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So who uses "Prolink" chain lube?(19 posts)

So who uses "Prolink" chain lube?DrD
Jul 31, 2001 4:54 PM
I have read a bunch of good reviews on it, so I thought I would give it a try - I have noticed one thing thus far - that stuff reeks! It smells like someone yarfed on my chain! Is this stuff really better than WL (which, I might add, is nearly unscented once the solvent flashes off...)? The bottle actually claims that Prolink is a dry lube, which is pretty much not true as far as I can tell...

Is it worth using, or should I toss it?
re: So who uses "Prolink" chain lube?Edster
Jul 31, 2001 9:11 PM
DrD - I have been using ProLink for about 2 years and besides the smell, IMHO it's great stuff! Just lube the chain, go around the block and when you return have a bunch of rags ready to clean the chain. Once you get most of the gunk off (repeat if necessary), reapply and let it set for about 10 minutes, then do a final wipe off. According to ProLink, it is more of a metal "treatment".

Good luck...
tastes great .... less filling! ;0)JohnG
Jul 31, 2001 9:21 PM
Yes, this stuff does work VERY good! My C10 chain has about 3K miles on it and it shows nearly no wear.
JohnG
re: So who uses "Prolink" chain lube?Skip
Jul 31, 2001 11:03 PM
I use it, and am very happy with it. I have used White Lightening and Tri-Flow, but Pro-Link is definately the best, IMO. I don't care for the smell, but it works great. If you go to throw your Pro-Link away, throw it my way. Thanks.
MeMike Prince
Aug 1, 2001 3:38 AM
Have used it for a couple of years with great results. I guess it does smell but so does a lot of other stuff (degreasers, grease, etc.) that gets used. Probably more of a concern if you work in the house vs. outside or in the garage.

I used WL before this and the wax buildup drove me crazy plus when the temps dropped it really didn't work well. Prolink is dry in the sense that after removing the excess the chain stays pretty dry to the touch. The key is (as others have said here) is to apply, work in the lube by riding a bit or spinning the cranks for awhile, then wipe the excess off thoroughly. At first I did not do this well and didn't like the results as I had a messy, black chain.

I think it's worth it as a single bottle of Prolink far outlasted a bottle of WL. With WL I found myself applying after 50-60 miles. With Prolink I apply weekly (150-250 miles) and have had great results on multiple bikes. The remaining WL works good on LOOK cleats (at least it beats throwing it out).

Good luck.
Might as well use it uppmf
Aug 1, 2001 8:50 AM
I don't see what the fuss is about. This stuff appears to be funny smelling oil to me. Its not a dry lube as advertised and attacts a lot of dirt (yes, I am applying it only to the rollers). I've never liked WL because it gets gummed up in the small cassette cogs and is hard to get off. Its great for traveling though because it doesn't leave greasy marks in your car, bikecase, hotel room, etc. Finish Line makes a nice dry lube that I prefer. I bought 2 bottles of this totally awesome Prolink and am not very impressed. It works pretty well, but is messier than FL. I figure that since I paid money for it, I'll use it up. Probably won't buy it again though. This is the most over-hyped bike accessory I've run into recently. What is the big deal?
You must not live in Seattle...tirider
Aug 1, 2001 9:13 AM
...or you would realize why ProLink works better than those dry lubes. For me it is the best compromise between lasting lubrication and gummed up chains. Where it really shines is in inclement conditions (even more so when mountainbiking, dry lubes are worthless in the mud). As to the smell, the room where I hang my bikes used to reek of it but I don't even notice it now...hmmm.
No, I live in DCpmf
Aug 1, 2001 10:32 AM
and its pretty dry here so I have not experienced the wonder of prolink in the rain. In fact, I try to avoid riding in the rain and I don't own a mtn bike. If it has benefits in a rainy climate like yours, then maybe there is something there. I'd think a wax like WL would work well in the rain. It is gunky though. As far as the smell goes, its a bit strange, but not a big deal.
Agree, I live in England...(nm)Mike Prince
Aug 2, 2001 2:59 AM
Works GreatKerry Irons
Aug 1, 2001 4:55 PM
And, I try to spend as little time as possible with my nose near my chain. I find that while riding, I can't smell the chain at all! A thorough wipe after liberal lube application/work-in does the trick. Given the number of ProLink threads on this board, I'd think you would have picked up on all this previously. The reason ProLink is claimed to be dry is that it is very dilute in solvent, so when you wipe off the XS there is "no" lube left on the outer parts of the chain. It is NOT like WL and other wax lubes, but then, it works. An alternative that will surely be posted is 4 parts odorless mineral spirits and one part Mobil 1. Apparently works about the same and is cheaper, but a bottle of ProLink lasts so long that cheaper is not much of an issue for me.
Works GreatDrD
Aug 2, 2001 3:26 AM
Well -I'll give it a chance (I was getting tired of the little WL chain-wax buggers which fall off the bike where I store it, which is why I thought I would give this a try) - since I keep the bike in the house, the "scent" of the chain lube was a bit more of an issue (moreso for the wife than for myself) - it obviously isn't a problem when riding the bike!
Toss It.Chen2
Aug 2, 2001 7:45 PM
That stuff made my bikes chains noisy and gunky. I've tried most of the bike specific lubes and Boeshield T-9 is my favorite by far. Wipe the chain down and apply one drop of T-9 to each link pin, let it set overnight before riding.
Sent my ProLink out with the trash.
from cyclingforum.com (a year or two back)Woof the dog
Aug 4, 2001 5:59 AM
Subject: Dry or Wet chain lube?
I would like to know what you guys (girls too- (p.c.)use for road riding/racing. I have tried a few dry brands and don't "feel" they do anything better than wet one's,other than require more applications.One of my riding partners switched his mountain bike to a wet lube and said it made a world of difference.

