Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

What's a good, no-grime chain lube?

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

What's a good, no-grime chain lube?

Old 07-28-08, 07:38 PM
  #1  
lectraplayer
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 112

Bikes: Kent Gran Concor 10 speed, Western Flyer 10 speed, JC Higgins (Sears) cruiser

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What's a good, no-grime chain lube?

I'm trying to find the best way to lubricate my chain and other bicycle parts without a massive bill, and am looking for something that has a bit of lasting power without holding dust and grime. I normally have been using B'laster PB, which has been my favorite for awhile, but some of the areas I ride leaves a dry dust on the inside of the chain, and it does wash off when I hose the mud off my bike. (I off-road bike with a mountain bike, by the way). I'm currently trying an industrial-type "chain lube" which has molybdeum disulfate (moly) It works pretty well, but it also leaves an oily coating which attracts and holds dust. I've also tried a Teflon dry lubricant, but all it did was gum up the chain and make my bike stiff to pedal. What's a good lubricant to use that won't gum everything up or hold dust and grime?
lectraplayer is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 07:59 PM
  #2  
theTman
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Isanti, MN
Posts: 18

Bikes: Cheap, 6 year old Magna Exitetor dual suspension "Mountain Bike"

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i would reccomend using white lightning self cleaning wax lubricant. it has been on my chain for 2 years without any issues. you have to completely clean your chain and gears for it to work good( i used carb cleaner), but it will last and shed most gunk. i road my bike through nasty mud on the dirt road i live on soaked from spring melt, and never got a gunked up chain. also, you wont get any grease stains on your clothing while riding.
theTman is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 08:01 PM
  #3  
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 31,471

Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1143 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 24 Times in 22 Posts
Originally Posted by lectraplayer View Post
What's a good lubricant to use that won't gum everything up or hold dust and grime?
Short answer, there isn't one. The closest I've come to finding a durable, water resistant lube that doesn't attract TOO much crud is ProLink.

Last edited by HillRider; 07-28-08 at 08:08 PM.
HillRider is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 08:02 PM
  #4  
operator
cab horn
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Posts: 28,349

Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Short answer, there isn't one. The closest I've come to finding a durable, water resistant lube that doesn't attract TOO much crud is ProLik.
I don't know if you've ever tried it, but Rock'n'Roll Lube goes on clean, and stays clean. The downside, obviously is that it doesn't hold up during rainy/wet weather at all.
operator is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 08:08 PM
  #5  
cheg
Senior Member
 
cheg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 807

Bikes: 2008 Davidson Custom Titanium, Custom Seven Steel Tandem, 1981 Shogun Touring Bike, 1974 Raleigh International

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hoppe's #9 Gun Oil works pretty well. It doesn't collect dirt like a lot of other chain lubes I've used. You can get it wherever guns are sold.
cheg is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 08:11 PM
  #6  
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 31,471

Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1143 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 24 Times in 22 Posts
Originally Posted by operator View Post
I don't know if you've ever tried it, but Rock'n'Roll Lube goes on clean, and stays clean. The downside, obviously is that it doesn't hold up during rainy/wet weather at all.
I'm sure you've heard the choice:

Light, cheap, strong; pick any two.

For chain lubes the equivalent is:

Clean, long lasting, water resistant; pick any two
HillRider is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 08:13 PM
  #7  
vfrjim
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a can of chain wax from my motorcycle, can it be used on a bike? If I remember, it never collected much gunk.
vfrjim is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 08:20 PM
  #8  
BCRider
Senior Member
 
BCRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Posts: 5,466

Bikes: Norco (2), Miyata, Canondale, Soma, Redline

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
For mud and hoses the best lube is an oil. I tried White Lightning for a few months one wet winter and unless you use it after every wet ride (or hosing off in your case) the chain will rust heavily in no time at all.

