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Chain lube.

Old 06-11-19, 06:09 PM
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Chain lube.

There was an extremely long thread about chain lube in another area of bike forum but no one mentioned my particular choice.
I clean chains quite thouroughly with WD and just as thouroughly dry them and then spray a dry silicone lube containing Teflon and call it a day. I seem to be in the minority using this lube for chains. I love that it don't attract grime and grit, doesn't squeak and stays really clean.
Many years ago, while touring, my chain started squeaking so I pulled up to an auto parts dumpster and used an "empty" oil can to dose my chain so I've used other products but I use dry lube and it seems to work very well. Am I nuts or a genius? Oh yeah, it's worth noting I used to use WD as my chain lube. ( I soon discovered WD is not a lube and promotes rust as it breaks down oil based products leaving bare unprotected metal.
As an additional thought would "intimate" lubrications provide protection from rust do you suppose? It certainly would be safe to use, one would think.😘
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Old 06-11-19, 07:00 PM
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Most personal lubricants are water-based, so would probably not bed the best for rust protection, and would wash away almost instantly in the rain.
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Old 06-11-19, 07:46 PM
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KY Jelly for whips and bike chains? I like it...
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Old 06-11-19, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Cycle Tourist View Post
As an additional thought would "intimate" lubrications provide protection from rust do you suppose? It certainly would be safe to use, one would think.��
Safe for metal?!? Sure, why not. Anything is better than actual bike chain lube, right? You are in the right forum.

So we have "intimate" lube instead of chain oil,
Dirt instead of hand cleaner,
Chain oil instead of bearing grease,
Detergent instead of solvent...
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Old 06-11-19, 09:55 PM
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OK on a more serious note. Does anyone use silicone spray? I was actually kidding about the KY.
Chain lube just seems to attracts dirt.
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Old 06-11-19, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Cycle Tourist View Post
OK on a more serious note. Does anyone use silicone spray? I was actually kidding about the KY.
Chain lube just seems to attracts dirt.
I use silicone spray to clean. For a chain it does not last long and for wet, not at all.
I am also fed up with over priced chain lubes that either collect grime like a magnet or don't last a century.
I might just go to motor oil, save some money and call it a day
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Old 06-11-19, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
I might just go to motor oil, save some money and call it a day
I say do yourself a favor and for $10 (cheaper than motor oil with additives you don't need) you can get a gallon of bar chain oil which sticks much better and in my opinion and that is why it lasts much longer. Then experiment with OMS thinner to help with cleaning and distribution. It evaporates off leaving only the sticky oil where it is supposed to be.
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Old 06-12-19, 04:36 AM
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What is WD?
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Old 06-12-19, 06:10 AM
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WD40 with WD meaning water displacement. Maybe the most argued about lubricant there is. Roger
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Old 06-12-19, 07:37 AM
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I've used WD40 to clean chains, but it's kind of inefficient and expensive. Lately I've been using gasoline, with great results. I use a shallow plastic tray (like a kitty litter container, about $2-3 at a dollar store), and pour just a little gas into it. Then lean my bike against something, position the tray under the chain, and dip a heavy paintbrush into the gas and immediately rub it all over the chain, allowing it to drip back into the tray. The chain is visibly cleaner after just one wipe with the brush, but I'll do several more. Then after several passes on that section of chain, I'll wipe the chain with a scott towel, then turn the crank to expose another section of dirty chain, and repeat. It's quick, very effective, and only uses maybe a couple cups of gas. Lots cheaper than 1/2 a can of WD40, and in my experience, faster and more effective.
As for using a lube that isn't bike specific (which, along with gun lubes, are largely a sham, IMO), I've seen some encouraging comparison reviews on using gear oil, like this......
https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...hTerm=gear+oil
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Old 06-12-19, 04:48 PM
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Using gasoline to clean chains is not wise. Not only does it stink to high heaven, a static electricity spark can result in it blowing up in your face. Mineral spirits or naptha is a much better choice. To clean a chain, but it an old water bottle about half full and shake vigorously. Repeat with a second batch of clean solvent.

