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Old 09-14-08, 07:07 PM   #1
mgold8
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Did I buy the right Chain Lube?

I went to the local bike store today to buy some chain lube for my Trek Mountain bike that has been sitting around. Everything works fine but I just thought it would be a good idea to get some chain lube. I went into the store and asked the person "What do you suggest?" He immediately gave me a bottle of Pedros Syn Lube saying that "It's the best! It's also Synthetic and will last longer so you won't have to apply it as often!" It seemed like a good choice and I thought that the store person wouldn't steer me in the wrong direction.

When I got home though I noticed it said "Wet Lube for wet-muddy conditions" on the bottle. I'm not doing riding in wet or muddy conditions and that to me implies this is a specialty chain lube. Does that really matter? I mean I'm not sure if it should take it back or something? Should it be okay to just use this stuff? What should I do?
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Old 09-14-08, 07:22 PM   #2
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I would think it would serve you better considering is made for the harshest elements. Sounds like you've done good.
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Old 09-14-08, 11:59 PM   #3
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What matters more than what lube you use is 'Do you keep your chain clean and well lubed all the time"? I have a different philosophy than some. I prefer a 'shortlasting' lube. Well, that's stupid! Get with it buddy! (that's a self flame). OK why shortlasting. Here's my convoluted reasoning. The chain is a pretty important component of the bike commissioned with the task of transferring your power as applied to the cranks to the rear wheel to propell you along the trail. Right? How far can you go without one? Downhill quite a ways, but on the level or uphill not far. So it's pretty important. A critical part IMO should receive perhaps better care (read: more often) since if it fails well... you know, you fix it and go on your way til it fails again, right. If you are lulled into thinking you can just put on a 'longlasting chain lube' and kind of forget it I think you are delusional and will pay the consequences. My chain reminds me to take care of it if I use shortlasting lube cuz it makes this irritating noise which screems in my ear 'I want lube, I want lube'. And so I clean and lube it when that happens. Maybe I do it too often. Can you do it too often? I end up doing it after nearly each major ride which happens 2 - 3 times a week. My rides are often wet and muddy and rough. My chain has nearly 3000 miles on it and doesn't show signs of wear yet. It will cuz chains wear (not stretch) due to friction between metal and more so if not clean and lubricated. Ther're right out in the open subject to water and grunge in an amount we're not even aware of. It's vulnerable, and it's important. And (now here comes the real reason) after someone said "Wow! That chain shines, is it new?" I decided to keep doing it the way I do rather than using one of those longlasting chain lubes and periodically wiping it down with a rag (read: pushing the crud into the depths of the chain) and I'm a vain guy so that's the real reason - vanity.

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Old 09-15-08, 01:01 AM   #4
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You'll be fine. All that line on the bottle means is that the lube (supposedly) will last longer in wet conditions than other (dry-condition) oils will. What you bought will still work when it's dry out.

Incidentally you can use anything you want on your chain, as long as it's meant to lubricate. DON'T use WD-40; that's a solvent, and will wash away what lube is in your chain. Once, when I ran out of lube, I grabbed a bottle of Campbell-Hausfeld branded air compressor oil. It worked as well as anything else I had tried before.
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Old 09-15-08, 06:34 AM   #5
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I've dug plastic oil bottles out of trash cans at fuel stations and used what was left in the bottle, long ago.

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Old 09-15-08, 07:15 AM   #6
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I used SynLube on my winter bike last winter. My main recommendation is to make sure and wipe the access from the chain. I have pictures of what happens if you do not.
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Old 09-15-08, 08:32 AM   #7
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Southern California is mostly dry, desert type weather except its close to the Pacific Ocean so we do get moisture often called "Marine Layer". Not that much rainfall, not like Seattle.

Weather plays an important part in your decision on type of lube. The other is your type of riding, road or mountain off road dirt type riding. It could be both.

I agree with a lot of what Wm. O. Davis says above about long lasting lube. Crud and dirt gets on your bike frame and on your chain. It needs to be cleaned and lubed often. Riders who put on more than 100 miles a week, I think know that they have to lube often. But the lube process requires a type of cleaning as well.

Some riders use a rag soaked in Simple Green, a rag, a rag and a light oil. For muddy mountain types, they hose it off with water first. Then comes the lube.