I'd suggest you wash your bike while in a work stand that you set up outside where you wash it already. Rinse it with a gentle spray (about what you'd use for fairly delicate plants) then using a big brush and a bucket of soapy water get the mud off. Then rinse again with a gentle spray. Being in the stand this will take only a minute or two at most.

Now it's time for the chain.....

The idea is to "pressure wash" only the chain links using a very hard blast from the hose while back pedalling the chain past the hose nozzle. Following the blasting use a shop rag or paper towel or two to blot away most of the water from the chain. Again you can do this while back pedalling the cranks with one hand while holding the rag/towels with the other.

WARNING, DO NOT BLAST LIKE THIS AROUND THE AXLE, BB, PEDALS, HEADSET OR DERRAILLEURS! You'll drive water past the seals and cause the bearings to rust prematurely.

To quick lube the chain again while back pedalling spray on some WD40 to displace the water in the joints and blot it away with some paper towel. THen follow that up with some oil and blot most of that away as well. By blotting away most of the oil you'll be left with only a lighter film that will provide all the lubrication you need while making sure the rust preventative film on the outside of the links is thin and therefore less attractive to dirt.

By doing this blast and lube after every ride you'll always have a lubed chain and the blasting will really reduce the crud stuck in the pivots.

It sounds like a lot of work but if the bike is in a stand the hose, blot, WD, blot, oil, blot should take perhaps 90 seconds to two minutes tops. If there's any water left on the chain the WD and oil will have driven it out and it'll be droplets on the ouside sitting on the oil film. Fast and clean...... but ONLY if you do it every time at the end of each dirty day.
BCRider is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 08:32 PM
  #9  
VaultGuru
Senior Member
 
VaultGuru's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Fair Oaks,CA
Posts: 736

Bikes: Kestrel RT1000 & Calfee Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Another thought...clean your chain often. I use a 1lb coffee can with a 1/8" steel mesh screen in the bottom. I formed the screen so it sits off the bottom about 1". I also use about 4" of paint thinner to soak the chain in. Use a quick link so you can undo your chain easily. Dump it in the thinner, let it soak about 15 minutes, then use a toothbrush to clean it as you bring it out of the can. Keep on using any high quality lube.
Like HillRider says...Clean, long lasting, water resistant; pick any two
VaultGuru is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 08:34 PM
  #10  
sfclearwater
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 207
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Short answer, there isn't one. The closest I've come to finding a durable, water resistant lube that doesn't attract TOO much crud is ProLink.
Agreed; I have tried quite a few recently and it is looking like ProLink is the winner so far.
sfclearwater is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 08:40 PM
  #11  
cascade168
Klaatu barada nikto
 
cascade168's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 1,453
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by sfclearwater View Post
Agreed; I have tried quite a few recently and it is looking like ProLink is the winner so far.
Yup, I like ProLink as well. Another very good one is Pedro's ExtraDry.
cascade168 is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 10:03 PM
  #12  
BengeBoy 
Senior Member
 
BengeBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 6,940

Bikes: 2014 Pivot Mach 5.7 MTB, 2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I use Pro Link on two bikes and White Lightning on two bikes (there is no good reason why I do this, but it's been an interesting test).

My White Lightning chains stay much cleaner and attract much less gunk. There is less gunk in my cassette, chain rings, rear derailleur cage as well.

(BTW, one of my White Lightning bikes is my winter/commuting/rain bike. I wipe and lube the chain after every "wet" ride and every other dry ride. )
BengeBoy is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 10:19 PM
  #13  
slvoid
2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM
 
slvoid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 15,762

Bikes: 04' Specialized Hardrock Sport, 03' Giant OCR2 (SOLD!), 04' Litespeed Firenze, 04' Giant OCR Touring, 07' Specialized Langster Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Prolink's good.

