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Thread: Chain Lube

  1. #1
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    Chain Lube

    Clean the chain on the bike with Brakleen parts degreaser. Yes this is death to the environment and Bad For You. It's mostly TCE, which if you don't know what that is you don't want to know. On the other hand if you use it sparingly, a can will last you months and months. Compared to what the refinery down the road is dumping into the air, all the amateur bike mechanics in the world are a drop in the bucket.

    This will get the chain bright shiny clean. Let it dry (won't take long).

    Lube the chain with Liquid Wrench Chain Lube. This beats any cycling specific lube hands down. Stays on well, doesn't attract dirt, lubricates well, doesn't make a mess like waxes. Wipe off the excess, let it sit overnight. Ride.

    Tri-flow, light machine oil and 3-in-1 (developed for bike chains BTW in ~1902) all wash off too easily. This stuff really sticks *without* attracting dirt at all.

    See you out there!

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    You can't get a chain clean on the bike. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/chain-care.html

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    It's true, you can't get a chain 100% clean on the bike. But you can get it plenty clean enough. After 2 miles of riding, it's already dirty again in the rollers anyway. bk

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    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    I LOVE chain lube and chain cleaning threads.
    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
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I LOVE chain lube and chain cleaning threads.
    lol

    So, a guy comes to these boards and tells us, "How to do it".
    OP, I still prefer my way... what are you going to say about that?
    Mineral spirits for cleaning and Superlube aerosol for lube.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ira B's Avatar
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    It's about time someone started a chain lube thread.
    Yep, THAT Ira

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ira B View Post
    It's about time someone started a chain lube thread.
    If we don't have one of these at least every 2 weeks or so, some of us get withdrawal symptoms.
    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
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Dvorin
    Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and goodnight

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ira B's Avatar
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    Alrighty then. I'll re=post my favorite lube method for any chain you especially care for that will see hard use or be in long term storage.

    Remove chain from bicycle.
    Clean the living heck out of the chain in a harsh, earth hostile solvent ( kerosene works great) using a wire brush.
    Rinse well using an equally earth hostile carb cleaner.
    Put the chain in a shallow pan and slather it with 80-90w gear oil. Swish and shake it around in there real good.
    Wipe off as much oil as you can with clean rags or paper towels, give a very quick lite rinse/spray again with carb cleaner and quickly wipe again with a rag.
    The idea is to have only a lite film of oil ON the chain but leave oil IN the chain.

    Yes, I know this is a lot of work for a stupid chain.
    Yep, THAT Ira

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    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    It is well-known that proper chain cleaning is the most vital and important aspect of cycling. There are zillions of doo-dads and gimmicks out there intended to make this task easier for spoiled, lazy cyclists.
    Unfortunately, there's no "free lunch" in bicycle maintenance, and all of these existing systems are fundamentally mono-buttocked kluges.

    The only proper way to clean a bicycle chain is to disassemble it, otherwise there is no way to be sure you've thoroughly cleaned and properly lubricated the critical internal parts where chain wear occurs.

    Similarly, there's no way to apply correct lubrication to an assembled chain, since the rollers have different lubrication needs than the link articulation pins do!


    While this is an excellent system, it is labor intensive. I've
    developed a system that uses dental floss, and i can clean
    a chain in under seven hours that way.............
    Quote Originally Posted by Al Dvorin
    Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and goodnight

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ira B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post









    While this is an excellent system, it is labor intensive. I've
    developed a system that uses dental floss, and i can clean
    a chain in under seven hours that way.............
    That is awesome!
    Yep, THAT Ira

  13. #13
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    I wipe, I lube, I wipe, I done.
    Have I mentioned that I love riding my bikes?
    GT Timberline (1989), Home build (2012), Giant OCR3 (2007)

    Jack aka:makeitso

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    How often are people removing the chain and getting it "perfectly" clean? Once a week, or way less? bk

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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I LOVE chain lube and chain cleaning threads.
    Same. Gourmet popcorn anyone?

    Can anyone cite any semi-scientific testing done?

    I'm in the Liquid Wrench camp btw... 1700 miles on the winter bike... pretty used when I bought it. Not showing any added wear. Considering adding some moly to the container...........

  16. #16
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    I rub my chains in dirt - I find that it attracts lube.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ira B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
    How often are people removing the chain and getting it "perfectly" clean? Once a week, or way less? bk
    I give mine the full treatment about twice a year. In between I freshen it with a little 30w and a wipe off.
    Yep, THAT Ira

  18. #18
    Senior Member calstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jolly_ross View Post
    I rub my chains in dirt - I find that it attracts lube.
    +1 If your cassette/freewheel seems a little dry, it really helps to attract lube by laying the bike down in the dirt driveside down and dragging it for about 10 seconds.

  19. #19
    <3s bikes Re-Cycle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jolly_ross View Post
    I rub my chains in dirt - I find that it attracts lube.
    This!
    A wild man once explained to me how bicycles came from sailboats.

  20. #20
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    Anybody doing a chain off clean more than twice a year? bk

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    OP, yes I know what TCE is because I used to work in electronics manufacturing. It's a carcinogen that's readily absorbed through the skin. I don't want to have anything to do with it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
    Anybody doing a chain off clean more than twice a year? bk
    Yes, but not because I'm a clean fanatic. I rotate multiple chains on each bike at 1,000 miles or so. That means, for example, the chain on my commuter comes off every three months or so. While it's off, each chain gets a long soak in napatha, then (when I have nothing better to do) , I finish the wash, oil the chain, and put it into a zip lock bag until it comes back up on the rotation.

    If they weren't off anyway, I'd never bother washing chains. I'd run them through a dry or slightly damp rag once in a long while and re-oil as needed.
    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.

  23. #23
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Here's an opportunity come knocking........

    A leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon claims to have found an environmentally friendly way to combine two of America's great obsessions –
    after converting his 4x4 to run on fat removed from clients during liposuction operations.


    Alan Bittner, who founded a high-profile clinic on Rodeo Drive, the Bond Street of Los Angeles, claims to be able
    to power both his Ford Explorer and his girlfriend's Lincoln Navigator on biofuel converted from excess flesh from human tums,
    bums and thighs. "The vast majority of my patients request that I use their fat for fuel – and I have more fat than I can use," he says.
    "Not only do they get to lose their love handles or chubby belly, but they get to take part in saving the Earth."

    Sadly, Dr Bittner is no longer around to bask in his new-found fame. His practice in Beverly Hills suddenly closed shortly
    after last month's raid, and he is believed to have moved to South America.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...s-1211431.html
    Can you say, "This stuff would make a great chain lube ?" Sure you can, boys and girls.
    Quote Originally Posted by Al Dvorin
    Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and goodnight

  24. #24
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    So, for all this talk about how great "off bike" chain cleaning is, it's really just "cover" for running around with filthy chains. OTOH, it is comforting to know that when "off bike" chain cleaners actually get around to it, they do a really good job. I've suspected this for a long time. bk

  25. #25
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
    So, for all this talk about how great "off bike" chain cleaning is, it's really just "cover" for running around with filthy chains. OTOH, it is comforting to know that when "off bike" chain cleaners actually get around to it, they do a really good job. I've suspected this for a long time. bk
    Sir, I feel I must protest. My chains are not filthy................they are casual.
    Quote Originally Posted by Al Dvorin
    Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and goodnight

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