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Chain Care

Started by pqmarty, September 27, 2021, 07:43:33 AM

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pqmarty

Keep your chain and derailer in good shape. Get  " The Grunge Brush"  online. Its shaped to clean chain and parts.  From a bike shop get a de-greaser and chain lube.  Keeping the chain clean will help shifting stay smooth and chain/derailer last longer.

Veggyhed

What degreaser and chain lube do you use?

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jbfoster

How often you guys lube your chain?

Jim

Ddaybc

Quote from: jbfoster on January 11, 2022, 06:30:12 PM
How often you guys lube your chain?

Jim

I lightly clean and lube my chain every time I ride in slushy snow and/or rain. I also, every spring, take off my chain and totally clean and lube my chain and sprockets.
I use a rag to wipe the chain off and an old toothbrush to scrub my chain. I use whatever lube is available from the bikeshop. I don't remember what it's called but the current lube I have is designed specifically for use in wet weather.

Veggyhed

I'll be honest I'm pretty bad about this. I only use dry lube currently that is Muc Off's dry lube. It's not too wet here which is why I use it. Most of the year I applied but once every three or four weeks. When it's raining it's every couple of days I put it on. I don't suggest people follow my chain maintenance.

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Eric7

I keep my chain shiny by wiping off with a towel.  Then WD-40 as a rinsing agent, spray a lot and wipe it all off.  Let it dry.  Put whatever motor oil on it.  Do it every 200 miles.  Keep the chain in good shiny shape.  Don't overthink it.

I am not a fan of overpriced devices and lubricants. Some people think Phil Wood oil is just chain saw lube. It is an ebike and it is big and heavy and not efficient (think rack, fenders, thick seat, lights, fat tire, controller, battery, etc.).  After all that, don't worry if your chain is not as efficient as it should be.  All of that is compensated by the motor.  Why overspend on chain lube which is overpriced. Save your money for another battery.

Also, ebikes with hub motors put much less demand on the chain.  Your chain should last a lot longer.  If you wear out a chain, you should celebrate with a new chain. 

Many years ago, I commuted for 3 years on one chain and the bike was left out 24 hours a day.  I just oiled it.  That's it.  Never cleaned it.  But maybe you are all stronger than me.

NaturallyRC

I'm with Eric. Every few (dry) rides I spray on WD40 and run the chain through a chain cleaning brush followed by a rag, as I spin the cranks by hand. Then I apply inexpensive (dry) chain lube, aided by a clean paper towel. So right about hub motors not stretching the drivetrain the way bottom bracket motors do. If you've ever compared a bicycle chain to a motorcycle chain you know what I'm talking about. I don't know how a spindly pedal chain can be expected to handle mid-drive stress, to be honest.

Quote from: Eric7 on January 15, 2022, 05:08:45 PM
I keep my chain shiny by wiping off with a towel.  Then WD-40 as a rinsing agent, spray a lot and wipe it all off.  Let it dry.  Put whatever motor oil on it.  Do it every 200 miles.  Keep the chain in good shiny shape.  Don't overthink it.

I am not a fan of overpriced devices and lubricants. Some people think Phil Wood oil is just chain saw lube. It is an ebike and it is big and heavy and not efficient (think rack, fenders, thick seat, lights, fat tire, controller, battery, etc.).  After all that, don't worry if your chain is not as efficient as it should be.  All of that is compensated by the motor.  Why overspend on chain lube which is overpriced. Save your money for another battery.

Also, ebikes with hub motors put much less demand on the chain.  Your chain should last a lot longer.  If you wear out a chain, you should celebrate with a new chain. 

Many years ago, I commuted for 3 years on one chain and the bike was left out 24 hours a day.  I just oiled it.  That's it.  Never cleaned it.  But maybe you are all stronger than me.

Radio Runner

I use TriFlow at the shop and Dumuntech on my personal bikes. One drop per link then wipe off the side plates with a rag. Drive train lube should be light not thick like motor oil, unless of course you want the whole forest to come home with you ;)

Phil Wood Tenacious oil is to thick unless you riding in the rain for a week but it is the perfect viscosity for overhauling freewheels where the enclosed bearing system needs long term lubrication. Also great in older Sturmy-Archer 3spd hubs.

NaturallyRC

#8
Your motor oil experience jibes with mine. I also found tenacious lube too sticky unless it's pouring rain.