WD-40 is indeed a lubricant. If you use it for a chain lube, it will always be oily and attract dirt. It does not dry out completely. I tried it for a few weeks with my first 11 speed Campy chain, back in 2009, just for kicks. It did not work well.

I use a home made dry lube that is 6-7 fluid ounces of naptha (camp stove fuel) to one ounce by weight (1/4 stick) of paraffin, plus 2-3% heavy lubricating oil, like automotive gear lube. It lasts quite awhile and leaves the chain and cogs very clean. It does not attract dirt. The cheapest camp stove fuel I've found it Crown brand at Walmart for about $8.50, which is close to half the price of mineral spirits.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by AnkleWork View Post
So we have "intimate" lube instead of chain oil,
Dirt instead of hand cleaner,
Chain oil instead of bearing grease,
Detergent instead of solvent...
Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
Lately I've been using gasoline...
And the beat goes on!
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Old 06-12-19, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
I've used WD40 to clean chains, but it's kind of inefficient and expensive. Lately I've been using gasoline, with great results. I use a shallow plastic tray (like a kitty litter container, about $2-3 at a dollar store), and pour just a little gas into it.
Be careful on that as depending on the polymer of the tray it can melt and get gasoline all over as well as gel up.
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Old 06-12-19, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Be careful on that as depending on the polymer of the tray it can melt and get gasoline all over as well as gel up.
It seems to be ok. I used to use it for my motorcycle oil changes, and have recently used it a few times for bicycle chain cleaning, with no issues. But still, good point, I could see a cheaper plastic not responding well to gasoline.
Also, to answer the earlier post, I've been doing it out in the driveway, where there's no fume accumulation, and no flame-spark sources anywhere nearby. I'm pretty sure I can keep from immolating myself !
I've actually had one of those chain scrubber machines for years, and a couple bottles of (Pedros?) citrus degreaser. I used to use it, but it's kind of a PITA, makes a big mess, and still doesn't work as well as my gas and paint-brush system.
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Old 06-12-19, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
I say do yourself a favor and for $10 (cheaper than motor oil with additives you don't need) you can get a gallon of bar chain oil which sticks much better and in my opinion and that is why it lasts much longer. Then experiment with OMS thinner to help with cleaning and distribution. It evaporates off leaving only the sticky oil where it is supposed to be.
Good suggestion. There is even a biodegradabile chainsaw oil
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Old 06-12-19, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by AnkleWork View Post
Safe for metal?!? Sure, why not. Anything is better than actual bike chain lube, right? You are in the right forum.

So we have "intimate" lube instead of chain oil,
Dirt instead of hand cleaner,
Chain oil instead of bearing grease,
Detergent instead of solvent...
I meant safe in terms of non-toxic. You know, the flavored kind. It was more in the way of a joke.
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Old 06-13-19, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Cycle Tourist View Post
There was an extremely long thread about chain lube in another area of bike forum but no one mentioned my particular choice.
I clean chains quite thouroughly with WD and just as thouroughly dry them and then spray a dry silicone lube containing Teflon and call it a day. I seem to be in the minority using this lube for chains. I love that it don't attract grime and grit, doesn't squeak and stays really clean.
Why? Why do people think the more complicated the lubrication (and cleaning routine), the better the results? I would bet dollars to donuts (Egad, Brain! If dollars turn into donuts, Everyone's wallets will be too squishy for them to sit down.) that your routine doesn't result in any longer chain life than anyone else's. And, given the composition of the two sprays you likely aren't doing what you think your are doing. More below.

