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How do YOU lube your chain?

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How do YOU lube your chain?

Old 11-24-12, 09:15 AM
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How do YOU lube your chain?

I've searched, but I'm not sure I have found THE best way to lube a chain. What I do is clean it with degreaser and a chain cleaner (Finish Line model)to get things nice and clean and then put copius amounts of Tri-flow on the chain while rotating the pedal. After allowing it to 'soak' for a bit, I put a rag around the chain and rotate the pedals to remove the excess oil. This seems to work OK at the expense of using a lot of oil. I've seen that some take the time to put a drop of oil on each link which seems the most efficient at the expense of time. What do y'all do?

Also, it seems that even though I've used the degreaser and chain cleaner, after lubing it I'll still get black on my calves if I touch the chain on the next ride out. Do I have to pull off the chain and soak it to get rid of this, or is there no way to really clean a used chain well enough that it doesn't get black on you if you touch it?

I'm still kinda new at all this, so I'd appreciate your advice and experience!
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Old 11-24-12, 09:32 AM
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the only way i know of avoiding getting grease on you from the chain is using a chain guard.
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Old 11-24-12, 09:37 AM
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I fill a quart or liter size jar with a lid mix an approximate 60/40 mineral spirit/30wt motor oil solution about half full. Add chain, place lid and shake. Let soak. Repeat. Inspect chain and if it's still crusty brush the crust with old toothbrush and put it back in the solution. Shake, remove and hang over some old container (or the wife's clean kitchen floor - she'll appreciate your thoughtfulness). When it stops dripping wipe gently with and rag and reinstall on bike.

Cheap and HIGHLY effective.

I also have one of those gizmos that you clamp on a chain while it's on the bike that I pour some of that solution in and every so often will run the chain through. This keeps the chain from getting crusty but I'm not sure it really gets lube deep in the pinhousing.

And BTW never, ever lube a new chain until A) you've ridden it in pouring rain or B) it's filthy.

TriFlo is nice and all and I use it on brake pivots and inside cable housing.
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Old 11-24-12, 10:26 AM
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Often.


Winter, less commuting, less riding, I just lube every week, wipe down dirt, then replace sooner,

Mine is an IGH, so 3/32" chains .. they are less than 9,10,etc.


Park's chain wash devise, and fluid by the quart , is a reasonable clean the chain on the bike
approach.

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-03-12 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 11-24-12, 10:34 AM
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Drizzle Rock n Roll Gold on the chain as I rotate backwards. Give the pedal 3-4 turns. Wipe. Done.
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Old 11-24-12, 10:39 AM
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Hot wax chain lubers claim they never get calf tattoos. The process is, however, somewhat labor intensive and, if you're not careful, may burn your house down. I think there may be an incantation that goes with the process also. It's too bothersome for me.

I wait until my chain starts making noise, clean the outside with a rag and (sometimes) a little WD40, drip on the smallest amount of chain lube I can mamage, wait a while for it to soak in and try to wipe any residue off of the outside of the chain with a clean rag. My chains will leave a mark on my fingers or leg but I don't care.
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Old 11-24-12, 01:39 PM
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I lube the chain by it going through my mouth, it's slimy enough
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Old 11-24-12, 01:41 PM
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I've lubed my chain the same way for over 50 years. I use a squirt can of kerosene/old rag to clean with a follow up by a squirt can of either 3 in 1 oil or 5w-30 motor oil.

Does this method work well??

In 50 yrs of cycling I've replaced one chain on a bike I forgot and left out over the winter. On all my other bikes stored inside a building not one chain ever broke or wore to the point of needing replacement.
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Old 11-24-12, 02:57 PM
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I tried this a couple months ago and was amazed at how much quieter my chain was.
I thought it was quiet before I used it.

