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Old 03-12-11, 08:39 AM   #1
Gerry Hull
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High Viscosity Chain Lube Freaks

Objective: to find a high viscosity chain lube that can still penetrate and will stay in critical areas even if all outer surfaces of the chain are wiped absolutely clean and dry, for at least 500 miles between application.

Chain-L and gear oil are not an option. They stink too bad. Not that big of a deal when riding, but if you have to drive somewhere with your bike in the back seat it gets a bit nauseating.

Here I am simply presenting one product I tried that seems to make the cut; I have zero interest in comparing and contrasting it with others, or in persuading anyone that it is better than what they currently use.

'Hy-perlube Synthetic zinc-replacement additive" is a clear, colorless, odorless lubricant available at Pep Boys for around 15 bucks for a 16oz bottle. Its intended use is as an oil additive for classic cars that use non-roller tappets, their camshaft lobes often wear through quickly unless zinc phosphate or some other additive is introduced into the engine oil. Oils produced at the time of these automobiles' manufacture had higher quantities of the stuff.

This particular product is an olefin polymer ester, which is similar to the base oils used in the Dumonde Tech bicycle lubricants. The viscosity is similar to gearbox oil, 85 weight or thereabouts.

In applying it a chain I transferred it to a little lube container, and warmed it up in the microwave for a few seconds. It thins easily with a bit of heat, and penetrates well. Unwarmed, getting it to penetrate can be done, but it was a bit more of a challenge and resulted in more waste.

The more time consuming part of the application is wiping the chain absolutely dry afterward. That takes about five-ten minutes of running the chain through a rag, and needs to be repeated after a short ride.

Following application I rode about three hundred miles before checking the chain again. At first glance it appeared absolutely clean, but later I did see there was slight accumulation of road soot at the edges of the plates and on the three smaller cogs. The rollers were still gushy with lube inside. Most pleasing to myself was that there was no chain stretch: i had measured the full length of the chain prior and there was no measurable change in the total length of chain, not even .5 mm. I am a low-cadence masher who tends to go through chains more quickly than most, and I usually expect to see some evidence of wear after 300 miles.

Thats all. I would now place hy-perlube in the "chain lubes of interest" category, and will continue to use it throughout the summer. If it demonstrates more positive characteristics I will post about it again.

By the way, i'm more averse to rain than a cat and will not voluntarily ride in it. Plenty of folks do, so I assume that vulnerability to water washout is a parameter of interest to them. I regret I have nothing to offer on this point, except that agitating the chain in soap and hot water does not get this stuff off (nor does Finish Line degreaser; I had to use naptha and then acetone)

Regards to all
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Old 03-12-11, 11:08 AM   #2
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Wax your chain .. take it off first..
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Old 03-12-11, 11:46 AM   #3
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If the product is an oil like flow'able product then it will eventually migrate and coat the entire chain even if you wipe off the outside surfaces. That's why you had to re-wipe the chain.

Your option isn't that much different from my own of using a heavy body and low odor chain saw bar oil that I thin with a bit of mineral spirits. The only difference being that my lube is thin due to the solvent and not from microwaving. Thinning the product with a microwave does pretty much zero good since as soon as it hits the cold chain it'll thicken right up. You may want to try the mineral spirits option.

Thinning the product with solvent instead of warming it would also keep it thin long enough for you to apply enough to soak right through the chain to all the internals and for the product to stay thin enough for long enough to wipe off the excess far more easily and in far less time. And it'll avoid leaving greasy or oily finger marks on the controls of the microwave where you cook food.
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Old 03-12-11, 05:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Wax your chain .. take it off first..
+1 Nothing penetrates better to critical areas than a vat of melted wax to soak the chain and nothing is more viscous at room temperature than the solid unadulterated wax which remains after the chain is removed from the bath.
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