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Has anyone ever heard of this fix for a dry bike chain?

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Has anyone ever heard of this fix for a dry bike chain?

Old 06-18-15, 08:58 AM
  #1  
kickycan
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Has anyone ever heard of this fix for a dry bike chain?

Hi everyone. This is my first post here, so please be gentle.

I went to my new bike shop in my neighborhood a week ago with my bike, and showed them how it was slipping and the chain was all dry and rusty. The person at the bike shop told me that I had let the chain get so dry that it was unride-able. I agree with that. I'm no bike mechanic, but even I could see how, stupidly, I had let the chain go way too long without lubing it.

Anyway, this is the part I'm not really sure about. She told me that now that I'd let it get this bad, I should lube it with bike chain lube before I put the bike away every night for two weeks. It's the "every night for two weeks" part that I'm confused about. My buddy says he's never heard of that, and that once you lube the chain it should be good. It seems like the bike has been fine since the first day I lubed it, but I've still been doing this every night. Can anyone tell me whether this two weeks of lubing the chain idea is worthwhile? Has anyone heard of this? Or am I just wasting chain lube?

Thanks.
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Old 06-18-15, 09:05 AM
  #2  
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maybe he is just trying to get you into the routine of actually lubing your chain... sort of a muscle memory thing...you had a bad habit of not doing it, so he is bringing the point home that if you do it like you are supposed to, you won't have to do this nonsense again. Chains are cheap, why did he not just put a new one on and go from there?
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Old 06-18-15, 09:13 AM
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Thanks. I guess that could be it. So there is no other reason to do this? I don't know why she (it's a woman) didn't want to put a new chain on. I even mentioned that I thought maybe I should get a new chain and she said it looked okay to her, just needed to be lubed.
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Old 06-18-15, 09:15 AM
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Oh, by the way, I do use this bike to commute to work everyday, so maybe she figured if I was going to be riding it several miles everyday, I should lube the chain for a couple weeks as I'm working it in?
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Old 06-18-15, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by kickycan View Post
Oh, by the way, I do use this bike to commute to work everyday, so maybe she figured if I was going to be riding it several miles everyday, I should lube the chain for a couple weeks as I'm working it in?
Chains aren't that porous. You'll quickly reach the point of maximum benefit. No need to be at it for weeks.
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Old 06-18-15, 09:33 AM
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Just don't relapse into Not putting any Oil on the chain, again.
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Old 06-18-15, 10:01 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Just don't relapse into Not putting any Oil on the chain, again.
+1 The cure for neglect doesn't have to be over doing it but you should lube the chain with some moderate frequency particularly if you get caught in the rain.
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Old 06-18-15, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by kickycan View Post
. . . She told me that now that I'd let it get this bad, I should lube it with bike chain lube before I put the bike away every night for two weeks. . .
Before that didn't she tell you that you should install a new chain?
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Old 06-18-15, 11:45 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by kickycan View Post
I should lube it with bike chain lube before I put the bike away every night for two weeks...
My guess is that lubing every night will help wash out the metal particles that are going to come off from all the rough surfaces, and 2 weeks was just an arbitrary way to get you to do it a lot.
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Old 06-18-15, 11:50 AM
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The 'slipping' is what's puzzling me. Did she or anyone investigate why? Is it so worn that it slips under load? Or did it just have stiff links from being so rusty? That's some pretty odd advice to lube it every night for 2 weeks.
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Old 06-18-15, 12:06 PM
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Lubing a chain every night is way too much, it will simply make a mess.

I use inexpensive parts on my commuter and consider them somewhat disposable which allows me to be minimalist with maintenance. I clean and lube the chain when it starts to make noise.
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Old 06-18-15, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by kickycan View Post
Thanks. I guess that could be it. So there is no other reason to do this? I don't know why she (it's a woman) didn't want to put a new chain on. I even mentioned that I thought maybe I should get a new chain and she said it looked okay to her, just needed to be lubed.
Perhaps she checked it really quick and it was within the limits, or perhaps she just knew that a new chain would require a new cassette to mesh properly and wanted to save you a couple bucks for now. I would start setting aside a few bucks for a new cassette and chain, though.

Relubing a rusty chain for a few days might help free up stiff links -- be sure to wipe the chain off well before and after lubing to minimize the mess.
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Old 06-18-15, 02:21 PM
  #13  
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Buy a new chain (KMC chains for up to 8-speed cassettes cost less than $10), a chain breaker (I recommend a Park Tool CT-3 shop tool for about $35, the inexpensive chain tools don't have the strength to deal with newer style chains), and if you have another $17, a Park Tools Chain too (makes it easier to put a reusable link on and off, bu it not necessary).

You can get the tools from a Performance Bicycle Store (on Tuesday between 12-2 you get an extra 10% off the regular or sale prices), or order on the in the Internet (Bike Nashbar and Performance Bicycle often have sales on Park Tools) that include shipping shipping on orders with Park Tools.

Lube the chain at least once a week if you use it daily, apply the lube to the rollers, and wipe off the outside plates about 15 minutes after lubing the chain.

