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chain lube ? help

Old 07-25-16, 05:22 PM
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chain lube ? help

im sure this has been well hashed out but here goes...I have always cleaned my chain about every 300 miles,,,and lightly lubed with chain lube, wiped it off and rode,,,I have a buddy that puts about 4k a year on and he after every ride, wipes the chain with WD40 on a towel,,,so its clean,,,then leaves it with NO lube,,,,his chains seem to at as long as mine and always look cleaner..
Thoughts
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Old 07-25-16, 05:25 PM
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srsly?

your buddy wipes his chain after every ride and you do it at 300-mile intervals.

of course his chain looks cleaner.
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Old 07-25-16, 05:26 PM
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The lube must go into the rollers of the chain (he was wiping off the excess) and a clean chain has no grit, which accelerates wear
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Old 07-25-16, 05:28 PM
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Washing the outside of a car will not make the engine last longer.

You got to change the inside things.
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Old 07-25-16, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
Washing the outside of a car will not make the engine last longer.

You got to change the inside things.

So what is the best way,,,clean and lube every 300 miles,,,or clean everytime and NO lube
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Old 07-25-16, 06:26 PM
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If you ask 10 experienced bicycle riders what's the best way to maintain a bicycle chain, you are likely to get 12 different answers. I have no way of knowing if my method is better than any of the others.
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Old 07-25-16, 06:32 PM
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My drive train gets really gunky with hard crud, so on the advice of a friend I am trialling motor oil. So far so good and I have a lifetime supply sitting in my garage. Compared to speciality bike chain lube the motor oil is very inexpensive.
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Old 07-25-16, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
If you ask 10 experienced bicycle riders what's the best way to maintain a bicycle chain, you are likely to get 12 different answers. I have no way of knowing if my method is better than any of the others.

What is "your" method ?
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Old 07-25-16, 06:36 PM
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In hopes of being a bit more helpful, check out this link.


Chain Maintenance
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Old 07-25-16, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by cvcman
im sure this has been well hashed out but here goes...I have always cleaned my chain about every 300 miles,,,and lightly lubed with chain lube, wiped it off and rode,,,I have a buddy that puts about 4k a year on and he after every ride, wipes the chain with WD40 on a towel,,,so its clean,,,then leaves it with NO lube,,,,his chains seem to at as long as mine and always look cleaner..
Thoughts
Chains are prelubed at the factory. If your friend is only wiping down the exterior with WD-40 he isn't removing the original lube. So the chain is still lubricated. Assuming he's riding mostly decent pavement that's probably good enough.

That's pretty much how I treated my chain years ago with a road bike strictly on pavement. I think I thoroughly cleaned the chain once in five years, removing it and soaking in mineral spirits -- but that was after a long ride on a bad road that included some gravel and a lot of grit. Otherwise I just wiped down the outside of the chain and rarely added any lube.

Nowadays I ride gravel quite a bit, and occasionally through muddy patches that pick up some gunk. The paved rural roads I ride are gritty. Too much gunk gets inside the chain between the links. Wiping down the exterior doesn't cut it. So I've begun using a chain cleaning tool with long, stiff bristles to dig out the gunk stuck inside the links. Eventually that will remove the original factory lube. So I have to replace the lube. And any residue after wiping it down attracts more gritty gunk, so I have to clean and re-lube more often.

Different scenarios, different requirements.
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Old 07-25-16, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by cvcman
So what is the best way,,,clean and lube every 300 miles,,,or clean everytime and NO lube
Your own experience is not good enough? People hate first-hand knowledge.
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Old 07-26-16, 12:04 AM
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I personally prefer a clean, well inspected and maintained bike, with a shiny chain. I could care less what anyone else prefers. It's your bike. If you're happy with it being dirty.... why would I care.
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Old 07-26-16, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by cvcman
im sure this has been well hashed out but here goes...
Thoughts
My thoughts are that this has been well hashed out with no definitive answer. Chain care is a bit of voodoo. Try some of the many suggestions and decide what works for you. Read some of the many threads on here already about chain care as you're not likely to find anything new on this one.
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Old 07-26-16, 08:04 AM
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Well, your friend isn't leaving his chain without lube. One just doesn't "wipe off" WD40 without it leaving some lubrication behind. Like others have stated, there are a lot of ways to clean and lube chains. I think it doesn't matter a whole lot which method you choose, as long as you do something often enough to keep the chain (and pulleys and cassettes) reasonably clean and lubed.
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Old 07-26-16, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat
Chains are prelubed at the factory.
true.

and ime, the factory stuff typically only lasts a few hundred miles.

when the chain eventually becomes noisy, I apply an after-market lube. it then gets wiped with a rag after every ride and lubed when needed (approx. every 750 mi with the lube I prefer).

gave up the ritual of 'washing' chains a long time ago.
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Old 07-26-16, 08:27 AM
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WD-40 is a lubricant. So if your buddy is hosing his chain with the stuff, the some would be getting where it would do some good. So he's not leaving it un-lubed.
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Old 07-26-16, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by cvcman
What is "your" method ?
Since you asked: My basic bike maintenance philosophy is "as needed". Every time that I ride I make a mental note of any maintenance or changes that I want to do to that bicycle. Then I usually get it done before I ride that particular bike again.

