- Lubing a bike chain
I have always used wet or dry lube, generally muc off depending on the weather.
But my old bike was contantly sh%$ed up. The lube was like a magnet to the mud, muck and dust which then took ages to get clean.
Is it a case of
1) tough suck it up princess and get cleaning.
2) you are using the wrnong lube – try X
3) you are using the wrong cleaner – try X
4) all of the above
I have a new bike and would like to start off as I mean to go on.
CheersPosted 5 years agoTuckerUKMember
In my humble opinion, as someone who left school and went into precision engineering, and someone who has both an inquisitive mind and an interest in lubrication, ‘dry’, and ‘lubrication’, are not two words that go together when discussing chains. Oddly (or not) chain & motorcycle manufacturers agree.
So, now that we’ve limited the choice to wet lubes (which collect dirt) just use the cheapest REAL lube (i.e. from a company that specialises in lubricant perhaps). Car gear oil is the ticket, thickest you can get, which, as far as I can tell is Comma EP85W-140 GL-5. About £5 per litre. As opposed to Finish Line Wet at £67 per litre. No brainer really.Posted 5 years agoAdam@BikeWorksMember
Car gear oil is the ticket, thickest you can get, which, as far as I can tell is Comma EP85W-140 GL-5
Congratulations – you’ve now turned your chain into a magnet for every bit of grit it sees, which will handily turn into grinding paste and wear away your transmission, in addition to clogging your jockey wheels/cassette/chainrings…Posted 5 years agochrssmaleMember
Also ensure your chain is sparkly clean.Posted 5 years ago
I found degreasers do not do as good a job as say white spirits in getting the gunk out of the links. I clean my chain 1st with muckoff to get most of the crap off, then put it in a jam jar with white spirit and shake like mad. Better than any chain cleaning device.
Also, especially with wet lube, apply oil on the inside of the chain, and don’t forget to wipe off afterwards. You only need a small film of oil.joolsburgerMember
I’ve tried so many different lubes over the years, waxes, wets, drys, chainsaw oil, heated waxes, the list goes on and on.
Over the last winter I’ve used Putolene, Juice lubes, gear oil and GT85.
I’ve decided that from here on in I’m going for GT85. Keeps the chain clean, seems to work OK and to be honest if the conditions are that bad nothing works well so I’m happy reapplying a bit of 85 halfway through a full day out. The rest seems like a load of cobblers hype and marketing which I have had enough of now. GT 85 at 3 sprays bottles for 8 quid is fine by me.Posted 5 years agojezanduMember
GT85 has the effect of actually degreasing your chain. Try it works well in cleaning the chain so as a general lube I wouldn’t recommend it. Car lube!? Big no because unlike motor cycle chains it is not put through the same speed or heat and so as mentioned will pick up all the dirt and clog up your fine and delicate gear mechanisms. Use a good wet lube and then leave it. Before you go riding with a dry cloths take of the oil. All the good bit of oil is in the rollers and pivots of the chain and the outside is now clean and so won’t attract dirt.Posted 5 years agothx1138Member
I found a bottle of lawnmower engine oil in our basement a few years ago, and use that. Put a bit more on when the chain gets a bit squeaky, and tuck my trouser leg into my sock to avoid it getting filthy on the chain. Wipe it down now and then, apply a bit more oil. Then get the bike shop to change the whole ‘drivetrain’ every year or so. Probably not the best practice. 😳Posted 5 years agoirelanstMember
Car lube!? Big no because unlike motor cycle chains it is not put through the same speed or heat and so as mentioned will pick up all the dirt and clog up your fine and delicate gear mechanisms. Use a good wet lube and then leave it.
What is in a “good wet lube” that makes it so special? From all the MSDSs I’ve seen they all appear to be heavy oil mixed with paraffin/white spirit to get the necessary viscosity.
Before you go riding with a dry cloths take of the oil. All the good bit of oil is in the rollers and pivots of the chain and the outside is now clean and so won’t attract dirt.
Couldn’t you do this for a chain lubricated with car/transmission lube?Posted 5 years agojoolsburgerMember
On paper it seems perfect, in practice works well, what’s not to like and it’s cheap – GT85 FTW.
Non-sticky Lubrication, Effective Penetrator, Water Displacer, Rustproofer, With PTFE
Soon after the launch of GT85, supplies were being snapped up by MOD workshops.The aircraft and helicopter industry was soon to follow as word rapidly spread about the new cleaning and lubricant spray with outstanding properties, which could benefit all types of machinery or equipment without leaving a sticky residue.