Subject: Schwinn Factory Chain Wax
I have been using Schwinn Factory Chain Wax and Pro-Link for the past 18 months. The Schwinn product seems to work better in the rain than Pro-Link(which is an issue here in Seattle). My impression is that Pro-Link wears off entirely after three or four hours of riding in heavy rain. I ususally judge this by the presence of rust if I allow the chain to dry before re-applying. The Schwinn Chain Wax doesn't seem to wear off in rain and is only marginally worse than Pro-link in attracting dirt. In dry conditions Pro-Link is clearly superior; less dirt and easier maintanence.

Subject: LBS says "Tri-Flo"
My LBS guru says he's tried 'em all, and has come back to plain old "wet" Tri-Flo (or is it "Flow"?). I've seen ads for a TF dry solution, too, but haven't tried. I tried TF wet (which I've previously used only for brake pivots and other small moving parts)...yes, very quiet and smooth. But the chain seemed to get dirty very quickly. Have gone back to White Lightning. Not as quiet, but much cleaner. I also find citrus-solvent spray on a rag is good for a cleaning before applying lube. Another tip: Only lube the inside of the chain, where the rollers sit. Sounds obvious, but many folks lube the outside of the chain too. Guess what...no contact there.

Subject: Where do you live?
Seriously. Here in Phoenix, we don't consider rain, and all White Lightening does is melt, mix with dirt, and clump in your cogs in caulking fashion, leaving your chain bone dry in 100 miles. BUT, WL got me through STP '97, two days and 22 hours of 38 degree rain. My preferred chain lube is Tri-flow. The first recommended by my mechanic and, after much trial and error, the best for my riding habits. But I also used Pedro's "dry lube" last weekend, and it seemed to work well.

Subject: Ice Wax
"But I also used Pedro's last weekend, and it seemed to work well." I've been using the Pedro's Ice wax this year, and am really pleased with it. I have to reapply it about every 60 to 80 miles, but it goes on easy. And, unlike White Lightening there is no mess. I just put a drop on each link pin, reverse pedal to work it in, then let it dry. It also works good on floating cleats. The White Lightening was a worse mess than regular oil. I gobs up in and around the derailleur pulleys, and throws off dirty waxy specs that stick onto the bike.

Subject: How often?
So you're telling me I have to lube every day on the weekends and every other day during the week? I'll pass.

