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Old 01-31-12, 03:53 PM   #1
milkbaby
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Prolink Extreme?

I have been using Progold's Prolink lube for chain lube on both my road bikes and MTB. However, in a MTB magazine, I saw a picture of this Prolink Extreme lube. But googling it, I can't figure out what the difference is other than the price...

Anybody know what the differences between the two Prolink forumlations are?
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Old 01-31-12, 04:43 PM   #2
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They say it has "more persistent carriers". I assume that means the remaining oil after the solvent evaporates is of a higher viscosity.

Since they were happy to sell only the one product for almost 10 years, I suspect it's their answer to Chain-L, but I've yet to see it in the flesh.
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Old 01-31-12, 08:07 PM   #3
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FB, thanks for the info. I just Prolink'ed a KMC gold chain that is on a used bike I got, and black gunk was coming out of it forever. It smelled very "industrial", so I'm suspecting it was Chain-L on there? The chain and cassette were both so dark that I couldn't tell the chain was one of those gold ones, and it took forever to get the cassette decent looking, still not shiny...

If that was Chain-L in there, I have to say that I was impressed how much of it was in there and didn't come out until I hit it with the Prolink. Does Chain-L migrate back out of the chain innards that much, or was it probably that the rider before me didn't bother to wipe down the chain enough? From the review by Ed Pavelka and seeing the amount of stuff coming out of the chain, I'm very tempted to try it...
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Old 01-31-12, 08:08 PM   #4
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1 part chainsaw bar oil to 4 parts unscented mineral spirits. :
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Old 01-31-12, 08:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by milkbaby View Post
FB, thanks for the info. I just Prolink'ed a KMC gold chain that is on a used bike I got, and black gunk was coming out of it forever. It smelled very "industrial", so I'm suspecting it was Chain-L on there? The chain and cassette were both so dark that I couldn't tell the chain was one of those gold ones, and it took forever to get the cassette decent looking, still not shiny...

If that was Chain-L in there, I have to say that I was impressed how much of it was in there and didn't come out until I hit it with the Prolink. Does Chain-L migrate back out of the chain innards that much, or was it probably that the rider before me didn't bother to wipe down the chain enough? From the review by Ed Pavelka and seeing the amount of stuff coming out of the chain, I'm very tempted to try it...
Chain-L has tacking agent (glue) in the formula. that helps keep it where I want it to stay. OTOH Prolink is like home brew oils in that it has a high percentage of solvent. The solvent breaks down Chain-L and makes it wash out. I can't say whether what came out is Chain-L, or any other residual oil including old Prolink.

If you subject a used chain to the right solvent, black oil will weep out. The oil isn't necessarily dirty, but is black because of wear by product. If you drain the motor oil out of an engine it'll also be black, even after only 200 miles. That doesn't mean it isn't still good for 3,000 miles, just that it's died black. It also isn't necessarily dirty or gritty, the oil filter takes care of that, but is is black.

The color isn't an indicator of lube condition, the most important is probably sound. A well oiled chain runs smooth and quiet, (that's why you oil it). A poorly lubed chain sounds and feels like a poorly lubed chain.
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Old 01-31-12, 11:22 PM   #6
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If you drain the motor oil out of an engine it'll also be black, even after only 200 miles.
Disagree. In gasoline engines that have regular oil changes the oil should stay a nice yellow-clear color for the first 1000 miles, at least. Even after 3,000 miles the oil in my car was light brown, not nearly black. The only time I saw black oil come out of a gasoline engine was in a (slightly) mis-timed motorcycle engine where, at 10,000 rpm or so, the valves had made sweet sweet love with the pistons.
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Old 01-31-12, 11:52 PM   #7
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Disagree. In gasoline engines that have regular oil changes the oil should stay a nice yellow-clear color for the first 1000 miles, at least. Even after 3,000 miles the oil in my car was light brown, not nearly black. The only time I saw black oil come out of a gasoline engine was in a (slightly) mis-timed motorcycle engine where, at 10,000 rpm or so, the valves had made sweet sweet love with the pistons.
You're probably right. The oil in my Miata turns black very fast, but probably not as fast is it seems to.
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Old 02-01-12, 08:56 AM   #8
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The black gunk that comes off a chain is largely ferromagnetic wear products from the chain. If you put your chain in a jar of solvent, shake it around, and place a magnet at the side of the bottle, you'll find black gunk attracted to and adhered to the magnet.

Cars are a bit different in that in addition to wear products, combustion byproducts make their way into the oil past the rings. Motor oils have detergents in them to keep these byproducts suspended.
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Old 02-01-12, 02:09 PM   #9
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Cars are a bit different in that in addition to wear products, combustion byproducts make their way into the oil past the rings. Motor oils have detergents in them to keep these byproducts suspended.
This is correct. My understanding with chains is that the wear particles are very small, giving them (on aggregate) very high surface area. This causes them to oxidize very quickly and so they turn black (Fe3O4).

Inside an engine, on the other hand, there is hopefully very little wearing away of the bearing surfaces due to the relatively pristine environment (significant iron content in the lead is a BAD BAD sign!) So the oil will not be significantly discolored from wear metals, but rather from combustion byproducts and trapped dirt. This is also why timing chains can last indefinitely but drive chains on bicycles and motorcycles wear out so quickly.

Diesel engines are different, again - they deposit lots of soot into the oil. My friend's TDI jetta makes the oil pitch black within a few hundred miles.
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