Chain lubricant advice

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20130814
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Chain lubricant advice

Postby 20130814 » 11 Jun 2017, 8:48am

Hi,

I wondered if I could ask for advice from others about what they use to lubricate their chains?

I often use Weldtite Pure Bike Oil, which is okay, and while it stops my chain from rusting, eventually it acts like a dirt and crud magnet and means the chain, chainset teeth and jockey wheels on the rear mech get caked in crud.

I then clean the chain down with a chain cleaning tool and muc-off, and have used GT-90 spray on lubricant. That seems too lightweight and the chain starts squeaking soon after applying the lubricant.

What do other people use, or do people spend a lot of time cleaning their chains / drive train down to keep things running smoothly?

Thanks

Jim

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Heltor Chasca
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Re: Chain lubricant advice

Postby Heltor Chasca » 11 Jun 2017, 9:05am

Weldtite TF2 Wet Lube is my preferred lube. All the 'green' lubes have just turned into a bubbling, black mess.

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Gattonero
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Re: Chain lubricant advice

Postby Gattonero » 11 Jun 2017, 10:37am

Heltor Chasca wrote:Weldtite TF2 Wet Lube is my preferred lube. All the 'green' lubes have just turned into a bubbling, black mess.


Weldtite TF2 is good, I use that altogether with Finish Line Wet (not on the same bike).

The trick is, use very little oil more frequently, rather than dropping 1/2 bottle on the chain twice a year.
One drop per chain roller is all it needs, on average 2-300 miles, or after every ride in heavy rain.
Wiping-off the chain frequently, and especially before and after lubrication, is the key to prevent the build-up of dirt so there won't be really need for "degreasing" or deep cleaning.
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

freeflow
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Re: Chain lubricant advice

Postby freeflow » 11 Jun 2017, 10:44am

There are many threads in this forum discussing the same/similar issue so try a little searching.

Chain lubricant really only needs to be inside the rollers so to prevent your chain being gungy wipe off the excesd after lubing.

If you use muc-off in a chain cleaner make sure you wash the chain well afterwards otherwise the cleaner left on the chain will kill any lubricant.

My preference is the MickF method of removing chain, degreasing with several changes if white spirit. I differ in that I do a final rinse with isopropanol.

I use purple extreme lubricant. It takes only a tiny drop applied to each roller to get a smoothly running chain. I stilk have to wipe off the excess.

And finally, I'm currently rotating five chains.

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meic
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Re: Chain lubricant advice

Postby meic » 11 Jun 2017, 10:51am

Gattonero wrote:
Heltor Chasca wrote:Weldtite TF2 Wet Lube is my preferred lube. All the 'green' lubes have just turned into a bubbling, black mess.


Weldtite TF2 is good, I use that altogether with Finish Line Wet (not on the same bike).

The trick is, use very little oil more frequently, rather than dropping 1/2 bottle on the chain twice a year.
One drop per chain roller is all it needs, on average 2-300 miles, or after every ride in heavy rain.
Wiping-off the chain frequently, and especially before and after lubrication, is the key to prevent the build-up of dirt so there won't be really need for "degreasing" or deep cleaning.


I partly agree with that but the only reason I think TF2 is good is because it is cheap.
If there is any benefit to be had through quality (for which price claims to be an indicator) it seems to vanish after 5 miles on the road, at which point the chain is dirty.

I dont think that any lubrication strategy will keep the dirt at bay and after 200k or so, the chain is totally compromised and without a deep clean will grind itself to death rapidly.
Yma o Hyd

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Gattonero
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Re: Chain lubricant advice

Postby Gattonero » 11 Jun 2017, 11:05am

meic wrote:
Gattonero wrote:
Heltor Chasca wrote:Weldtite TF2 Wet Lube is my preferred lube. All the 'green' lubes have just turned into a bubbling, black mess.


Weldtite TF2 is good, I use that altogether with Finish Line Wet (not on the same bike).

The trick is, use very little oil more frequently, rather than dropping 1/2 bottle on the chain twice a year.
One drop per chain roller is all it needs, on average 2-300 miles, or after every ride in heavy rain.
Wiping-off the chain frequently, and especially before and after lubrication, is the key to prevent the build-up of dirt so there won't be really need for "degreasing" or deep cleaning.


I partly agree with that but the only reason I think TF2 is good is because it is cheap.
If there is any benefit to be had through quality (for which price claims to be an indicator) it seems to vanish after 5 miles on the road, at which point the chain is dirty.

I dont think that any lubrication strategy will keep the dirt at bay and after 200k or so, the chain is totally compromised and without a deep clean will grind itself to death rapidly.


This is a bike I had done a good 400 miles in about a month of daily use, the chain started being very clean* and lubricated with F.L. Wet by soaking it over a rag and wiping off any excess after. It was ridden 5 to 6 days a week, trough a few rain showers if not a few times under a good 1/2hr of proper rain. During this time it was lightly lubricated once with a quick wipe-off.
Won't say it stayed "very clean" but certainly not messy:
Image

For "very clean" I mean this:
Image
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

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meic
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Re: Chain lubricant advice

Postby meic » 11 Jun 2017, 11:09am

You can not tell if a chain is compromised by looking, you tell by feel.
And by the pile of grit in the bottom of your cleaning fluid.
Yma o Hyd

Samuel D
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Re: Chain lubricant advice

Postby Samuel D » 11 Jun 2017, 2:56pm

I have tried a variety of schemes and none of them have been completely satisfactory.

