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Graphite for chain lube - why not?

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Graphite for chain lube - why not?

Old 06-29-09, 06:56 AM
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jgjulio
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Graphite for chain lube - why not?

I keep reading posts and articles about what is the best chain lube product.
I have been wondering why graphite is not used on chains. I thought the idea of graphite for locks was that it is very slippery and does not gum up.

I have not done this to my bikes but I just had this thought that needs to be put to rest.

What do you guys think?
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Old 06-29-09, 08:50 AM
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Graphite is good for locks for the reasons above, plus one more: Locks are fairly clean and low duty cycle.

Graphite lubricants applied to chains usually need to be done on extremely clean metal surfaces for the filming agent to bond properly. (Thermal-Lube XL-2356, Fuchs GLEITMO 961/9563) Graphite SFLs (solid film lubricants) are very durable, long lasting, high duty cycle lubricants; that's why companies use them to coat new chains. But re-application is impractical due to the level of clean you need to attain for the film to adhere properly. Many graphite SFLs require sand/beadblasting or multiple chemical cleaning treatments before application.
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Old 06-29-09, 02:58 PM
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Thank you for the reply. Now I can put that issue to rest.
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Old 06-29-09, 04:38 PM
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SRAM uses Gleitmo as the factory lube on their chains. You could, as an impractical measure, just replace your chain instead of cleaning/lubing it; that way you'd always have a graphite solid filmed chain.
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Old 06-29-09, 05:56 PM
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It would be nice to use something like assembly lube. Honda's Moly 60 paste (60% moly) would be ideal, if you could figure out how to get it in there. Dow makes a very similar product.

The biggest advantage of Moly, besides bonding to metal, is the fact that it is just as good a lube when it is dry.

Sure is messy stuff though - gets on everything, and comes off nothing.........
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Old 06-29-09, 06:01 PM
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There are SFL graphite/moly formulations, but the ones I've worked with require heat treating to set the film.
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Old 05-11-20, 11:37 AM
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I'm just about to try adding graphite powder to microcrystalline wax so I'll let you know the results .... it was originally going to be ptfe but this hasn't arrived yet ..
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Old 08-03-21, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by jfb0264 View Post
I'm just about to try adding graphite powder to microcrystalline wax so I'll let you know the results .... it was originally going to be ptfe but this hasn't arrived yet ..
How does it compares to Putoline which is said to contain organosulpur compounds? Graphite is said to perform better at lower loads and in high humidity environments compared to molybdenum disulfide, while tungsten disulfide is said to migrate away easily. Thinking about using Putoline on high engagement freehub to see if it lasts longer than Lucas Red'n tacky to reduce noise. Freehub springs will give really low load at sliding motion.

https://www.maximum-velocity.com/pinewood-derby-times-v8i10/

On the other hand some say that graphite tends to be abrasive, while others say that it's abrasive only in Z plane, or only when it's in compressed form containing ceramic glue or something. Hard to find any reliable information. One user on MTB forum reported wear on the engagement ring and pawls after using graphite. Go figure.

https://www.profileracing.com/faq/q-and-a-do-i-need-to-grease-my-profile-cassette-hub-driver/

Last edited by sysrq; 08-03-21 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 08-06-21, 11:22 PM
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I don't get these threads.... .just use something designed for chains. Me I like Rock and Roll gold
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Old 09-22-21, 09:27 AM
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For those who simply wish to rinse off the bikes and not use a cleaner like Simple Green, the use of food grade paraffin wax beads with 1.5 Micron PTFE powder is a viable option.

No wetting for dirt and grime to adhere to. After a 200-miles just rinse, the cassette is clean and the chain is clean.

I use Fantastic disinfectant multi-purpose cleaner in a plastic 2-lb Planters Peanuts container to clean the chain. I have a second Planters Peanut container with 91% Isopropyl to completely remove the Fantastic cleaner.

The wax is weighed and the PTFE is is weighed. The wax is melted and the PTFE is added and mixed well. Insert the chain and swirl. Leave it in for 20-minutes and swirl around. You may need to keep the heat low, so some folks go to Good Will and get the smallest slow cooker with a removable metal insert.. Pull the chain out and hand by a metal coat hanger until the wax has set up. Then scrub with a stiff brush to remove excess wax.

