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Replaced chain at 1500 miles, where I'd go wrong?

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Replaced chain at 1500 miles, where I'd go wrong?

Old 08-01-16, 11:05 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Well, you kind of are "SAYING MY WAY IS THE BEST WAY". I've used White Lightning wax lubricants for about 20 years now and can tell you they aren't "crap". They last much longer than 60 miles...up to and beyond 10 times that mileage... and, while they might not prevent rust, I'm not convinced that oil lubes prevent rust either. I see an awful lot of rusty chains at my local co-op that are equal parts rust and black goo.

To me, a lubricant is only "crap" if it doesn't do the job of lubricating. With the amount of experience I have with White Lightning, you'd think that I would have noticed a decrease in chain mileage if it were "crap". I doubt that you or anyone else gets significantly more mileage out of your chains than I do...no matter what you use or how often you use it.
Ok, so what do you want do? have a dick smacking contest?

I've never had a rusted chain on any of my bikes in over 40 years of riding except when I used wax. Look up the definition of wax, it's not a lube. Here's a couple of interesting reads concerning wax: THE LAST WORD ON CHAIN LUBRICATION - Bike Test Reviews

And almost 1/2 way down Sheldon talks about wax: Chain Maintenance

With references from experience that wax doesn't hold up: A Word About Chain Lube - Corner Cycle

Informational: Bicycle Chain Cleaning and Lubrication

Like I said before I use to use paraffin hot wax method for a couple of years then changed it a bit by adding Slick 50 into the hot wax and none of the wax stuff held up long on rides about 150 to 200 miles, then I tried wax in a bottle, including White Lightning, and those didn't hold up very long at all, about 60 to 70 miles and the chains would start making noise. In addition to all of that my chains didn't last as long either, only about a fourth as long when using non wax dry lubes. I thought for awhile that the wider chains of the 5, 6, and 7 speed era lasted longer, and I still believe that, mine would last up to 15,000 miles except when I used wax then I got about 3,000 miles; with the newer thinner chains my current bike so far has about 7800 miles on it and still good to go for more, most people here on this forum only get about 3,000 miles on the thinner chains. I kind of think the shorter miles may be due to a couple of factors, not cleaning the chains often enough, and or using wax lubes.

Everyone I ever known, or read on the internet that used White lightning all reported that the stuff needs to be reapplied after every ride, so I guess your the odd one out on this. Technical Tuesday: Chain Lube Explained - Pinkbike
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Old 08-02-16, 08:05 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
I've never had a rusted chain on any of my bikes in over 40 years of riding except when I used wax. Look up the definition of wax, it's not a lube. Here's a couple of interesting reads concerning wax: THE LAST WORD ON CHAIN LUBRICATION - Bike Test Reviews

And almost 1/2 way down Sheldon talks about wax: Chain Maintenance

With references from experience that wax doesn't hold up: A Word About Chain Lube - Corner Cycle

Informational: Bicycle Chain Cleaning and Lubrication
As a chemist, I know what wax is. You, and so many others, think that wax is somehow different from "oil". Petroleum based wax belongs to the same class of compounds as petroleum based oils. The only functional difference is viscosity. At some point it becomes nebulous whether an "oil" is still an "oil" or if it is a soft wax. Think Vaseline which many people would say is a kind of lubricant but is actually a soft wax. The place where many people go wrong is to use a high molecular weight wax like canning wax or candle wax which has an incredibly high viscosity.

Wax based lubricants aren't just "wax" either. They are mixtures of different waxes in a solvent that allows them to penetrate differently than the old canning wax method. White Lightning uses different waxes in it's different formulations as well as adding some oil to some of it's formulations.

As for your links almost all of them are opinion pieces. Sheldon Brown has always sung the praises of the factory lube which isn't any thing like the lubricants that most people use. It's actually a soft wax lubricant that is more like White Lightning and other dry lubricants than like any oil based lubricant you care to name.

Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Like I said before I use to use paraffin hot wax method for a couple of years then changed it a bit by adding Slick 50 into the hot wax and none of the wax stuff held up long on rides about 150 to 200 miles, then I tried wax in a bottle, including White Lightning, and those didn't hold up very long at all, about 60 to 70 miles and the chains would start making noise. In addition to all of that my chains didn't last as long either, only about a fourth as long when using non wax dry lubes. I thought for awhile that the wider chains of the 5, 6, and 7 speed era lasted longer, and I still believe that, mine would last up to 15,000 miles except when I used wax then I got about 3,000 miles; with the newer thinner chains my current bike so far has about 7800 miles on it and still good to go for more, most people here on this forum only get about 3,000 miles on the thinner chains. I kind of think the shorter miles may be due to a couple of factors, not cleaning the chains often enough, and or using wax lubes.
Perhaps you are just special. All of the articles you linked to report chain wear intervals of around 3000 miles. Not one of them reported a wear interval of 15,000 miles. That's for just about any lubricant and cleaning system you care to list...including what I do. Basically, it doesn't matter what the rest of us use, the chains last around 3000 miles. Now you can run the chain for a lot longer than that but you start to risk having to replace other drivetrain components which are more expensive when you do eventually have to replace the chain. Whether that is cost effective or not is up to the individual.

Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Everyone I ever known, or read on the internet that used White lightning all reported that the stuff needs to be reapplied after every ride, so I guess your the odd one out on this. Technical Tuesday: Chain Lube Explained - Pinkbike
I know that I am the odd one out on this. White Lightning says that you have to reapply every 100 miles. I have found over 20 years of use that is not the case. My chains don't squeak and my shifting isn't suffering even through I don't apply it every 100 miles. I don't experience excess wear since I'm getting just about the same mileage as everyone else...except you...on my chains. My chains do have a slightly different sound than what an oiled chain would have but it's just a different sound that I've gotten used to. It isn't the sound of "wear", it's just different.

And it's a whole lot cleaner.
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Old 08-02-16, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Perhaps you are just special.

I know that I am the odd one out on this. .
Wait, I'm special and you're odd, are you my brother?
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Old 08-02-16, 02:12 PM
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Old 08-03-16, 01:55 AM
  #55  
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A quiet chain is a properly lubricated chain. My experience with "dry lubes" is that they tend to wear out rather quickly, one rain ride and its finished. Its not that difficult to wipe a chain down once a month or so (500-600KM) and reapply lube. I've given up on solvent too, as I found it only increases chain wear. Modern chains tend to flush out most contamination between the rollers and pins if there is sufficient lubrication, even if the outside appears dirty. Also, the factory lube that is on a new chain is quite good, just wipe it off when it gets dirty and re-lube. Apparently paraffin is best, have not tried it yet myself though.

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Old 08-03-16, 07:00 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
A quiet chain is a properly lubricated chain.
A properly lubricated chain is one that doesn't wear out prematurely. My wax based lubricated chains have similar wear intervals as oil based lubricated chains so how is wax an improper lubricant?

Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
My experience with "dry lubes" is that they tend to wear out rather quickly, one rain ride and its finished.
Would you really ride after rain on with an oil lubricant following rain? For how long? Any chain lubricant needs to be refreshed following rain.

Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
Its not that difficult to wipe a chain down once a month or so (500-600KM) and reapply lube.
No. And that's pretty much what I do...except the wiping part. There's no need. I just reapply lubricant as needed which is around 400 to 600 miles. Why is oil better again?

Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
I've given up on solvent too, as I found it only increases chain wear.
I haven't found that to be the case. I'm not sure that many who has posted here would agree either. They all...with a few exceptions...get about 3000 miles before the chain needs replacement, no matter how they treat the chain. If I had the guts to try it, I'd see how quickly a chain wears out without any lubrication at all.

Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
Modern chains tend to flush out most contamination between the rollers and pins if there is sufficient lubrication, even if the outside appears dirty.
Propose a mechanism by which the contamination would be flushed out? Modern chains have much closer tolerances than chains of the 5, 6, 7 speed era. Those closer tolerances are necessary and any contamination that works its way into the chain isn't going to have anything driving it out. I will partly agree that grit that sticks to the outside of the chain is not necessarily harmful but the grit that is harmful isn't visible to the naked eye anyway. The particles that get thrown up on your chain are part of a distribution of particle sizes. The large ones won't work into the chain and just ride on the surface. The microscopic ones that are responsible for that "gritty" feeling that used chains can have are down in the spaces where they can grind the steel of the chain into dust...or rather an oily paste.

The oil you put on your chain is not black. Most of the time it is an amber color. The oil you get on your hands when you handle the chain or the chainring tattoos you get on your leg are very black. That "black" is finely divided steel particles that have been ground off your chain by microscopic dirt particles that get into the chain. The oil serves as a vehicle to drag those dirt particles...sand, really...down into the chain where it can do its work.

Wax based lubricants tend to fill the spaces where that grit can get into the chain and prevent it from penetrating too deep. My chains never have a "gritty" feel to them. Any grit on the surface sluffs off and doesn't get into the chain.

I'm not sure that matter too much however. Given that a chain lasts about the same amount of mileage no matter what lubricant you use, which lubricant you use seems to make little difference. Again, I should try an unlubricated chain sometime to see how long it lasts.

Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
Also, the factory lube that is on a new chain is quite good, just wipe it off when it gets dirty and re-lube.
The factory lubricant is okay but, in my experience, it still results in a grimy chain and it doesn't last all that long. But the other question I have to ask is why use a lubricant that is nothing like the factory lubricant? The factory lubricant isn't oil. Nor does it share any properties with any of the over the counter lubricants...other than wax based lubricants?

Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
Apparently paraffin is best, have not tried it yet myself though.
And which lubricants most closely approximate paraffin? Frankly, I've done the paraffin thing and it's a pain to do. It doesn't last any longer than other lubricants and is more difficult to apply. Putting the paraffin (or other waxes) in a solvent and applying it through a drip bottle is similar to using paraffin without the hassle of melting wax. In a follow-up article, they tested White Lightning Clean Ride and, while not as low in terms of frictional losses as some others, it was in about the same class as most lubricants. And the differences are tiny... from 0.25 mph to 0.1mph differences on speed. That might be important in a race but for us normal slubs, it's not going to matter.
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Old 08-03-16, 08:00 AM
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Read this review on White Lightning Clean Ride Lube, and while reading it note the statement about the driveline was quite noisy: White Lightning Clean Ride lube review - BikeRadar USA

Now ask yourself a question, what is noise? if your car runs low on oil the engine will make noise, why? What's happening to the internal engine parts? the metal parts inside have lost proper lubrication and are making contact with each other and are sounding off, accelerated engine wear is happening; the same thing is happening to your chain, if the chain is making noise it's because you have metal to metal contact going on. You can argue about this till you're blue in the face, but the noise is just that, metal to metal contact, and the chain is wearing out at an accelerated pace.

And just like my experience with White Lightning or any other drip on wax it's best for short rides and reapply after every ride, or do like I did on long rides, carry a bottle of the stuff and reapply it at around the 70 mile mark which doesn't allow the lube to dry but it does offer some protection which is better than none as evidence by the chain noise.

Also wax of any sort once dried will flake off, that's why the chain appears to be clean because of the constant shedding which takes the dirt with it, great in concept only, problem is it also flakes off the bearing surfaces because the wax isn't mobile like oil and will not because it cannot replenish the surface like oil will which is why you get the noise.

And if you re-apply drip wax, or even oil based lubes without first cleaning the chain the grit on the chain will move inside the chain where it will continue to cause slow damage to the chain.
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Old 08-03-16, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Read this review on White Lightning Clean Ride Lube, and while reading it note the statement about the driveline was quite noisy: White Lightning Clean Ride lube review - BikeRadar USA
Okay, a review of the review. First, what are Colin Levitch's credentials? What makes him any more qualified to comment and offer an opinion then me? At least I have some experience with bicycles, bicycle mechanics and, most importantly, some familiarity with chemistry. He has a degree in "media".

Second, he misses the point entirely by saying "Its thin nature means you need to reapply it frequently". It is only "thin" in application. The same could be said of any number of oil based lubricants as many of them have a solvent carrier to "thin" them out and act as a solvent to remove old lubricant. Once the solvent has evaporated, the lubricant thickens and is supposed to stay in place. With oil lubricants, this is obviously not happening because the of the constant need to wipe the outside of the chain where the oil flows to. Wax based lubricants don't need the constant wiping because the wax stays where it is put once the solvent evaporates.

I have ridden with White Lightning in all conditions. I've ridden other lubricants in all conditions. In my experience, they perform similarly. An oil based lubricant isn't any better...or worse...in rain and needs the same refreshment after rain that wax based lubricants do. If anything, they need it (and cleaning) more following rain since the oil that is left forms an emulsion with the water and places the water next to the metal.

If you recall from the last time you had bottled salad dressing, oil and water don't mix well and the water migrates to the bottom of the system. On a chain, that bottom is the pins, plates and rollers of the chain. Waxes don't mix with water either but at least they don't form emulsion that hold the water against the metal.

Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Now ask yourself a question, what is noise? if your car runs low on oil the engine will make noise, why? What's happening to the internal engine parts? the metal parts inside have lost proper lubrication and are making contact with each other and are sounding off, accelerated engine wear is happening; the same thing is happening to your chain, if the chain is making noise it's because you have metal to metal contact going on. You can argue about this till you're blue in the face, but the noise is just that, metal to metal contact, and the chain is wearing out at an accelerated pace.
First, your car doesn't make "noise" if it simply runs "low" on oil. If it runs out of oil, then, yes, it makes horrible noises. But the conditions inside an internal combustion engine are very different from the conditions under which bicycles operate.

The "noise" that some people experience with White Lightning isn't that much different from an oiled chain, the oiled chain sound is just drowned a bit. It's not the squeak that you hear from a completely dry chain. It's more a clatter which I attribute to the plates moving laterally, rather then any kind of "grinding" noise. I don't notice it at all, frankly.

And, yet again, my chain wear interval isn't any different from people who use oil and/or clean their chains weekly. That's the standard against which wax lubricants need to be measured. You might have a point on wear if the wear were accelerated but that has not been my experience.

Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
And just like my experience with White Lightning or any other drip on wax it's best for short rides and reapply after every ride, or do like I did on long rides, carry a bottle of the stuff and reapply it at around the 70 mile mark which doesn't allow the lube to dry but it does offer some protection which is better than none as evidence by the chain noise.
And my experience has been just the opposite. I don't apply after every ride, I don't apply at 70 miles, my shifting doesn't suffer, and I don't have to clean my drivetrain all the time. I have used White Lightning on tours and on rides all over the US in all kinds of conditions. My daughter used the stuff in Seattle while she was going to grad school. Yes, I have to reapply it following rain but, as I've said above, who doesn't apply lubricant following a rain ride?

As I've said over and over again, I apply it to the chain in an interval that is similar to that others apply when using oils. I get similar mileage out of my chains...no better but certainly no worse. If White Lightning was as bad as so many make it out to be, wouldn't I be experiencing accelerated chain wear and wouldn't I need to use a whole lot more of it? It just doesn't happen.

Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Also wax of any sort once dried will flake off, that's why the chain appears to be clean because of the constant shedding which takes the dirt with it, great in concept only, problem is it also flakes off the bearing surfaces because the wax isn't mobile like oil and will not because it cannot replenish the surface like oil will which is why you get the noise.
The idea of the wax flaking off the outside of the chain and taking the dirt with it isn't just a great concept but works in practice. The chain is extraordinarily clean on the outside.

As for the inside of the chain, you are thinking of this the wrong way. Yes, it may flake off the bearing surfaces but where does it go? It goes right back into the space where it flaked off of. The wax is soft and isn't prone to breaking down into small enough particles to move out of the chain. It can be removed with a solvent but unlike oils, wax is very viscous...basically a semisolid. It falls back onto the pin inside the roller and is churned around where it is replenished on the actual bearing surface. Granted it might not make it to the plates which might account for the noise that some people experience...the plates are knocking together and creating noise...but that noise isn't due to the bearing surface being starved.

Further, unlike oils, the wax stays put when you stop riding. Oils move flow out away from the bearings. When you are constantly wiping the chain to remove "excess" oil, you are removing the oil that is supposed to be flowing back into those spaces to refresh the lubrication. Oil on a rag does nothing for lubricating the chain.

Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
And if you re-apply drip wax, or even oil based lubes without first cleaning the chain the grit on the chain will move inside the chain where it will continue to cause slow damage to the chain.
And here is the big difference between the lubricants. Yes, you should first clean the chain if you are using oil because the oil serves as a vehicle for grit and dirt to stick to. Wax lubricants slough off the dirt and don't trap it in the first place. When the fresh wax/solvent lubricant is applied, very little grit gets moved into the chain because there is very little grit stuck to the chain.

Don't believe me? Go for a ride in dusty conditions with a wax based lubricant and with an oil based lubricant or, better yet, drive down a dusty road with both on the back of a car. See which one is coated in thick dust at the end.

You can bash wax based lubricants all you like but when the replacement mileage for either is the same, they are both working as effectively. The only difference is that one is far cleaner and less futzy than the other.
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Old 08-03-16, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
ANY rust on the chain should signal replacement time. Iron oxide is an abrasive and wears out the chain-rings and cogs. Chains are cheap and even me living on social security never hesitate to replace a chain when necessary.
A nit I can't resist picking: rust is only an issue inside the chain, where we can't see. A little surface rust that develops on the side plates is natural and won't hurt a thing.
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Old 08-03-16, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
A nit I can't resist picking: rust is only an issue inside the chain, where we can't see. A little surface rust that develops on the side plates is natural and won't hurt a thing.
Rust on the side plates where it is visible means that it is on the inside of the plates as well where it works itself into the bushings and is abrasive. So you are correct as far as you go but you don't go far enough.
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Old 08-03-16, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
Rust on the side plates where it is visible means that it is on the inside of the plates as well where it works itself into the bushings and is abrasive. So you are correct as far as you go but you don't go far enough.
By the time rust from the inner side plates (from which it's much harder to wipe excess lube than the outer side plates most people are pondering) has made it into the bushings, so have any number of other things. I remain sanguine about it.
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Old 08-03-16, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Okay, a review of the review. First, what are Colin Levitch's credentials? What makes him any more qualified to comment and offer an opinion then me? At least I have some experience with bicycles, bicycle mechanics and, most importantly, some familiarity with chemistry. He has a degree in "media".

Second, he misses the point entirely by saying "Its thin nature means you need to reapply it frequently". It is only "thin" in application. The same could be said of any number of oil based lubricants as many of them have a solvent carrier to "thin" them out and act as a solvent to remove old lubricant. Once the solvent has evaporated, the lubricant thickens and is supposed to stay in place. With oil lubricants, this is obviously not happening because the of the constant need to wipe the outside of the chain where the oil flows to. Wax based lubricants don't need the constant wiping because the wax stays where it is put once the solvent evaporates.

I have ridden with White Lightning in all conditions. I've ridden other lubricants in all conditions. In my experience, they perform similarly. An oil based lubricant isn't any better...or worse...in rain and needs the same refreshment after rain that wax based lubricants do. If anything, they need it (and cleaning) more following rain since the oil that is left forms an emulsion with the water and places the water next to the metal.

