Best way to dry wet chain (post-ride)?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Thornyone
Posts: 353
Joined: 7 Dec 2017, 11:15am

Best way to dry wet chain (post-ride)?

Postby Thornyone » 13 Dec 2017, 9:54am

I’ve had a look to see if this has been answered before, but haven't really found anything. My question is about drying a chain, not post cleaning, but when I arrive home after a wet (and maybe salty) ride. I have always found that no matter whether the lube I use be the wet sort (e.g. Finish Line wet stuff) or dry wax, arriving home with a wet chain on a bike which has to sit around in the damp cold leads to surface rust formation. My preference for several years now has been to use White Lightning wax lube. Using this I get 2,500-3,500 miles out of a chain. I use 2 chains and swap (theoretically, at least) every 250-300 miles to even out wear. So I use 1 decent cassette and two (cheapish) chains for an average 6,000 miles yearly cycling (and I never clean a chain).
My current expedient after a wet ride is to wipe the wet chain post ride with some kitchen towel to remove excess water, then immediately re-lube with the W L wax. But I wonder if there is a more economic way to dry it? I avoid WD 40 and GT 85 as water displacers because both are pretty efficient solvents which wouldn’t, presumably, do the dry wax any favours.

mattsccm
Posts: 2592
Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 9:44pm

Re: Best way to dry wet chain (post-ride)?

Postby mattsccm » 13 Dec 2017, 10:00am

Take it off and chuck it on the radiator. I use the top of the wood burner. Pedalling the bike on the stand will shift most water though. WD etc won't trip the lube that much. I use Pound shop stuff instead then if the lube has gone stick some more on. I do avoid over priced lube though so a few drops of EP90 cost peanuts.

tatanab
Posts: 3712
Joined: 8 Feb 2007, 12:37pm

Re: Best way to dry wet chain (post-ride)?

Postby tatanab » 13 Dec 2017, 10:39am

Don't bother. Bike goes in the shed without a further thought and I ride it again tomorrow and the next day. Once every week or so I splash a bit of a wet lubricant on it and all is fine. Chain, sprockets, chainring are removed and cleaned in the spring.
Thornyone wrote:My preference for several years now has been to use White Lightning wax lube. Using this I get 2,500-3,500 miles out of a chain.
Therein lies the problem. I tried White Lightning about 20 years ago and quickly came to the conclusion that wax was ok for a pampered machine that was cleaned and dried after any ride, but no good for daily use. Hence I use wet lubricants and probably get twice your mileage out of a chain. My most pampered machine tends to be treated to Purple Extreme, my daily use ones use Finish Line wet.

rmurphy195
Posts: 1344
Joined: 20 May 2011, 11:23am
Location: South Birmingham

Re: Best way to dry wet chain (post-ride)?

Postby rmurphy195 » 13 Dec 2017, 11:22am

Dry it off as much as possible with a cloth, then spray liberally with Teflon. Give the rear changer cogs a bit of a squirt first, or a few drops of your favourite oil, this will work its way into the bearings as you wizz the chain round to spray it. Works (or used to work!) for me.

If you've got one of those in-situ chain bath things from Barbieri (Aldi were selling them cheap a few years back under their own label) that's even better.
Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and grey hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 45592
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Best way to dry wet chain (post-ride)?

Postby Mick F » 13 Dec 2017, 1:10pm

White Lightning Clean Ride is a wax lubricant and is excellent in dry weather, but not so good on a wet ride.

I'm using White Lightning Epic Ride for the winter, and my chains get drizzled with it before every ride. Out this morning in drizzle and damp and also got caught in a downpour, and my bike is under cover and drying off now.

I don't expect to see any rust on the chain.
Mick F. Cornwall

Thornyone
Posts: 353
Joined: 7 Dec 2017, 11:15am

Re: Best way to dry wet chain (post-ride)?

Postby Thornyone » 13 Dec 2017, 1:15pm

tatanab wrote:Don't bother. Bike goes in the shed without a further thought and I ride it again tomorrow and the next day. Once every week or so I splash a bit of a wet lubricant on it and all is fine. Chain, sprockets, chainring are removed and cleaned in the spring.
Thornyone wrote:My preference for several years now has been to use White Lightning wax lube. Using this I get 2,500-3,500 miles out of a chain.
Therein lies the problem. I tried White Lightning about 20 years ago and quickly came to the conclusion that wax was ok for a pampered machine that was cleaned and dried after any ride, but no good for daily use. Hence I use wet lubricants and probably get twice your mileage out of a chain. My most pampered machine tends to be treated to Purple Extreme, my daily use ones use Finish Line wet.


