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A New Lubricant

Old 06-11-21, 11:56 AM
  #26  
70sSanO
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
In my experience, the lubricant doesn’t matter.
I quoted this much of your post because, it is probably the best response because it doesn’t really matter.

Everyone wants a lube that lasts forever and stays clean.

Lube threads really boil down to one thing... People who strongly profess what lube they use is the best are really saying that they are smarter than everyone else who doesn’t use it.

Then after a hundred posts, everyone goes back and uses what they want.

John
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Old 06-11-21, 12:05 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
British paraffin or US paraffin? LOL
The paraffin I use is a solid, used for sealing jars of jelly. Someone posted that microcrystalline paraffin is better.
British folks tend to call lamp oil or paraffin oil paraffin. I would never add that to my mix.

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Old 06-11-21, 12:14 PM
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There are so many players already, that it seems if something truly new and revolutionary comes along, one of them will market it. We have wet lubes, dry lubes, lubes with teflon, "wax", etc. etc.
With so many current choices, I'm always wary when someone new pops up claiming to have the "newest" and "most improved" lube. Not saying it couldn't happen, but why wouldn't someone already in the business, and knowing they must keep up with the competition, be the ones on top of new tech?
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Old 06-11-21, 12:14 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by adipe View Post
naphta is a poor choice for a volatile solvent.
you could either use xylene (which will still take sooo long to evaporate completely) or just the hot bath method. having a jar (with lid) in a pot full of slowly boiling water. you only need to have the jar a bit suspended, an inch above the pot's bottom (not touching) and then you don't need much water in the pot (heat transfer through condensation). the pot should have a lid as well, to not lose too much vapor (energy waste and humidity). have intense heat for the first minute and then the minimum heat on that pot.
My lube turns to a mush much below 75F. I place the applicator bottle in hot tap water to return it to a water like viscosity. I always apply the lube a day before riding, or right after a ride, so it's dried by the time I use the bike. If I make a new batch, I melt the paraffin, add the gear lube, then pour into the camp stove fuel, so it all mixes quickly. I never heat the solvent, except in hot tap water.
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Old 06-11-21, 07:59 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by grizzly59 View Post
Wolf Tooth's own MSDS says -> "Solvent Refined Light naphthenic oil 20-40%" .

"Light naphtha boils at between 35°C and 130°C and has a higher paraffin content than heavy naphtha, which boils between 130°C and 210°C and contains a lot of naphthenes and aromatics. Compared to heavy naphtha, which is often further refined, light naphtha is the least processed product of a refinery."

light
naphthenic oil will evaporate almost completely FROM THE MORE HEAVY MIXTURE if given enough time. if it is not mixed with a heavy and viscous oil it will evaporate quite fast but the time will be longer to have it evaporated once mixed in the lube. how much is that?... i don't care. it's purpose is to temporarily lower the viscosity by diluting the lube (meaning the actual price is even higher), it DOES take time to dry... no need for it if you clean the chain the proper way which should end up with a mixture of alcohols after using the nonpolar solvent of your choice. i don't like gasoline, i stick with solvents that can be used with no gloves and are less volatile so i don't breathe too much when using them.

by the way, the naphtha solvent i bought last time from the store was on the heavy side... i don't care too much for it's volatility because i flush it out with the alcohols bath. the alcohols will be gone by soaking the chain in that wax based homebrew. the wax will have very low viscosity once it's heated close to 100C. so i'd rather pay for nonpolar solvents in order to clean the chain, not carry the lube inside the chain.

some folks still don't know how to take the chain off using a powerlink. if they knew they would not lube the chain on the bike and MAYBE won't be paying ridiculous prices for lubes. the only reason to give that much money is ignorance and blind faith in a marketed product. and then they become zealots to recommend the product to other people with anecdotal (unscientific) evidence. the emperor will need to believe his invisible clothes are the best.


sram, kmc... same technique

hot wax homebrew needs no solvent to lower the viscosity, temperature does the trick.

