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When is chain lubed just right?(8 posts)

When is chain lubed just right?UncleMoe
Aug 27, 2001 8:20 AM
How do you decide when your chain is lubed just right? I realize if it is underlubed you have more friction, peddling is tougher, and you wear the chain faster.

If it is overlubed, you pcik up a lot more dirt and grime, which also wears the chain faster.

So how do you know when it is right? (I have my own method to test, but I have no idea if it is right.)
when it makes no noisemr_spin
Aug 27, 2001 8:34 AM
But no noise would be the case for too much lube, too.

The trick to oiling chains is only to lube the inside of the chain (the part that hits the gears). I see too many people put it on the outside, where it doesn't do much good. Put oil on the top of the lower chain (the part coming off the bottom of the derailleur and chain ring), let it seep in for a few minutes, then wipe off the excess. This works very well for me. The lube ends up in the places you need it, and not where you don't.

To put oil on, drip it on the link edge (not the middle) as you spin the gears. There are two edges, so get them both. Use a liberal amount, but don't go nuts, since the excess is wasted when you wipe it off.
Here's what I doMel Erickson
Aug 27, 2001 8:38 AM
I put one small drop of lube on every roller. Sounds tedious but only takes about 2 minutes. I let it sit for awhile and take a look. Usually I do nothing more, no wiping, as the lube works it's way in and there's nothing dripping. That way the lube is where it's needed without gunking up the rest of the chain.
Use "clean and lube",C-40
Aug 27, 2001 8:46 AM
the home-made mixture of 3-5 parts mineral spirits to one part synthetic motor oil. You can apply all you want, as long as the chain is thoroughly wiped to remove all excess, and not ridden for several hours to allow the mineral spirits time to evaporate.

"Clean and lube" cleans the chain at each application and always leaves a thin coat of oil after the mineral spirits evaporates.

You could apply it after every ride, with no build-up. Thorough wiping is essential for maximum cleanliness. Chain life is exceptional with this lubricant.
Interested, but what's with the Mineral Oil & why the mix nmjagiger
Aug 27, 2001 7:30 PM
He said mineral spirits, not mineral oil...Old Schooler
Aug 27, 2001 8:22 PM
Paint thinner, basically...this would obviously thin out the motor oil, but then evaporate leaving a thinner film of oil vs. what you would have if you ran straight motor oil.
And remember folks, Death before WD-40! (NM)Tig
Aug 27, 2001 8:50 AM
Anyone still waxing their chains?Old School
Aug 27, 2001 8:31 PM
Here's an old-school question on this subject...anyone still using melted paraffin? I remember reading about people mixing Slick 50 or motor oil into the paraffin, but I used straight paraffin in "the old days." The trick was to get it pretty hot, and to let the chain come up to that temperature, too. Then, when you pulled the chain out of the wax, it didn't stick to the outside surfaces and left wax only inside the bushings, where was needed. Here were the pros and cons:

Pro...chain and bike stayed clean. You could change the tire or otherwise handle the chain without getting dirty oil all over the place. No chainring tattoos, ever.
Pro...lasted more than 500 miles (I typically got 600+ in summer riding conditions).
Pro...chain did not pick up dirt or grime from other sources...and clean chains meant happy drivetrain parts (like freewheels, chainrings, derailleurs) that also lasted a long time.
Pro...chains lasted a long time, if you kept them clean and changed them regularly.
Con...needed to change the chain every 500+ miles. Not a big deal, though, if you cooked a bunch of them up at once. rainy ride would wipe out a chain, you would have to rewax it.

I used this method with Campy Super Record (friction shift)/7sp/Suntour chains and freewheel. I now ride Campy 9 with a Campy chain. Will it still work with the tighter tolerances of today's equipment? I think that dirty chains and dirt all over the chainstay are yukky. Even ProLink seems to turn black quickly.