Chain Oil/Lube



Sam123

New Member
Aug 1, 2009
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Hi I was wondering when you buy a new bike or a new chain the chain is already sorta dryed lube is it possible to buy this type of lube? Seems much better and less messy then the other oils.
 

kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
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I have never seen that type of lube available anywhere. There was a segment of "How Its Made" that featured roller chains. The lube started out as a solid and had to be melted and heated something like 400 degrees + so that it would flow into all of the spaces of the chain. The final step in the manufacture of the chain before it was packaged was to drop it into the pan of the heated lube where it was agitated for several minutes before it was removed and wiped. Even if you could find the stuff, it sounds like it is more difficult than what it is worth.
 

alienator

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2004
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When I get a new chain, I clean it and then apply the lube of my choice.
 

Eichers

Member
Sep 17, 2010
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Originally Posted by Sam123 .

Hi I was wondering when you buy a new bike or a new chain the chain is already sorta dryed lube is it possible to buy this type of lube? Seems much better and less messy then the other oils.
Hi Sam123, yes some people do this with wax lubes. They actually use their oven to achieve the required temperature!

There are some dry wax, PTFE, ceramic lubes (Rock'n'Roll, Finish Line, White Lightning, etc that do not require this process :)
 

finnrambo

New Member
Jun 6, 2010
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It's a bit late in the year to be looking at wax lubes isn't it? I guess maybe you live in the warmer parts but wax lubes don't do well in the wet. I might be wrong but I'm pretty sure the bike chains arrive dry as well...
 

alienator

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2004
12,596
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I've never found happiness with any of the popular wax-based lubes, and no, I've never dipped my chains in hot wax. Lisa G, however, an Air Force lieutenant I dated did like to use hot honey on body parts as well as hot wax. Please note, one of those can be tongue cleaned, and one is not so good for that. There is value in watching a girl from La Jolla remove her uniform, though. Much value. A lot.
 

dhk2

Well-Known Member
Aug 8, 2006
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Believe that the grease on new chains is mostly for anti-corrosion protection during shipping and storage, not lubrication. It's thick and sticky, to stay on the chain a long time. But a light-oil based lube will make for quieter and smoother running. Not sure what you consider a "messy" chain, but for me a chain that looks new is crying out for oil, while one glistening with black-looking oil is a thing of beauty.

As Alienator said, some people take the time to clean the new chain first before lubing. I just lube the new chain with my favorite thin oil, Prolink, and ride it. It's a bit noisy at first, but after a few rides and another lube treatment or two, the packing grease is gone and the new chain is quiet and smooth-running.
 

maydog

Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2010
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Obligatory Sheldon Brown Reference:

New chains come pre-lubricated with a grease-type lubricant which has been installed at the factory. This is an excellent lubricant, and has been made to permeate all of the internal interstices in the chain.
This factory lube is superior to any lube that you can apply after the fact.
Some people make the bad mistake of deliberately removing this superior lubricant. Don't do this!
The factory lubricant all by itself is usually good for several hundred miles of service if the bike is not ridden in wet or dusty conditions. It is best not to apply any sort of lube to a new chain until it is clearly needed, because any wet lube you can apply will dilute the factory lube.
[This type of lubricant, like wax, needs to be heated during application, but it could be applied at home or in the bike shop too, if available -- John Allen]

http://sheldonbrown.com/chains.html
 

Possumpoint

Member
Oct 11, 2011
80
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Bought a new bike in August. Wanted to start off right and lubed the chain right away. Used a heavy chain and bar oil intended for chain saws. Thought there was some logic in that approach. Re-oiled with the same product on a bi-weekly basis for two months. Experienced a complete destruction of one of the rear brake pads. The pad was on the same side as the chain. Looked like it melted and became little balls. The rim was a mess with what looked like melted rubber at the brake contact area. Looked at the rear tire rim and it had streaks of oil on it thrown off by the chain. Figured that the chain oil had adversely affected the brake pad. Cleaned up the mess and removed the excess oil off the chain. New brake pads on the rear and the bike is back to new operating condition. Now I'm not really sure what oil to use on the chain. Any suggestions?
 

davereo

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2010
1,639
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Originally Posted by Possumpoint .

