Lubing a bike chain

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  • Lubing a bike chain
  • ljs1977
    Member

    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.

    Cheers

    Milkie
    Member

    I use this:

    Doesn’t work well in extremely wet mud, but then I have never found a lube that does!

    Maybe you are not applying it correctly.

    I lube each roller/link, you can see it seep in. I then wipe off the excess. Then move on to the next.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    You need to be channelling mr myagi with your chain….

    TuckerUK
    Member

    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.

    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…

    chrssmale
    Member

    Also ensure your chain is sparkly clean.
    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.

    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.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    I just use dry lube and or GT85.

    Dry lube works fine if the conditions aren’t too manky.

    When the conditions are really bad wet lube doesn’t really last much longer and just attracts dirt the rest of the time.

    jezandu
    Member

    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.

    thx1138
    Member

    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. 😳

    Premier Icon Andy R
    Subscriber

    When it’s wet I just use chain saw oil on my singlespeed – seems to work well enough although it might attract too much crap for a derailleur system. I wouldn’t use it in dry, dusty conditions though but I haven’t experienced those for a long time.

    jfb01
    Member

    I have been very pleased with the silicon sprays , I now use WD40 silicon spray which seems to shed the muck & keep every thing as clean as can be hoped for this time of year.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Muc-off wet lube was the stickiest, dirtiest, gunkiest substance I’ve ever put on my chain.

    Using White Lightning Epic Ride now and happy enough with it.

    irelanst
    Member

    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?

    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.

    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.

    uwe-r
    Member

    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!

    IHN
    Member

    Rock’n’Roll like what Alex Simon says up there /\

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    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.

    jools182
    Member

    edit – beaten to it

    Have Which? ever done a chain lube test ?
    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.

    Premier Icon JoeG
    Subscriber

    Squirt +1!

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    Squirt in the summer.
    Putolene in the winter.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    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.

    Crag
    Member

    Another vote for Rock n Roll extreme here. Cleans and lubes your chain all in one go. And ‘cos there’s very little excess lube left on the chain,mud doesn’t stick to it like shit to a blanket.

    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.

    pinhead
    Member

    i use veg oil.
    works well.

    forexpipz
    Member

    This is like asking what tyre. Pointless. You’ll get a thousand different answers. Even what the pro’s use is mainly guess work. Try asking an industrial engineer in fluid mechanics.

    I use Durex Play 8)

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    showing their products as snake oil

    Nah, snake oil is rubbish. It makes your chain go all wiggly.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    You’ll get a thousand different answers

    That’s because not everyone has tried Rock’n’roll extreme 😉

    pinhead
    Member

    hat’s because not everyone has tried Rock’n’roll extreme

    you an industry type?

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    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.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    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)

    nick1962
    Member

    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.
    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.

    milky1980
    Member

    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 🙂

    lambchop
    Member

    Muc-Off to clean
    WD40 to displace water
    3 in 1 to lube

    steviecapt
    Member

    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.

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