Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

New chain, oil or not needed

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

New chain, oil or not needed

Old 07-28-20, 04:15 AM
  #1  
solman
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 38

Bikes: Trek 720 Hybrid, Trek FXS-5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
New chain, oil or not needed

Hello,
I put a new chain on my friends bike as he had neglected the bike in storage for many years. Frozen links and rust which I could not free up.
My question is do you need to lube the new chain or is the way it shipped good to go.
New chain is a KMC 8 speed chain and my friend is just getting back to riding.
Thanks
solman is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 04:20 AM
  #2  
Pop N Wood
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Maryland
Posts: 478

Bikes: 1982 Bianchi Sport SX, Rayleigh Tamland 1, Rans V-Rex recumbent, Fuji MTB, 80's Cannondale MTB with BBSHD ebike motor, 70's vintage Schwinn Continental and Suburban

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 226 Post(s)
Liked 164 Times in 109 Posts
Believe it or not that is a philosophical question. People like Sheldon Brown think the lube chain manufactures put on new chains is the best you can get, others chemically clean the chain and replace it with their own proprietary mix of lubricants, others like me just go ahead and lube the new chain when putting it on.
Pop N Wood is offline  
Likes For Pop N Wood:
Old 07-28-20, 04:30 AM
  #3  
AnthonyG
Senior Member
 
AnthonyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Queanbeyan, Australia.
Posts: 3,987
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2465 Post(s)
Liked 176 Times in 129 Posts
Brand new chains are good to go for several hundred kilometres/miles before you need to worry about them. Lubricating a new chain will just make it more likely to pick up extra dirt and grit which isn't what you want.
AnthonyG is offline  
Likes For AnthonyG:
Old 07-28-20, 04:47 AM
  #4  
DorkDisk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Kips Bay, NY
Posts: 1,472

Bikes: Ritchey Swiss Cross | Teesdale Kona Hot | Haro Extreme | Specialized Stumpjumper Comp | Cannondale F1000 | Shogun 1000 | Cannondale M500 | Norco Charger | Marin Muirwoods 29er | Hiawatha 3sp | Shogun Kaze | Breezer Lightning

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 282 Post(s)
Liked 258 Times in 156 Posts
Wipe the outside of excess grease and ride the original lube.
DorkDisk is offline  
Likes For DorkDisk:
Old 07-28-20, 05:41 AM
  #5  
Thomas15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NE PA
Posts: 341
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 117 Post(s)
Liked 148 Times in 99 Posts
To lube or not to lube.

That is the question.
Thomas15 is online now  
Old 07-28-20, 05:48 AM
  #6  
Moe Zhoost
Half way there
 
Moe Zhoost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 2,164

Bikes: Many, and the list changes frequently

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 677 Post(s)
Liked 416 Times in 252 Posts
I just install the chain and let the factory lube work it's magic. As DorkDisk recommends, wipe the excess off the exterior.
Moe Zhoost is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 06:08 AM
  #7  
subgrade
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Rīga, Latvia
Posts: 729

Bikes: Focus Crater Lake

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 322 Post(s)
Liked 247 Times in 148 Posts
I usually just put it on and ride until it starts making a noise, then lube.
subgrade is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 11:55 AM
  #8  
Sy Reene
Advocatus Diaboli
 
Sy Reene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Wherever I am
Posts: 6,145

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene, Nashbar steel CX

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3118 Post(s)
Liked 471 Times in 350 Posts
Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
I just install the chain and let the factory lube work it's magic. As DorkDisk recommends, wipe the excess off the exterior.
One caveat. If your lube of choice is going to be a wax based (eg. Pedro's Slick, Smoove, etc), it's generally considered much better to strip a chain of any oil based lubes before using. So, if you ride a new chain as it's been greased at the factory, you'll eventually have to take it back off and do the work anyway to strip/clean it, and then reinstall.
Sy Reene is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 12:17 PM
  #9  
msu2001la
Senior Member
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 715
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 221 Post(s)
Liked 97 Times in 66 Posts
The stock lube on the SRAM chain I recently purchased seemed really heavy and sticky. After a few rides I ran it through my normal chain cleaner and it was still really gross. I took it off and soaked in degreaser, scrubbed it clean and put new lube on it.

It didn't make any difference in how it rode, but it has been much easier to keep clean since doing this.
msu2001la is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 01:07 PM
  #10  
70sSanO
Senior Member
 
70sSanO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 2,230

Bikes: 1986 Cannondale SR400 (Flat bar commuter), 1988 Cannondale Criterium XTR, 1992 Serotta T-Max, 1995 Trek 970

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 489 Post(s)
Liked 219 Times in 163 Posts
I’ve pretty much moved away from using wet lubes, so I strip off the factory lube.

John
70sSanO is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 06:51 PM
  #11  
Toadmeister
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Iowa
Posts: 356

Bikes: 2019 Jamis Renegade Exploit 1x11. Motobacne NX Fat Tire

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 97 Post(s)
Liked 120 Times in 65 Posts
The SRAM 11_SPD chain I just put on had a very tacky lube, like pancake syrup. I whiped it down externally as best as possible with WD-40 to get it off than re-lubed.

