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What are your thoughts on lubing a brand new chain?

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What are your thoughts on lubing a brand new chain?

Old 08-02-14, 02:24 PM
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jppe
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What are your thoughts on lubing a brand new chain?

I'm curious, what do you do when putting a new chain on a bike? Do you just put it on and ride it, do you clean and lube it first or just lube it??

I put a new one on my Cervelo R3 and either I got a lot stronger the last few weeks or a new chain made a lot more difference than I would have thought. I was climbing a number of hills in one harder gear than normal. It was a noticeable difference. For sure I'm not lighter, in fact I'm heavier if anything but I have put in quite a few miles the last few weeks.

My old chain had about 5500 miles on it but measured very good and shifted fine. I just it was time to slap a new one on the bike......The new chain is a little lighter but good grief we're talking about a few grams and not pounds!!!
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Old 08-02-14, 02:34 PM
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1. I degrease my new chains, and use wax and graphite.
2. Tell me what kind of chain you bought, because I really need on of those!!
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Old 08-02-14, 02:39 PM
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You've gotten 5500 miles on a chain and you ask for advice its their care ! But to answer your question, I always lube a new chain.
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Old 08-02-14, 02:39 PM
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From the late, great Sheldon Brown:

[h=3]Factory Lube[/h]New chains come pre-lubricated with a grease-type lubricant which has been installed at the factory. This is an excellent lubricant, and has been made to permeate all of the internal interstices in the chain.This factory lube is superior to any lube that you can apply after the fact.Some people make the bad mistake of deliberately removing this superior lubricant. Don't do this!The factory lubricant all by itself is usually good for several hundred miles of service if the bike is not ridden in wet or dusty conditions. It is best not to apply any sort of lube to a new chain until it is clearly needed, because any wet lube you can apply will dilute the factory lube.[This type of lubricant, like wax, needs to be heated during application, but it could be applied at home or in the bike shop too, if available -- John Allen]

Chain Maintenance
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Old 08-02-14, 02:57 PM
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I clean and lube new chains. The stuff that they put on new chains is sticky and one time I didn't wipe the new chain very well and got chain suck when shifting from the big ring to the small. It wouldn't shift but would stick to the large ring and the slack would try to wrap around the bottom of the ring. Scary when I was going up a hill.
After cleaning it to remove the sticky stuff and lubing it shifted just fine.
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Old 08-02-14, 03:16 PM
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I don't do anything to a new chain but resize it.

If it will make you feel like you're doing something special for your chain by cleaning it before it's ever used, what harm could it possibly do?
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Old 08-02-14, 03:23 PM
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I run SRAM PC-870 chains on my Fixie. I leave the factory grease on for weeks, and have never experienced an issue.
The stuff does wear off over time. So, when this happens, I clean it, using Sheldon's "bottle method" and re-lube it with
Pro Link. I have also used Pedro's dry lube, with excellent results.
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Old 08-02-14, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by JerrySTL View Post
From the late, great Sheldon Brown:

[h=3]Factory Lube[/h]New chains come pre-lubricated with a grease-type lubricant which has been installed at the factory. This is an excellent lubricant, and has been made to permeate all of the internal interstices in the chain.This factory lube is superior to any lube that you can apply after the fact.Some people make the bad mistake of deliberately removing this superior lubricant. Don't do this!The factory lubricant all by itself is usually good for several hundred miles of service if the bike is not ridden in wet or dusty conditions. It is best not to apply any sort of lube to a new chain until it is clearly needed, because any wet lube you can apply will dilute the factory lube.[This type of lubricant, like wax, needs to be heated during application, but it could be applied at home or in the bike shop too, if available -- John Allen]

Chain Maintenance
∆∆∆This∆∆∆

After about 300 miles on a new.chain, I'll clean, not degrease, and lube the chain with Rock'nRoll lube. A few hundred after that, or after riding wet roads, I'll degrease and re-lube.
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Old 08-02-14, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by JerrySTL View Post
From the late, great Sheldon Brown:

Factory Lube

New chains come pre-lubricated with a grease-type lubricant which has been installed at the factory. This is an excellent lubricant, and has been made to permeate all of the internal interstices in the chain.This factory lube is superior to any lube that you can apply after the fact.Some people make the bad mistake of deliberately removing this superior lubricant. Don't do this!The factory lubricant all by itself is usually good for several hundred miles of service if the bike is not ridden in wet or dusty conditions. It is best not to apply any sort of lube to a new chain until it is clearly needed, because any wet lube you can apply will dilute the factory lube.[This type of lubricant, like wax, needs to be heated during application, but it could be applied at home or in the bike shop too, if available -- John Allen]

Chain Maintenance

Well, apparently things have changed since Sheldon wrote that. According to Friction Facts, Inc (10 Ways to Increase Drive Train Efficiency )- relubing your chain and removing the factory lube will remove about one watt of friction losses. Also running in a chain for about an hour will make for a more efficient chain too (worth about a watt).

Selection of lube makes a difference. Lubes that tested at the worst end of the tens of lubes they tested had losses of 4-5 watts. Poor lubes where pro link, Purple Extreme and White Lightning Epic Ride.

