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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 08-07-05, 07:49 PM   #1
nightfly
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Cleaning, re-lubing chain

What do you all use to clean and then re-lube your chain? I'd prefer not to remove it because I'm lazy. I've seen some recommendations for Phil Wood's lube but others say it's too thick and gets everywhere. Just want something quick and easy both for the cleaning and the re-lubing so I'll actually do it once in awhile.
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Old 08-07-05, 08:00 PM   #2
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white lightning. best thing ever. cleans and lubes.
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Old 08-07-05, 08:03 PM   #3
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Tri-Flow SUPERIOR LUBRICANT with TEFLON* it
  • Lubricates
  • Penetrates
  • Protects

and there's even a picture of a bike on the front of the can. Of course the bike has flat bars, breaks, gears, shocks, and big ol' knobby tires but I think it works pretty well on my bike too. As an added bonus it smells like bananas and contains no CFCs. You also get a fancy little coffee stir with it that can double as a straw to well lube tight, enclosed spaces. It also has DELAYED EFFECTS FROM LONG TERM OVEREXPOSURE which sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.

As for cleaning, if the chain is really gritty I use my roommate's shirt, or if I'm pressed for time, my own shirt. I think pants, shorts, and underwear would work equally well. I'd try and find something dark so that the grease and dirt stains won't show up so easily, if you care about that type of thing. I've avoided using skirts, panties, sun dresses, and blouses that I find around the house because the owner's of those garments usually appreciate the faint banana odor and big greasy streak a lot less than any of my roommates or I do.

As soon as kotr comes out with a line of chain lube endorsed by messengers for everyone else, I'll pick up a case and relegate my Tri-Flow to conversion only lubing. Until then, I'll be left wondering why this is more "Singlespeed & Fixed Gear" worthy than say, "Bicycle Mechanics". Maybe because they'd just tell you to do a search instead?
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Old 08-07-05, 08:05 PM   #4
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Cleaning? Sorry, guy, but the best thing to do is to take the chain off and shake around in a plastic bottle with some degreaser. Repeat with cycles of water and degreaser till it comes out clean. Wipe off and hang to dry.

For lube, I've tried everything except mixing my own and the old double-boiler paraffin technique. I used to love Pedros wax, but it wears out in about 10 miles and I got tire of reapplying. But man, those first two miles were pure butter.

These days I'm sold on the light and greasy. Boeshield T9 is good if you can find it. I also like Pro-Link and right now I'm running some Tri-Flow. These last two tend to be nasty and black after a bit, so keep your pants and your fingers clear, but they do it right.

The best lube in my opinion is any of the synthetic wet lubes out there. They work like a charm but they're super super dirty.
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Old 08-07-05, 08:34 PM   #5
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my only wrenching secret is using goo gone as a degreaser. It's somewhat enviromentally safe, easy on skin, and it makes everything smell like oranges (although, I do dig the smell of pedro's bearing grease). I bought a gallon of it a while back and it's been lasting.
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Old 08-07-05, 08:48 PM   #6
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+ + = new super duper mechanic's party drunk punch?
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Old 08-07-05, 08:56 PM   #7
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Like Bostontrevor I generally take of the chain and clean it. I recently decided to try one of those little chain cleaning dooeys. I ended up having to take the chain off the ring and cog to get enough slack for it to fit and then ran it manually rather than using the pedals as you would with geared bike. Made a nice mess and the chain doesn't seem to be nearly as clean as you can get it by taking it off.

I must not be discriminating enough as I rarely notice the difference between lubes. I use chainsaw bar lube as it's dirt cheap relative to bike specific brands. And it's a pretty maroon colour. Wipe on wipe off.
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Old 08-07-05, 08:57 PM   #8
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I'd hit that. Better put some turpentine in there for good measure.
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Old 08-07-05, 09:00 PM   #9
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you're gonna need some slack in the chain in order to do this (the kind of slack that comes from derailleurs, but i'm sure something can be worked out...), but finish line makes a really cool chain cleaner. clips on to the chain, fills with degreaser, and then you pedal through it. it really, really thoroughly removes gunk and ol lube. wait till the degreaser dries, then relube! i hear rad things about rock and roll gold lubricant.

the mechanics in the shop i work in use the chain cleaner and swear by it.
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Old 08-07-05, 09:17 PM   #10
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all of this **** is silly. white lightning will do it all.