I just drip a little then relube when I hear it squeak.
slvoid is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 10:46 PM
  #14  
BCRider
Senior Member
 
BCRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Posts: 5,466

Bikes: Norco (2), Miyata, Canondale, Soma, Redline

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
...(BTW, one of my White Lightning bikes is my winter/commuting/rain bike. I wipe and lube the chain after every "wet" ride and every other dry ride. )
If I had done that I likely would have been OK on the rust issue. But it was less trouble to stick with my oil treatment and clean and relube more like once a week even during the wetter times commuting.

I'm still using my WL for lubing the clipless pedals and cleats. Works sweet for that.
BCRider is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 11:45 PM
  #15  
nymtber
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: NY state
Posts: 1,311

Bikes: See Signature...

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Im a recent Prolink convert. Pretty clean for an OIL. wax based lubes dont really do a lot for lubricant. not to mention once grit DOES get in the wax, it becomes a gritty PASTE, which will do more than a gritty oil.

for mountain biking in dry dusty places, Id still use white lightening or pedro's ice wax. white lightening is thinner, and I think penetrates better. ice wax is some THICK stuff.

I have some stuff for guns called CorrosionX...Never tried it on a bike chain, but I probably should. its about the same price as prolink, but it has a very small applicator tip you could be very precise how much gets on your chain! I know it works wonders on guns, very resistant to corrosion, and very good at lubrication, plus it doesnt attract dirt (guns are pretty dirty).

Last edited by nymtber; 07-28-08 at 11:49 PM.
nymtber is offline  
Old 07-29-08, 07:17 PM
  #16  
lectraplayer
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 112

Bikes: Kent Gran Concor 10 speed, Western Flyer 10 speed, JC Higgins (Sears) cruiser

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for all the ideas, this has been a really active discussion. While perfection really isn't my target as far as cleanliness, I want as much as I can get, but I want the ultimate in lubricity without holding much gunk, and without losing it when I barrel through a knee-deep mud-puddle (and the resulting hose-off after the ride). I usually lube the chain every few rides, or as otherwise needed when it looks like I'm getting light on lubricant. While I'm not quite that rough with my bike normally, I do do that from time to time. I try to keep it clean best I can. While we're on cleaning, what's the best way to clean my mechanical equipment out, such as the derailers?
lectraplayer is offline  
Old 07-30-08, 11:27 AM
  #17  
tellyho
Your mom
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,544
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yeah, if a no-grime chain lube existed, no one would use anything else. I don't much care what I put on my chain. I just use it regularly and wipe the chain off when it gets grimy. Then replace when it dies.
tellyho is offline  
Old 07-30-08, 12:11 PM
  #18  
chucko58
Getting older and slower
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Silicon Valley, CA, USA
Posts: 102

Bikes: Beat-up commuter, Chumba XCL for the dirt

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I use ProGold on the commute bike. I prefer Rock 'n' Roll Extreme for the MTB. ProGold seems to attract too much dust for my tastes.
chucko58 is offline  
Old 07-30-08, 12:49 PM
  #19  
Feaduin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 83
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have been happy with Pedro's Ice Wax (though I haven't noticed a huge difference between many of the brands of similar wax based dry lubes), but again you have to apply just about after every ride and if you don't pay attention to your chain after a wet or muddy ride you will have rust problems, HILLRider is right, the cost of using a clean dry lube is that it won't last nearly as long as a heavier wet lube.
Feaduin is offline  
Old 07-30-08, 05:32 PM
  #20  
freako
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 497
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sorry I don't have time to read all the posts so if this has been covered sorry, you would think I would being retired and all but I digest; BP Blaster was the worse thing you could have used on a chain for lube. BP Blaster is for REMOVING crud, and some crud was good crud that you washed out of the rollers and never replaced it with adequate an lube.

I don't like wax lubes like Pedros Ice or White Lightening because they don't last long-roughly 60 miles then it's shot and you start wearing the chain out faster...but it is clean. You better off using a wet lube like Finish Line Cross Country wet lube. http://www.finishlineusa.com/product...untry-lube.htm

But...and this is a BIG BUTT, if you haven't already discovered this already; this lube business is a personal choice that will vary widely, and for the most part wax or wet will work for your application, and regardless if wet or wax if the chain gets water soaked and or muddy you still have to clean the chain and relube.

