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chain lube(21 posts)

chain lubecollinsc
Dec 14, 2001 7:53 PM
whats the best chain lube out there?

biggest priority is no black gunk, man i hate that stuff. what will keep that crap off my bike? wax?

also, if some wax stuff is the solution, which? and how difficult is it to use?

I like ProLinkgtx
Dec 14, 2001 7:59 PM
very little build up and quite durable
Me too. (nm)look271
Dec 14, 2001 8:07 PM
Me too.Applejuice
Dec 15, 2001 12:04 AM
Good stuff. Seriously. Have tried many lubes and this is the best IMHO. Many "experts" agree - Bicycling Magazine Product of the Month.
Dec 14, 2001 8:17 PM
...on the conditions and time of year.

In the summer [dry weather], I tend to use a wax-basded lube like White Lightning. Keeps my drivetrain clean and quiet, and there's no black greasy buildup. The problem is that, in cold, wet weather, dry lubes are just about useless. In the fall and early spring [and the part of the winter when I'm riding] I switch to a wet lube like Pedros Syn Lube. It's messier, but I find it keeps me shiftinf happily in crummy weather.
Depends what you mean by "black gunk" . . .DCW
Dec 15, 2001 4:43 AM
As others have recommended, Pro Link does the job, but if you don't wipe the chain after every ride or two, it will build up black. After experimenting in the 90's with White Lightning, Pedro's, etc., which built up in their own way, more or less grey, I went to Pro Link.

A year or two ago, my riding buddes and I shifted to home-brewed Pro Link: 1 part Mobil 1 to 3 or 4 parts odorless mineral spirits. For the price of one bottle of Pro Link, you and several buddies can have enough lube for a year.
Depends what you mean by "black gunk" . . .DINOSAUR
Dec 15, 2001 11:26 AM
I went the home brew method. I've heard different ratios; 1 part Mobil 1 to 3 to 5 parts of ordorless mineral spirits.

Personally I don't think it makes a big difference what you use as long as you take the time to wipe you chain down after after each ride and apply a thin coat of chain lube. The home brew method is cheap and makes a batch of lube that will last a whole year, that's why I switched to it.

I just changed my chain and cassette after logging on over 5K. I used various kinds of lubes from WD40, Silicone, Pedros, to 30W motor oil. I think the reason they lasted so long is because they were kept clean and lubricated.
Dec 16, 2001 7:29 AM
That should read 15K on chain and cassete..clean and lubed is the way to go...
re: chain lubeDaveG
Dec 15, 2001 7:24 AM
Some lubes are better than others in keeping the gunk down but the best way to avoid the gunk is to clean the chain regularly. Dry lubes like White Lightning/Pedro's/FinishLine keep the "black gunk" levels down but don't last long, work poorly in cold weather and build up waxy gunk if you're not careful (need to apply sparingly). I use the "homebrew" mentioned above and clean/re-apply every 200 miles or so (in dry weather). This works fine and the chain never gets too nasty. Make sure when you apply your lube that you are wiping the chain down thoroughly. Lube on the outside of the chain does nothing to improve drivetrain performance and will just gather dirt.
Prolink is greatjw25
Dec 15, 2001 7:30 AM
but it will cause the dreaded black gunk unless you wipe it down very well. It's better if applied on a very clean chain (several times through the cleaner with Simple Green - clean), but I still notice a small amount of stuff.
It's well worth it, IMHO. I use the stuff on my MTB and road bike, and even in rain and mud, shifting is spot-on, and drivetrain wear has gone down.
If you want an absolutely clean chain, though, you'll probably have to go to the hot paraffin method, which is time-consuming, but should keep things pristine.
re: chain lubeCSIguy
Dec 15, 2001 11:08 AM
The cleanest I have used is the Rock -n- Roll lube that is, I think, called Pure Gold or something like that. I still like the Pro Link better. It is not quite as clean, but the chain runs a bit quieter. With either you need to wipe your chain after every ride or two to keep it clean. Road dirt will stick to any lube I have used and needs to be wiped off regularly to keep frrom building up.
chain lube12x23
Dec 15, 2001 1:31 PM
I've use Tri-Flow and most of the others, and have gone back to Tri-Flow. I've found that I don't get the 'black gunk' chain and drivetrain if I'm careful to only use one small drip of lube per link (at the pin/roller), and clean the excess off with a shop towel sprayed with WD40 while backpedaling the crank.

