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Chain lubricant for long-term storage

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Chain lubricant for long-term storage

Old 07-18-20, 10:00 AM
  #1  
mihlbach
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Chain lubricant for long-term storage

I keep my old road bike and my old mountain bike at my parents house to ride when I visit. They live several states away from me, so I ride these bikes only one or two weeks per year, and mostly they are stored in a dry attic. I don't have any corrosion problems with these bikes other than the chains. I have been using a very thin waxy lube, as these bikes see very low mileage and are used only in nice weather. Every summer when I pull these bikes out, the chains have developed a patina of rust from months of storage thru the winter. I am wondering if a thicker more oily lube is preferable for long term storage and would prevent this problem.
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Old 07-18-20, 10:38 AM
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I used rust cure formula 3000 on an old BMW to stop rust. You would just need a tiny bit and it lasts a long time. Rust check is good too, but thinner. ATF also would work. I would definitely use rust cure 3000 if you can find it as it is not overly oily and solvent free, and it will last for the year. However, make sure to bring a rag back to your parents' house though because dust will stick to all this stuff, but underneath should be a nice, slick chain.

Cheers,

Last edited by brotato; 07-18-20 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 07-18-20, 11:45 AM
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Boeshield T-9 was specifically developed by Boeing Corp. as a metal protectant and lubricant which would protect metal during long-term storage and exposure. https://boeshield.com/
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Old 07-18-20, 12:07 PM
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Type F automatic transmission fluid is my "go to" chain lube. Or. I've also gotten good results from good old 3 in one oil too.

https://www.harborfreight.com/4-oz-m...kaAlLKEALw_wcB
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Old 07-18-20, 01:28 PM
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Or by using a connecting link remove the chain and store in a Zip Lock baggie. Andy
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Old 07-18-20, 06:37 PM
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Boeshield or triflow.
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Old 07-18-20, 10:07 PM
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Birchwood Casey Barricade (formerly Sheath) was very good at rust prevention, especially for such a light spray oil. About 25 years ago I tested a bunch of oils and greases on blued carbon steel, leaving the pieces of metal hanging in the shower where they were steamed and spritzed regularly for a month. The piece sprayed with Sheath fared the best. And it's a polarizing oil, so it spreads to every nook and cranny. No idea whether it's adequate as a chain lube. It was designed to protect firearms and carbon steel.

I've used Boeshield on the Spyderco stainless steel pocket knife I clip inside the waistband of my bicycle shorts and bibs. It works better than WD-40 and other oils I've tried (I haven't used Sheath in years, haven't had a chance to compare with Boeshield T9). After adding electrolytes to my water every ride my sweat is much more corrosive now than it used to be, so even good stainless steel will rust now.

Cosmoline was the old standby in the military. It was used to coat everything from weapons to surgical instrument meant for storage. It's sticky, tenacious stuff, a PITA to completely remove. Pretty good rust prevention but in my shower test, wasn't as good as Sheath. Stuff packed in cosmoline was usually then wrapped in waxed paper and/or packed in cans, ammo boxes, etc., so I suspect even the military didn't trust cosmoline alone.
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Old 07-19-20, 06:44 AM
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if you're getting rust, the attic may not be ventilated well enough. Moisture from the living space is condensing on the bike in winter, probably daily in some conditions. The same thing is happening to the building insulation. But if it's like my parents' old house in Chicago, there really isn't any insulation to worry about.

Slightly off topic: I stored a bike for several summers in similar conditions in Phoenix, and rode it in the winter. I learned to not store a patch kit with the bike. The heat was intense enough to vaporize the glue, even in new, sealed tubes. I learned that too late, of course.
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Old 07-19-20, 09:20 AM
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Talking about Storage?

Cosmoline: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmoline
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Old 07-19-20, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
if you're getting rust, the attic may not be ventilated well enough. Moisture from the living space is condensing on the bike in winter, probably daily in some conditions.
I use my homebrew of OMS and bar and chain oil and leave bikes in Portland, OR and in the Bighorn mountains, WY, within 100' of a creek w/o any chain issues. I suspect andrewclaus is spot on so the rust preventatives above should help although I would not recommend 3 in 1 or Triflow Dry (which is great for dry/dusty), only Triflow Superior.
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Old 07-20-20, 12:54 AM
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Use like literally any oil based wet lube and they'll be fine if they're stored indoors.
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Old 07-20-20, 10:26 AM
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I think this application cries out for Chain-L. Apply it, wipe the chain down, and store the bike. Wipe it down again before you storing it the next time. The stuff should stay on forever.
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Old 07-20-20, 12:09 PM
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Chain saw bar oil. Fuch makes the lube on new chains if you can find it.
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Old 07-21-20, 01:29 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I think this application cries out for Chain-L. Apply it, wipe the chain down, and store the bike. Wipe it down again before you storing it the next time. The stuff should stay on forever.
I second this wholeheartedly. The stuff is tenacious. I haven't seen it lately but it lasts so long I haven't had to think about chain lube in a couple of years.

DON'T abuse yourself and use Cosmoline. I had to get that appalling material off an M39 Mosin that had been put into storage in a Finnish Army arsenal in 1971 according to the hang tag. Not a speck of rust but a nightmare to remove.
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