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Chain Lube

Old 06-06-22, 05:34 PM
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Bad Lag
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Chain Lube

What do you use for lubricating your chain and why do you use that product (over the others available)?

I have been using White Lightning for the last few years. I liked it because it seemed to last longer than an oil-based lube (like Phil Oil).

The other day, I tried to clean it off and re-lube the chain. Normally, I would have used "Paint Thinner" or "Mineral Spirits" but California, in its infinite wisdom, has outlawed those products leaving us with nothing but acetone on the shelves at the hardware stores. Holy smoke!, that stuff is tenacious and resisted removal using acetone. A combination of soaking in gasoline (bummer!) and scrubbing each link with a tooth brush eventually got it off.

I allowed the chain to dry for a few hours and liberally applied Phil Oil.

On yesterday's ride, the drivetrain and shifting was noticeably different. It wasn't just the sound but also the feel - it felt looser, easier.
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Old 06-06-22, 05:54 PM
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For me, Finish Line Wax Ceramic lube. Goes on white, dries clear and tends to keep my drivetrain surprisingly clean. Only downside is that it needs frequent application, I probably add more every 150 miles or so and wipe the excess off. Also, I find gasoline to be the best chain cleaner of all, including the stuff sold at bike shops for $20 a can. A couple ounces of gas in a Tupperware makes quick work of filthy chains. I then use the leftover gas to help get a backyard campfire going…. Multipurpose.
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Old 06-06-22, 05:57 PM
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What: Boshield
Why:A. It works B: I have a gallon jug of it
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Old 06-06-22, 06:27 PM
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Dupont Chain-Saver
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Old 06-06-22, 07:13 PM
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Some of us will have noticed by now that PTFE particulates are very fast disappearing from the entire lubricant market, often replaced by newer "ceramic" particulates similarly intended to reduce friction.
I can no longer buy DuPont 100% Teflon Dry Lubricant in the spray can (what I used for years to mix my own chain lube in a flat-sided squeeze bottle).
I'm hoping that the newer "ceramic" particulates used in their similar packaging are at least nearly as effective as the PTFE/Teflon, though I have no idea.

The main reason for this change is I believe the extremely noxious/dangerous/deadly fumes that emanate from any incineration of PTFE (as might happen when a shop rag, near-empty container or chain, contaminated with PTFE, is disposed of).

So as a word of warning, perhaps it's not a good idea to use any solvent having been used to clean chains to assist with igniting charcoal or fires (especially burning near people or food).
A better way to dispose of such solvent is to mix it in with your used motor oil, as the re-cyclers fully expect the used oil to be contaminated.
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Old 06-06-22, 09:56 PM
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Molten Speed Wax, applied using a small slow cooker/crock pot after thorough removal of petroleum products from the chain. Zero Friction Cycling tests show that this is far superior in terms of friction reduction and chain longevity than all other products on the market. Also, after the initial chain preparation step it is as easy as pie to clean/relube the chain. Not only that, but the chain/drivertrain stays SOOOOO clean. No more chain tattoos.
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Old 06-07-22, 12:13 AM
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Chain-L is starting to win me over for winter lube.
ATB for summer.
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Old 06-07-22, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
Molten Speed Wax, applied using a small slow cooker/crock pot after thorough removal of petroleum products from the chain. Zero Friction Cycling tests show that this is far superior in terms of friction reduction and chain longevity than all other products on the market. Also, after the initial chain preparation step it is as easy as pie to clean/relube the chain. Not only that, but the chain/drivertrain stays SOOOOO clean. No more chain tattoos.
I've just started using wax: paraffin wax pellets + PTFE powder
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I'm loving it - no chain noise and no chain dirt after 193 miles.
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Old 06-07-22, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by jrg1244 View Post
For me, Finish Line Wax Ceramic lube. Goes on white, dries clear and tends to keep my drivetrain surprisingly clean. Only downside is that it needs frequent application, I probably add more every 150 miles or so and wipe the excess off. Also, I find gasoline to be the best chain cleaner of all, including the stuff sold at bike shops for $20 a can. A couple ounces of gas in a Tupperware makes quick work of filthy chains. I then use the leftover gas to help get a backyard campfire goingÖ. Multipurpose.
Iím a fan of Finish Line Wax Ceramic as well. Stays cleaner but as already mentioned, needs more frequent application. Still worth it IMO. I use my ultrasonic cleaner to clean first.

I have to say I am becoming more intrigued with wax after reading about it in so many posts.
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Old 06-07-22, 06:46 AM
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If you go for a petroleum-based lubricant, just remember to wipe off all the excess lubricant from the outside of the chain. The only oil you want will be inside the rollers. Doing so will result in a perfectly clean chain. I can grab my chain with my bare hand and rotate the cranks, and my hand will come out perfectly clean (i.e., no "chain tattoos.")
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Old 06-07-22, 11:34 AM
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Old 06-07-22, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
If you go for a petroleum-based lubricant, just remember to wipe off all the excess lubricant from the outside of the chain. The only oil you want will be inside the rollers. Doing so will result in a perfectly clean chain. I can grab my chain with my bare hand and rotate the cranks, and my hand will come out perfectly clean (i.e., no "chain tattoos.")
Well, you know the old saying. Pics or it didn't happen.


