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chain question number two(25 posts)

chain question number twomaximum15
Oct 15, 2001 8:52 AM
What was the homemade formula for ProLink chain lube? I seem to recall 5 parts mineral spirits and one part 30 weight. Is that correct?
homemade prolink...C-40
Oct 15, 2001 9:21 AM
The formula can be varied considerably, depending on the desired results. I've used anywhere from 3 to 6 parts of minerals spirits to one part synthetic motor oil. Synthetic motor oils are generally multiweights ranging from 0-30 to 15-50. Only the first number is relevant, since the oil never gets hot. Any of them will work.

If you want a real clean chain and lube frequently, steer toward the lighter oil and more mineral spirits. If you want a long lasting lube, use less mineral spirits and heavier weight oil.

The lube should be applied long before riding to allow the minerals spirits plenty of time to evaporate (immediately after a ride is best). I apply it very heavily, holding a folded paper towel under the chain to catch the runoff. Wipe the chain thoroughly with another dry paper towel to remove all the excess.
homemade prolink...DINOSAUR
Oct 15, 2001 10:26 AM
I started using the home brew method about a month ago. I used 3 parts oderless mineral spirits to 1 part 30W motor oil. You can purchase a quart of motor oil for around $1.00. I had the mineral spirits in my tool shed. I made a whole batch that should last about a year. It works great, I apply a thin coat in the above mentioned method after every ride.
Hey Dino, you take pretty good care of your bikes, right?MB1
Oct 15, 2001 11:54 AM
Care to share any tips? I tried your idea of cleaning with simple green on a rag, not bad. Any others?
Big trouble in little China today.....DINOSAUR
Oct 15, 2001 4:16 PM
Na, not really. I just try to keep my bike as clean as possible. I even use the Simple Green to wipe off my tires.

I slap on new rim tape with every new tire.

Bad news today. My rear Rolf Vector Comp wheel was really out of true, has been for a couple of days. I decided to try and give it a minor true job that would last until I got around to bringing it into my LBS (I was waiting for rain). I discovered that the rim was cracked on both sides near a nipple. How I missed not seeing it when I wiped my bike down is beyond me. Now the trouble starts: Trek dropped Rolf, the only replacement rim Trek has in stock is in the color blue, my Klein has red rims. So I either go with one blue rear rim and keep the old red front rim, or order two new blue rims. I never thought I would be into this color coordinating thing but it makes a difference to me.

The good side is that I discovered the defective rim before it fractured all the way which could have resulted in a nasty crash. Alas Trek only has a 1 year warranty on their parts.

I checked ebay, they have some killer deals on Rolf wheels, but I only need a rear rim plus spokes.

This is going to be a problem for anyone who has Rolf wheels. Too bad, 15K with no problems, now this... Hopefully Trek with stop messing around with what wheels they use, it causes trouble with replacement and repair a couple of years down the road. Too bad they just don't go with Shimano, it would make things easier. This is the downfall of purchasing a stock bike.
Get the blue rim, add white bar tape and you are set! nmMB1
Oct 16, 2001 5:17 AM
Get the blue rim, add white bar tape and you are set! nmDINOSAUR
Oct 16, 2001 8:52 AM
I very well might have to go with the blue rim. Hopefully Trek will have a blue front rim in stock and will give me a discount. My thinking is that Rolf is not making these rims anymore and it might be a good idea to replace the rim as long as the parts are available. Rolf doesn't have a web site anymore, wonder if they are still in business? Don't think I'd go with white bar tape, gets dirty too easily, but marbled blue/white would work, good, white and blue....
homemade better than prolink...Chen2
Oct 15, 2001 10:31 AM
I haven't tried it yet but I'm sure it's better than ProLink.
you're gonna get rich!mr_spin
Oct 15, 2001 9:26 AM
Prolink costs about $5. Your homemade mix? Only marginally less. Why bother?
Oh right ....pmf1
Oct 15, 2001 11:12 AM
You flunked math class ...

A bottle of Prolink costs $5 for what ... about 6 fluid ounces. That's about $107 per gallon (seems like I paid $7 for my first and only bottle ... about $148 per gallon). A gallon on mineral spirits costs $3. Synthetic motor oil costs $5 per quart. From this, you can make 5 quarts of lube. That works out to $6.50 per gallon. So yeah, I'd say you're saving more than a marginal amount of money.

Keep the old Prolink bottle, its great to apply the homemade stuff with.
Oh right ....mr_spin
Oct 15, 2001 11:34 AM
Actually, I did quite well in math class. That's why today I have a good job and can afford to pay five whole dollars for Prolink.

The problem with your home brew is that first, who needs five quarts of lube? Second, just because you think you know what goes into Prolink, what makes you think you can duplicate it? You can find the recipe for Coca Cola, Mrs. Fields cookies, and Colonel Sanders' 11 herbs and spices on the Internet, but if you try to make it, I guarantee it won't taste the same.

I love that old saying: "you can put your boots in the oven, but that don't make them biscuits."
Spin on this buddy ...pmf1
Oct 15, 2001 11:51 AM
I just leave it in the mineral spirits can and pour some out into the prolink bottle whenever I need to fill it up. Not that much trouble. Actually, much easier than making trips to the bike store to pay for over-priced little bottles of lube. And I do go through it. I've got 3 bikes, my wife has 2. We ride a lot. All I was saying was that for $5, you can make a lot of prety good lube.

Thanks for the intelligent reply though. Your argument makes as much sense as buying little bottles of citrus cleaner at the bike store for $8, when you can get a whole gallon of it at the hardware store for $6.

I love that old saying: "A fool and his money are soon parted".

