber, and prosthetic replacements for body parts.

    Silicon:
    A nonmetallic element occurring extensively in the earth's crust in silica and silicates, having both an amorphous and a crystalline allotrope, and used doped or in combination with other materials in glass, semiconducting devices, concrete, brick, refractories, pottery, and silicones.

  8. #8
    road siklista dexmax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allgoo19
    Silicone:
    Any of a group of semi-inorganic polymers based on the structural unit R2SiO, where R is an organic group, characterized by wide-range thermal stability, high lubricity, extreme water repellence, and physiological inertness and used in adhesives, lubricants, protective coatings, paints, electrical insulation, synthetic rubber, and prosthetic replacements for body parts.

    Silicon:
    A nonmetallic element occurring extensively in the earth's crust in silica and silicates, having both an amorphous and a crystalline allotrope, and used doped or in combination with other materials in glass, semiconducting devices, concrete, brick, refractories, pottery, and silicones.


    thanks. I really wanted to ask if silicone was silicon mispelled....

    BTW, I use regular 20W-50 engine oil for my chains.. I clean my chain twice a month and lube everyweek.

  9. #9
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dexmax


    thanks. I really wanted to ask if silicone was silicon mispelled....

    BTW, I use regular 20W-50 engine oil for my chains.. I clean my chain twice a month and lube everyweek.
    Wow I imagine that's a ball of crud to clean every two weeks. <shakes head> Motor oil works great when it's in a sealed environment with a filter. It's not designed for external use. The only people I see using motor oil down here are the Mexican migrant workers who complain that their bikes make funny noises after you clean the **** off. Just love that sludge.
    Last edited by Raiyn; 10-09-03 at 01:01 PM. Reason: Antiinflamatory

  10. #10
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    Why in the world would you use something that is going to attract dirt on your bike chain? Capillary action is going to drag all that shmutz into the rollers of the chain and shorten its lifespan. Proper chain lube is NOT that expensive.

    DEMON

  11. #11
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    To my detractor who's post isn't here anymore. I get paid to know what chain lubes work and what will turn your drivetrain to garbage. Motor oil will screw up a drivetrain real quick as will 3 'n' 1 oil, WD-40, vegetable oil, KY jelly, Mineral oil, and most anything else people throw on their chain that isn't CHAIN LUBE. In case you though I was making those up: you're incorrect. On many occasions people have brought drivetrains to my shop looking like they've dunked them in a manure pile somewhere. That is to say: all full of sand, road grit, and oil sludge. The funny thing is when I ask them what they were using for chain lube those were the responses I got.
    Last edited by Raiyn; 10-09-03 at 01:01 PM. Reason: Post that started this is gone.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ebbtide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    To my detractor who's post isn't here anymore. I get paid to know what chain lubes work and what will turn your drivetrain to garbage. Motor oil will screw up a drivetrain real quick as will 3 'n' 1 oil, WD-40, vegetable oil, KY jelly, Mineral oil, and most anything else people throw on their chain that isn't CHAIN LUBE. In case you though I was making those up: you're incorrect. On many occasions people have brought drivetrains to my shop looking like they've dunked them in a manure pile somewhere. That is to say: all full of sand, road grit, and oil sludge. The funny thing is when I ask them what they were using for chain lube those were the responses I got.
    Do you get paid to sell it too?

    Many people, including me, have been using motor oil on bike chains for nearly a full century. Fact is, it worked ten years ago before the bike lube boom, and it still works now. You work in a bike store and only see what happens when a drive is broken because of lack of cleaning, over lubrication, and what-not. People who use motor oil with great results don't need to see you, so you don't know other than your experience and what you have been taught/told by the bike lube sales reps.

    I'll apologize if I hurt your feelings when I suggested that you stop responding to people who suggested motor oil with " and NO!". I figured you made your assertion once and was unhappy that everyone did not believe you, so you made it again. I did not realize you were on the clock, my bad.

    Regards,

    The detractor's detractor

  13. #13
    d_D
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    I also use motor oil. When you apply it you remove the chain from the bike and use a drip can to drop a drop of oil on every roller. Then you clean off the excess oil and fit it to your bike. A chain is just metal rubbing agaist metal, anything that reduces the friction between metal will therefore work as a chain lube if it is thin enough to get between the moving parts and thick enough not to run out during use.