I don't know what's best, but this works for me.
Dec 15, 2001 3:57 PM
If you've never used it, you oughta give Finish Line Krytech a try at least once. It's a wax-type lube, and it's the cleanest stuff I've discovered.
FWIW, I've tried just about everything out there, but keep coming back to KryTech. The only problem is that I apply it about every third ride. The only application problem is that the bottle tip keeps clogging up, so you have to shake it regularly.
My Findings--or Why I Went Back to Pedro's Ice Wax.nigel
Dec 16, 2001 11:43 AM
After using Pedro's Ice Wax with satisfying (and CLEAN) results for a while, I decided to try out ProLink since I'd heard/read so much great stuff about it.

1) My chain had always been clean and silent with Ice Wax, first off. Was it cleaner and quieter with ProLink? Absolutely not. If I missed a post-ride wipedown (which, I feel, shouldn't be mandatory--but do every few rides anyway), my chain was black the next ride or two. This is bad, and unnecessary.

2) One of the things I like most about Ice Wax is that it's thick. This means that a little bottle of Ice Wax lasts me as long as a much bigger bottle of ProLink. Since ProLink is so damned watery, it sloshes out of the bottle with virtually no control at all, getting all over everything; with Ice Wax, I was able to use it effectively and properly and get it ONLY on the places I wanted it (chain rollers). I never had to waste any.

3) Ice Wax (on a less important point) has a perfectly pleasant (non-toxic) odor (a scent, really); ProLink has a nasty, chemical, toxic smell which can really stink things up.

4) Not that I count every dime, but I found ProLink to cost more (per bottle) and that I (due to its consistency) was going through it so much faster than I did Ice Wax.

For the same performance--and a MUCH cleaner chain with much less maintenance, wiping down, and reapplication--I went back to Ice Wax and am the happier for it.

Your mileage may vary,
My Findings--or Why I Went Back to Pedro's Ice Wax.LLSmith
Dec 16, 2001 4:47 PM
I started using the Pedro's Ice Wax and have to agree. This stuff is great for keeping a clean and quiet chain. I don't ride in the rain so washing off is not a problem for me.I prefer one of Pedro's other oil type lubes over all of the above mentioned lubes. Most of these others have been more like dirt magnets for me.
sounds like you put too much prolink on the chain.CT1
Dec 16, 2001 5:22 PM
If Prolink is applied properly the chain does stay clean.

To bad you didn't use the product as specified. I also don't know what the problem is with your "sloshing out of the bottle" issue???? Seems pretty simple to me.

good rides
That sh*t is like water.nigel
Dec 16, 2001 6:27 PM
I tried to drip it out onto the chain rollers, but it flowed pretty freely from the bottle, always getting more on the chain--and the rag I held below the chain, and the floor beneath the chain--than I'd planned. Pretty simple, indeed. Thick makes sense; thin doesn't.

I guess I'm pretty stupid, JohnG. If only I were as intuitive and all-knowing like you.

That sh*t is like water.gtx
Dec 17, 2001 11:39 AM
if it helps, I think they redesigned the bottle--but even with the new bottle it flows out way too fast for my tastes. Apparently, ProLink now sells a special applicator that will help you control the flow--but I think you have to contact the company directly. I plan to order one next time I need a bottle.
How silly...nigel
Dec 17, 2001 8:38 PM
that one needs to go through contacting the company and all that b.s. just to get something which regulates the flow of their chain lubricant. ProLink probably charges a couple of bucks for the piece of plastic, too. (They could just as easily either make the bottle the right way or use a thickening agent in their product.)

What a joke. Thanks for the info, though, Gtx.

yup... that is too bad.... nmCT1
Dec 17, 2001 8:44 PM
Boeshield T-9Chen2
Dec 16, 2001 7:22 PM
Boeshield T-9 is the best that I've found. Used White Lightning for years but never really appreciated the waxy buildup. Tried ProLink because of the "Bicycling" Magazine award hype. Prolink made the chains on my 3 road bikes noisy. It was just a slight clickity click but I figured that wasn't doing my chain any good. I think ProLink is too thin. An LBS recommended Boeshield T-9 and I liked it better immediately. My chains run smoother and very quietly. I follow the instructions, wipe the chain down, put one drop on each link, let it sit for at least 4 hours before riding. They also offer a spray but it's too messy. The dropper bottle is just right.
Give it a try.