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Lubricating a new chain

Old 05-25-11, 08:09 AM
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bagel007
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Lubricating a new chain

Any advice when to start lubricating a new chain? The chain and cogset were replaced just recently. I'm cleaning the chain after each ride and now it looks to me a bit dry.
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Old 05-25-11, 09:06 AM
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New chain lube is good for about 250 miles and is excellent lube-that's why the chain manufacture use it, but it won't hurt to apply the lube of your choice. Since the chain is clean already do not re-clean it to get the factory lube off. However Chain-L (see: https://www.chain-l.com/ ) is the best lube on the market if your looking to make a switch...of course I just started a lube war for fun!
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Old 05-25-11, 10:06 AM
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There's two things that our chains need. First is to keep them lubricated with SOMETHING. I won't even begin to suggest what you should use since we don't need another 10 page thread of options and bickering....

The second issue is to keep the chain cleaned of grit. This is just as important as keeping the chain oiled or greased since having grit in it can wear it out at least as fast as not being lubricated. It doesn't matter a hoot what the outside is like. If the links are beginning to feel the least bit gritty when flexed and rotated then you should deep clean it first before re-lubing.
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Old 05-25-11, 10:19 AM
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How are you cleaning it after each ride? If your cleaning method involves any kind of liquid solvent, you should probably relubricate the chain now. You may be removing the lube that is on the chain when you clean it.

I actually ignore my chains for the most part and get pretty good mileage out of them. YMMV.
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Old 05-25-11, 10:26 AM
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It depends on how muddy and wet your riding is. Around here it's a lot of both unless the rider is a fair weather day only sort. In which case they don't get much riding in during a year....
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Old 05-25-11, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by relyt View Post
How are you cleaning it after each ride? If your cleaning method involves any kind of liquid solvent...
I'm cleaning the chain with just a dry old towel. No solvents, nothing like that.
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Old 05-25-11, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
It depends on how muddy and wet your riding is. Around here it's a lot of both unless the rider is a fair weather day only sort. In which case they don't get much riding in during a year....
Well, almost all the rides I had were after the rain or in the drizzle. Always with some mud on the pavement.
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Old 05-25-11, 11:06 AM
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Let me put it this way: Is adding one drop of a regular bicycle lube to each chain link going to cause any damage to the chain or drivetrain??
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Old 05-25-11, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by bagel007 View Post
Let me put it this way: Is adding one drop of a regular bicycle lube to each chain link going to cause any damage to the chain or drivetrain??
If the chain has not been removed and cleaned you are making grinding compound inside the chain.
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Old 05-25-11, 12:31 PM
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https://draco.nac.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8d.2.html

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Old 05-25-11, 12:48 PM
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After each ride the chain was more wet than dirty, so I don't think it's dirty from inside. But by cleaning the chain I removed part of the original grease. That's why I think it has to be lubricated.
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Old 05-25-11, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post
If the chain has not been removed and cleaned you are making grinding compound inside the chain.
If the abrasive material is already in there, how is adding lube going to make it any worse?
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Old 05-25-11, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bagel007 View Post
After each ride the chain was more wet than dirty, so I don't think it's dirty from inside. But by cleaning the chain I removed part of the original grease. That's why I think it has to be lubricated.
The black on the chain comes from the inside. Wipe it off and ride. I usually get 1000 miles on the original lube. Ater that I remove the chain, clean it and relube it every 650 to 700 miles.
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Old 05-25-11, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
If the abrasive material is already in there, how is adding lube going to make it any worse?
you wash more down into it.
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Old 05-25-11, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post
you wash more down into it.
Forgive my skepticism... but I don't believe it.
I don't think there's any downside (except some cost and mess) of putting more lube on a chain under any condition - new, old, clean, or dirty.
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Old 05-25-11, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
New chain lube is good for about 250 miles and is excellent lube-that's why the chain manufacture use it, but it won't hurt to apply the lube of your choice. Since the chain is clean already do not re-clean it to get the factory lube off. However Chain-L (see: https://www.chain-l.com/ ) is the best lube on the market if your looking to make a switch...of course I just started a lube war for fun!
It is good....I have it on my touring bike.
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Old 05-25-11, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Forgive my skepticism... but I don't believe it.
I don't think there's any downside (except some cost and mess) of putting more lube on a chain under any condition - new, old, clean, or dirty.
Sorry but you're wrong on this point. Adding new oil to the outside will allow the now excess oil to pick up the grit stuck to the outside. Then as the chain is spun around the sprockets it flexes and is put under load so the oil tends to be pumped and circulated by the motion. The new oil that picked up the outside grit will now carry it into the chain's innards.

Because of this we're actually better off to ride a chain that feels more or less dry to the touch until we can clean it correctly than it is to add oil to it.

Bagel007, even though it may look and feel dry you'd be amazed at how light a coat of oil or grease it takes to resist rusting effectively.

If you've been riding on wet roads check the lower side of your bottom bracket shell. If it's gritty then you can bet your bippy that your chain saw the same sort of grit. Wiping it down after each ride may have helped but at least some of the grit will have been pushed in under the plates from your wiping it down. Flex a few links back and forth and see if they feel smooth or feel like they have some very fine sand in them. Running a finger over it and then rubbing two finger tips together will often tell you if the chain has fine grit on it as well. Stuff you can't see by eye will show up with these tests provided you know what you're looking to feel.

Last edited by BCRider; 05-25-11 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 05-25-11, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
Sorry but you're wrong on this point.
All right, I'll concede this one... while at the same time stubbornly refusing to change my lubing behavior anyway.
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Old 05-25-11, 07:32 PM
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Just take all the advice of the "experts" around here with a 5 lb. bag of salt. You may not get the 1,000 miles between clean/lubes that many claim, but you'll do fine anyway. bk
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Old 05-27-11, 03:16 PM
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I hate to tell you guys this but I stopped removing my chains for cleaning about 7 years ago and instead clean while on the bike with the FinishLine Chain Cleaning Machine, and I haven't noticed any difference in longevity, but have noticed that I clean the chain in less then 15 minutes instead of 45. With Chain L there is less fuss, you basically just wipe the chain with a rag then reapply, but would say that after about 500 miles or so I think I would clean the chain.

I have yet to find any lube that will last 1000 miles, if I did find one I would be using it! Now with Chain L there is less fuss, and the lube does last far longer then anything else I've used. Again go to the web site of Chain L and you will see how it works under the faq's tab.

And by the way, most chain manufactures recommend AGAINST removing the chain!! But rather cleaning and lubing it while it's on the bike. Why is that? because soaking a chain in degreaser can completely strip the chain of lube and make it impossible to get enough lube inside the chain again, effectively ruining it. And these chain manufactures know exactly how lube is made so before you blab on and on about the carrier they already know about that stuff. And that's one of the reasons I stopped doing it. I think the chain manufactures know how their chains most be treated since they make the dang things!!!

Last edited by rekmeyata; 05-27-11 at 03:21 PM.
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