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    Nuff said

    You are totally correct!

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    Besides wiping clean, Pro Link is easy to apply. Soak a spot on a nappy towel about the size of a quarter. Hold it against the chain while you rotate the cranks. Capillary action does the rest. Complete Clean & lube with the chain on the bike. I like it. bk
    Last edited by bkaapcke; 02-15-09 at 01:06 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    Man, I love these chain lube discussions. No one can ever answer the question.

    In a pinch, the other day I used silicone spray. My other lubes were in the toolbox in the car, which my wife had, and there was a squeak.

    It's been working for a few rides now. It's quiet, shifts smoothly, and isn't picking up crud. I'm pretty sure it leaves dry lube down and the carrier evaporates away.

    It was certainly better than putting up with a squeaky chain.

    The money you save will cost you five times as much (at least) whenever you have to replace your munged up driveline after using the wrong stuff.
    Wait, it makes it cost more to replace your cassette if you don't use chain-approved lube? Or do you mean that your cassette wears out five times as quickly? Cuz That would imply that a cassette that would normally last ten years would wear out in two or less. That certainly doesn't match my experience.
    Joshua A.C. Newman,
    Passionate lover of construction

  17. #17
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    I have found, that most people who profess to know the "best" oil, don't even know how it works.

    Any oil, with the correct viscosity, properly maintained, will do the job well.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn View Post
    To my detractor who's post isn't here anymore. I get paid to know what chain lubes work and what will turn your drivetrain to garbage. Motor oil will screw up a drivetrain real quick as will 3 'n' 1 oil, WD-40, vegetable oil, KY jelly, Mineral oil, and most anything else people throw on their chain that isn't CHAIN LUBE. In case you though I was making those up: you're incorrect. On many occasions people have brought drivetrains to my shop looking like they've dunked them in a manure pile somewhere. That is to say: all full of sand, road grit, and oil sludge. The funny thing is when I ask them what they were using for chain lube those were the responses I got.
    Actually, you can make an inexpensive and totally effective chain lube by mixing 3-4 part mineral spirits, naptha or camp stove fuel with 1 part oil. The oil can be regular or sythetic motor oil, 80/90W gear lube or chainsaw bar oil. Mixes like this that cost pennies per ounce will work just as well as expensive Prolink.

    I've been experimenting with various mixes for nearly 10 years, since I first found out the Prolink was nothing but mineral spirits and "metal friction reducer" (oil).

    You're also very wrong, stating that WD-40 will foul up a chain. If applied with any decent frequency and the excess wiped off, WD-40 or any number of other similar aerosal pentrating lubes will produce respectable chain life and no gunky buildup. It's far more important to keep flushing the dirt out than it is to have some sort of super lube. Any lube, mixed with road grit becomes a grinding paste after 200 miles or less. I prefer to relube at 100 mile intervals, if possible.

    I've use my own homebrew mixes for almost 10 years and I'd be disappointed if I didn't get 5-6,000 miles from a Campy 10 speed chain. Even after 6,000 miles, my Campy chain won't have much more that 1/4 of the commonly recommended 1/16" per foot elongation. Using a 12" scale, it's hard to tell a 6,000 mile used chain from a new one. What is worn at this point is the rollers and the sideplates that have nearly twice the original clearance. I check the distance between rollers and toss a chain when the reading increases by .035-.040 inch. Not all brands measure the same when new, so you must know the brand new measurement in order to figure the worn-out measurement. Campy chains measure about .200 i nch between rollers when new, while Shimano and KMC will be closer to .210.

    A Shimano chain, maintained the same, will show .5% elongation in about 3500-4,000 miles, with roller wear that is a little more than Campy, at the same mileage.

  19. #19
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    There might be some sort of law against the exhumation of a six year-old chain lube thread.

    Not positive, but ... there just might be....

  20. #20
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    Simple Jobst Brandt rule. Never lube a dirty chain on the bike. Remove it, clean it, put it back on and relube. I use 4parts mineral spirits to one part chain saw bar oil. Chain typically lasts 7k miles or more. I ride 7 and 8 speed drivetrains.

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