Lubrication for salty dust

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Martin Sorensen, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. Martin Sorensen

    Martin Sorensen New Member

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    What sort of lubrication should I use? We provide bikes for the guests at our tourism rental, but chains (and cogs) die in no time as the get subjected to fine dust with salt. The local bridlepath gets partially flooded a couple of times per month.

    Climate is otherwise mainly dry.
     
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  2. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    Gee, bikes that are used by the seaside areas would surely suffer because of the salt dust and the sea breeze that is contaminating metals with salt. Going home from the beach resort, we would have our car washed and shampooed twice to take away the sea salt that would create rust. With the bikes, maybe you can give it a good wash and lubricate it with oil and not grease.
     
  3. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    For sandy conditions a 'dry' lube is preferred as it attracts less particulates.

    However, for salt air/salt spray conditions a rust-preventative oil or grease is preferred. These tend to attract particulates such as sand that accelerated driveline wear.

    The only solution that really works to minimize both wear and corrosion in sandy and salty conditions is frequent cleanings and fresh applications of lubricant. This need not be a dreaded task even with a fleet of bikes to maintain.

    With the use of a chain cleaning device (Park Tool, Pedro's, Spin Doctor, Finish Line, etc.), a couple of bike cleaning brushes, a few rags and some lubricant it should take no more than 10 minutes per bike to clean and lube the chains. Frequency will, of course, be based on how often the bikes are used, how long the rides are and under what conditions.
     
  4. Martin Sorensen

    Martin Sorensen New Member

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    Thanks. It has clearly been rust rather than wear that has been the problem so far. The bikes are mainly used for short trips (10km in a day or so), just to go to the beach without parking problems. Is it worth trying chainsaw oil (we have that anyway)?
     
  5. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    No.
    While not always that much better, bicycle lubes are the best bicycle lubes.
    Chain saw chains move a lot faster than bike chains, but the pull on them is less. They're continuously drip lubed.
    The speed also throws the lube off, so it needs to be fairly environmentally friendly.
    Has no special rust resistant properties.

    Better than nothing, it's not the best to use. And no particular advantage.
     
  6. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Bar & Chain oil does cling very well.

    You can buy Phil Wood's "Tenacious" oil for bicycles. It also clings very well.

    In light sand and salt air I, personally, would use a light petroleum or synthetic motor or bike specific oil and strive to keep excess grit cleaned off. Grit kills chains and gears.

    Oil/grit sludge gums up derailleurs and cables so those must also be looked after.

    Funny story: Guy I was riding with today installed new wheels and after cleaning his bike he forgot to lube the chain. It was bone dry. After riding maybe 15 miles he pulled into a country store in a one stop sign town and asked if he could buy a quart of car oil. A local dude grabs him a quart from his pickup truck and they proceed to drown that chain in 10W-30W! It was slinging oil off the chain in sheets for the remainder of the ride!
     
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