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How to get lube inside completely clean chain?

Old 02-14-13, 05:10 PM
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lineinthewater
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How to get lube inside completely clean chain?

So I cleaned my chain in my new ultrasonic cleaner. Then, I submerged and soaked the chain in ProLink lube overnight. I patted it dry, to avoid dripping. I installed it on the bike. Then, I applied a drop of ProLink to every link. I rode 12 miles, and heard chain noise, peaking once per crank revolution. I'm convinced it's the chain, and it appears to be coming from where the chain first enters the crank when my right foot is applying most pressure on the down stroke. I then re-applied even more lube. I rode another 20 miles and still more noise. The only thing I can think is the lube is simply not getting inside the chain.

Should I be using a different method to get the lube into the chain after using the ultrasonic? Or a different lube as the base?
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Old 02-14-13, 05:25 PM
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Some folks dry their chain in the oven after cleaning it and then heat the oil (I don't know how hot) and submerse the hot chain into the hot oil. They swear by it.

I personally don't use any type of degreaser on my chain other than a clean rag. I clean my chain with a Park chain cleaner filled with Prolink chain lube. The chain comes out sparkling and the magnet at the bottom of the chain cleaner is covered with junk.
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Old 02-14-13, 05:43 PM
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Frame flex? Is the chain hitting the front derailleur? Does the noise occur when turning the pedals by hand?

I don't think the noise is caused by a lack of lube inside the chain.

ProLink is not my favorite lube but it is thin enough to enter any part of the chain when dripped on the chain.

I never remove a chain to lube it.
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Old 02-14-13, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
Frame flex? Is the chain hitting the front derailleur? Does the noise occur when turning the pedals by hand?

I don't think the noise is caused by a lack of lube inside the chain.

ProLink is not my favorite lube but it is thin enough to enter any part of the chain when dripped on the chain.

I never remove a chain to lube it.
It's not hitting the FD. It doesn't occur when turning the pedals by hand; it happens only under load.

I thoroughly cleaned the entire drive train, including removing the crank and chainrings.
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Old 02-14-13, 05:55 PM
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I install the clean chain on the bike and drip home brew on the chain until it is saturated then begin wipping off the excess. Because home brew with chainsaw bar oil is so cheap I do it again then wipe the chain until the outside is as dry as I can get it. I ride 750 miles then repeat.
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Old 02-14-13, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by lineinthewater View Post
..........Or a different lube as the base?
Guess you have to try Chain-L sold by FBinNY.
My chain was so quiet, it snuck up on me!
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Old 02-14-13, 06:15 PM
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I seriouisly doubt this is a chain loob issue. It sounds more like a slightly loose crank arm. The single clunk wiggle when puching hard on the crank is more than likley a crank issue. Check to make sure there is little or no play on the crank bb or pedals with the chain off and they turn smoothley.
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Old 02-14-13, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
I seriouisly doubt this is a chain loob issue. It sounds more like a slightly loose crank arm. The single clunk wiggle when puching hard on the crank is more than likley a crank issue. Check to make sure there is little or no play on the crank bb or pedals with the chain off and they turn smoothley.
Checked it. Crank is solid, and absolutely no play. All bolts (crank and chainrings) were tightened to speced torque, with torque wrench.

By the way, the crank, chain, and cassette are all new (ridden 200 miles or so).

Last edited by lineinthewater; 02-14-13 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 02-14-13, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Guess you have to try Chain-L sold by FBinNY.
My chain was so quiet, it snuck up on me!
+1 to the Chain L.
Bought some recently, and now my road bike is quieter than my track bike. Could not be happier.


For neglected chains I do the following:
1. Shake in a bottle of degreaser for a few minutes, pour out old degreaser. Repeat until it runs clear.
2. Shake in a bottle of soap and water for a few minutes, pour out old mixture. Repeat a few times.
3. Shake in a bottle of clean water for a few minutes, pour out old water. Repeat a few times.
4. Bake the chain on a baking sheet for 15 mins at 250F.
5. Set chain on newspapers, rollers facing up, and give it a solid line of Chain L, paying particular attention to the rollers.
6. Wait about a half hour.
7. Install.
8. Pedal the cranks by hand slowly, so you don't get excess everywhere, and shift through all your gears.
9. Wipe off excess.
10. Forget about it.
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Old 02-14-13, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Guess you have to try Chain-L sold by FBinNY.
My chain was so quiet, it snuck up on me!
Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
+1 to the Chain L.
Bought some recently, and now my road bike is quieter than my track bike. Could not be happier.


