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  1. #1
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    Lubes and Degreasers

    I went to one of Performances beginner maintenance classes tonight, and they recommended using lubes and degreasers they of course sold.. Im covered on lube for now, for degreasers though, are there cheaper alternatives then the stuff they sell in the bike shops? Also, they recommended using an aerosol lube for the derailleurs, should I get some, or were they just trying to sell more stuff?

  2. #2
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    How much degreaser will you use over the course of a year? (Just as a reference, I use a few ounces.)

    A light solvent like paint thinner or lighter fluid will handle almost everything on a bike.

  3. #3
    just pokin' along desertdork's Avatar
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    I don't know what "stuff" in particular you speak of nor its cost. One product I've used is White Lightning Clean Streak, and I've found it to be quite good; but it's also a bit expensive and unpleasant without good ventilation in the work area. I primarily use odorless mineral spirits, which is effective and relatively economical due to minimal waste. For heavy duty drivetrain work, Dupont Motorcycle Degreaser is another potent aerosol that works (and stinks) similarly to Clean Streak but is less expensive and available at xmarts.

    I occasionally drip lube on derailleur pivots. I don't spray derailleurs with aerosol lubricant.

    Ask ten cyclists about their choices for cleaners and lubricants, and you'll get ten different responses. Most will be fine; some may be better for certain riding conditions and maintenance regimens. I suspect you were presented with recommendations that are favored by the staff member that instructed your group. Your choices will probably evolve as you discover what works best for you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    For degreaser I just use simple green or its generic equivalent and it has served me well for many years.

    For lubricant this can turn into a pretty heated debate with some but my only rule of thumb is to stay away from aerosol lubes for the vast majority of work. They just make a mess, are expensive for how much lube you get and tend to waste most of the lube in the can spraying stuff you do not want it on. For derailleurs I tend to drip triflow or prolink on the pivots and for the pulleys if they need lube I will usually pull them off and use Phil Wood or some other heavy lube on the bushing and then put them back together. That does not take long and some pulleys use bearings anyway where you can use a light grease and it will last even longer.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexxer View Post
    I went to one of Performances beginner maintenance classes tonight, and they recommended using lubes and degreasers they of course sold.. Im covered on lube for now, for degreasers though, are there cheaper alternatives then the stuff they sell in the bike shops? Also, they recommended using an aerosol lube for the derailleurs, should I get some, or were they just trying to sell more stuff?
    For a degreaser I use automotive brake cleaner (aerosol), citrus based cleaners and Dawn dish soap. LPS 2 is a good all purpose aerosol lubricant.

    Brad

  6. #6
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    Ok, thanks guys, I figured it would be ok to use different kinds like they sell in hardware and auto stores, but I just wanted to check to be sure before I picked something up.

  7. #7
    Senior Member hermanchauw's Avatar
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    Degreaser: kerosene or turpentine. I haven't tried other more common solvents but i think white spirit should work also. Anything oil based.

    Lubricant: drip type. Spraying is wasteful as not all the liquid goes to the spot you want it to be. Applying drops directly is more precise.

  8. #8
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    Auto or bearing store for grease. I use Lubriplate EMB synthetic and it's overkill. Ace hardware for chainsaw bar oil and unscented mineral spirits mixed 4 to 1 for chain lube. Simple Green and water to clean chain in ultrasonic cleaner. Dove to wash my bike.

  9. #9
    Senior Member raqball's Avatar
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    I use Simple Green.. It works great!

    I do use an aerosol lube on the derailleurs. Use the straw tube to get into the tiny spaces.

    2013 Sirrus Limited SL4
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    Auto or bearing store for grease. I use Lubriplate EMB synthetic and it's overkill. Ace hardware for chainsaw bar oil and unscented mineral spirits mixed 4 to 1 for chain lube. .
    Just for fun I Googled "site:www.bikeforums.net chainsaw bar oil" and got a million hits. I think my son as some bar oil and Ineed some UMS anyway, and I'll just fill my Prolink bottle with the stuff. I lube and wipe cleam my chain off every ride or thereabouts so that just does double duty.

    Quote Originally Posted by raqball View Post
    I do use an aerosol lube on the derailleurs. Use the straw tube to get into the tiny spaces.
    +1 for the foamy stuff to flush the gunk out of the RD springie-lever thing, but I try to stay away from the knuckle that should have grease in it.
    "Of course you eat too much" (Looigi) There are things people say that are so true you can never forget the wisdom. I still eat too much. Without denial.
    Awarded 2014 Billy Madison "Ultimate Insult" by jsharr. Must have been something about my rambling, incoherent response...

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