Author Topic: Chain Lub  (Read 26440 times)

il padrone

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Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2012, 11:15:42 AM »
PE indicate the greatest life can be achieved if their lube is applied to a chain cleaned free of any other existing lubricant. I'm interested to see how that works out in long-term use, and will probably try it prior to the next long desert tour. I sometimes carry an entire spare chain, so it would be possible to pre-clean and pre-lubricate it in PE before departure so that is another option.
The one performance dip I have found with Purple Extreme has been in very dry environments. Around here (Melbourne, Victoria) conditions are temperate - hot summers but often still fairly humid, wetter winter/spring. The lube has been great, lasting me up to 600kms before I felt it needed re-application. On re-application I have just wiped the chain with a rag usually (rarely gets dirty enough that I feel it need degreasing).

However on my outback tour in the desert and semi-desert land of South Australia (Flinders Ranges, Oodnadatta Track - about 900kms in the drylands) it did not last near as long. The chain still stayed generally clean, despite the sand and dust - the side plates were dusty red, but the rollers were fine. However it became rather grindy after about three days (180-200kms) and demanded frequent re-application. I was somewhat surprised by this but as I said, it has been the only situation where I felt its performance was not so good. For your desert trips you may want to make sure you have a full bottle as I went through about 1/2-2/3 of a bottle in that 3-4 week section of our tour.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 01:01:31 PM by il padrone »

slim

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Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2012, 12:36:47 PM »
Dear James,

Now that you've found your voice I hope you will make a few more entertaining posts.
I sense that you've got a wealth of knowledge to share that goes well beyond lubricating chains. Any views on eccentric bottom brackets, rims, loaded touring, ... ?

Greatly looking forward to your next post.

Chris

stutho

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Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2012, 12:02:33 AM »
Outstanding jimmer  ;D  I will look toward to your next report!

(Should I let on that the only chainsaw I own is electric powered!   Running and ducking the incoming flack ::) )

revelo

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Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2012, 05:45:59 AM »
However on my outback tour in the desert and semi-desert land of South Australia (Flinders Ranges, Oodnadatta Track - about 900kms in the drylands) it did not last near as long. The chain still stayed generally clean, despite the sand and dust - the side plates were dusty red, but the rollers were fine. However it became rather grindy after about three days (180-200kms) and demanded frequent re-application. I was somewhat surprised by this but as I said, it has been the only situation where I felt its performance was not so good. For your desert trips you may want to make sure you have a full bottle as I went through about 1/2-2/3 of a bottle in that 3-4 week section of our tour.

For my desert tour, I decided to follow Lennard Zinn's (author of Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance) method, which is to frequently pour new oil on the chain (Prolink Chain lube is what he recommends and what I used) but never clean the chain. The idea is that new oil will wash away dirt as it trickles down through the rollers, so that the inner part of the chain, which is what counts, stays reasonably clean and lubricated at all times. The outer part of the chain will become absolutely filthy, of course. Not a problem in the desert, since it is easy to clean your hands by simply running them through the sand on the ground. Sand and desert dirt are potent degreasers (which is precisely why the chain requires so much oiling there).

My experience, after 25 days / 850 miles of desert use, during which the chain was constantly being showered with dust and never cleaned, was that the chain did indeed become filthy, but remained smooth running as long as I oiled it regularly, and wasn't nearly at the .75 elongation mark on the chain gauge by the end of the tour. Cleaning a chain during a tour is a massive PITA, so I'm pretty happy that Zinn's method works. This first tour was on a derailleur bike. The Zinn method should work even better on my new Nomad with Rohloff hub.

I think I ran through about 1/2 a 125ml bottle of Prolink chain lube on that 25 day tour, or about 60ml. Not sure how big the bottles you are referring to are.

Danneaux

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Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2012, 06:49:35 AM »
Hi Frank,

Thanks for sharing your experience. I've read Leonard Zinn's suggestion, but have never read an account by someone who had applied it in the desert, so your experience is new to me. I'm glad it worked out well for you, and look forward to hearing how it works on your Rohloff-equipped Thorn when you have the opportunity to take a similar tour on it. The concept is a bit like a total-loss oiling system ( http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Describe_the_operation_and_maintenance_of_total_loss_lubrication ) or an automatic chain oiler on a chainsaw.

I found a video by Leonard Zinn showing his oiling/cleaning method here: http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Clean-and-Lube-Your-Mountain-Bikes-Chain-516993545 , and found it interesting. One thing that concerns me about the Zinn video is wiping the outside of the chain doesn't catch the grit and dirt between the links and on the rollers where it contacts the gear teeth. At home, I have always been a "bug" about cleaning my chains so they are free of grit and then completely dried (compressed air) and freshly oiled afterward. While on-tour in the desert, I take care to brush grit off the outside of the chain, chainrings, and cogs with a cut-down toothbrush before re-oiling, taking extra care to clean between the links using a recycled mascara brush (thanks to a friend who gives me her old ones). It doesn't take much time to clear the dirt first, and leaves less behind to grind away on the gear teeth. I just store the brushes in a little zip-top baggie in my underseat bag where they'll be handy enough to actually use. My fenders and long front mudflap do a good job of preventing dirt from being thrown directly on the chain.

