Best chain lube (which doesn’t gunk up?)

Viewing 40 posts - 81 through 120 (of 151 total)
  • Best chain lube (which doesn’t gunk up?)
  • Squirt on the mtb in summer. Just tried smoove on the road bike and i’m impressed. Still clean and silent after a good few rides, some in the rain.. basically does seem like a long lasting squirt.

    Tried putoline but found it a horrible, messy ordeal which left my chain black after a couple of rides and was a bastard to remove when i stopped using it.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    I find it incomprehensible that people pay £££ for a tiny bottle

    But then you are a bit dense…I know that Putoline is pence/ application but 130ml of Juice Lube Viking is anywhere from £8-£10, I get about 50 applications which is 20p/application at most, that’s not £££ by anyone’s imagination, I change chains about every 12-15 months on average. My choice of chain lube isn’t breaking my bank balance, and I don’t need it to extend the life of my chain further.

    of ineffective lube..

    While it’s clearly the best, it doesn’t mean that all the others don’t work almost as well.

    you can buy a kilo of a far better lube

    As a weekend mountain biker, I don’t need a kilo of lube, and it comes with it’s own drawbacks: It’s messy, if you get it on your clothes it leaves a permanent stain, it’s application requires the chain to come off, and most folk buy a special cooker to melt it, making the initial layout nearly twice as much; and often in comparisons, they make the point that in really adverse winter conditions it lasts barely more than drip lubes, requiring repeated application, making the whole thing less than convenient compared to drip lubes

    Evangelists rarely make good advocates…

    Frankers
    Member

    In all my years of mountain and road biking I’ve tried many lubes, some good and some not so good, and I honestly don’t think the perfect lube exists. However, I’ve never felt the urge to put my chain in a deep fat fryer to reduce a bit of friction.

    kerley
    Member

    I find it incomprehensible that people pay £££ for a tiny bottle of ineffective lube when for a few £ more you can buy a kilo of a far better lube

    It may be because it works fine for some of us. I ride every Saturday and Sunday. I wash bike after Sundays ride and then clean and lube chain (which takes a couple of minutes)
    And I am someone who hates any noise on my bike so a gritty noisey chain is not something I put up with

    Still tempted by putoline as would save me that 5 minutes a week but not exactly a “game changer” for my use case.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    No, it washes off in minutes again. You guys must just not care about grit, wear and noise.

    Disagree 100% with you… GT-85 is great… Been using for countless miles, in just about every condition possible. Had 7000 miles without an issue last year on MTBs and Zwift.

    andylc
    Member

    Going back to wax drip lubes vs melty Putoline / Molten Speed Wax: I have gotten on very well with Squirt although I do take a small eye dropper with me for long rides and sometimes reapply when I stop for a break. After a ride just wash the bike down, let it dry (often use my petrol leaf blower to speed it up…) and then reapply Squirt single drip on every chain link on the inside.
    Hot Putoline / MSW: if you go on a met muddy ride does it need reapplying or will it last for multiple rides regardless of conditions? If the answer is no I’m struggling to see the advantage over Squirt / Smoove which are simple to apply and reapply.

    andylc
    Member

    (Completely random) has anyone tried melting Toko (or similar) ski wax into a bike chain? It’s really clean durable stuff and I’m tempted to try…!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Disagree 100% with you… GT-85 is great… Been using for countless miles, in just about every condition possible.

    What are your criteria for ‘working well’ ? They are clearly different to mine.

    they make the point that in really adverse winter conditions it lasts barely more than drip lubes

    Nonono – the entire point is that it lasts FAR longer than drip lubes. I’ve been MTBing for nearly 30 years, and 1-2 hours into every muddy ride my chain was full of gritty slop grinding away the metal – until I started using Putoline. Now it remains quiet and smooth ride after ride with no attention.

