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Does Prolink cause chain to rust faster?(24 posts)

Does Prolink cause chain to rust faster?fbg111
Aug 14, 2002 1:32 PM
I've been searching this board and others for good lubricant and cleaning info for my new road bike, and have narrowed it down to Prolink, White Lightening, Triflow, Pedro's Ice Wax, and a few others. I called my LBS to ask about these, and he said they used to use Prolink but found that it caused the chain to rust faster. Now they no longer use or sell it, and only carry Triflow (which they use and recommend) and White Lightening. Anyone have any experience with Prolink causing their chain to rust faster? I didn't see anything about this in any of the archived threads I found here. Thanks!
re: Does Prolink cause chain to rust faster?dave woof
Aug 14, 2002 1:43 PM
I've used prolink for about 6 months... Haven't had any rust at all.. I can't see that a lubricant would facilitate rusting in any way..
re: Does Prolink cause chain to rust faster?jromack
Aug 14, 2002 1:50 PM
It's not a rust preventative, but it also is not an oily protective coating.

If you ride in the rain a post ride clean up is necessary.
re: Does Prolink cause chain to rust faster?fbg111
Aug 14, 2002 3:47 PM
Thanks, I bet that's the problem. I live in a coastal town and most bikers ride a lot on beach and intracoastal waterway roads. Maybe that combined with a lack of weekly cleaning contributed to the rust.
re: Does Prolink cause chain to rust fastergrandemamou
Aug 14, 2002 2:16 PM
I don't think it causes rust but it does not inhibit it. I live in a very humid climate 80-90% humidity pretty much year round. I have noticed that I have a rust buildup if I don't clean and lube every week. Kind of makes me wonder if there is some rust going on inside the pins that is not visible.

In general I like it goes on and stays clean but I will probably switch back to HGNR. Give it a shot it's only 6 bucks.

I use Pro-link on the rest of my bike but it's too messy for my drive train. Pedro's Ice wax is good but you pretty much have to apply every time you ride. I had really bad rusting problems with WL as well as a build up of gunk. I prefer HGNR. It's not as clean as some dry lubes but not as dirty as alot of wet lubes.
re: Does Prolink cause chain to rust fasterfbg111
Aug 14, 2002 3:40 PM
What is HGNR?
re: Does Prolink cause chain to rust fastergrandemamou
Aug 15, 2002 5:05 AM

It's kind of a cross between a wet and dry lube. Regardless of what people say I have a rust buildup with Pro-link. I have 3 bikes and may go a week or so before I ride one or the other. When I hop on there is rust.

Just make sure you thourghly clean your chain before you apply HGNR and wipe the heck out of it after you apply it. If you don't you will have a mess. I apply it, wipe it, run the chain around for a minute or so wipe it again. Shift through the cassette and wipe again. It's good for about 500 mi.

If they can't get it to you my LBS carries it
re: Does Prolink cause chain to rust fasterfbg111
Aug 15, 2002 5:28 AM
Thanks, I'll give it a try too.
re: Does Prolink cause chain to rust faster?aliensporebomb
Aug 14, 2002 3:27 PM
Weird. For a minute I thought you were talking about the Selle Italia prolink saddle and got way confused. Nevermind.
re: Does Prolink cause chain to rust faster?grizzly bear
Aug 14, 2002 3:46 PM
I've noticed rust on my Ultegra chain the day after riding in the rain. I don't think that Prolink offers much corrosion protection.
Bogus adviceKerry
Aug 14, 2002 4:59 PM
ProLink is basically an oil in a solvent. You apply it liberally and then wipe off the excess. The oil remains after the solvent evaporates, so the moving parts are coated with oil. How this would "cause rust" is a total mistery and reflects confusion/ignorance/ulterior motives on the part of your bike shop, not fact. TriFlow is just as good a lube as ProLink, but it is hugely messy, thus the preference for ProLink. Wax "lubes" offer minimal rust protection and begin to squeak (picture bare metal) as soon as it starts raining. Here's the procedure.

Assuming we're talking road riding, use the following technique for successful ProLink application and use:
1 - wipe the chain, cogs, pulleys, and chainrings clean with a rag.
2 - sluice on ProLink while pedaling (forward is better) so that the chain starts to drip lube. Aim the lube between the side plates and between the bushings and the side plates.
3 - run through all the gears several times, front and back.
4 - wipe the chain, cogs, pulleys, and chainrings clean with a rag.
5 - repeat 2-4 if the chain was really dirty

If you do this every 300 miles or so, you will not get any significant gunky buildup, and you won't have to clean the chain.
Cool, thanks. I'll give a Prolink a try then. nmfbg111
Aug 14, 2002 5:20 PM
LubesDoc Hollywood
Aug 14, 2002 6:05 PM
Everyone has there favorite lube and I've tried nearly all of them. I do like Prolink as it is clean, cleans your chain, and easy to apply. WL and Triflow are junk. WL gunks up your drivetrain and Triflow is just a mess. Pedro's Ice Wax works for one ride only and it is mediocre in the rain.

