Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Workshop tales, trials and disasters.
Maintenance tips, techniques and myths.
Technical discussion, description and outright lies

What your choice of chain lubricant for everyday commuting?

Rock and Roll Gold Lube
63
32%
Rock and Roll Absolute Dry Lube (Red)
12
6%
Rock and Roll Extreme Lube (Blue)
11
6%
Prolink Gold Lube
35
18%
Purple Extreme
14
7%
Pedros Ice Wax
2
1%
Inox Wax
2
1%
Squirt Lube
7
4%
Non-Bike Lube
15
8%
Others Bike Lubes (please post a reply)
34
17%
 
Total votes : 195

Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby mitzikatzi » Tue May 01, 2012 11:00 am

tallywhacker wrote:I've tried all the usual products (tri-flow, r&r, finishline, squirt.....) but what I find is good value and performs well is McCulloch chainsaw lube mixed with some castrol marine grease cut with wd40



There is a lot of love for chainsaw bar oil on MTBR. Some use "bio" oil versions and cut it with canola oil.
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by BNA » Tue May 01, 2012 1:28 pm

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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby bosvit » Tue May 01, 2012 1:28 pm

Nobody wrote:I've changed to Chain-L from Finish Line Wet. If anything, Chain-L is probably a little bit thicker. Interestingly it smells and looks like automotive 80/90 gear oil. This time I've got a new drive train so I'll see how far I get. Chain-L has had some good reviews.

+1
I have been using gear oil on my commuter for the last 3000km and no signs of chain wear yet (measured).

Lasts longer than purple extreme and is smoother, it just smells that's all so I won't use it on the supersix

Cleans off real easy with degreaser and a brush, hose off let it dry quick squirt with the oil can wipe off and off you go for 400km or so
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby PawPaw » Tue May 01, 2012 3:53 pm

I've used 4 of the listed bike lubes, wd40, inox lithium based product, and based on a few old timers in my club several different ratios of diesel and motor oil.

Honestly, I get as good results with WD40. As often as twice a week, I give it a clean and wipe spray, then a final spray, wait 5-10mins, and a final wipe. I particularly do this before big rides or races.

I do this as much for its cleaning effect, as for its light lubrication. The lube doesn't last as long as specialist products, but I believe cleanness is equal if not more important than lubrication.

And despite the word on the street, WD40 is definitely a light lubricant according to the manufacturer. And it's Australian MSDS lists paraffin containing compounds, paraffin being a residue lubricant.
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby master6 » Tue May 01, 2012 6:45 pm

A lot of people report wiping their chain. This intrigues me.

A chain gets crap on it, and we consider that we have a dirty chain.

Some of the "dirty" is on the "outside" of the chain, and therefore of cosmetic concern. It does no harm there.

Some of the "dirty" is "inside" the chain, places where contact takes place, and abrasive "dirty" is likely to accelerate wear.

Wiping the chain does not remove "dirty" from "inside" the chain.

I suspect that wiping the chain removes "dirty" from the "outside" of the chain and makes it look cleaner, and the bike owner happy. But where does the "dirty" go to?

Where does the wiping move the "dirty" to. I think that a lot of it goes onto the rag (good) , some might go onto the floor ( not good for lounge room carpet), and some of it goes to the "inside" of the chain to make the important parts of the chain dirtier than they were before you started this wiping process.

If you are not going to wash the chain, would you in fact have a better result by eliminating the wiping step, and just adding lube. :?:

It would be interesting to examine a chain with a magnifying glass before and after a"'wipe and lube" process .

:?
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby PawPaw » Tue May 01, 2012 7:04 pm

DIrt on the outside bits, isn't good for the teeth of sprockets and chainrings, nor the movement of outer plates against inner plates.

And I don't agree that a dirty chain is really only dirty on the external bits, and more so on the outside. I know that's what Sheldon's site says though, it's a tad simplistic for my mind. Any water around, and that dirt is going to get washed in under the rollers, and in and around the 'half bushings' and the rivets underneath them, and between the inner and outer plates. In fact, half bushings such as on hyperglide chains, not only help lube get to where it is needed, but dirt to where it isn't.

