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Questions on 'Home Brew" chain lube....(4 posts)

Questions on 'Home Brew" chain lube....DINOSAUR
Aug 28, 2001 8:40 AM
O.K. it's never to late for an old dog to learn new tricks. I whipped up a batch of chain lube using 3 parts of Odorless Mineral Spirits and 1 part of 10-30W Motor Oil. Questions- What is the reason behind the mineral spirits, is it for thinning the oil? And I noted the recipe called for Synthetic oil, but I presume it's o.k. to use the regular stuff? For what it's worth, you can make a lot of lube using this recipe for darn cheap, and cheap is what I am...
re: Questions on 'Home Brew" chain lube....pmf
Aug 28, 2001 8:51 AM
I've had pretty good luck with it.

I did exactly the same thing you did, but used synthetic oil. I doubt this is any different than regular 10w-30. Sure can make a bunch for a few bucks.

The mineral spirits thin the oil and allow you to put on a small amount (imagine trying to apply straight motor oil to lube your chain). I use it sparingly, let the mineral spirits evaporate and wipe off the excess. Its a wet lube and will attract some dirt, but most lubes seem to anyway.
Trollman thinks someone needs a 2nd job....Trollman
Aug 28, 2001 9:12 AM
the idea came from Prolink....C-40
Aug 28, 2001 6:41 PM
The mineral spirits thins the oil, carrying it into the chain where it will lube the pin and roller. When it evaporates, all that's left behind is a small, but adequate amount of oil. I came up with this idea several years ago after trying prolink chainlube (which I didn't find too impressive).

The Prolink representative called me a few weeks after I purchased the product (directly from the manufacturer). He wanted my opinion of how well it worked. I told him I wasn't impressed and asked what it was made of. He told me that mineral spirits was the carrier solvent for the "friction reducer". I ran a little test of my own, placing a small quantity in a dish to let it dry out for a few days. What was left behind looked like plain old oil to me. I figured that a high quality oil like synthetic motor oil, mixed with mineral spirits should be just as good.

I've used this mixture for three seasons now. I've experimented with up to 6 parts mineral spirits, which is the cleanest mix, but requires more frequent application. 4 to 5 parts seems optimum to me. 3 to 1 is thicker than I care for.

Prolink wants you to use a small amount of lube, but I found that this application technique left the chain noisy and prone to "chirping" when the lube ran dry in the middle of a ride. If you put prolink on heavily, all you get is an oily black mess.

With "clean and lube" as I like to call it, I apply the mixture very heavily with an old Prolink bottle. A folded paper towel is used to catch excess and wipe the chain. The heavy application cleans the chain as it's being lubed, eliminating the need to ever remove the chain. If the chain is particularly dirty, a second application can be used. A final wipe down with a dry towel removes as much as possible from the exterior of the chain. Works great with Campy 10 speed.