All Weather Chain Lubes

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RichM
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All Weather Chain Lubes

Postby RichM » 1 May 2016, 12:11pm

Hi, New cyclist here!

I'm trying to find a high quality all weather/condition lube and I'm wondering if there's a general consensus with the effectiveness lubes of this type?

I've found Fenwicks Stealth Lube (a bit wary as it doesn't seem widely available in popular online stores), Juice Lubes Viking Juice (needs a lengthy and repeated application method), Zefal Pro Lube and Muc-Off Hydrodynamic - all seem to have a few highly positive reviews (except for Zefal, which I couldn't find any for), but mixed reviews from user comment sections.

Is there a king of all weather chain lubes or do they just a compromise that won't do an amazing job in neither wet nor dry conditions?

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Mick F
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Re: All Weather Chain Lubes

Postby Mick F » 1 May 2016, 12:28pm

I'll chirp up first, because I'm well-known for chain cleanliness and stuff.
I reckon that all chain lubes are a compromise.

Dry waxy lube is brilliant, but washes off during wet rides.
Dry weather, and it'll last and last, but you need to keep adding it as the wax particles fling off naturally ......... that's what you want as it takes the grit with it.

Wet lubes tend to make your chain dirty but stay on in wet weather.
The problem with wet lubes, is that the chain gets black.
The blackness is grit. If it's black, it's dirty, and if it's dirty, it'll wear the chain faster.
Adding more helps, but your'e adding more on top of the black grit.

Only solution to either ............is to clean your chain as often as you can, and reapply your preferred lube.

Meanwhile, your chain will wear eventually, no matter what you do.
Mick F. Cornwall

the snail
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Re: All Weather Chain Lubes

Postby the snail » 1 May 2016, 12:38pm

Fınısh lıne wet ceramıc is good - less gunky than standard wet lube, but still keeps your chain lubed ın all conditıons. Just wipe the chain clean with a rag when its blackness offends you, apply a drop to each roller, run then chain around to work it in, then wipe the excess off with a rag. Job done.

andrewjoseph
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Re: All Weather Chain Lubes

Postby andrewjoseph » 1 May 2016, 1:02pm

my favourite lube at the moment is shimano ptfe. i use this now for my mtb and road/touring bike in all weathers.

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/shimano-ptfe-lube/rp-prod27242?stop_mobi=yes
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RichM
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Re: All Weather Chain Lubes

Postby RichM » 1 May 2016, 2:03pm

Mick F wrote:I'll chirp up first, because I'm well-known for chain cleanliness and stuff.
I reckon that all chain lubes are a compromise.

Dry waxy lube is brilliant, but washes off during wet rides.

...clean your chain as often as you can, and reapply your preferred lube.


To clarify, I assume you don't think lubes are a compromise when used exclusively in their respective conditions (e.g. dry lube in dry weather only).
I'd like to keep bike maintenance to a minimum and still take care of the components, so I would be interested in what you think of lubes that claim to be effective in all conditions.

the snail wrote:Fınısh lıne wet ceramıc is good - less gunky than standard wet lube, but still keeps your chain lubed ın all conditıons.


The marketing material for Finish Line Ceramic Wax (Dry/Wet) sound good as it suggests that you might not need to re-clean the chain when re-applying. Online user reviews have been very mixed, a lot suggesting the chain gets very noisy and needs a high frequency of re-application.
I'd love to know more of your experiences with the Ceramic Wet as I'm surprised you find it can work so well in dry conditions too.

andrewjoseph wrote:my favourite lube at the moment is shimano ptfe. i use this now for my mob and road/touring bike in all weathers.


Thanks for the recommendation, it seems to be priced fairly similarly to most other brands' lubes.
It really makes me curious to how well the Muc-Off Hydro Dynamic works as its price point is quite astronomical compared to any of the rest!

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Mick F
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Re: All Weather Chain Lubes

Postby Mick F » 1 May 2016, 2:32pm

Yes.
Each lube is excellent for what it is.
None of them work at all times and in all conditions with all uses.

This is my opinion. Other people have different opinions. :lol:

I spent years trying all sorts of lubes. Latterly, from 1985, I was cycle-commuting down here 17miles each way to work usually five times a week in all weathers. Before that, in the early 80s we lived in the west of Scotland, and I was riding 14miles each way to work. Before that, we were in Plymouth, and I rode 7miles each way.

Over all those miles and all that commuting, I tried and tried to find out what I could do to keep my transmission living. I tried different greases, 3in1 oil, Duckhams 20/50, vaseline and even lard :lol:

It was around this time I discovered LPS3. It was advertised in the cycling press and mags, and it worked better than I could have thought.
We were poor as church mice in those days, and LPS3 aerosols were quite expensive for us ........... but I still bought it.