For neglected chains I do the following:
1. Shake in a bottle of degreaser for a few minutes, pour out old degreaser. Repeat until it runs clear.
2. Shake in a bottle of soap and water for a few minutes, pour out old mixture. Repeat a few times.
3. Shake in a bottle of clean water for a few minutes, pour out old water. Repeat a few times.
4. Bake the chain on a baking sheet for 15 mins at 250F.
5. Set chain on newspapers, rollers facing up, and give it a solid line of Chain L, paying particular attention to the rollers.
6. Wait about a half hour.
7. Install.
8. Pedal the cranks by hand slowly, so you don't get excess everywhere, and shift through all your gears.
9. Wipe off excess.
10. Forget about it.
What is this mystery lube you speak of? Chain L?
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Old 02-14-13, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by lineinthewater View Post
What is this mystery lube you speak of? Chain L?
https://chain-l.com/

Get some. Just found out it's sold by a forum member, makes me like it even more.
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Old 02-14-13, 06:29 PM
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Chain-L is good stuff! It is the brainchild of FBinNY who is a member here. I highly recommend it!
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Old 02-14-13, 06:33 PM
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The only other thing I can think of is a loose bad master link or a bad slightly off link in the chain caused from taking it apart. Closely check your chain and maybe consider repalcing it for about $10.
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Old 02-14-13, 06:42 PM
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I just put the bike on the workstand, and was honestly amazed to hear (what I think is the sound) coming from the rear derailleur pulley area. I'm not 100% convinced yet, but it looks like I've been duped! I was sure the sound was coming from the front of the drivetrain. I even stopped on the bike several times, but never heard the sound from the rear drivetrain area. I know sound can travel through the frame, and be difficult to diagnose on the road, but this is ridiculous. Sometimes I think I'm going insane when wrenching my bikes. (shaking head)
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Old 02-14-13, 06:45 PM
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Soak a spot about the size of a 50 cent piece on a high nap washcloth and hold it against the chain while you not too slowly rotate the drive train. Capillary action will take the pro link tight into the chain pins and rollers. This is quick, neat, easy and really gets it in there. Uses way less fluid, too. I wet the washcloth twice to do a 2X recumbent chain. bk
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Old 02-14-13, 06:49 PM
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A noise that occurs once per crank revolution cannot be from the chain - unless every part of the chain has exactly the same problem. The chain has over 100 links and the largest chainwheel you are likely to have has 52 teeth, so you have to rotate the cranks at least two times to have the same section of chainin the same spot on the drive train, whether it is at the chainwheel, ther rear cogs or the pulleys. Further, less than half the chain is under stress at any one time.

Any but the thickest lube can fairly easily penetrate a chain, and certainly if you immersed it. The source of once per crank revolution noise is either the bottom bracket, cranks, chainrings/bolts, pedals, cleats or front derailleur, or items that are secondarily stressed in time with pedaling, such as saddle, hars, etc.
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Old 02-14-13, 07:18 PM
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Based on your info it seems your problem is most likely a clicky worn out cassette body none of us went there . Because cassette bodies almost never fail .
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Old 02-14-13, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
Based on your info it seems your problem is most likely a clicky worn out cassette body none of us went there . Because cassette bodies almost never fail .
It actually seems to be coming from the pulleys, most likely the G-pulley. Just guessing, but it seems the lateral movement in the pulley is causing the sound. Purely a guess.

I'm not able to give my full attention to it tonight, unfortunately. I will have to diagnose tomorrow.

Sorry to lead everyone on a wild goose chase. Like I said in the original post, I was convinced the noise was coming from the chain/front. I'm honestly still not convinced the rear noise is the same as the noise I was hearing. Sometimes it helps to take a break - hopefully this is one of those cases.