https://chain-l.com/
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Old 11-24-12, 05:36 PM
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The best way to avoid a chain ring tattoo is to not let your calf touch the chain.
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Old 11-24-12, 05:43 PM
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Been using the hot wax method for over 30 years.
Easy, cheap, quiet, re-usable, no chain tattoo/gunk on chain or clothing/leg.
No, have never put the house on fire doing it; usually do it outside or in the garage.
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Old 11-24-12, 06:31 PM
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should be totally clean before lubing. any good orange or lemon-based degreaser will work. I use Dupont motorcycle chain cleaner to remove the heavy stuff. wait 5-10 minutes. then I hit it with a garden hose with a pressure gun to remove the finer remaining bits of gunk stuck on the chain. then wipe it down with a clean lint-free rag. wait half hour to dry. for lube I use dupont teflon chain-saver which is a spray.
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Old 11-24-12, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by rdtompki
Drizzle Rock n Roll Gold on the chain as I rotate backwards. Give the pedal 3-4 turns. Wipe. Done.
Same here, but I don't wipe, unless I spill it on the rim brake.
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Old 11-24-12, 07:19 PM
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I confess I just lube my chain with Mobile 1 motor oil. Seems to work very well for me.
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Old 11-24-12, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by northernlights
should be totally clean before lubing. any good orange or lemon-based degreaser will work. I use Dupont motorcycle chain cleaner to remove the heavy stuff. wait 5-10 minutes. then I hit it with a garden hose with a pressure gun to remove the finer remaining bits of gunk stuck on the chain. then wipe it down with a clean lint-free rag. wait half hour to dry. for lube I use dupont teflon chain-saver which is a spray.
*shudder*
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Old 11-24-12, 08:08 PM
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I soak a spot about 1.5" in diameter on a high nap washcloth with Pro Link Gold and hold it against the chain while rotating it. Keep doing this until the chain has taken up most of the fluid. Capillary action takes the lube right into the roller/pin areas. Done, with no waste. bk
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Old 11-24-12, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo
*shudder*
have anything to contribute? or are you just trolling?
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Old 11-24-12, 10:49 PM
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I wipe off as much dirt as possible with a rag then drizzle some oil on it. Let it sit for 15 minutes then wipe off excess.
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Old 11-25-12, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by GaryPitts
I've searched, but I'm not sure I have found THE best way to lube a chain. What I do is clean it with degreaser and a chain cleaner (Finish Line model)to get things nice and clean and then put copius amounts of Tri-flow on the chain while rotating the pedal. After allowing it to 'soak' for a bit, I put a rag around the chain and rotate the pedals to remove the excess oil. This seems to work OK at the expense of using a lot of oil. I've seen that some take the time to put a drop of oil on each link which seems the most efficient at the expense of time. What do y'all do?

Also, it seems that even though I've used the degreaser and chain cleaner, after lubing it I'll still get black on my calves if I touch the chain on the next ride out. Do I have to pull off the chain and soak it to get rid of this, or is there no way to really clean a used chain well enough that it doesn't get black on you if you touch it?

I'm still kinda new at all this, so I'd appreciate your advice and experience!

In the olden days there were two approaches: 1) remove & soak the chain in kerosene & scrub dirt off...hang up chain & let dry or wipe dry then spray lube/drip oil & let it soak thru, then wipe off excess OR 2) use motor engine degreaser with chain on bike--brush chain to loosen crud & spray off with garden hose & then spray on lube (pro racer style). Only problem now is that (at least in USA) the degreasers sold are not as powerful & seem to leave chain a bit grimy. Plus relubing with chain-on-bike wastes some often-expensive lube which winds up on rear rim unless one removes the rear wheel & uses a hub gadget to allow chain rotation.

For a pristeen chain I'd recommend removing the chain (pretty easy with the special links), putting the chain into a plastic bottle with kerosene & swishing it around (soaking time doesn't hurt either) & put it into a pan to brush scrub...& then swishing the chain in another bottle to remove dirty residue--hang up chain, wipe dry & add lube then wipe clean. (When putting the chain into the kero bottles tie fishing line to enable easy removal.) Perhaps this is too anal but with the EZ links & perhaps a spare chain to use while the other is being cleaned...it's gonna give a clean chain.

Not sure if it's scientific but I think that a chain that has bigger grit removed but with micro-grit remaining (ie still leaving black stain) is still going to get wear. Chain maintenance is a PITA but pays off, the more the better IMHO. I'd love to see when IGH hubs/belt-drive become cheap & standard for all non-racers. A motorcyclist friend traded in her chain-drive motorcycle for a shaft drive specifically to end pesky chain maintenance.
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Old 11-25-12, 06:05 AM
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I have been using a Park chain gang cleaner for 10 years or so, and it works great. I fill it with Simple Green degreaser, run the chain through it, and rinse with water. If the chain is dirtier than usual, I will repeat the process. I use Kleenbore gun conditioner to lube the chain. It lubricates and protects well, but is easier to clean up than common lubricants. I clean and lube the chain weekly, doing so kerns things smooth, and extends the life of the driveline.
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Old 11-25-12, 06:42 AM
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I use whatever oil is in the can at the moment, seldom need to clean the chains I have chainguards/chaincases and fenders.

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Old 11-25-12, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bkaapcke
I soak a spot about 1.5" in diameter on a high nap washcloth with Pro Link Gold and hold it against the chain while rotating it. Keep doing this until the chain has taken up most of the fluid. Capillary action takes the lube right into the roller/pin areas. Done, with no waste. bk
Pretty much what I've been doing for a few years.
If the chain is funkier than usual, I wipe it with a WD40-soaked rag first, then let it dry before lubing as above.
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Old 11-25-12, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by northernlights
have anything to contribute? or are you just trolling?
See the beginning of the thread. I contributed.

Degreaser is the kiss of death for a chain. Right up there with WD-40.

Shame on you.
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Old 11-25-12, 10:40 AM
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I take porpoise oil and rub a good amount of it all over a kitten's or baby rabbit's belly. Then I hold them (whichever it is) straddling the top run of chain while spinning the cranks backward.

Kind of a hassle but you just don't get that quality feel any other way.
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Old 11-25-12, 10:59 AM
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