LPS3 was in a small can specifically aimed at bicycle usage for chains. These days, it's not aimed at cyclists at all.
http://www.lpslabs.com/product-details/612

This stuff sprayed on and after a short while, dried to a soft waxy thick brown consistency. It was dry to the touch, and seemed to work quite well, and I used it for some years!

After I left the RN and spent some years doing up our bungalow, I stopped cycling .................. and time and technology moved on.
LPS3 is a distant memory, and I now like White Lightning Clean Ride.

It's wax lubricant, not cheap, but the chain stays clean and I can afford the cost and I can afford the time to clean it.
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/white-lightning ... ml-bottle/
Drizzle it on, let it dry, and ride.
It's ok in the wet, but not long-lived coz it washes off eventually.
As I'm a pleasure/leisure rider, it suits me just fine 12months of the year.
Mick F. Cornwall

RichM
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Re: All Weather Chain Lubes

Postby RichM » 1 May 2016, 3:53pm

Mick F wrote:After I left the RN and spent some years doing up our bungalow, I stopped cycling .................. and time and technology moved on.
LPS3 is a distant memory, and I now like White Lightning Clean Ride.

It's wax lubricant, not cheap, but the chain stays clean and I can afford the cost and I can afford the time to clean it.
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/white-lightning ... ml-bottle/
Drizzle it on, let it dry, and ride.
It's ok in the wet, but not long-lived coz it washes off eventually.
As I'm a pleasure/leisure rider, it suits me just fine 12months of the year.


Lard!? Haha, brilliant!

Although I'm cycling to commute, it's pretty short distance and would normally choose to ride in favourable conditions where there would be (at most) light to moderate amounts of rain, so my usage might be close to yours.
Having said that, I've read some positive comments of White Lightening and would be perfect if it stays on (if only in) short periods of rain, like you say.
Would you be able to expand on your usage a little (e.g. average ride distance, etc.) to compare on your cleaning and re-application frequency?

Thanks for sharing your experience with LPS3 and providing a link too. I've read of people using such industrial aircraft products on their frames and components to protect from the possibility of rust more effectively.

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Mick F
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Re: All Weather Chain Lubes

Postby Mick F » 2 May 2016, 9:07am

Hi again, and good morning.

Let us say the chain is spotlessly clean and bone dry.
Stand the bike so the cranks are free to rotate backwards in top gear (outer chainwheel, smallest sprocket)
Shake the WL Clean Ride vigorously to mix the contents thoroughly.
Remove the cap, invert the bottle and drizzle the lube on the bottom run of the chain and turn the cranks backwards.
Use your right hand for turning the cranks and the left hand for the lube.
It helps to rest the bottle on the rear mech jockey cage to steady it.
I have a cloth on the floor to catch any drips.
Turn the cranks for a few revs of the chain, drizzling as you go.
Continue to turn the cranks to distribute the lube right into the chain.
Leave it for a couple of hours to dry. Obviously you should do this well before you ride. I often do it before breakfast, or the previous evening.

By making sure the chain is well lubricated with it, the dry wax particles are distributed over all the teeth of your transmission. The instructions actually say to only put the lube on the rollers and to wipe off the side plates. I think this is a bit daft, and you want it on the side plates to lube the front mech and rear mechs, and all the teeth on their sides to aid gear changes.

Meanwhile, every so often, I add more lube.

The wax eventually gets dirty although it's still dry. The wax builds up in/on the cassette and although this isn't a problem, I reckon it becomes unsightly, so I take off the cassette and chain, and thoroughly clean everything ................ and start again.

Now, you're going to ask me the periodicity of all this! :wink:
It all depends on the weather, where I ride, and how far I ride ................ you cannot set a date/time.

Recently, I've been riding my new Moulton. I've used the same routine with it with due regard to the fact that the rear mech cage is only an inch off the road and the chain is long. It gets dirtier than a "normal" road bike, so it needs more attention.

Last time I cleaned and lubed the chain and cassette was two or three weeks ago, and it's had two applications since then. I've done maybe 150miles and if I get out riding this week, I'll be adding some more by the end of the week. There's a possibility of a long ride on Wednesday - 80odd miles - so I'll give it a good lubing before I go. If I'm not riding so far, I may not bother.

Meanwhile, if it rains and the roads are wet, I may have to add more than I would do normally.

As you can tell, it's a suck it and see situation.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Vantage
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Re: All Weather Chain Lubes

Postby Vantage » 2 May 2016, 11:12am

White Lightning Wet Ride oil.
One small drop per roller on the chain and it lasts a couple hundred miles easily.
As a wet lube it collects an aweful lot of road and trail crap which doesn't exactly help the chains lifespan but I've yet to come back from a ride with a squeaky chain.
Bill


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reohn2
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Re: All Weather Chain Lubes

Postby reohn2 » 2 May 2016, 11:32am

I've been using TF2 aerosol as an all weather chain lube for a number of years now,doesn't collect road grit and muck as much as others I've tried,which many and varied,and is cheap as chips.
It's only fault I find is that it washes off in all day rain but the one's that didn't collected road grit like a magnet.
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RichM
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Re: All Weather Chain Lubes

Postby RichM » 2 May 2016, 12:00pm

Mick F wrote:Hi again, and good morning.