    Look – I’ve used bloody dozens of lubes in the search for something that works. Why would I be ‘evangelising’ just this one? Because it’s bloody good. I didn’t wake up one morning and decide that I’d start banging on about this one product for shits and giggles. I don’t fart about with deep fat fryers just for the hell of it.

    Hot Putoline / MSW: if you go on a met muddy ride does it need reapplying or will it last for multiple rides regardless of conditions?

    As said above – I’ve ridden in absolute filth since September and I’ve re-applied once, and it probably didn’t even need it. You know how wet it’s been – all I’ve done is hose my bike down, put it in the garage, then ride off on it next time. And it’s spotless. Ok so there’s a bit of black on the cassette and outer links, but only a little bit.

    However, I’ve never felt the urge to put my chain in a deep fat fryer to reduce a bit of friction.

    I’m not doing it to reduce friction, I’m doing it to reduce wear, and to save time cleaning.

    I posted the following a while ago. My views still stand. The only addition I’d make is that the picture of TJs alleged ‘clean’ chain and cassette are far grubbier than mine under a Wickens lube regime.

    Wickens & Soderstrom no.3, applied to a wiped clean chain after every ride. Putoline and squirt didn’t ever work for me, and putoline is, up front worth as much as 3 botttles of No.3, plus you have to add the faff of heating up really smelly wax. If you want to systemise putoline application like some of the boys on this thread, you need to throw the cost of a chip fryer into the mix too. I found it messy, made shifting sluggish and it left plenty of residue on the chain and chain rings, before being promptly ground out of the links in the sandy clay on the Mendips. 2 wet 20 mile rides and it was gone.

    Wickens No.3 doesn’t last as long in the wet as some of sticky lubes, say, like Muc-off wet, but its super easy to clean and seems to increasingly build up a ‘stay clean effect’ as you use it. You can douse the chain in muddy filth and its sounds graunchy and horrid like all the lube has gone, but ten minutes later, you realise that the chain is running free and silent again.

    This is the only lube I’ve ever encountered in 19 years of mtb that does this. I used to run multiple chains in solvent baths and all sorts, but now all I do is blast the chain clean with a hose whilst its still on the bike, wipe it down to get the excess water off and reapply a drop per link. Since I’m a bit of a twitcher, I do actually check my chain wear with some regularity and I’m pretty confident that chain wear is considerably slower over this winter too.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Molgrips do you think the rest of us lack your experience of chain lubes?

    I’ve used putoline, it’s v effective, but in reality many of us don’t have the space, time, inclination to organise ourselves to apply the stuff, when dropper applications are convenient, quick, and in most conditions just as good. Here we are in the depths of mid winter I too can hose off my bike and reapply some lube and like yours my bike is spotless and noiseless.

    Choice, a good thing since forever…

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Molgrips do you think the rest of us lack your experience of chain lubes?

    Dunno. No idea how many years people have been riding. And it seems quite a few people have not had experience of hot wax lubes.

    You’re free to use whatever you want. I only started arguing when people started saying I’m ‘evangelising’ a product that offers no advantage for some weird reason of my own imagining. You may not want to bother, but for me it’s well worth it.

    Premier Icon wheelsonfire1
    Subscriber

    “You must be deaf. Or you don’t care about that loud rattling followed by actual squeaking that develops after about half an hour of riding with that stuff”

    I was actually trying to be constructive and share my experience. My bike rides lovely and quiet for mile after mile with the White Lightning Clean Ride. Everyone has different methods, preferences, products and riding conditions. I really don’t see this topic as a reason to be rude. Double check, take a deep breath and be nice to your fellow humans!

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    That’s a good tangential question – why are some people so rude to one another about what to put on a **** bicycle chain?

    Something the greatest minds of STW might want to ponder?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I was actually trying to be constructive and share my experience. My bike rides lovely and quiet for mile after mile with the White Lightning Clean Ride

    Ok I don’t mean to be rude, I apologise, but I cannot imagine why it sticks to your chain and not mine!

    Premier Icon tjmoore
    Subscriber

    Squirt.