Lately, I've been going with "WD40 Bike". It is NOT the same as regular WD40 (when you rub it between your fingers, for instance). I don't know the exact formulation, but it's made (they say) specifically for bike chains, and has been working great since Feb of this year, at about half the price of my old go-to bike shop brands.

Addendum: I see now that the name has recently been changed to WD-40 SPECIALIST® BIKE CHAIN LUBE to avoid confusion. Also comes in wet formulation -- this is new or I did not know.

Quote from: Radio Runner on April 29, 2022, 12:13:49 AM
Drive train lube should be light not thick like motor oil, unless of course you want the whole forest to come home with you ;)



John Rose

Quote from: NaturallyRC on April 29, 2022, 06:18:30 AM
Your motor oil experience jibes with mine. I also found tenacious lube too sticky unless it's pouring rain.

Lately, I've been going with "WD40 Bike". It is NOT the same as regular WD40 (when you rub it between your fingers, for instance). I don't know the exact formulation, but it's made (they say) specifically for bike chains, and has been working great since Feb of this year, at about half the price of my old go-to bike shop brands.

Addendum: I see now that the name has recently been changed to WD-40 SPECIALIST® BIKE CHAIN LUBE to avoid confusion. Also comes in wet formulation -- this is new or I did not know.

In addition, I see that Canadian Tire also sells "WD-40 Specialist BIKE CLEANER"...



... which is evidently not intended for lubricating chains, in spite of the little icon of three chain links.
Maybe they mean it can be used to clean chains, presumably before applying a proper lube.
RadMini ST 2 / RadExpand 5

Bobk

When I was younger, I was an active cyclist who put thousands of miles annually on my 10 speed  racing bike. I used 3 in 1 oil on my chain. 3 in 1 was designed for bicycle in 1895. It is still an excellent chain lube. That said, for my Radcity 5 plus step through, I use Muc Off dry lube. It is wax baed, does not attract dirt. 21st century bike have come a long way since 1895.

handlebar

Quote from: Bobk on October 12, 2023, 02:11:41 PM
When I was younger, I was an active cyclist who put thousands of miles annually on my 10 speed  racing bike. I used 3 in 1 oil on my chain. 3 in 1 was designed for bicycle in 1895. It is still an excellent chain lube. That said, for my Radcity 5 plus step through, I use Muc Off dry lube. It is wax baed, does not attract dirt. 21st century bike have come a long way since 1895.

I believe 3 in 1 was invented to keep from soiling a rider's pants like motor oil. I wonder if low film strength was a big tradeoff. You push hard on the pedal to pull the chain around the rear sprocket, and that force is concentrated on a very small contact area between pins and rails.

I rode thousands of miles on English bikes with 3-speed hubs. A chain guard kept my pants clean, and a front fender that ended five inches from the road helped protect the chain from grit. I'd remove the chain, soak it in solvent, and soak it in motor oil. In retrospect, I think the higher film strength of 30-weight motor oil gave me better lubrication.

Rad bikes don't have chain guards. To keep my pants clean, I tried Finish Line teflon lube 19 months ago. The first application was disappointing. It was expensive because most of what flooded the chain ended up on the ground. It didn't keep my pants clean and, as others had warned, I soon needed to apply more.

I began applying it with a 20-gauge needle on a 1oz polyethylene squeeze bottle, putting one drop on each side of each pin and watching it wick in. I could do a chain with 2.4 grams or about 3ml, meaning that a 240 ml bottle would lube a chain 80 times.

If you apply it directly from the black bottle, you can't see if it has been shaken enough for the heptane to dissolve all the teflon. I think that's why many say it doesn't last. If you squirt some into a squeeze bottle, you can squirt it back  into the black bottle if it doesn't look milky; with enough teflon dissolved, it's viscous enough that it will look milky from the tiny air bubbles that remain for a minute or so after shaking. Another clue is to squirt a drop on a finger. Like 5 w motor oil, it should feel more viscous than 3 in 1.

Teflon has an affinity for iron. If I lube the pins and the next day spray the chain with water, beading will show that the teflon has spread over all the metal surfaces. As long as I don't wipe the chain before the heptane evaporates, this protection will last indefinitely as will the lubrication. It's smoother and quieter than I thought a chain could be. I give the credit to teflon's high film strength.