Subject: New England
CT. to be exact.I have been trying most of the lubes other riders are talking about,with similar results.I guess my next try will be that"home brew".thanks for all the info,Tom

Subject: Heard of "ProLink"
I don't know what youv'e been using but I would suggest you try ProLink. This stuff is a quantum leap in lube technology and although its a dry lube it lasts 2-3 times longer than other lubes, if it is applied properly. In every respect this stuff seems to come out on top. It's interesting to note that there is about 106 links in the average road bike chain. In one rotation of the chain each link pivots 8 times. That equals more than 800 frictional chain link movements in 1 chain rotation. If this friction can be substantially reduced, which I believe ProLink is specifically designed to do then that results in a silky smooth and slick pedel stroke. As the "Bicycling Magazine" editor said in his review in Dec 99 Prolink is "counter intuitive" to pre-existing chain lube technology,
part 2Woof the dog
Aug 4, 2001 6:03 AM
it works.

Subject: Pro Link a Dry Lube?
I have been trying to use pro link with some discouraging results. I followed the directions on the bottle for first time use, (apply copious amounts of pro link as it will dissolve previous lube). This resulted in a black wet greasy mess! I then cleaned the chain completely and reapplied pro link to a completely dry lube less chain. My chain was never dry. It remained wet and quickly got very dirty, (I ride in Florida and there is quite alot of dust and wind which contributes but my white lightning lubed chain remained far cleaner). I asked my local bike shop how they recommended applying and they sain to rotate the chain backward and apply for 5 seconds, once again I got a wet greasy chain. I find it hard to apply pro link onto each link of the chain in small amounts, (it drops out of the bottle quickly). If someone has had success using this product and could instruct me on how to properly apply the lube, (how much on each link, how to tell if the chain is properly lubed while it is still "dry" ect), I would be very appreciative. Thanks in advance Easily Winded

Subject: using Pro Link
My guess is that you're using WAY too much of the stuff. I had a similar problem when I first started using Pro Link two+ years ago. I apply 1drop per pin about once ever 500 or so miles. I grab a rag, wrap it around the chain and spin the cranks backwards for several rotations after about every other ride. If the chain gets a little dirty looking before it's time to relube I use a rag with water and dishsoap to wipe the chain clean instead of reappling the lube and then trying to wipe that clean. The only thing that advances my reappling Pro Link is getting caught in the rain. My chain runs so dry that if it spends any amount of time with water on it I end up with rust. With this sort of maintance schedule I get ~ 6,000 miles out of a 9 spd chain and my wife seems to get unlimited life out of hers so I suspect my kJs are what using up my chains not lack of lube.

Subject: Unless ....
- - - With this sort of maintance schedule I get ~ 6,000 miles out of a 9 spd chain and my wife seems to get unlimited life out of hers so I suspect my kJs are what using up my chains not lack of lube. Unless maybe she doesn't soap her chain ... :-] - - - The only thing that advances my reappling Pro Link is getting caught in the rain. My chain runs so dry that if it spends any amount of time with water on it I end up with rust. You seem convinced but I wonder [Knowing your determination to have an expecially clean machine] what may be worse .. rain or dishsoap?

Subject: "Unless maybe she doesn't soap her chain ... :-]"
Well actually she doesn't do ANYTHING to her chain EVER, that's because she's got me (in my next life my dream is to be married to someone who cleans and maintains my bikes). I believe in equality, thus all chains get exactly the same treatment. The dish soap idea was actually given to me by the guy at Pro Gold because it helps cut the grease off a dirty chain. When I use dish soap it is only used to soak the rag I'm using to wipe down the chain so it's very different from the soaking a chain gets from riding in the rain. There's no doubt in my mind that the rain is way worse then the dish soap.

Subject: Clean the Chain as an Initial Base
You appear to be using too much of the ProGold lube as indicated in the previous post. I've been using the product for 2 years now and it's been the best lube to-date. I do, however, carefully clean the chain before application, and prior to repeat applications of the product (~500 miles or so). The instructions indicate to use the product to do this, but I find that soaking the chain in OMS removes the initial grease placed on for transport. Also, recleaning the chain in OMS removes any buildup and/or microdirt that accumulates, although you can use any dish detergent to do the same.
part 3Woof the dog
Aug 4, 2001 6:06 AM
Note that the liquid base for Pro Link is OMS. This is why they say their product can clean your chain with an application. I'd rather use the lube as a lube and let straight OMS clean the chain. My chain, my time, my choice... Start with a very clean chain and apply the lube sparingly, but so the chain is "moist". Ride it for about 2 miles and then wipe off any excess from the side plates and rollers. Keep the chain from being too wet and you'll see marked improvements.

