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Is ordinary engine oil considered a wet lube?

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Is ordinary engine oil considered a wet lube?

Old 12-15-19, 10:06 AM
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PdalPowr
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Is ordinary engine oil considered a wet lube?

I am eventually going to scare up some bike dedicated wet lube.
Until then I was wondering if engine oil would do to seal out the winter nasties.
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Old 12-15-19, 10:37 AM
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Anything will work as a chain lubricant, over a short enough timeframe. Sure, single/multi-weight motor oil will work, but it's absolutely not what it was designed for. It will make the chain a jet black, filthy mess rather quickly, but it will stop rust from forming and probably keep things squeak-free.
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Old 12-15-19, 02:03 PM
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I've certainly used motor oil for chain lube when I've had nothing else on hand. If it wasn't for the fact that motor oil will sling all over your rear wheel, rim brake surface, and tire, I'd be okay with it.
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Old 12-15-19, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
I've certainly used motor oil for chain lube when I've had nothing else on hand. If it wasn't for the fact that motor oil will sling all over your rear wheel, rim brake surface, and tire, I'd be okay with it.
That's why you wipe off the chain thoroughly after applying. Motor oil (not used, please) has a long history of being a perfectly acceptable chain lube.
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Old 12-15-19, 02:24 PM
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I suspect if you apply the motor oil as carefully as you would very expensive bike chain lube, that the mess would be quite tolerable. Maybe use a Q-tip? Or a pocket knife. Dip blade into oil then along the inner-outer interface on each side of each link. Slow, But a careful job should work just fine and not be too messy and not throw oil. (And yes, motor oil is formulated for different challenges. Bike chains and normal riding are so un-demanding lubrication-wise that simple 3-1 oil works just fine. That motor oil will still be working when you get your pedal RPM up to 5000.

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Old 12-15-19, 02:30 PM
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I use motor oil on the bike I ride to the train station. Not a lot of miles, but I leave it outside a lot in all kinds of weather. The chain is almost 30 years old and still going strong.
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Old 12-15-19, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
I've certainly used motor oil for chain lube when I've had nothing else on hand. If it wasn't for the fact that motor oil will sling all over your rear wheel, rim brake surface, and tire, I'd be okay with it.
Ah,you had me at tire.🤗
I don't ride quickly especially in the winter.
That means oil wouldn't get flung around much nor debris get picked up.
But oil on my nice Schwalbés is a no-no.

Thanks
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Old 12-15-19, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by PdalPowr View Post
Ah,you had me at tire.🤗
I don't ride quickly especially in the winter.
That means oil wouldn't get flung around much nor debris get picked up.
But oil on my nice Schwalbés is a no-no.

Thanks
Lube slung from a chain or an internal gear hub is why I really don't like having cream colored tires on bicycles. Brown or tan sidewall, might be more tolerable for me, but black tires are my first choice.
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Old 12-15-19, 08:59 PM
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Engine oil on a sponge against the chain will do, no oil sling.
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Old 12-16-19, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by PdalPowr View Post
I am eventually going to scare up some bike dedicated wet lube.
Until then I was wondering if engine oil would do to seal out the winter nasties.
Why would you not just buy some bike chain oil. It's cheap.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=bike+chai...f=nb_sb_noss_2
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Old 12-17-19, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by PdalPowr View Post
I am eventually going to scare up some bike dedicated wet lube.
Until then I was wondering if engine oil would do to seal out the winter nasties.
Chain lube, tire psi, pedals and such, some have very strong opinions. Try this. Mobil syn lube, 0W20, with 2 parts mineral spirits. Apply lightly, wipe off before riding. You want a thin coat, not dripping off.
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Old 12-18-19, 09:32 AM
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Sigh...

Just spend $5-$10 and get some chain lube. Motor oil is not meant for chains.

Lubricants Not to Use!

While it's hard to say which lubricants are best for chains, some lubricants are real no-nos:
  • Automotive motor oil contains detergent, to wash away combustion products, and is made to be renewed constantly under pressure from the motor's oil pump. I [John Allen] rode once with someone who had used it the day before, and her chain was already squeaking.
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html#oil
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Old 12-18-19, 10:05 AM
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I wouldn't use it now, but rode thousands of miles using it in my youth. I'm sure there was bike chain oil, but we weren't really hip to it. Every household had a squirt can filled with motor oil that was used for many general lubrication purposes, including bike chains.
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Old 12-18-19, 10:54 AM
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If you have some 80w90 gear oil around, mix with some mineral spirits and use instead.
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Old 12-18-19, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I suspect if you apply the motor oil as carefully as you would very expensive bike chain lube, that the mess would be quite tolerable. Maybe use a Q-tip? Or a pocket knife. Dip blade into oil then along the inner-outer interface on each side of each link. Slow, But a careful job should work just fine and not be too messy and not throw oil. (And yes, motor oil is formulated for different challenges. Bike chains and normal riding are so un-demanding lubrication-wise that simple 3-1 oil works just fine. That motor oil will still be working when you get your pedal RPM up to 5000.

Ben
There's a surplus store not that far from me only about 7 kilometers each way and that store sells syringes. I get a couple and cut off the needle a bit from the tip. It's perfect for getting oil precisely where I want it. I often use motor oil for lubricating my chains and wipe off any excess.

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Old 12-18-19, 06:14 PM
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It's only cold pressed, extra virgin, locally sourced, ethical, non gmo olive oil for my bike but you do what you want.

Unrelated, but does anybody know where I can pick up a set of virtue signals for my bike? I like to be noticed in traffic.
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Old 12-18-19, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
That motor oil will still be working when you get your pedal RPM up to 5000.
It really wouldn't. Motor oil is designed to be operated under pressure in a sealed environment. Oil is kept inside an engine mechanically. Take an exposed chain drive to 5,000rpm, and the centrifugal motion and generated heat would have the chain almost completely clean within minutes. This is precisely why exposed chain drives in industrial applications use grease. Motor oil will work in the short term for as I said before, virtually anything will work in the short term. I don't eschew motor oil as a chain lubricant because I'm some kind of lubricant snob. I don't use it because it's absolutely the wrong material for the application.
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Old 12-19-19, 02:55 PM
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Wax is a very, very, very short term solution.
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Old 12-19-19, 03:10 PM
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500-700 miles per application in my experience... and everything stays clean.
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Old 12-19-19, 03:25 PM
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Myself, I use motorcycle chain spray "wax". Works great and stays lubricated with no mess. Plus cheaper than bike chain specific lube.
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Old 12-22-19, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
It's only cold pressed, extra virgin, locally sourced, ethical, non gmo olive oil for my bike but you do what you
Glass or plastic bottle?🤗
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Old 12-22-19, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by PdalPowr View Post
Glass or plastic bottle?🤗
I MUST be in an AMBER glass bottle for best quality. LOL

Cheers
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Old 12-23-19, 02:38 PM
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I never had more or less problems with engine oil than bike specific oil.
Only that the latter /liter cost is like 100 times the former.
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