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What chain lube for touring?

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What chain lube for touring?

Old 12-22-05, 02:10 PM
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What chain lube for touring?

I used to use BullShot chain lube and because it's so thick and gives the appearance of good protection for the chain I found that I would only lube the chain about once a week while on tour. And the rain didn't seem to phase this stuff. The only problem is that it is really messy and gooey after it sets. Lately I've been using Pro Link, but because it is a thiner formula I tend to lube the chain every-other day now. I do like that the chain and cogs stay much cleaner. I'd like to hear other recommendation as to choice of lube products and your chain lube routine while on tour, believing that preventive measures offer the best chance of avoiding problems down the road.

Thanks,

Ted
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Old 12-22-05, 02:55 PM
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You shouldn't need to lube the chain more often than once every month or so on the road unless you're cleaning the chain or had heavy rains that washed the lube off.

And I generally use synthetic oils these days such as Pedro's Synlube.
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Old 12-22-05, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom
You shouldn't need to lube the chain more often than once every month or so...

.

I don't have any clue what cyclintom is talking about here....and I wonder if he does as well!

I've been using prolink, and reapplying about every other day on tours, just like you have been. It seems to keep things clean, and keeps things lubed. In colder fouler conditions I've been glopping on Phil's Tenacious or the Cross Country lubes, and these are very sloppy, even if you wipe the chains down thoroughly after applying.

I'm going to try some snow tours with prolink in January, and will report if I remember.
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Old 12-22-05, 04:52 PM
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Been using White Lightning a wax lube that sort of self cleans. For wet conditions I'll back it up with it's counterpart Raceday, which is for wet, winter, & longer rides. As far as how often to lube? I go by sound because I like a nice quiet well lubed chain. Which translates to most everyday out on the road, after about 80 - 90 miles I can start to hear the chain, thus time to lube.

Once a month? I'll clean the chain more than that even under "ideal" clean & dry conditions.

I'm now on my second chain for nearly 12 years of riding, original cogs/gears intact.
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Old 12-22-05, 05:10 PM
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I know I'm a Philistine, but I use a self-concocted melted wax blend.

3 parts paraffin (Gulf wax)
1 part beeswax
1 squirt of powdered graphite
1/2 teaspoon lithium grease

Melt all over low heat (some suggest a double boiler - but if you're not an idiot, you can just use one pot) Then put a cleaned chain in for about 10 mins (enough time to heat up the chain to the temp of the wax (Make sure it doesn't smoke - you may have to take the pot off the burner to mediate the heat)

Then put the pot aside for about 10 more mins.... get a couple sheets of newspaper and coat hanger - pull the chain out, and put on the paper. Let cool.

Put back on, and you're good for about 150 miles (that's when I start hearing noise) even in winter crappola. Nice clean drivetrain, which is the secret to keeping things working properly.

Just buy a cheap pot for this method, and let the wax harden and stay in the pot.
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Old 12-22-05, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
I know I'm a Philistine, but I use a self-concocted melted wax blend.

3 parts paraffin (Gulf wax)
1 part beeswax
1 squirt of powdered graphite
1/2 teaspoon lithium grease




Just buy a cheap pot for this method, and let the wax harden and stay in the pot.
Thanks for the "recipe"!!
I used to use straight paraffin when I lived in the desert southwest (20 years ago), but the chain would rust when in humid weather (where I am now).

Yeah, and the dirt stays in the bottom of the pot so it can be removed when cold, trimmed off, then the rest of the wax mixture is reusable next time. Right?

Is the beeswax that you use real or the fake stuff?
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Old 12-22-05, 05:30 PM
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Only real.. get it at Rocky's in biscuit size/shaped chunks - even smells like honey!
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Old 12-22-05, 11:36 PM
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prolink - especially while touring. I used to love white lightning, but it didn't last when riding everyday in alot of rain.

I've always wanted to try the wax treatment - but is it really only good for 150 miles? That's alot of taking the chain on and off. . .
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Old 12-23-05, 12:17 AM
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I have used Finish line chain lube for a long time. my second favorite lube is what I scrounge from discarded motor oil cans at gas stations when I forget to bring chain lube.
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Old 12-23-05, 05:44 AM
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Ive used the drips from discarded oil cans. It works but it is really messy and attracts dirt.
Usually I carry a small bottle of finish line and apply daily. I try fly with a clean, dry chain.
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Old 12-23-05, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by kesroberts
I've always wanted to try the wax treatment - but is it really only good for 150 miles? That's alot of taking the chain on and off. . .
Well that's when it's wet/slushy and I'm riding part time on snowmobile tracks (ya know.... this time of year!) In summer dry conditions, you can get about twice that milage between waxing.