Why all the trouble? You probably only need to do this once a year. So weekly maintenance of chain with lubes is a thing of the past.

10:1 ratio of 500 grams of food grade wax with 50 grams of 1.5 Micron PTFE powder.

Amazon Prime purchase -


100% Pure PTFE Dry Lubricant Powder in 2.5oz, Ultra Fine Powder with 1.5 Micron
$25.00



LorAnn Premium Paraffin Wax Beads (Fully refined) - Food Grade - 453 grams
$12.00

Takes about 30-minutes to remove the Quick Link in the SRAM chain, soak and shake in the Fantastic, then soak and shake in the Isopropyl Alcohol then dry the chain - this is the 1st 10-minutes. While you do that the slow cooker is reheating the wax (start this before touching the bike, the wax stays in the slow cooker until the next use.

Once the chain is dropped into the wax/PTFE solution it is left to soak with frequent swirling with a metal bent hooked coat hanger. The leave to dry overnight.

So an initial outlay of $37.00 which will last 8-10 years depending on how many miles per year you ride. Not a bad investment, seeing that you only spend $4-5 dollars per year and 30-minutes of time to clean and properly lube the chain. Manufactures are in the business of profit, none of the lubricants out there will outperform the lubricity of this combo, and if they provided this as a solution, they will go out of business in a single year. No mystery there at all.

It seems daunting, yet when done once, and you come home to a garden hose and spend less than 45-seconds to clean the gear-train the benefits become obvious, especially if you commute in the rain. Re-waxing the chain is simply removing the chain re-dipping into melted wax solution, and let dry. Then remove excess wax and re-install, no deep clean required because the wax has prevented the influx of mud and grime into the links of the chain. Extends life of chain, extends life of drive train.


Last edited by Cyclist0105; 09-22-21 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 09-22-21, 10:39 AM
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The analysis of chain maintenance around here always puzzles me. Too damn complicated for too little marginal gain. Clean the chain, on the bike, with a park cyclone (or similar), using Simple Green. Lube with T9 and go. Any additional invested time seems silly, like putting more sugar on a donut.
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Old 09-22-21, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
The analysis of chain maintenance around here always puzzles me. Too damn complicated for too little marginal gain. Clean the chain, on the bike, with a park cyclone (or similar), using Simple Green. Lube with T9 and go. Any additional invested time seems silly, like putting more sugar on a donut.
I used Aircraft Simple Green for decades and there is something out there called Rock-n-Roll Gold that stacks up very well against the competition.
Velonews

What is T9?

Last edited by Cyclist0105; 09-22-21 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 09-24-21, 10:33 AM
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Great stuff. https://boeshield.com/
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Old 09-25-21, 07:37 PM
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Here is the latest (that I could find) on chain lube efficiency testing.

Friction Facts and Velo News Chain Lube Efficiency Tests

The article ends with:

"THE TAKEAWAY"

"We’ve long been proponents of the waxing method. With the right equipment, it’s not particularly onerous, and it leaves one’s drivetrain so wonderfully clean that any time lost in waxing is gained back ten fold in cleaning. Longevity of a wax treatment is better than most expect — we’ve ridden many hundreds of dry miles on a single application. That paraffin is also the fastest solution, producing the most efficient drivetrain, and is made even quicker with Molten Speed Wax’s concoction, is icing on the cake. Squirt is a phenomenal alternative, though. It, too, is very clean, though not quite as clean as paraffin. Once the water in the solution dries it picks up very little dirt. The kicker, though, is that it can be applied like any other drip lube. No more crock pots, no more potential for flammable paraffin fumes. Ease of use and incredible efficiency: Squirt really is the whole package. It’s not great in wet weather, but on dry days only Speed Wax will be faster"
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Old 09-25-21, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
The analysis of chain maintenance around here always puzzles me. Too damn complicated for too little marginal gain. Clean the chain, on the bike, with a park cyclone (or similar), using Simple Green. Lube with T9 and go. Any additional invested time seems silly, like putting more sugar on a donut.
thats why I use rock and roll you can skip the chain cleaning. just apply it once a week for me and wipe the chain and good to go.
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