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Old 03-21-14, 06:30 PM   #1
RLinNH
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Degreasing and Relubing Chain Intervals...

I have always been of the notion that after every second ride, one should degrease and relube their chain. Someone recently advised me that this is horrible!!! That they should ride the bike and just relube after every other ride, only degreasing after every wet weather ride. What say ye?
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Old 03-21-14, 06:35 PM   #2
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Wow, every second ride??? It's not horrible unless you use harsh water based degreasers but it's certainly overkill. I wipe my chain clean and relube at about 300 - 500 mile intervals and my chains run quietly, shift well and last many thousands of miles.
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Old 03-21-14, 06:41 PM   #3
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. . . "should" . . .
Wouldn't that depend on the distance of each ride? Seems arbitrary anyway.
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Old 03-21-14, 06:46 PM   #4
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.....and my chains run quietly, shift well .....
Weather (or climate) makes a world of difference on how dirty/gritty your chain might get. And how long/far and often you bicycle makes a big difference too. My back-up bicycle hasn't had it's chain oiled all winter..... of course it hasn't been ridden ether.

Chains need cleaned when dirty... and oiled when dry. Touching the chain will tell you if it's dirty.... and listening will tell you when it's dry [because you will hear it]. Poor shifting lets the cyclist know the chain might need some sort of attention... likely cleaned and oiled.

There is as many opinions on HOW to maintain a chain... as there are cyclists [humor]. I won't comment on that part in this thread.
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Old 03-21-14, 06:52 PM   #5
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Thanks for the great replies. Looks like I will put my bike on the bike stand after every ride and wipe the chain down with a rag Relube when she says so, degrease and relube when she tells me to.
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Old 03-21-14, 06:56 PM   #6
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Wouldn't that depend on the distance of each ride? Seems arbitrary anyway.
Well, unless the OP is a Randonneur and training for P-B-P I expect every two rides isn't that far.
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Old 03-21-14, 07:02 PM   #7
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Every 2 rides would be the equivalent (spellcheck) of 25-50 miles every ride. Just had a new chain put on my bike, again, and I would like it to last me until at least September.

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Well, unless the OP is a Randonneur and training for P-B-P I expect every two rides isn't that far.
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Old 03-21-14, 07:07 PM   #8
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Looks like I will put my bike on the bike stand after every ride and wipe the chain down with a rag Relube when she says so, degrease and relube when she tells me to.
Gawd. That's one of the most sensible things I've ever read on this subject on this forum. Bravo.
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Old 03-21-14, 07:45 PM   #9
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Gawd. That's one of the most sensible things I've ever read on this subject on this forum. Bravo.
What'd I win?
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Old 03-21-14, 07:55 PM   #10
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Weather (or climate) makes a world of difference on how dirty/gritty your chain might get. And how long/far and often you bicycle makes a big difference too. My back-up bicycle hasn't had it's chain oiled all winter..... of course it hasn't been ridden ether.

Chains need cleaned when dirty... and oiled when dry. Touching the chain will tell you if it's dirty.... and listening will tell you when it's dry [because you will hear it]. Poor shifting lets the cyclist know the chain might need some sort of attention... likely cleaned and oiled.

There is as many opinions on HOW to maintain a chain... as there are cyclists [humor]. I won't comment on that part in this thread.
If you wait until you hear a chain it is because there is metal to metal contact. IMO that's to late. I'm glad this is not a discussion about engines.
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Old 03-21-14, 08:03 PM   #11
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If you wait until you hear a chain it is because there is metal to metal contact. IMO that's to late. I'm glad this is not a discussion about engines.
I drive a Diesel, and I just had my Transmission Flushed, both diffs had the fluid changed, and the transfer case was changed also. My truck loves me right now...
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Old 03-22-14, 05:22 AM   #12
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If you wait until you hear a chain it is because there is metal to metal contact. IMO that's to late. I'm glad this is not a discussion about engines.
You're absolutely correct! I hadn't meant to imply that a cyclist should wait till they can actually hear their chain before oiling it. But that is how what I posted reads. Thanks for the correction.

