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  1. #1
    no more nellie
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    To Lube or Not to Lube? That is the question...

    I take my bike to Budget in Eagle Rock for regular maintenance and care. Since I bought it (and my first bike) there, they are very nice about doing regular mini-maintenance for free (and they do a great job!). But in between, I'm always confused about proper care on the bike. Since I'm riding excessive miles this weekend, should I put a few drops of the lube I bought (from them - and, no, I can't think of the name of the brand at present) in the crank? Mind you, I don't know how to clean the chain and crank and don't want to even attempt to remove them. I just want to know if it would hurt or help if I added a couple of drops before this weekend's rides. (Just so you know, I had the bike maintenanced roughly 3 weeks ago, so it shouldn't be needing much.)

    Since I've gotten conflicting advise from all sorts of "I-do-my-own-bike-maintenance" type guys, and it has always conflicted, I thought I'd ask here.

  2. #2
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    m.e. no lubing the crank.

    Perhaps the chain, but after 3 weeks it probably doesn't need it. If you insist, clean chain, put a drop on each pin. Let it sit there for at least 30 minutes and then wipe the outside of the chain clean

    The quick and easy way to clean the chain. spray it with WD 40, Simple Green, or your favorite degreaser and then while grabbing the chain with a rag, spin the crank backward.

  3. #3
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    I lube the MTB chain every ride, the roadie gets it every 2-3 rides.

  4. #4
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    You don't have to lube the crank, the chain needs lube, though. Just turn the bike upside down on an old blanket or towel. Wipe the chain with a rag as you turn the crank backwards. Then drip or spray the chain lube on as you turn it slowly. Hold a rag under the chain so you don't get it all over everything. After this you can wipe off the excess. I do this once a week.

  5. #5
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by big john
    You don't have to lube the crank, the chain needs lube, though. Just turn the bike upside down on an old blanket or towel. Wipe the chain with a rag as you turn the crank backwards. Then drip or spray the chain lube on as you turn it slowly. Hold a rag under the chain so you don't get it all over everything. After this you can wipe off the excess. I do this once a week.
    You know, I've tried that (only not turning the bike upside down, just picking it up to turn the crank). But then I was told to NEVER lube my chain, just put a drop in the crank, turn it and then leave the "wiping" to the guys in the shop. Ugh! I should take a bike maintenance class. I tried to at REI, but it was dreadful! Long story and not all that interesting...I think I need Bike Maintenance for Dummies. In the meantime, I'll try that tonight.

  6. #6
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomson
    The quick and easy way to clean the chain. spray it with WD 40, Simple Green, or your favorite degreaser and then while grabbing the chain with a rag, spin the crank backward.
    That's my favorite quick method of cleaning the chain before applying some fresh lube to the chain. WD-40 is cheap and makes for a nice degreaser.
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  7. #7
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    That's my favorite quick method of cleaning the chain before applying some fresh lube. WD-40 is cheap and makes for a nice degreaser.
    I didn't think I could use WD-40 on my chain Isn't that bad for it? I bought the fancy-schmancy, only for road bikes lube - expensive!

  8. #8
    riding once again jschen's Avatar
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    I used to not do any maintenance at all. The LBS was always appalled by how dirty my chain would appear. Now, I lube my chain about once a week, though that's probably excessive seeing as for most of the week, it just sits there. (But on the other hand, on recent weekends, I've more than made up for that on weekend rides.) If you get some lube, just follow the instructions on the lube. For mine (Rock & Roll lube), you simply drizzle it on the chain near the cassette, then spin the cranks backward for about 5 seconds, then wipe off as much as you can. You probably should use a rag to wipe it off, but for lack of available rags, I just use paper towels, taking care not to shred the paper and leave debris in the chain.

    [e] Yeah, you can clean first if you so desire. The R&R lube supposedly cleans at the same time, so I skip that hassle and just lube. Hose it on, spin the cranks around, wipe it off. Easy. And seemingly extremely effective seeing as I manage to wipe huge amounts of dirt off of the chain each time. And at $10 for a bottle that seems to last for months and months and months, it's pretty cheap, too.
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  9. #9
    no more nellie
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    Okay, this is how dumbblond I am. When I've been saying "crank" - I meant "cassette." Maybe I really should leave it up to the shop guys!

  10. #10
    mother F'in headwinds! mrdick's Avatar
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    degrease then lube chain. dont overlube.

