preparing a new chain for use

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by davek, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. davek

    davek Guest

    I've just got a new chain to go with my new cassette and I'm wondering what
    approach to take with lubrication in regard to preparing it for use. It
    currently feels very sticky to the touch from whatever the grease is that
    they use in the factory.

    My normal lubricant of choice is White Lightning - the instructions say the
    chain should be thoroughly degreased before first application, so I'm
    thinking I should dunk the chain in solvent to degrease it, let it dry and
    then apply the White Lightning.

    Or should I just leave it as is, with the factory grease? Is this stuff
    likely to be better than White Lightning for keeping my chain clean and
    lubed? But even if I leave the factory grease, I'm guessing I should at very
    least wipe off excess grease from the outer surface of the chain. Right?

    d.
     
    Tags:


  2. davek wrote:

    > I've just got a new chain to go with my new cassette and I'm wondering what
    > approach to take with lubrication in regard to preparing it for use. It
    > currently feels very sticky to the touch from whatever the grease is that
    > they use in the factory.
    >
    > My normal lubricant of choice is White Lightning - the instructions say the
    > chain should be thoroughly degreased before first application, so I'm
    > thinking I should dunk the chain in solvent to degrease it, let it dry and
    > then apply the White Lightning.
    >
    > Or should I just leave it as is, with the factory grease? Is this stuff
    > likely to be better than White Lightning for keeping my chain clean and
    > lubed? But even if I leave the factory grease, I'm guessing I should at very
    > least wipe off excess grease from the outer surface of the chain. Right?


    No work necessary. Chains are pre-lubricated with a good lubricant.
    When it gets dirty you can clean and relube as usual.
     
  3. davek

    davek Guest

    Zog The Undeniable:
    > Chains are pre-lubricated with a good lubricant.


    I was wondering if that was the case, but I have no idea what type of grease
    they use in the factory. Could be any old shit as far as I know (which still
    may or may not be better than White Lightning...).

    Thanks,

    d.
     
  4. Mark South

    Mark South Guest

    "davek" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I've just got a new chain to go with my new cassette and I'm wondering what
    > approach to take with lubrication in regard to preparing it for use. It
    > currently feels very sticky to the touch from whatever the grease is that
    > they use in the factory.


    Chain grease?

    > My normal lubricant of choice is White Lightning - the instructions say the
    > chain should be thoroughly degreased before first application, so I'm
    > thinking I should dunk the chain in solvent to degrease it, let it dry and
    > then apply the White Lightning.


    White lightning has one virtue. It doesn't attract dirt.

    It has one failing. It doesn't lubricate worth a damn.

    It has one major extra downside. It is expensive.

    > Or should I just leave it as is, with the factory grease?


    Best plan.

    > Is this stuff
    > likely to be better than White Lightning for keeping my chain clean and
    > lubed?


    Yes, anyhting that isn't actually water is better than WL.

    > But even if I leave the factory grease, I'm guessing I should at very
    > least wipe off excess grease from the outer surface of the chain. Right?


    It doesn't do any lubrication on the outside, and too much attracts dirt, which
    is bad. But don't take off so much that the chain itself is exposed to (humid)
    air. Chains are made from very non-stainless steels. Leave on enough to stop
    the rust.
    --
    Mark South: World Citizen, Net Denizen
     
  5. On Fri, 4 Jun 2004 16:58:28 +0200, Mark South wrote:


    >
    > White lightning has one virtue. It doesn't attract dirt.
    >
    > It has one failing. It doesn't lubricate worth a damn.
    >
    > It has one major extra downside. It is expensive.
    >


    I don't know about that. Other people on here claim good experience with
    White Lightning. If I recall correctly Guy uses it on his 'bent chain.
    --
    Michael MacClancy
    Random putdown - "He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness
    in others." -Samuel Johnson
    www.macclancy.demon.co.uk
    www.macclancy.co.uk
     
  6. Mark South wrote:
    >
    > Yes, anyhting that isn't actually water is better than WL.
    >


    Mind you, wet chains don't squeak until they are dry.
     
  7. Mark South

    Mark South Guest

    "Michael MacClancy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On Fri, 4 Jun 2004 16:58:28 +0200, Mark South wrote:
    >
    > > White lightning has one virtue. It doesn't attract dirt.
    > >
    > > It has one failing. It doesn't lubricate worth a damn.
    > >
    > > It has one major extra downside. It is expensive.
    > >

    > I don't know about that. Other people on here claim good experience with
    > White Lightning. If I recall correctly Guy uses it on his 'bent chain.


    Well, it is expensive, no denying that. It does not collect dirt. It does stop
    the chain rusting. It's just not much in the way of lubrication, especially
    compared to grease and oil.

    It appears to have been formulated originally as a storage lubricant (ie,
    protective coating). It is heavily marketed in other sectors as such.

