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Should I experiment with different chain lube before picking the right one for me?

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Should I experiment with different chain lube before picking the right one for me?

Old 10-09-19, 08:04 PM
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Mike569
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Should I experiment with different chain lube before picking the right one for me?

I m considering what lube i should purchase from bike shops. But i m not really sure which type of lubercant I needed and I m thinking of experimenting or test different type of lubes from different brands to see which one is the best for my Giant ATX 3 mtb.
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Old 10-09-19, 08:14 PM
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You have my permission to experiment. Andy
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Old 10-09-19, 08:22 PM
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I have been using the Dupont Chain-Saver motorcycle chain lube from Walmart. Works on my motorcycles, works on my bicycles.
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Old 10-09-19, 08:32 PM
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I don't have super strong feelings about it honestly. The ATX is a great bike if it meets your needs, but truthfully it's pretty inexpensive an not particularly high performance. Use whatever--do so reasonably often (well before the chain makes noise), wipe it down well afterwards, and wipe it down between rides even when you're not adding more lube. You'll be doing better than 95% of riders.

My personal preference is for oil based lubricants because I feel that while they may be slightly mesier, they provide better lubrication and hold up to wet and muddy conditions better. My work mostly uses Dumonde Tech lube which is fine, and I use it on some of my bikes. The claim is that it has plastic agents that bond to the metal of the chain--I can't really evaluate that claim, it works fine. On others I use Chain-L--which is thick, gross smelling, and messy, but I do think provides very good, long lasting lubrication. I don't like wax based lubes generally, and I think that TriFlow is too thin and easily washed away to be a particularly good chain lube.
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Old 10-09-19, 08:35 PM
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I think you should buy one, then use it until it’s gone. Once that is finished, buy a different one, and repeat. There are enough brands that, by the time you finish your experiment, you’ll be dead.
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Old 10-09-19, 09:24 PM
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I recently bought Muc-Off Hydrodynamic because it was 5 dollars on sale at REI. Most of the others were like twice that or more. Still seems expensive to me, given how little there is in the tube. I do like it, though. It seems to work well.
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Old 10-09-19, 09:58 PM
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If we could only block chain lube threads.
How many 100's must we endure?

You absolutely cannot experiment.
You pick the wrong one and stick with it.
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Old 10-09-19, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike569 View Post
Should i experiment with different bike chain lube before picking the right one for m
I m considering what lube i should purchase from bike shops. But i m not really sure which type of lubercant I needed and I m thinking of experimenting or test different type of lubes from different brands to see which one is the best for my Giant ATX 3 mtb.
You should experiment but absolutely don't limit yourself to what's available from bike shops. Read the many chain lube threads here and try all the "alternatives" including water-based non toxic "personal lube", candle wax, motor oil, bearing grease, silicone spray, and many others. Really if you adopt the attitude that anything is better than actual chain lube, you'll eventually find the best.
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Old 10-10-19, 12:04 AM
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.
Slooooowly I turned. Step by step, inch by inch...
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Old 10-10-19, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
If we could only block chain lube threads.
How many 100's must we endure?
...this is how the incredible, endlessly entertaining, helment thread got started. What a great idea...one unending chain lube thread into which they could all be melded and conjoined.
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Old 10-10-19, 02:34 AM
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I like Squirt myself because the chain stays clean. But you have to use it a lot more often.

As for there being too many threads on the topic, we've been talking about things for at least 15 years now, endlessly repeating...
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Old 10-10-19, 02:49 AM
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I just load up my oil cans with whatever motor oil i got in the shed, not too thin - not too thick
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Old 10-10-19, 04:38 AM
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IMHO, decide the cleanliness vs maintenance intervals. From my experiences regarding lubricants exposed to the open elements/environment, it will attract dirt. How much grime do you want to tolerate?

With that opinion & my experiences, I've accepted the fact that I'd rather have a cleaner chain that I will likely need to replace sooner than later. Which means, I try to use a product that is least likely to cause the infamous black chain stains while providing some level of lubrication during the drivetrain's life.

Since doing so, I've noticed less noise during the rides, consistent durability, & increased level of readiness; hop on & go at will without worry.


After you figure out which is most important to you that you can afford, picking the product[s] might come to you easier compared to trying a vast variety of what's available to you.
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Old 10-10-19, 06:12 AM
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Somebody above mentioned the Muck-Off, I agree, really like the stuff, best part is, it runs very smooth, doesn't sling off and get all over your bike. I've had very good luck with it.

Keep your chain clean !

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA USA
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Old 10-10-19, 06:33 AM
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As you may have gathered "the best chain lubes" questions are a very contentious and have been beaten to death in many, many long threads here. Almost everyone has their favorite and defends it vociferously. A search should give you hours of reading material.

Basically there are two classes of chain lubes:

1. Wax based types, either melted wax or wax dissolved in an evaporating solvent. These work well enough in very dry conditions like the desert southwest. They are quiet and very clean but not very durable and, depending on the type, can be laborious to use. They do not work well in wet conditions at all.