As for chain lube preferences, I don't really have any. I've had plenty of products that worked well - Rock N Roll Gold, Finish Line Dry Lube, even ATF. The worst lube is the one you don't use. How many cyclists have you all ridden by whose chains were squealing like mad? Happens all the time.
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Old 06-07-22, 12:03 PM
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Rock and Roll Gold has been my go to for a long time, but have just tried Chain-L and am pretty happy, am thinking this is my new go to
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Old 06-07-22, 12:25 PM
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Kerosene for cleaning in a park cleaner.
For lube, I've mostly been using 3n1 dry lube from the Lowe's or Ace on my beachfront commuting bikes but for my weekend bikes, I've been using some Sears chain saw oil that has been sitting around for 20+ years. I can go more than 200 miles on the chainsaw oil and it is a cool red color.

Edit: $5 for a quart of chain lube.
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Old 06-07-22, 01:17 PM
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Old 06-07-22, 01:21 PM
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I buy Finish Line 'Wet' (oil) because it is available, and comes in a handy small bottle good for applying onto the chain.

If I am out and about and realize my chain is dry I stop at a gas station and pull an empty motor oil bottle out of the garbage and use the remaining drops on my chain.
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Old 06-07-22, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
Normally, I would have used "Paint Thinner" or "Mineral Spirits" but California, in its infinite wisdom, has outlawed those products leaving us with nothing but acetone on the shelves at the hardware stores.
There is a California approved Odorless mineral spirits and you can find it at your Home depot. Mineral spirits clean way better than acetone. You clean the gunk off with mineral spirits, then you clean the mineral spirits off with acetone.
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Old 06-07-22, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
What do you use for lubricating your chain and why do you use that product (over the others available)?

I have been using White Lightning for the last few years. I liked it because it seemed to last longer than an oil-based lube (like Phil Oil).

The other day, I tried to clean it off and re-lube the chain. Normally, I would have used "Paint Thinner" or "Mineral Spirits" but California, in its infinite wisdom, has outlawed those products leaving us with nothing but acetone on the shelves at the hardware stores. Holy smoke!, that stuff is tenacious and resisted removal using acetone. A combination of soaking in gasoline (bummer!) and scrubbing each link with a tooth brush eventually got it off.

I allowed the chain to dry for a few hours and liberally applied Phil Oil.

On yesterday's ride, the drivetrain and shifting was noticeably different. It wasn't just the sound but also the feel - it felt looser, easier.
I'm old school and simply use tri-flow. excellent lubricant. yes, it picks up dirt somewhat however I simply clean once every couple weeks by running the chain through a microfiber cloth then re-applying oil. cheap and very effective never had a chain issue.

no need, IMO, to use solvents to 'de-grease' a chain. waste of solvents and bad for environment (and does nothing for chain longevity or wear IMO)
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Old 06-07-22, 03:17 PM
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White Lightning is not a good lube. See https://zerofrictioncycling.com.au/lubetesting/ for way more than you ever wanted to know about chain lube. White Lightning came in 55th place out of 55 lubes they tested in terms of friction.

I use Silca Super Secret because it was the best overall drip lube in their tests. It is still not super good in rain, you need to re-apply. But it is worlds better than White Lightning.
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Old 06-07-22, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
Well, you know the old saying. Pics or it didn't happen.
Thatís ok. My posting a picture of my clean palm wonít convince anyone. I too use Tri-flow.
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Old 06-07-22, 07:37 PM
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WD-40. Its what I've used for years. I know BF's is aghast by the mention of it. One of my most influential cycling buds used WD-40 for everything on his bike. So its what l've stuck with over all these years.
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Old 06-07-22, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
There is a California approved Odorless mineral spirits and you can find it at your Home depot. Mineral spirits clean way better than acetone. You clean the gunk off with mineral spirits, then you clean the mineral spirits off with acetone.
On one visit, I stood there are read the labels on all the different solvents offered at Home Depot. There were lots of different names on the cans but the ingredients all said "Acetone".

Still, I am encouraged by your post and will check into it.

I do have 5 quarts of old school mineral spirits but I am not parting with that for chain cleaning.
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Old 06-07-22, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
White Lightning is not a good lube. See https://zerofrictioncycling.com.au/lubetesting/ for way more than you ever wanted to know about chain lube. White Lightning came in 55th place out of 55 lubes they tested in terms of friction.

I use Silca Super Secret because it was the best overall drip lube in their tests. It is still not super good in rain, you need to re-apply. But it is worlds better than White Lightning.
ty

Thanks to everyone.
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Old 06-07-22, 09:28 PM
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Scented candles from the neighbor ladies. The chains get lubed and the rec hall doesn't smell like a bunch of old farts drinking beer and shooting pool. It's all good.
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Old 06-08-22, 12:01 AM
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If removing the chain I drop it into a glass jar of what ever I have around like, Charcoal Lighter Fluid, Diesel, Paint Thinner, Gasoline, Denatured Alcohol, Bourbon, Cyclohexane, TET, Barsol, or, or, or... No really its Charcoal Lighter Fluid usually.

Then after all the gunk outta it a soaking in ATF Automatic Transmission Fluid. And a wipe off...

Then I mount the chain and hit it with some 30 wt motor oil. And wipe off...

If not removing the chain then I just liberally lubricate it with ATF and keep running the chain through a rage till its clean. I then lube with 30wt motor oil. I do this often cause the light gravelly roads I ride kick up allot of dirt.
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