When I apply WD-40, I apply the first spray liberally and a lot of dirt is diluted and runs downwards with gravity, where it can be wiped off. Mind you, I don't do this over carpet or even the concrete courtyard. Without taking the chain off, I'm happy that I am flushing out a significant amount of heavier dirt, and replacing it with the lighter paraffin lubricant within WD40.
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby bosvit » Tue May 01, 2012 7:58 pm

I only wipe after re-lubing to remove excess oil to reduce both flick and to reduce the amount of dirty build up before the next clean/lube
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby gururug » Tue May 01, 2012 8:04 pm

Wiping, less than half the effort, mess, time and cost for more than half of the result :D
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby il padrone » Wed May 02, 2012 12:05 am

PawPaw wrote:And despite the word on the street, WD40 is definitely a light lubricant according to the manufacturer. And it's Australian MSDS lists paraffin containing compounds, paraffin being a residue lubricant.

Whenever I've used WD40 (last time was about 30 years ago) I've had a 'flock of canaries' in my chain within a couple of days. The poofteenth of paraffin is inconsequential - way too light to matter imho.

Damn good quick chain degreaser though :wink:
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby master6 » Wed May 02, 2012 7:53 am

HPR30
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby Nobody » Wed May 02, 2012 8:31 am

master6 wrote:If you are not going to wash the chain, would you in fact have a better result by eliminating the wiping step, and just adding lube. :?:

It would be interesting to examine a chain with a magnifying glass before and after a"'wipe and lube" process .

:?
The best lube a chain is going to get is the original grease it comes with. The theory of lubing initially is to create a less sticky, sacrificial layer to help keep the grease in and dirt out (by diluting the dirt and wiping). Obviously in time the lube is going to dilute the grease and dirt will get in too. You can clean it and relube, but the new lube is unlikely to be as good as the original grease. As said, for most people, lube and wiping is little cost and effort for a reasonable gain in a cleaner look and noise reduction. There is no guarantee that all the extra effort of cleaning is going to be rewarded with longer chain life. In reality, you need to cover the chain to get an appreciable difference in chain life.
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby PawPaw » Wed May 02, 2012 9:27 am

il padrone wrote:Whenever I've used WD40 (last time was about 30 years ago) I've had a 'flock of canaries' in my chain within a couple of days.


You should have wiped off the excess :P

There's a fagteenth more than a poofteenth of paraffin in it. To test, spray a little on your STI levers, where your fingers go.
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby gururug » Wed May 02, 2012 10:43 am

Nobody wrote:You can clean it and relube, but the new lube is unlikely to be as good as the original grease.


Is this because the original grease has even total penetration or because of some other property it holds?
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby eeksll » Wed May 02, 2012 1:28 pm

There was a vid on these forums showing how the grease was applied during chain making, it happened after the chain was completely put together. I think the process had a hot grease bath and chain dipping.

Someone made a comment that this is a PITA to do hence why we don't use the original grease (going on the theory the original grease is the best). I agree with that comment, however, there are many people who do go to these lengths to clean and lube ....

Also the original grease is very sticky oil (at least on my new KMC chain) compared to all other lube I have tried, it may be this reason which makes it last so long, however, its not really the sort of lube for riders who like clean chains.
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby Nobody » Wed May 02, 2012 1:48 pm

gururug wrote:
Nobody wrote:You can clean it and relube, but the new lube is unlikely to be as good as the original grease.


Is this because the original grease has even total penetration or because of some other property it holds?
It is because you cannot easily get that viscosity of lubricant (which is related to the effectiveness of the lubricant) into the chain again. You may be able to by submersing it an a vat of melted grease. [edit] eeksll confirms above it is done this way. [/edit] Not something I'd want to play with though (very high temps). EcoVelo does something similar with Parrafin & Bees wax. But I'd assume that's at a lower temperature than grease.

I believe Zinn was the one that experimented to find wax was half as effective as oil for actual lubrication.

Twizzle did an experiment where he regularly cleaned and lubed one chain, then just wiped the next chain. He found there was no difference in chain life (2500Km from memory).

