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Using lube

reacherreacher Posts: 416
edited January 2011 in Road beginners
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  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    Please don't call it lube. Call it oil.

    Lube gets used in the bedroom. 8)



    And to answer your questions - dry oil is fine to use and you can put regular oil over top if you need to. Clean your chain regularly either way for best results.
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    Hmmm, as I understood it the only reason you don't use wet lube (snigger) the year round is because when its dry and dusty the wet lube (snigger) forms a thick paste with said dust. Since I assume that's not an issue right now, I'd go with wet lube (snigger).
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    reacher wrote:
    whats the best way to go about useing lube on the chain ?
    if you ride say 90% of the time in dry conditions and hit the odd rain shower while out should you just keep useing dry lube ?
    or if its slightly damp conditions should you spray some wet lube on the chain before you go out on top of the dry lube or does the chain have to be cleaned before you can switch over lubes

    I think you're making more of this "lube" thing than need be. Find a "lube", or just plain oil, that's on sale. Wet or dry or in between and simply use it regularly, and don't worry whether it's raining, snowing, hot, cold, windy, dry, winter, spring , summer, or fall.
    If you ride somewhat daily I would advise wiping the chain down with a clean rag really well(still on the bike), lube well with whatever brand or type you have chosen, wipe off excess, and ride. Do this once a week and you'll be fine. Maybe twice a week if it's been
    wet and dirty. Don't overthink this issue. It's only a chain, not something from the space shuttle. :wink::wink:
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    dennisn wrote:
    I think you're making more of this "lube" thing than need be. Find a "lube", or just plain oil, that's on sale. Wet or dry or in between and simply use it regularly, and don't worry whether it's raining, snowing, hot, cold, windy, dry, winter, spring , summer, or fall.

    I think you are making less of it than need be! I don't think the dry stuff would last long in rain. I rarely bother with it and just stick to the wet stuff. At least you know that will still be doing its job til the end of the ride.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • rakerake Posts: 3,204
    10w40 in an old fairy liguid bottle for easy application. magnatec must cling better.
  • geebee2geebee2 Posts: 248
    The point is that wet lube picks up dirt very quickly in dry conditions.

    So when it's dry, and especially if it's dusty, use dry lube.

    But dry lube will get washed off too quickly in wet conditions, so if it's wet, or there is a chance of rain, use wet lube.

    I run two bikes, one for wet weather, the other for dry, so in practice I use wet lube on one and dry on the other.
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,701
    I put a drop of Green Oil (wet lube) on an old toothbrush and rub along a section, then repeat until the whole chain is done. Takes a couple of minutes. Started doing it that way on the motorbike years ago to reduce the amount of sticky lube that ended up on the rear wheel.

    Haven't used a dry lube for a while but going to try some in the spring.

    @Pokerface: it's called lube because it's a lubricant.

    Oil is not necessarily a lube, particularly the kind people paint with. Yours might be oil but mine said Silkolene Chain Lube on the tin and it was as sticky as dogshit on a shoe. If I used any lube in the bedroom I'd not be popular. I'd rather not consider what you do with lube in your bedroom. :shock:
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • balthazarbalthazar Posts: 1,565
    As long as the oil's in the chain, then whatever. Get it there how you like. You aren't going to keep dirt off the chain, but you can push the grit into the links – where it will do damage – by fiddling with it every ride, trying to keep it looking shiny.

    "Dry" oil is a conceit dreamt up by bike owners who are appalled at a dirty mechanical chain upsetting their display machine. They used to use molten wax, which was functionally useless but left barely-used bikes looking attractive. Lubricating oil is wet on purpose- it wets metal surfaces comprehensively and is not easily displaced.
  • geebee2geebee2 Posts: 248
    "Dry" oil is a conceit dreamt up by bike owners

    Err, a dry lube is not oil at all, it's Teflon (PFTE), brands are FInish Line, Shimano etc.
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    Rolf F wrote:
    I think you are making less of it than need be! I don't think the dry stuff would last long in rain. I rarely bother with it and just stick to the wet stuff. At least you know that will still be doing its job til the end of the ride.

    I'm with this. I tried the dry lube but in the UK it's rarely that 'dry' to constitute dust and dry stuff and found the wet oil to be more effective. If it is 'dry' conditions then wipe the chain more after a fresh clean/re-application.
  • antflyantfly Posts: 3,276
    I use a dry lube all year around since reading this, it attracts much less dirt.
    http://www.roadcyclinguk.com/maintenanc ... /4831.html
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,701
    geebee2 wrote:
    "Dry" oil is a conceit dreamt up by bike owners

    Err, a dry lube is not oil at all, it's Teflon (PFTE), brands are FInish Line, Shimano etc.
    Unless it's Green Oil's White chain wax, in which it is based on beeswax rather than toxic PTFE or other volatile synthetic compounds. I have a bottle of it to try in due course but I'll stick with the wet lube while conditions are like they've been.

    The best way to protect your chain is a chainguard. One of the worst things you can do is to soak it in in a jar of degreaser.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • geebee2geebee2 Posts: 248
    toxic PTFE or other volatile synthetic compounds

    PTFE is non toxic, and chemically inert. It is not volatile.