    If it's the best thing for chains, then those mega-multi-quid 10-speed chains
    should come soaked in WL, but they are packaged in grease as well.
    --
    Mark South: World Citizen, Net Denizen
     
  8. Katanga-Man

    Katanga-Man Guest

    What about WD40? Would that lubricate?
    KM

    "Mark South" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > "davek" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > I've just got a new chain to go with my new cassette and I'm wondering

    what
    > > approach to take with lubrication in regard to preparing it for use. It
    > > currently feels very sticky to the touch from whatever the grease is

    that
    > > they use in the factory.

    >
    > Chain grease?
    >
    > > My normal lubricant of choice is White Lightning - the instructions say

    the
    > > chain should be thoroughly degreased before first application, so I'm
    > > thinking I should dunk the chain in solvent to degrease it, let it dry

    and
    > > then apply the White Lightning.

    >
    > White lightning has one virtue. It doesn't attract dirt.
    >
    > It has one failing. It doesn't lubricate worth a damn.
    >
    > It has one major extra downside. It is expensive.
    >
    > > Or should I just leave it as is, with the factory grease?

    >
    > Best plan.
    >
    > > Is this stuff
    > > likely to be better than White Lightning for keeping my chain clean and
    > > lubed?

    >
    > Yes, anyhting that isn't actually water is better than WL.
    >
    > > But even if I leave the factory grease, I'm guessing I should at very
    > > least wipe off excess grease from the outer surface of the chain. Right?

    >
    > It doesn't do any lubrication on the outside, and too much attracts dirt,

    which
    > is bad. But don't take off so much that the chain itself is exposed to

    (humid)
    > air. Chains are made from very non-stainless steels. Leave on enough to

    stop
    > the rust.
    > --
    > Mark South: World Citizen, Net Denizen
    >
    >
     
  9. davek

    davek Guest

    Mark South:
    > Well, it is expensive, no denying that. It does not collect dirt. It

    does stop
    > the chain rusting. It's just not much in the way of lubrication,

    especially
    > compared to grease and oil.


    I get on OK with White Lightning - my chain isn't rusty and it's reasonably
    clean. It may be relatively expensive compared to other lubes, but one six
    quid bottle seems to go quite a long way. To be honest, I wouldn't know one
    way or the other if it was any good as a lubricant. How much difference does
    its lack of lubricative(?) qualities make to actual chain performance? Is it
    making me go slower?

    > It appears to have been formulated originally as a storage lubricant (ie,
    > protective coating). It is heavily marketed in other sectors as such.


    That's interesting. I didn't know that. Makes sense though.

    Thanks for your comments.

    d.
     
  10. Mark South

    Mark South Guest

    "davek" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Mark South:
    > > Well, it is expensive, no denying that. It does not collect dirt. It

    > does stop
    > > the chain rusting. It's just not much in the way of lubrication,

    > especially
    > > compared to grease and oil.

    >
    > I get on OK with White Lightning - my chain isn't rusty and it's reasonably
    > clean. It may be relatively expensive compared to other lubes, but one six
    > quid bottle seems to go quite a long way. To be honest, I wouldn't know one
    > way or the other if it was any good as a lubricant. How much difference does
    > its lack of lubricative(?) qualities make to actual chain performance? Is it
    > making me go slower?


    Six quid! Six quid will buy you practically a lifetime supply of heavyweight
    machine oil to dribble on your chains.

    As I said, White Lightning (and WD40) is not much in the way of lubrication. I
    certainly wouldn't flush the grease out of a new chain to put in WL. At least
    wait till the chain needs cleaning.

    > > It appears to have been formulated originally as a storage lubricant (ie,
    > > protective coating). It is heavily marketed in other sectors as such.

    >
    > That's interesting. I didn't know that. Makes sense though.


    IMO, it's suited far better to some of those applications, where the bearing
    surface load is negligible and the slow evaporation of the dried WL is a
    positive benefit.

    > Thanks for your comments.


    You're welcome. Thanks for not flaming me.
    --
    Mark South: World Citizen, Net Denizen
     
  11. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    On Fri, 4 Jun 2004 16:59:31 +0100, "Katanga-Man" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >What about WD40? Would that lubricate?
    >KM


    For a short while. Although some people seem to get away with uising
    it it's not really suitable for lubricating a bike chain. And
    squirting it onto a new chain would simply flush out the superb
    lubricant that's already in there.

    New chains should be cut to length, connected up, and ridden as they
    are. If you don't like the sticky coating in the outside I'd suggest
    you could squirt a little degreaser onto a rag. give it a wipe with
    that and smear on your personal favourite protective coating. But
    leave the factory grease inside the rollers alone.
    ..
    --
    Dave...

    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live. - Mark Twain
     
  12. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, davek
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > Mark South:
    >> Well, it is expensive, no denying that. It does not collect dirt.
    >> It

    > does stop
    >> the chain rusting. It's just not much in the way of lubrication,

    > especially
    >> compared to grease and oil.