I do look at my KMC chains as inexpensive disposables (although I try not to waste anything). I try to NOT wait till I hear that "chainy" sound before cleaning and oiling..... but we all know what that sound is... don't we.

What I meant to post was a "two ride rule" may not be optimal for some.... and needless overkill for others. The best maintenance schedule for bicycles might be a personalized one based on the needs of the bicycle [or it's parts]..... not arbitrary rules.

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Old 03-22-14, 05:24 AM   #13
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...and listening will tell you when it's dry [because you will hear it]...
What sound do you expect to hear to identify a chain as dry?

It is important specially for "dry" lubes. You can clearly know if a chain is dry in the outside, but it is hard to know if it is dry or lube in the inside.

In my case, after degreasing (or wiping out) and lubing, my chain is very quiet for 20-30 miles but then it turns to be more noisy. It does not squeak but sometimes I can hear (image) some isolated squeak. I do not know if it lasts more without turning to squeak because I wipe and lube it. Is this normal? Do chains turn to be more noisy after riding some miles with "fresh" lube?
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Old 03-22-14, 05:38 AM   #14
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What sound do you expect to hear to identify a chain as dry?

It is important specially for "dry" lubes. You can clearly know if a chain is dry in the outside, but it is hard to know if it is dry or lube in the inside.

In my case, after degreasing (or wiping out) and lubing, my chain is very quiet for 20-30 miles but then it turns to be more noisy. It does not squeak but sometimes I can hear (image) some isolated squeak. I do not know if it lasts more without turning to squeak because I wipe and lube it. Is this normal? Do chains turn to be more noisy after riding some miles with "fresh" lube?
I've never heard my chain "squeak". Most of the time... my chain is completely silent. Dirt on-in the chain... or wet weather washing off the oil... allows/causes the chain to heard... but never actually noisy. But... I've never used dry lube ether.
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Old 03-22-14, 09:27 AM   #15
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Keep it clean and lubed. It's on as needed basis.
It will depend on type of lube you use, and on your ride /muddy, wet, dry.../
Chain also shouldn't be noisy or rusty. I tried all lubes from my LBS, and Prolink gold is what I use and like the most. It last over 100 miles rain or shine.
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Old 03-22-14, 09:44 AM   #16
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What sound do you expect to hear to identify a chain as dry?

It is important specially for "dry" lubes. You can clearly know if a chain is dry in the outside, but it is hard to know if it is dry or lube in the inside.

In my case, after degreasing (or wiping out) and lubing, my chain is very quiet for 20-30 miles but then it turns to be more noisy. It does not squeak but sometimes I can hear (image) some isolated squeak. I do not know if it lasts more without turning to squeak because I wipe and lube it. Is this normal? Do chains turn to be more noisy after riding some miles with "fresh" lube?
It depends on your lubing technique, how clean the chain was to begin with, and which lube you use. Given the right technique, starting with a clean chain, and using Chain L, your chain should remain quiet for several hundred miles in dry conditions. Using bad technique and White Lightning wax lube, your chain should remain quiet for several hundred pedal strokes.
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Old 03-22-14, 09:58 AM   #17
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I remove, clean and relube mine every 750 to 800 miles.
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Old 03-22-14, 12:49 PM   #18
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I have always been of the notion that after every second ride, one should degrease and relube their chain.
OCD is expressed in the forums here , a lot .. sounds like another one ..

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That they should ride the bike and just relube after every other ride, only degreasing after every wet weather ride.
What say ye?
do these 'They' have a name ? do their advanced degree theses studies have footnotes ?