Subject: OMS = Ordorless Mineral Spirits (nm)

Subject: Tried Pro Link & went back to WL
If Pro Link is self cleaning, why do you have to keep cleaning the chain and be constantly wiping it down? I found Pro Link a drippy filthy mess. My chain runs clean and smooth with White Lightning, with very little extra cleaning. After a wet ride I always relube no matter what chain lube I'm using. I'm continuing to use Pro Link on my mountain bike, I want to give a fair chance.

Subject: Wipe, lube, wipe
Per other posts, if your chain is getting very dirty using PL, then you probably are not wiping it well enough after application. Wipe the chain, cogs, and rings until your rag is not picking up more junk, lube the chain (apply to every bushing either drop by drop or by fast back pedaling), run it through all the gears a few times to work everything in, then wipe again. No lube is perfect, so the ultimate goal has not been achieved: lubes well, prevents rust, holds up in wet conditions, and picks up/holds no dirt. I've used WL in wet conditions, and your chain is squeaking NOW! I guess if I was riding in the rain constantly, I would just have to carry lube with me, as I find that even TriFlow won't hold up in heavy rain. IMO TriFlow is a good lube but picks up/holds way to much junk. PL is just as good a lube with a lot less gunk & mess.

Subject: Homemade "Prolink"
I agree that Prolink is the best lube I have used to date. BUT...... Thanks to a post on this forum a few months ago, I chose to mix up a batch of homebrew that so far is working as well as the Prolink for about 1/20 the cost. The formula is to mix 1 part of Mobil One synthetic lube (10W-30) with 1 part of odorless mineral spirits - that's it. I put it in an old empty chain lube bottle and so far it is working the same as the Prolink - very clean, no squeaks, long lasting. I can buy the components to make 1/2 gallon (quart of each)
for about $8-9. The cheapest I can get the Prolink for is $5.99 for a 4 ounce bottle. I believe the poster (I don't remember who it was), was mixing 1 part of synthetic lube to 2 parts of mineral spirits. That's even cheaper, but I haven't tried it. Of course time will tell how well it holds up in the long run. Since I only have a several hundred miles on the homebrew stuff, it is a little premature to rave about it yet. I will report back in a few months with more long term experience.

Subject: oil & mineral spirits
I've continued using this home made lube all year, with good results. I recently increased the minerals spirits to three parts, with one part oil. The less oil used, the cleaner the chain. I do lube the chain and derailleur bushings every week (150 miles), although it's probably not necessary. I'm running Campy Record 10 speed. I want to keep it in top condition, and maximize the life from those Ti cogs.

Subject: dry lubes, home brews etc.
Interesting home brew. Have you tried "hotter" solvents than mineral spirits (i.e.: lacquer thinner) so that the carrier could evaporate faster? I have switched to cleaning with mineral spirits (removing the chain and shaking it in a bottle of spirits - 1 liter PET soda bottles work great) and hot waxing with paraffin wax. Because the paraffin won't reflow - I occasionally apply White Lightning on the basis that the solvent will disolve the wax and carry it (back) into the pin/plate interface. The Teflon etc. in WL is just a bonus
part 4Woof the dog
Aug 4, 2001 6:09 AM
what I really get with WL is a hot solvent in a drip applicator. I still use Finish Line (wet) on my mountain bikes, but will soon try your home-brew in this application. I think the key here is "more lube" not "better lube" and the cost of your brew should encourage "more lube". BTW: I am making all of my chains removable, either by using SRAM/Sachs chains with PowerLink or refitting my Shimano chains with KMC quick links (same as Power Link but sized to Shimano chain). This does wonders for chain and overall bike maintenance (i.e. no more cleaning lubes or cleaners off of the rim or tire). Before you all flame me over the lousy lubricating properities of paraffin, check out this report of a John Hopkins study that shows that the primary purpose of a lubricant is to keep out dirt.