Last edited by adipe; 06-11-21 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 06-11-21, 08:20 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
My lube turns to a mush much below 75F. I place the applicator bottle in hot tap water to return it to a water like viscosity. I always apply the lube a day before riding, or right after a ride, so it's dried by the time I use the bike. If I make a new batch, I melt the paraffin, add the gear lube, then pour into the camp stove fuel, so it all mixes quickly. I never heat the solvent, except in hot tap water.
yea, you might be using light naphtha. whatever.
i prefer the hot bath having no solvent in the homebrew jar where i drop the chain. just using nonpolar solvent wash and then alcohols - shaken for 10 seconds in plastic jars with wide lids. methanol washes salts, isopropyl helps take away whatever nonpolar solvent i'd use. i don't bother too much looking for light naphtha, could not find it that easily. and i don't use water when washing chains. alcohols are better, price is not a concern.

if i would not want to wash the chain in alcohols i could just wash the chain in hot wax as a cheap solvent and then either drop it in a second hot homebrew mixture having gear lube and all that or possibly applying droplets of the other ingredients on the chain once taken out of that wax. but i prefer to shake the chain in a room temperature plastic container having a lighter solvent than wax and also i want to wash the salts off the chain so that the chain (and lube applied) lasts longer.

contrary to what most folks want to believe.. dust will stick to straight paraffin wax if dust does have electrical charge. it's just that wax is a good electrical insulator and will have a neutral charge on it's own so it will attract less dirt. but the bike is not grounded and electrical charge can build up. anyway, i too prefer to mix gear oil and also some other things along. having more of a greasy muck lube will make the dust not reach the inside of the chain that easily. wax that's not mixed with something else will flake off too easily and also can become oxidised (turn black) by reacting to pollutants in the air - one example being NO2. and where i live i get some rain once in a while.

~0.001% chain wear since last august. not really sure about mileage but certainly more than 500. got this chain washed and lubed after i bought the bike and one more time a few months ago. the way i know i have that low wear... i have magic gear on singlespeed - chain slack difference being 2-3mm. and it was not slack to begin with.

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Last edited by adipe; 06-11-21 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 06-11-21, 08:51 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
The paraffin I use is a solid, used for sealing jars of jelly. Someone posted that microcrystalline paraffin is better.
British folks tend to call lamp oil or paraffin oil paraffin. I would never add that to my mix.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PF1F3HV...=3CQ5JNTMWAF8B
Granted I'm not a chemist, but just looking at that block of wax, the fact that it's nearly opaque means that it's microcrystalline. The reason is that the opacity is due to light bouncing off the interfaces between the tiny crystals. A lot of materials that appear solid, are actually formed from tiny crystals, such as most metals and alloys. The crystals form as the molten material solidifies. Sometimes the cooling process can control the size of the crystals.

An example of a material that does not crystallize as it solidifies is glass.

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Old 06-11-21, 08:56 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
In my experience, the lubricant doesn’t matter. Wet lubricants aren’t any more effective than dry. Granted it is an unscientific survey, but most people report about the same chain mileage independent of the kind of lubricant used. That’s the measure we should use for “effectiveness”. If someone invented a lubricant that made a chain last twice as long as other lubricants, I’d use it in an instant…even if I had to clean the damned chain weekly. But every lubricant is about as effective so the trade off is between frequent cleaning and not. I’ll take not having to clean over the alternative any day.

As for how long the lubricant lasts, I question the common wisdom that wax based lube…especially solvent based wax lubricant…doesn’t last. I’ve been tracking it lately to answer just this kind of question. Five years ago, I did a 1500 mile tour around Lake Erie and only had to lubricate 3 times (one because of rain). I got roughly 700 miles out of each lubricant application (one at the beginning, one in the middle, and at that end of the tour). Although I didn’t keep track of the mileage after the tour, I note the mileage for the chain at around 3500 miles.

More recently, I got 480 miles out of one application of White Lightning, then 150 miles, and I’m currently at about 200 miles. The middle one is only because I used the old parts to build up a new frame and decided to start fresh. The more important thing to note is that nearly 500 miles using White Lightning. That’s in the range of what I generally get between lubricant applications…or, in other words, 500 to 700 miles. I don’t know that oil based lubricants can claim better.
How do you decide when to re-lube? I've been doing it by ear, i.e., when the chain starts to squeak and creak, but wonder if that's too late.
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Old 06-11-21, 08:58 PM
  #34  
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Thank you for the responses, although it appears that no one has actually tried it. Nevertheless, you've almost convinced me to sell my bikes and replace them with Gates carbon drive train bikes.
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Old 06-11-21, 09:47 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
Thank you for the responses, although it appears that no one has actually tried it. Nevertheless, you've almost convinced me to sell my bikes and replace them with Gates carbon drive train bikes.
Don’t do that. Go to the store, (or online), buy some lube. If you like it keep using it, if not try something else.