J.
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Old 08-02-14, 06:11 PM
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FAQ . now look up past ones already responding.
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Old 08-02-14, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Well, apparently things have changed since Sheldon wrote that. According to Friction Facts, Inc (10 Ways to Increase Drive Train Efficiency )- relubing your chain and removing the factory lube will remove about one watt of friction losses. Also running in a chain for about an hour will make for a more efficient chain too (worth about a watt).

Selection of lube makes a difference. Lubes that tested at the worst end of the tens of lubes they tested had losses of 4-5 watts. Poor lubes where pro link, Purple Extreme and White Lightning Epic Ride.

J.
Good point. I bought all the Friction Facts tests last year. Great stuff.

I'm too lazy to clean and lube a new chain for one watt.

I use to use Pro Link Gold, but after reading those tests, I now go old-school with paraffin wax. Good for about 300-400 miles then suddenly the chain gets loud. I use a KMC Missing Link to easily break the chain and put the chain in a crock pot of melted wax for a while.
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Old 08-02-14, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JerrySTL View Post
Good point. I bought all the Friction Facts tests last year. Great stuff.

I'm too lazy to clean and lube a new chain for one watt.

I use to use Pro Link Gold, but after reading those tests, I now go old-school with paraffin wax. Good for about 300-400 miles then suddenly the chain gets loud. I use a KMC Missing Link to easily break the chain and put the chain in a crock pot of melted wax for a while.
Yes. I bought them all too. Very well done. Getting back 8 watts per their tests on the 10 things to do would be significant. Too, I'm going to take their suggestions when I do my BB replacement (approx annual).

I guess the point is that there is definitely nothing special about the factory lube. In point of fact, it's probably aimed at a super quiet drive train for the ride around the parking lot when you test ride it and for long term storage/shipment by surface to protect the chain from corrosion.

I just started using Rock N Roll Gold. It's right up there with wax (infinitesimal differences in friction) and it cleans AND lubes in pretty much one motion. Should last 300 miles or so. See how it goes. I can get kind of nutty about lubes (engineer OCD and cyclist OCD combined).

J.
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Old 08-02-14, 07:11 PM
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Using Chain-L lube I soak a new chain in a Ziploc type bag for several days. Then let the chain drip dry, wipe the outside and install.
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Old 08-02-14, 07:18 PM
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Here you go, straight from the source:

Chainwear Challenge: Quick Interview with Shimano
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Old 08-02-14, 07:36 PM
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I use KMC chains on my bikes and just installed a new one on Thursday as well as a new cassette. I don't remove the factory lube or re-lube a new chain. The new combination worked well for me today. No problems.
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Old 08-02-14, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
Here you go, straight from the source:

Chainwear Challenge: Quick Interview with Shimano
Don't know if I consider Shimano The Source but this makes sense.



Why clean what isn't dirty?
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Old 08-02-14, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
Here you go, straight from the source:

Chainwear Challenge: Quick Interview with Shimano
+1
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Old 08-03-14, 06:56 AM
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I go with Sheldon on the new chains. I leave the lube for a while and will add to it before actually cleaning the old lube off. I have never had a problem with the factory lube. I have been using Park Tools cyclone with Zep degreaser. It makes it really easy to clean the chain before relubing without removing the chain.

Marc
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Old 08-03-14, 09:44 AM
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I lube new chains just to send a message to the chain on it's new ownership and what it will have to deal with over it's lifespan.
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Old 08-03-14, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
I lube new chains just to send a message to the chain on it's new ownership and what it will have to deal with over it's lifespan.
I think they make pills for that.
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Old 08-03-14, 04:53 PM
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The manufacturer's lube may be great , but it is also really good at picking up all kinds of gunk; it is sticky. I like to clean my new chains, and put on some light lube, and wipe it off.
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Old 08-03-14, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
The manufacturer's lube may be great , but it is also really good at picking up all kinds of gunk; it is sticky. I like to clean my new chains, and put on some light lube, and wipe it off.
Exactly. I use Marvels Mystery Oil. It penetrates, cleans and lubes. Anything heavier just deposits grime on the chainrings and cassette.
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Old 08-04-14, 03:40 AM
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I just put on new chain and ride. Simple.
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Old 08-04-14, 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
I just put on new chain and ride. Simple.
Me, too. Can't imagine any advantage in stripping off an effective lubricant that was applied before the chain was assembled.
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Old 08-04-14, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
Here you go, straight from the source:

Chainwear Challenge: Quick Interview with Shimano
Now you done it. Let's hear from SRAM, and the others. Be it as it may, I suspect that many brands that are sold at local bike shops don't really have the engineers to formulate much of anything that's not already available at the industrial level manufacturers.

This part [The main reason we use liquid chain lube, whether it is one that stays liquid or a dry lube that has a solid lubricant in a liquid carrier (like a PTFE lube) is because we need to get the lube on a part that is not accessible without disassembling the chain.]

Manufacturers big enough do have this capability: CRC, LPS,. Interesting enough WD40 is located in San Diego and appears to be a type of marketing company. Now that's one company that I would like to investigate (interview) to see just how much actual technical work they do, and even what brands they manufacture under different labels.

Last edited by Garfield Cat; 08-04-14 at 06:49 AM.
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