Many new chains have a heavy preservative lube to prevent rust but it's not great for riding with as dirt and grime stick to it like glue.
Toadmeister is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 08:15 PM
  #12  
ramzilla
Senior Member
 
ramzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Fernandina Beach FL
Posts: 3,299

Bikes: Vintage Japanese Bicycles, Tange, Ishiwata, Kuwahara

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 634 Post(s)
Liked 214 Times in 171 Posts
I've been using KMC chains for several years now and, I've noticed the thick wax coating causes sluggish shifting & attracts dirt. So, I add lubricant to loosen things up. My favorite go to chain lube is red Type F automatic transmission fluid. I put it into a small 2 oz. plastic Nalgene drop dispenser bottle and place a small amount on each link. Exercise the shifters & drivetrain. Wipe off the excess. Quietest drivetrain & smoothest shifting ever. That's it. That's all. Done deal. Be good. Have fun.
ramzilla is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 09:57 PM
  #13  
scott967
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Oahu, HI
Posts: 1,224

Bikes: 89 Paramount OS 84 Fuji Touring Series III New! 2013 Focus Izalco Ergoride

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 230 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 22 Times in 18 Posts
Agree SRAM chains can be kind of gummy. KMC maybe not quite as bad. But as a waxer, I strip them before use. I wouldn't bother lubing a new chain.

scott s.
.
scott967 is offline  
Old 07-29-20, 07:01 AM
  #14  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 6,077

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1249 Post(s)
Liked 342 Times in 240 Posts
The last few chains I've installed have had various amounts of lube. Some didn't need to be wiped, some needed to be run through a rag dampened with mineral spirits to remove the excess.
pdlamb is offline  
Old 07-29-20, 10:30 AM
  #15  
BNSF
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 73
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 42 Times in 21 Posts
Originally Posted by Toadmeister View Post
The SRAM 11_SPD chain I just put on had a very tacky lube, like pancake syrup. I whiped it down externally as best as possible with WD-40 to get it off than re-lubed.

Many new chains have a heavy preservative lube to prevent rust but it's not great for riding with as dirt and grime stick to it like glue.

Sounds like the stuff they coat new brake rotors with (for your car) to prevent them from rusting in the box. Sticky and oily. Cleans right up though with brake parts cleaner....
BNSF is offline  
Old 07-29-20, 02:29 PM
  #16  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 11,666

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 184 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3702 Post(s)
Liked 1,300 Times in 854 Posts
KMC recommends running their chains as-is, rather than stripping and replacing the original lube. I do that for the first few months on my hybrid/errand bike chains, but when the chain needs lube I use Park CL-1.

Park CL-1 is a medium weight oil with PTFE. It's really tenacious stuff, doesn't wash out in rain and even resists heavy cleaning with soap and hot water, and "green" spray degreasers. PTFE leaves a distinctive slippery but non-greasy film.

With this technique I may clean and lube the chain once or twice a year at most. It runs quietly and shifts well. I may change chains every couple of years.

When I relube with CL-1 I don't drizzle it all over the entire chain. I apply a single drop every few inches along the chain, maybe half a dozen droplets. Then ride. It gradually distributes itself while riding. Then wipe off the excess after around 20-50 miles.

Park CL-1 isn't one of the sexy lubes often recommended on various chain lube friction tests. In those tests it usually ranks close to dead last for some reason. But I've found it satisfactory and low maintenance for 5 years on my hybrids.

My road bikes are a whole nuther story. I've fussed and fretted with melted wax, "wet" wax, stuff like Rock 'n' Roll Gold and Absolute Dry with PTFE, etc. It's a constant battle chasing a tiny advantage. Not sure it's worth the effort.
canklecat is offline  
Old 07-29-20, 02:45 PM
  #17  
sdmc530
Heft On Wheels
 
sdmc530's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,773

Bikes: Specialized,Cannondale,Argon 18

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 746 Post(s)
Liked 303 Times in 223 Posts
Jon Cannings on GCN says its the best lube on the market for a wet lube. However it will attract more dirt than standard lubes.
sdmc530 is offline  
Old 07-29-20, 02:50 PM
  #18  
tsmith41094
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Canton, OH
Posts: 56

Bikes: Canyon Aeroad CF SLX Disc, Trek Madone SLR

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
I typically ride for a few hundred miles with the new chain as-is.

But I tend to prefer a lighter dry lube in general so after that I do a thorough de-grease and re-lube.

The stuff that comes on it from factory is pretty thick and durable (and a pain to get completely cleaned off). Can probably get away with riding it for quite some time.
tsmith41094 is offline  
Old 07-29-20, 04:19 PM
  #19  
aclinjury
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 467
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 357 Post(s)
Liked 99 Times in 75 Posts
Originally Posted by Thomas15 View Post
To lube or not to lube.

That is the question.
lube always is smoother
aclinjury is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.