Kids have been riding bikes forever and they never talk about chain lube. It really isn’t a big deal. Ride and put more on when you think you need to.

John
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Old 06-11-21, 10:31 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by adipe View Post
"Light naphtha boils at between 35°C and 130°C and has a higher paraffin content than heavy naphtha, which boils between 130°C and 210°C and contains a lot of naphthenes and aromatics. Compared to heavy naphtha, which is often further refined, light naphtha is the least processed product of a refinery."
You are confusing naphtha and naphthenic oils. They are two different materials. Naphtha is a mixture of hydrocarbons in the range of C5 to C12. It is low viscosity fluid with a relatively low boiling point and are relatively easy to evaporate.. Naphthenic oils are C50 and above. They are high viscosity fluid with higher boiling points and don’t evaporate.

light naphthenic oil will evaporate almost completely FROM THE MORE HEAVY MIXTURE if given enough time. if it is not mixed with a heavy and viscous oil it will evaporate quite fast but the time will be longer to have it evaporated once mixed in the lube. how much is that?... i don't care. it's purpose is to temporarily lower the viscosity by diluting the lube (meaning the actual price is even higher), it DOES take time to dry... no need for it if you clean the chain the proper way which should end up with a mixture of alcohols after using the nonpolar solvent of your choice. i don't like gasoline, i stick with solvents that can be used with no gloves and are less volatile so i don't breathe too much when using them.
No. Naphthenic oils a don’t really evaporate at all. That’s why they are used as lubricants. They don’t evaporate but stick around on the chain (or whatever is being lubricated) to reduce friction. Naphtha is used as a carrier and evaporates quickly so that the oil stays behind.

There’s no need for alcohols at all. It’s just complication to a process that doesn’t need any more complication. Keep it simple.

by the way, the naphtha solvent i bought last time from the store was on the heavy side... i don't care too much for it's volatility because i flush it out with the alcohols bath. the alcohols will be gone by soaking the chain in that wax based homebrew. the wax will have very low viscosity once it's heated close to 100C. so i'd rather pay for nonpolar solvents in order to clean the chain, not carry the lube inside the chain.
Yes, there are different naphtha mixtures. Some have higher boiling points and take longer to evaporate. The range of hydrocarbons can range from C5 (pentane which is almost a gas at room temperture) to around C12 which is close to diesel oil. But, again, they are different from naphthenic oils.

some folks still don't know how to take the chain off using a powerlink. if they knew they would not lube the chain on the bike and MAYBE won't be paying ridiculous prices for lubes. the only reason to give that much money is ignorance and blind faith in a marketed product. and then they become zealots to recommend the product to other people with anecdotal (unscientific) evidence. the emperor will need to believe his invisible clothes are the best.
Don’t assume that everyone is stupid. Most people who post here with some regularity know how a quick link works. And don’t preach to us about “anecdotal (unscientific) evidence” when you haven’t presented any evidence that your magic mixture performs better nor if you can’t get the “science” part right. This isn’t the first time you’ve been very wrong about chemicals.



hot wax homebrew needs no solvent to lower the viscosity, temperature does the trick.

Adding a solvent to a wax mixture does the same thing without the need to heat anything. If you can get the same benefit of waxing…clean running without collecting all the dirt…without having to remove the chain, why not take the simpler route?
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Old 06-11-21, 10:35 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
How do you decide when to re-lube? I've been doing it by ear, i.e., when the chain starts to squeak and creak, but wonder if that's too late.
I do it much the same way but I also go by shifting efficiency. If the shifts aren’t clean, I lubricate. My chain runs louder than most people are used to but it doesn’t squeak. If it does, I lubricate.
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Old 06-11-21, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
Thank you for the responses, although it appears that no one has actually tried it. Nevertheless, you've almost convinced me to sell my bikes and replace them with Gates carbon drive train bikes.
A whole lot of electrons are sacrificed talking about chain lube. It’s a chain. It’s cheap. Lubricate it, ride it, wear it out, and replace it. No matter what you do, you’ll get about the same out of every chain. I haven’t got the guts to just leave the chain unlubricated but I suspect that it wouldn’t make that much difference.
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Old 06-11-21, 11:42 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
Thank you for the responses, although it appears that no one has actually tried it. Nevertheless, you've almost convinced me to sell my bikes and replace them with Gates carbon drive train bikes.
...you can buy a KMC 6-8 speed chain (the X8.93) that works very well for about ten bucks online. The original factory lubricant on them lasts anywhere from 1000-1500 miles in my conditions, and attracts very little dirt (some, but not much). When they wear out beyond a certain point, I throw them away and replace them with another ten dollar chain.

