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HomeBrew VS straight 0W-20 oil for chain lube

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HomeBrew VS straight 0W-20 oil for chain lube

Old 01-18-16, 10:19 AM
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HomeBrew VS straight 0W-20 oil for chain lube

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Old 01-18-16, 10:52 AM
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Motor oil is not the worst you can do, but most have detergent additives in it, and are intended to be constantly pumped into the lubricated areas. Gear oil is a better application, but are far too heavy/tacky for a bicycle chain...which leads to synthetic lubricants intended for chains.

What exactly are you trying to make, anyway? Without access to laboratory equipment, all you can do is blend existing products...
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Old 01-18-16, 10:55 AM
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Whatever size those itty bitty little bottles of bicycle chain lube are, one will last me for more than a year. I can afford it and I'll never accidentally spill a quart of oil onto the floor of my shop.
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Old 01-18-16, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by wschruba
Motor oil is not the worst you can do, but most have detergent additives in it, and are intended to be constantly pumped into the lubricated areas. Gear oil is a better application, but are far too heavy/tacky for a bicycle chain...which leads to synthetic lubricants intended for chains.

What exactly are you trying to make, anyway? Without access to laboratory equipment, all you can do is blend existing products...

I guess I should have elaborated. Extensive google research shows that most people mix 5w-20 synthetic motor oil with 1-4 parts mineral spirits. A lot of these threads I found on google are kind of old and likely predated the prevalence of 0w motor oils.
I am wondering if mixing it with mineral spirits is necessary when 0w oil is already pretty thin.
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Old 01-18-16, 11:20 AM
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20 weight oil will fly off your chain, lubricating your spokes and rim in the process.
Gear oil is good if you heat it up first.
Just purchase the Chain-L and forgetaboutit.
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Old 01-18-16, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Whatever size those itty bitty little bottles of bicycle chain lube are, one will last me for more than a year. I can afford it and I'll never accidentally spill a quart of oil onto the floor of my shop.
+1. The GF and I have 5 different bikes that we ride and maybe go through a bottle/year.
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Old 01-18-16, 11:50 AM
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The thing is most chain lubes work pretty well, and even the small bottles last a long time. Personally I cant see myself burning up my free time trying out different concoctions of oils on my bikes. I think lubricant manufacturers have made it about as good as it's gonna get.
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Old 01-18-16, 11:59 AM
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I guess so... I mean, I read a lot of good things about chain L, but honestly...12 dollars for 4 ounces? It's a 13 dollar chain. At the rate I've been riding(just started back) I'll be logging about 2500 miles a year. I'm thinking a bottle will last what, maybe a year? Two years?

I could get a whole quart of mobil 1 0w-20 for 7 dollars. I'm actually surprised to read such negative homebrew oil responses based on the overwhelming amount of people posting saying they had used a motor oil/mineral spirit mix for years without issue.

Then again I guess 12 dollars is a drop in the bucket. I suppose I should stop being so cheap.
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Old 01-18-16, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnyvincent
I guess so... I mean, I read a lot of good things about chain L, but honestly...12 dollars for 4 ounces? It's a 13 dollar chain. At the rate I've been riding(just started back) I'll be logging about 2500 miles a year. I'm thinking a bottle will last what, maybe a year? Two years?

I could get a whole quart of mobil 1 0w-20 for 7 dollars. I'm actually surprised to read such negative homebrew oil responses based on the overwhelming amount of people posting saying they had used a motor oil/mineral spirit mix for years without issue.

Then again I guess 12 dollars is a drop in the bucket. I suppose I should stop being so cheap.
Pretty much, if you're talking about inexpensive 8- and 9- speed chains and cassettes. At some point, there's a question of how much time you're expending to save a few bucks. i might like one lube better than another, and I can put a pretty fine point on it depending on the time of year and which bike, but I'll buy whatever's on the shelf. It's really hard to care when the difference might amount to 2 or 3 dollars over the course of a year, in either wear or cost of the lube.
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Old 01-18-16, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnyvincent
I guess so... I mean, I read a lot of good things about chain L, but honestly...12 dollars for 4 ounces? It's a 13 dollar chain. At the rate I've been riding(just started back) I'll be logging about 2500 miles a year. I'm thinking a bottle will last what, maybe a year? Two years?

I could get a whole quart of mobil 1 0w-20 for 7 dollars. I'm actually surprised to read such negative homebrew oil responses based on the overwhelming amount of people posting saying they had used a motor oil/mineral spirit mix for years without issue.

Then again I guess 12 dollars is a drop in the bucket. I suppose I should stop being so cheap.
No I get what you're saying. there's no doubt that chain lubes are massively expensive compared to motor oil. But like someone else pointed out, you dont have to worry about knocking over a quart of oil - something I would do, lol - and the bottles do last a long time.

I havent read the threads you're talking about of people using motor oil and mineral spirits but if lot's of people are doing it effectively, than I guess it works. I've never thought of commercial chain lubes as being some magical mixture, just convenient. And yeah, they should prolly be 49 cents a bottle for what you get, lol.
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Old 01-18-16, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by exmechanic89
I havent read the threads you're talking about of people using motor oil and mineral spirits but if lot's of people are doing it effectively, than I guess it works.lol.
There's probably about 30 or so threads floating around from various forums. Here's one from this forum:
https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-me...-pro-link.html
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Old 01-18-16, 03:27 PM
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Old 01-18-16, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by exmechanic89
The thing is most chain lubes work pretty well, and even the small bottles last a long time. Personally I cant see myself burning up my free time trying out different concoctions of oils on my bikes. I think lubricant manufacturers have made it about as good as it's gonna get.
Exactly.
Just buy anything bike specific. Only thing you should really think about is a dry lube or a wet lube for conditions.
Really, anything is fine for a bike chain.