If you recall from the last time you had bottled salad dressing, oil and water don't mix well and the water migrates to the bottom of the system. On a chain, that bottom is the pins, plates and rollers of the chain. Waxes don't mix with water either but at least they don't form emulsion that hold the water against the metal.



First, your car doesn't make "noise" if it simply runs "low" on oil. If it runs out of oil, then, yes, it makes horrible noises. But the conditions inside an internal combustion engine are very different from the conditions under which bicycles operate.

The "noise" that some people experience with White Lightning isn't that much different from an oiled chain, the oiled chain sound is just drowned a bit. It's not the squeak that you hear from a completely dry chain. It's more a clatter which I attribute to the plates moving laterally, rather then any kind of "grinding" noise. I don't notice it at all, frankly.

And, yet again, my chain wear interval isn't any different from people who use oil and/or clean their chains weekly. That's the standard against which wax lubricants need to be measured. You might have a point on wear if the wear were accelerated but that has not been my experience.



And my experience has been just the opposite. I don't apply after every ride, I don't apply at 70 miles, my shifting doesn't suffer, and I don't have to clean my drivetrain all the time. I have used White Lightning on tours and on rides all over the US in all kinds of conditions. My daughter used the stuff in Seattle while she was going to grad school. Yes, I have to reapply it following rain but, as I've said above, who doesn't apply lubricant following a rain ride?

As I've said over and over again, I apply it to the chain in an interval that is similar to that others apply when using oils. I get similar mileage out of my chains...no better but certainly no worse. If White Lightning was as bad as so many make it out to be, wouldn't I be experiencing accelerated chain wear and wouldn't I need to use a whole lot more of it? It just doesn't happen.



The idea of the wax flaking off the outside of the chain and taking the dirt with it isn't just a great concept but works in practice. The chain is extraordinarily clean on the outside.

As for the inside of the chain, you are thinking of this the wrong way. Yes, it may flake off the bearing surfaces but where does it go? It goes right back into the space where it flaked off of. The wax is soft and isn't prone to breaking down into small enough particles to move out of the chain. It can be removed with a solvent but unlike oils, wax is very viscous...basically a semisolid. It falls back onto the pin inside the roller and is churned around where it is replenished on the actual bearing surface. Granted it might not make it to the plates which might account for the noise that some people experience...the plates are knocking together and creating noise...but that noise isn't due to the bearing surface being starved.

Further, unlike oils, the wax stays put when you stop riding. Oils move flow out away from the bearings. When you are constantly wiping the chain to remove "excess" oil, you are removing the oil that is supposed to be flowing back into those spaces to refresh the lubrication. Oil on a rag does nothing for lubricating the chain.



And here is the big difference between the lubricants. Yes, you should first clean the chain if you are using oil because the oil serves as a vehicle for grit and dirt to stick to. Wax lubricants slough off the dirt and don't trap it in the first place. When the fresh wax/solvent lubricant is applied, very little grit gets moved into the chain because there is very little grit stuck to the chain.

Don't believe me? Go for a ride in dusty conditions with a wax based lubricant and with an oil based lubricant or, better yet, drive down a dusty road with both on the back of a car. See which one is coated in thick dust at the end.

You can bash wax based lubricants all you like but when the replacement mileage for either is the same, they are both working as effectively. The only difference is that one is far cleaner and less futzy than the other.
I think that your analysis is completely accurate. It isn't as if chain/sprocket lubrication is any big or new idea. For crying out loud it's 150+ years old. I tried using several lubricants and the only complaint I have with White Lightning is the build up on the cassettes is hard to clean off. One would think that proof enough that it doesn't run off.
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Old 08-03-16, 11:24 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
By the time rust from the inner side plates (from which it's much harder to wipe excess lube than the outer side plates most people are pondering) has made it into the bushings, so have any number of other things. I remain sanguine about it.
I am curious - where have you seen rusty chains that have been lubed with heavier lubes such as the Teflon coating from White Lightning or a half dozen other popular chain lubes on the market? I generally put in around 6500 miles a year, off-road and on, wet and dry and I have never had a rusty chain. I am often asked where I get my shiny chains even when they are thousands of miles old.
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Old 08-03-16, 11:35 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
I am curious - where have you seen rusty chains that have been lubed with heavier lubes such as the Teflon coating from White Lightning or a half dozen other popular chain lubes on the market? I generally put in around 6500 miles a year, off-road and on, wet and dry and I have never had a rusty chain. I am often asked where I get my shiny chains even when they are thousands of miles old.
First off, remember that I'm referring to very light surface rust, not something like this.