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Old 03-23-14, 02:16 PM   #19
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I have always been of the notion that after every second ride, one should degrease and relube their chain.
That might make sense if you go mudding every other ride. For road biking (on paved roads), fuggedaboutit.
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Old 03-23-14, 04:21 PM   #20
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It depends on your lubing technique, how clean the chain was to begin with, and which lube you use. Given the right technique, starting with a clean chain, and using Chain L, your chain should remain quiet for several hundred miles in dry conditions. Using bad technique and White Lightning wax lube, your chain should remain quiet for several hundred pedal strokes.
Since retaking road cycling I haven't tried non-dry lubes. I would like to try Chain-L but I found it impossible to find in my country (Spain) and just for a test I hesitate to expend the cost of a bottle and the delivery.

In the past I used a generic lube with Teflon that was made by a local company. It worked very well and lasted a lot, at least that was my impression, and I just applied it after cleaning the bicycle/drivetrain thoroughly, around 1500 km / 900 miles, or after a ride in the rain. I wasn't too concerned about cleanliness of my drivetrain but I remember it was very quiet (I like silence while riding, damn wind!) and not too sticky to dirt. My method of application was far from being ideal: 1. Clean the drivetrain with gasoline and water until all black gunk is removed; 2. Let it dry; 3. Spray (maybe a lot of) lube to the sprockets while moving the pedals; 4. Change to all chainrings and sprockets in order to spread the lube. However, it worked for me.

I mention this because now I'm using a dry lube (Finish Line) and it doesn't work as I would like it to work. My main concern is that the sound of the drivetrain is more noticeable than I remember with the other lube and it is even more noticeable after riding for some time (around 20 or 30 miles). My method now is: 1) Every other month, clean the drivetrain thorougly, removing the chain and sprockets to bath them in degreaser; 2) Rinse with water and let them dry while cleaning the chainrings and derailleurs; 3) Use a hairdryer to ensure that the chain and sprockets are dry; 4) Install the chain and apply a drop of lube to each link in the bottom side of the chain; 5) Give a few slow spins to the cranks and leave the bicycle resting overnight. Every week I have to wipe out the chain and sprockets, apply more lube and leave it resting overnight. Otherwise, it becomes more and more noisy.

I'm sorry for this intrusion to this thread but I am very exacerbated of not knowing if the sound/noise I hear from my drivetrain and the behavior of the dry lube (having a quiet drivetrain just for 20/30 miles) are normal or not.
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Old 03-23-14, 09:02 PM   #21
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Since retaking road cycling I haven't tried non-dry lubes. I would like to try Chain-L but I found it impossible to find in my country (Spain) and just for a test I hesitate to expend the cost of a bottle and the delivery.

In the past I used a generic lube with Teflon that was made by a local company. It worked very well and lasted a lot, at least that was my impression, and I just applied it after cleaning the bicycle/drivetrain thoroughly, around 1500 km / 900 miles, or after a ride in the rain. I wasn't too concerned about cleanliness of my drivetrain but I remember it was very quiet (I like silence while riding, damn wind!) and not too sticky to dirt. My method of application was far from being ideal: 1. Clean the drivetrain with gasoline and water until all black gunk is removed; 2. Let it dry; 3. Spray (maybe a lot of) lube to the sprockets while moving the pedals; 4. Change to all chainrings and sprockets in order to spread the lube. However, it worked for me.

I mention this because now I'm using a dry lube (Finish Line) and it doesn't work as I would like it to work. My main concern is that the sound of the drivetrain is more noticeable than I remember with the other lube and it is even more noticeable after riding for some time (around 20 or 30 miles). My method now is: 1) Every other month, clean the drivetrain thorougly, removing the chain and sprockets to bath them in degreaser; 2) Rinse with water and let them dry while cleaning the chainrings and derailleurs; 3) Use a hairdryer to ensure that the chain and sprockets are dry; 4) Install the chain and apply a drop of lube to each link in the bottom side of the chain; 5) Give a few slow spins to the cranks and leave the bicycle resting overnight. Every week I have to wipe out the chain and sprockets, apply more lube and leave it resting overnight. Otherwise, it becomes more and more noisy.