If the chain is skipping even after installing a new chain (check rear derailleur alignment), you need to replace the cassette.
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Old 06-18-15, 03:44 PM
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I have a radical idea; rather than asking us why she suggested it, why not ask her...
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Old 06-18-15, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
I have a radical idea; rather than asking us why she suggested it, why not ask her...
He did, implicitly. The actual conversation went something like:
kickcan: "I have this problem."
bike shop person: "Yeah, you need a new chain and some other stuff."
kickcan: "Yeah, but . . . [some jive]."
bike shop person: "OK, well I guess you could try repeatedly lubing it and see if it frees up, [or you could light it on fire, or you could jump over the moon], but none of that really matters. You need a new chain."
kickcan: "Yeah, but OK, I'll just ask someone else."
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Old 06-18-15, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by AnkleWork View Post
He did, implicitly. The actual conversation went something like:
kickcan: "I have this problem."
bike shop person: "Yeah, you need a new chain and some other stuff."
kickcan: "Yeah, but . . . [some jive]."
bike shop person: "OK, well I guess you could try repeatedly lubing it and see if it frees up, [or you could light it on fire, or you could jump over the moon], but none of that really matters. You need a new chain."
kickcan: "Yeah, but OK, I'll just ask someone else."
Except the bike shop person said no when the OP suggested a new chain...
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Old 06-18-15, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
Except the bike shop person said no when the OP suggested a new chain...
OK, fair enough. Still, there's a lot missing from the conversation. If the chain is truly unusable, would multiple lubings make sense?
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Old 06-18-15, 04:40 PM
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Over lubed chains are very good either.

Hopefully there was something to the effect of 'wipe off the excess lube' in her instructions.
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Old 06-18-15, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by AnkleWork View Post
He did, implicitly. The actual conversation went something like:
kickcan: "I have this problem."
bike shop person: "Yeah, you need a new chain and some other stuff."
kickcan: "Yeah, but . . . [some jive]."
bike shop person: "OK, well I guess you could try repeatedly lubing it and see if it frees up, [or you could light it on fire, or you could jump over the moon], but none of that really matters. You need a new chain."
kickcan: "Yeah, but OK, I'll just ask someone else."
Wow, that's just about the exact opposite of what happened. You should go watch the episode of the Odd Couple where Felix shows us all what happens when we ASSUME.

Last edited by kickycan; 06-18-15 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 06-18-15, 08:00 PM
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I did leave out a detail that I now realize maybe explains her suggestion that I lube it for two weeks.

I had gone to this woman about a month before this, basically with the same problem but not as bad. Just one of the gears felt a little bit like something was grinding. Just a little bit. She told me to lube the chain. I asked her, should I get a new chain? Doesn't it look rusty?

She said no, just lube it. I did that.

Then less than a month later the gears started getting even worse, and then they started to slip, and I thought it couldn't be the chain because I had just lubed it less than a month ago.

I still don't understand how a bike chain could go from totally greased and lubed to dry as a bone in less than a month. Whatever the reason is, could that be why she wanted me to do it repeatedly for two weeks? I guess that could be.

But why would my chain go so dry so fast? She said maybe it got rained on or something. It has been rainy lately but I keep my bike under an awning so it doesn't get rained on. Has anyone else experienced this quick-drying chain?
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Old 06-18-15, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by kickycan View Post
.... I went to my new bike shop in my neighborhood a week ago with my bike, and showed them how it was slipping and the chain was all dry and rusty. The person at the bike shop told me that I had let the chain get so dry that it was unride-able. I agree with that. I'm no bike mechanic, but even I could see how, stupidly, I had let the chain go way too long without lubing it.
This makes no sense to me. You knew the chain was rusty and needed oil... and so you took it to a new bicycle shop... to show them how you had not oiled the chain?!?!?
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Old 06-18-15, 08:16 PM
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Thanks. Makes sense. I did it for a week. It immediately felt a lot smoother and better shifting, but that one gear still feels off though and it doesn't seem to be getting any better now. I have stopped doing the every night regimen. Seems like it's done all that it is going to do to help.
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Old 06-18-15, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
This makes no sense to me. You knew the chain was rusty and needed oil... and so you took it to a new bicycle shop... to show them how you had not oiled the chain?!?!?

No, I took it to the bike shop to see what they thought it needed, thinking I was going to have to buy a new chain, but she talked me out of the new chain and you know the rest.

Last edited by kickycan; 06-18-15 at 08:22 PM. Reason: added quote from person I'm responding to.
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Old 06-18-15, 09:03 PM
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There is dry lube and wet lube. The wet lube is an oily substance.
The dry lube is supposed to be more waxy and contains a solvent for application.

Perhaps one would do repeated applications of the dry lube allowing the solvent to dry in between.

Also, repeated lubing and wiping can't hurt.
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Old 06-19-15, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by kickycan View Post
Wow, that's just about the exact opposite of what happened. You should go watch the episode of the Odd Couple where Felix shows us all what happens when we ASSUME.

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