Chain Enclosure Technology needs a boost!

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by geardad, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. geardad

    geardad New Member

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    where we live, we get a higher buildup rate of that gritty paste you see from travelling on bike paths...it's a combo of rain+dirt+grease, plus, this city is constantly refreshing the path with large-size gravel, which breaks down, and it's those particles which become part of this abrasive slurry.

    anyhoo, I've been wondering if anybody out there is working on this issue from the standpoint of better drivetrain protection.

    Road racers don't need it, but folks whose daily riding surfaces are mixed, and who encounter paths which help in the formation of this scrud, I would think, would be quivering with glee if there were an effective kit they could buy to protect chain, cogs, chainrings and derailleurs from this stuff which:

    1. degrades bike performance and safety
    2. accelerates the aging and eventual failure of chain and other drivetrain parts
    3. requires not only frequent de-scrudding to maintain performance and drivetrain health, but requires use of nasty sprays and liquids to help dissolve and cleanse the chain and parts.

    and finally

    4. more lube. Once you have the gritty paste (mostly) off your metal parts, you must re-lube them, which, ironically, helps form the base of the gritty paste you end up having to clean off again!

    Now, I think these 4 points most commuters/mixed surface riders would find more than compelling, and would inspire them to spend a few hours fitting a kit to their bike (bikes are different, diff derailleur "throws" etc) to drastically cut the gritty paste buildup, the cleaning, the use of toxic stuff, etc. and to get, potentially MUCH more life out of their expensive bike parts.

    Am I alone in this?

    thanks for any opinions or info!

    gd
     
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  2. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    There are few bikes with chain covers, but they're either single speed or have an internally geared rear hub. They are not the bikes you want to use for extended rides of any sort or for going off road.

    Really, you have two options:
    1. Use a dry lube. They're the best lube for the conditions you describe.
    2. Whatever lube your using, lube more often.
    Lubing a bike chain takes all of 5-10 minutes out of a week on average. I live in the desert with monsoons and blowing sand. I use ProLink lube about every 100-150 miles. I don't clean the chain because the ProLink washes the dirt out. I have zero issues with chain life.
     
  3. geardad

    geardad New Member

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    thank you, alienator...that is extremely encouraging.

    is ProLink the dry lube you mention? is this the same as wax lube, for which we'd have to completely degrease all metal parts before application?

    thanks!

    gd
     
  4. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    No, its a wet lube.
     
  5. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Geardad may remember me as the guy who didn't know you can't remove a new freewheel axle like you could an old one, but I had a few thoughts on this I wanted to share.

    Sheldon Brown seemed to think most of the muck in a chain comes from a front tire. Maybe buying a set of fenders would help. I have seen one brand on Amazon (can't recall which) that had a long, deep mud flap on the front fender. My current rain bike (3 speed) has fenders and also a chainguard which covers the front chainring well. Before I got that, I destroyed a cassette and chain on a mtb quite rapidly in the limestone grit.

    I also thought of building a chain case although there would be no efficient way to install shaft seals at the inside of the rear cassette and especially at the rh crank, so a close fit would have to do. I was thinking of creating one out of fiberglass like a custom hot rod. However, even if you gave it clean lines it would still be a bit odd looking if you were the only one who had one. JFTR I wanted to make it trim and match the bike's color, not give it a tailfin and flames around the front.

    So far though, using a snap-on chain cleaner after every ride, then relubing with Pedros Ice Wax, has not proven annoying enough for my non-3-speed bikes. BTW my bottle of Pedros said you could degrease or just put it on extra heavy the first time.
     
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