Author Topic: Chain Lube  (Read 3825 times)

Chain Lube
« on: February 26, 2019, 09:11:33 am »
Hi All,

Can anyone offer suggestions for a chain lube that does not make your chain go all black, oily and yukky after just one ride and that doesn't have the magic property of being able to deposit the said residue on your yellow jacket even though you swear your sleeve never went within 6" of the chain?

Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2019, 09:55:40 am »
some wax-based lubes are cleaner like you want but they may or may not suit you in other respects.

cheers

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2019, 09:58:13 am »
I've optimistically moved to dry lube on the Sunday best. I wouldn't usually do this and I run wet on the day bike but I enjoyed my trundle so much running dry the other day I won't be going back.

And it makes the chain look peng.
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Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2019, 10:08:05 am »
I find that "dry" lubes tend not to last that long, so frequent re-application is required.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2019, 10:17:47 am »
I find that "dry" lubes tend not to last that long, so frequent re-application is required.

This. I find that you nneed to apply after every long ride or two shorter rides. Wax lub lasts a bit longer but the dream of a dry lube that doesnt attract dirt and smear the user is just that - a dream imo (but someone here may know of a product that works)

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2019, 10:41:04 am »
chains on my bikes stay clean with the wet lube. this can be achieved by not overlubing (i.e. small drop of oil across each roller and wipe the chain clean after) and by wiping it off (along with chainrings/cassette/jockey wheels) after every longer ride. repeat the lubing procedure every ~500km or when the chain gets chatty.

Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2019, 11:21:02 am »
This:

I find that "dry" lubes tend not to last that long, so frequent re-application is required.

and this:
chains on my bikes stay clean with the wet lube. this can be achieved by not overlubing (i.e. small drop of oil across each roller and wipe the chain clean after) and by wiping it off (along with chainrings/cassette/jockey wheels) after every longer ride. repeat the lubing procedure every ~500km or when the chain gets chatty.

Beware dry lubes. I use them, but some are mostly solvent carrier which evaporates leaving not much lubrication...hence need to reapply.

I use wet lubes in winter, apply, leave for a bit then wipe. Chain cleaned weekly.  In summer, dry lube re-applied frequently.

There is no magic solution. Currently like Morgan Blue Race Oil as a happy medium.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2019, 12:49:19 pm »
The black ick is composed largely of chain, so there's no way to avoid generating that (other than by not having a chain).  If you really want to keep it off your leg, enclose the chain.  Top tip: Black jackets don't show the dirt as badly.

Dry lube seems completely unsuitable for long rides in BRITISH conditions.  Fine if you've got a lovingly-fettled race bike or something.

Wet lubes are all broadly similar, with the thicker ones being longer lasting and somewhat better at preventing the chain from rusting in winter, but correspondingly worse at accumulating road gunk.  As I have recumbents in the stable, my preferred lube is a relatively thin wet lube, to avoid clogging chain tubes and idlers up with excess schmoo.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2019, 02:17:13 pm »
Yeah dry lube is definitely not a sensible daily driver in British conditions but for the Sunday best it's terrific. I think it is actually better for the long term health of the chain too.

A small squeeze of the stuff in a mini soy sauce bottle goes in the ride kit in case it needs emergency lubing but I've yet to require it. When I went touring in NED/DE for 9 days last summer I think I reapplied once.
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Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2019, 05:46:50 pm »
Rock 'N Roll Gold is nice and for a dry(ish) lube lasts a reasonably long time, though not like a wet lube. I'd rather re-apply it often than use a wet lube and end up with everything black and gunky quickly, though.
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2019, 07:04:42 pm »

I've been using Chain-L lube on my bike for the last 12000km or so. I apply it everytime it seems to need it, which is about when turning the pedals backwards by hand isn't smooth. In dry conditions this is about every 800km or so (I've yet to get the supposed 1600+km advertised). My approach is to rub chain with cloth, apply lube, leave it over night, ride. I've just come to accept that for the millage I do, I'm gonna get through chains, it's gonna need lube, but spending excessive amounts of time cleaning the chain is just not worth it for the return on investment. A KMC X10sl gets me about 4500km. I use the SL variant as it has hollow pins, which makes it a lot easier to make stuff afterwards with the chain. I currently am experimenting in a line of pendants and ear rings... I've been pondering asking a knife maker to try making a Damascus blade for me with a dead chain.