I try to do a really thorough job of wiping off excess chain lube after applying, so that it feels nearly dry to the touch afterward. As I put thousands of miles on those chains, in occasional mist or rain, those unprotected outer side plates will develop a little flash rust. Unfortunately, I don't have any good pictures.
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Old 08-03-16, 12:04 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
First off, remember that I'm referring to very light surface rust, not something like this.





I try to do a really thorough job of wiping off excess chain lube after applying, so that it feels nearly dry to the touch afterward. As I put thousands of miles on those chains, in occasional mist or rain, those unprotected outer side plates will develop a little flash rust. Unfortunately, I don't have any good pictures.
Well you could prevent even that by using a stainless chain. These are cheap and readily available.
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Old 08-03-16, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
Well you could prevent even that by using a stainless chain. These are cheap and readily available.
Mmm, I'm not finding a SS chain that I can get as cheaply as the SRAM PC-850s I've been using. Even spending a couple more bucks for 870s with the nickel-plated outer plates would probably do it. Perhaps if it ever bothers me enough or causes a real issue.
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Old 08-03-16, 02:42 PM
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"First, your car doesn't make "noise" if it simply runs "low" on oil. If it runs out of oil, then, yes, it makes horrible noises. But the conditions inside an internal combustion engine are very different from the conditions under which bicycles operate." Actually when engines run low on oil the pump can't get the oil, or the pump is failing, to the lifters which start to rattle which is an indication that excessive wear is happening; https://www.autohausaz.com/html/oil_pressure.html
Engine Noise
You can't argue facts, even though an engine is different from a chain there are a lot of things we lube on an everyday basis that are not engines but because they are making some sort of noise we lube it to quiet it and to prevent wear on the two rubbing items.

And by the way, I was talking about using dry lubes that are not wax based not oil, but there are some who believe that using a wet lube is better than using a dry oil lube, but not everyone wants to be bothered with the mess that a wet lube can make.
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Old 08-03-16, 03:08 PM
  #68  
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I've blown an engine after losing 6.5 quarts of oil... Didn't make any untoward noise whatsoever, it lost power and 10 seconds later it died.
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Old 08-03-16, 09:24 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
A properly lubricated chain is one that doesn't wear out prematurely. My wax based lubricated chains have similar wear intervals as oil based lubricated chains so how is wax an improper lubricant?
Wax will work, just doesn't last as long as oil in my experience.


Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Would you really ride after rain on with an oil lubricant following rain? For how long? Any chain lubricant needs to be refreshed following rain.
I've done this many times, no squeaks, no rust, just some grime on the outside. If it starts to get noisy I'll wipe off the grime and re apply lube.


Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Why is oil better again?
In my experience, it lasts longer and lubricates better.



Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I haven't found that to be the case. I'm not sure that many who has posted here would agree either. They all...with a few exceptions...get about 3000 miles before the chain needs replacement, no matter how they treat the chain.
3000 Miles isn't that impressive, I'm already at that distance on my chain without any noticeable wear.



Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Propose a mechanism by which the contamination would be flushed out? Modern chains have much closer tolerances than chains of the 5, 6, 7 speed era. Those closer tolerances are necessary and any contamination that works its way into the chain isn't going to have anything driving it out. I will partly agree that grit that sticks to the outside of the chain is not necessarily harmful but the grit that is harmful isn't visible to the naked eye anyway. The particles that get thrown up on your chain are part of a distribution of particle sizes. The large ones won't work into the chain and just ride on the surface. The microscopic ones that are responsible for that "gritty" feeling that used chains can have are down in the spaces where they can grind the steel of the chain into dust...or rather an oily paste.
I almost never have a gritty feeling chain, the only time I remember having that issue was from riding through a flooded area where my chain was fully submerged in sandy water.


Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The oil you put on your chain is not black. Most of the time it is an amber color. The oil you get on your hands when you handle the chain or the chainring tattoos you get on your leg are very black. That "black" is finely divided steel particles that have been ground off your chain by microscopic dirt particles that get into the chain. The oil serves as a vehicle to drag those dirt particles...sand, really...down into the chain where it can do its work.
Ya Think?

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Wax based lubricants tend to fill the spaces where that grit can get into the chain and prevent it from penetrating too deep. My chains never have a "gritty" feel to them. Any grit on the surface sluffs off and doesn't get into the chain.
Thick oil also prevents most grit from entering the chain, provided it is applied to a clean chain.


Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The factory lubricant is okay but, in my experience, it still results in a grimy chain and it doesn't last all that long. But the other question I have to ask is why use a lubricant that is nothing like the factory lubricant? The factory lubricant isn't oil. Nor does it share any properties with any of the over the counter lubricants...other than wax based lubricants?
It is quite effective until it wears out, and that can take close to 1000km in my experience. As for your question, most people are not equipped to apply such kinds of lubricant in a residential setting. Boiling a pot of oil or wax seems a bit risky to me.


Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
And which lubricants most closely approximate paraffin? Frankly, I've done the paraffin thing and it's a pain to do. It doesn't last any longer than other lubricants and is more difficult to apply. Putting the paraffin (or other waxes) in a solvent and applying it through a drip bottle is similar to using paraffin without the hassle of melting wax. In a follow-up article, they tested White Lightning Clean Ride and, while not as low in terms of frictional losses as some others, it was in about the same class as most lubricants. And the differences are tiny... from 0.25 mph to 0.1mph differences on speed. That might be important in a race but for us normal slubs, it's not going to matter.
Longevity is far more important than a few watts of friction loss that won't be perceptible for most riders.
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Old 08-03-16, 09:35 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by GerryinHouston View Post
I've blown an engine after losing 6.5 quarts of oil... Didn't make any untoward noise whatsoever, it lost power and 10 seconds later it died.
They usually give some sort of noise warning before the loss of power, today most cars have some much sound insulation (to make cars sell better because of the ultralow cabin noise) it prevents you from hearing telltale signs of a problem about to happen, combine that with the radio going and you can't even hear a emergency vehicle with their siren going how in the hell would you hear the engine rattling? My Acura has two electric fans, I can hear them click on and run when I'm standing 10 feet (and probably even more but I haven't tested that) from the outside of the car but I can't hear them inside with the radio off, it's highly doubtful that you'll hear the tappets clattering due to loss of oil pressure unless you were standing outside the car. If you had been paying attention modern cars since the early 2000's have a sensor light that comes on when oil pressure is reaching dangerous levels because the car manufacturers realize a person can no longer hear engine issues developing, from the mid 60's to the 2000's a warning light would come on but most of the time it was too late, but usually you could hear the engine before that happened anyway, those were called idiot lights because the only warned after the engine was shot.
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Old 08-04-16, 07:17 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
Wax will work, just doesn't last as long as oil in my experience.
I'd agree on using hot wax. It just doesn't last long enough to be worth the hassle of applying it.


Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
I've done this many times, no squeaks, no rust, just some grime on the outside. If it starts to get noisy I'll wipe off the grime and re apply lube.
Note that you "reapply lube". That's what I do when I ride in rain as well. I don't have to reapply it immediately after the rain and have been known to not ever reapply it later. Wax doesn't "wash" off as it's hydrophobic just like oil is. It just happens not to be liquid.

Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
In my experience, it lasts longer and lubricates better.

That's your experience. My experience...20+ years of it in all the conditions that summer and winter and climates of the US have to offer...is that wax based lubricants work just as well and last just as long.


Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
3000 Miles isn't that impressive, I'm already at that distance on my chain without any noticeable wear.
You, rekmeyata and a few others make this claim but you seem to be outliers compared to everyone else. rekmeyata's links suggest 3000 to 4000 miles as the "normal" interval before wear elongates the chain more than 0.75%. As noted above and elsewhere, the chain doesn't have to be changed at around 3000 miles but you risk wear to other drivetrain components and early replacement of those parts if you go beyond that mileage.


Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
Ya Think?
So what are you trying to say here? That you agree?

Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
Thick oil also prevents most grit from entering the chain, provided it is applied to a clean chain.
And here? "Thick" oil isn't any different from "thin" oil other than in viscosity. If you agree with the above statement, then you can't say that that thick oil prevents grit from entering the chain. The whole point of low viscosity lubricants is that they can move in the chain. If they can move and they serve as a vehicle for trapping dirt and grit...which they do...then they can move that grit to the inside of the chain.


Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
It is quite effective until it wears out, and that can take close to 1000km in my experience. As for your question, most people are not equipped to apply such kinds of lubricant in a residential setting. Boiling a pot of oil or wax seems a bit risky to me.
You seem to be confusing using hot candle wax with solvent carrier, wax-based lubricants and commercial chain lubricant. The commercial lubricant is an adhesive lubricant that sticks to the chain and is made of materials that are much closer to the wax-based lubricants than they are to oil based lubricants. That's kind of my point. People like the factory lubricant and then they replace it with something that is very different.

If you had access to the factory lubricant, it wouldn't be that hard to put on a chain. The melting point is lower than hard candle wax is. Melting point and viscosity are a function of molecular weight and the softer the wax, the lower the melting point. Of course you could use something in a solvent, perhaps, that goes on easily at room temperature and can be applied from something like a drip bottle. The solvent then evaporates like the factory lubricant does and it adheres to the chain.

...Oh, wait there's something like that already


Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
Longevity is far more important than a few watts of friction loss that won't be perceptible for most riders.
I agree about the friction loss. I don't agree that oils give any longer chain longevity than wax-based lubricants do. Again, you are the outlier, I'm not.
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Old 08-04-16, 07:39 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
Wax will work, just doesn't last as long as oil in my experience.




I've done this many times, no squeaks, no rust, just some grime on the outside. If it starts to get noisy I'll wipe off the grime and re apply lube.



In my experience, it lasts longer and lubricates better.





