Which lubricant for my chain?

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Mick F
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Re: Which lubricant for my chain?

Post by Mick F »

mig wrote:i'm not sure i'd use something "viscous and tacky" on a bike chain. every damn leaf in the borough plus lots of grit is surely going to stick to it.
That's what I was inferring by my post above.
Mick F wrote:I'm off to buy some chainsaw oil this afternoon ..................... for my chainsaw. :D


Chainsaw oil is for chainsaws. It's designed to be biodegradable, be continually fed by the oil pump as it flies off into the undergrowth to some degree. Stuff sticks to it because it's very sticky. It's designed to be as sticky as possible so it doesn't get flung off too much.

Bicycle chain oil/lube OTOH is designed for bicycle chains. It's designed to be non sticky so stuff doesn't stick to it.

If chainsaw oil was ok for bicycle chains, it suggests that a bicycle chain lubricant would be ok on a chainsaw.
Mick F. Cornwall
mickp
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Re: Which lubricant for my chain?

Post by mickp »

lubricate with 2 stroke oil, cheap. clean with petrol, really cheap, you can get a whole litre for just £1.10 at the moment and is also unsurprisingly great at dissolving 2 stroke oil.

Mike
niggle
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Re: Which lubricant for my chain?

Post by niggle »

Mick F wrote:
mig wrote:i'm not sure i'd use something "viscous and tacky" on a bike chain. every damn leaf in the borough plus lots of grit is surely going to stick to it.
That's what I was inferring by my post above.
Mick F wrote:I'm off to buy some chainsaw oil this afternoon ..................... for my chainsaw. :D


Chainsaw oil is for chainsaws. It's designed to be biodegradable, be continually fed by the oil pump as it flies off into the undergrowth to some degree. Stuff sticks to it because it's very sticky. It's designed to be as sticky as possible so it doesn't get flung off too much.

Bicycle chain oil/lube OTOH is designed for bicycle chains. It's designed to be non sticky so stuff doesn't stick to it.

If chainsaw oil was ok for bicycle chains, it suggests that a bicycle chain lubricant would be ok on a chainsaw.

I am not proposing to use it instead of a dry wax type lube like White Lightning Clean Ride, I use that kind of lube in dry conditions on my best bikes, but I find it does not last more than 30-40 miles in wet conditions, which is not long enough for me and I do not wish to be fiddling about lubing my commuter's chain mid week.

For the commuter and for all my bikes when used in severe wet weather, I use a bicycle chain lube intended for such conditions such as Finish Line Cross Country or Bikehut Wet Synthetic- the stuff I have just run out of. These are similar in properties and rely on being quite clingy, which is very reminiscent of chainsaw oil, so much so that I cannot help wondering if it is chainsaw oil repackaged and price marked up according to the market expectations*. IMO it is inevitable lubes that stick well to the chain also stick well to other stuff, I do not believe you can have it both ways, whatever the claims of the chain lube peddlers.

*Marketing is powerful stuff: I bet nobody would expect a bike chain lube priced at 35p per bottle to be any good, but that is how much MickF's chainsaw oil at £13.89 for 5 litres works out at for the usual bike lube bottle size of 125ml... and the stuff I have ordered works out at 50p

I solemnly promise to test and assess the chainsaw lube as objectively as I can :wink:
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Mick F
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Re: Which lubricant for my chain?

Post by Mick F »

Excellent!
Yes please, report back. :D

I know other people have tried chainsaw oil, and it's been mentioned on here before. It's just that I doubt it'll be any good. and that you may as well use 20/50 engine oil.

Whatever anyone uses, the only thing that will make any lasting difference, is to clean the chain thoroughly at the very start of it becoming in the slightest bit dirty. If this means daily, so be it.
Mick F. Cornwall
niggle
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Re: Which lubricant for my chain?

Post by niggle »

Mick F wrote:Excellent!
Yes please, report back. :D

I know other people have tried chainsaw oil, and it's been mentioned on here before. It's just that I doubt it'll be any good. and that you may as well use 20/50 engine oil.

Whatever anyone uses, the only thing that will make any lasting difference, is to clean the chain thoroughly at the very start of it becoming in the slightest bit dirty. If this means daily, so be it.

As I have said before I only remove and deep clean the 1/8" chain on my hub gear commuter about twice a year, and in between I just wipe off crud and relube with wet oil type lube, wiping off the excess after. So far that chain has done an estimated 6-9000 miles and still works, though it is somewhat longer than when it started...

I have used chainsaw oil and engine oil on exposed motorcycle chains and the chainsaw oil was quite good, but the engine oil washed off too quickly in wet weather.
mercalia
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Re: Which lubricant for my chain?

