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Old 07-10-06, 11:54 AM
Brian Ratliff
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Near Portland, OR
Posts: 10,113

Bikes: Three road bikes. Two track bikes.

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I use a lubricant called ProLink, which is a dry lube mixed with solvent to allow it to penetrate into the rollers. I don't make a concerted effort to strip to original chain grease, but I do give a new chain a good dousing in ProLink, which has the effect of at least partially stripping the original stuff. After that, I relube when the drivetrain starts getting too noisy, or when it starts squeaking. It's better than wax, because it protects the chain in a rain storm, but does not attract dirt like the sticky stuff or wet lubes.

I don't degrease my chains as a separate step to clean them. I simply use the ProLink stuff with the chain on the bike, rolling the chain through a rag to get ride of debris; the solvent contained in this lube tends to naturally clean the chain as it gets relubricated. I check the chain periodically with a "go-no go" gauge (from Park Tools, cost about $6 and cheap insurance to avoid replacing a $30 cogset along with the chain), and when the chain has measurable stretch, I replace it. This usually happens every year or so, depending on how much I ride and the quality of the chain (better quality chains get noticeably better life; C9 Campy Record chain is what I recommend; it costs only about $30 and lasts 2 or 3 times as long as the cheap chains). This replacement schedule gets good life out of the cogset.
Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
"If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter
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