Lube is not as important as proper cleaning. That is what will give you drivetrain life.
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Old 01-18-16, 03:42 PM
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Ales are easier to Home Brew Than Pilsners and Lagers
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Old 01-18-16, 04:30 PM
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These threads always give me a chuckle. Most of these threads end up with so many folks dead set in their 'method' that they discourage others for trying something new.

I was curious about homebrew chain lube, so I tried it out. It cost me a whopping $12 ($8 for the OMS, and $4 for the oil) to see what the fuss was all about. I've been using it for about two thousand miles, and I've been impressed with everything about it.

I didn't like the smell of regular OMS, so I went with the Kleen Strip "Green" version. It's milky white and is basically odorless. I went with the cheapo full synthetic 5w20. I tried the 2:1 and 4:1 ratios, and both performed well. I settled for the 4:1 for an all around lube, and use what's left of the 2:1 for rainy days.

I have tried all the crazy cleaning methods, and found that my chains don't last noticeably longer than by just re-lubing and wiping down the chain. All I have to do is apply one drop of my homebrew per roller, wipe off the excess, then ride. After the first ride, I usually wipe the chain down one more time. That's it. My chain stays clean and lubed for several weeks (at 150-175 miles a week). After two or three weeks, I'll lube the chain again, and I'm done. As a comparison, I was using ProLink and my chain would get noisy after one week.

Overall, I'm very pleased with the results. So much so that I don't think I'll be buying anything else for a long time. I've made two 20oz soda bottles worth, given one away, and use the other to refill my prolink bottle. I'll have enough to last several years, and I've learned from experience that it's better than the bike specific stuff.

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Old 01-18-16, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Ales are easier to Home Brew Than Pilsners and Lagers
Correct
I used to have a spare refrigerator for lagers.
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Old 01-18-16, 07:13 PM
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I have to admit that the idea of spending an hour or whatever mixing up a lifetime supply of chain lube for just $12, and never, ever, having to be in the position of saying, "Damn, I'm out of lube!" is kind of appealing.
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Old 01-18-16, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
I have to admit that the idea of spending 2 minutes or whatever mixing up a lifetime supply of chain lube for just $12, and never, ever, having to be in the position of saying, "Damn, I'm out of lube!" is kind of appealing.
Fixed
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Old 01-18-16, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01
Fixed
Okay, maybe not an hour, but I was thinking about all the time spent gathering the containers, the funnel, mixing, transferring to various vessels, labeling, and cleanup, so definitely more than 2 minutes, though perhaps 20 mins. It depends on whether you've got everything you need, which may include a second trip to the hardware store in addition to the auto parts place.

I dunno...I'm just trying to have a realistic expectation of what it would take to mix-your-own, compared to grabbing a bottle off the shelf at the LBS, which is undoubtedly faster and easier no matter how you cut it.
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Old 01-18-16, 08:16 PM
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It took me about half an hour if you count the time it took to go to the store.
I'm not like a lot of y'all, who can't squeeze an hour out of their busy schedule to do stuff.
I figure I'd rather spend $12 and half an hour out of a lazy Sunday to make ~40oz of lube than spend $12 on a 4oz bottle at the shop.
My 'L'BS is ten miles farther away than the hardware store. I feel like I have to make a special trip there, and even then, it's not even that good of a shop.
All it really takes is a measuring cup, a funnel and a bottle or two. If you use a wide mouth bottle, you don't even need the funnel

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Old 01-18-16, 08:30 PM
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Motor, gear oils may be ok but they attract dirt and other things that you do not want on the chain, so what you get at the bike store are more appropriate--as for WD40 is great to clean the chain but it is too thin for lubrication and it evaporates quickly.
Besides: concocting whatever I prefer go for a ride!

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Old 01-18-16, 08:33 PM
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90W gear oil. I had a 1qt bottle on the shelf and tried it, it seemed to work OK, so that's what I've been using the last 10 years (same bottle, too!). I'd say don't use it on MTBs that will see dirt, as the dirt will stick to it really quickly.
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Old 01-18-16, 08:42 PM
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Okay guys I pulled the trigger and made a trip to wal mart. I figure I may as well start now so I won't get used to the more expensive purpose made oil.

One stop shopping FTW! Went to the paint section and got odorless mineral spirits for 5.97 roll back prices baby!
Then I stopped by the automotive section and picked up some super tech full synthetic 5W-30 for 4.97 roll back(figured I'd go with the 'tried and true' recipe instead of experimenting with 0W-20)

Then I swung by the cosmetic section and bought a travel size spray bottle to use to apply it to the chain. 97 cents, bro.

Total cost was just over twelve dollars for 64 ounces of chain oil, if I mix it half and half.
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Old 01-18-16, 08:46 PM
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Nice vinnyvincent,
update later on how it works! Cool to hear about diy stuff.
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Old 01-18-16, 09:24 PM
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Will do cruiserhead. I already mixed a batch half and half. It's much thinner than I expected. About like milk, which seems to be the same as the lube I saw in the bike section. I notice most people go for something like a 3 to 1 ratio, but I like the idea of half and half. both the oil and mineral spirits come in a quart size bottle, so they would run out at the same time. That, plus motor oil only has a 5 year shelf life. Mixing it 3 to 1 would mean the motor oil would likely expire before you use it all, which seems like a waste
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