I thought that was a reasonable mileage at least compared to some figures I’ve seen quoted. And to be honest I certainly err on the side caution and replace a chain before it starts to play up. But two chains (under a tenner each) and a cassette for something over 6,000 miles doesn’t seem too bad to me. My bike is hardly pampered (not had a clean for several months, and unlikely to get one now before March) and the chain is simply re-lube fairly frequently. I use the bike daily and carry fair loads. I certainly seem to get better mileage than I did with F L wet. I used to hate hearing/seeing all the micro grit I got out of a wet-lubed chain, lovely grinding paste! Must say though, that I was impressed by Purple Extreme, which I used on my mountain bike. I have some somewhere and should really try it on my Thorn.

Brucey
Posts: 34312
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Best way to dry wet chain (post-ride)?

Postby Brucey » 13 Dec 2017, 1:21pm

Thornyone wrote:I’ve had a look to see if this has been answered before, but haven't really found anything. My question is about drying a chain, not post cleaning, but when I arrive home after a wet (and maybe salty) ride. I have always found that no matter whether the lube I use be the wet sort (e.g. Finish Line wet stuff) or dry wax, arriving home with a wet chain on a bike which has to sit around in the damp cold leads to surface rust formation. My preference for several years now has been to use White Lightning wax lube. Using this I get 2,500-3,500 miles out of a chain. I use 2 chains and swap (theoretically, at least) every 250-300 miles to even out wear. So I use 1 decent cassette and two (cheapish) chains for an average 6,000 miles yearly cycling (and I never clean a chain).
My current expedient after a wet ride is to wipe the wet chain post ride with some kitchen towel to remove excess water, then immediately re-lube with the W L wax. But I wonder if there is a more economic way to dry it? I avoid WD 40 and GT 85 as water displacers because both are pretty efficient solvents which wouldn’t, presumably, do the dry wax any favours.


The fundamental problem is that

1) you ride on gritted roads, which are salty
2) you are using WL wax lube, which is not at all corrosion resistant. It isn't really adequate for the odd summer shower, leave alone winter UK conditions.

If you displace the water it will help but it will still leave salt on the chain, which is not adequately protected.

I agree with other posts, i.e. that

a) you would be better off using a different lube (which inhibits corrosion better; this might be enough by itself) and
b) a water displacer (such as GT85) won't strip all the lube out of the chain. If it looks like it is, add some more chain lube after wiping the GT85/water off.

Re mileage; varies with no. of speeds, useage and chain type. Might be OK, might not.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thornyone
Posts: 353
Joined: 7 Dec 2017, 11:15am

Re: Best way to dry wet chain (post-ride)?

Postby Thornyone » 13 Dec 2017, 1:24pm

Mick F wrote:White Lightning Clean Ride is a wax lubricant and is excellent in dry weather, but not so good on a wet ride.

I'm using White Lightning Epic Ride for the winter, and my chains get drizzled with it before every ride. Out this morning in drizzle and damp and also got caught in a downpour, and my bike is under cover and drying off now.

I don't expect to see any rust on the chain.


I have used W L Epic. Is it not very similar to F L wet? I used to do much as you do, but I think that the grit I picked up shortened chain life (though I don’t know what chain life you get). Also, I suspect (but I may be wrong) that you possibly don’t get as much salt used on the roads in your neck of the woods? :D

Thornyone
Posts: 353
Joined: 7 Dec 2017, 11:15am

Re: Best way to dry wet chain (post-ride)?

Postby Thornyone » 13 Dec 2017, 1:33pm

Brucey wrote:
Thornyone wrote:I’ve had a look to see if this has been answered before, but haven't really found anything. My question is about drying a chain, not post cleaning, but when I arrive home after a wet (and maybe salty) ride. I have always found that no matter whether the lube I use be the wet sort (e.g. Finish Line wet stuff) or dry wax, arriving home with a wet chain on a bike which has to sit around in the damp cold leads to surface rust formation. My preference for several years now has been to use White Lightning wax lube. Using this I get 2,500-3,500 miles out of a chain. I use 2 chains and swap (theoretically, at least) every 250-300 miles to even out wear. So I use 1 decent cassette and two (cheapish) chains for an average 6,000 miles yearly cycling (and I never clean a chain).
My current expedient after a wet ride is to wipe the wet chain post ride with some kitchen towel to remove excess water, then immediately re-lube with the W L wax. But I wonder if there is a more economic way to dry it? I avoid WD 40 and GT 85 as water displacers because both are pretty efficient solvents which wouldn’t, presumably, do the dry wax any favours.


