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bike chain lube
Posted by: Fritz
Date: June 20, 2022 09:28PM
Just started cycling again after a year off.
Chain needs cleaning and lube.
I have the Park clean thingy.
But I'm out of lube.
All pretty much the same or is one better than another?
Casual low mileage cycling.
Park, Finish Line, WD, RnR. Wet or dry? Ceramic, wax, tequila?
Anyone have a fave?



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/2022 09:29PM by Fritz.
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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: vitus
Date: June 20, 2022 09:38PM
depends on conditions you ride in, but for general purpose riding I like this

Rock N Roll Gold Chain Lubricant

it can build up deposits especially on jockey wheels, but keep components wiped down and then clean periodically and it will be manageable.

and yes this question could easily devolve into a religious war
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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: mattkime
Date: June 20, 2022 10:41PM
The best wet lube - [silca.cc] - in depth review - [zerofrictioncycling.com.au]

(there may be marginally better lubes but its all pretty close)

Silca hot wax - [silca.cc] - review - [zerofrictioncycling.com.au]

Your choice of lube _does_ make a big difference. It didn't a few years ago. There have been serious breakthroughs. If you're not after watts, longer drivetrain life might win you over. Its now possible for drive trains (chain, chainrings, cassette) to last the length of the bike.

---

I have an ultrasonic cleaner that I was using occasionally to clean chains - I'll continue to do that but not as frequently. If you have the room, you buy a small instant pot and use it just for waxing chains. Every week or two or after a wet ride, I toss my chain into wax for a few minutes, let it cool, and place it back on my bike. Its more frequent maintenance but easier maintenance.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/2022 10:41PM by mattkime.
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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: Fritz
Date: June 20, 2022 10:45PM
watts not the main concern. drivetrain life.



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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: mattkime
Date: June 20, 2022 10:52PM
Quote
Fritz
watts not the main concern. drivetrain life.

same answer. there's a pretty good correlation between the two.
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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: davester
Date: June 20, 2022 10:57PM
The only independent chain lubricant testing site is this one: [zerofrictioncycling.com.au]. (ZFC)

They also have a really good FAQ here: [zerofrictioncycling.com.au]

There is a massive difference between chain lubricants in terms of friction and chain/drivetrain longevity.

The no holds barred best lubricant is a tie between Molten Speed Wax and Silca Super Secret Wax. The hitch with these is that they require use of a crock pot to melt the wax and then you need to drop the chain into it and swish around, thereby requiring that you use a quick link to remove and replace the chain. This is what I do. There's a dedicated small crock pot on my workbench for this. After initial chain cleaning, this is the fastest, most convenient chain cleaning and lubing method by far.

The next best is Silca Super Secret Drip lubricant. This is a wax-based lube in an alcohol solution that evaporates after it is dripped on the chain. Expensive, but will make your chains last much longer so cheaper in the long run.

All of the above require that you thoroughly clean your chain in solvent then alcohol or acetone to remove all petroleum products first (i.e. the factory lube/preservative).

A special shout out must be made for White Lightning lubricant as the worst lube out there by a long shot. Only use this if you like to replace chains and cassettes often.

Note that ZFC does not recommend "wet" lubricants at all, because although some start out as pretty good lubricants, they attract grit which then gets trapped inside the chain rollers and grinds your chain to scrap in short order. The various chain cleaning methods can't get this grit out without use of vast amounts of solvent, ultrasonic cleaners, and the like.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: Buzz
Date: June 21, 2022 04:12AM
Purple Extreme.....

just because. Because it's royally purple, and it's extreme!

What could possibly be better for the casual rider?
cool smiley
==:
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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: mattkime
Date: June 21, 2022 07:10AM
It would be nice if zfc could state things tersely- and why do many pdfs? Still, the data is there



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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: Fritz
Date: June 21, 2022 07:59AM
could the crockpot method be replaced by a conventional pot or is there reason to crockpot.?
If not, sounds like Silica might be better for me.
I have a new chain, wonder if I bought a ql when I bought it.
Never seen/heard of zfc, thanks for that.



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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: mattkime
Date: June 21, 2022 09:17AM
Quote
Fritz
could the crockpot method be replaced by a conventional pot or is there reason to crockpot.?
If not, sounds like Silica might be better for me.
I have a new chain, wonder if I bought a ql when I bought it.
Never seen/heard of zfc, thanks for that.

the method of heating really doesn't matter so long as its relatively gentle. The silca bags are nice.

---

Next time I buy wax I'll see if silca or Mspeedwax is cheaper. But I likely have a decade supply since I have two bags of the silca wax. I think I have their drip wax as well.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/2022 10:15AM by mattkime.
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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: Fritz
Date: June 21, 2022 10:08AM
cool. so didn't think there'd be any difference for chain lube.
it'll be nice to get the crunchies off my chain.



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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: davester
Date: June 21, 2022 11:24AM
Quote
Fritz
could the crockpot method be replaced by a conventional pot or is there reason to crockpot.?
If not, sounds like Silica might be better for me.
I have a new chain, wonder if I bought a ql when I bought it.
Never seen/heard of zfc, thanks for that.

The crockpot is ideal because it's harder to overheat the wax, which will ruin its lubricating qualities and potentially catch fire. I have this one [www.amazon.com], which only cost $16. Note that you also need a cooking or candy thermometer to ensure that the wax doesn't exceed 200F. Waxing FAQ will answer all your questions: [zerofrictioncycling.com.au]

Also note that the pot you use becomes permanent storage for your wax. When you need to rewax the chain you just thread it onto a bent coat hanger, drop it on top of the congealed wax, turn on the crockpot, return in an hour to check the temperature is about 200F, then swish the chain around and remove it. Let it cool and solidify, then run the now stiff chain over a pipe or broom handle to free up the links.