Originally Posted by Cycle Tourist View Post
Oh yeah, it's worth noting I used to use WD as my chain lube. ( I soon discovered WD is not a lube and promotes rust as it breaks down oil based products leaving bare unprotected metal.
I'm only going to address this part. WD40 is most definitely a lubricant. It contains about 25% "Petroleum Base Oil" which is a mineral oil. It also contains about 75% solvent but that evaporates and leaves behind the mineral oil. WD40 silicone spray contains 60 to 80% solvent and about 1 to 5% siloxane (the "silicone" part of the spray). Step one of your procedure puts a bit of oil on the chain with a lot of solvent. Step two strips that bit of oil off and leaves behind less of another lubricant. You are simply undoing step one with step 2. That makes it mostly a waste time and solvent. Pick one, not both.
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Old 06-13-19, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Why? Why do people think the more complicated the lubrication (and cleaning routine), the better the results? I would bet dollars to donuts (Egad, Brain! If dollars turn into donuts, Everyone's wallets will be too squishy for them to sit down.) that your routine doesn't result in any longer chain life than anyone else's. And, given the composition of the two sprays you likely aren't doing what you think your are doing. More below.



I'm only going to address this part. WD40 is most definitely a lubricant. It contains about 25% "Petroleum Base Oil" which is a mineral oil. It also contains about 75% solvent but that evaporates and leaves behind the mineral oil. WD40 silicone spray contains 60 to 80% solvent and about 1 to 5% siloxane (the "silicone" part of the spray). Step one of your procedure puts a bit of oil on the chain with a lot of solvent. Step two strips that bit of oil off and leaves behind less of another lubricant. You are simply undoing step one with step 2. That makes it mostly a waste time and solvent. Pick one, not both.
Interesting. Sounds like you've done some research and I think the solvent in WD 40 is the reason I think it's not very good as a chain lube. Especially on long or damp tours it leave me with a squeaky or rusty chain in very short order. I use it for cleaning only because it quickly breaks down the crud and I always have it around.
I use a spray silicone with Teflon additives as a follow up after drying the chain. That seems to work for me. Maybe I'm only sealing the residual lube left by the WD40 that is left behind as you suggest. Someone mentioned that it will break down in the wet but I haven't seen that happen yet. I'm not sure why it works but my chains are very clean, not greasy, move very freely and don't rust at all. Maybe I should skip one or the other step but honestly, I probably won't. 🤔

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Old 07-04-19, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
I use a home made dry lube that is 6-7 fluid ounces of naptha (camp stove fuel) to one ounce by weight (1/4 stick) of paraffin, plus 2-3% heavy lubricating oil, like automotive gear lube. It lasts quite awhile and leaves the chain and cogs very clean. It does not attract dirt. The cheapest camp stove fuel I've found it Crown brand at Walmart for about $8.50, which is close to half the price of mineral spirits.
DaveSSS Will please give more detail on how you make this? Do you melt the paraffin then add the naphtha or let the naphtha desolve it? I think that would take a very long time. I donít have naphtha but I have mineral spirits and I have white gas at home. Will either of those substitute well for the naphtha? I donít know how to measure 2 - 3% oil so I assume several drops (half teaspoon) will work, correct? Any other comments about making this will be helpful.

thanks
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Old 07-04-19, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
It seems to be ok. I used to use it for my motorcycle oil changes, and have recently used it a few times for bicycle chain cleaning, with no issues. But still, good point, I could see a cheaper plastic not responding well to gasoline.
Also, to answer the earlier post, I've been doing it out in the driveway, where there's no fume accumulation, and no flame-spark sources anywhere nearby. I'm pretty sure I can keep from immolating myself !
I've actually had one of those chain scrubber machines for years, and a couple bottles of (Pedros?) citrus degreaser. I used to use it, but it's kind of a PITA, makes a big mess, and still doesn't work as well as my gas and paint-brush system.
Sad but true, from long experience cleaning really grimy auto parts, yes, it's dangerous, but NOTHING works like gasoline.
-Dan
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Old 07-04-19, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Cycle Tourist View Post
I clean chains quite thouroughly with WD and just as thouroughly dry them and then spray a dry silicone lube containing Teflon and call it a day.
Just curious, what sort of mileage do you get from your chains using this method?
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Old 07-04-19, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by wobrien View Post
DaveSSS Will please give more detail on how you make this? Do you melt the paraffin then add the naphtha or let the naphtha desolve it? I think that would take a very long time. I donít have naphtha but I have mineral spirits and I have white gas at home. Will either of those substitute well for the naphtha? I donít know how to measure 2 - 3% oil so I assume several drops (half teaspoon) will work, correct? Any other comments about making this will be helpful.

thanks
Considering that DaveSSS says that the ďwhite gasĒ he uses is naphtha, yes, your white gas would work. Mineral spirits is similar enough to white gas to work as well. Donít expect to dissolve a lot of wax in either, however. Thereís a limit to itís solubility.