It was not long before the car, motor racing and cycling fraternities latched on to the usefulness of this new product which cleaned, protected and lubricated.Posted 5 years agoOrange CrushMember
I swirl the chain round in a jar of diesel which cleans everything but leaves an oily residue. I then let it sit in a jar of automatic transmission fluid for a few days then hang it up to allow the surplus to drain off. Of course, I alternate two chains to allow this and to spread wear.Posted 5 years agouwe-rMember
I find washing a chain only ever gets it so clean.
I use cheap 3in1 oil and lots of it. Soak the chain and then wipe it all of – it comes off black even after a wash. Repeat this and after about 3 or 4 soakings it starts to run clear’ish. That is about as clean and well lubed as I think you can get an old chain but give it half an hour of riding and its minging again!Posted 5 years agounklehomeredSubscriber
I’m lazy. I have cleaned enough chainsets full of accumilatied gunk for a life time, and the whole apply – wipe off excess thing is again too much buggering about when I just wanna ride. So I use this. No cleaning the chainset, no wiping off the excess (occasional removal of accumilated wax from small cassette sprockets – say once a year), put on – ride – put on -ride – put on – ride. if its wet, after ride take chain off, put on radiator, put chainback on bike, lube, go. Never ever ever going about to all the other stuff, the cleaning chemicals, the water displacers, and the routines.
Posted 5 years agoMidlandTrailquestsGrahamMember
Have Which? ever done a chain lube test ?Posted 5 years ago
I know it would be asking too much to expect a mountain bike magazine to carry out proper tests. There’s too much advertising revenue at stake to risk upsetting any of the chain lube manufacturers by showing their products as snake oil, but it would be nice if someone did some controlled tests and measured the chain wear.NorthwindSubscriber
Epic Ride just seems to get on with it, it’s never totally wrong for the job so I just use that.
Squirt is ace in the dry but I’ve found it pretty disastrous in some of the local mud, shame as it’s otherwise good.
It’s not a simple option but so far I’m getting on really well with Putoline chain wax- faff to apply but it’s lasting better than anything else I’ve used. Haven’t given it a proper slopfest test yet though.Posted 5 years agonmdbasetherevengeMember
Muc off lube is the worst I’ve used. It did smell nice though! Rock n roll for me.
Adam@BikeWorks – Member
Congratulations – you’ve now turned your chain into a magnet for every bit of grit it sees, which will handily turn into grinding paste and wear away your transmission, in addition to clogging your jockey wheels/cassette/chainrings…
If you never clean it and don’t wipe the excess oil off.Posted 5 years agoKryton57Subscriber
Car gear oil is the ticket
For years I used to use the spare Castrol GTX Magnatec Synthetic oil I have in case the Beemer needs a top up.
I’ve been through a year of trials ending up with Muc Off Blue which I quite like the smell of. When that runs out, its back to Castrol.Posted 5 years ago
you an industry type?
Not at all. Just found a product that works and stuck with it.
There was a rumour that it was going to be stopped in the UK, and I panicked and bulk bought! (as did a few others on here) 🙂
Thankfully, it’s still around.
After faffing for 15 years, it was a relief to find something easy and reliable.
Everything else I’ve tried is either summer-only or sticky.
Anyway – give it a go and follow the instructions (It’s a slosh on – wipe off job)Posted 5 years agonick1962Member
After cleaning I soak my chains in chainsaw oil. When time to use I wipe them off , then spray with motocross/enduro motorcycle wax lube off ebay and fit when dry.Posted 5 years ago
Belt and braces approach based on almagating bits of advice from similar threads.Cheap too,chainsaw oil was only £3.00 for a litre and the wax spray £6.99 for 500ml.
Doesn’t stop me going over the bars though.milky1980Member
Rock N’ Roll here too 😀
Had used Finish Line Wet for years but got fed up of applying it mid-ride on long days, especially with stream crossings!! Got given a half-used bottle of Rock N’ Roll by a mate and was amazed at how well it works!! Shake bottle, squeeze onto chain, back pedal a bit, wipe off excess that takes all the crap with it. Perfect. Even getting more life out of my chains too!! The only thing I get from Evans, they do the refillable kit to save a few pennies 🙂Posted 5 years agosteviecaptMember
i use petrol to clean the chains i always use two chains and swap them at least once a month, dry the petrol off then soak the chain in gt85, ive never had much problems with chains, i would rather spend my money on a new chain rather than all these so called miracle liquids, also my chains seem to last just as long as most other riders chains job done.Posted 5 years ago
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