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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 05-30-07, 11:09 AM   #1
Xanti Andia
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Chain lube poll

OK, lets see what people are actually using, and how it works
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Old 05-30-07, 11:15 AM   #2
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Prolink Gold. Is an oil-based lube so it stays put in wet conditions, but does not attract a lot of dirt. It's a solvent-bourne lubricant... it goes on thin, penetrates the chain, then thickens as the solvent evaporates.
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Old 05-30-07, 11:36 AM   #3
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Silicone spray before every ride
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Old 05-30-07, 11:41 AM   #4
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I had meant to attach a poll, but then when I started thinkin about the questions, I got on with real work, and somhow posted just the single text line, sorry, but perhaps it is better without a poll, just straight answers such as Mathew's above should work.

I still use motor oil diluted with kerosene, but perhaps I am due for a technology upgrade.
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Old 05-30-07, 11:47 AM   #5
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I use Prolink Gold as well and started using it in 2005. I prefer wet lubes and I apply every 100 miles and wipe the chain dry. If I've been in the wet, I wipe it / clean it with WD-40 on a cloth first. It's not that I don't like the cleanliness of wax, but I honestly don't think it lubes as well; it can't flow back when displaced and I don't want to buy new chains so often. On a 3700 mile cross-country trip on singles in the summer of 2005, the leaders wanted us to put on new chains at the halfway mark. The leader measured spoke spoke wear and it measured like a new chain, while the dry lube chains in the group very definitely needed to be replaced. However, not getting black greasy marks on hands and legs is definitely a plus for dry lube - maybe I should try the dry lube for a set of chains and see what I think.

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Old 05-30-07, 12:15 PM   #6
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1/4 Cup Powdered Milk
1/4 Cup Liquid Honey
One teaspoon Jojoba Oil
4 dropsRose Essential Oil
5 drops Patchouli Essential Oil
5 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients and add to warm bath water. To create an ambient setting, light candles (use rose, patchouli or sandalwood for best effect) and/or burn incense of the same scents.
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Old 05-30-07, 01:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TandemGeek
...
4 dropsRose Essential Oil
5 drops Patchouli Essential Oil
5 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil...
You may be on to something. If we add a few drops of prolink gold or other favorite lubricants we could have a line of colognes or perfumes for romantic tandem couples... Near prom time I promote the use of pi cologne (an actual product from Givenchy named with the actual symbol for pi) for the boys in calculus class - it always elicits sighs and groans.

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Old 05-30-07, 02:07 PM   #8
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I've been using silicone spray since putting a new chain on this spring and giving everything else a thorough cleaning, but just last night, I noticed some metal filings on one of my pulley's that caused me some concern. It had to have come from the chain, but I've not had a chance to investigate yet. I last wiped and sprayed the chain about a week ago (maybe 80 miles), and we did get caught in a brief shower one morning, so I'm wondering if I need to be a little more diligent about re-lubing when using the silicone versus the White Lightning I used before.

Any thoughts?
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Old 05-30-07, 02:26 PM   #9
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BT-9 after every ride then wipe off the excess on the outside of the chain.
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Old 05-30-07, 02:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TandemGeek
5 drops Patchouli Essential Oil
No, no, no!!!!!

That brings back memories of the 1960s that are best left alone.... I love my stoker, but will not subject us to the essence of the Summer of Love mile after mile.
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Old 05-30-07, 02:34 PM   #11
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Homebrew lube

I mix 3 parts of odorless mineral spirits (paint thinner) to one part of Mobil One synthetic motor oil (any weight oil). The net effect is very similar to Pro Link, which I used before, only a whole lot cheaper. For approximately the price of one 4 ounce bottle of Pro Link I can make up 5 quarts of homebrew. Put it on, wipe off the outside of the chain and the chain stays relatively clean until the next lube in 200-300 miles. I keep it in reused Pro Link bottles but if you don't have any to reuse, I have found that the plastic squeeze bottles that they sell in beauty supply stores for applying hair color work very well.

Agree about the wax. I don't think it is good lubricant, even if mixed with graphite powder. So what if it is cleaner than oil.
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Old 05-30-07, 02:44 PM   #12
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Hot parrafin wax method for over 200,000 miles . . . works for us.
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Old 05-30-07, 03:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Katzman
Agree about the wax. I don't think it is good lubricant, even if mixed with graphite powder. So what if it is cleaner than oil.
Hot wax mixed *with* oil

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Old 05-30-07, 03:30 PM   #14
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I have used White Lightning and ProLink.
Now I am using Dumonde Tech Lite and like it the best, the chain seems quiter and stays reasonably clean although you would not want to grab it with bare hands.

