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Cost-effective chain lube

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Cost-effective chain lube

Old 07-24-23, 08:38 AM
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Cost-effective chain lube

suggestions? Need to recommend one to a friend - good rider, not a mechanic.
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Old 07-24-23, 08:43 AM
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Cost effective? Even the overpriced bottle of lube I bought at the bike shop has lasted 2 years and probably will last another year. So cost of lube really isn't an issue. Just use something.
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Old 07-24-23, 09:01 AM
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Got an oil can and a half-used bottle of 10W30?
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Old 07-24-23, 09:08 AM
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There are all kinds of lube, some for dry conditions, some for wet conditions, some that you may want to wipe down and re-apply more often, some which may not need that. Your friend will want to consider where he rides, and in what conditions. The important thing is to keep the chain lubed, if it gets gritty then clean and re-lube. Just don't let it get "dry" and cause wear on components. If doesn't want to pay the price for pre-made lube, I'm sure google has many DIY "recipes" for homemande lube.
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Old 07-24-23, 09:27 AM
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Ok, I'm gonna tell her to buy ProLink at REI.
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Old 07-24-23, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan
Ok, I'm gonna tell her to buy ProLink at REI.
Home brew ProLink: oil of your choice (lots of people use motor oil) diluted in three parts odorless mineral spirits. Lube the chain liberally and then wipe off all the excess. Solvent evaporates leaving the lube where you want it. Been using this for hundreds of thousands of miles with great success.
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Old 07-24-23, 10:28 AM
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Gulf Wax is like $4 a pound at Wally. 2 pounds will last you just about forever.
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Old 07-24-23, 10:30 AM
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https://3inone.com/product/3-in-one-multi-purpose-oil/
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Old 07-24-23, 12:12 PM
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Chainsaw bar and chain oil.
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Old 07-24-23, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by freeranger
There are all kinds of lube, some for dry conditions, some for wet conditions, some that you may want to wipe down and re-apply more often, some which may not need that. Your friend will want to consider where he rides, and in what conditions. The important thing is to keep the chain lubed, if it gets gritty then clean and re-lube. Just don't let it get "dry" and cause wear on components. If doesn't want to pay the price for pre-made lube, I'm sure google has many DIY "recipes" for homemande lube.
As above… to make it cost-effective, don’t ​​​​​​ oil a dirty chain. Clean first, then apply lube-of-your-choice.
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Old 07-24-23, 12:54 PM
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My favorite lube happens to be Boeshield T-9. It looks pretty expensive at ten bucks for a little bottle. But that bottle will last me two or three years. And I'm not stingy. I like lubing my chains, so I do it about every 200 miles. To me, one or two tenths of a penny per mile ridden seems reasonable.
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Old 07-24-23, 01:00 PM
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3 in 1 is pretty cheap and meant for chains


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Old 07-24-23, 05:44 PM
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I like Dumonde Tech Classic Lite for dry conditions in my area.
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Old 07-24-23, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Got an oil can and a half-used bottle of 10W30?
I am currently using 80W-90 gear oil.
It is what my Kawasaki's manual specifies, and it works just fine on the bicycles as well.
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Old 07-25-23, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel
Chainsaw bar and chain oil.
seriously that is what Spence Wolf used back in 1970 before "dedicated" lubes.

it does sling off more than I like

I have had very good luck with the Silca chain lube.

/markp
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Old 07-25-23, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
I have had very good luck with the Silca chain lube.
Relevant to the context of this thread.

Is the goal to have a low-cost lubricant, or for the lubricant to minimize the cost of riding a bike? Lubricants are fairly inexpensive, but decent metal drivetrain parts can cost quite a bit, so a lubricant that produces good component longevity might be more cost-effective to use even if it's relatively "pricey". So for instance, Silca's Synergetic is a very expensive wet lube at ~$25 per 2oz, but in independent testing it's performed extremely well in wear rate tests compared with most other wet lubes.
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Old 07-25-23, 08:57 AM
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Automatic Transmission Fluid - ATF

I use ATF as a Luber and a Cleaner of my chains. I use a little squirt bottle to apply a liberal amount then run the chain through a heavy cloth to get off oil and crud. I do this often as the dusty roads I ride dirty the chains quickly. The other advantages are ATF is cheap, penetrates well, is usually rubber friendly, does not stink, and has many other uses in the household. If I need more lubrication I just use a little 10W-30 as a chaser.

I have, over the years, come to consider bicycle chains a disposable item. I clean um, lube um, use um, and think nothing of changing um out for new when they get worn. Same way with the new tires, tubes and maybe even freewheels.

(Except my old Regina 14-26. Now a worn Wall Hanger that gets taken down and used as a Figit tool. The sound of it bringing calming memories...)
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Old 07-25-23, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
+1 I am a bike mechanic and this above is what I use and I generally get 5-6k on my 11 speed chains. No need for the fancy stuff a bike stores.
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Old 07-25-23, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan
Ok, I'm gonna tell her to buy ProLink at REI.
Hi, Ken!
I've used ProLink for years, and I think I've only ever used one bottle.
My only objection is that it's very runny, and it takes a little concentration to dispense only one drop to each chain link. Not really a big deal.
Chain life is good, and the chain stays fairly clean.
Cheers,
Steve
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Old 07-25-23, 07:24 PM
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Home Depot:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Blaster-...-CCL/205851095

Squirt a little on the chain and kick it back a few time every other ride.

Squirt a little on your garage door opener rails and bearings for a smoother open
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Old 07-31-23, 06:52 AM
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Engine oil can do the trick short term.
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Old 07-31-23, 10:22 AM
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Is there a mainstream chain lube that *isn't* reasonably cost-effective when used properly? People will fixate on the smallest things...
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Old 08-02-23, 12:29 AM
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If cost is a factor, just buy the cheapest available. Lube is lube, in spite of the strong opinions otherwise.
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Old 08-02-23, 07:43 AM
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I recommend canola, but olive can add a touch of floral aroma with a nice peppery bite.
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Old 08-02-23, 11:06 AM
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Tri-Flow when I started cycling back in 1985ish. Being lazy about cleaning my bike, I switched to Rock N Roll Gold in Oct 2016. Now wax since 2020 (completely) when I started doing more indoor training. Don't you have a default? It can't be that expansive. The Rock N Roll Gold 16 oz w/4 oz bottle I bought lasted me over three years (>20k miles & still have some in the garage after switching to wax). It only cost $23.20 on Amazon today. It's that cheapest thing for my bikes!

How cheap is the friend?
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