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Bike chain grime

Old 07-29-22, 05:06 PM
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JD4ever
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Bike chain grime

How bad is grime on a bike chain? I use Finish Line Wet on my chain because I live in a wet are with a lot of road salt but I notice the chain gets a little gunky quickly.
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Old 07-29-22, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by JD4ever View Post
How bad is grime on a bike chain?
Nothing to worry about.
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Old 07-29-22, 05:18 PM
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Depends on how often you drop a chain. Or if you have white clothes on. Or if you put the bike in a light colored car. Or if you have a white (or light colored) dog.
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Old 07-29-22, 05:22 PM
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If your question is actually serious, try searching a bit. You’ll find lots of info on drive train maintenance.
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Old 07-29-22, 06:11 PM
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I worry more about the bottoms of my tires!

gm
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Old 07-29-22, 10:31 PM
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From Bike Hike. https://cyclinghikes.com/what-does-a...bike-chain-do/

“How much difference does a clean bike chain make?

It’ll Make You Faster There’s a cheaper, more ethical solution. A clean, properly lubed chain will save about 10 watts over a poorly maintained chain, according to Jason Smith of Friction Facts, a Colorado-based research firm. For the average rider, that accounts for about 4 percent of lost power.”
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Old 07-30-22, 12:12 AM
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When I was ridding Roadbikes and Roadbike Routes I did not have to clean my chain as often as now that I am ridding light gravely Dirt Roads and Torn Up Asphalt. My chains are always well lubricated and sometimes my chain is so dirty from dust that it almost drips mud off it by the time I get home. Its no biggy, I just hit it with some used ATF, wipe off the dirt and lub again... Happy Happy, Joy Joy...

I know some young Mountain Bike Studs that would not consider thier ride a good one unless their bikes were covered with dirt and mud chain included... Ha
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Old 07-30-22, 07:44 AM
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From the previous REALLY vague and simple questions you've asked before this and if I didn't know any better, you sound like a scammer trying to up their post count and legitimize themselves a little before attempting to scam someone... "How do I keep these tires from blowing?" "What chain oil do you use?... The last two scammers I seen here did the same exact thing.
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Old 07-30-22, 12:41 PM
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Just love the name calling. If you don’t like someone’s post, don’t read it and move on.
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Old 07-30-22, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by buddiiee View Post
From the previous REALLY vague and simple questions you've asked before this and if I didn't know any better, you sound like a scammer trying to up their post count and legitimize themselves a little before attempting to scam someone... "How do I keep these tires from blowing?" "What chain oil do you use?... The last two scammers I seen here did the same exact thing.
I have a similar problem - I joined the forum today intending to ask about freewheel removal - I took a really detailed photo to illustrate my question, but then found I couldn't post photos 'til I'd made 10 posts.
It can work against legitimate posters too.
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Old 07-30-22, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by wellerchap View Post
I have a similar problem - I joined the forum today intending to ask about freewheel removal - I took a really detailed photo to illustrate my question, but then found I couldn't post photos 'til I'd made 10 posts.
It can work against legitimate posters too.
Welcome. Let me give you your first Like.
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Old 07-30-22, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by wellerchap View Post
I have a similar problem - I joined the forum today intending to ask about freewheel removal - I took a really detailed photo to illustrate my question, but then found I couldn't post photos 'til I'd made 10 posts.
It can work against legitimate posters too.
I think that is a frequent problem but that can easily be worked around. When the forum message says you can't post pictures, it doesn't really communicate that you can still add them to your album. Most often a forum regular or even a moderator or admin will then link to the picture in the new member's album. And even if you have a question that has been answered several times, regular members and frequent posters will try to be helpful.

There is a spate of trolling posts going on that get jumped on, but I don't think that was your intention with your post about the freewheel or the OP in this thread.
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Old 07-31-22, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JD4ever View Post
How bad is grime on a bike chain? I use Finish Line Wet on my chain because I live in a wet are with a lot of road salt but I notice the chain gets a little gunky quickly.
Depending on your local conditions, the grime, as you call it, can be a mix of hard materials (like fine sand) that can serve as a grinding compound and accelerate chain wear. If on the other had it is all organic material then it's not much of an issue. For most people in most places, it is the former and so the goal of keeping the chain clean and properly lubricated to gain maximum chain life.
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Old 07-31-22, 02:27 PM
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Grime is just part of being an active cyclist on dusty roads. The more grime the better.
Clean, degrease and re-lube every 150-200 miles depending on my grime level tolerance.
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Old 07-31-22, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
Grime is just part of being an active cyclist on dusty roads. The more grime the better.
Clean, degrease and re-lube every 150-200 miles depending on my grime level tolerance.
That means weekly for a good number of us. Fortunately most of the roads I do are not dusty, so every two or so weeks would work.

Don’t know if I quite agree with the more grime the better since it cuts into watts (see my post above), but since it works for you it works for you.
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Old 07-31-22, 04:52 PM
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The grime can be abrasive, and accelerate wear of drivetrain components, particularly soft aluminum chainrings.
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Old 07-31-22, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Just love the name calling. If you don’t like someone’s post, don’t read it and move on.