Bought a new bike in August. Wanted to start off right and lubed the chain right away. Used a heavy chain and bar oil intended for chain saws. Thought there was some logic in that approach. Re-oiled with the same product on a bi-weekly basis for two months. Experienced a complete destruction of one of the rear brake pads. The pad was on the same side as the chain. Looked like it melted and became little balls. The rim was a mess with what looked like melted rubber at the brake contact area. Looked at the rear tire rim and it had streaks of oil on it thrown off by the chain. Figured that the chain oil had adversely affected the brake pad. Cleaned up the mess and removed the excess oil off the chain. New brake pads on the rear and the bike is back to new operating condition. Now I'm not really sure what oil to use on the chain. Any suggestions?

Hey possum were you in my garage last night? Came home from work last night and found a possum running amok in the garage. Thankfully all my bikes are racked on the wall.
I have been using finish line ceramic chain lube for the last three years and have no problems to report. Works well and my chain is always a nice shiny black. I apply a little lube whenever the shine starts to dull. I find applying the lube after a ride works best. I rotate the crank backwards slowly and apply one drop on each roller as it passes by starting at the connector link. Just before the next time I go out for a ride I use a clean shop towel and wipe the chain of any excess lube. When I return from my ride I wipe off my rear rim of the little black dots of oil that end up on the rim.

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_506517_-1_202642_10000_202590 One bottle last for about three years of normal use.
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
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Originally Posted by Possumpoint .

... I'm not really sure what oil to use on the chain. [COLOR= #ff0000]Any suggestions?[/COLOR]
[COLOR= #000000]Regardless of the lube you use, [/COLOR][COLOR= #ff0000]you need to remove the excess [/COLOR][COLOR= #000000]-- follow the post-ride maintenance steps which davereo uses ... [/COLOR]
 

kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
3,477
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Originally Posted by Possumpoint .

Bought a new bike in August. Wanted to start off right and lubed the chain right away. Used a heavy chain and bar oil intended for chain saws. Thought there was some logic in that approach. Re-oiled with the same product on a bi-weekly basis for two months. Experienced a complete destruction of one of the rear brake pads. The pad was on the same side as the chain. Looked like it melted and became little balls. The rim was a mess with what looked like melted rubber at the brake contact area. Looked at the rear tire rim and it had streaks of oil on it thrown off by the chain. Figured that the chain oil had adversely affected the brake pad. Cleaned up the mess and removed the excess oil off the chain. New brake pads on the rear and the bike is back to new operating condition. Now I'm not really sure what oil to use on the chain. Any suggestions?
As always, Sheldon has the answer: http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html

Before you do this, note the date that it was posted on Sheldon's website was April 1.

Seriously, there are hundreds of good to great products available to lubricate your BICYCLE Chain. Some brands of bar oil have solvents in them designed to disolve organic matter such as tree sap so that the chain doesn't get gummed up. Guess what rubber is, mostly processed tree sap from the rubber tree.

Go to your Local Bike Shop and ask them for a chain lube or go here:http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/SubCategory_10052_10551_400042_-1_400005_400005

I currently use ProLink, mainly because I'm lazy. They claim that it cleans as it lubricates and I believe them. My chains (usually SRAM) typically last 6,000 to 8,000 miles before they need replaced since I have been using ProLink. And that is without any cleaning. I think that next season I am going to try out the Domonde Tech Products because I have been hearing some good things about them.
 

davereo

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2010
1,639
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Originally Posted by kdelong .


As always, Sheldon has the answer: http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html

Before you do this, note the date that it was posted on Sheldon's website was April 1.

Seriously, there are hundreds of good to great products available to lubricate your BICYCLE Chain. Some brands of bar oil have solvents in them designed to disolve organic matter such as tree sap so that the chain doesn't get gummed up. Guess what rubber is, mostly processed tree sap from the rubber tree.

Go to your Local Bike Shop and ask them for a chain lube or go here:http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/SubCategory_10052_10551_400042_-1_400005_400005

I currently use ProLink, mainly because I'm lazy. They claim that it cleans as it lubricates and I believe them. My chains (usually SRAM) typically last 6,000 to 8,000 miles before they need replaced since I have been using ProLink. And that is without any cleaning. I think that next season I am going to try out the Domonde Tech Products because I have been hearing some good things about them.

The April fool is the one not believing his advice. Keep the bar oil out in the shed.
 

Possumpoint

Member
Oct 11, 2011
80
8
8
Originally Posted by kdelong .


As always, Sheldon has the answer: http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html

Before you do this, note the date that it was posted on Sheldon's website was April 1.