By the way if you click on the various lubes they have at the Finish Line site you can study what the various kinds are good for.

Last edited by freako; 07-30-08 at 05:36 PM.
freako is offline  
Old 07-30-08, 06:06 PM
  #21  
gregstandt
Senior Member
 
gregstandt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Eastern Washington
Posts: 167
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Like always Sheldon Brown has the answer http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html
gregstandt is offline  
Old 07-30-08, 06:15 PM
  #22  
lectraplayer
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 112

Bikes: Kent Gran Concor 10 speed, Western Flyer 10 speed, JC Higgins (Sears) cruiser

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I know there's no "magic lube", and that I do have to maintain it, and I do, though I don't necessarily want to have to do much more than a hose-off after every ride. Some lubes (such as PB Blaster) are a bit water resistant and don't require relubing every time. If I can stretch it to three or four rides, I'm happy. PB Blaster, however, does hold the crud between washings too. Other than that, I ride it plenty to keep the rust off. I'm about to try the Moly chain lube as soon as I can get home and not be dog tired from standing on rebar all day. Beyond that, I'll start investigating the other lubes out there you guys mentioned. My purpose of this discussion is to find out what works and what doesn't. PB Blaster was never intended to by my use-all-end-all lubricant anyway, but as much to loosen stiff chains and get things clear and running, before I switch to a slicker, better lubricant that sticks to the moving parts better. without holding that abrasive grime so much.
lectraplayer is offline  
Old 07-30-08, 07:18 PM
  #23  
ScrubJ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Vero Beach FL
Posts: 1,102
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
I use Pro Link on two bikes and White Lightning on two bikes (there is no good reason why I do this, but it's been an interesting test).

My White Lightning chains stay much cleaner and attract much less gunk. There is less gunk in my cassette, chain rings, rear derailleur cage as well.

(BTW, one of my White Lightning bikes is my winter/commuting/rain bike. I wipe and lube the chain after every "wet" ride and every other dry ride. )
Funny, I have the exact opposite results. I use White lightening on my lunch hour ride bike and Pro Link on my weekend rides and have less build up with the Pro link.
ScrubJ is offline  
Old 07-30-08, 07:48 PM
  #24  
lectraplayer
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 112

Bikes: Kent Gran Concor 10 speed, Western Flyer 10 speed, JC Higgins (Sears) cruiser

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ScrubJ View Post
Funny, I have the exact opposite results. I use White lightening on my lunch hour ride bike and Pro Link on my weekend rides and have less build up with the Pro link.
Do you ride them both equal amounts? My first guess is that your lunch hour bike sees a lot more miles than your weekend bike, and a lot more dust unless you offroad on the weekend.
lectraplayer is offline  
Old 07-30-08, 10:02 PM
  #25  
Gonzlobo
Red light runner
 
Gonzlobo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 226

Bikes: Seven Sola

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by VaultGuru View Post
Another thought...clean your chain often. I use a 1lb coffee can with a 1/8" steel mesh screen in the bottom. I formed the screen so it sits off the bottom about 1". I also use about 4" of paint thinner to soak the chain in. Use a quick link so you can undo your chain easily. Dump it in the thinner, let it soak about 15 minutes, then use a toothbrush to clean it as you bring it out of the can. Keep on using any high quality lube.
Like HillRider says...Clean, long lasting, water resistant; pick any two
I agree (except I use Simple Green & a wire brush instead of paint thinner & toothbrush).
Gonzlobo is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Gary Fountain
Classic & Vintage
16
07-02-11 09:44 PM
iforgotmename
Touring
1
02-13-11 01:49 PM
mzeffex
"The 33"-Road Bike Racing
0
01-13-10 08:15 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.