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  1. #1
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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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?

  2. #2
    Hazardous biker Ricardo's Avatar
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    What's the problem if it turns to wax?

    Ricardo.

  3. #3
    Senior Member TehEskimoHunter's Avatar
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    What lube are you using? Just try another lube.

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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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.

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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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.

  6. #6
    Tail End Charlie Ritehsedad's Avatar
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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.
    Why isn't 11 pronounced onety one?

  7. #7
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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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.



  8. #8
    crusty jbrians's Avatar
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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.
    Around and around we go!

  9. #9
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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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.
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

  10. #10
    Recumbent Evangelist
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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...
    www.rebel-cycles.com

    The official Canadian dealer of TW-Bents recumbent bicycles!

  11. #11
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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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.
    Mike

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