3000 Miles isn't that impressive, I'm already at that distance on my chain without any noticeable wear.




I almost never have a gritty feeling chain, the only time I remember having that issue was from riding through a flooded area where my chain was fully submerged in sandy water.



Ya Think?


Thick oil also prevents most grit from entering the chain, provided it is applied to a clean chain.



It is quite effective until it wears out, and that can take close to 1000km in my experience. As for your question, most people are not equipped to apply such kinds of lubricant in a residential setting. Boiling a pot of oil or wax seems a bit risky to me.




Longevity is far more important than a few watts of friction loss that won't be perceptible for most riders.
Most of this is correct from my experience as well as other cyclists I know that used both types of lubes.

Boiling wax isn't really risky as long as you do it right and keep an eye on it. I use to do on the stovetop using two pots, a smaller pot that held the wax went inside a larger pot that had water in it, then use the low setting to heat it. Paraffin is flammable and explosive but I can't recall anyone that I've ever knew had that issues, and you wouldn't either if you do it the way I mentioned. Initially when I use to this wax stuff I used nothing but wax, but later Slick 50 came out and people (and myself) started to add that into the wax, I can't recall the ratio but I'm sure you could find it on the internet. Slick 50 use to use really good Dupont Teflon but somewhere in the 90's they either changed to a different brand of Teflon (which Dupont owns the right to the name so it's no longer called Teflon on the Slick 50 bottle) and/or they may have used less of it, not sure which, all I know I heard it isn't as good as it use to be, so a person may want to look for another source of Teflon. The Teflon did make the wax last longer on the chain and the chain lasted longer but still nowhere near as long as no wax based lubes.

like I've said many time before, my non waxed chains lasted 4 to 5 times longer on average then when I use to wax my chains, regardless if the wax was the melted kind or the bottle kind. And this experience that I have is over a span of 40 plus years so I know it's not a fluke, and from others I spoken to over the years I know it's not just me. But everyones got to do their own thing.

The funny thing about this watts thing, which granted back in day we didn't have watt meters so I'm only going on feel which I know isn't accurate, but I thought I noticed that the drive system seemed a bit sluggish using wax vs when I went to a non waxed chain, but that's contrary to what the test showed, but that test was not done in a real world, it was done in a lab so not sure if it's accurate for the real world and because it was done in the lab controversy has risen up due that so the tests may not be accurate. I find it odd that the pros don't use wax, if it did save watts you would think they would have been using that stuff for years, on dry conditions most use Morgan Blue Rolls Pro, or Sapim (which I can't seem to find on the internet), and a couple are now using Motorex but I think I recalled reading it was the wet lube and not the dry, but Morgan and Sapim are all dry oil based lubes.
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Old 08-04-16, 07:49 AM
  #73  
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I've tried at least 10 different chain lubes, from dry wax to TriFlow to Muc-Off. My chains last ~3,000 miles with all of them, so I'm going to use whatever has the longest service interval. Because kinda lazy. I then fully understand cycocommute's loyalty to wax-- it has worked for him for many years, no reason to change. I got absolutely awful performance out of White Lightning-- the chain would be squeaking within 30 miles. I had to carry a bottle of it in the saddlebag. Finish Line Dry was almost as clean, but had to be applied every other ride at the very least, and sometimes I forget, you know?

My next bottle of chain lube will probably be something else, because I haven't found "the one" yet. It's out there, maybe.
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Old 08-04-16, 09:38 AM
  #74  
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I lub my chain when it gets noisy, so I would say once every 500-600 kilometers. I never ever clean it, I just put some oil on the dirty chain and the noise stop. My chain get dirty but it never get rusty.

I normally go for 8000-10000 kilometers with one chain and last year I replaced my whole drivetrain after about 50000 kilometers.

The oil I use is the one my LBS sells but I don't remember the brand. I always buy the heavy duty type because I take the same oil can for my summer bike and winter bike and around here we have real winters.
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Old 08-04-16, 09:56 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
My next bottle of chain lube will probably be something else, because I haven't found "the one" yet. It's out there, maybe.
I recently tried "Chain L" and bought it on Amazon. It comes in a squeeze bottle with the fold out tip, so applying is easy and clean. It's a bit thicker in consistency than I am used to but it sure does silence gear train noises, esp cross chaining noise (not that I cross chain that much). My only grip with the oil is that it gets black and gooey as you ride. I completely cleaned my chain to like new clean and then applied the Chain L. I did the drop per link thing, on the inside of the chain only (the side that contacts the sprockets). I was told not to lube the outside where it can attract grit.

I'm going out on a club ride this evening after work and did a quick wipe down of the chain, it was easy to wipe down. This Chain L does last a long time (600 miles so far on 1 application) and I will use the gear noise to indicate the need for the next application. It was very affordable too. I'm guessing about $12 for a 4oz bottle that should last an entire season for my bikes.
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