Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    My Bikes
    Rampar R-One
    Posts
    292
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Chronically Stiff Chain Links

    Hey.

    I'm currently riding an old Rampar, with all original parts. Derailers are SunTour. I bought the bike in early August and started commuting heavily with it toward the end of September. Not long into riding this bike, one of the chain links became stiff. I thought nothing of it, given the fact that the chain was about 30 years old, and had not been used very frequently. So I replaced the chain. Or, more accurately, had it replaced.

    For about 900 miles of commuting over the last two months, I had no problem with the new chain at all. I rode the bike in all conditions including rain, snow, and sand leftover from the roads being taken care of. Just yesterday, one of the links on my new chain became stiff.

    My question is this: what is the cause of these stiff links, and how often should they really happen? I typically lube my chain once a month or so, depending on how often I ride.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Oklahoma
    My Bikes
    Trek 5500, Colnago C-50
    Posts
    9,209
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sounds like you need to lube more often, especially in the conditions that you have described. That doesn't mean you need to pour it on, just do it more often. Sometimes when a new chain is installed the connecting link will be tight. Watch for this and work it back and forth until it works as smoothly as the other links.

  3. #3
    Senior Member shouldberiding's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Madison, WI
    My Bikes
    '08 Trek 7.3FX
    Posts
    812
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yes, you need to lubricate your chain after every single ride if you're riding in rain and snow. In perfect dry conditions I'd still lube the chain once every few hundred miles at the very least. Depends on how dusty/dirty the roads you ride are.

  4. #4
    17yrold in 64yrold body
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northern CA
    Posts
    922
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    +1 on lubing more often. For 'commuting heavily' I would go no more than weekly in better-dry conditions. Like shouldberiding says, in your stated conditions, I would lube every day.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Rochelle, NY
    My Bikes
    too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
    Posts
    22,556
    Mentioned
    69 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by shouldberiding View Post
    Yes, you need to lubricate your chain after every single ride if you're riding in rain and snow.
    This isn't necessarily true. A decent wet weather chain lube will keep water out of the chain, and make possible hundreds of miles of wet riding between applications. It all depends on what lube you use.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bikeman715's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Salinas , Ca.
    My Bikes
    Bike Nashbar AL-1 ,Raligh M50 , Schwinn Traveler , and others
    Posts
    2,079
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I find using a wet lube like Finishline 's wet lube is good for up to 2 weeks of hard riding in snow and other wet weather.
    bikeman715

  7. #7
    17yrold in 64yrold body
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northern CA
    Posts
    922
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    This isn't necessarily true. A decent wet weather chain lube will keep water out of the chain, and make possible hundreds of miles of wet riding between applications. It all depends on what lube you use.
    I agree with this in theory, but would point out that part of the lubing process is to flush out particulates that are usually picked up when riding in inclement conditions. After lubing, wiping excess lube off also removes the majority of these particulates. For this reason, I would lube every ride in bad weather riding.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Rochelle, NY
    My Bikes
    too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
    Posts
    22,556
    Mentioned
    69 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by badamsjr View Post
    I agree with this in theory, but would point out that part of the lubing process is to flush out particulates that are usually picked up when riding in inclement conditions.
    There are two sets of opinions on this. Many, myself included, feel that adding lube to a dirty chain is just as likely or even more likely to carry freshly acquired surface grit into the chain as it is to flush anything out. It's a complex dynamic, and depends on what lube is already on the chain, and what and how much is added in the flushing process.

    Just as you put on your raincoat before going outdoors, and not after you get home, the key (IMO) is to weather proof your chain in advance, rather than dealing with it after you get home. The right chain oil will totally keep water and the silt it carries out of the chain where it won't cause harm. This is borne out by the experience of tens of thousands of all condition mountain bikers, commuters and touring cyclists all over the world. Waiting until you get home might be OK for a short ride, but doesn't make sense for someone riding long distances in the rain over several hours.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  9. #9
    Senior Member shouldberiding's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Madison, WI
    My Bikes
    '08 Trek 7.3FX
    Posts
    812
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    By your logic it almost sounds like you're advocating never cleaning used chains. How else do you get the gunk off and out but by flushing them with a lubricant or solvent? What we're talking about here is using chain lube to clean the chain as well as lubricate. It serves a dual purpose.

    The inner workings of the chain are getting gritty anyway. It's not like road grime politely sits on the side plates and goes nowhere else during a ride. Doesn't rain flush road grime throughout the chain workings?

