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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 10-28-06, 02:24 PM   #1
stokell
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Chain and Gear Lubrication

Hi, I normally don't hang out in this forum, but I have a question best answered here:

I bike commute 21 km's each way. I cut back in the winter, and I have an aweful problem with lubrication. I can't use my usual lubricant because it turns into wax at low temperatures. I've tried just about everything but nothing seems to work well. I've been dry lubricating my locks in the winter with graphite. Works great and never freezes. Could I use graphite on my chain and gears?
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Old 10-28-06, 03:52 PM   #2
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What's the problem if it turns to wax?

Ricardo.
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Old 10-28-06, 11:50 PM   #3
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What lube are you using? Just try another lube.
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Old 10-29-06, 01:08 AM   #4
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In the winter I clean my chains so that they are free from all lubrications ... and I'll often ride like that because most of the lubrications out there get too thick/solid in cold temps. However, if I feel I need a little bit of lubrication, I'll use a spritz of WD40 (yeah, yeah, I know ... the horror!!), and in really cold temps, I've been known to use a little chain saw lubrication rated down to about -40C/F or so.
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Old 10-29-06, 01:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricardo
What's the problem if it turns to wax?

Ricardo.
You've obviously never experienced cold temperatures.
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Old 10-29-06, 08:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
and in really cold temps, I've been known to use a little chain saw lubrication rated down to about -40C/F or so.
Now that's a great idea!! It certainly makes sense.
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Old 10-30-06, 06:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricardo
What's the problem if it turns to wax?

Ricardo.
Oh, to live in Columbia when it's -40 in Canada!

The real problem is that almost any lubricant when it gets cold enough turns very thick. Instead of the oil lubricating the chain or gears, it turns into a dirty glue that sticks to everything and makes it difficult to ride.


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Old 11-08-06, 04:47 PM   #8
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if you try a mixture of a good 10w30 oil mixed 50/50 with varsol, you will be pleased with the results. I use a synthetic but really any motor oil will work. It actually HELPS if it's a bit gummy INSIDE the chain. It's less likely to be washed out by the slush that will be tossed onto the chain from the wheels.
The solvent evaporates overnight but the oil penetrates into the internals of the chain which is where it really needs to be.
YMMV

bar oil in many cases is now biodegradeable (veggie oil) so it can be used in sensitive areas.
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Old 11-09-06, 07:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stokell
Hi, I normally don't hang out in this forum, but I have a question best answered here:
I'd give you the answer but we don't talk to strangers around here.
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Old 11-09-06, 09:48 PM   #10
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Have you tried Dumonde Tech lube? It comes in Original and Lite variants. I've just put it on my trike, and it is holding up extremely well so far. I'll report back when I ride in truly minus temps...
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Old 11-10-06, 03:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrians
if you try a mixture of a good 10w30 oil mixed 50/50 with varsol, you will be pleased with the results. I use a synthetic but really any motor oil will work. It actually HELPS if it's a bit gummy INSIDE the chain. It's less likely to be washed out by the slush that will be tossed onto the chain from the wheels.
The solvent evaporates overnight but the oil penetrates into the internals of the chain which is where it really needs to be.
YMMV

bar oil in many cases is now biodegradeable (veggie oil) so it can be used in sensitive areas.
That is what I do too. I just use good motor oil in winter. I don't mix it with anything like jbrians suggests.

It works good, but the chain seems to get black an gummy, so I wear gators to keep my pants legs clean.
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