Joel
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Old 05-30-07, 06:45 PM   #15
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Soy-based butt butter.
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Old 05-30-07, 07:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twilkins9076
I've been using silicone spray since putting a new chain on this spring and giving everything else a thorough cleaning, but just last night, I noticed some metal filings on one of my pulley's that caused me some concern. It had to have come from the chain, but I've not had a chance to investigate yet. I last wiped and sprayed the chain about a week ago (maybe 80 miles), and we did get caught in a brief shower one morning, so I'm wondering if I need to be a little more diligent about re-lubing when using the silicone versus the White Lightning I used before.

Any thoughts?
IMO silicone is not a good lubricant for metals. It might be good for lubing your curtain rods, closet doors, and the rubber on your car windows, but I would never use it on a chain or for any steel moving parts. There are lots of better lubricants available. Just my 2-cents.
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Old 05-30-07, 08:20 PM   #17
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ProLink Gold here, too.
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Old 05-30-07, 09:01 PM   #18
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Clean chain with a Park chain cleaner, let dry, apply T-9, let dry. Good for 200-300 miles. Works great in the rain as well.

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Old 05-30-07, 09:32 PM   #19
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Snake oil would probably work well as a chain lubricant so long as it's applied to a clean chain and then reapplied frequently enough to keep the pins and rollers protected from friction. Of course, I'm not sure how quickly snake oil will attract dirt or grime or how long it will hold up in extremely wet, dry, dusty, hot, or cold conditions.

Of course, that's the rub now isn't it? Just about everything listed in this thread will "work" but there are trade-offs, e.g., cost, frequency of re-lubrication, propensity to generate 'grime', inability to withstand water, etc.

Therefore, like so many things related to bicycles, there may or may not be a one-size-fits-all solution to your chain lubrication needs. In fact, depending on what type of bicycles you own and how you use them, you may find that different lubricants are needed for different machines.

By all means, find your perfect lubricant. If something doesn't work well for you, try something else. However, be sure to follow the instructions for use explicitly if you have any hope of replicating the results promised by the product or method you select.

Yes, I was kidding about the milk bath. Sure, it makes my chains feel relaxed but it's a poor lubricant.
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Old 05-31-07, 08:39 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TandemGeek
1/4 Cup Powdered Milk
1/4 Cup Liquid Honey
One teaspoon Jojoba Oil
4 dropsRose Essential Oil
5 drops Patchouli Essential Oil
5 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients and add to warm bath water. To create an ambient setting, light candles (use rose, patchouli or sandalwood for best effect) and/or burn incense of the same scents.
This is the ultimate in swagginess...designer chain lube. Look out for bees.
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Old 05-31-07, 09:51 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zonatandem
Hot parrafin wax method for over 200,000 miles . . . works for us.
+1
wax with some graphite mixed in. you can find the graphite in the lock section of the hardware store, it took me a while to find it. with the quick connect links it's really easy
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Old 05-31-07, 03:34 PM   #22
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I used to use a Cycling Specifix wax lube that really had to be applied to a clean chain- which I used to clean after every ride so no problem- and worked into the chain. This was fine but the chain used to run dry after 2 hours. I now use Pedros Lubes. "SYNLUBE" for the winter and wet rides as it stays on the chain and does not get washed off- and "DRY LUBE" in the summer where there is no rain to wash it off and does not collect dust as it is a dry lube. I can now do 4 hour rides and still have an oily chain at the end- Unless it is offroad and then we relube after 2 hours.

Now the best chain oil I ever used was called "BlackGold" That was fantastic but apply liberally and then wipe off. It was so sticky that any thrown off the chain would stick. On the wheels- the frame and on you. It was messy but the most fantastic chain oil made. BlackGold Grease is still available and is the best wheel bearing and headset grease available, if you can find it.
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Old 05-31-07, 04:29 PM   #23
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Tri-Flow Superior Lubricant With Teflon. Only used it on single bikes so far--the tandem is getting shipped to me tomorrow -- but there's no reason it shouldn't work just as well on the tandem. The trick is to buy it in big containers at hardware stores for a far better deal than the tiny drip bottles at bike shops. I don't think it goes bad; I've been on the same can for about 7 years now (and I ride 10 miles a day, 5 days a week except the dead of winter) and every time I try something else, I am very disappointed and I come right back to the Tri-Flow. As others on other forums have said, a little of this stuff goes a very long way.

Last edited by pocky; 05-31-07 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 05-31-07, 04:57 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnbrown
Now I am using Dumonde Tech Lite and like it the best, the chain seems quiter and stays reasonably clean although you would not want to grab it with bare hands.

Joel
+1
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Old 06-01-07, 06:56 PM   #25
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Jig-A-Loo is great, both greaseless and drip free so it makes no mess on the bike and really keeps your bike running smoothly
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