I'm sorry for this intrusion to this thread but I am very exacerbated of not knowing if the sound/noise I hear from my drivetrain and the behavior of the dry lube (having a quiet drivetrain just for 20/30 miles) are normal or not.
Your drive train cleaning technique seems adequate. Gasoline does a good job of breaking down old lube and gunk. As long as you're rinsing it thoroughly, you should have a very clean chain.

An improved lubing technique would involve dripping lube onto the bottom run of chain, just forward of the bottom derailleur pulley while slowly backpedaling. This allows the lube to penetrate throughout the chain into the rollers because backpedaling creates centrifugal force, forcing the lube to penetrate through the chain's rollers from inside to outside. Think about soaking one end half of a towel in water. Grab that soaked end in your hand and fling the towel around in a circle over your head like a helicopter blade. The motion will force the water to the outside, away from your hand, soaking the entire length of the towel. If you were to hold the dry end in your hand and fling the towel around with the wet end at the outside, the dry end near your hand would stay dry.

Lubing on top of the sprockets soaks the sprockets which really need no lube at all. The excess lube will attract dirt.

Wiping off the chain after every ride is a good idea to get the excess lube and dirt off the outside. As far as noise, if your previous lube kept the drive train quiet and the new dry lube does not, switch back. Frequent need to re-lube and shorter effectiveness are typical of dry lubes.

In addition to my ears, I've found my feet can give me a clue as to when it's time to re-lube. When I'm pedaling and shift, if I feel roughness or a "clunking" sensation through the pedals, I know the lube is losing it's effectiveness. Of course this assumes my chain and cogs are not worn and everything else is correctly adjusted.

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Old 03-24-14, 04:11 AM   #22
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I am in alert mode in case I find my old lube in a hardware store. The bad point is that it is only available in spray and I prefer to drip one drop to each link so I do not apply too much and applying two layers if necessary. I do not know if it could be possible to spray it into an empty (and clean) bottle of lube and then use it to drip onto the chain. Last time I tried to do that with a spray bottle of grease resulted in a solid block of grease inside the small dripping bottle.

On the other hand, I have red some reviews about Weldtite TF2 "All Weather" with Teflon and it looks to be more wet and durable while being less dirty than others. Have you tried it?
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Old 03-24-14, 10:22 AM   #23
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I am in alert mode in case I find my old lube in a hardware store. The bad point is that it is only available in spray and I prefer to drip one drop to each link so I do not apply too much and applying two layers if necessary. I do not know if it could be possible to spray it into an empty (and clean) bottle of lube and then use it to drip onto the chain. Last time I tried to do that with a spray bottle of grease resulted in a solid block of grease inside the small dripping bottle.

On the other hand, I have red some reviews about Weldtite TF2 "All Weather" with Teflon and it looks to be more wet and durable while being less dirty than others. Have you tried it?
I haven't tried the Weldtite, but it really does look good. Just be sure to get the "All Weather" and not the "dry" version. If you try it, please let us know how it works.
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Old 03-24-14, 10:46 AM   #24
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Since retaking road cycling I haven't tried non-dry lubes. I would like to try Chain-L but I found it impossible to find in my country (Spain) and just for a test I hesitate to expend the cost of a bottle and the delivery..
I'd gladly give you a free sample, but the postage alone is over $6.00. for a 2oz. package. However if you have any friends or family in the USA and coming to visit, I'll send them some samples they can bring and you can share with friends.
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Old 03-24-14, 11:05 AM   #25
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I'd gladly give you a free sample, but the postage alone is over $6.00. for a 2oz. package. However if you have any friends or family in the USA and coming to visit, I'll send them some samples they can bring and you can share with friends.
Thanks for your offer but for now I do not know anybody going to USA. If I go to (or close to) NY in the near future I'll buy a bottle. The price of a bottle is decent, even for testing purposes, but, when I include the delivery costs (to my country), the final price is out of my budget for testing a single lube. However, if I do not find any lube that fits my expectations, I could go crazy and order a bottle. I've read a lot of people saying good things about Chain-L and makes me green with envy.
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