On the rare occasions I do use a chain lubricant (there are a couple of bikes, with fenders, that I ride in the rainy winter weather here), I clean them in mineral spirits in a large recycled soda bottle by shaking the chain inside of it, then fish it out and hang it somewhere to dry thoroughly. If it's not dry when you apply lubricant, whatever you use won't wick into the interior of the pins and rollers, where it needs to go to work. I prefer the lube manufactured and sold by FBinNY , who doesn't post any more, but knows a great deal about bicycles. Brand name is Chain-L.

His stuff is a relatively high viscosity carrier oil, with some additives for pressure, similar to the ones in ATF. You have to heat the bottle in a cup of very hot water from the microwave in order to get it runny enough for it to penetrate the interior spaces, then wipe off the exterior chain surfaces with a a rag and mineral oil. One proper application seems to last for about as long as the original lube on my KMC chains...maybe 1500 miles, more or less. I don't keep a diary of it, and I'm not on STRAVA. So I can't quote you chapter and verse.

I will say that belt drives are pretty cool. I just don't like the idea of breaking open the chainstay in order to install and replace them. Were it not for that, I'd probably have one, at least for the rain bike.
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Old 06-12-21, 06:27 AM
  #40  
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It cleans, lubricates and protects? Wow, it's like a three-in-one product! Why hasn't anyone thought of that before?

Oh. Right.

One of the oldest cycling products you can buy, 3inOne oil debuted in 1894, promising to 'clean, lubricate and rustproof' bicycle chains.

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Old 06-12-21, 06:58 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
I thought I'd go to the experts on this.


Wolf Tooth is advertising a lube called WT-1 Chain Lube. They say that it cleans, lubes, protects and lasts 3-5 times longer than other lubricants and is for all conditions. I'm not sure how one product can work optimally in both wet and dry conditions.


Has anyone tried this yet? Before I consider spending $18.95 for a 2 oz. bottle, I'd like some user thoughts and comments.


Thank you.

If I had a dollar every time ... Id be a rich man. Honestly, they all say that and bump up the price real high to make you believe it. I wonder if any of these expensive oils are that much better than "free" automotive crank case or gear oil that they can pay for them selves in terms of increased parts service life. I highly doubt it.
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Old 06-12-21, 07:33 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
A whole lot of electrons are sacrificed talking about chain lube. It’s a chain. It’s cheap. Lubricate it, ride it, wear it out, and replace it. No matter what you do, you’ll get about the same out of every chain. I haven’t got the guts to just leave the chain unlubricated but I suspect that it wouldn’t make that much difference.
When we were kids riding our single speeds everywhere, mud, jumps, rain, we'd lube the chain once in a while with whatever Dad had in the oil can. I don't recall ever replacing a chain and those bikes went through numerous "hand me downs". I don't recall ever lubing hubs, headsets, or BB either. When I got my 68 Raleigh Sprite around 2010 it still had the original Raleigh branded chain on it. I did replace it.
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Old 06-12-21, 07:53 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
When we were kids riding our single speeds everywhere, mud, jumps, rain, we'd lube the chain once in a while with whatever Dad had in the oil can. I don't recall ever replacing a chain and those bikes went through numerous "hand me downs". I don't recall ever lubing hubs, headsets, or BB either. When I got my 68 Raleigh Sprite around 2010 it still had the original Raleigh branded chain on it. I did replace it.
The forces on a single speed chains are a lot different from those on multi speed chains. The need to stand up to side forces and profiles on the teeth of the cogs makes them more problematic with regard to wear. The wonderful engineering that has gone into making shifts quick and silent have made the wear that chains put on those cogs more difficult to deal with.
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Old 06-12-21, 08:37 AM
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Not to go too OT, but has anyone ever found where the SDS sheets are for Rock N Roll products?
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Old 06-12-21, 08:39 AM
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1. will the lube ensure a thick enough film as to prevent boundary/mixed lubrication? particulate matter 2.5 means 2.5 microns and there is lots of that in the air to slowly contaminate the chain given enough time and if there is much motion of the lube inside the chain and/or the space is not filled between the rollers and the side plates. one reason dry lubes - and wax with no other things mixed to it - don't work that well.

