Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

3-IN-ONE for Fixed Chain?

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Old 06-23-05, 12:23 AM
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HereNT
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3-IN-ONE for Fixed Chain?

For some reason, I don't want to bring up the subject of oil (or lubes of any sort) in the mechanics forum, and this is on a fixie, so....

I was running really low on real chain lube yesterday, and just grabbed a bottle of this stuff (it's the drip kind, not the spray bottle with the teflon additive) and lubed up my chain. Lots of black stuff dripping off the chain and onto my floor. That's a good sign, I think. I've had a really dirty chain and lots of noise for the last month or so, and it didn't seem to be fixable. There's been a lot of rain, so sand everywhere Plus all my teeth are worn, I'm using a $7 cheapo BMX chain, and my chainline is about a MM off. So I figured I'd just have to live with sounding like I had a freewheel...

Anyways, after about four miles, the noise is much, much, MUCH better. Then this afternoon on the way to work, it's down to nearly silent. I can only hear my chain if I tilt my head down to look at the cranks, which gets rid of the wind noise, and even then I have to really be cranking or backpedaling to hear it. All I can think is "WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

So a brief search that either brought up way too many threads, or too few tonight. Seems like a lot of people over in the Mechanics forum hate the stuff. Gums up and can eat up plastic parts. But I don't think either of those would apply to me. The only plastic on my bike is the lights and my bar plugs (OK, brake cable and pads, but those are leaving when I rebuild the Bianchi soon.) Gumming up would seem to be more of a problem if you're running a derailleur or two. I try to keep my drivechain cleaned and lubed once every week or two, which I think would also help with the gumming up.

So I'm wondering if anyone else has tried this stuff on a fixie. Seems to me that cheaper+quieter=win, but maybe I'm missing something here. I also like the idea of using a lube that's more oldschool. They didn't have wax-based teflon lubes back in the day - so they must have used something like this, right?
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Old 06-23-05, 12:30 AM
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well the quieter part is probably just because you now have *some* lube on your chain. I'd ditch the 3-in-1 though. Especially if its sandy out. That shtuff's going attract dirt like crazy.
If you want cheap then just use homebrew. 3-4 parts mineral spirits to 1 part (synthetic) motor oil. pretty much just like prolink.
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Old 06-23-05, 12:30 AM
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I've been using some bicycle chain lube I got at the dollar store for the past year. very similar to 3 in 1. drippy and dirty but I like it. every few months I wipe off the chain with a rag and re-apply. my ride is super silent.
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Old 06-23-05, 12:31 AM
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as for the lack of wax lubes back in the day... They sorta did have them. not in a comvienent botteld pre-packaged form though. people would take a block of parrafin and melt it, and dip their whole chain in that.
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Old 06-23-05, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by baxtefer
well the quieter part is probably just because you now have *some* lube on your chain.
No, it's a definite difference between the regular bike lube and the 3-in-one. Over the last couple of months, I've cleaned my drive train pretty meticulously (read, floss all teeth with a rag, run chain through a chain cleaner, then remove all the oil on the plates missed by the chain cleaner with a rag, run under hot water, check for tight links, reassemble, lube well with White Lightning or ProLink) a couple of times, and still had noise after putting everything together. It's got to be a difference between the two styles of lubricant.

Originally Posted by baxtefer
as for the lack of wax lubes back in the day... They sorta did have them. not in a comvienent botteld pre-packaged form though. people would take a block of parrafin and melt it, and dip their whole chain in that.
Hmm, I like the sound of that. It would be kind of fun to do with natural beeswax - 'What do you lube your chain with?' - 'None of your beeswax!'
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Old 06-23-05, 08:37 AM
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I've never particularly cared for the waxy stuff. I used it on my touring bike for 6 months and would have to reapply at LEAST every week.

When I got my first fixie, all I used was pro-link. The stuff is too thin, and doesn't last very long. I'm not that meticulous about cleaning my chain, so I looked for something else.

I started using Phil's Tenacious Oil and WD-40. It rocks - only need to clean and reapply every month, and it makes your drivetrain super quiet.

Clean chain (I use Dawn + a brush + and a garden hose). Dry. Apply Phil's Oil to each link. Rotate drivetrain many times to get good penetration. Wipe chain with a rag to get excess oil off (you'll still see the gooey strings going from your chainring/cog to the chain). Apply WD-40 to a rag. Run rag over the chain a few times. Repeat application of WD-40 as necessary until the gooey strings stop. Ride.
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Old 06-23-05, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by HereNT
Hmm, I like the sound of that. It would be kind of fun to do with natural beeswax - 'What do you lube your chain with?' - 'None of your beeswax!'
I tried this out recently, cause I got sick of oil lubes washing off every time it rained.
It seems to last about 1-2 months, but I haven't ridden in the rain a lot since I've tried it so I don't know how it holds up to wet conditions -- the real test will be how it holds up next winter.

I used 4 parts parrafin to 1 part beeswax. I think the main benefit of adding I beeswax is that is smells nice
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Old 06-23-05, 11:13 AM
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I don't like chain lube that is really wet it picks too much junk up. I usually roll with some White Lightining, White Lightining Epic (formerly Race Day) or Krytech by Finish Line. I think White Lightening is the best but I will use whatever of those 3 is open in the shop at that moment.
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