Subject: WL vs WAX, mileage between applications?
How long does the wax last? For my part, I've been measuring chains with dial calipers for 10 years, and have found that since I started using dry lubes (I've always mixed these with 25% brake clean solvent for easier application and much-reduced deposits) my chains last longer than with Tri-Flow OR foaming motorcycle chain lube. I re-apply after each dirt ride or 130 clean miles. By applying a continuous stream of thin-bodied lube, the total time in lubing plus wipe-down is about 2-3 minutes, so why bother doing anything more? You mentioned re-flow of the stay-liquid lubes, which I think carries a continuous stream of abrasives to the pin/plate interface, wearing out the pivots. With the solvent-thinned dry lubes, I use a straw-type applicator for accurate stream placement. I've also found a lube called Rock'nRoll Lube which can be added to the WL/solvent mix in small (<10%) quantities, making the freshly-lubed silence last between applications without attracting dirt! The Rock'nRoll lube by itself, or diluted with solvent, is too oily, but small amounts of this stuff improve diluted WL overall, IMO.

Subject: How long?
David, just curious, how long do your chains last? E.g. how many miles until you see 1/16" elongation per 24 links? Re-lubing every 130 miles would mean 2-3 X more often than with PL, so what benefits do you see in chain wear from that. I agree that a lot of the chain wear is due to the "grinding paste" that the lube holds in place and that re-lubing can move to the wear surfaces. Is it possible that it is really more-frequent cleaning (each lube session is also a cleaning session) is really what is happening?

Subject: Cleaning
Definitely some real cleaning going on, probably half of whats initially on the chain gets soaked into the rag after the lube is applied, especially with my diluted formula. I typically get about 5k hilly miles to the 1/16" per 12" (.5%) stretch point. Not much wet weather riding at all. My experienc with Tri-Flow was that the wear rate was about 30% faster, not what I expected. Originally I used dry lubes for convenience, figuring that I'd have to replace the chain more often, but the oposite occurred.

Subject: reflow of paraffin using WL:
I would worry about flowing dirt into the links - if there was any. The waxed chain runs very clean (on the road!). I have not tried wax on the trail yet, and probably won't. I have only been waxing for a few months but so far the results are good, even in the rain. I cleaned off everything before converting (i.e.: had the cluster & chainrings and R-der. off the bike for thorough cleaning) to wax. I am pretty "anal" about bike cleanliness and lubrication (father was a master machinist) and have never "stretched" a road chain. And I measure over 48 links (chain off the bike, of course). In fact, I have a finishing nail and a scale (at the 2' mark) that I hang my chains on to dry and check stretch at the same time (I tension them when I measure stretch). I end up replacing my chains after 2000 - 3000 miles because they start to lo
part 5Woof the dog
Aug 4, 2001 6:11 AM
because they start to look "ratty" (usually due to shifting while grinding up hills). Back in the day, I would just break the chain to clean it. Then Shimano came out with this bogus non-replacable use-a-special-pin stuff - really annoyed me. I played with a BiBox for a while, but it just made a mess of everything (the chain "pumps" the solvent out the exit port). Now I use Sachs with Powerlink OR a KMC Powerlink clone for Shimano chains. BTW: master mechanic father does NOT agree with wax due to lack of reflow. He also taught me to set up wheel bearing with a JUST DETECTABLE amount of play (with QR tight) to allow room for lubricant.

Subject: Reflow of dirt
I wouldn't worry much about re-flow of dirt, as a good % of dirt and old lube is completely replaced (displaced into the rag)with each re-lubing. I think the CONTINUOUS reflow associated with stay-liquid lubes is the real culprit. As for ball bearing adjustment, a little INSTALLED drag should be ok since the balls and cones have a finite flexibility, and under load should allow unloading with every revolution. Of course with rolling contact, lube's going to get to the surfaces as the balls roll past every part of the bearing race anyway. Hubs do almost always get shipped and installed way too tight, perhaps to allay customers fears when the spin the axle or check for play when the wheel is off the bike with no QR tension on the axle.