If nothing else, I learned about Chain-L.
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Old 02-14-13, 07:42 PM
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If your ultrasonic cleaner used a water based cleaner then the second posting (Western flyer's) comment may have hit it, you didn't get the water out of the chain. Try wiping the chain as dry externally as possible and heat it with a hair dryer, etc. until it is too hot to touch. Keep it hot for a while to insure all the water is gone and then relube and see if that does it.

BTW, Chain-L is a very good lube and did quite nicely in a major lube comparison test in the most recent issue of Velo (aka VeloNews) magazine.
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Old 02-14-13, 07:44 PM
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If the noise seems to be coming from the rear derailleur pulleys, double check to ensure that the chain is threaded through the jockey wheels properly and not rubbing on the little metal tab that is inside the derailleur cage.
This is shown at 1:00 on this video. I threaded my chain incorrectly one time (it's easy to do!) and the resulting mystery noise had me scratching my head for "awhile".
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Old 02-14-13, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
If your ultrasonic cleaner used a water based cleaner then the second posting (Western flyer's) comment may have hit it, you didn't get the water out of the chain. Try wiping the chain as dry externally as possible and heat it with a hair dryer, etc. until it is too hot to touch. Keep it hot for a while to insure all the water is gone and then relube and see if that does it.

BTW, Chain-L is a very good lube and did quite nicely in a major lube comparison test in the most recent issue of Velo (aka VeloNews) magazine.
Point noted on heating the chain. But I did use compressed air after rinsing the chain ... blew out the chain for an extended period of time. Probably not better than heat, but not a bad option.
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Old 02-14-13, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by lineinthewater View Post
Point noted on heating the chain. But I did use compressed air after rinsing the chain ... blew out the chain for an extended period of time. Probably not better than heat, but not a bad option.
You have to get the water out from inside the pins and links and not much you do to the outside of the chain is going to accomplish that. You have to force the water to evaporate via heat or displace it with a water soluble volatile solvent like alcohol or acetone that will itself evaporate.
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Old 02-14-13, 08:06 PM
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There's nothing you can do to get lube into a chain if it won't go in by itself. Lubes wick into chains by capillary action and don't need help.

Chain-L is just about the thickest stuff out there, and even it'll wick into a chain after a while (10-20minutes) The key it the chain needs to be dry before oiling. If you washed the chain is water, and didn't dry it completely inside and out, the oil cannot penetrate, anymore than you can wipe up a spill with a soggy sponge.

Next time dry the chain, either by soaking it in fuel alcohol (not isopropyl) or acetone, which will absorb the water and evaporate dry. Or heat the chain in an oven or if you live in a sunny a solar oven (your car, parked in the sun with one window cracked open about 1/2"). Once it's dry, you can oil the chain with the lube of your choice.
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Old 02-14-13, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
There's nothing you can do to get lube into a chain if it won't go in by itself. Lubes wick into chains by capillary action and don't need help.

Chain-L is just about the thickest stuff out there, and even it'll wick into a chain after a while (10-20minutes) The key it the chain needs to be dry before oiling. If you washed the chain is water, and didn't dry it completely inside and out, the oil cannot penetrate, anymore than you can wipe up a spill with a soggy sponge.

Next time dry the chain, either by soaking it in fuel alcohol (not isopropyl) or acetone, which will absorb the water and evaporate dry. Or heat the chain in an oven or if you live in a sunny a solar oven (your car, parked in the sun with one window cracked open about 1/2"). Once it's dry, you can oil the chain with the lube of your choice.
Hi FBinNY. Regardless of where the noise was coming from, or if it was the chain, do you suggest I re-clean the chain with the ultrasonic cleaner, and then either heat it or soak it (as you prescribe)? If I leave a chain that has been cleaned (ultrasonic) for a few days (not riding, just sitting), without heating or getting the water out, can it cause permanent damage?
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Old 02-14-13, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by lineinthewater View Post
If I leave a chain that has been cleaned (ultrasonic) for a few days (not riding, just sitting), without heating or getting the water out, can it cause permanent damage?
Rust.
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