I am still on the original bottle of Chain-L. I have one more in stock, I don't know what I will do when it runs out, as I can't find it for sale in .nl, the bottles I have, I bought with me from the UK.

I'm also the sort of girl that just accepts that from April through end of September my skin care regime for my legs is going to involve applications of black gunk from the chain... This year I've started early, with chain gunk on both shins already...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2019, 08:02:58 pm »
I've been using Smoove lube for the last year. It's impressively clean for a wet lube and economical, but not as durable as the Fenwick's Stealth I was using before.

Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2019, 10:34:23 pm »
As Kim stated the black gunk is mostly particles of chain and the more oil you have on the chain the more you will find it migrating to body and clothing. Wipe and oil the chain little and often as per ZZ's recommendation and my advice is don't waste money on bike specific lubes with stupid names being sold at ridiculous prices.
Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2019, 11:48:00 am »
As Kim stated the black gunk is mostly particles of chain and the more oil you have on the chain the more you will find it migrating to body and clothing. Wipe and oil the chain little and often as per ZZ's recommendation and my advice is don't waste money on bike specific lubes with stupid names being sold at ridiculous prices.

Well I definitely notice the difference when using a good lube like Rock 'N Roll Gold, shifting is noticeably smoother and the chain doesn't seem to pick up gunk as quickly. It's also easier to wipe down the chain compared to thicker lubes, which removes what black stuff there is.
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2019, 10:37:36 pm »
Just a little hint.  I recently had a new chain fitted and the mechanic who did it told me that new chains all come with lubricant in them, which should not be cleaned out with excessive solvents etc, because once the original has been removed, it is v difficult to replace.  So perhaps we should all be a little less enthusiastic in this area?  (p.s. I am a major sinner, somehow I've got to get a grip)

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2019, 10:46:42 pm »
The factory lube is excellent (ETA: I use SRAM chains), but it's also horrendously sticky and crud-attracting.  My approach is to wipe the worst of it off the outside of the new chain with a GT85-soaked cloth, and leave it for as long as reasonably possible before cleaning.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2019, 01:09:45 am »
the factory lube varies from one chain to another.  It seems worth leaving on the chain if it is a SRAM, shimano or KMC chain, and you intend to ride on relatively clean, dry roads. It might last 500 miles that way. However  if you ride in rather more uh, 'average' conditions the chain will need cleaning/relubing well before that.


I am pretty sure that some lubes 'don't attract the dirt' but then again they don't actually lubricate the chain that well either. However it probably doesn't matter  that much what lube you use once the lube is dirty enough; it will just work like grinding paste regardless.

FWIW one of my chums has (unusually) been using one bike/chain only on a home trainer this winter. The chain (which has been lubricated with a synthetic oil)  has done 2000km now and  the lube is looking black between the side plates in the usual way (which in this case I'd associate with being full of chain wear debris rather than dirt). I mean to ask him to measure it to be sure, but  I'd equate the look of the chain with one that has   done a lot less than half the mileage on the road, even when the roads are clean.

cheers

Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2019, 06:31:26 pm »
the factory lube varies from one chain to another.  It seems worth leaving on the chain if it is a SRAM, shimano or KMC chain, and you intend to ride on relatively clean, dry roads.

