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  1. #1
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    cleaning, degreasing and lubing... 3 in 1 oil?

    So I just want to make sure i'm not messing up my bikes. I have only recently begun doing my own maintenance and such, and because it's what i have on hand, I have used car engine de-greaser to to clean the cogs and chain and such, and 3 in 1 oil to lube everything.

    I know i can get bike specific things to do this stuff, but is it okay to use the other stuff? it seems to work well...

  2. #2
    Senior Member mharter's Avatar
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    A lot of black goo builds up after using 3 in 1 oil a few times, I would avoid it. That stuff is hard to clean off once it is on everything. There are so many good bike lubes out there, you should try them and see what works best for you. Some people prefer a waxy lube for the chain, others use light oil. There are also lubes with Teflon.

  3. #3
    thompsonpost
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    Pedro's or Finish Line. I prefer the latter with teflon.

  4. #4
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Finish Line Teflon or TriFlow Teflon are very good - if you like Teflon.

    For a paraffin-base (wax) lube - Boeshield T-9 is the 'Stuff.'

    Get rid of the 3-in-1. Yuck!
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  5. #5
    Senior Member shecky's Avatar
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    Save your money and sanity. 3-in-1 is fine.

  6. #6
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    3 in 1 will attract dirt and break down lickity-spit. Save having to clean everything every week. Clean everything with good solvents - WD-40 is fine. And then use good oil like Finish Line to lube with. On the chain - one drop per link - after the chain is dried from any cleaning you have done.

    No one who has other options and good educational materials uses 3 in 1 anymore. That went out in the 1970's.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    3 in 1 will attract dirt and break down lickity-spit. Save having to clean everything every week. Clean everything with good solvents - WD-40 is fine. And then use good oil like Finish Line to lube with. On the chain - one drop per link - after the chain is dried from any cleaning you have done.

    No one who has other options and good educational materials uses 3 in 1 anymore. That went out in the 1970's.
    Does 3 in 1 break down faster and attract more dirt than other wet lubes?

  8. #8
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    I use El Duke degreaser and Chain-L oil on my bicycles.

  9. #9
    thompsonpost
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    It's a bike. Use bike specific products on it.

  10. #10
    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by thompsonpost View Post
    It's a bike. Use bike specific products on it.
    3 in One debuted in 1894 as a specialized lubricant for...bicycles!

    It's one of the oldest cycling products you can still buy.

    tcs
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  11. #11
    thompsonpost
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    3 in One debuted in 1894 as a specialized lubricant for...bicycles!

    It's one of the oldest cycling products you can still buy.

    tcs
    Damn, that changes everything.

    If it isn't bike specific, I do not use it on my bike.

    WD-40 makes a good lube for about 10 seconds, too. It debuted as a solvent for cleaning cylinder walls in military jeeps, but yet people use it on their bikes as a lube. personally, I've never seen an occasion where I said, "Damn, I need some WD-40" other than having a wet distributor cap once back in the '70's. That was the only time I ever owned a can of the stuff.

    Use whatever you think you need. I doubt that two people on this forum/board/thread will suggest the same thing.
    Last edited by thompsonpost; 09-14-09 at 07:44 AM.

  12. #12
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    IIRC, 3-in-1 has a vegetable oil base and thus tends to convert into a gummy residue over time.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thompsonpost View Post
    Use whatever you think you need. I doubt that two people on this forum/board/thread will suggest the same thing.
    Yeah. Chain lube is one of those questions that I think belongs on the religion and politics forum. I find it interesting how strongly folks hold such opposite opinions.

  14. #14
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    Why do people think 3 in 1 contains vegetable oil???

    http://www.wd40company.com/files/pdf...in58412697.pdf
    '84 Trek 660 , '88 Trek 1500 ,'89 Trek 400 , '97 Trek 720 , '99 Trek 2200, '02 Trek 520

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by thompsonpost View Post
    It's a bike. Use bike specific products on it.
    Which bike specific product are you referring to here?

  16. #16
    Senior Member PatrickJIV's Avatar
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    Quoting directly from, "Bicycle Maintenance & Repair" 5th edition, by Todd Downs, page 171: On chain cleaning: "Whatever you do, don't use three-in-one oil: It's vegetable-based, which means it will gum up your chain, and it doesn't protect against wear as well as lubricant that is mineral-oil based."

    Coming from this book and author, that would make the decision for me about this product.
    Old in AGE, young @ HEART!

  17. #17
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranman View Post
    Why do people think 3 in 1 contains vegetable oil???

    http://www.wd40company.com/files/pdf...in58412697.pdf
    Napthenic-based? That is found in plant material. Many, many plants you see contain oils that have been used in industry. Take Cannabis Sativa - hemp - hemp oil was very widely used for everything from squeaky hinges to cooking oil. Or Flax - a variety of which gives us Canola Oil we use in cooking.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  18. #18
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    IIRC, 3-in-1 has a vegetable oil base and thus tends to convert into a gummy residue over time.
    Where do people come up with this stuff - please check MSDS sheets first.

    It is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naphthenic_oil

  19. #19
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    Still not convinced 3 in 1 is vegetable oil based. From the wikipedia link above - "Naphthenic oil is a type of mineral oil...". Mineral oils are petroleum based, not plant based.
    '84 Trek 660 , '88 Trek 1500 ,'89 Trek 400 , '97 Trek 720 , '99 Trek 2200, '02 Trek 520

  20. #20
    thompsonpost
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    Quote Originally Posted by spcbike View Post
    Which bike specific product are you referring to here?
    The one(s) the OP is asking about.

  21. #21
    use your best eye kenhill3's Avatar
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    Chain lube discussion to be continued........ad infinitum.......ad nauseum...........
    "I tell you, We are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." - Kurt Vonnegut jr.

  22. #22
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    I'm not going to say anything because last time someone said what I think about chain lube they were permanently banned from the forum.

    Let it suffice to say that this forum is heavily censored and you should draw your own conclusions.
    Last edited by chucky; 09-14-09 at 11:16 AM.

  23. #23
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    So you're a sock-puppet?

    Regards "Mineral Oil" coming from Petroleum - what do you think petroleum comes from?
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  24. #24
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Will it work? Yes.

    Will it be perfect? no.

    Will anything be perfect? no.

    Once on a dare, I repacked a bottom bracket with crisco. It worked fine, and after many miles I removed it, not because the lubricative properties broke down, but because it began to smell.

    I've also stopped doing things on dares, it took me forever to get the smell out.

  25. #25
    Pro Paper Plane Pilot wunderkind's Avatar
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    I use 3 in 1. Will likely replace it with motor oil when I am done. The key is putting little drops. Don't go nuts with it.
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