Truly maintenance free??

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NUKe
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Re: Truly maintenance free??

Postby NUKe » 29 Mar 2010, 9:44pm

chris667 wrote:What I have been experimenting with recently is a chain lubricated with a mixture of candlewax and engine oil. I put them in a redundant slow cooker, drop the chain into the mixture and all the dirt floats up to the surface.

But yes, an oilbath chaincase, single gear and rod brake roadster would be hard to beat.


I tried this a couple of years back but without the slow cooker, you could have found the bit I couldn't get right. What have you found the best mix of oil to candle wax. My mixes tended to be too hard or too sticky.
NUKe
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random37
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Re: Truly maintenance free??

Postby random37 » 29 Mar 2010, 10:21pm

Much more wax than oil, but I haven't been scientific in the way I mixed it. Just let it all melt, drop your chain in, job's a goodun.

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Velorum
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Re: Truly maintenance free??

Postby Velorum » 29 Mar 2010, 10:26pm

Single speed dutch bike with coaster brake. 'Nuff said.
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hubgearfreak
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Re: Truly maintenance free??

Postby hubgearfreak » 29 Mar 2010, 11:00pm

Velorum wrote:Single speed dutch bike with coaster brake. 'Nuff said.


i agree - preferably painted green i suppose :mrgreen:

gilesjuk
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Re: Truly maintenance free??

Postby gilesjuk » 30 Mar 2010, 8:34am

Shaft drive is terribly inefficient, anything with such big angles in the drivechain is going to lose lots of energy.

Shimano Nexus do seem to be made of cheese. The Alfine is supposedly better, but Shimano fill all of their hubs with grease. You're best stripping them down and filling them with oil instead.

The simplest design will have the longest life. Straight chain, no gears or freehub.

If you leave your bike outside in the rain then its days will be numbered, bearing and hub seals on bikes aren't very tight.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Truly maintenance free??

Postby [XAP]Bob » 30 Mar 2010, 9:36am

gilesjuk wrote:Shaft drive is terribly inefficient, anything with such big angles in the drivechain is going to lose lots of energy.


I'm not necessarily convinced that this is true (at least not the terrible)

Compared with a well maintained chain drive it is likely to be of lower efficiency.

However, we're focussing here on low maintenance. I'd sacrifice 5-10% efficiency at "optimum" for the sake of what promises to be virtually zero maintenance.
I cannot imagine that my chain line is sufficiently well maintained to provide optimum efficiency, so I'll actually be losing less than the 5% quoted.

I'd suggest:
- shaft drive (Failing that a single/fixed/hub with complete chain case)
- enclosed rear brake (drum?)
- dynamo hub with mechanical disc brake at the front *
- LEDs powered from the dynamo

* Yes this is probably higher maintenance that some other options, but:
- I wouldn't sacrifice the stopping power of a disc up front
- The hub is going to mean no thinking about lights ever
- All the maintenance in on the "easy" wheel

Possibly most important though - A garage, or other DRY location to store the aforementioned vehicle :)
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

hamster
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Re: Truly maintenance free??

Postby hamster » 30 Mar 2010, 9:42am

My suspicion is that the original poster is using spray lube like GT85 on the chain. I used to use it and in 5 years got through 4 Shimano freehubs. The spray lube does a great job of working its way into the hub, where it then dissolves out the grease. Water then gets in and the hub is trashed.

Changing to drip-on type lubes (engine oil seems fine) stopped the hubs dying. It was only later that CJ on this site explained what had been going on...

I have some midrange Shimano MTB hubs that have done 30,000+ miles and still have pristine bearings.

Pugwash
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Re: Truly maintenance free??

Postby Pugwash » 30 Mar 2010, 10:04am

My preferred set up would be.

Belt Drive - rather than an inefficiant drive shaft - and looks cooler too.
Rolhoff Rear Hub
Front Hub Dynamo - For LED Lights
V Brakes - Which are much easier to maintain than disc brakes. - although I am prepared to be convinced otherwise.
and most importantly - oversized mud guards to stop the spray in the first place.

Alex.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Truly maintenance free??

Postby [XAP]Bob » 30 Mar 2010, 1:47pm

Pugwash wrote:V Brakes - Which are much easier to maintain than disc brakes. - although I am prepared to be convinced otherwise.
and most importantly - oversized mud guards to stop the spray in the first place.


Belt drive is probably better than an enclosed chain...
Mudguards are pretty much a give on this sort of thing, but well worth specifying :)

My (limited) experience with disc brakes has been excellent - much greater stopping power, and no significant maintenance - I occasionally (when the brake lever gets too close to the handlebars) give the left pad a couple of turns with an allen key to move it closer and/or adjust the barrel at the brake lever. There's much less faffing aligning brake pads etc.

My experience is that I wouldn't be without their stopping power, the maintenance (when it comes to switching pads) might be a bit harder, but IMHO it's trivial in comparison with their advantages.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

pete75
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Re: Truly maintenance free??

Postby pete75 » 1 Apr 2010, 10:02pm

This sort of machine might be low maintenance....
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fraxinus
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Location: West Midlands

Re: Truly maintenance free??

Postby fraxinus » 2 Apr 2010, 9:08am

yes but she looks high maintainance
So many bike rides so little time

pete75
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Re: Truly maintenance free??

Postby pete75 » 2 Apr 2010, 10:13am

fraxinus wrote:yes but she looks high maintainance


Yep - but probably worth it!

mark a.
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Location: Surrey

Re: Truly maintenance free??

Postby mark a. » 2 Apr 2010, 11:29am

Belt drive + fixed + drum brakes (perhaps just front) + mudguards would be a pretty maintenance-free bike.

However, I'm not sure how available belt drives are in order for you to build up to your own specifications.

djnotts
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Re: Truly maintenance free??

Postby djnotts » 2 Apr 2010, 4:05pm

Here you go - 1800 quids worth of low maintenance for <400 notes if you are in right place to collect!

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... K:MEWAX:IT

Usual disclaimers - not mine, no interest.

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mill4six
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Re: Truly maintenance free??

Postby mill4six » 2 Apr 2010, 9:18pm

That gives me a bad feeling, don't know why, couldn't put my finger on it, it just seems dodge and I trust my instincts. Lots of other suggestions on here but no way am I riding 15 miles in under an hour, on gravel on a Dutch bike, without seriously changing the riding position. Weight is not such an issue, my current bike is heavy, but come on! :D Hubs with an oil port would be good though.