The fundamental problem is that

1) you ride on gritted roads, which are salty
2) you are using WL wax lube, which is not at all corrosion resistant. It isn't really adequate for the odd summer shower, leave alone winter UK conditions.

If you displace the water it will help but it will still leave salt on the chain, which is not adequately protected.

I agree with other posts, i.e. that

a) you would be better off using a different lube (which inhibits corrosion better; this might be enough by itself) and
b) a water displacer (such as GT85) won't strip all the lube out of the chain. If it looks like it is, add some more chain lube after wiping the GT85/water off.

Re mileage; varies with no. of speeds, useage and chain type. Might be OK, might not.

cheers

Thanks. In fact I used wet synthetic lube for years, took the chain off and cleaned thoroughly, heat dried it etc. etc. Also used Barbieri and Park chain cleaning contraptions. My chain always rusted to some extent regardless of lube used. I have, over the years, tried most lubes on the UK market, I think. I am satisfied with W L wax, but I just think it seems a bit wasteful to use it partly as a water displacer and was wondering if there was a cheaper effective alternative to prep the chain quickly for re-lube.

Thornyone
Posts: 353
Joined: 7 Dec 2017, 11:15am

Re: Best way to dry wet chain (post-ride)?

Postby Thornyone » 13 Dec 2017, 1:40pm

Sorry, meant to add that my chief issue with using GT85 is that although it does evapourate and leave a dry film of Teflon, I am concerned that:

1) Has it actually stopped being liquid right inside the inner surfaces of the chain before I re-apply wax?
2) Does the Teflon interfere with the adherence and functioning of the wax?

PH
Posts: 7138
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Best way to dry wet chain (post-ride)?

Postby PH » 13 Dec 2017, 1:47pm

Slightly OT - Does anyone know of a water dispelling spray that doesn't stink? My wet bikes are left in a communal area and bought inside when dry, using WD40 would be anti social to say the least.

hamster
Posts: 3114
Joined: 2 Feb 2007, 12:42pm

Re: Best way to dry wet chain (post-ride)?

Postby hamster » 13 Dec 2017, 2:42pm

One other problem with GT85 and WD40 is that they work their way into the freehub body and dissolve the grease. I have never had a freehub body rust up since keeping spray lubes off the chain 15 years ago. I was getting thorugh one or two a year on my MTB beforehand

Thornyone
Posts: 353
Joined: 7 Dec 2017, 11:15am

Re: Best way to dry wet chain (post-ride)?

Postby Thornyone » 13 Dec 2017, 3:05pm

PH wrote:Slightly OT - Does anyone know of a water dispelling spray that doesn't stink? My wet bikes are left in a communal area and bought inside when dry, using WD40 would be anti social to say the least.

I quite like GT85, always reminds me of aftershave (actually contains lavender oil, I think). Maybe more acceptable than WD40? Or maybe not :lol:

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 13128
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Best way to dry wet chain (post-ride)?

Postby mjr » 13 Dec 2017, 3:52pm

hamster wrote:One other problem with GT85 and WD40 is that they work their way into the freehub body and dissolve the grease. I have never had a freehub body rust up since keeping spray lubes off the chain 15 years ago. I was getting thorugh one or two a year on my MTB beforehand

Spray it on the lower chain run, not at the hub.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

User avatar
NUKe
Posts: 3623
Joined: 23 Apr 2007, 11:07pm
Location: Suffolk

Re: Best way to dry wet chain (post-ride)?

Postby NUKe » 13 Dec 2017, 3:57pm

Chainsaw Chain oil makes a great wet lube. As recommended by the late Sheldon brown. You can get a litre for less than the price of 4 oz. of proprietary wet lube. It has good anti-fling properties, is water resistant and lubricates well. It does go black fairly quickly So not for those that want a shiny chain, but it certainly puts up with the rigours of winter commuting
NUKe
_____________________________________