So not worth leaving on for Campagnolo chain? Is the stuff they put on that more just to stop corrosion in the packet?
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2019, 11:44:42 pm »
to me it seems more like a preserving oil than a grease per se on campag chains, but tbh I have not fitted many new campag chains in recent years, so I have less experience with these.  What do other folk think on this point?

cheers

Arno

  • Arno
Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2019, 08:18:16 am »
I have been happily using 'progold prolink' for a number of years, its also thin / solvent-based, so the chain stays cleaner than with a winter lube, with the caveat that it needs to be applied more often as mentioned upthread.

pdm

  • Sheffield hills? Nah... Just potholes.
Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2019, 08:18:32 am »
Back to OT.
I am a fan of ProGold Prolink Chain Lube.
Drip on while rotating chain one revolution, rotate chain for about 15 seconds and wipe off by rotating chain through a "wipe off" rag for another 20-30 seconds. Easy to use & chain stays a lot cleaner than with any other lubes I have used. I use it about once every couple of weeks and after wet rides. I also tend to rotate the chain through the "wipe off" rag after every ride to keep the chain shiny - takes literally 5 seconds. Chain always looks clean.
Every 3-6 months or so (depending on use) I clean the cassette, chain rings and jockey wheels to remove any buildup of crud.
Shop around for good prices... (£6 for 4oz; £16 for 16oz.)
(Crosspost with Arno!)

Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2019, 11:51:15 am »
I used to use Prolink, but I don't anymore. The fact that it is touted as a chain cleaner might tell you something about it's solvent to lubricant ratio.

It came out very badly in the friction facts tests. In fact as did most of the dry lubes. From memory there were also comments relating to increased chain wear from using these types of lubes.

The section on chain life is also interesting. Campag Chorus a and higher come out very well, SRAM not. Shimano pretty good, KMC mostly not.


Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2019, 01:08:25 pm »
I used to use Prolink, but I don't anymore. The fact that it is touted as a chain cleaner might tell you something about it's solvent to lubricant ratio.

It came out very badly in the friction facts tests. In fact as did most of the dry lubes. From memory there were also comments relating to increased chain wear from using these types of lubes.

Rock 'N Roll Gold came out better in the friction/efficiency tests than Prolink, though the application/wipe method is similar - see:
https://www.scribd.com/document/262044061/Velo-Friction-Facts-Chain-Lube-Efficiency-Tests

This chain wear test is also an interesting read:
https://cyclingtips.com/2018/03/fast-chain-lube-that-saves-you-money/

Quote
The section on chain life is also interesting. Campag Chorus a and higher come out very well, SRAM not. Shimano pretty good, KMC mostly not.

I use a SRAM PC-991 chain on my Hewitt Cheviot tourer, it has both inner and outer plates nickel plated, so it doesn't rust to bits as quickly over winter, which is what seems to happen for most chains used in all weathers, all year round, way before the rollers wear.

My new Mercian Strada Speciale (still waiting...) will be getting Campagnolo Record chain (10-speed), but it won't be used in winter.

Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2019, 01:22:41 pm »
I use a SRAM PC-991 chain on my Hewitt Cheviot tourer, it has both inner and outer plates nickel plated, so it doesn't rust to bits as quickly over winter, which is what seems to happen for most chains used in all weathers, all year round, way before the rollers wear.

+1  I've been using PC-991 on my hybrid after a Shimano chain rusted solid over a weekend.  Well worth it for low-mileage bikes that get exposed to all the winter crud and neglected, if you don't want to go for the slopping-with-oil-inside-a-chaincase approach.  The chain life (in terms of mileage) is underwhelming compared to my other bikes, but I attribute this to the different style of riding as much as grinding paste.

My other bikes have PC-971 and whatever the 10-speed equivalent is.  I generally give them a wipe after a wet ride.  The tourer gets left outdoors in the rain from time to time, but is generally ridden within 24 hours of doing so, so rust hasn't been a problem in the same way.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Chain Lube
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2019, 01:50:57 pm »
I use SRAM 11sp chains  currently because they are £12. Through winter, with weekly cleaning and lubing I get about 1000 miles out of them