Engine oil as a chain lubricant?



jack06

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Oct 20, 2006
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hi guys
Is it possible to use a very light-weight engine oil such as 10-40w to oil the chain of a bike, I would be getting a road bike.
look forward to you replies
jack
 

nerdag

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Dec 12, 2004
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jack06 said:
hi guys
Is it possible to use a very light-weight engine oil such as 10-40w to oil the chain of a bike, I would be getting a road bike.
look forward to you replies
jack
If you want lots of dirt to stick to it, then yes.

Seriously though, this is a very contentious topic, and a quick search will give you all the opinons, dogma, bullsh!t, and occasionally facts, on this topic.

My preference for lube is Prolink - works a treat for me, and doesn't cost too much. There are a lot of options out there, though, if you can be bothered investigating.

n
 

sogood

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Aug 24, 2006
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Absolutely, lots of conflicting opinions torn by polarized priorities.

It's,

More dirt vs Less dirt
Good wet weather durability vs Poor wet weather durability
Good dry weather durability vs Poor dry weather durability
Lubrication efficiency
Easy application vs Difficult application

Select your prorities and you might get a more specific answer.
 

HowardSteele

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Mar 7, 2006
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jack06 said:
hi guys
Is it possible to use a very light-weight engine oil such as 10-40w to oil the chain of a bike, I would be getting a road bike.
look forward to you replies
jack
Oiling a chain is a contradiction on practise, a chain operates better heavily lubed but not for long, it becomes sticky and collects dust, this forms into a black abrasive goo, damaging chain, jockey wheels, cluster and chainrings. Lots of chain oils act more as dirt magnets than lube. I’ve used motor oil in an emergency and wow it worked well for a while and then into the ride I experienced the thickest crud on my chain ever. I personally think less is more, more mileage out of your components that is. As a MTBiker,cleaning the chain and then light oil, is necessary after every ride (i use white lightning), but that is off road conditions. A clean properly lubed chain in my opinion is the most important component on a bike.
 

RickF

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Jul 27, 2005
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If you want to use motor oil, use a mix of two parts mineral spirits to one part motor oil. Apply liberally to the chain, then wipe the chain as clean as possible to remove the oil from the surface of the chain. The mineral spirits will evaporate, leaving the oil on the inside, where it belongs. By wiping the surface clean, less dirt sticks to the chain.
 

CAMPYBOB

Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2005
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i've used straight 30-weight, non-detergent motor oil as a chain lubricant since 1972.

with normal cleaning i've never expirenced any accellerated wear on my components.

for long, wet rides and races i've also used automotive bearing grease over the oil to prevent wash-off.

keep in mind that if you ask thirty guys about chain lubricating, you'll get thirty different answers.
 

carbonguru

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Sep 14, 2006
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I agree with CampyBob. Each to his own...:rolleyes:



CAMPYBOB said:
i've used straight 30-weight, non-detergent motor oil as a chain lubricant since 1972.

with normal cleaning i've never expirenced any accellerated wear on my components.

for long, wet rides and races i've also used automotive bearing grease over the oil to prevent wash-off.

keep in mind that if you ask thirty guys about chain lubricating, you'll get thirty different answers.
 

gclark8

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Apr 13, 2004
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Engine oil is for engines! It is hydroscopic, it absorbs moisture, not what you want in a gearbox.

A bike chain and sprocket system is a gearbox.

Ask your local bike shop, who sells you the bike, warranty may be an issue, particulaly if you use shimano drive components.
 

kingsting

New Member
Oct 15, 2003
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gclark8 said:
Engine oil is for engines! It is hydroscopic, it absorbs moisture, not what you want in a gearbox.

A bike chain and sprocket system is a gearbox.

Ask your local bike shop, who sells you the bike, warranty may be an issue, particulaly if you use shimano drive components.

Motor oil will work but it's so messy at times that it's probably not worth the effort. I'm sure it would be fine on a roadster type bike with an enclosed chaincase.

Many engines use a timing chain with sprockets that's bathed in oil so the gearbox argument is void. The motor oil/gearbox argument comes up a lot on the Mini and several motorcycle forums where the engine shares the same oil as the transmission. The meshing of the gears in a high performance motorcycle tranny will break down a conventional motor oil in a very short period of time. Oil breakdown would hardly be an issue with a bicycle, even those with hub gears.