Or the P.T. Barnum one: " A sucker is born every minute".

Or how about: Its all just oil, dumbass, why pay $150 a gallon for it?

Its fortunate for you that you have that good job and can afford to pay for the Prolink. I'm happy for ya. Don't let your boss catch you goofing off.
Oct 15, 2001 12:34 PM
It's nice to see things are back to normal. Our brief foray into civility was just an interesting experiment.
Now he takes the high road ...pmf1
Oct 15, 2001 12:37 PM
Is that the best you can do?
Pro Link HomebrewGalibier
Oct 15, 2001 1:06 PM
Mr. Spin asked a question which deserves an answer: how do you know what is in Pro Link? Even your homebrews vary -- some use regular motor oil while some use synthetic motor oil. How can anyone say their cocktail is the same as Pro Link? Has someone done a chemical analysis? Does Pro Link post their recipe? I'd gladly make my own homebrew if it worked as well as Pro Link and saved time (trips to the LBS) and money. Are you really saying, "My homebrew with this recipe is as good as Pro Link," not that it IS Pro Link?
Its a misnomerpmf1
Oct 15, 2001 1:28 PM
I don't think anyone making this stuff ever claimed it was Prolink, or Boeshield, or any other commercial lube. It doesn't smell like Prolink to me. In fact, I'd bet its not Prolink.

I think the point is that it works pretty well and is cheap to make. I've got no problem with Prolink. It works fine. Personally, I don't see the mythical qualities everyone else seems to. The home brew stuff works just as well for me. Personally, I think as long as you use some kind of oil, you're going to be OK.

I got PO'ed at Mr Spin by his tone. If someone wants to make up a batch of this stuff, why does someone else have to put him down, and imply that he's above such cheapo grovelling practices? His comment that you're not saving any money by making this stuff is wrong.
What's in Prolink...C-40
Oct 15, 2001 1:44 PM
I first purchased Prolink chain lube (directly from the manufacturer) three years ago, after reading about it on another cycling forum. The Prolink representative called me a few weeks after I purchased the product to ask how well I thought 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 special "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 oil to me. I figured that a high quality oil like synthetic motor oil, mixed with mineral spirits should be just as good. The key to success is not to be stingy with the lube. Prolink's idea of using a tiny amount every time the chain starts squeaking is a recipe for a noisy and short lived chain. Apply it heavily and often to keep the chain cleaned and lubed.
Looks like not the same as ISKerry Irons
Oct 15, 2001 4:52 PM
There are a huge number of possibilities as to what might be in ProLink. "Looks like plain oil" is pretty general and not the least bit instructive. My concern with using motor oil the that 25% of automotive engine oil is not oil, it's various additives. Detergents, viscosity builders, inhibitors, etc. I don't know if these are good things or bad things relative to chain lube. While ProLink is expensive on a per gallon basis, I find that one bottle lasts me a year, lubing two bikes that get a combined 15K miles on them. Probably nothing wrong with the homebrew, though I think if I were going to do it, I would use an oil without all the additive package.
If it works in a car ...pmf1
Oct 16, 2001 3:15 AM
How can motor oil be bad for a silly little bicycle chain? If it keeps the pistons in a gasoline powered engine lubricated with no ill effects, I can't see how it could damage a bicycle chain. An engine has to under a bit more stress than a bike chain.

If you really get 15k miles out of a bottle of Prolink, then there seems to be no reason to monkey with anything else. I go through the stuff much faster myself.

Funny how what you slather on your chain brings up so much debate. We really are a bunch of nerds, aren't we?
If it works in a car ...DINOSAUR
Oct 16, 2001 8:35 AM
I was thinking along the same line, seems silly to argue about what you use to lube a bicycle chain.

Some of you might just lay down and have a heart failure but I just replaced my cassette and chain after nearly 15k mi. I used an asortment of chain lubes, at one time I even used (God forbid) WD-40! I think the key is to keep your chain immaculately clean and lube it daily with whatever product you prefer. I just went with the home brew method as I have a lot of containers of oil laying around from the days when I changed my oil in my car and we just finished painting our kitchen and had the odorless mineral spirits on hand also.

We're just talking about a bicycle chain for crimmy sakes not some high tech piece of equipment...
Actually a bicycle chain is amazingly high tech. Nothing hasMB1
Oct 16, 2001 9:25 AM
successfully replaced it or improved the drive train of a bicycle without using a chain.

I visited the KMC factory once. Chinese and Taiwan bike factories are an amazing blend of old and new tech. Every night you should get down on your knees and thank your lucky stars that you don't work in one.
true, but it works well...C-40
Oct 16, 2001 8:28 AM
I've been using the home brew for 3 years now. I've measured two campy 10 speed chains, each after 3500 miles of use. Both have about 1/16 inch of stretch in 4 feet, or 1/4 of the maximum permissable wear. Neither chain was ever removed for cleaning. The home brew cleans the chain on each application. No gunky build-up every develops. Both chains could be reinstalled and used for thousands of miles.
Life's too short for...tirider
Oct 15, 2001 4:02 PM
... me to spend time making homemade chain lube. I'll happily pay retail for the ProLink... I don't change the oil on my vehicles myself for the same reason as I did when I was younger. I'm either getting smarter or lazier.
Oct 15, 2001 4:57 PM
Found a CRC product called Power Lube. Contains Parafinic oil. $2.29 a 9ozcan. The proof is in the noise I don't hear coming from my chain or the fling off on my white and red chainstay. Easy to apply, displaces water, lubricates, no rust forms wet chain.
Where do you get it at?(nm)look271
Oct 16, 2001 2:05 PM