When my chain starts to make noticeable noise, I clean the exterior by cycling it through a rag. If the chain looks extra gross, I'll dampen the rag with a little solvent of some kind. I don't worry about getting the chain absolutely pristine. Then I drip the tiniest trickle of chain lube that I can manage onto each individual link. I'm currently using Chain-L mostly because I like the guy who sells it. Then I leave it alone for awhile. Before riding again, I try to wipe all of the chain lube off of the exterior of the chain with a dry rag. The rag never really comes completely clean.

I replace chains when the distance between two rivets stretches past 12 1/16". I have no idea how many miles that equals because I don't keep track. I can tell you that the time span is in years so that's good enough for me.
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Old 07-26-16, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by FullGas
true.

and ime, the factory stuff typically only lasts a few hundred miles.
That's what I used to think. But a chain manufacturer's video showed their method used a tenacious lube with heat that gets into the moving parts better than anything most of us could apply. So one theory is that it's better to retain the original lube as much as possible.

when the chain eventually becomes noisy, I apply an after-market lube. it then gets wiped with a rag after every ride and lubed when needed (approx. every 750 mi with the lube I prefer).

gave up the ritual of 'washing' chains a long time ago.
Yeah, that's my weakness too. I dislike chain noise. When I can hear it, I can't help doing the washing and re-lubing ritual. But it's the most practical compromise for my riding because I get a lot of muddy, gritty gunk in the chain and have to do the whole ritual every couple of weeks -- including today before I ride again.

I might switch to something other than Park CL-1 after this bottle is finished. It's a decent lube but I need to rewipe the residue after almost every ride -- it keeps migrating back to the exterior where it picks up more gunk.
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Old 07-26-16, 08:35 AM
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about every 200 miles I wipe the chain, apply lube (one part whatever motor oil I have to 4 parts odorless mineral spirits) one drop on each roller, backpedal for a few minutes, and wipe the excess off. It works well for me. Bike chains don't experience high temperatures, high RPM's nor have seals so the type of motor oil isn't critical.
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Old 07-26-16, 08:56 AM
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Before I wash, I blow it with 100 psi compressor. Use dilute Simple Green to degrease the chain and wash everything with hand friendly soap on cloth. Let it dry and a drip of T-9 on every link.

It is so easy compare to washing a car.
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Old 07-26-16, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by leob1
WD-40 is a lubricant. So if your buddy is hosing his chain with the stuff, the some would be getting where it would do some good. So he's not leaving it un-lubed.

Ah....nope WD is NOT a lube,,,it a water displacement liquid/cleaner...he sprays a rag with it and wipes the chin down,,,using as a cleaner...so yes he really is leaving it unlubed !
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Old 07-26-16, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by cvcman
im sure this has been well hashed out but here goes...I have always cleaned my chain about every 300 miles,,,and lightly lubed with chain lube, wiped it off and rode,,,I have a buddy that puts about 4k a year on and he after every ride, wipes the chain with WD40 on a towel,,,so its clean,,,then leaves it with NO lube,,,,his chains seem to at as long as mine and always look cleaner..
Thoughts
Originally Posted by cvcman
Ah....nope WD is NOT a lube,,,it a water displacement liquid/cleaner...he sprays a rag with it and wipes the chin down,,,using as a cleaner...so yes he really is leaving it unlubed !

So what's your point?

Whatever your friend is doing obviously works for him. Otherwise he'd change.
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Old 07-26-16, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
So what's your point?

Whatever your friend is doing obviously works for him. Otherwise he'd change.

my point.....ahhhh,,,my point was only letting the other poster know that WD was NOT really a lube,,,thats my point
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Old 07-26-16, 04:25 PM
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Read and learn grasshopper. Chain care, wear and skipping by Jobst Brandt
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Old 07-26-16, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingGrad80
about every 200 miles I wipe the chain, apply lube (one part whatever motor oil I have to 4 parts odorless mineral spirits) one drop on each roller, backpedal for a few minutes, and wipe the excess off. It works well for me. Bike chains don't experience high temperatures, high RPM's nor have seals so the type of motor oil isn't critical.
This is basically what I do with the added step waiting hours or better over night to get all of the OMS evaporated then wipe down as I think it keeps things cleaner.
WD-40 is something like only 25% petroleum base oil so unless it is slathered on with a rag I would be surprised if it added a lot to a chains life.
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