Riders experiment with different lubes because of the type of riding they do and the weather conditions they're in. Some lubes claim a rust prevention element in their formula.

Since I live in So. Cal. I picked a dry lube. But also since I live in a beach area near the Pacific Ocean, I picked Boshield T-9. That same product is used by boating people as well, for lubrication and rust prevention.

As far as long lasting. Ask yourself a question: when does the lubrication characteristics start to break down? In a car, you might say when the oil gets dirty. Admittedly a car crankcase is not like a bike, but my point is "dirty".
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Old 09-15-08, 11:49 AM   #8
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I am amazed that you have not had flames on this one. The topic of the proper lube is one that approaches or exceeds religion as far as perspective in its adherents.

I have heard of and used any number of lubes. Everything I have tried works. Everything I have tried has its drawbacks.

You have 3 problems with a chain. One is it gets dirty. Two is it does not have enough lube. Three it does not have protection from water and rusts.

Cleaning and relubing your chain puts you back to start. The cleaner your chain is that longer it will last. Of course, there is a point of vanishing or vanished returns here. Cleaning and relubing the chain after every ride is not something that most of us will ever do.

The problem with lubes is they either attract dirt or they do not protect adequately from water or both. So whatever you use, will be a sort of tradeoff.
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Old 09-15-08, 12:21 PM   #9
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You can use what you have. There are generally 3 types of lubes based on conditions. Dry, normal, and wet. Dry lubes are for dusty conditions and tend to collect less dirt but will be washed off by rain quickly. Normal tries to bridge the two. Wet lube tends to attract more dirt but will stay on through rain and mud.
I used to ride in the desert. Used dry lube 100% of the time worked great.
Now I live in Seattle. Except for 2 weeks in august I use wet lube.
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Old 09-15-08, 01:16 PM   #10
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You can use what you have. . . .
Well you might want to give chainsaw bar oil a miss. It attracts grit from the next county!
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Old 09-15-08, 01:57 PM   #11
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Well you might want to give chainsaw bar oil a miss. It attracts grit from the next county!
Oh, I can beat that. I've used chainsaw bar oil and it was nothing compared to the time I grabbed a bottle of lube left over from some automotive work I had just done. I hit the road immediately afterward and was amazed to find my chain quieter than it had ever been before. Dead silent. I was just as proud as could be of my new discovery. 25 miles later, after doing a mix of pavement, and crushed rock trails, I got home, then looked at my chain. OMIGOD!!! There were chunks of dirt nearly a 1/4" in diameter stuck to the chain. It had become fly-paper. My "miracle lube": 90W axle grease. I never did that again.
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Old 09-15-08, 02:04 PM   #12
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What matters more than what lube you use is 'Do you keep your chain clean and well lubed all the time"? I have a different philosophy than some. I prefer a 'shortlasting' lube. Well, that's stupid! Get with it buddy! (that's a self flame). OK why shortlasting. Here's my convoluted reasoning. The chain is a pretty important component of the bike commissioned with the task of transferring your power as applied to the cranks to the rear wheel to propell you along the trail. Right? How far can you go without one? Downhill quite a ways, but on the level or uphill not far. So it's pretty important. A critical part IMO should receive perhaps better care (read: more often) since if it fails well... you know, you fix it and go on your way til it fails again, right. If you are lulled into thinking you can just put on a 'longlasting chain lube' and kind of forget it I think you are delusional and will pay the consequences. My chain reminds me to take care of it if I use shortlasting lube cuz it makes this irritating noise which screems in my ear 'I want lube, I want lube'. And so I clean and lube it when that happens. Maybe I do it too often. Can you do it too often? I end up doing it after nearly each major ride which happens 2 - 3 times a week. My rides are often wet and muddy and rough. My chain has nearly 3000 miles on it and doesn't show signs of wear yet. It will cuz chains wear (not stretch) due to friction between metal and more so if not clean and lubricated. Ther're right out in the open subject to water and grunge in an amount we're not even aware of. It's vulnerable, and it's important. And (now here comes the real reason) after someone said "Wow! That chain shines, is it new?" I decided to keep doing it the way I do rather than using one of those longlasting chain lubes and periodically wiping it down with a rag (read: pushing the crud into the depths of the chain) and I'm a vain guy so that's the real reason - vanity.
Concur. I prefer Pro-Link, but everyone has his own favorite. The most important thing is to lube, wipe, ride, repeat. Ad infinitum.
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Old 09-15-08, 03:26 PM   #13
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I called the bike shop that I bought the chain lube from and they said that "We use that on all the bikes we service. It's good stuff! It will work in normal conditions fine, but better in harsher conditions." He also said "It's obviously important to use chain lube rather than what you use. What you use isn't as important as if you do it!"

