Author Topic: Chain Lub. - an experiment  (Read 5066 times)

Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2013, 12:14:45 am »
I'd tend towards caution about furniture polish. Any polish is basically a fine abrasive (just what your chain needs to make it shiny :demon:). The remaining ingredients have traditionally been about clever salemanship.

I'm not sure about this. I've made up my own polish. Wax, oils and a minor solvent.
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Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2013, 12:25:44 am »
If you've made up your own without abrasives, I withdraw my reservations. I'll be interested to see the results, since I'm only too well aware of the effects of wet weather.

Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2013, 07:10:24 am »
The economies of chain cleaning and lubing are well documented on the CTC forum.
AFAIC, a £9.99 chain can last a few months and then is replaced. Cleaning and lubing is a quick procedure.
Those who buy £25 chains have also bought themselves into time wasting cleaning and lubing their expensive acquisition.

Biggsy

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Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2013, 11:01:18 am »
I suppose the stuff sold as "furniture polish" is more of a "furniture shiny-upper" than a true polish.

Wax on top of oil and grease sounds a recipe for nasty sludge to me.  (Wax on a dry chain being a different matter).
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Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2013, 11:16:55 am »
I think the sort of spray mentioned by Ningz has the wax component replaced by silicone
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2013, 09:10:50 pm »
Chain re-tensioned for the third time today. It was only 127 miles since the previous tensioning. I think that's short enough to show that all traces of the original lub. had gone, but I feel it was worth continuing the experiment to confirm the conventional wisdom that a rattly, squeaky chain wears very rapidly. Progold has now been applied. I no longer have to suppress my mechanical sympathies ;).

Hopefully that's the penultimate report for this chain.

Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2015, 10:31:04 pm »
Chain finally replaced when the rear axle reached the end of the dropouts with the 20t sprocket. It had lasted 4463 miles. For comparision, average life of the previous 7 chains, using the same criterion, was 2849 miles & maximum was 3492 miles.

It's an encouraging result, but I don't consider it a valid comparison. After 1770 miles I swapped from the 20t cog to the 22t, due to the effects of atrial fibrillation. Although I was riding over the same terrain, albeit more slowly, chain tension will have been 10% lower, & chain flexing about 7% lower. I'm no tribologist, so wouldn't try to guess the effect on wear rate.

Nevertheless it's encouraging, so I'm trying the same lubrication regime with the new chain, apart from applying lub. when the chain first starts to get noisy. Hopefully the operation to fix AF (6 weeks ago) will soon let me go back to the 20t cog.

Meanwhile, I measured the distance I had moved the axle back. 6.6 mm is about 1% chain elongation. My previous measurement techniques, showing about 0.5%, were badly wrong  :( . At least I now know why I've had tooth wear problems on the Galaxy cassettes & chainrings.

Edited to correct percentages elongation

Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #32 on: June 26, 2015, 08:31:58 am »
On a Sturmey or any single speed or hub gear bike, the chain needs replacing when it has worn to 10.2 inches over a 10 rivet length.
Not when the spindle reaches the extremity of the dropout.

When the chain is new, the spindle should be in line with the centre line of the chainstay.
The amount of adjustment from there, if the dropouts are parallel with the rear brake blocks, will not effect the brake block to rim brake track relationship. Much, well not that can be noticed.

When a chain is worn beyond the 2 % limit, sprocket and chainring teeth suffer.
As you've found out.  :thumbsup:

Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #33 on: June 26, 2015, 03:15:33 pm »
Thanks Ningishzidda. I managed to lose a decimal place in the sums & have duly corrected the percentages in my post. A quick revisit of Sheldon Brown's advice confirms that my wear limit is about right when the axle reaches the rear of the dropouts (actually more like 1.3% than 1.0%).

I'm not suggesting this as a general procedure, it is just fortuitous that it works on my frame & 50x20 gearing. What is slightly more to the point, it is less prone to measurement error IME than measuring 10.1 inches (or even 10.05 in the case of a derailleur chain), or the metric equivalent, with a steel ruler. Also my traditional method of measuring the length of the whole chain before it goes in the bin doesn't appear to give the correct answer.

However the main point in the case of this experiment is that the chain wear at replacement is more consistent between chains.


Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2015, 09:14:31 pm »
Old rule of thumb is to replace the chain before 12 full links (24 half links) are 12 1/16".  If it gets to 12 1/8" your sprocket(s) are almost certainly shot and will crackle horriby with a new chain.

I have heard of three chain maintenance regimes (not including total neglect))

1. Fully degrease and clean the chain back to bare metal when you clean the bike.  Only re-lube when completely clean and dry.
2. Just add oil when it looks a bit dry
3. Jetwash and spray with GT85

None seems any better than the others in terms of chain life.  I think they basically pick up enough grit to do damage on the first ride when clean and it neither gets better or worse after that.  The muck you see on a really dirty chain is, of course, on the outside and wearing the teeth of the sprockets rather than the chain; the stuff wearing bigger holes around the pins is very fine stuff.

The main thing to avoid is a dry, squeaky or rusty chain as this means a fairly severe loss of efficiency/
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Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #35 on: July 01, 2015, 09:23:03 pm »
I thought dry chains were supposed to be surprisingly efficient, albeit noisy?

Top tip: If you are a cyclist with ears of a certain age, and haven't lubed your chain for a while, don't assume that it's not squeaky...

Agreed that rust is the main thing to avoid.  I use posh nickel-plated chains on the bike that does the winter miles, simply so it doesn't go solid if I get back from a wet salty ride and proceed to ignore it for a few days.  I killed an almost new HG53 by doing that once.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #36 on: July 01, 2015, 10:44:38 pm »
Chain Lube testing article
(used to be available in a slightly fuller form on the friction facts website, but they seem to have started charging for it now)

Power losses in the chain range from about 4.5 watts to about 8 watts,out of 250W, depending on the lube used.
Paraffin waxes seem generally better than oils, and thick oils generally better than thin oils.
One of the most efficient oils was extra virgin olive oil  ;D

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #37 on: July 02, 2015, 12:13:08 am »
Chain Lube testing article

Very interesting, thanks.  Shame they didn't test a dry chain and a wet (with water, before the rust sets in) chain for comparison.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #38 on: July 02, 2015, 09:51:13 am »
Shame they didn't test a dry chain and a wet (with water, before the rust sets in) chain for comparison.
That's what I was looking for, having half a memory of having seen wet chain numbers somewhere.
I seem to recall that a wet chain (as in still being rained on) isn't all that much worse than a normally oiled chain, but it dries and stops lubricating very quickly.

Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2015, 11:07:17 am »
I thought dry chains were supposed to be surprisingly efficient, albeit noisy?

Top tip: If you are a cyclist with ears of a certain age, and haven't lubed your chain for a while, don't assume that it's not squeaky...

Agreed that rust is the main thing to avoid.  I use posh nickel-plated chains on the bike that does the winter miles, simply so it doesn't go solid if I get back from a wet salty ride and proceed to ignore it for a few days.  I killed an almost new HG53 by doing that once.

"Noise" is vibrating air reaching your ears. Something makes the air vibrate, and its energy released by dry metal scraping over dry metal. Energy that could otherwise be transmitted to the sprocket.
'Noise energy is wasted energy'.

This last statement is also true of cyclists' mouths.

Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2015, 11:11:01 am »
What would we do without your wisdom, Ningishzidda?
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Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2015, 11:26:41 am »
every time i have tried different wax based lubricants i said to myself it's the last time i'm using them. i appreciate that the drivetrain stays cleaner but the frequency that the chain needs lubing is too much (every 100k in my experience, if you want a quiet chain).

Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #42 on: July 02, 2015, 02:12:01 pm »
After all these years, I decided the silicone based furniture polish the cleaner uses at work, is as good as any expensive stuff bought at extortionate prices at a LBS.

Jacomus

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Re: Chain Lub. - an experiment
« Reply #43 on: July 03, 2015, 01:08:44 pm »
I used to be keen on a degrease and lube with Finishline Super Ultra Gold Shiny Wallet Damage 2000 routine. I was always happy with it and certainly didn't pay enough attention to wear rates etc that I'd worry about or even notice a difference. I did however spend bloody ages cleaning the bike!

Then I had a lifestyle change and have for a long while now just used LM2 grease on the chain. It stays put through a remarkable amount of rain and doesn't seem to get flung off, though of course it is black and gungy, and you definitely don't want to brush clothes against it!

It's simple, low effort, cheap and seems to work very well indeed.
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