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  1. #1
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    Chain lube for extra-long rides

    I keep trying to optimize my kit, and my new focus is on chain oil. I like to take some chain oil with me on long/multi-day rides where there might be some rain, meaning that I may have to apply some new oil after the weather has dried up.

    My current favorite oil is Finish Line Cross Country because it lasts a long time and stands up to rain better than others that I've tried. I have one of their smaller-sized bottles (2 oz / 50ml) that I refill from the larger bottle to take on the road with me, but it is still much larger than it needs to be, so I'm thinking of getting a smaller container. Anyone have any recommendations? One with a drip-spout like the Finish Line one would be ideal because it's easy to put just the right amount of oil onto the chain with.

    Any other ideas about oiling chains on extended rides?

  2. #2
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    I use Chain-L and I can literally go weeks in the rain without shifting problems. This stuff sticks like crazy; better than Phil's tenacious in the rain. If it works for Kent Peterson, it works for me. The trick to using thick oils is to get all of the excess off of the outside of the chain after application. I transfer oil from the big bottle to a 1 oz Nalgene squirt bottle I got from REI which allows me to put a small drop on each roller. The small squirt bottle works great for thick oils, but would be too large an opening for a more watery lube. If you want to carry some on the bike, this would be the easiest way, but you wouldn't need to with Chain-L in my experience. I would take an extra bottle on a cross-country tour, but not for a ride less than two or three weeks.

    I used to swear by Tri-flow or Pro-link, and these are still good for summer, but it is chain-L when the weather turns to typical Oregon winters.

  3. #3
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I also use Chain-L and it's very durable. It does pick up dust and dirt more than other lubes, so It's less than ideal on gravel.
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
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  4. #4
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I use Chain L. 1/2 drop on each link.

    Buy some mouth freshener 4 for $ at Dollar Tree.

    Empty one and replace with your chain lube.

    Chain L.jpg
    Last edited by 10 Wheels; 10-22-13 at 07:42 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    I use Chain L.

    Buy some mouth freshener 4 for $ at Dollar Tree.

    Empty one and replace with your chain lube.

    Chain L.jpg
    Great idea!

  6. #6
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
    Great idea!
    Please remove the freshner label unless you like an oily mouth.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  7. #7
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I put home brew in re-purposed lube bottles and put this in my tool kit... a 4 oz bottle does not take up a lot of space and it also works well for lubing all kinds of moving parts and makes for a wickedly good fire starter.

  8. #8
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Another +1 for Chain-L. Messy, (compared to parrafin) but it lasts.
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  9. #9
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I've been using Finish Line Ceramic Wet Lube for years. I get very good results. I carry a 1 oz. bottle for other folks, but never need it myself, even on long rain rides. It's good for a wet double. Chain wear is much less than with other lubes I've tried. Chain stays reasonably clean.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    I don't carry any, never have. If I'm doing a something longer than a 600k I'll throw some in a drop bag or if I'm racing in the follow vehicle. I really don't see a point in carrying it. It's just more weight and something else to dig through to find what you want.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  11. #11
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    I used a little squeeze bottle for eye drops. I used motor oil for a long time. But somehow we have accumulated several bottles of Tri-Flow. For long rides, I will likely go the bottle-for-eye-drops route again by decanting Tri-Flow into one.

    I have had to reoil a chain during several wet randonnees in Victoria. I've also done consecutive randonnees starting in various cities across the country in one hit, and having some lube along helps. As it does on longer tours.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    1/2 drop on each link.
    1/2 a drop is still a drop isn't it? Or is drop an SI unit?

    (+1 for Chain-L)

  13. #13
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    Without starting The Great Chain Debate, I think that 10 Wheels' solution is brilliant, and seems to fill the OP's need/desire to carry lube. I can't say enough about Chain-L, it is good stuff. Lasts about 1,000 miles/1,600 km. I stopped at a Dollar Tree on the way home last night and picked up three bottles of breath drops for a buck (inflation, now there are only 3 instead of 4) and one bottle is enough for two lubes (one "regular" drop per link).

    If you start with a lubed chain and re-lube every 100 miles, you'll need a new chain (at 3,000 mi/5,000 km) before you need more lube.

    I may carry a couple of bottles to give away or to do stealth maintenance on some of the commuter bikes at my workplace. There are a few Schwinns/Mongooses here that have never seen lube (including the factory, apparently) and I can hear them screaming for chain lube.

  14. #14
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jolly_ross View Post
    1/2 a drop is still a drop isn't it? Or is drop an SI unit?

    (+1 for Chain-L)
    If drops were units...

    SAE would be a drip, based on the size of a drop of oil from a Right whale as measured by Captain John Parker using his thumb for reference.

    SI would be a drop, 0.1ml
    What is bicycle touring?
    "So I kept looking and eventually found that a spark plug had same threads. So I cycled next two days until I got to Jackson, MS with a spark plug instead of right pedal." - mev

  15. #15
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Any other ideas about oiling chains on extended rides?
    I wonder if anything else needs lubrication?
    Sorry about my comments - I thought you wanted honest feedback.
    2003 Lemond Wayzata - 2002 LeMond Malliot Jeune

  16. #16
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
    Another +1 for Chain-L. Messy, (compared to parrafin) but it lasts.
    That is why I said use 1/2 of a drop. Apply too much and it is messy.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  17. #17
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Excess Chain-L needs to be avoided, it will attract grit quickly. I apply the oil after a ride, take a short ride the next day and wipe of the excess. The oil on the pins and rollers remains while the excess on the outside of the plates is removed. I only need to lube about every 500 miles unless I ride in muddy conditions.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    That is why I said use 1/2 of a drop. Apply too much and it is messy.
    Not messy in a spattered everywhere way, it's more of a configuration thing. My chain will occasionally rub my right leg- every wet lube will leave a mark- parrafin doesn't.

    Lube, let sit, wipe plates with rag. There's always some residue.
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  19. #19
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    I don't find Chain L any more dirty than any other liquid lubricant. The wipe of the chain after lubing usually leaves it relatively clean.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  20. #20
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
    I wonder if anything else needs lubrication?
    Jockey wheels (if they have old style open bearings) and idlers (if you have them).
    I make a point of wiping the goo off the jockey wheels when I see it start to accumulate.
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  21. #21
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    I found out today that Dex Tooke set a new record for the 873.5 mile Texas State Crossing, doing it in 64 hours 3 minutes. Congratulations Dex.
    Last edited by no1mad; 11-16-13 at 01:32 PM. Reason: removed shameless plug
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  22. #22
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I live in Europe, so couldn't find any "4 for $1" deals on eye-drop bottles. The only empty bottles that the pharmacy had for sale were big, heavy glass ones with fancy dropper-caps. I therefore just bought a plastic bottle full of eye drop liquid and cleaned it out. The top is easy to remove to refill it, and the hole needed just a little enlarging to make the rate of flow onto the chain ideal. It'll now live in my mini tool kit.

  23. #23
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    I've been using Rock & Roll for years and I think it's pretty good stuff ymmv.
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