I live in Boston and ran out of Prolink about 4 months ago. The LBS that I frequent doesn't carry Prolink, but suggested that I try Slick-N-Dry from Slick Willy Bike Lube Co. I am impressed. This stuff works and works very well. I posted several times on RBR about this stuff.

Applied like Prolink, it cleans your chain as you apply it, lasts for 300+ miles, and doesn't attract dirt. My chain is quieter with Slick-N-Dry and it is a little more "waterproof" than with Prolink.

If I remember correctly, the guy at the shop said the stuff is receiving a lot of praise from the local racing community, hence my reasoning for trying it. The company is somewhere around Beantown, is relatively new and the guy who started it is rider himself. The website listed on my bottle is

Just another idea in Lube-Land.

Doc Hollywood
Aug 15, 2002 5:32 AM
Thanks, I'll check it out too. I live in NC, but you can order from their website.

Looks every lube has its fans and detractors. Guess I'll have to try a few and figure out which one I prefer.
riding in dry or wet conditons?theBreeze
Aug 15, 2002 6:59 AM
Here in the bone dry Southwest I find White Lightening to work best, road and mountain bikes. I ran out of it a couple weeks ago, but had some Tri-flow so I made do. In just two rides, about 85 miles, my chain was so gunked up it was embarrassing. It took an hour with a toothbrush and a bottle of Simple Green to clean it to my satisfaction. I have never had a chain get so dirty so fast with WL. I suppose I can see how Tri-flow might be better in wet conditions as it is "oilier." But around here it attracts every molecule of road dust/grime.

SO I agree Tri-flow is a mess, though I know of people who swear by it, (rather than AT it!) I clean and lube with WL about every 150-200 miles, and my chain is beautiful, no rust and doesn't squeak.
riding in dry or wet conditons?fbg111
Aug 15, 2002 8:49 AM
SouthEast coast of North Carolina. Humid, and plenty of puddles on the roads from badly aimed lawn sprinklers. I ride near the beach, so I think the air and water (even the fresh water puddles) have some sea salt content. I don't ride in the rain though. I assume that means I ride in wet conditions, at least compared to you.
used 3 years in high heat + humidity w/o problem (nm)maximum15
Aug 15, 2002 2:04 AM
re: Does Prolink cause chain to rust faster?curlybike
Aug 15, 2002 5:39 AM
I used to sell WL, I would occasionally add balls to the bottle to help when shaking. One day I noticed that the bottle I was using was starting to change color. The balls in the bottle were rusting! I never sold another WL after that. I only promote Rock and Roll. . They make really good products and nothing rusts. If I were not so happy with RnR, I would try Prolink.
re: Does Prolink cause chain to rust faster?fbg111
Aug 15, 2002 8:52 AM
Thanks. The first true empirical evidence I've heard yet. Scratch White Lightening then.

Maybe I'll recreate your experiment with all these lubs. What kind of balls were they? Steal ball bearings? Were they ever exposed to air, or always immersed in the lube? How long did it take for the balls to rust?
re: Does Prolink cause chain to rust faster?curlybike
Aug 15, 2002 1:22 PM
They were hub bearings removed from hubs and cleaned. I don't know if they were the chrome or carbon steel balls. They were never removed from the WL once installed. The rust occured over a moderately short time, 1/4 bottle of use. I really do like the Rock and roll. You can get it at, if you are interesred.
Thx. I've added R&R to my list of lubs to check out. nmfbg111
Aug 15, 2002 1:59 PM
re: Does Prolink cause chain to rust faster?pinarello
Aug 15, 2002 5:50 AM
For harsh environments try this product. it's a great product. Catapult
Thanx for the rec. Dig that 100% Money-Back Guarantee. nmfbg111
Aug 15, 2002 8:56 AM
Bad advice from your LBSJohnG
Aug 15, 2002 12:43 PM
Triflow really sucks!!!

Prolink is the only chain lube I use now. Just apply and wipe it off per the instructions. Chain stays clean, quiet, and you'll get a ton of miles from you chain too.

People who bag on Prolink either haven't read the instructions or can't follow them.... for whatever reason.