i use white lightning once or twice a week, it keeps the chain clean enough, and running nice and smooth.
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Old 08-07-05, 09:25 PM   #11
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I like Ice Wax a lot. Usually just run the chain through a dry rag and clean the pulleys during the week. Then the night before a race, I use one of those chain dohickies you put biodgradable solvent into and run through the gears (slowly). A bit messy, but everthing is easy to wipe down and gets really clean. Best to apply the Ice Wax at least a couple of hours before riding.

sun
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Old 08-07-05, 09:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ink1373
all of this **** is silly. white lightning will do it all.
sure, if you don't care that your alcohol tastes like **** and all you want is to get drunk asap
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Old 08-07-05, 10:30 PM   #13
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motor oil....thats what i use/dont know why you couldnt use it
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Old 08-07-05, 10:37 PM   #14
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Boeshield T-9 for lube. Runs super clean, doesn't gunk up like most other bike lubes.

Simple Green or any various Citrus degreasers & Pedro's Bike Lust for an awesome shine.
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Old 08-08-05, 01:34 AM   #15
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I was using White Lightening and I'd notice after 40-50 miles in a day on a fresh application (don't laugh, it's true lately) at the end of the day the chain was pretty noisy. I asked one of the mechs at the local shop and the guy said to use triflow, and I seem to have dim memories of my sponsor from way back when swearing by the stuff, so I've gone over to using that. Wow the chain is nice and quiet at the end of a long day of riding, and I'm just putting the stuff on at the end of a ride and wiping the black stuff off of the chain with paper towels, giving it a good rubbing down I guess. Black gunk gets all over the bike, the roads are just dirty, cars' and bikes' tire junk and brake dust and all the stuff from all those gas burners out there too I guess.
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Old 08-08-05, 02:45 PM   #16
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i like the tri-flow, but it is a spray lube. since you really only need a drop on each link, a spray lube will lead to excess exposed oil. this attracts gunk on your chain unless you do a super uper duper wipe down.
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Old 08-08-05, 02:56 PM   #17
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All of the lubes mentioned can be had in drip applicators. That's what I use.
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Old 08-08-05, 03:07 PM   #18
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I use Rock'N'Roll right now, really like it. I was using Purple Something and really liked it as well.
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Old 08-08-05, 06:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sewupnut
I like Ice Wax a lot. Usually just run the chain through a dry rag and clean the pulleys during the week. Then the night before a race, I use one of those chain dohickies you put biodgradable solvent into and run through the gears (slowly). A bit messy, but everthing is easy to wipe down and gets really clean. Best to apply the Ice Wax at least a couple of hours before riding.

sun
sun
WTF kind of bike are you riding? Gears and pulleys? AHHH!!!!!


But I like triflow. It works well, but after a week or so, the lube 'dries' out and leaves a thicker black residue. Doesn't really bother me enough yet to change lubes.

I've used pedros ice wax [OK, but the first touch of water made the lube wash off], pedros MTB syn lube [TOO GOOEY AND GRIMY- STAY AWAY!]. I also have a bottle of finish line MTB lube with the gree ncap that I may try next.

I also got some free lube from rock 'n roll, haven't used it yet.
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Old 08-09-05, 04:17 AM   #20
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yeah i was thinkin maybe i oughtta grease the chain. only trouble is i have a tempting can of 3-in-1 sitting on the shelf at home..
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Old 08-10-05, 06:01 PM   #21
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[QUOTE=BostonFixed]WTF kind of bike are you riding? Gears and pulleys? AHHH!!!!!

It's called a derailleur bike, nifty newfangled doodad from the united kingdoms of Italy:
www.campagnolo.com.
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Old 08-10-05, 10:20 PM   #22
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Thanks for answering that question. Wasn't sure how to respond.

sun
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Old 08-10-05, 10:35 PM   #23
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Yeah love tri-flow, hate the spray bottle. But you can get it in a drip bottle too, Supergo has it.
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Old 08-10-05, 10:37 PM   #24
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degrease - an empty milk jug with some mineral spirits. throw the chain in and give it a shake. repeat same process with water. go back and forth until it's clean and then let 'er dry.

lube - 50/50 mix of mineral spirits and 30w motor oil. the mineral spirits thin the oil up enough to get it down into all of the little rolly parts and then you're set. super duper quiet chain, super duper happy rider.
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