I just use a thicker oil and resign myself to the fact that the chain won't last very long.
Last edited by Nobody on Wed May 02, 2012 2:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby mitzikatzi » Wed May 02, 2012 2:10 pm

With regards to the hot wax bath method. I am surprised I have never seen wax wood polish mentioned. Wood polish is wax and turpentine heated together to make it much softer more like grease than wax. I would have thought that would be good to stop the wax flaking off the chain.

I have also been playing with Lanotec as a chain lube. Which is basically lanolin grease mixed with a solvent. When applied and allowed to dry on your chain it leaves a very waxy feeling coverage on the chain. It feels very much like the grease on a new chain. Lanotec is about $18 for 750ml cheaper in bigger bottles. I actually wash the chain in lanotec instead of kero or turps.

I have thought a about using a melted pot of lanolin to bath the chain in but havent seen a large tub of lanolin grease at the auto shop I buy from. If I recall lanolin melts at a lowish temperature.
Last edited by mitzikatzi on Wed May 02, 2012 8:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby Nobody » Wed May 02, 2012 7:43 pm

mitzikatzi wrote:I have also been playing with Lanotec as a chain lube.
If you are talking about Lanotec HD, it is advertised as a chain lube so makes sense. I've used a similar product Lanoguard Marine & Chasis to be good for external padlocks and gate hardware. Gives good rust protection with some basic lubrication. I used it to coat the inside of my frame before assembly two years ago.
Last edited by Nobody on Wed May 02, 2012 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby mitzikatzi » Wed May 02, 2012 7:57 pm

(AT) Nobody. Yes thats the one.
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby master6 » Wed May 02, 2012 8:07 pm

mitzikatzi wrote:I have thought a about using a melted pot of lanolin to bath the chain in but havent seen a large tub of lanoloin grease at the auto shop I buy from. If I recall lanolin melts at a lowish temperature.


mitzikatzi, I like this idea. Have you thought about using melted vaseline? It melts at a very low temperature, such as on a hot day. Perhaps too low?
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby mitzikatzi » Wed May 02, 2012 8:16 pm

I have read here? or elsewhere that vaseline isn't good "grease" for wheel bearings. Never thought about using it to soak a chain in. The Lanolin solution dries out to leave a nice dry waxy feel. Vasline would leave a "greasy" feel I suspect.
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby Comedian » Wed May 02, 2012 8:47 pm

Ok... tried some diff oil tonight. Haven't ridden on it... but the office where the bike is eagerly awaiting tomorrows ride smells like an English car garage. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby Comedian » Thu May 03, 2012 10:49 am

I have to report that the lsx-90 has made the drivetrain quieter and better behaved than EVAH!

The chain does look like I'm a Rodin Exxon Valdez though. I'm afraid I'd spin on my own oil if I rode in the rain but to be fair I did apply it generously from the cap on the 5l bottle :mrgreen:
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby PawPaw » Thu May 03, 2012 12:26 pm

Comedian wrote:The chain does look like I'm a Rodin Exxon Valdez though. I'm afraid I'd spin on my own oil if I rode in the rain but to be fair I did apply it generously from the cap on the 5l bottle :mrgreen:


Try diluting it 10-15% with diesel, then wait 5-10 minutes before "wiping" off excess. :)
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Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby Comedian » Thu May 03, 2012 12:31 pm

PawPaw wrote:
Comedian wrote:The chain does look like I'm a Rodin Exxon Valdez though. I'm afraid I'd spin on my own oil if I rode in the rain but to be fair I did apply it generously from the cap on the 5l bottle :mrgreen:


Try diluting it 10-15% with diesel, then wait 5-10 minutes before "wiping" off excess. :)

I reckon when I've used up all my normal chain lubes I might give that am extended test :)

I don't think it would be good on the mtb though... Might stick to dry lube for it. :)
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby PawPaw » Thu May 03, 2012 12:36 pm

Comedian wrote:I reckon when I've used up all my normal chain lubes I might give that am extended test :)


Cool. then back to a drivetrain less quieter and less better behaved than EVAH! :)
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Re: Type of Chain Lubricants (Polls)

Postby cyclotaur » Thu May 03, 2012 12:45 pm

I use WD-40 for a bit of cleaning as it loosens the grit and grime, but I lube with BOESHIELD T-9 which was recommended to me by a cycling mate and the LBS where I bought my bike.
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