  11. #11
    Embracing the fredness herbm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merider1
    You know, I've tried that (only not turning the bike upside down, just picking it up to turn the crank). But then I was told to NEVER lube my chain, just put a drop in the crank, turn it and then leave the "wiping" to the guys in the shop. Ugh! I should take a bike maintenance class. I tried to at REI, but it was dreadful! Long story and not all that interesting...I think I need Bike Maintenance for Dummies. In the meantime, I'll try that tonight.
    I dont think they really do a full chain cleaning for their free adjustment or even their full tuneup...I think


    Its actually really easy....I clean my chain every 3-4 weeks...I use that orange degreaser stuff and one of those park chain cleaners...then I lube the chain..I would never lube a dirty chain...after a cleaning..it shifts very smooth and really quiet...
    I use my bike rack...works great...
    ME..anytime you want to come over for a chain cleaning party....I dont think you are too far from me...
    h

  12. #12
    riding once again jschen's Avatar
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    What happens if you overlube? How do you know if you overlube? Is it possible to overlube if you wipe off as much as you can? I have not a clue about all this stuff.
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  13. #13
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merider1
    I didn't think I could use WD-40 on my chain Isn't that bad for it? I bought the fancy-schmancy, only for road bikes lube - expensive!
    NO.....WD-40 is only used to degrease your chain of old lube, smudge, & gunk. After chain is reasonably clean and dry, apply your favorite chain lube.
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  14. #14
    Mooninite shakeNbake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merider1
    Okay, this is how dumbblond I am. When I've been saying "crank" - I meant "cassette." Maybe I really should leave it up to the shop guys!


    It doesn't hurt to clean the cassette. Just make sure not to get any degreaser(or any kind of cleaner) into the hub, you know the hole in the middle of the cassette.

  15. #15
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbm
    ME..anytime you want to come over for a chain cleaning party....I dont think you are too far from me...
    h
    Herb, I'll take you up on that. I'd really like to know how and stop being "helpless" with little maintenance tricks that will keep my bike in top shape. I ride too much to slack on that!

  16. #16
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by shakeNbake


    It doesn't hurt to clean the cassette. Just make sure not to get any degreaser(or any kind of cleaner) into the hub, you know the hole in the middle of the cassette.
    I did not know what the hub was, actually...another blonde moment.

  17. #17
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Thought of changing your hair colour?
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  18. #18
    riding once again jschen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jschen
    What happens if you overlube? How do you know if you overlube? Is it possible to overlube if you wipe off as much as you can? I have not a clue about all this stuff.
    Sorry to bump my own post in someone else's thread, but how do I know I'm not overlubing? (Or maybe I am!)
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  19. #19
    Embracing the fredness herbm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merider1
    Herb, I'll take you up on that. I'd really like to know how and stop being "helpless" with little maintenance tricks that will keep my bike in top shape. I ride too much to slack on that!

    Anytime...I have heard a dirty chain will wear faster...probably wear the cassette as well...???

  20. #20
    Dagger Boy Extort's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jschen
    What happens if you overlube? How do you know if you overlube? Is it possible to overlube if you wipe off as much as you can? I have not a clue about all this stuff.
    Wet lubes will drip off the chain if you use too much.
    Wax lubes will clog up your rear deraileur and you'll end up pulling lots of greasy, black gunk off of it. Otherwise, the only negative impact is the amount of money wasted and how much damage to the environment you are making by using more than necessary.
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  21. #21
    Mooninite shakeNbake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jschen
    Sorry to bump my own post in someone else's thread, but how do I know I'm not overlubing? (Or maybe I am!)
    The excess lube will catch dust and dirt. So if after the ride (after you lube it) your chain looks like it's been dipped in egg white and rolled in black flour, you're overlubing.

  22. #22
    Embracing the fredness herbm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extort
    Wet lubes will drip off the chain if you use too much.
    Wax lubes will clog up your rear deraileur and you'll end up pulling lots of greasy, black gunk off of it. Otherwise, the only negative impact is the amount of money wasted and how much damage to the environment you are making by using more than necessary.
    +1
    I know I am going to get blasted for this
    I used to use White Lightning...to hard to clean off...only use it for me cleats now..
    Usually I use a dry lube..wet if its going to be damp...

  23. #23
    powerfully luxurious chimivee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jschen
    Sorry to bump my own post in someone else's thread, but how do I know I'm not overlubing? (Or maybe I am!)
    So long as you wipe off all the excess, you'r efine. Keep running a rag over the chain until no more lubes comes off.
    - James

  24. #24
    powerfully luxurious chimivee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    NO.....WD-40 is only used to degrease your chain of old lube, smudge, & gunk. After chain is reasonably clean and dry, apply your favorite chain lube.
    Wouldn't a WD40 soaked chain leave residue that would repel the new lube? I use WD40, lightly sprayed on a rag, then run the chain through the rag, just to get the big gunk off, then lube. Every few hundered miles I'll scrub the chain with a chain cleaner.
    - James

  25. #25
    riding once again jschen's Avatar
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    Okay, I think I'm okay then. Though I might be a bit wasteful in terms of how much lube I use. But if the effect is measured in cents per week, whatever...
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