Post by mercalia »

I ve found chainsaw oil ok. Things only stick to it if there are things to stick to it, so get a front mudguard flap to keep the crud off the chain rings & chain? Is also quite cheap.
niggle
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Re: Which lubricant for my chain?

Post by niggle »

mercalia wrote:I ve found chainsaw oil ok. Things only stick to it if there are things to stick to it, so get a front mudguard flap to keep the crud off the chain rings & chain? Is also quite cheap.

Yes you are right- I plan to pop rivet a nice long flap on the front mudguard tomorrow- using a section of a large black plastic plant pot I have saved. I have already fitted similar to my tourer to very good effect with added bonus of much drier feet :)
Bikefayre
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Re: Which lubricant for my chain?

Post by Bikefayre »

Think there's nothing to beat 2 Stroke Oregon Chainsaw oil as it's designed to repel grassy matter and wood. All you do is paint it on with a small or narrow paint brush and simply wrap the chain with newspaper and reverse spin the chain to remove any excess. Have found the more you do the less time it needs done.
niggle
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Re: Which lubricant for my chain?

Post by niggle »

Bikefayre wrote:Think there's nothing to beat 2 Stroke Oregon Chainsaw oil as it's designed to repel grassy matter and wood. All you do is paint it on with a small or narrow paint brush and simply wrap the chain with newspaper and reverse spin the chain to remove any excess. Have found the more you do the less time it needs done.

Yes wiping off the excess is important or stringy blobs fling off and stick to nearby things like the tyre, which is exactly what Bikehut Wet Synthetic is like :? The bottle of lube that has just run out has a screw off spout and I found it quite good for drop feeding the chain rollers quickly, so I will refill that with the chainsaw oil. In the interest of science I will time lubing the chain this way and compare with using a brush.
geocycle
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Re: Which lubricant for my chain?

Post by geocycle »

Interesting comments. I used proline gold for a while and was quite impressed. I've then switched to WLM epic ride. WL is good but not up to my commute or limited cleaning regime. The chain rattles away after the first downpour and it really needs applying every trip in winter. So it's back temporarily to finish line, then maybe a return pro link gold. The key thing is to match the lube to the type of riding and cleaning regime you use. WL would be good for someone who does infrequent long rides, applies each time and cleans their chain meticulously.
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Mick F
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Re: Which lubricant for my chain?

Post by Mick F »

I am now the proud owner of 5Ltrs of chainsaw oil.
It should last me a couple of years. 8)
Mick F. Cornwall
Brucey
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Re: Which lubricant for my chain?

Post by Brucey »

chainsaw oil varies somewhat; some is mineral based, some vegetable based (in the interests of protecting the environment), some a mixture. It usually has EP, anti-fling and so called 'tackifying' additives. Chainsaw bars often run hot, and tree-sap can be corrosive. Past being likely to stay put on a bike chain and perhaps resisting corrosion better than some other oils, it isn't easy to see how it might be any better than lots of other oils etc when used on bicycle chains. The EP additives work best when they are hot (about 200C) so it isn't clear that they will work at their best on a cold bike chain.

I have no idea if the additives in chainsaw oil are likely to render it any more or any less water resistant, either.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Mick F
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Re: Which lubricant for my chain?

Post by Mick F »

On the back of the new bottle I bought, it says:
Derived from refined petroleum.
Paraffin oil >98%
High molecular weight.
Polysobutylene <2%


When I bought mine yesterday, the chap in Abbey Gardens told me of an Oregon chainsaw oil that comes as a concentrate that you dilute with water.
Mick F. Cornwall
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Heltor Chasca
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Which lubricant for my chain?

Post by Heltor Chasca »

I'm watching this post with interest. I've only recently learnt some pretty useful stuff about bike chains and I'm at risk of being a bit of an anorak about them. I wish I'd learnt these things years ago.

That said I've also been using chainsaws for a while and I've played around with lubes a bit. I found the veg-based oil disappointing and the wear on my bar was higher. I'm not sure what brand I'm using now but I'm back to a mineral oil. As soon as the quality of the veg oil improves I'll be trialling that again. For domestic users I would say the veg oil is fine. Abbey are a half decent supplier. Good prices but their web-sales has it's problems.

Over the next few weeks I've got just under 200 trees to pollard! Yikes [emoji50]
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Mick F
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Re: Which lubricant for my chain?

Post by Mick F »

Heltor Chasca wrote:Over the next few weeks I've got just under 200 trees to pollard! Yikes
Over the next few weeks I have far less than that to hack. :D

Three birch a foot or so diameter, four huge clumps of hazel, a couple of ash 8" diameter, blackthorn, a small oak and sundry bunches of stuff. Meanwhile I have sycamore, holly and ash logs to cut up.

It never ends, and we have a couple of acres of woodland to maintain as well.
Mick F. Cornwall
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