That seemed like a reasonable answer to me. I will be using this on all sorts of different bikes though. Do other people think it's that big a deal? I guess I'll just use this. I honestly don't see how using chain lube would actually hurt my bikes!
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Old 09-15-08, 03:33 PM   #14
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i 'I want lube, I want lube'.
...Thats what she said.
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Old 09-15-08, 03:48 PM   #15
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Confession time: stuck in a hotel in the middle of nowhere, with no garage in sight, I once smeared butter on a friend's chain to stop the evil squeaking and get us to the next town.

It sort of worked.
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Old 09-15-08, 09:18 PM   #16
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I went to the local bike store today to buy some chain lube for my Trek Mountain bike that has been sitting around. Everything works fine but I just thought it would be a good idea to get some chain lube. I went into the store and asked the person "What do you suggest?" He immediately gave me a bottle of Pedros Syn Lube saying that "It's the best! It's also Synthetic and will last longer so you won't have to apply it as often!" It seemed like a good choice and I thought that the store person wouldn't steer me in the wrong direction.

When I got home though I noticed it said "Wet Lube for wet-muddy conditions" on the bottle. I'm not doing riding in wet or muddy conditions and that to me implies this is a specialty chain lube. Does that really matter? I mean I'm not sure if it should take it back or something? Should it be okay to just use this stuff? What should I do?
I can't believe you got that stuff and not the stuff that I use!!! What were you thinking???
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Old 09-16-08, 08:29 AM   #17
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You can use pretty much anything as long as you stay on top of chain maintenance. Plain old 3-in-1 will work just fine as long as you clean and oil the chain regularly, at intervals that will depend on your mileage and riding conditions.
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Old 09-16-08, 12:22 PM   #18
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. . .We use that on all the bikes we service. It's good stuff! . . . Do other people think it's that big a deal? I guess I'll just use this. I honestly don't see how using chain lube would actually hurt my bikes!
Bless your heart Mgold, you accidently hit on one of Bike Forum's top theological issues and were witness to our Phariseean "much speaking". You are in the end quite safe and reasonable with your plan. Mind that you heed most the advice about keeping the chain lubricated and periodically cleaned.

Cycle on.
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Old 09-16-08, 12:56 PM   #19
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I use Rancid Polecat #2. Keeps my chain nice 'n scaly.
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Old 09-16-08, 04:59 PM   #20
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.....one of Bike Forum's top theological issues.....
BF's top theological issues???? I don't think so....


WHO'S chain god are we to pray to? The almighty SRAM god? Now we need to go to P&R. Sorry gang.

(How Efing stupid. KJD waits for jsharr or someone to move the thread so he can post even stupider stuff.)

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Old 09-16-08, 06:52 PM   #21
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The old "FredMertz broken record". Go to your local Motocross Motorcycle Shop and get a can of Maxima Chain Wax. Cheap, made for motorcycles that race in mud and sand, lasts forever between applications. http://www.maximausa.com/products/ch...s/chainwax.asp

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Old 09-18-08, 11:34 AM   #22
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I've tried every lube on the market, I think. And, all of them work well, IF (and ONLY IF) you take the time to use a rag to remove all of the excess lube after ten minutes or so. Run the chain backwards through the rag until no more lube comes off.

With some types of lube, after just a minute or so, all of the excess lube is off. With other types, it can take five or ten minute to get every bit of excess lube off the chain. When the rag remains "white" when you run the chain through it, the chain is ready to ride.

Because I'm lazy, I like the Pedro's spray-on wax lube. It goes on very fast, drys fast, and the excesslube comes off fast.
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Old 09-18-08, 01:13 PM   #23
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Old 09-18-08, 01:47 PM   #24
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Closed?
A little less espresso there, 'Kell.
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Old 09-18-08, 02:16 PM   #25
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A little less espresso there, 'Kell.
K. Sorry, it's actually Vodka & Grapefruit. I only do 'Spresso when I be home.
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