Did you apply the fresh Pro-Link to the inside run of chain (the gear side)? You mentioned the outside of the chain became pretty crusty with dust and dirt clinging to the oil...how did the chainrings and cog teeth appear? Were they washed pretty clean by the reapplications of oil, or did they develop a crust as well?

I read your initial account of your tour ( http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=3343.msg16856#msg16856 ) and how you mentioned...
Quote
the chain jammed when I backpedaled because the jockey wheels were all covered with grit.
Do you think think this might have been a side effect of the extra oil catching the dust and dirt?

Pro-Link is a lube many people seem happy with; reviews are generally enthusiastic. I haven't tried it myself, out of concern for its effect on polycarbonate plastics. I run Planet Bike polycarbonate fenders on some of my other bikes, and was a bit worried any slung Pro-Link might damage them, as some reports indicate. I pulled up the MSDS for Pro-Gold's Pro-Link chain lube here: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=pro-gold+prolink+msds&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hawleyusa.com%2Fthcstore%2FIncludes%2Fpdf%2FMSDS%2520Sheets%2Fprogold%2FLUBE3610.pdf&ei=QEU7T6HMIsm42wXi5ZDBCg&usg=AFQjCNGQFRttuVR3ZElTLs4veDJ0yW-i9g&cad=rja , and find it is composed primarily of naphthenic derivatives and Naphthalene, the main ingredient in old-fashioned mothballs ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naphthalene ) and aliphatic hydrocarbons. No wonder it dissolves polycarbonate. This can absorb quickly through skin and adversely affect health, so it might be a good idea to tuck in a pair of Nitrile gloves to protect your hands, as Leonard does in the video. You were wise to scrub your hands in the sand right away.

Thanks for the report! We all go about things in our own way, so it is always good to hear of other means and methods so we can weigh them in light of our own experiences.

Best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 07:06:35 AM by Danneaux »

revelo

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Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2012, 07:32:41 AM »
The only time my hands got dirty was when I had to remove the rear wheel and thus lift up the chain to free the derailleur. They didn't get dirty from chain oil when merely lubing the chain. I'm not too worried about poisonous chemicals in the oil.

I didn't bother wiping the chain after oiling like Zinn does because I don't want to carry a filthy rag around, not even filthy paper towels. Just apply some new oil on the chain (in the center of the links, since the rollers are what counts) and then rely on the constant flow of fresh oil to keep things lubricated and reasonably clean. I never noticed any crud on the cogs or chainwheels, other than after the rain made the sand sticky. Same thing with the jockey wheels. Water was what made sand stick to everything, not oil. Once the sand dried, it naturally fell off or could be easily brushed away. Also, desert sand is such a powerful degreaser that it was only towards the end of the trip, when I went a little overboard with the oiling, that the chain became oily to the touch. Early on, it was normally dry to the touch.

The grit on the jockey wheels and elsewhere in the derailleurs is just something you have to deal with in the desert, especially after rain makes everything sticky. Fenders might help some. And yes, you can brush the grit off, but then you have to carry a filthy brush around and constantly fiddle with cleaning things. Grit clogging the derailleur was the motivation for the Rohloff hub. Herr Rohloff was riding through the surf on a beach with a derailleur-equipped bike and his derailleur clogged when waves washed sand into the mechanism. With the internal hub, he can ride on the beach without problems. I'm a little leery of subjecting my bike hub to water like this, especially salt water. Unlike Herr Rohloff, I don't have ready access to a Rohloff service center.

BTW I'm sort of surprised you went with a Sherpa, since you mentioned something about touring the Great Basin area. The Rohloff hub fixes a lot of problems with derailleurs in the desert. At least as I see it, the only reason for an American to go to all the trouble and expense of buying from Thorn and having the bike shipped internationally, is to get the Rohloff hub in an expedition quality frame properly designed for a Rohloff hub. If I just wanted a top-notch expedition derailleur bike, there are plenty of American companies that can supply that. (I also don't understand why anyone would buy the Raven Tour instead of the Raven Nomad. The external gear box is so much better.)
Please see this link http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=3963.0 for discussion of internal / external click boxes

« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 12:38:18 PM by stutho »

il padrone

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Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2012, 10:24:40 AM »
I think I ran through about 1/2 a 125ml bottle of Prolink chain lube on that 25 day tour, or about 60ml. Not sure how big the bottles you are referring to are.
Yes, something similar in lube consumption then, or maybe a bit better. I had a 120ml bottle, so probably used ~80mls on the tour. This would have included the whole tour - 3500kms over 9 weeks. I began with an almost-full bottle.

I also don't understand why anyone would buy the Raven Tour instead of the Raven Nomad. The external gear box is so much better.
???