    I use it all year round. Even sub zero despite just using the regular stuff. I apply it before I head out though, not just as I’m about to ride.

    Don’t worry about chain feeling dry, the bit that counts is the rollers inside where the wax component builds up.

    Premier Icon andybrad
    Subscriber

    basically you want squirt or smooth. the isue with both is that while they do last your nearly always riding in the rain (getting the bike washed after a ride) so over time it does build up. it then needs a clean. apart from that 10x better

    ratt1er
    Member

    My two pence. The rest of you do what you bloody like, makes no difference to me but I like to tinker about with my bikes in the garage so made my own wax lube. 4 plain old candles, chuck em in an old ally camping pan I no longer use and put in the slow cooker I stole out the kitchen. Once melted fish out the strings and double the volume with lamp oil (effectively paraffin), it still dries solid but is a little softer and doesn’t crack off so much. Get a thoroughly degreased chain, it needs to be completely free of the oil based lube trapped within it. And bung it in for ten mins or so to really soak into all the joints, give it a stir round as well before fishing it out and letting it dry before refitting. Loads of wax left over for repeat applications.

    I’ve only been trying this for a short while but my observations are this. Dirt doesn’t stick in the same way once you’ve been in some real slop. You know that feeling of your drivetrain slowly grinding away beneath you as it grinds constantly and you can see all the mud coating you expensive drivetrain. Well I went out on a group ride that had some real gunge and where all the other bikes were making a horrible racket of grinding away to nothing, my chain was clean, nothing had stuck to it and was still running smoothly and quietly. That is a winner in my book and I will be happy to keep using this method until I find something else better.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    they make the point that in really adverse winter conditions it lasts barely more than drip lubes

    Whos said that? The closest was someone selectively quoting the bit where I said it will almost always last more than one ride.

    The “almost” bit being hub deep 24h race slop fests.

    Crucially the point is that it lasts the whole ride (hopefully many, many rides), meaning almost no wear and tear on any of them. Rather than leaving you with a dry chain even if just for the last few miles of some rides, which is where the wear happens.

    If a chain lasts 1000 miles, in reality it probably suffered all that wear in just a small percentage of them.

    scruff
    Member

    I’ve been thinking of Plutoline but I’m not sure how it will handle the local trails which whilst well drained are ‘very acid, very stony sandy soils with a bleached subsurface horizon, over conglomerate.’

    Edit
    with a pH <5.

    Soil acidity is not going to be a significant factor. 5 isn’t especially strong and then it’s diluted with water and has limited contact times. Wax is also pretty long chained and chemically resistant.

    I think putoline didn’t work especially well for me (to be clear, it worked better than any other lube, but not significantly so vs the hassle of using it) is because of my local soils PSD -Particle size distribution. I have clay and Devonian sandstone, it seems to readily strip out most lubes in comparison to the more limestone based soils also in my area.

    I suspect this is by direct penetration of the chain and physical abraision of the wax. My suspicion is that the clay helps to hold it in there long enough, rather than just drop straight off like gritstone based muds, which should in theory be more abrasive, but it’s just a theory and I have no inclination to go to the effort to establish whether it’s fact or fiction!

    Molgrips do you think the rest of us lack your experience of chain lubes?

    Nick, don’t, it’s like arguing with anti-vaxers! 😂

    Premier Icon simondbarnes
    Subscriber

    Viking Juice is very nice

    kcr
    Member

    I’ve been trying Putoline on my commuting/general use bike since last year, rotating a couple of chains and cleaning them with clean spirit before re-waxing each time. I just melt the wax in a saucepan on my Trangia. I’ve re-used 11 speed quick links quite a few times without problems (but keeping the same links and chains matched). New chains can just go straight on the bike because they are already lubricated.

    I found that the wax worked very well over the summer in good conditions, and I was easily getting several weeks of use between swapping chains (eight miles of Monday-Friday commuting + various other riding). With that sort of service interval, the degreasing/re-waxing time was acceptable for me.