    It will only break down when heated to temperatures in excess of 200C (hence when using Teflon-coated cookware, 260C should not be exceeded - although in fact ordinary cooking oils are more toxic than PTFE when heated to this temperature ).
  • northpolenorthpole Posts: 1,499
    I'll not be drawn on the specific names for bike or bedroom products however after a couple of years using the wet stuff (Finish Line Pro Road) I switched to the dry stuff (White LIghtning Clean Ride Wax Lube). The amount of cr*p chucked up by the chainset when riding in the wet with the wet stuff was a nightmare when cleaning it off post ride. Smoother than the dry stuff and I suspect the chain/ cassette may last longer too.

    But I'll not be going back - much prefer the dry stuff, even if it means having to clean the chain off and re-applying dry stuff each time I get caught in the rain. Otherwise it's a weekly thing for me.

    Peter
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    I use dry lube when it's dry, wet lube when it's wet (funnily enough !)

    A dry lube dries into a waxy consistency once the carrier has evaporated. It will give you excellent lubrication as long as you keep an eye on it, ie, if you're doing long rides, you might need to top it up half way around (I've never had issues on 50milers though). Being dry dirt doesn't stick to it so well, but it eventually flakes off.
    I use Finishline Krytec.

    A wet lube, is exactly that, it stays wet. in this form it is sticky, so in dry dusty conditions it will pick up the dust and you'll end up with a black gunky chain. The problem here is that if you don't clean your chain regularly, you'll turn your lube into a grinding paste and encourage component wear. In the wet though, a wet lube tends to shrug off water and muck, and resists washing off.
    I use Finish line XC.

    The bottom line is, you can use either, but if you use a dry lube in the wet you may need to re-apply more often. If you use a wet lube in the dry, you might need to clean your chain more often.

    Don't apply too much of either, applying too much wet lube and you'll end up with it up the back of your leg and it'll attract dirt. Applying too much dry lube will only succeed in emptying your wallet very quickly.

    Oh................ and don't use WD40, whilst it does have lubricating properties, it doesn't have sufficient shear capacity to sufficiently lube your chain for more than a few miles as it's not designed for that. (from the horses mouth, I emailed WD40).

    Don't rely on the grease that a new chain comes covered in. It's packing grease to stop the chain corroding in transit and nothing more. Again, whilst it has lubricating properties, it's not designed for lubricating chains.
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    Simon E wrote:
    geebee2 wrote:
    "Dry" oil is a conceit dreamt up by bike owners

    Err, a dry lube is not oil at all, it's Teflon (PFTE), brands are FInish Line, Shimano etc.
    Unless it's Green Oil's White chain wax, in which it is based on beeswax rather than toxic PTFE or other volatile synthetic compounds. I have a bottle of it to try in due course but I'll stick with the wet lube while conditions are like they've been.

    The best way to protect your chain is a chainguard. One of the worst things you can do is to soak it in in a jar of degreaser.
    If PTFE is toxic, why is it used in cookware, the food industry in general and in the medical industry (including parts of replacement joints).

    Chain guards aren't so popular on road bikes.

    One of the best things you can do is soak your chain in degreaser, as long as you then lube it properly afterwards.

    No disrespect intended, this is a genuine question @SimonE, but are you making this up as you go along ?
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,701
    Perhaps I am confusing the properties of PTFE when used in frying pans where it can decompose if the temperature is high enough, with those at room temperature. However, it does not biodegrade and according to The Ecologist is "a plasticlike substance made up of a complex mixture of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)". And that "Scientific data shows that PFCs fulfil every single criterion for persistent bioaccumulative toxins". I can't say I like the sound of that.
    MattC59 wrote:
    Chain guards aren't so popular on road bikes.
    Maybe not but they do protect the chain. I wasn't advocating their fitment to every bike but you surely can't argue with my statement. I also think mudguards help keep muck off the bike and the rider but there are some people on this forum who feel they are the devil's work and defile the purity of the cycling experience, maaan.
    MattC59 wrote:
    One of the best things you can do is soak your chain in degreaser, as long as you then lube it properly afterwards.
    Why remove as much of the factory fitted grease as possible? You'll never be able to put it back. You should be cleaning the surface of the chain, not the inside. Both SRAM and KMC advise against the use of degreaser:

    http://www.kmcchain.com/index.php?ln=en&fn=service#2
    http://www.sram.com/_media/techdocs/Cha ... _08_02.pdf

    but hey, what do they know? :roll:
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • geebee2geebee2 Posts: 248
    However, it does not biodegrade and according to The Ecologist is "a plasticlike substance made up of a complex mixture of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)". And that "Scientific data shows that PFCs fulfil every single criterion for persistent bioaccumulative toxins". I can't say I like the sound of that

    If you read the article carefully, you can see the chain of inference is broken in more than one place.