Also not mentioned is that a waxed chain is a clean chain. No more chain tattoos!



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/2022 11:32AM by davester.
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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: Fritz
Date: June 21, 2022 11:59AM
thanks again.



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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: Fritz
Date: June 21, 2022 12:05PM
"Ok will put aside the Silca Sous vide bag for their wax for a moment, for mspeedwax or any other wax, do not use stove top, bbq, microwave, your oven, camping stove, pressure cooker, tokomak fusion reactor, flux capacitor, anti matter drive or any other method of heating wax."

heh, heh, heh
I was gonna try my Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator.



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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: Fritz
Date: June 21, 2022 12:13PM
be a bit of a tough sell to the spouse without a spare pot to actually cook with, but I guess I could hide it in the shed ..... next to my bed and expensive audio electronics.



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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: Fritz
Date: June 21, 2022 12:50PM
I just noticed the chain, Shimano HG53 9 speed, is pinned chain, not ql'd.
I wonder if it can be ql'd instead. Seems an easier method. Shimano would not commit.



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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: mattkime
Date: June 21, 2022 01:07PM
Yes, there are 9 speed quick links.



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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: June 21, 2022 02:07PM
....make sure to lube.....feverishly.....



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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: davester
Date: June 21, 2022 02:39PM
Quote
Fritz
I just noticed the chain, Shimano HG53 9 speed, is pinned chain, not ql'd.
I wonder if it can be ql'd instead. Seems an easier method. Shimano would not commit.

Shimano QLs suck because they're really one-use-only links. Instead, buy a KMC, SRAM or Connex 9-speed quick link. Shouldn't be any problem adding to a Shimano chain. KMC and SRAM are cheaper, while Connex is easier to use without tools but a little pricey.

Also, be sure that your chain isn't worn beyond the limits before investing time in cleaning/waxing it. Either buy a Park chain checker tool or use a steel ruler to measure 12 links of chain pulled taught. Unworn, they will be exactly 12". Worn to the limit, they will be 12-1/16" and should be replaced ASAP. Worn beyond 12-1/8" means that your cassette cogs and chainrings are being damaged by the chain and may also need replacement. See Sheldon's article for an explanation: [www.sheldonbrown.com].

Also note that you should stick with a small crockpot (e.g. 1.5 qt) so that the wax is deep enough to easily swish the chain around in. These are pretty tiny and easy to store too.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/2022 03:07PM by davester.
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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: Fritz
Date: June 21, 2022 02:45PM
looks like Sram and KMC are the favored flavors for many.
appears that KMC manufactures for Shimano.
I sent Sram a request for an equivalent for my HG53 9 speed since they have number of options.
Though I'd guess they'll come back with PC951 or 971 and a PLNK-95PD.



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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: Fritz
Date: June 21, 2022 03:31PM
not buying what I measured.
I think I bought the CAAD9 in 2009 from a friend. Though there were 5 years I prolly never got on due to injury, that still leaves 8 years of my use and a couple of his. I'm not a big rider, but the first 5 I had it I'm sure I put on 500/yr. And not all flat riding. So I'm guessing, no less than 4000 miles.
I just measured the chain, pin to pin. Barely over 12". Still, I have a new chain so I'll change.



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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: Michael
Date: June 21, 2022 04:45PM
Who woulda' thunk that bike chain lube was such a thing? We ride 1000 miles a year, 90% on roads and the rest on flatish trails, so not a huge amount. But, I just ordered a bottle of Silca Super Secret Drip lubricant that davester mentioned as second best to wax. And the degreaser that Zero Friction Cycling recommends. I've been using Finish Line Dry Lube for years; I don't remember why I started with that. But, I'll clean the chains and start over.

Thanks for all of the information!
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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: Fritz
Date: June 21, 2022 06:54PM
a video from Silca.

Further good info.



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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: davester
Date: June 21, 2022 06:58PM
Quote
Fritz
not buying what I measured.
I think I bought the CAAD9 in 2009 from a friend. Though there were 5 years I prolly never got on due to injury, that still leaves 8 years of my use and a couple of his. I'm not a big rider, but the first 5 I had it I'm sure I put on 500/yr. And not all flat riding. So I'm guessing, no less than 4000 miles.
I just measured the chain, pin to pin. Barely over 12". Still, I have a new chain so I'll change.

Not necessarily an unusual result. Do make sure that the chain is tightly tensioned when you measure though. 4,000 miles over 8 years it not that much. I probably do 4,000 per year. Also, chain wear is radically accelerated in gritty and wet conditions. If you ride clean roads in mild weather then your chain wear rate is reduced. My riding is decidedly mixed...sun, rain, roads, dirt/gravel trails, etc. I was going through at least one chain a year before switching to wax. I've been on wax for a little over a year and there is no measurable wear. More importantly, I don't have a filthy bike and I don't waste time cleaning nasty greasy mess from my chain and drivetrain any more.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/2022 06:59PM by davester.
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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: Fritz
Date: June 21, 2022 07:52PM
Quote
davester
I probably do 4,000 per year....... wish I was.
If you ride clean roads in mild weather then your chain wear rate is reduced.

that's pretty much me. but I'll go back and make sure I tension it,



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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: Buzz
Date: June 21, 2022 09:00PM
PURPLE!

IT REALLY IS EXTREME!
OTHERWISE THEY COULDN'T SAY SO ON THE BOTTLE.
==
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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: Fritz
Date: June 24, 2022 03:00PM
as it turned out, the previous owner got some extras.
a master ql among them.



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Re: bike chain lube
Posted by: Fritz
Date: June 24, 2022 03:11PM
more with Josh from Silca. cleaning and updated methodology.

[www.youtube.com]

[www.youtube.com]

more from



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