Seriously, there are hundreds of good to great products available to lubricate your BICYCLE Chain. Some brands of bar oil have solvents in them designed to disolve organic matter such as tree sap so that the chain doesn't get gummed up. Guess what rubber is, mostly processed tree sap from the rubber tree.

Go to your Local Bike Shop and ask them for a chain lube or go here:http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/SubCategory_10052_10551_400042_-1_400005_400005

I currently use ProLink, mainly because I'm lazy. They claim that it cleans as it lubricates and I believe them. My chains (usually SRAM) typically last 6,000 to 8,000 miles before they need replaced since I have been using ProLink. And that is without any cleaning. I think that next season I am going to try out the Domonde Tech Products because I have been hearing some good things about them.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Now I think I understand what went wrong. Didn't know about the solvents in the bar chain oil. Used a clean rag and paint thinner to remove most of the oil on the chain. It has stopped throwing oil on the rim. Think I'll clean the chain again the same way and use one of the products suggested.
 

jpr95

Well-Known Member
Oct 11, 2010
870
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One of the keys is that you have to wipe off the excess oil sometime between oiling and riding. Oil does the least good externally on the chain--it mainly just collects grit and grime there.

I'm a convert to oiling my chain quite regularly. I consider noise in my driveline to be like the check engine light in my vehicles. It may come on for a minor problem, but if I don't take care of it, there may be other problems developing that would normally turn it on, but if it's already on, I may not know of the new problems until it's too late. So one noise may not be a problem for the chain, but it may be obscuring another that is more of a problem. No noise, no problems.
 

dhk2

Well-Known Member
Aug 8, 2006
2,214
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Originally Posted by jpr95 .

One of the keys is that you have to wipe off the excess oil sometime between oiling and riding. Oil does the least good externally on the chain--it mainly just collects grit and grime there.

I'm a convert to oiling my chain quite regularly. I consider noise in my driveline to be like the check engine light in my vehicles. It may come on for a minor problem, but if I don't take care of it, there may be other problems developing that would normally turn it on, but if it's already on, I may not know of the new problems until it's too late. So one noise may not be a problem for the chain, but it may be obscuring another that is more of a problem. No noise, no problems.
Yep, no noise no problems. If you listen carefully the chain will tell you when it's starting to dry out or is dirty from grit and needs attention. Or, just get into a routine of applying it every 100-200 miles or by time, whatever is convenient. And it doesn't take much, just a drop on each bushing. A 4 oz bottle of Prolink lasts me for the life of a chain, about 5000 miles.
 

64Paramount

Well-Known Member
Jul 25, 2009
1,640
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I've been using Prolink for the past 2 years and have been very pleased with it.

I usually can get by with applying it once a week, although I may do an extra application if I get caught in the rain or I do more riding during the week than usual.

I wouldn't recommend it for someone who does a lot of wet weather riding though, as it seems to wash off quicker in really wet road conditions than some of the thicker/heavier lubes...
 

ambal

Well-Known Member
Oct 15, 2010
931
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I use White Lightning lubes, i'm happy with it so far. They have a good range to suit road and MTB and also some cleaning products.
 

oldbobcat

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2003
3,233
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Originally Posted by kdelong .


I currently use ProLink, mainly because I'm lazy. They claim that it cleans as it lubricates and I believe them. My chains (usually SRAM) typically last 6,000 to 8,000 miles before they need replaced since I have been using ProLink. And that is without any cleaning. I think that next season I am going to try out the Domonde Tech Products because I have been hearing some good things about them.
ProLink is great stuff, especially for chains that have gone to seed. Since we ran out of it I've been using Tri-Flo instead, and I think it's almost as good.

For my own chain, which is usually reasonably clean, I prefer Finish Line Dry.

In general I think the wax-based lubes are overrated, but as many point out, I've been wrong about many things.

Assiduously wipe off the excess. That's one thing I know for sure.
 

alienator

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2004
12,596
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Well since we're recommending lubes now...

ProLink is great stuff. I used it for years, applying it every 100 miles or so. Then just to see what all the hubbub was about, I tried Chain Lube No.5, and it is now my lube of choice. It does require chain cleaning before application, but I've been getting at least 500 miles out of each application before any chain noise starts to appear. If you apply it cold, you'll have a royal mess, but if you set the bottle in hot water for 10-20 minutes, it applies easily with less mess.