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Old 10-05-10, 07:35 PM   #1
jasonball
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couple of lube questions

so I have a road bike. still considered new about 100 miles on it. what kind of lube should I be using. or is there a better lube fore break in period compared to normal maintence lube. also is there different types for summer hot heat and winter
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Old 10-05-10, 07:50 PM   #2
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There is not a correct lube for every part of the bike. For bearings (headset, bottom bracket, hubs, pedals) you need bearing grease. Some types of bearing assemblies are sealed and cannot be greased.
If you are riding in a humid climate like Georgia, I recommend an oil based "wet" lube for the chain. There are many bike specific chain lubes available. I use a "home brew" chain lube made of 3 parts mineral spirits with 1 part synthetic motor oil. I think it's one of the best.
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Old 10-05-10, 07:59 PM   #3
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new chains come with a heavy chain lube. When it is dirty and you think you need to lube your chain I strongly suggest you remove the chain and entirely strip that heavy grease lube. If you have dirt in the chain, adding chain lube won't remove that dirt from inside the chain. take the chain off, soak/shake in a good degreaser, wash, rinse, dry, then lube the chain with a thick oil for wet conditions or a thin oil for dry conditions. repeat as needed. lube is more a wet/dry consideration than a cold/hot consideration. When it's really cold you may prefer to avoid thick oils entirely as they may not work well when it's below freezing.
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Old 10-05-10, 07:59 PM   #4
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synthetic motor oil can be something like 10W30, but it's toxic and carcinogenic, so do remember to wash hands if you get any on your skin.
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Old 10-06-10, 09:15 AM   #5
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To add to what others have said, but consider the source. I make chain lube so am biased on the subject.

1- washing chains. Before removing a chain for a thorough wash, try cleaning it by running it through a rag dry, or with a bit of solvent to clean the outside while leaving the factory lube inside in place. This is quicker and simpler, and will help you get the most out of the quality lube factories put into their chains. But f you choose to wash it with water and detergent, be sure it's completely dry inside and out. This can fool you because the chain will appear dry but still retain water trapped by capillary action is a way similar to what happens when it gets under a glass table top. On the bike use a heir dryer, and off the bike pop it in an oven at 200 for 10 minutes or so.

2- while most folks consider using different oils depending on conditions, the reality is that inside the chain where the lube does it's job, it's always the same regardless of what's happening outside. For very dusty conditions it might make sense to sacrifice some lubrication in order to attract less dust, especially for Mtb, but you'll need to be attentive to a short lubrication interval. Otherwise, wet oil lubes provide greater lubrication with performance depending on the properties and additives of the various choices. When using a oil lube, be sure to wipe excess off the outside since it has no purpose there, and will only attract dirt.

3- the temperature band that bikes operate in is very narrow and shouldn't make a significant difference on oil's performance, but be sure to re-lube at room temperature because a thick oil may not wick in effectively when cold.
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Old 10-06-10, 09:32 AM   #6
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All I can say is irregardless of what type of lube be it Homebrew, Chain-L, Phil wood, 3-in-1 oil, tears from a baby angel... keep to the "Lube little, But Lube Often" adage.
At the end of the day, a chain is a consumable. Replace them every 2yrs or 2000km. YMMV.
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Old 10-06-10, 11:05 AM   #7
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All good advice. This is a hot topic as opinions vary. My opinion is similar to above. I lube my chain every 250 miles and clean and lube it every 500 miles with wiping the chain after every ride using a paper towel. If you want to postpone lubing until cleaning at 500 miles.

Only use a wet lube, not dry.

My preference is Pedro's Synlube but it's thick so I don't use it in colder weather. I then switch to BoShield T-9. I've also used ProLink which I like. I've used Diamond Tech and Rock 'n Roll and some others and as they are good, the formers I like better, Pedro's SynLube, Bo-Shield T-9, and ProLink. I've also used synthetic motor oil for quite awhile, both diluted and undiluted and prefer it undiluted. I see nothing wrong with using synthetic and still use it on my older friction shifter Schwinn 10 speed (2x5) and my MTB.
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Old 10-06-10, 01:04 PM   #8
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The main point to remember about chain lubing is to pay attention to it. That's probably 90% of what's important. As long as you do that--and deal with dirt as you find it--your bike will be in decent shape.

As far as other parts go, you might need to put a drop of oil on brake pivot points and threading of barrel adjusting ferrules; anywhere else there might be bits of friction. Bearings depend on the wear they've had, not so much on the climate or temperature changes.

One thing you can do to help keep the lubed parts in good working shape is keep your bike clean, giving it a good wash on a regular basis. Keeping grit from getting in the chain, in the bearings, around brake parts and into cable housings will do a lot to simply keep the lube on your bike working well. On automobiles and motorcycles, one must do regular motor oil changes in order to flush out the accumulated dirt and scum in the oil. Same concept applies to bicycles--if you keep the lube clean, it'll keep working.
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Old 10-06-10, 04:13 PM   #9
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The lube on a new chain is the best it will ever see. Until you have 1000 miles on it just wipe off the black crud that comes from metal wear inside the chain. Always remove the chain to clean it. You can dry it and remount it to relube it. I use a mix of 4 parts unscented mineral spirits to 1 part chain saw bar oil from Ace hardware. I just replaced an 8 speed chain with 13,000 miles on it.
For the bearings I use Lubriplate EMB grease, but any quality automotive grease will do an excellent job.
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