    >
    > I get on OK with White Lightning - my chain isn't rusty and it's
    > reasonably clean. It may be relatively expensive compared to other
    > lubes, but one six quid bottle seems to go quite a long way. To be
    > honest, I wouldn't know one way or the other if it was any good as a
    > lubricant. How much difference does its lack of lubricative(?)
    > qualities make to actual chain performance? Is it making me go slower?


    My next door neighbour is an industrial fitter - spends his life going
    around various large industrial plants doing maintenance. He has large
    aerosol cans of, wait for it, 'chain grease', formulated for
    lubricating roller chains. I'm planning to try one of these when my
    current can of Finish Line Cross Country runs out.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/


    ... a mild, inoffensive sadist...
     
  13. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

  14. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    davek wrote:
    > I've just got a new chain to go with my new cassette and I'm
    > wondering what approach to take with lubrication in regard to
    > preparing it for use. It currently feels very sticky to the touch
    > from whatever the grease is that they use in the factory.
    >
    > My normal lubricant of choice is White Lightning - the instructions
    > say the chain should be thoroughly degreased before first
    > application, so I'm thinking I should dunk the chain in solvent to
    > degrease it, let it dry and then apply the White Lightning.


    That would be sensible if you if you want to use the WL, but the factory
    stuff of the thick & sticky variety lubricates and lasts well. In any case,
    it's best to clean thoroughly before relubing (with whatever lube).

    > Or should I just leave it as is, with the factory grease? Is this
    > stuff likely to be better than White Lightning for keeping my chain
    > clean and lubed?


    No and yes, respectively.

    > But even if I leave the factory grease, I'm guessing
    > I should at very least wipe off excess grease from the outer surface
    > of the chain. Right?


    Good idea.

    ~PB
     
  15. taywood

    taywood Guest

    "davek" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I've just got a new chain to go with my new cassette and I'm wondering

    what
    > approach to take with lubrication in regard to preparing it for use. It
    > currently feels very sticky to the touch from whatever the grease is that
    > they use in the factory.


    I've got 3 chains which I alternate so I've not bought a new one for
    yonks. In the old days new chains came with a coating of a substance
    (cosmolene?) designed to keep the metal looking bright and shiny
    during storage and display for sale. (see archive Google groups)
    But it was not a lubricant and had to be removed upon installation and
    then the chain was lubed with the product of your choice.
    Have things changed?
     
  16. davek wrote:
    > Zog The Undeniable:
    >
    >>Chains are pre-lubricated with a good lubricant.

    >
    >
    > I was wondering if that was the case, but I have no idea what type of grease
    > they use in the factory. Could be any old shit as far as I know (which still
    > may or may not be better than White Lightning...).


    The stuff is made by GLEITMO and SRAM claim it is "the finest chain
    lubricant in the industry".

    I don't know the exact product number, but this looks likely:

    http://www.infochems.com/product/productinfo.asp?product_id=58076
     
  17. davek

    davek Guest

    Zog The Undeniable:
    > The stuff is made by GLEITMO and SRAM claim it is "the finest chain
    > lubricant in the industry".


    Cool. In that case, I shall leave my new SRAM chain exactly as it is.

    d.
     
  18. David Waters

    David Waters Guest

    Same topic different slant. I have been using car engine oil on my chain
    for a while. It seems to lubricate well although it is a bit messy.
    Thoughts?
     
  19. Mark South wrote:

    > As I said, White Lightning...is not much in the way of lubrication.


    I dunno...the tramps at Swindon bus station seem to get pretty well
    lubricated on it. Oh sorry, wrong White Lightning ;-)
     
  20. David Waters wrote:

    > Same topic different slant. I have been using car engine oil on my chain
    > for a while. It seems to lubricate well although it is a bit messy.
    > Thoughts?


    You hit the nail on the head. It works but is like treacle. Arguably
    EP hypoid gear oil is better for chains because, as the name suggests,
    it's designed for extreme pressure situations (like between a chain and
    a sprocket tooth). Engine oil is for relatively large metal-metal
    rubbing surfaces like piston skirts and cams - big end and main bearings
    have even less chance of metal-metal contact, being pressure-fed after
    start-up. Engine oil also has some special features such as being able
    to burn relatively cleanly, dissolve soot and withstand very high
    temperatures, none of which are relevant to bike chains. However,
    hypoid gear oil stinks and is equally treacly, so I wouldn't use it.

    There is a persistent urban myth that the rather expensive Pedro's
    Synlube, quite popular among MTBers in the 1990s, was in fact Mobil 1
    engine oil in a smaller and (even) more expensive package. I can't
    confirm or deny this from Googling.

    Me, I use 3-in-1 oil because it keeps the chain quiet and isn't
    excessively sticky.
     
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