2. will the lube be protected from oxidation as to perform for months (lubrication intervals)? some folks relube more often than that, some folks live in less poluted areas. where i live wax turns black too easily if i don't mix it with the gear oil i chose for the job. could be NO2, could be other factors. unmixed wax turned black and flaked off too easily even with absolutely dry weather too quickly for me.

3. if some folks choose to remain ignorant about any homebrew they could try then they just buy whatever brand lube they think would be best. and then, after the purchase there will be stronger confirmation bias then before the purchase. mixing a highly viscous oil such as heavy paraffin wax (with much isoalkanes in it) with whatever polymers and additives and synthetic oil contained in a quality GL4 gear oil can provide the best results as to have the chain protected in both dry and wet conditions. you don't need to thin down wax because it's viscosity goes down by heating it to a temperature slightly above it's melting point. so there's no need for a volatile solvent which would take time to evaporate as to leave the intended viscosity.

4. too many customers think something more of a semifluid grease would not be the right thing for a chain so the market will offer a lot of crap that won't perform that well. "oil" that easily washes the old "oil" is crap.

5. if you wait until you hear a squak or if you feel the chain not shifting that well then you will have unnecessary wear. you can't really know how often you need to relube in order to prevent chain wear unless you experiment long term measuring chain wear with a caliper or measuring chain slack.

6. many people argue that a chain is not that expensive to worry about lubing that often or that purchasing ingredients might be overkill. what i use is a cheap enough wax that contains at least 50% isoalkanes (branched chain), a quality gear oil (~10$ for 0.5l), some hBN additive product and lately i started to add a bit of polyurea grease to all this. and i use these products for other stuff apart from chain lube homebrew. how many chains will you be wearing down in the next 5-10 years? and will you be buying 3-5 chains upfront to prevent cassette and chainring wear? it's not that much about expense to get yourself a homebrew or the time involved to cook the chain in a jar now and then but more about how you lube and what you use. the market is full of crappy lubes, seriously.

7. even if someone was to report chain lasting for 15k miles before reaching 0.5% wear while relubing at 20h intervals (~300 miles) or more... most of the folks won't believe that report.

8. people on the interwebs will readily criticize someone's choice of a homebrew. that's one reason ALL lube products (bike label) never give the general public a list of all the ingredients.

9. hBN (as a powder) costs about 100$ per pound. do you suspect a lube that claims it has that ceramic additive would have less than optimum hBN %weight? the manufactuer needs to cut as much manufacturing cost down and pump as much marketing into the product to boost their profit while the person buying the product is unable or just does not care to compare a product with another or with a custom homebrew.


Last edited by adipe; 06-12-21 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 06-12-21, 09:08 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I do it much the same way but I also go by shifting efficiency. If the shifts aren’t clean, I lubricate. My chain runs louder than most people are used to but it doesn’t squeak. If it does, I lubricate.
Thanks. Do you clean between lubes, or just re-lube? I'm asking because your pictures were what got me using White Lightning in the first place.
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Old 06-12-21, 09:11 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
It cleans, lubricates and protects? Wow, it's like a three-in-one product! Why hasn't anyone thought of that before?

Oh. Right.

One of the oldest cycling products you can buy, 3inOne oil debuted in 1894, promising to 'clean, lubricate and rustproof' bicycle chains.

In this day and age, it's unusual to see any widespread consumer product designed for bike chains, but thinking about it, the 1890s were just about the right time for bike chain lube to become an important household item. People probably thought the opposite about it; How to fix a squeaking hinge or scissors? Reach for the chain lube. I admit to having used White Lightning as a tapping fluid when I couldn't find anything else in the garage.

