Some real Lube advice............

mak3m Posts: 1,394
edited September 2010 in MTB beginners

still a complete newb

but when i started riding a couple of months back i looked into maintenance etc and the importance of looking after your drive train. Scouring the internet i found the wet and the dry lube camps and even people who dont know what rain or mud is who suggested wax.

In desperation i turned to my LBS and the chap there handed me a bottle of wet lube and said this covers all riding conditions from dry to snow.

So i took in a couple of more youtube tutes and tucked in.

i mainly ride x country and country lanes so a mix of materials from tarmac to mud, and i appear to be having to clean and relube my chain after 3-4 rides. I followed the instructions, stipping off all the gunk from the chain and cogs, lightly lubing and removing the excess. yet within a short period of time my chain and cogs get covered in a dark grey grinindg paste and i have to repeat the process. Im reasonably confident im not putting too much on as it was my first thought and i have been gradually reducing the amount lube each time to no avail.

i would be grateful if you could help me with the following questions:

1) Dry or wet lube and if possible some pros and cons

2) is it dry in the summer and wet in the winter and if so should i just keep going till spring on the wet

3) Could the amount of lube im using still be the problem or is it just that wet lube is higher maintenance.

appreciate its a bit of a numpty question and im sure there will be a number of views but any help would be appreciated.

TL:DR version

Wet v Dry lube :P


  • Makes very little difference. Oil is oil.

    All chains get black. A drive train needs some care (even if just a wipe) every 75 miles.

    A well tuned ear can actually tell when a chain does not have enough lube on it.
  • .blitz
    .blitz Posts: 6,197
    Dry lube used from day #1 on a new chain keeps the drivetrain surgically clean. It needs re-applying a lot (every 25-40 miles, more often in wet conditions) but basically the dirt sticks to it and it falls off, taking the dirt with it.

    Wet lube lasts a lot longer but turns the drivetrain into a high-speed conveyor belt of sticky cack.

    A completely dry chain is very, very efficient. The 'lube' is only there to prevent the ingress of dust and moisture.
  • Makes sense what Blitz says; I've used wet lube in the past but since getting my new bike I've only ever used dry (Pedros Ice Wax) If I dont re-apply every couple of weeks the chain goes shiny, rather than black as you get with wet lube.
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  • mak3m
    mak3m Posts: 1,394
    so it sounds as if whatever lube i use i need to reapply and if need be clean the chain very regularly.

    weekly seemed a lil much but obviously not.

    think i might give dry a bash
  • rowlers
    rowlers Posts: 1,614
    I think its great, but as said above it does need applied avery 30 miles or so, but drive chain stays clean and gunge free
  • .blitz
    .blitz Posts: 6,197
    mak3m wrote:
    so it sounds as if whatever lube i use i need to reapply and if need be clean the chain very regularly.
    Dry lube will keep your drivetrain clean with very little effort and as said above, Squirt is the best. It thaws out to a thicker consistency after being frozen - great for harsher conditions.
  • Dry lube sounds like the best choice.

    How much dry lube should be applied though?
  • .blitz
    .blitz Posts: 6,197
    Squirt is an emulsion of water and wax. It has the consistency of milk. You will need just one drop on the inside of each roller - it looks as though it isn't going to do anything but after a minute or two it disperses and finds its way into the chain.

    As said above, it's not very durable but in terms of keeping the drivetrain clean it's amazing.
  • You need to think about how much work you want to put into keeping things clean.

    After every ride, remove the chain clean it throughly, dry it throughly then put on wet lube and finally a thin coating of waxy lube. The thick waxy lube keeps the wet lube on and the wet lube gets to places that waxy lube can't.

    Works for Alberto Contador....
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  • Ok cool thanks, so in wet/ snowy conditons it would need reaplying after ever 40-50 miles?

    And about one or twice a week in average conditions? Or am I bit off the mark with those estimates.

  • bails87
    bails87 Posts: 12,998
    I like White Lightning Clean Ride. My drivetrain didn't need to much cleaning when I used that, just a quick wipe with a dry cloth and a reapplication of lube onto the pretty clean chain every few rides.

    I'm currently using a top secret concoction that's fairly similar....

    If your chain is really dirty you're probably using too much lube.

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."