    The real test is going to be how well it performs over winter. I’ve had one chain so far that seemed to need re-lubing pretty quickly, but I need to test it for longer to really see if it is worthwhile. If the Putoline doesn’t stand up to winter well enough, and needs replacing too frequently, I’m guessing I might end up reverting to the chain cleaner + conventional lube for winter, and Putoline for summer.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I’ve been thinking of Plutoline but I’m not sure how it will handle the local trails which whilst well drained are ‘very acid, very stony sandy soils with a bleached subsurface horizon, over conglomerate.’

    Aren’t you South Wales or am I confusing you with someone else?

    Premier Icon wheelsonfire1
    Subscriber

    molgrips, apology appreciated. My method for preparing for White Lightning Clean Lube is to thoroughly de-grease the new chain in a plastic jar using paraffin (soak and shake), then Finish Line Ecotech degreaser followed by a hot water rinse. Allow to dry, fit and apply lube. I do appreciate the Putoline method as have used it on motorbikes – it makes a heck of a mess on the patio when the camping stove falls over!
    Ride quiet – whatever lube you use!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Same thing I tried with the clean lube. I really wanted it to work, because my goal is to minimise maintenance. So being able to relube without cleaning was a key draw. But no matter what I did it always rubbed off in about half an hour in bone dry conditions. Not great in a 3hr ride. Unless we’re talking about different stuff?

    Premier Icon wheelsonfire1
    Subscriber

    Molgrips, White Lightning Clean Ride. Not had a chance to try in the dry for extended periods, I’ve been using it since last spring on various bikes! However, I was expecting it to fail in the conditions I encountered over Christmas, no bike wash facilities so just wiped grit off, re-applied generously, rotated pedals backwards a few times, wiped excess off side plates and left overnight. I’ve tried **** off dry lube and also Finish Line before but this knocks them, and several wet lubes, into a cocked hat! Lasted several over four hour rides. At the end of the day it’s what works for you. Oh yes, shake, shake, and shake the bottle in between chain lengths – there’s no perfect solution. Cycle safe.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    right, I’ve read all the above and I’m going to give it a go with this wax stuff. Not sure how it will resist ND sandy grit sticking to it and turning into a grinding powder rather than a paste but I’m fed up with almost constant degreasing and cleaning of traditional wet lubes.

    Some questions from start to finish

    1. I’ve been using white spirit as a degreaser (the shame) and just leaving it to dry off – but I bought a jerry of Screwfix degreaser which is more friendly. Does that need a rinse off after degreasing or do people just leave it to dry?

    2. Does this Putoline ming? and what temp approx does it melt at? I’m wondering if instead of a deep fat fryer I could put it in an old pan and either melt on the hob or in the oven – but will the wife moan about the smell in the kitchen?

    3. Could I melt it down in the oven in the tin itself?

    andylc
    Member

    I think I may take the plunge too, although I think I’m more attracted by Molten Speed Wax as it looks less messy than Putoline.
    You can get slow cookers in Tesco or Argos for £12 at the moment!

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    1) if its surfactant based they yes, rinse it very thoroughly or it will just destroy any wax/oil you add to it.

    2) yes it mings, somewhere between rotten eggs and fish.

    Melts at about 120C, it doesnt actually get much thinner as you get warmer either.

    3) I guess so. Easiest way is just to rest the tin on top of a trangia like a frying pan. You really want a nice dispersed flame to avoid it getting too hot in one place and smoking (parrafin will start to smoke and burn at about 180-220).

    You’re not far from me are you?

    If you want to try it first or buy half a tin off me (ive got a new tin to top up my fryer) and decant into an old camping pan let me know.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    1. I’ve been using white spirit as a degreaser (the shame) and just leaving it to dry off – but I bought a jerry of Screwfix degreaser which is more friendly. Does that need a rinse off after degreasing or do people just leave it to dry?