Hey Mick,

Thanks for the great advice!
It really does seem like a 'if it works for you' kind of thing with lubes as all have really mixed reviews.
Even White Lightening have complaints about durability and constant re-application, which made me curious to your view on it.

You weren't kidding about being known for chain cleanliness. I had a look at the index pages and saw some pictures of your ridiculously clean drive train!

Vantage wrote:White Lightning Wet Ride oil.
One small drop per roller on the chain and it lasts a couple hundred miles easily.
As a wet lube it collects an awful lot of road and trail crap which doesn't exactly help the chains lifespan but I've yet to come back from a ride with a squeaky chain.


I like the durability of a wet lube, but the dirt-factor puts me off.
for my usage, I think a excellent dry lube that can cope well with short periods of light rain would make fore sense.
I've searched for one for quite a while now and it's been difficult to find one that can tick all the boxes.

reohn2 wrote:I've been using TF2 aerosol as an all weather chain lube for a number of years now,doesn't collect road grit and muck as much as others I've tried,which many and varied,and is cheap as chips.
It's only fault I find is that it washes off in all day rain but the one's that didn't collected road grit like a magnet.


Thanks for the tip, it sounds more like what I'm looking for.
So far they've had some favourable reviews with their all weather lube too, apparently in extreme conditions that were constantly changing, which sounds promising.

DavidT
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Re: All Weather Chain Lubes

Postby DavidT » 2 May 2016, 1:57pm

Another +1 for TF2 which I've been using for a good number of years now on my main (road/Audax) bike. As reohn2 has said, it does seem the best compromise. I always found wet lubes to atttact loads of muck. Whilst the TF2 (aerosol) version is officially a wet lube, it seems no where near as bad as the others and as it comparitively so cheap it's not a problem having to reapply after rain. British made too apparently.

Richard D
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Re: All Weather Chain Lubes

Postby Richard D » 2 May 2016, 5:17pm

I use White Lightning Clean Ride. And my chain is rarely clean. When it is, it only takes one ride to get filthy again.

I cleaned the whole drivetrain very throughly last week. Sprockets off and scrubbed in paraffin, chain agitated in two different solvents, mechs, jokey weeks and everything else scrubbed, and a good steam clean of everything to boot. The chain that went back on was spotless.

I bet that it returns to its usual grey-black look just as soon as I've ridden it.

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Mick F
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Re: All Weather Chain Lubes

Postby Mick F » 2 May 2016, 7:13pm

Richard, I think you get the wrong idea.

The chain and transmission won't be spotlessly clean, but it will be non-sticky, non-gritty, and non-get-your-fingers-dirty.
Look at this photo.
2016-04-28%2019.34.53.jpg
2016-04-28%2019.34.53.jpg (33.73 KiB) Viewed 1660 times
This was taken a few days ago.
Drag your hand across the bottom run of your chain like I did, and see if there's any black marks on your hand.
Mick F. Cornwall

Brucey
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Re: All Weather Chain Lubes

Postby Brucey » 2 May 2016, 7:41pm

I think it is easy enough to assume that 'all weather' = 'rainy' (and maybe a bit mucky too) and that is all there is to say about it; rain is rain and muck is muck, right...?

Not so IMHO. Summer rain and road muck (with most soil types) are not terribly corrosive things. Soil pH values (where there are plants growing, anyway) don't vary wildly. So even rather heavy summer rain isn't an aggressive chemical attack on your chain lube; it might wash the lube off eventually (or quickly) but a spray (with almost anything that displaces water) after each wet ride ought to at least keep a chain from rusting.

However in the wintertime on gritted roads (or if you are daft enough to ride on a sandy beach, say) then the chain is subjected to corrosive attack by salty water and salty crud. Only an oil which has pretty good corrosion inhibiting properties (which is certainly not all oils) will not be quickly overwhelmed and/or will stop you chain from rusting (often after just one ride in bad conditions with the wrong lube present).

So the kind of lube that works OK in summer rain isn't necessarily going to cut it in the wintertime. I've left chains outdoors for long periods (years sometimes) getting rained on and they have been fine with a decent lube coating, even if the bike isn't used or the chain relubed. However, one winter ride and the same chain can practically rust solid; the effect of salt is that remarkable.

Most commercial wax lubes are (IME) fairly quickly overwhelmed by summer rain and in the wintertime (on gritted roads) they are almost completely useless.

The problem with any lube that resists salty water reasonably well (that I have tried to date) is that it also attracts dirt.

So when others comment on whether lubes hold up OK in the wet or not, it might be worth making a distinction between summer wet and winter wet (on gritted roads); they are really not the same thing at all.

cheers
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