    The chain needs to be cleaned one way or another. I don't think there is a chain lube in existence that really protects a chain from road salt in the winter. Snow is one thing. My bike sometimes comes back from a snowy ride cleaner than it was before I left. Once the city starts salting though, watch out! Your chain will get rusty in a blink.
    Last edited by shouldberiding; 12-05-10 at 03:13 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bikeman715's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Salinas , Ca.
    My Bikes
    Bike Nashbar AL-1 ,Raligh M50 , Schwinn Traveler , and others
    Posts
    2,079
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So true about city salting and your chain get rusty in a blink.
    bikeman715

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Rochelle, NY
    My Bikes
    too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
    Posts
    22,556
    Mentioned
    69 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    You're right, I am saying that an ounce of prevention by way of using a decent chain lube beats washing after the rain. I'm not the only one that advocates against washing of chains. Shimano also preaches against washing, as do other chain producers. It isn't that washing per se is a terrible idea, but that most people do a poor job of washing, rinsing and drying their chains, causing more problems than they solve.

    One of the problems with using lubes that the rain washes out easily is that it means you'll be riding a dirty (inside) unlubricated chain until you get home. Maybe OK if it's only a while, but definitely a problem if you're out all day.

    For the record ---I have an obvious bias, since I market a chain lube that I claim survives rain and road salt well, so I don't expect anybody to take my word for it. And wouldn't be flogging my stuff directly except by way of answering the challenge.

    Chain-L has been on the market for 3 years, and was field tested for 10 months prior to being released for sale. In that time it's gotten many favorable reviews from all sorts of riders who've ridden for over 1,000 miles on a single application in all kinds of road conditions, from a Swedish winter, to the wet salty conditions of Cozumel Mexico. I invite anyone curious to visit the www.chain-L.com site and read published reviews, (click on any snippet to read the complete unedited review).

    As I said there's a philosophical split among knowledgeable riders and mechanics about the best way to lubricate and maintain a drive train, and I don't think any product (including mine) is good for everybody, but I posted to offer those who ride regularly in varied conditions another way to look at it. What they do after that is up to them and their chains.

    SPECIAL OFFER
    Anyone including the OP who rides during the winter, and has weather or salt related chain maintenance issues may email me c/o the site and request a free sample of Chain-L to try for themselves. Worst thing that could happen is you don't like it, wash it off and go back to what you were using before. Please be sure to mention this post and give me a complete postal address. Offer is limited, I reserve the right to cancel on a whim.
    Last edited by FBinNY; 12-05-10 at 03:49 PM.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  12. #12
    Senior Member shouldberiding's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Madison, WI
    My Bikes
    '08 Trek 7.3FX
    Posts
    812
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You know, to be perfectly honest I don't wash and lube my chain after every rain fall. It doesn't need it that often. After a couple/three rainy days in a row, maybe. Perhaps I was exaggerating with the OP to make a point, as he wasn't lubing his chain often enough.

    They do lay down a TON of salt around here though. Enough that I can taste it on my water bottles after a few miles. You should see the under side of my fenders.

    I'm not arguing based on other's common belief or anything like that. I have my own maintenance regime and I manage to keep chains in good shape for quite a bit longer than some winter riders. Many say that a single winter will destroy a chain, but I haven't found that to be the case. Of course everybody keeps up their bike in a different way. In the winter, a quick flush with WD-40 (solvent cleaner and water displacement), a good wipe down, and re-lubing after it's dry has kept my drivetrain in perfect function. Last time I took my bike into a mechanic he was very impressed by the condition of the drivetrain, saying he couldn't believe it was a bike that was ridden in winter months. The most important thing is not letting the chain sit with salty water on it all day. At the very least giving the chain a good wipe down after a winter ride does a lot. Many people complain about their shifting going to hell and derailleurs freezing up in the cold weather months but I've never experienced such things. I believe that comes down to proper cleaning and greasing of drivetrain components, with some people just not keeping up with it.

    So you see, I'm speaking from personal experience and what works for me. Everybody has different methods and different opinions on what constitutes "clean enough" or "proper lubrication." Some people let their chains go until they get noisy, but I feel that's far too long.

    I don't really want to start a big chain lube thread again, as we've done that a billion times. Being technically inclined we tend to put way too much thought into things like this.
    Last edited by shouldberiding; 12-05-10 at 05:27 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Rochelle, NY
    My Bikes
    too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
    Posts
    22,556
    Mentioned
    69 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    We're not really miles apart on chain maintenance. The point of my post is to show that the spectrum of what will work is very wide. The key is to find a routine that works for you and follow it, especially in harsh, unforgiving conditions.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  14. #14
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Boulder County, CO
    My Bikes
    '79 Gios, '80 Masi, '06 Felt, early '60s Frejus
    Posts
    2,455
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Why not invest $20 and get a new chain?

    And keep it properly lubed.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •