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  1. #1
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    Made a mess with my drivetrain

    Couple of days ago I was washing my bike. After drying I decided to try some general purpose spray lube that said good for bikes too. I applied it as I would with my normal lube and enjoyed the ease of use. Went for a ride the next day and all was good. When I got home I realized that my whole rim (which is white) had black grease spots all over. My bike chain was completely black, my cassette and chain rings also had heavy black markings on all the teeth. And when trying to spin the chain backwards, it's very rough sounding and gets stuck. Was this the new lube that made all this or did I just over-apply or lube it wrong.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Oh yuck! I doubt it's user error. That's just a risk that you take using a lube that's not bicycle specific.

    If it was my bike I'd take the rear wheel off and clean everything up. Then I'd store that spray can somewhere as far from my bike as I could find.

  3. #3
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    The black color is either the lube's natural color, from the grime left on/in the chain after cleaning or from the grime that it picked up during the ride. Check the lube's color by spraying on a white piece of paper. Washing a bike might not be the same as cleaning the chain and cogs. Any wet lube will pick up road grime during use. Too much lube will be sprayed off the chain during use, so it sounds like too much lube was left on the chain prior to use.

    White rims?? Must be a fixie If so then the chain "tension" can change with use and grime pick up. If the chain is too tight to start (which seems to be common) then after getting dirty it will feel tighter and certainly run rougher. Enough to "get stuck"? maybe. Andy.

  4. #4
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    This is typical with sprayed-on lubes. It's impossible to say whether the specific lube was otherwise better or worse. Your specific problem is probably simply that you used too much, had over spray, and you didn't wipe off excess.

    Clean it up as well as you can with a rag dampened on solvent (mineral spirits or similar) then wipe it dry.

    As for the grittiness in the chain, that could be dirt, or the result of your washing method. If you flushed the chain with detergent and water, you broke down the original oil, and you never dried the water within the chain, causing rust. Dry the chain either by washing it in fuel grade alcohol, which will draw out any remaining water then evaporate dry. Then oil it, and wipe off excess. That should get it running decently, then running while lubed will smooth it out.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cvall91 View Post
    Couple of days ago I was washing my bike. After drying I decided to try some general purpose spray lube that said good for bikes too. I applied it as I would with my normal lube and enjoyed the ease of use. Went for a ride the next day and all was good. When I got home I realized that my whole rim (which is white) had black grease spots all over. My bike chain was completely black, my cassette and chain rings also had heavy black markings on all the teeth. And when trying to spin the chain backwards, it's very rough sounding and gets stuck. Was this the new lube that made all this or did I just over-apply or lube it wrong.

    Thanks
    As you may have guessed your only option now is to clean the entire drive train, best done by removing chain, cassette and chainwheels and cleaning with solvent. Then use a bicycle specific lube to be on the safe side. LOTS of opinions about what lube is best, but if you are a fair weather road rider then a "dry" lube is fine, but if you ride off road or in bad weather you need something that is more resistant to weather and dirt/mud.

    Also keep in mind that if a chain is still wet when you lube it can cause more of a mess.

  6. #6
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    Yea I used dishwasher soap and water to clean my chain. I thought it worked great since my chain looked bran new. I ride a road bike which is white and the factory wheels are white. I tried to dry it off as good as I could. I spinne the wheels hard until the water stopped coming out. Then let it sit and dry. Then lubed it with black death. I didn't spray sparringly. I'll wash it again and relube properly. Just hope this isn't permanent

  7. #7
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cvall91 View Post
    Then lubed it with black death.
    What a terrible name for a bicycle chain lube.

    The pertinent question with bike chain lubes isn't "how much?" it's "how often?"

    "How often?" is when it starts making noise. "How much?" is the least amount you can manage on each link. Let it set awhile, then try to completely wipe if off of the outside of the chain.

  8. #8
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    If you didn't use solvent of some sort to clean your chain real good before you lubed it, then the lube you used combined with residual grit and water to make a nasty soup that you are seeing splattered on your rim and that you are hearing when you pedal backwards. Use a good grease cutter like Tough Stuff or Mean Machine and clean it up thoroughly, dry the chain with a rag and let air dry, then lube and wipe off the excess. Too much lube is never a good thing on a bike.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Simonius's Avatar
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    If the general purpose spray lube was something like WD-40 or CRC, the black gunge was due to the fact that it is 97% solvent and is very good at releasing dirt from inside the chain. The other 2 - 3% of it is a thin oil so it is a poor lubricant.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cvall91 View Post
    Yea I used dishwasher soap
    Yea - I have use for more dishwasher soap: take the cassette off, take the chain rings off, immerse/wash with your dishwasher soap. Buy a new chain (no soaping, none of your other lube!), wipe off your derailleurs; reassemble and your drive train will be ready to go.
    (If your white rims actually fit in your dishwasher, you might consider dishwashing them with the chain ring and cassette in your dishwasher - however, hub regreasing will be necessary thereafter)
    Last edited by saturnhr; 08-04-12 at 10:49 AM. Reason: clarification

  11. #11
    Senior Member Simonius's Avatar
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    Dishwasher? That stuff is largely caustic soda or similar AFAIK. Even with the axle out I would worry about corrosion - rim cancer, stiff nipples, freehub sadness.
    Thanks for the tip, I'll try it for a load of loose cassette rings. If I get caught I'll say Saturnhr said it would be OK.

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