Yeah, another chain cleaning/lubrication thread...



SoloHiker

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Jan 14, 2004
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Ya know, the more I read about oiling versus not oiling, and using detergents and not using detergents, and different techniques from using a paint brush with WD40 to cooking your chain in an over then using a power sprayer, the more I get confused on this whole issue.

First, I've read posts here that said you should NOT oil your chain, most that say use some oil, and others that say use some kind of wax/parafin. Which is it, and why is one way better than another?? :confused:

Second, way back in childhood I used WD40 and a 1/2" paintbrush to clean the links one at a time, usually with the chain still on the bike. Is this old fashioned manual method still acceptable, or is WD40 bad for today's chains?!?! :confused:

Help!! :)
 

Greg-O

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Aug 24, 2003
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Originally posted by SoloHiker
Ya know, the more I read about oiling versus not oiling, and using detergents and not using detergents, and different techniques from using a paint brush with WD40 to cooking your chain in an over then using a power sprayer, the more I get confused on this whole issue.

First, I've read posts here that said you should NOT oil your chain, most that say use some oil, and others that say use some kind of wax/parafin. Which is it, and why is one way better than another?? :confused:

Second, way back in childhood I used WD40 and a 1/2" paintbrush to clean the links one at a time, usually with the chain still on the bike. Is this old fashioned manual method still acceptable, or is WD40 bad for today's chains?!?! :confused:

Help!! :)

the wax that others speak of is a type of lube for your chain. the most common wax-based lube brand is white lightning.
WD-40 is ok for your chain, but it isn't exactly the best from what i've heard. hopefully others will have something to add on this.
 

rek

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Aug 31, 2002
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WD-40 is okay for cleaning the chain, but definitely not for lubing. What little lubricating properties it has will be way too lightweight. I use automotive degreaser with a chain cleaner to clear gunk off the chain, though on my next chain I think I'll try a SRAM power link and try cleaning it by shaking it in a gatorade bottle of degreaser.

The key to oiling a chain is that it's only the inside bit of the chain that needs lubrication -- putting too much oil on the chain is counter-productive, as it will attract dirt that will eventually work its way inside.

I personally use a mixture of [motorcycle] chain oil and turpentine as a volatile solvent, my idea being that when mixed, it'll be a thinner mixture that will penetrate the nooks and crannies of the chain's internals easier, and then when the solvent evaporates the heavier oil remains and can do its job. It's also much cheaper than boutique bicycle chain oils.

This seems to work fine for my road bike, but I have doubts as to its ability for MTB/dirt use. I'm thinking of moving to a different oil but have no idea what's best for that sort of application. I have three bottles of Pedro's Syn Lube lying about which I might try.

The best I've used is Finish Line Cross Country Wet Lube, a synthetic bicycle chain oil. It's [relatively] expensive, though.
 

ireman_1

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Aug 10, 2003
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WD-40 does a decent job of cleaning some bike parts, but as mentioned previously, it is a poor lubricant. I also use a "degreaser" and brush to clean my chain. I then lube it according to the weather conditions of where I am riding. Typically (for me here in Oregon) that means a lube intended for wet conditions (my faves being the "all-around" Boeshield T-9 or Pedro's SynLube). If it's summer or I am visiting somewhere dry I'll use a lube that is light (Pedro's lightweight lube or White lightning).

There seem to be as many opinions on what the "correct" way to treat your chain as there are riders. The main thing is to clean it and lube it. I place a drop on each link (after cleaning and re-installation) and run the cranks around a few times then "lightly" rub a rag against the surface of the chain to absorb any excess lube. Have fun and good luck.

K.
 

frankdrennan

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Feb 12, 2004
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Ah chains! Mullet Hunter has it. Clean and lube lightly regularly. Remove excess oil after lubing. Applying the oil from the inside of the chain is best. I apply by running the chain backwards and letting the tip of the lube bottle touch the chain links. The vibration from the contact gently shakes the oil out of the bottle. As the lube is applied from the inside it gets moved out as it passes through the jockey wheels, giving good penetration. Re products my favourite is Shimano's own brand. Brilliant in dry conditions. Does not attract dusk.