    I don’t de-grease before re-frying it. No need really. Most of the crud washes out either as you ride or when you hose it down. Just remove and dunk. Give it a shake around when it’s all hot like you do with chips.

    2. Does this Putoline ming? and what temp approx does it melt at? I’m wondering if instead of a deep fat fryer I could put it in an old pan and either melt on the hob or in the oven – but will the wife moan about the smell in the kitchen?

    Ming? Not exactly. It smells like an old Victorian machine room full of oily rags and metal. Definitely not for inside the house though 🙂

    Not entirely sure but you need to get it hot so I set the fryer to 170C.

    3. Could I melt it down in the oven in the tin itself?

    You’re meant to put the tin on a hotplate. I’d be too nervous to use a naked flame, and if you’re going to buy a hotplate you might as well buy a fryer. It’s extra cost but makes it so much easier. I just plug the fryer in, wait a few minutes, dunk the chain, jiggle it about then hang it up. Give it a wipe when it’s cool enough to touch.

    You can get slow cookers in Tesco or Argos for £12 at the moment!

    Fryer, not slow cooker!

    Premier Icon martymac
    Subscriber

    The putoline stuff does smell a bit, but i can personally guarantee that your wife won’t complain about it, so long as you do it when she’s just left for work.
    I use an old saucepan.
    It’s a faff, but lasts so long it ends up being easier overall.
    I use an old spoke to hang the chain up and allow the excess to drip off back into the pan.
    Because it’s a faff, if one chain needs doing, I just do all the bikes in one go, no point doing half a job eh.
    6 bikes in house.
    Edit: like @molgrips ^^ would i **** use a naked flame!!

    Slow cooker works fine too if you’ve got one spare or free but takes much longer and you have to fish the chain out out rather than having a basket built in. I’d prefer to have a fryer though.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    where are you now TINAS?

    Premier Icon colournoise
    Subscriber

    I’m another heretic.

    Scottoiler 365 start of every ride and after every hose down.

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Subscriber

    I’m going to give Putoline a go as soon as I can get my paws on a fryer.

    Anyone already using it live in Gloucestershire or Worcestershire?

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    I’ve just degreased the chain after saturday’s muddy gravel/off road ride (chain cleaner w. Screwfix followed by the old milk bottle rinse) and I’m very impressed.

    I’ve also just checked wear and it’s at 0.75% so I’m not going to waste a long term treatment and immediate outlay on that, I’ll just Finish Line it for now and get a couple more rides out of it, in the meantime I have another chain on order.

    I use these with the factory grease to start with (take a bit off the outers with a quick wipe with solvent) so that’ll probably do the first few rides depending on what rides I do – this is my winter road cum gravel cum CX so it could be a few hundred km of road or a few tens of mud-slog depending what I fancy- and then next month’s bike part budget looks like being partly spent on a tub of wax and a DFF.

    tjagain
    Member

    I heat my tin on the gas hob. I think the melting point and the flash point are very far apart. this is how its intended to be done

    do not degrease the chain first – the degreaser will affect the wax and its not needed. the molten wax is so runny it cleans the chain. You end up with a layer of grit at the bottom of the tin

    Science officer – I find your comments interesting. the only time I had the putoloine wash out of the chain quickly ie in under 100 miles was in very wet peaty/ sandy mud. I took that to be the acidity stripping it out but that was just a guess.

    On cost – I am thinking it works out about £2- 3 a year for the wax for 7 bikes and saves far more than that in reduced wear

    I’ll offer it again – anyone want to try it post me a chain and I will treat it for you

    Premier Icon benp1
    Subscriber

    So just to be clear, I could buy a tin of putoline, heat it on a stove (I have a few, could use an old briefcase style one), do the chains in that, then let the tin cool down for storing

    Do you guys pull the chains out with something and then let them drip dry and cool down?

    If I was using an existing chain I could just degrease and then crack on?

    I’m a regular commuter, I like the idea of not faffing very often!

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