Technical > Transmission

The 'Andre Jute' factory lube challenge?

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steve216c:
I hope Andre won't mind me suggesting a challenge using his name? The challenge is HOW FAR CAN YOU RIDE on a brand new chain using JUST FACTORY LUBE???

Some of you might have picked up on Andre suggesting in a couple of threads that you ought to be able to get incredibly high mileage out of a chain just using the factory lube and without the need to relube the chain along the way. My understanding of his theory is that this requires the chain to be kept protected from the elements to avoid grime or water causing deterioration or loss of the factory lube. His theory makes sense to me: Keep it all clean, and the chain should wear slowly and maintain smoothness by not shedding its original factory lube. A Chainglider is an excellent way to stop debris reaching the chain, with only a limited area for ingress of contaminants. But feel free to try it with other chain protection or even without anything covering the running gear. Next time you put on a brand new chain, how far can you ride before relube is required?

My suggestion is that anyone wishing to take up the challenge start a response to this thread- citing the running gear of their bike and the starting km if not starting at 0km. When you first need to clean/lube your chain, simply edit your original post and update the distance covered. That way we'll have some kind of rough statistics to see how accurate Andre's theory is.

Copy the parameters below so it aids in comparison of the number. But also add comments at the end in freehand as to why you had to lube your chain the first time.
____________________________________
Starting km/mile:
Chain type:
Sprocket:
Chainring:
Chainguard fitted (yes/no):
Type of Chainguard:
Finishing km/miles:
Total distance covered:

Comments (why did you need to lube):

____________________________________

Personally, I think Andre was onto something with his theory. So I am happy to kick off the challenge with brand new components. Hopefully some others of you will join the challenge (or perhaps some of you already have stats of your own you can already add in)???

steve216c:
Starting km/mile: 14,027km
Chain type: Connex 808
Sprocket: 15 tooth Rohloff on splined carrier
Chainring: 42 tooth Truvative steel ring
Chainguard fitted (yes/no): YES
Type of Chainguard: Chainglider
Finishing km/miles:
Total distance covered:

Comments (why did you need to lube):

martinf:
Starting km/mile: 0 km
Chain type: SRAM PC890
Sprocket: 16 tooth Rohloff screw fit
Chainring: 38 tooth Surly stainless steel ring
Chainguard fitted (yes/no): YES
Type of Chainguard: Chainglider
Rear hub : Rohloff
Finishing km/miles: 2102 km
Total distance covered: 2102 km

Comments (why did you need to lube): No real need. Before getting Chaingliders I used to remove a chain at intervals of about 500 to 800 km on hub gear bikes, then fit a clean chain (either new or cleaned and relubed), then clean the chain removed from the bike at my leisure so that it would be ready for the next swap. The idea being to get longer service from chainrings and sprockets by alternating the use of a batch of from two to four chains on each sprocket.

I decided that at 2102 kms it was about time to swap the chain. I put a new one on this time (second in a batch that will probably count just two chains). There was no noticeable wear on the first chain, no need to adjust the eccentric bottom-bracket and the chain looked fairly clean, but as I had taken it off the bike I cleaned it and relubed it anyway. I will probably leave the second chain in this batch on the bike for 3000 kms or more before refitting the first chain. And if it looks clean when I remove it, probably not bother cleaning it, just oil the links to cover the possibility that the factory lube may have dried out over time. 

Starting km/mile: 0 km
Chain type: SRAM PC890
Sprocket: 22 tooth Sturmey-Archer 3-spline
Chainring: 38 tooth Surly stainless steel ring
Chainguard fitted (yes/no): YES
Type of Chainguard: Chainglider
Rear hub : Shimano Nexus 8 Premium
Finishing km/miles: 2641 km
Total distance covered: 2641 km

Comments (why did you need to lube): As above, but I left doing the chain swap on this bike for a bit longer.

Starting km/mile: 0 km
Chain type: KMC X1 EPT
Sprocket: 22 tooth Sturmey-Archer 3-spline
Chainring: 38 tooth Surly stainless steel ring
Chainguard fitted (yes/no): YES
Type of Chainguard: Chainglider
Rear hub : Shimano Nexus 8 Premium
Finishing km/miles: not yet
Total distance covered: About 2000 km so far.

Comments (why did you need to lube): not yet

_________________________________________

So far, if I reckon the average distance before chain swaps was about 600 kms without a Chainglider, fitting a Chainglider means I get at least 3 times the distance before doing any chain maintenance. Already enough benefit for me to justify putting Chaingliders on as many family bikes as possible.

It might get better if I can extend the kilometrage between chain swaps, which seems probable. And, although it is too early to be 100% certain, I expect the service life of all 3 transmission components will be much longer than when I used exposed chains.

Andre Jute:

--- Quote from: steve216c on May 03, 2022, 03:23:06 PM ---I hope Andre won't mind me suggesting a challenge using his name? The challenge is HOW FAR CAN YOU RIDE on a brand new chain using JUST FACTORY LUBE???

--- End quote ---

Not at all, Steve. I’m flattered.

A point of clarification. I started my Factory Lube/Chainglider experiment not to increase chain mileage, but because I was building a very low maintenance bike. I’m a masher, so I was never in line to compete with some of the guys here for chain longevity.

All the same, the experiment demonstrated that I could easily triple and quadruple my chain mileage by such simple measures as covering the chain closely (I used Dutch chain cases before and still got atrocious mileage…) and not handling it. There are some truly outstanding high-milers here, and they were doing well before they got Chaingliders. My opinion — and the gathering evidence — is that they’ll gain something, perhaps something significant, but not the three and four multiples I gained, because I started so much lower down the scale.

Of course the guys who’ll gain most are the ones who hate bike maintenance!

But the thing that on reflection stands out in my mind, because of my cycling history, is that the Chainglider/Factory Lube Combination is Masher’s Heaven.

This is a clever thread. We’ll get a lot of good data here in easily comparable form.

Matt2matt2002:
Yes, agreed. A great thread.
But are we going to include the chain ' stretch ' measurements?
Re above information: why was the chain changed?

I look for 0.5 to start my pondering and then 0.75 to wish I'd done it earlier.

Thoughts folks.

Best

Matt

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