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Thread: Chains

  1. #1
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    Chains

    Sometimes I don't get the search engine on this forum. You type in a word, and get a whole bunch of hits, none of which are related to the word you typed in. So if this question has been answered before I apologize. How often does everybody lubricate their chain on their road bike.

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    Senior Member freeranger's Avatar
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    Apply a drop of lube to each roller (can mark a link with a marker, or if a SR*M chain, start at the powerlink) then turn cranks backwards a few time to "work it in", let sit for a while, turn crank backwards again, and wipe off excess. Works for me. Oh, and I use a wet lube--tried waxes, but wet lubes seem to lube better to me. OOPS-somehow I skipped right over the "how often"--like below, after a wet ride, or after a particularly "dirty" ride where the chain has picked up a lot of dirt, asphalt "dust", or other matter, I'll clean and lube. Otherwise, maybe every 2-3 weeks depending on mileage and conditions. You can usually tell when a chain is starting to run "dry".
    Last edited by freeranger; 06-13-07 at 05:36 AM.

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    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    I lube using the drop method after each ride with pro lube.

    I clean with a rag before my ride. In other words, I leave the excess lube overnight.

    I ride about 50 miles a day and get >2000 miles on a chain. I use SRAM chains on my 9 speed shimano 105and Campy chains on my 10 speed chorus. I found KMC chains did not last for me.

    I haven't really experimented with lubes, other than with White Lightning, which I did not like because of the settling of the mixture. I thought it might work better for me when I did bike trails, in dry conditions.

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    LOL! This will open a can of worms!

    Good maintenance practices says that you should lube a chain after a wet ride when you know water spray has gotten onto the chain. Also, I oil my chain when it sounds dry. Riding in some conditions will dry out the lube quicker than others.

    I ride a canal path that has crushed binder, or crushed stone as it's base. When I ride there, I clean and lube the chain after these rides. I also have to clean the bike because the dust gets everywhere on the bike.

    Another thing to consider is HOW MUCH Lube to put on the chain. For the most part we tell our customers to apply ONE Drop per roller/pin on the entire chain and then a quick wipe of a shop towel. We hold to that for most any chain on any bike.

    Of course the next question that will come up is WHAT LUBE? I have my own ideas on that also.
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    Dry lube, every 100 miles and before every time trial. I clean the drivetrain every 7th to 8th lube, or earlier as needed.

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I do about 50 miles each ride and use a wet lube that picks up road dirt. If I see the rear cassette is dirty with black oil- then I clean the chain before I do anything else. After every ride I clean or wipe it and lube every time (50 mile rides). I don't worry about being sparing with the oil either. I literraly smother the chain and work the cranks for a few minutes- Then I lean the bike so drips won't fall on the wheel- wipe it clean and ride.

    Incidentally- If you put oil on the chain and it doesn't seem to show as a film- It has soaked into the dry dirt that is in the chain so clean the damn thing- Don't oil a dirty chain as that will wear a chain out very quick.
    The lube you use is important aswell and I use Pedro's Synlube. Do not use a thin penetrating oil on the chain as the lube (Unless it is to get rid of the water after you have cleaned it)- It does not stay on.
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    If you're gonna clean, do it right:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html
    Wiggy wiggy scratch yo yo bang bang

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    Weekly and/or after a wet ride. "Chain, chain, chain, chain of fools." - Ms. A. Franklin
    Last edited by BSLeVan; 06-15-07 at 05:26 AM.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

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    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    I usually clean the whole bike every 2-3 weeks if it has been dry. I use a Finish Line Degreaser spray on the chain and cassette and a brush with some mild car wash soap. Scrub with soap, spray degreaser, Scrub again, rinse and dry. I then use Finish Line Teflon Dry lube drop by drop on each roller just like freeranger says. Wipe off the exess and I am ready to go. If I ride in the rain or on wet streets I will dry the chain and then relube. This time of year I can end up doing that every couple of days.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

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    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    For road bikes:

    Sounds like I'm on the other end of the range from a lot of folks but I use Tri Flow and unless I've been in wet conditions or really dirty/dusty (not often on the road) I clean and relube every 3-4-5 months??? That works out to be around 1500-3000 miles I guess. I do check the stretch on the chain and usually get around 6000+ miles before it needs changing. I also check the derailluer pulleys and make sure nothing is caking up anywhere and might clean that stuff up between intervals. If the chain isn't squeaking and shifting properly and has plenty of lube, I just keep on using it the way it is.

    I used to use White Lightning but will never go back. Just didn't perform for me over time the way Tri Flow does. I use a Dura Ace 10 speed chain on the 10 speed bike and a SRAM 9 speed chain on the other one. Both seem to perform really well for me.

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    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Been using the hot wax method for 30+ years. Cheap/Clean/lasts up to 6.000 miles depending on weather.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie47
    If you're gonna clean, do it right:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html
    I'm bumpin' this one up because either:

    1. No one bothers to look at links in posts......or

    2. Everyone has seen this one long ago (except me)


  13. #13
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie47
    If you're gonna clean, do it right:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html
    Yep I've been using that technique since April 1st. I hope to be finished cleaning my first chain in a couple more months.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  14. #14
    lunatic fringe Dogbait's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie47
    If you're gonna clean, do it right:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html
    Pffft!
    Been using that system forever. Nothing to it... use two chains, when your just about done cleaning chain A, chain B is dirty.

  15. #15
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    I'm assuming you're talking about a road bike. I clean the chain (SRAM PC-58) off the bike about once every 5-6 weeks. I might re-lube once during that period.
    But MTBs are cleaned based on the number of rides, usually about 6 to 7 rides between off the bike cleaning. I generally don't lube between rides.
    The MUP rider gets cleaned about every three or four rides due to the sandy riding surface.
    EDIT: For more information and opinions you might want to do a search on BF for thread titles with "lubrication" or "chain" in the title. There should be enough posts there to keep someone reading for several weeks.
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  16. #16
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    Are you talkin nice bike or rain bike?

    Nice bikes that ride on paved surfaces in dry weather get their 9spd/10spd chains lubed about every 100 miles and cleaned about every 300 - 400 miles

    Rain bikes that ride in crap weather and on crushed gravel/dirt paths get their 5spd/6spd chains lubed about every other ride and cleaned a couple of times a year.

    Good maintenance generally equals longer wear and less problematic drivetrains.
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    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    You guys spend a lot of time cleaning and lubing!

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