Unexpectedly good chain lube



cobbwheels

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2022
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I was looking for ways to cut costs and maintenance in the hobby, particularly with drivetrain maintenance. First thing I did is paying better attention to the weather and avoiding rain.

And then finding a lube that does its job, stays on for a long time, does not attract dirt, and does its job and if possible, cheap so I went for alternatives, 3-in-1, gear oil, automatic transmission oil, and finally motor oil.

Last one I tried is fully synthetic 5w30 motor oil. Castrol Magnatec "Stop Start" oil.

So I took the chain off the bike and applied Magnatec oil on the chain and then wiping the chain of all excess oil before putting back on the bike. Every 20 km of ride, I wiped down the chain with a rag. I only wiped several more times until the chain looks dried out then I stopped wiping down the chain after that.

After several months of neglecting the dry-looking chain, I wiped down the chain to see if I'll find silvery bits of worn metal, I found none When I removed the quick link after several months and inspected the pins, it looks completely dried out but when I touched it, it's still quite slippery. Otherwise, the pins are clean, the whole drivetrain itself looks clean. I never got caught in rain during this time although riding conditions are relatively dusty as my routes takes me to roads besides dry, exposed soil.

It was unexpectedly good. Particularly in maintaining effective lubrication for a long period of time. It was also clean. After several wipe downs after 100 km of ride, it becomes like a dry lubricant leaving behind a resilient, clear low-friction coating that Castrol don't seem willing to divulge its chemistry.

I also have a desk fan I used to lube regularly because it would refuse to turn after some time. I put this same stuff in the fan and hasn't re-lubed the fan again for two years now!

It really turned out great if looking for a cheap, low-maintenance, long endurance dry weather lubrication. You do need to wipe the chain down after the first couple 20 km rides. But beyond that you can forget about the chain until you get caught in a rain or muddy ride and mud got to the drivetrain.
 

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