There might be other solvents that will work but I am hesitant to make those suggestions. The solvents carry far more hazards than white gas and mineral spirits.

Originally Posted by Trinity Pratt View Post
Sad but true, from long experience cleaning really grimy auto parts, yes, it's dangerous, but NOTHING works like gasoline.
-Dan
There are MANY solvents that work as well as gasoline. Mineral spirits works just as well without the hazards. Gasoline is formulated to ignite at low temperatures without much energy input.
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Old 07-04-19, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
Just curious, what sort of mileage do you get from your chains using this method?
I'm not sure. I don't normally change or replace chains. They seem to break in with the freewheel and unless you change the freewheel they work fine. I change touring bikes too often to have reliable data on how long they go before having a problem. I've rebuilt some bikes that had chains that are very rusted to a point that many links are frozen or nearly so. I spray WD and wire brush the crap out of them, then freed up all the links, clean and dry it thouroughly and sprayed the silicone/Teflon. If they're mated to the same freewheel, they look and work great. I've come across a few where the owner replaced the chain with a "newer" chain and found a skipping drivetrain. Sometimes a new chain will fix the problem. Sometimes not.
If your asking how many miles I get without needing to reapply the silicone that's hard to say. I've managed about 2000 miles in wet conditions without a problem but when I get home for a cleaning, I reapply so...
I just wondered what everyone is using. I've heard paraffin is good but melting it and dipping the chain after cleaning out all the lube seems like a awfully difficult job. There was a product called triflow that was made for chain lube but it was rather expensive so I just started buying the generic, spray can equivalent. Getting rusty or cruddy chains ready for the silicone coating however was a job for WD-40.
Someone mentioned that the two procceses are duplicating my efforts and do essentially the same thing. He sounded pretty knowledgeable but all I know is my method is pretty easy, pretty cheap and seems to work.
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Old 07-04-19, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by AnkleWork View Post
And the beat goes on!
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Old 07-04-19, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Cycle Tourist View Post
I'm not sure. I don't normally change or replace chains. They seem to break in with the freewheel and unless you change the freewheel they work fine. I change touring bikes too often to have reliable data on how long they go before having a problem. I've rebuilt some bikes that had chains that are very rusted to a point that many links are frozen or nearly so. I spray WD and wire brush the crap out of them, then freed up all the links, clean and dry it thouroughly and sprayed the silicone/Teflon. If they're mated to the same freewheel, they look and work great. I've come across a few where the owner replaced the chain with a "newer" chain and found a skipping drivetrain. Sometimes a new chain will fix the problem. Sometimes not.
If your asking how many miles I get without needing to reapply the silicone that's hard to say. I've managed about 2000 miles in wet conditions without a problem but when I get home for a cleaning, I reapply so...
I just wondered what everyone is using. I've heard paraffin is good but melting it and dipping the chain after cleaning out all the lube seems like a awfully difficult job. There was a product called triflow that was made for chain lube but it was rather expensive so I just started buying the generic, spray can equivalent. Getting rusty or cruddy chains ready for the silicone coating however was a job for WD-40.
Someone mentioned that the two procceses are duplicating my efforts and do essentially the same thing. He sounded pretty knowledgeable but all I know is my method is pretty easy, pretty cheap and seems to work.
...I'm hesitant to post anything in a chain lube thread, but I would suggest to you that chains nowadays come prelubricated from the factory with some pretty effective stuff that does the job well and does not attract dirt for the first thousand or two miles. If you buy the cheap ones, for like ten or twelve bucks online from KMC, after that you can just throw them in the trash.

For those of you who wish to argue this point, please address your concerns to my private server, over at www.Someone_Who_Cares.net.

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