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Advise required on drive train lubing frequency

hard-riderhard-rider Posts: 460
edited May 2010 in MTB beginners
Where I live, 80% of my riding is on dry dusty or rocky single track. After a ride I have a lot of dust and grit on my chain, chain wheels, cassette and the small springs on the front and rear derailleurs.

Do I need to completely degrease and regrease these components after each ride ( I hope not as that will make it a chore to go out) or is it enough to wipe the grit off with a rag and then apply a little more lube to the chain? At the moment the chain and components still have the original factory lube on them. So far I've just wiped the grit off. I've only been out on 3 ~10Km rides since I got the bike but want to do the correct thing to ensure longevity on the components.

I've got a sample of that wax based dry lube (sorry the name escapes me now and I'm not near the bottle to check), would this be a better lube for my environment as opposed to a wet / sticky lube?

Posts

  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • hard-riderhard-rider Posts: 460
    Thanks and I've already read that article. My question is more about the frequency of cleaning and whether the clean should involve a complete degrease each time or is simple wiping of the dust off the chain and components enough with a proper degrease clean every 3-4 rides.
  • 5pudgun5pudgun Posts: 401
    This is only a personal opinion based on 12 years of regular riding on the same bike in muddy uk conditions. I have never degreased a chain,only occasionally giving a brush off with a stiff brush and a spray lube.Having at least 20 miles a week over 12 years I have only changed my chain and cassette once. Don't worry so much just get out and ride :lol:
  • MigginsMiggins Posts: 433
    5pudgun wrote:
    Don't worry so much just get out and ride :lol:

    agree.gif

    Although I'm fairly new to MTBing, I'd agree with you there, 5pudgun. As a kid I rode everywhere on a bike and hardly ever washed my bike, let alone re-lube it. And it was never de-greased. And it always worked fine. Sure, if you were to degrease and re-lube frequently the components would last a bit longer and would run a bit smoother, but I don't think they're likely to wear out quickly if you don't.

    I don't blame the author at all for this question. It's something I have wondered but have come to the conclusion that I too have been worrying too much. I reckon there's a bit of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" between maintenance product companies and the magazines when it comes to the magazines running maintenance features. Maybe I'm just cynical but unless you're competing seriously, alot of it is over-kill in my opinion and could end up putting you off why you got a bike in the first place - to ride and enjoy.
    After uphill there's downhill
  • hard-riderhard-rider Posts: 460
    Yeah i guess you guys are right. It's just that after my last ride I could hear the grit in the chain so started wondering if I needed to do a full clean of the drive train every time that happens. It would certainly remove some of the enjoyment if that was the case.

    I agree with Miggins, it's easy to get sucked into over thinking / complicating things by marketing and magazine articles.
  • stumpyjonstumpyjon Posts: 4,069
    Disagree with the above, my bike gets the drive train cleaned after every damp ride, and the chain run through a chain cleaner every 3 or 4 rides. Works for me. In your case I'd definitely swap to a dry lube. They're basically PTFE particles in a solvent. The solvent evaporates pretty quickly leaving the PTFE around the chain rollers. It works well in dry and dusty conditions. Because it's not wet you shouldn't get much dust stuck to the chian in the first place so all you'll need to do is a quick run through a dry rag. In fact washing the chain will just displace the dry lubricant. I must admit I wish the trails around me were like the Algarve, round here it's gritstone and mud, perfect grinding paste.
    It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

    I've bought a new bike....ouch - result
    Can I buy a new bike?...No - no result
  • Oxygen ThiefOxygen Thief Posts: 649
    Just have a piss on it now and again when your bursting and out on the trails to get the bigger particles off, the others will be ok.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    5pudgun wrote:
    This is only a personal opinion based on 12 years of regular riding on the same bike in muddy uk conditions. I have never degreased a chain,only occasionally giving a brush off with a stiff brush and a spray lube.Having at least 20 miles a week over 12 years I have only changed my chain and cassette once. Don't worry so much just get out and ride :lol:

    You get over 6000 miles from a chain and cassette, offroad? Don't take this the wrong way but I find that pretty hard to credit.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
    A dry chain is very efficient and the lube is only there to stop dirt getting in. If you live in the Algarve, then a dry wax-based lube such as Squirt is all you need. I live in the UK and use it all year round. It needs re-applying regularly but it keeps the drivetrain very clean.
  • hard-riderhard-rider Posts: 460
    I got myself a sample of the Squirt stuff so will try that out.
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
    Freezing it and letting it thaw makes it thicker if you find it's too watery in the balmy Algarve.
  • hard-riderhard-rider Posts: 460
    Thanks for the tip.
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