On the other hand, like with WD-40, the functions of "clean, lubricate, and rustproof" are all satisfied by that wonder material known as Oil.
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Old 06-12-21, 10:00 AM
  #48  
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With the apparent of of that idiot thread where OP wanted to sand down his rims I was thinking it’s time for another good chain lube thread.
and right on time here we are!
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Old 06-12-21, 10:06 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by adipe View Post
1. will the lube ensure a thick enough film as to prevent boundary/mixed lubrication? particulate matter 2.5 means 2.5 microns and there is lots of that in the air to slowly contaminate the chain given enough time and if there is much motion of the lube inside the chain and/or the space is not filled between the rollers and the side plates. one reason dry lubes - and wax with no other things mixed to it - don't work that well.
What are you going on about?! Natural particulate matter…i.e. dirt… has a wide range of distribution in size from semi truck to probably atomic diameter. The smaller sizes are what do the damage to chains and, frankly, 2.5 µm is fairly large when it comes to particle size. It’s small enough to get into a chain but it’s still not the smallest particles. Those particles are the ones that do the real damage.

The particulate doesn’t have to float around “in the air” to get on the chain. Simply riding the bike throws dirt and grit onto the chain. Oils collect these particles and pump them down into the chain where they do their damage.

Waxes and dry lubricants, on the other hand don’t pump anything because they don’t really move. Any particulate collected on the outside of the chain stays on the outside of the chain. However, since the lubricants don’t flow like oil does, it gets displaced from the roller surfaces allowing for more metal to metal contact and thus more wear. That’s really why it doesn’t matter what lubricant you use. Dirt and grit grind up oil lubricated chains and metal to metal contact chews up wax lubricated chains. No amount of “additives” is going to change that.

2. will the lube be protected from oxidation as to perform for months (lubrication intervals)? some folks relube more often than that, some folks live in less poluted areas. where i live wax turns black too easily if i don't mix it with the gear oil i chose for the job. could be NO2, could be other factors. unmixed wax turned black and flaked off too easily even with absolutely dry weather too quickly for me.
As I’ve said before, oxidation of the lubricant at bicycle conditions isn’t an issue. Oxidation is a problem in internal combustion engines but that’s due to high temperatures in a oxidizing atmosphere. We live in the oxidizing atmosphere but no at those temperatures. Your chain lube turns “black” because bits of metal are grinding off the chain and being mixed (slightly) with the wax. Nitrogen oxides aren’t any more oxidizing that the OG of oxidation…oxygen.

Additionally, if the wax turns black because it is “oxidized” why doesn’t the gear oil turn black?

Try this experiment: put wax on your chain. At the same time put a thin layer of wax on a sheet of steel. Leave the wax on the steel outside or put it on your bike and ride around with it. When the wax on your chain turns black, look at the wax on the sheet. The wax on the sheet will be just as colorless (wax isn’t “white”) as when you put it on there.

3. if some folks choose to remain ignorant about any homebrew they could try then they just buy whatever brand lube they think would be best. and then, after the purchase there will be stronger confirmation bias then before the purchase. mixing a highly viscous oil such as heavy paraffin wax (with much isoalkanes in it) with whatever polymers and additives and synthetic oil contained in a quality GL4 gear oil can provide the best results as to have the chain protected in both dry and wet conditions. you don't need to thin down wax because it's viscosity goes down by heating it to a temperature slightly above it's melting point. so there's no need for a volatile solvent which would take time to evaporate as to leave the intended viscosity.
The reason most people “remain ignorant” of homebrew lubricants is because they can’t be bothered with the mess of making the homebrew for marginal improvements. Worse, homebrew can make things much worse…homebrew oil mixtures are a maintenance nightmare. Homebrew is also expensive, especially if you just go chucking in the kitchen sink based on no data. Homebrew is also hard to check the efficacy because the use intervals are long for a single person. Homebrew also suffers from confirmation bias far more than commercial brands.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter all that much. How many more miles than 3500±500 do you get with your marvelous, magic mixture? Can you double the chain mileage? Triple it?

4. too many customers think something more of a semifluid grease would not be the right thing for a chain so the market will offer a lot of crap that won't perform that well. "oil" that easily washes the old "oil" is crap.
.

