Author Topic: Preparing new chain for use.  (Read 344 times)

rafiki

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Preparing new chain for use.
« on: August 13, 2018, 12:51:45 PM »
I will be fitting the first new new chain to my Sterling soon. Despite talk of not being worth the money I have 'invested' in a KMC X1. This will be the first time I have sized and fitted a new chain myself so I'm a little nervous but with the help of Youtube videos I'm going to give it a try. However, something else sprang to mind whilst I was thinking about the job. Is there anything I should do to prepare a new chain for first use that will make it run better and, perhaps last longer? I should add that I ride daily between 25 and 50 km made up of about 60% paved and 40% dusty gravel/sand. Particularly dusty at the moment.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 01:32:06 PM by rafiki »

geocycle

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Re: Preparing new chain for use.
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2018, 02:17:00 PM »
I use a light lube Prolink gold which works quite well in dusty conditions.  It is prone to being washed off in wet weather so you have to reapply regularly. 

You could also consider a chainglider (lots of fans on here!).  I used one on my RT frame for about a year and it worked quite nicely but couldn't get it to work (glide) with the tighter clearances of my RST. If it works on the sterling it would extend the chain life. Note you might also need to change the chain ring to something narrower than the standard thorn and you need to look at the tooth count that is compatible.

I have never done anything to prepare a new chain other than to cut it to length (based on the old one). Apparently they come covered with a wax but I always just put them on with some lube and ride away.
 

mickeg

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Re: Preparing new chain for use.
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2018, 04:18:53 PM »
There are arguments both ways, but I think that the stuff on new chains when you first buy them is a very good lubricant, should last several hundred km.

If you ask a hundred cyclists what the best way to lube a chain is, you will get about 110 different answers.

geocycle

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Re: Preparing new chain for use.
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2018, 05:26:15 PM »
There are arguments both ways, but I think that the stuff on new chains when you first buy them is a very good lubricant, should last several hundred km.

If you ask a hundred cyclists what the best way to lube a chain is, you will get about 110 different answers.

I agree and I don't really think you can go far wrong. 30 for a chain is now getting quite expensive so I can understand some apprehension.  The X1s are nice and mine come in at about a coffee and a cake per 1000 miles.
 

Andre Jute

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Re: Preparing new chain for use.
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2018, 04:58:49 AM »
Despite talk of not being worth the money I have 'invested' in a KMC X1. ... I ride daily between 25 and 50 km made up of about 60% paved and 40% dusty gravel/sand.

A high-miler like you might actually find some advantage in the X1, especially if its price inclines you to look after it better than you looked after your previous chains.

The X1s are nice and mine come in at about a coffee and a cake per 1000 miles.

Exactly; a vivid illustration of a point that gets lost in the inherited (from a time when cycling was a workingman's sport) obsession about making chains go further. The chain -- even a KMC X1 -- is the cheapest consumable component on the bike (most people's brake blocks last several times longer than the chain, and decent cables and tyres cost more).

You can ensure the XI lasts well by covering it. A thread you might like to take a look at is Factory lube/chaincase experiment (X8 chain, Chainglider, Surly SS & Rohloff), though you should be aware that my particular interest is in reducing maintenance to almost zero rather than saving a few quid by increasing (in my case as a serendipitous side-effect doubling and trebling) chain distance; still, from your viewpoint the outcome is the same.

Good luck with your X1 and please don't forget to report your experience here: it appears quite a few of us are waiting for a reason to buy an X1.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 06:00:46 AM by Andre Jute »

rafiki

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Re: Preparing new chain for use.
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2018, 11:06:27 AM »
Thank you all for your insights and encouragement. Much appreciated.

John Saxby

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Re: Preparing new chain for use.
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2018, 06:42:16 PM »
Brian, I don't use a whole lot of chain lube, 'cos on my Raven I have a Chainglider, but on my derailleur bikes I've had good luck with Squirt lube.  This is a South African product, and my reasoning is that Soufafricans know lots about dry'n'dusty conditions.

(No advice on lube to help a chain during/after a high-veld thunderstorm, 'cept to avoid them at all costs -- the storms, that is.)

I think that Dan would likely suggest Purple Extreme for use in Oregon's dry'n'dusty terrain, but I've had trouble finding that lube in Eastern Ontario, where I live.

Hope that's helpful,  John

rafiki

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Re: Preparing new chain for use.
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2018, 07:10:20 PM »
Very helpful, John. Thank you. In my part of Spain we are very dry and very dusty plus extremely hot. 'll check out the lubes you mention.

Danneaux

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Re: Preparing new chain for use.
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2018, 08:00:56 PM »
Quote
I think that Dan would likely suggest Purple Extreme for use in Oregon's dry'n'dusty terrain, but I've had trouble finding that lube in Eastern Ontario, where I live.
Yes indeed, I have found Purple Extreme does work well in dry, dusty conditions and does not seem to react with the alkali dust I often encounter on my tours of America's Great Basin deserts.

The lube I choose depends on the bike/drivetrain and conditions used. In really sustained wet conditions, I will go for a mix of lubes I have found works well for me, usually a mix of Tri-Flow and Phil Tenacious Oil on some of my rando bikes if it is to be a 300km+ day ride in heavy wet. The main thing there is to keep the lube on the chain without washout. I usually do a clean immediately after such rides and relube with something else that is lighter and cleaner. Of course, this mix would be completely inappropriate in the dry as it would serve as a dust magnet.

I think the important thing with exposed chains is to keep them well lubed and as clean as possible. I asked my sister for an old mascara brush and have it tucked in my kit. Works a treat for quickly flossing grit from between the links after a day's desert transit. After the grit is removed I relube, sometimes daily sometimes not. Depends on conditions and distance.

Best,

Dan.

rafiki

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Re: Preparing new chain for use.
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2018, 08:24:58 PM »
Thanks, Dan. Great tip the mascara brush!