It's really not a big deal. I use SRAM chains with a powerlink, so getting the chain off isn't a problem (and remember it's not greasy and dirty, so your hands stay clean.

The whole procedure takes about an hr - but most of that time is just waiting for chain to cool so you can put it back on. (I usually do 2 chains at once, so I only have to do this half the amount of times)
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Old 12-23-05, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Rogerinchrist
Been using White Lightning a wax lube that sort of self cleans.
Great lube. Highly recommended.
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Old 12-23-05, 11:36 AM
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I am discovering that I tend to underestimate how dirty a chain can get, and how often a chain needs to be lubricated.

My "big" trip in 2005 was a week long, and I had good weather every day. I rode on pavement about 95% of the time. I found that the chain was "thirsty" pretty well every other day. (I use a synthetic lube.) After oiling, the drive train was noticeably quieter and gear changes were more positive.

I did not do a lot of riding in 2005, so I cleaned my chain twice only: at the start of the season, and just before I put my bicycle away for the winter. (I use the Park Chainmate chain cleaning tool.) The crud that peeled off the chain in November astonished me, two or three tablespoons worth of greasy solids. After thoroughly cleaning the chain and relubing it, I rode around the block. My bike felt light as a feather. All that schmutz creates resistance. Next year, I will use my cleaning tool more often, perhaps every month or two.
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Old 12-23-05, 03:45 PM
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For dusty conditions dry lubes or thick synthetic lubes are a big hassle. The best thing to use in my experience is a light oil, like a motor oil or 3 in 1. By the end of each day most of the oil is gone, but because of that no dust or grit gets caught up inside. With synthetics after a few days the chain will really need a thorough clean which can be a real hassle on the road, even if you use sram powerlinks. Plus each day theres grit and crap in the chain the wear is much higher. Same thing for waxes - dust will build up on the chain and before you reapply the chain will need properly cleaned with kerosene or something.

And its much cheaper.
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Old 12-26-05, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by acantor
I did not do a lot of riding in 2005, so I cleaned my chain twice only: at the start of the season, and just before I put my bicycle away for the winter. (I use the Park Chainmate chain cleaning tool.) The crud that peeled off the chain in November astonished me, two or three tablespoons worth of greasy solids. After thoroughly cleaning the chain and relubing it, I rode around the block. My bike felt light as a feather. All that schmutz creates resistance. Next year, I will use my cleaning tool more often, perhaps every month or two.
i put about a 100ml of a 50/50 mixture of petrol and detergent into a plastic coke/powerade bottle, drop in the chain, put the top and shake it ... if it's really dirty, i lay the bottle on its side and put it on the top of the washing machine, then i use an old spoke to fish the chain out, wipe it down and hang it out to dry, then reinstall back on bike and lube it thoroughly ... really good for getting absolutely every little bit of crud out of your chain ...
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Old 12-26-05, 10:07 PM
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Tri-Flow, baby! As an extra bonus, it's useful as a general-purpose penetrating lubricant for anything that needs light oil from time to time. Anything that can do extra duty is good with me, and it's a wet lube, which means no rust. I don't like rust!
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Old 12-26-05, 11:28 PM
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They all pretty much suck.

They either wash off in the rain or get black and sticky. Some are worse than others.
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Old 12-27-05, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by halfspeed
They all pretty much suck.

They either wash off in the rain or get black and sticky. Some are worse than others.
You know, I pretty much agree with halfspeed. I'm using Prolink right now, but I think I've used them all thru the years (including wax), and none of them are magic.

Ted "still lubing the chain QOD" Phelps
Central Valley, CA
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Old 12-28-05, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by halfspeed
They all pretty much suck.

They either wash off in the rain or get black and sticky. Some are worse than others.
I concur. That's why white lightening is best. Carry a small bottle with you, don't need to clean the chain just add the lube. I know you minimalist won't agree but....a small bottle is only a few ounces(100mls).
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