‘Dry’ lube (Squirt) feels efficient until the chain gets dirty, whereupon it becomes both noisy and draggy and remains so until you deep-clean the chain (itself hard to do with dried-on wax). It’s also incompatible with oil, including the factory grease. A sticky grunge forms if you mix Squirt and factory grease. So even a new chain must be deep-cleaned.

Cleaning a chain is difficult if you have no access to a utility sink, workshop, or outdoor space with running water. So I tend to do this less frequently than I should.

On the other hand, applying fresh lubricant to a dirty chain causes it to crunch alarmingly on the next ride, suggesting the lubricant washed grit into the bearing surfaces of the chain. Others claim not to notice this, so it may depend on the grit size. Paris is terrible, because a fine white dust is everywhere.

I have tried various chains, most recently a Wippermann Connex 808. The Connex did not last much longer than the cheaper chains I have used, although its quick-link works better than the others.

My current plan is to use inexpensive SRAM PC-850 chains and lubricate them with a 1-litre (i.e. inexpensive) bottle of Weldtite TF2 Performance, replacing the chains often in the hope that the rest of the drivetrain lasts a long time.

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Mick F
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Re: Chain lubricant advice

Postby Mick F » 11 Jun 2017, 3:22pm

Samuel D wrote:Cleaning a chain is difficult if you have no access to a utility sink, workshop, or outdoor space with running water. So I tend to do this less frequently than I should.
I don't agree.

Buy a plastic tub with a tight-fitting lid. "Tupperware" sort of thing, less than a quid from a supermarket.
Buy some Gunk engine degreaser. http://www.halfords.com/motoring/engine ... er-1-litre
You can use white spirit if you want, and it's pence for a bottle.

Pour some into your tub, maybe less than half full, and drop your chain into it.
Screw on the lid and shake the whole thing etc etc etc etc ........................

Fish it out. An old spoke is a good tool, and as you pull it out gently, let it drain back into your tub.
Drop it onto an old rag and let the chain dry a bit.
Hot water and washing up liquid into the kitchen sink, and give the chain a good shoogling about, then rinse it in hot fresh water and hang it out to dry.

Very simple indeed and you don't need any special facilities. Also, if you do this frequently maybe once a week, it is easy peasy and quick. Having a spare chain is a good idea, so you can have one clean and ready.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Heltor Chasca
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Re: Chain lubricant advice

Postby Heltor Chasca » 11 Jun 2017, 3:34pm

I am a blatant thief of the Methode Classique de Mick F.

I have inserted another bottomless tub into the larger tub that holds the diesel/spirit/whatever. This little tub has the bottom replaced with a cutout piece of kitchen sieve, held in place by cable ties. The chain goes into this compartment. Shut the bigger one with a lid. When you agitate the whole lot, the chain dirt sinks through the sieve to the bottom and the chain is no longer in contact with the muck.

Shiny.

(The sieve/Tupperware method was nicked from YouTube)

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Mick F
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Re: Chain lubricant advice

Postby Mick F » 11 Jun 2017, 3:40pm

Excellent! :D
Mick F. Cornwall

Brucey
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Re: Chain lubricant advice

Postby Brucey » 11 Jun 2017, 6:25pm

FWIW I bought some kind of microwave ready-meal from tesco's (don't ask!) a while back and it had a perforated shelf in the packaging. I remember thinking then that the packaging might be ideal for chain cleaning, since it comprises a rounded PET bowl about 8-9" dia with a ~6" diameter perforated shelf in the bottom of it. I reckon if you have at it with a paintbrush and paraffin, you can degrease almost any small bike part in a bowl like that, and have the crud fall in the bottom, nicely out of the way.

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

gloomyandy
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Re: Chain lubricant advice

Postby gloomyandy » 11 Jun 2017, 6:40pm

I've had reasonable success (on 10 speed chains) using Squirt dry lube. My method is to fit the new chain and ride it until the factory lube is no longer doing the job, then deep clean the chain using white spirit (off the bike) and re-lube with Squirt. When the chain needs more lube (depends on number of rides and conditions) I use one of those industrial wipes to clean the surface of the chain (by simply running the chain through the wipe while the chain is still on the bike), this seems to remove the dirt and wax build up mentioned above and restores to the chain to free movement, then apply more Squirt. Every now and again (probably every 3 months or longer) when giving the bike a good clean/service I will deep clean the chain and start again. I usually get around 2,500-3,000 miles out of a chain (I monitor it with one of those chain gauges that some think do not work, and swap the chain when it gets to the 0.75% point) and I change the cassette after 3 or 4 chain swaps if it starts to jump.

I like the Squirt dry lube as the chain and cassette seems to stay pretty clean and is not to messy if you need to handle it. It is easy to apply, and with the wipes seems easy to clean off from the chain. cassette and mechs.

Everyone seems to have their own way of doing this, but the above is mine!

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Mick F
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Re: Chain lubricant advice

Postby Mick F » 11 Jun 2017, 7:29pm

When I was 9sp, the chain I was using had done 7,500miles before I swapped to 10sp. Now, the mileage is less - more like 5,000miles for chains, but I am very pernickety about chain wear. I use a 39" steel rule, and if the chain gets to an eighth of an inch extension, it gets retired. Normal folk would keep it running far longer. :wink:
Mick F. Cornwall

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freiston
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Re: Chain lubricant advice

Postby freiston » 11 Jun 2017, 10:02pm

FWIW, I use Fenwick's General Use chain lube with an approximation of the 'mickle method'. I used to regularly remove the chain and use a white spirit bath but tend to avoid it now.
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)