How do you know you don't like it if you don't read it?

gm
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Old 07-31-22, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by gringomojado View Post
How do you know you don't like it if you don't read it?

gm
Excellent point! Read it, don’t like it and then move on. So simple.
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Old 07-31-22, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
Grime is just part of being an active cyclist on dusty roads. The more grime the better.
Clean, degrease and re-lube every 150-200 miles depending on my grime level tolerance.
Grime isn’t a given. I’ve ridden tens of thousands of miles on dirt roads without collecting grime. Grime comes from using the wrong lubricant. As a long term user of White Lightning, I don’t have to clean nor degrease ever! I don’t even have to lubricate that often. It makes life a whole lot easier than when I used oil lubricants 20 to 25 years ago.
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Old 07-31-22, 09:09 PM
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Good to know. Tried several wet and dry. I'll give it a try!

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Grime isn’t a given. I’ve ridden tens of thousands of miles on dirt roads without collecting grime. Grime comes from using the wrong lubricant. As a long term user of White Lightning, I don’t have to clean nor degrease ever! I don’t even have to lubricate that often. It makes life a whole lot easier than when I used oil lubricants 20 to 25 years ago.
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Old 08-01-22, 07:30 AM
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If your chain is shiny clean, one of two possible things is true:

1. your chain is brand new,
2. you're fussing with your chain when you should be riding.
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Old 08-02-22, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Grime isn’t a given. I’ve ridden tens of thousands of miles on dirt roads without collecting grime. Grime comes from using the wrong lubricant. As a long term user of White Lightning, I don’t have to clean nor degrease ever! I don’t even have to lubricate that often. It makes life a whole lot easier than when I used oil lubricants 20 to 25 years ago.
A number of people have reported that as soon as you get a little wet, a White Lightning lubed chain starts squeaking. That means the lube has gone. Yes, it doesn't attract dirt but it is also not very durable in the experience of many.
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Old 08-02-22, 05:26 PM
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A bit of grime is a given on any wet lubed chain. To minimize grime, wipe your chain often, Wipe it after you lube and frequently thereafter. Wiping reduces the amount of surface oil that picks up the gunk. Wiping will not reduce the amount of lube within the links, i.e. where it counts.

Good luck and welcome to Bike Forums.
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Old 08-02-22, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by KerryIrons View Post
A number of people have reported that as soon as you get a little wet, a White Lightning lubed chain starts squeaking. That means the lube has gone. Yes, it doesn't attract dirt but it is also not very durable in the experience of many.
I vouch for White Lightning, as well. Their original Clean Ride formulation. Approaching thirty years of dedicated usage.
I found that high-end KMC or Dura Ace chains work well with White Lightning.
Squeaking seems to occur more frequently when it comes to replacement time.
That happens to me around the 5,000-mile mark. Slap a ruler on it and, sure enough, there's some elongation.
My pal started putting a thick petroleum-based lube on to eliminate his squeaking. In frequent intervals, I might add.
When he bragged that he ran the same chain for three years and over twelve thousand miles, we put a ruler to it.
That sucker stretched more than a quarter inch over a twelve inch span!
Looked at the rest of his drivetrain and everything needed replacement: pulleys, rings, cassette. cha ching!
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Old 08-02-22, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by KerryIrons View Post
A number of people have reported that as soon as you get a little wet, a White Lightning lubed chain starts squeaking. That means the lube has gone. Yes, it doesn't attract dirt but it is also not very durable in the experience of many.
First, White Lightning doesn’t wash off. It’s a wax which is even more hydrophobic than oil…and oil is completely hydrophobic. That old “oil and water don’t mix” thing is a statement of polarity. The wax is highly durable and the “don’t get White Lightning wet” thing is over blown. Recently I did a 3 day 100 mile off-road tour that included a day of bus ride in drenching rain and a rainy first day of riding. I didn’t rewax on the entire trip and the chain never got squeaky.

Second, the wax is highly durable but it doesn’t flow like oil does. The “squeak” that some people report is due to the wax being squeezed out of pressure points and not flowing back like oil does. This causes some lubrication starvation of the pressure point and does allow for a little bit of oxidation when water is introduced. But the wax is still on the chain and it does some lubrication. On the other hand, oil doesn’t mix with water but water and oil form emulsions which puts water in contact with those same pressure points where it can do just as much oxidation. You don’t hear a “squeak” because it is drowned out but that doesn’t mean that the oxidation process is stopped. It’s just disquised.

Third, yes, wax doesn’t attract dirt. And wax is solid so it doesn’t flow. This means that grit doesn’t flow into the chain where it does damage at those well lubricated pressure points. Grit that is harder than steel under pressure means accelerated wear. Metal on metal grinding at that pressure points when using wax also means accelerated wear.

I’ll be the first to admit that White Lightning doesn’t result in longer chain life but I also know that oil doesn’t provide longer chain life either (I’ve used oil in the distant past). The only advantage of the White Lightning is a significantly reduced need for constant cleaning…as in never! Chains on my bikes are cleaned once before they are installed and they never get nor, more importantly, need cleaning.

These three bikes are in-service chains that have not been specially cleaned before the pictures were taken. That’s my chain and drivetrain cleanliness on every ride for thousands of miles. If you want to avoid a dirty, grimy drivetrain that constantly needs cleaning, use wax based lubricants (not a fan of hot wax, however). The results are more time for riding and less time cleaning.


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