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Thread: Dry chain lube?

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    Dry chain lube?

    Hi -- I ride a lot on Washington's C&O Canal towpath, which can often be a sandy mess. Someone recommended dry chain lube to help avoid picking up the sand and grounding out the chain. I've spent time looking in the catalogs, and nothing seems to meet that description. Any thoughts?

    Also, if I just heard bad info, any recommendations on chain lube to use in sandy conditions?

  2. #2
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    It would be well worth your time to do a search--both within BikeForums and on Google--using things like "chain," "lube," "lubrication," "dry," and "sandy."

    Everybody with a bike has a chain lube opinion. Every bike forum has a hundred threads with a hundred responses. You may get all of your questions answered that way.

    Good luck!

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    Videre non videri
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    I've been thinking about this.
    How would candle wax work? As an external protection only.
    Oil inside, candle wax on the outside...
    Could be melted on.

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    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    That's another one you can google for. Many people use paraffin in a double boiler, with a touch of ______ (insert favorite brand of oil here) added in....

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    Hehe, not for me.
    I'll use plain oil, and get full-flap fenders instead!

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    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonya9999
    ... Also, if I just heard bad info, any recommendations on chain lube to use in sandy conditions?
    ProLink and Boeshield.
    Last edited by Doctor Morbius; 03-20-05 at 12:33 PM.
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    can't member Noah Scape's Avatar
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    Back in the early 80s I used paraffin a bit and it really kept the everything pretty clean and dry. I think the chain wore out quicker. Other than that I can't really remember how well it did or didn't lubricate. I used in on a tour accross the US in 1984... took a bar with and melted in in a can with the camp stove.

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    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    Just as a caution, paraffin is flammable (in fact it's being used as rocket fuel. really!). The above should only be used when you can't get a double boiler going.

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    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bostontrevor
    Just as a caution, paraffin is flammable (in fact it's being used as rocket fuel. really!).
    True, which makes it not really worth the effort, especially when there are other better alternatives available.
    I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind. - Ed Rooney


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    can't member Noah Scape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius
    True, which makes it not really worth the effort, especially when there are other better alternatives available.
    It is a lot of work and I don't necessarily recommend it... however, paraffin melts at about 250 degrees and burns at about 375, so there is a fairly safe margin to work with. It's hard to knock it as less effective if you haven't tried it. I do use boshield and I think it works great for some stuff but, I don't like it as a chain lube, particularly if you ride in wet conditions.

    Oh yeah... the double boiler IS a good idea.
    Last edited by Noah Scape; 03-20-05 at 01:38 PM.

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    the driest lube arpund is purple extreme. it just needs several days to dry so use a spair chain. it does not hold up to wet weather but in dry weather the stuff stays cleaner then anything around. you can touch the chain and not get dirty fingers. plus it is easy to put on.

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    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    You might try White Lightening. It's paraffin (wax, not kerosene) with some other junk added to improve lubing properties. Put it on the day before you ride the towpath, so the solvent has time to evaporate. Paraffin ain't a great lube... apply fairly frequently. You will experience some build-up on cogs that you'll need to scrape off occasionally.

    Digression: You can melt paraffin with heat or with chemicals. In his book, John Forrester describes a homebrew recipe using white gas (aka Coleman Fuel) as the solvent, along with some heavy weight oil. Long story short, it's safer, easier, and much more convenient just to buy White Lightening.

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    <The Cyclist> MiniLance's Avatar
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    White Lighting is an get chain lube. I say try it out and see how it works for you. Can't hurt can it?

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    I had tried the google and predictably, got a lot of gibberish. I didn't realize there was a search function here (still a noob) until I looked up at the menu bar. Got some stellar advice, including this...

    ""Since you mentioned sandy terrain, you might want to try a different lube. If you ride in dry conditions and it's sandy, you might be a good candidate for a "dry" lube. I mountain bike in Southern CA (essentially a semi-arid desert) so my experience comes from dry, hardpack riding with a light dusting of sand.

    A dry lube does not attract sand particles like a wet lube. Also, a dry lube doesn't require much maintenance. After a few rides, I brush my chain and drive components with a dry stiff brush (like Parks chain and cog brush). After a dozen turns of the crank all is well. I'll then re-lube the chain.

    Dry lubes don't hold up as well as wet lubes in wet/muddy conditions. My favorite dry lube is "Prolink" although most I ride with use White Lightning or Pedros Dry Ice. Either way, we don't use solvents or detergents during routine maintenance.

    Every couple of months, I do remove the chain and give it a good soaking in Simple Green, followed by a rinse in hot tap water. The hot water heats the chain and helps it dry faster. I use a SRAM chain with the Powerlink since it's a fine chain and no tools are required to open the master link on the chain (no more excuses not to clean the chain).""

    Thanks so much!

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