A friend of mine has the Raven Tour, and has it fitted with the Rohloff EX changer. Don't recall how he's arranged the torque arm, but definitely an external box.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 11:12:18 AM by il padrone »

jimmer

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Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2012, 01:41:27 AM »
Right ho, comrades, allow me to gently wrench us back to the topic. Just in from the shed having applied some of the skankiest available chainsaw oil to my chain. Itís been years since it was decanted into a combican so I have no idea who made it, only the price stood out. If this experiment works, at £12 for 5l my previously mooted enterprise has a sound cost base from which to take advantage of peoples' credulity.
Application was the biggest issue. A stiff snifter was required to steady the hands as I decanted the stuff from the combican into an empty squeezy bottle of Halfords bike lube (a legacy from when I knew no better, that said, this whole investigation could confound all our claimed expertise). I elected for a direct pour rather than through a funnel thinking that such sticky oil would take longer than Queensland pitch to pass through at such low temperatures. That long running experiment to demonstrate the extreme viscosity of some apparently solid materials suggests further experiments to home in on chain lube perfection, though bitumen may preserve chains only by immobilising them.
I applied a thin stream over the rollers and, as the stuff strings to a high degree, ran a little over the joints between the link plates in the vertical plane.

Left to itself for 10 minutes it appeared to penetrate between rollers and plates as well as any other oil Iíve used.

On turning the pedals, oil strings stretched from the moving chain to the chainwheel, like cheese off a slice of pizza, demonstrating tenacious adhesion, and excessive application rate.

Iíll be back to Cannock on Sunday morning in an attempt to remain mounted throughout the Monkey and will report on how the chain it fares with the fine grit found there.

Yours, James
 

Danneaux

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Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2012, 01:51:03 AM »
James!

Another terrific post from you, as usual! I look forward with greatest anticipation to the outcome of your experiments; this holds appeals on a price/volume basis, alone. If this works out and "Jim's Jooce" becomes available, please put me down for a crate, would you?

I have to admit my experiments with Mobil Bar & Chain Lube were not as successful as I had hoped, finding the oil tended to sling rather than stay, but I also suspect chainsaw lubes may vary widely from brand to brand. So, please keep us apprised! Even if the oil turns out to be is a failure, your humor is a great success, and surely brightens my day!

All the best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 01:55:58 AM by Danneaux »

macspud

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Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2012, 02:18:06 AM »
I haven't tried Chain saw chain oil on a bicycle but in the case of use with chain saw, the chain lube tank is topped up at the same time as topping up the fuel tank. the oil is continually pumped along the bar and on to the chain. The whole system is designed for the oil to be flung and that is why it is made of an Eco friendly biodegradable oil. As you say it is relatively cheap but I doubt it is great for the job.

JimK

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Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2012, 02:33:51 AM »
I've been using DuPont Teflon Chain lube. I don't have enough experience to provide any meaningful comparisons. I forget where I read about using this on bike chains. Anyway it seems to work!

http://www.amazon.com/DuPont-Teflon-Chain-Saver-Lubricant-CS0110101/dp/B003OBP63S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329528652&sr=8-1

Relayer

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Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2012, 10:06:53 AM »
I've been using Finish Line Cross Country lube for some years now, it hangs in there very well for a long time in a wet climate, downside is it grabs loads of grit/gunk and gets absolutely filthy.

I got a bottle of Oil of Rohloff but it washed away pretty quickly, so I went back to the good old gloopy/dirty stuff.   It may well shorten the life of my chain, but the cost of a new chain isn't excessive in my world.

stutho

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Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2012, 08:51:00 PM »
Relayer,

I have found the exact oposit with Rohloff chain oil it. i.e. It stick to the chain better than any other oil I know of.  It rain 200+ day a year here (Swansea is the wetest city in the UK) and this is why I when for Rohloff chain oil. 

I wonder why we are seeing a difference in performance?



(the deperesing true about Swanseas weatherhttp://www.weather2travel.com/climate-guides/united-kingdom/swansea.php)   

Relayer

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Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2012, 09:46:59 AM »
Hi Stutho

Maybe I didn't apply the Rohloff oil properly, I dripped the oil onto the rollers, but in a very short space of time the side plates became covered in surface rust.

Applying cross country lube (which comes out as a foam) across the rollers it gets everywhere.

Last year Scotland had its wettest summer for many years by some margin!

http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/uk/wettest_coldest_windiest_scots_weather_strikes_again_1_2031638

« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 09:56:56 AM by Relayer »

Danneaux

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Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2012, 10:13:41 AM »
Quote
Last year Scotland had its wettest summer for many years by some margin!

:stares: at photo of Largs promenade in the link you posted...The news story with it further noted,
Quote
the strongest gust of wind was 165mph, recorded at the summit of the Cairngorms on 8 December
Goodness, man! I thought we had it wet here in Oregon, and we had winds of 109mph January 18th at our little cabin in Yachats on the coast, but this is in a class far beyond.

How do you ever keep up with it when cycling in this continuously heavy rainfall, Relayer?!? You must surely have to re-lube the chain after every ride no matter what you use? Do you wipe down and relube the chain immediately after each ride, or do you just try to shake/wipe off the worst of it and relube as necessary? Are you near the coast as well? Do you have to park outside (say when commuting)?

Still shaking my head at that photo.... Wow.

Best,

Dan.