Subject: Reflow of dirt
I wouldn't worry much about re-flow of dirt, as a good % of dirt and old lube is completely replaced (displaced into the rag)with each re-lubing. I think the CONTINUOUS reflow associated with stay-liquid lubes is the real culprit. As for ball bearing adjustment, a little INSTALLED drag should be ok since the balls and cones have a finite flexibility, and under load should allow unloading with every revolution. Of course with rolling contact, lube's going to get to the surfaces as the balls roll past every part of the bearing race anyway. Hubs do almost always get shipped and installed way too tight, perhaps to allay customers fears when the spin the axle or check for play when the wheel is off the bike with no QR tension on the axle.

Subject: Reflow of dirt
I wouldn't worry much about re-flow of dirt, as a good % of dirt and old lube is completely replaced (displaced into the rag)with each re-lubing. I think the CONTINUOUS reflow associated with stay-liquid lubes is the real culprit. As for ball bearing adjustment, a little INSTALLED drag should be ok since the balls and cones have a finite flexibility, and under load should allow unloading with every revolution. Of course with rolling contact, lube's going to get to the surfaces as the balls roll past every part of the bearing race anyway. Hubs do almost always get shipped and installed way too tight, perhaps to allay customers fears when the spin the axle or check for play when the wheel is off the bike with no QR tension on the axle.

Subject: No, not yet
Like I said, I just got started with this home brew stuff. Lacquer thinner might work well, but if the mineral spirits work well, then I will not be motivated to look elsewhere. I agree about removeable chains. When my current Shimano wears out, I have three SRAM's (they were on sale) ready to last me till 2002. Good riding.

Subject: home brew
I'm the original poster of the synthetic oil and mineral spirits mix. I've been able to reduce the amount of oil down to one part with three parts mineral spirits, with no problem. The less oil you use, the cleaner the chain looks. I suspect that prolink may have as little as 10 to 20 percent oil. Hotter solvents like lacquer thinner or acetone could damage the paint on some bikes.

Subject: ProLink-No // Dumonde Tech-Yes
Former ProLink user then I switched to Dumone Tech - www.hgnr.com All the benefits of ProLink, PLUS--the drivetrain r
part 6Woof the dog
Aug 4, 2001 6:13 AM
PLUS--the drivetrain runs quieter.

Subject: Dumonde Tech
Great stuff, especially here in the Pacific N.W. But, apply it outside, the stuff REEKS.

Subject: Funny, the description on the web site...
...sounds a lot like Pro Link.

Subject: ...except one BIG difference !!
Brian the descriptions may will be similar and since I used to use ProLink --from first hand experience I would say, the products are quite similar. However, the BIG difference that caused me to switch from ProLink to DuMonde Tech was that with DuMonde Tech the drive train ran noticeably smoother and than chain was quietter (quiet). The DuMonde Tech also lasted longer in wet conditions -- oops, I guess that's 2-BIG differences ;)

Subject: Just for laughs...
...if you have some Pro Link left, let it sit in an open container until half of the carrier evaporates, then try it. I suspect that you'll probably get similar results. I'll try it myself the next time I lube my chain.

Subject: That's great! I needed a good laugh;)
Okay, here's the picture----- Finnally free up some time and Take a day off work- Sun is out, the time is set-- we are doing a trainning ride for RAMROD and I meet up with my ridding buds. Tom says-- Hey Ken, where's Brian, Yeah, Wayne replys he said he would meet up with us, where the heck is he. Ken responds, well fellas, sorry to break this to you but, well,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, what can I say -- BRIAN IS WATCHING HIS CHAIN LUBE CARRIER EVAPORATE---- HaaHaaa ROTFLMAO, Thanks Brian,
Just for laughs --we needed that ;)
part 7Woof the dog
Aug 4, 2001 6:22 AM
Hope you guys find it helpful. And if you missed the point on ProLink: you need to clean the chain (I don't think mineral spirits is the best stuff, i used it and it makes all the dirt stick to the metal. Try Pedro's biodegreaser it works the best I've seen - all the dirt floats off the chain into the rag!!!) then, you need to apply excess of ProLink, let it soak a bit, but then (this is very important) you need to make the chain real dry. Prolink will still be in the bushings where it needs to be while the chain will be clean on the outside and won't give you the marks on your legs. That way it doesn't attract any dirt and lasts a long time. Forget about White lightning - all this flaky stuff makes me go nuts and the chain squeeks. Good luck
Woof the dog.