There is nothing wrong with using a single step lubricant to flush out the old lubricant and any dirt. Chains don’t have to be clean room clean to work. That kind of cleanliness is thrown out the window the first time you take the bike for a ride. They live in the dirt and muck of the world.

5. if you wait until you hear a squak or if you feel the chain not shifting that well then you will have unnecessary wear. you can't really know how often you need to relube in order to prevent chain wear unless you experiment long term measuring chain wear with a caliper or measuring chain slack.
I’m not on your ignore list!

No amount of “long term measuring of chain wear” is going to tell you how often to lubricate. Frequency of lubrication is dependent on too many environmental factors. Ride in a bit of rain and you should probably relubricate (independent of wax- or oil-based lubricants). Do a dusty ride and you should probably relubricate with a solvent based lube that flushes out the dirt. It’s less problematic with wax because wax serves as a barrier to particulate infiltration but it’s not a bad idea.

6. many people argue that a chain is not that expensive to worry about lubing that often or that purchasing ingredients might be overkill. what i use is a cheap enough wax that contains at least 50% isoalkanes (branched chain), a quality gear oil (~10$ for 0.5l), some hBN additive product and lately i started to add a bit of polyurea grease to all this. and i use these products for other stuff apart from chain lube homebrew. how many chains will you be wearing down in the next 5-10 years? and will you be buying 3-5 chains upfront to prevent cassette and chainring wear? it's not that much about expense to get yourself a homebrew or the time involved to cook the chain in a jar now and then but more about how you lube and what you use. the market is full of crappy lubes, seriously.
You have yet to provide any data that your method dramatically increase chain life. In all your yammering, you have never mentioned how many miles you get out of a chain. We have no idea if your “marvelous, magic mixture” is a good lube or a crappy lube nor even what is in it. You keep changing your claims of what you use and what is important. Frankly, the different formulations you keep putting forward over a very short time makes me wonder if you just throw stuff in there because you read about some chemical somewhere.

How many chains do I expect to replace in the next 5 to 10 years? Probably close to 5 to 10. If I changed 20, i wouldn’t be all that bothered by it. It’s a chain. It’s cheap. It’s a consumable.

7. even if someone was to report chain lasting for 15k miles before reaching 0.5% wear while relubing at 20h intervals (~300 miles) or more... most of the folks won't believe that report.
Have you reported 15,000 mile chain life? I don’t recall you reporting anything about how many miles you get out of a chain. And, no, I wouldn’t believe the claims without something to back them up. “Trust me” doesn’t really work. If you are claiming that kind of mileage, you are far outside the “norm”. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

8. people on the interwebs will readily criticize someone's choice of a homebrew. that's one reason ALL lube products (bike label) never give the general public a list of all the ingredients.
No, people criticize homebrews because people who make homebrews make wild claims and base their reasoning on faulty assumptions. The reason that commercial lubricants don’t put all their ingredients on the label is to keep people from reproducing the lubricant at home or to keep a competitor from reproducing the formula and selling it for less. It’s common practice to not completely divulge ingredients and methods. Ever heard of “trade secrets”?

9. hBN (as a powder) costs about 100$ per pound. do you suspect a lube that claims it has that ceramic additive would have less than optimum hBN %weight? the manufactuer needs to cut as much manufacturing cost down and pump as much marketing into the product to boost their profit while the person buying the product is unable or just does not care to compare a product with another or with a custom homebrew.
Well that’s a word salad!

Look, I’m a chemist and somewhat smart guy...no matter what you may think. I’m pretty sure that I could come up with a homebrew that would work. But I’m not under the delusion that my homebrew would be the ultimate chain lube that would make chains last forever and never need more than one application. I’m also not under the delusion that I could make much money on the adventure nor that I could save much money over existing lubricants. The ones we’ve got work just fine.
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Old 06-12-21, 10:09 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Thanks. Do you clean between lubes, or just re-lube? I'm asking because your pictures were what got me using White Lightning in the first place.
I just relubricate. My chains get cleaned once, when they are installed. I occasionally use a screwdriver to remove any lube that has accumulated on the jockey wheels. As I’ve pushed the interval further and further, I’ve found that I don’t have to do that very often.
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