2. Oil based, either oil, specialty oil or heavy oils thinned with evaporating solvents. These are easy to apply and work well in general and wet conditions but tend to attract dirt if the excess isn't wiped off.

As above, pick almost any one of the commercial lubes (or make your own as described in several other threads) depending on your riding conditions and use it frequently. You are unlikely to be able to make any meaningful comparison among the available brands and all will work adequately.
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Old 10-10-19, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
You have my permission to experiment. Andy
Andy -

I have rescinded that permission. OP must buy a lifetime supply of one type of lube then use it until they are dead.

Check with me first, next time, please, to avoid this confusion.
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Old 10-10-19, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
I recently bought Muc-Off Hydrodynamic because it was 5 dollars on sale at REI. Most of the others were like twice that or more. Still seems expensive to me, given how little there is in the tube. I do like it, though. It seems to work well.
I did as well! My only regret is that I only bought one and when I went back they were sold out.

This lube is pretty good. I like it better than the wax based lubes like Pedro's chain lube and the infamous Finish Line Dry lube. Lasts a bit longer and seems to be a little slicker and holds on better.

For winter/off road I have been using NFS. This stuff is pretty freakin awesome.

PS - If you want to start the longest thread ever on any board having to do with anything mechanical all you have to do is ask about lubrication (And possibly some boards having nothing to do with mechanics at all).

Last edited by Wilmingtech; 10-10-19 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 10-10-19, 08:22 AM
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It really doesn’t matter as long as you apply generously, wipe the excess, and repeat often.
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Old 10-10-19, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
It really doesn’t matter as long as you apply generously, wipe the excess, and repeat often.

My usual reply to the which lube should I use is this analogy. It's not which brand of soap you use when you bathe. It's that you do bathe and use some sort of soap. Andy
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Old 10-10-19, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike569 View Post
I m considering what lube i should purchase from bike shops. But i m not really sure which type of lubercant I needed and I m thinking of experimenting or test different type of lubes from different brands to see which one is the best for my Giant ATX 3 mtb.
It's a rabbit hole!

Whatever lube you use, what's even more important is that you replace your chain when it gets worn, before it has a chance to damage your freewheel or cassette. I prefer using a ruler to check the chain wear, but there are chain-checking tools that would keep you out of trouble, too.
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Old 10-10-19, 08:53 AM
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The OP forgot the popcorn icon. So here it is:

As someone who does research, I would point out that unless you embark on a fairly ambitious research program (for example using 10 bikes over a year, engaging others to ride each bike 100 miles a week, and testing 10 or so lube products, then building a dynamometer to measure watt loss, etc) you're not going to figure out anything more than what has been published. There are already articles and long posts and thousands of hours expended upon advocating or criticizing one approach or another.

I think if you clean and lube the chain pretty regularly, more frequently if you ride in rain and snow and near salt water, you'll be good. If getting chain smudge on your sock is a big deal, use dry lube. But the key thing is: THE TYPE OF LUBE DOESN'T MATTER THAT MUCH, AS LONG AS YOU CLEAN AND LUBE REGULARLY. And make sure you replace a worn chain. So buy some tri-flow, lube up, and ride.

Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
I have been using the Dupont Chain-Saver motorcycle chain lube from Walmart. Works on my motorcycles, works on my bicycles.
I use this product, too, and like it. They sell both a lube and a cleaner (Mechanics Cleaner) and I use both. Works great.
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=dupont+chain+lube&hvadid=3481934744&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&tag=mh0b-20&ref=pd_sl_2t100wvhfj_e
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Old 10-10-19, 09:24 AM
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To the OP, I quickly checked the specs on your Giant ATX 3, it uses a very inexpensive chain ("8 speed chain").

Whatever you do regarding chain lube/chain cleaning, just remember the chain itself is a <$20 item, and it's part of the drivetrain that, if you ride enough, should be replaced with some regularity. In other words, it's a wear item that is not a permanent part on a well-ridden bike. Bottom line: keep it reasonably clean and lube it enough to keep it quiet. Beyond that, monitor the wear and replace when appropriate. Spending a lot of time and money to preserve a sub-$20 part doesn't make sense.
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Old 10-10-19, 09:38 AM
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Re: the recommendation for Muc-Off. I'm seeing a lot of Muc-Off lubes. I'm guess though in reading the thread this is the one people are having good results with:

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Old 10-10-19, 12:18 PM
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https://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/chain-care.html

I use chainsaw bar oil on a clean chain every 800 miles or so. When the black wear particles come up just wipe them off.
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Old 10-10-19, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I think you should buy one, then use it until it’s gone. Once that is finished, buy a different one, and repeat. There are enough brands that, by the time you finish your experiment, you’ll be dead.
Got to disagree with this. By the time you're finished, the one you prefer will be out of production or the formulation will have changed instead.
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