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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 10-12-06, 03:41 AM   #1
pastorbobnlnh 
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Winter Chain Lube: What Kind?

Hi! I've been posting in BF Classic & Vintage and 50+ for quite some time but this is my first post here in "Winter." I live in the mountains of NH at about 1200 ft and we receive about 100-150 inches of snow each year. I plan to ride this winter on snow mobile trails and packed snow roads on a custom made MTB I picked up cheap at a yard sale. I've cleaned and repacked all the bearings, installed fenders, studded tires, racks, lubed the moving parts, and waiting on new Kool Stops for the Suntour Roller Cam brakes. It's nearly ready to roll. (The photo is from when I brought it home this past May.)

But, what do you experts use for chain lube? It gets cold here and the humidity is low. I generally will not be on wet pavement, just packed snow. In warm weather and while on the trainer last winter I use Ice Wax. But, I've noticed when caught in the rain, Ice Wax can become a bit messy. The chain has been cleaned and is off the bike at the moment. Your guidance is appreciated! Thanks.
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Old 10-12-06, 08:31 AM   #2
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I've been using Finish Line Wet Lube, seems to work fine.
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Old 10-12-06, 09:37 AM   #3
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ANy of the lubes with "wet" in the title will be good. Keep in mind that if your chain becomes completely wet you should dry it and relube it when you get home to prevent rust. I sometimes cheat and just spray WD40 on it when i get home. The W & D in WD40 stand for water displacement. So it does just that.

Then i relube with proper lube before i ride. Good luck with your winter riding. THere is a wealth of info here and also on www.icebike.com. Also please share your experiences, we are a bit of an unusual breed (winter cyclists) so any info is good info.
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Old 10-12-06, 10:24 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I have time "soak" the chain since it is off the bike. I'll see if I can pick-up some Finsih Line Wet Lube. I've been to Icebike.com. Neat website. It was very helpful. I look forward to sharing how I do. Anyone have any experience riding snow mobile trails?
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Old 10-19-06, 12:43 PM   #5
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Couple of Lubricants that I have experience of in the wet- Finish line is one of them and the other is Pedro's Syn Lube. Both are a wet oil but can get washed off very easily in Snow. If out for a longer ride- then I take a small bottle with me and re-lube after a while. As to after ride treatment. WD 40 will get rid of the moisture in the chain- but I find it is better to Clean the chain regularly. If you lube the chain and the oil goes Black- then you have a dirty chain. Wash it with a cleaning fluid- I use a chain device and "Muck off"- a general bike cleaner- then I wash off with water and then I use wd40. Leave it for a couple of hours and then lube.. Now if you want an oil that will stay on in Mud and snow- keep looking as I don't think there is one.
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Old 10-23-06, 09:45 PM   #6
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white lighting self cleaning wax lube is the way to go
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Old 10-25-06, 09:00 PM   #7
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Good ol' TriFlow for me. As long as I apply it regularly, no problems with rust. Even if the chain gets covered in snow (and it often does).
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Old 10-26-06, 04:34 AM   #8
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I know this sounds crazy, but I believe it is good information. Several years ago I read an article about winter commuting by some fellow in some terribly cold place - I think it was Norway.

Anyway, he talked about all the things he does to winterize his bicycle. One of the things he mentioned was using heavy motor oil for chain lube. He said he applied it often throughout the year and didn't worry so much about cleaning the chain until spring.

I have tried it and it does seem to work well. Of course, my bikes get maintained, but not pampered in winter, so you have to think of it from that perspective.

I ride in slush and snow too and could relate to the article. I only ride my secondary bikes in winter because the road salt eats up bicycles and bike parts. Maintaining bikes in cold weather is difficult so the idea of using heavy, clingy motor oil frequently makes sense.
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