    First it's PFCs in general, not PTFE in particular.
    Then they talk about "one of Teflon’s breakdown products, PFOA" being toxic.
    But this is nonsense in this context, since Teflon will not break down without being heated to in excess of 200C. So it really adds up to a non-sequitur, and the give-away is the plug at the end for so-called "green oil".
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,701
    geebee2 wrote:
    If you read the article carefully, you can see the chain of inference is broken in more than one place.

    First it's PFCs in general, not PTFE in particular.
    Then they talk about "one of Teflon’s breakdown products, PFOA" being toxic.
    But this is nonsense in this context, since Teflon will not break down without being heated to in excess of 200C. So it really adds up to a non-sequitur, and the give-away is the plug at the end for so-called "green oil".
    Thanks.

    But why describe it as so-called "Green Oil "? Are you questioning the product's credentials, the marketing or is there another reason? I would have thought that a plant-based product would be preferable to petroleum-based.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • geebee2geebee2 Posts: 248
    But why describe it as so-called "Green Oil "?

    Because oil is oil. It makes no difference to it's toxicity how it is derived.

    And as we know, oil can be dangerous to plant and animal life, although probably not in the tiny amounts involved with lubricating a bike chain!
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,701
    geebee2 wrote:
    oil is oil. It makes no difference to it's toxicity how it is derived.
    Are you saying you don't think a petroleum-based oil is more harmful to the environment than a plant-based product? If that is the case then the claims of Ecover, Green People, Faith in Nature and all the other companies who sell products that are plant-based and readily biodegrade are just marketing bullsh*t. I find that hard to believe.

    I don't think anyone who chooses Green Oil chain lube is kidding themselves that their choice of chain lube is going to save the planet. The way I see it is that it's one more small step in the right direction.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • geebee2geebee2 Posts: 248
    Are you saying you don't think a petroleum-based oil is more harmful to the environment than a plant-based product?

    Yes, precisely.
    just marketing bullsh*t

    You said it. I don't know all the products these companies sell, so I'm not going to make any blanket statement.

    Another thing : I think producing oil from food (especially corn), as was subsidized in the US, is a very bad idea. Food should be for eating, and depriving people of food (by driving up commodity prices) is wrong and unethical.

    But this is getting off-topic.
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    Simon E wrote:
    Why remove as much of the factory fitted grease as possible? You'll never be able to put it back.
    Because the factory fitted grease is exactly that; grease. It's a packing grease which is used to prevent corrosion in transit and storage. Whilst a most people leave it be, and it has some lubricating properties, it's far from ideal. If you leave it in place, whilst you're riding it gets squeezed to the outer surfaces of the rollers and you'end up with a sticky black chain. If you soak in degreaser, then in the lube of your choice, you'll successfully replace the cr*p packing grease with decent stuff. SRAM, KMC etc advise against removing the packing grease, beacuse most people don't replace it properly. It's called covering their arses.
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • antflyantfly Posts: 3,276
    That's interesting because I was shot down in flames a while ago for saying a similar thing, everyone seems to think the packing grease is the best lube.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,701
    geebee2 wrote:
    I think producing oil from food (especially corn), as was subsidized in the US, is a very bad idea. Food should be for eating, and depriving people of food (by driving up commodity prices) is wrong and unethical.
    With large scale agriculture producing biofuel crops for cars, power stations etc I'd agree, although there doesn't seem to be a shortage of food in the shops... yet.

    One could argue that growing cotton for clothing (when you already have clothes) instead of planting food crops is unethical. Livestock farming uses massive amounts of food crops to feed animals instead of feeding humans, which is hugely wasteful.
    antfly wrote:
    everyone seems to think the packing grease is the best lube.
    I don't know whether it is or not but I can't imagine my efforts to replace it will result in a better distribution and retention of lubricant than what the manufacturer put there in the first place. And what's wrong with grease anyway? It works perfectly well in bearings and on threads so why should it not do the same in a chain?
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    antfly wrote:
    That's interesting because I was shot down in flames a while ago for saying a similar thing, everyone seems to think the packing grease is the best lube.
    Shot down by the same people who swear by WD40 perhaps ?

    I bet the people who swear by packing grease use it instead of oil in their car. I'm being facetious before anyone decides to cut me down on that one, but it's the same principal.
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    Simon E wrote:
    ..... And what's wrong with grease anyway? It works perfectly well in bearings and on threads so why should it not do the same in a chain?

    You've heard about using the right tool for the job ? Well it's the same with lubricants. Would you service your bearings and use a dry lube in them ?
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    Sorry Reacher, we've hijacked this thread slightly.
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • reacherreacher Posts: 416
    MattC59 wrote:
    Sorry Reacher, we've hijacked this thread slightly.

    not at all , all very interesting , i'm still thinking that cleats are great untill you stop suddenly , so i get to see my chain close up , an can see all the censored it picks up ,
  • rakerake Posts: 3,204
    MattC59 wrote:
    Simon E wrote:
    ..... And what's wrong with grease anyway? It works perfectly well in bearings and on threads so why should it not do the same in a chain?

    You've heard about using the right tool for the job ? Well it's the same with lubricants. Would you service your bearings and use a dry lube in them ?
    no. dry lube is censored and overpriced. grease isnt and would work well on a chain as well. :wink:
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