Author Topic: Chain Lub  (Read 26439 times)

Relayer

  • Guest
Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2012, 12:04:52 PM »
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)?

Hi Dan

I am actually relatively lucky being on the East coast, we don't get as much rainfall as those in the West (it's possible Stutho might actually get more rain in Swansea than we do in Edinburgh).   

I generally don't set off on the bike when it's raining, if it starts after I'm out then that's OK. This meant though that the amount of miles I got on the bike last year was very disapponting and I am hoping for considerably more this year. 

The cross country lube is very tenacious stuff and does stay on for quite a while; but maybe I'd better put my name down for some "Jim's Jooce" as well! 

Regards.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 12:13:00 PM by Relayer »

StuntPilot

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 435
    • Tour on a Bike
Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2012, 08:52:22 PM »
Hi All

When I was looking for a chain lube I came across 'Squirt Lube'. I spoke to the guys at Alpine Bikes at Glentress (a big local mountain bike centre with a LOT of mud and rain) ...

http://www.7stanesmountainbiking.com/Glentress---Innerleithen

They recommended Squirt Lube. They have at lease 120 mountain bikes for hire in daily use in some pretty extreme conditions. A wipe with a towel and application of the Squirt Lube is all they do to service the chains on a daily basis. I bought a bottle and like it. It is a multi-wax dry lube that sheds dirt, water and dust. So far I am happy with it and seems to live up to its claims.

Here is a link to the company ...

http://www.squirtlube.com/

Also have used Purple Extreme and love it too!

« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 07:43:22 PM by StuntPilot »

martinf

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 985
Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #32 on: April 04, 2012, 09:57:10 AM »
Presently, having bought a wholesale lot of X8s, I'm running an experiment to see how far the factory lube on a chain, highly spoken of by Sheldon Brown, will carry me without any lube being added. Currently at 600km without any visible ill effects.

On my trip from Southern Brittany to Spain/Portugal and back in October 2011, I fitted a new KMC Z8RB chain before leaving. I ran it on the original lube for the first 6 days of the tour, 1027 kms without adding any lube. First 4 days down the west of France were on clean dry roads, more or less flat. 5th day was lumpier, but still clean dry roads. 6th day was wet, lumpy and I used some tracks, so the chain was rough by the end of the day. Chain gauge showed 0.075 wear, so I took the first chain off and fitted the new spare chain I was carrying.

Retrospectively, this was a mistake, because the new chain immediately picked up a lot of red sandy dust on an off-road stretch. This second chain only lasted me to Portugal, 663 kms and 6 days, dry weather but with a lot of dust on some of the tracks I used. From the first day I did my normal "wipe off as much muck as possible then oil" regime. By the time I got to Bragança, the chain had started skipping on some of the sprockets and the chain gauge showed over 0.1 wear.

I put the 1st chain back on again, it did me for 2 more days and 203 kms before it too went over the 0.1 wear mark.

I bought a new Shimano chain in La Baneza, this did my for the hilliest part of the trip through the Picos de Europa (lots of lowest gear climbs) and back to France. Again, I used the original lube for the first 3 days until rain + dust made the chain feel a bit rough.  This chain did 840 kms and 8 days till worn out.

4th chain for this trip was a SRAM. This lasted for the mainly flat ride till I got back to Brittany, but was worn out at the end of the trip, this time not because of any hills but due to the combination of 2 days of rain + sandy cycle tracks on the French Atlantic coast. It did 713 kms and 5 days.

I used an old steel 1980's mountain bike for the trip, converted for touring with racks, drop bars and Marathon Supreme tyres. Before leaving I fitted a new cassette with 34T sprocket, plus a 24T stainless steel inner ring. One bad feature of the bike was the U-brake - in wet weather this sprays muck onto the chain area. In the hilly bits I used the lowest 24x34 gear a lot, so this probably also accelerated chain wear.

For local use I generally get 2500-4000 kms out of a regularly-cleaned chain on this bike. For my 3335 km trip in a mainly hilly area with a months luggage I reckoned I would need 2 chains, but actually used 4.

Only other mechanical issues were a dented rim after hitting a pothole at speed, and a cracked ball bearing in one pedal. I didn't need to do anything about either problem till the end of the trip. No punctures, and I didn't even need to use the spare brake pads I had packed.


jags

  • Guest
Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #33 on: April 04, 2012, 12:18:57 PM »
lads just came across this oil and by all accounts it's the dog's
chain-L chain lube .anyone here using it . ;)

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8039
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #34 on: April 04, 2012, 04:48:52 PM »
Quote
I used an old steel 1980's mountain bike for the trip, converted for touring...
Hi Martin,

Often, the '80s MTBs has remarkably good touring geometry, and there's any number of conversions that have worked well for people as heavy-touring bikes. I"m glad yours went well, and you had a great time. Man! What a wonderful trip; I'm glad you were able to take it.

Thanks for sharing your chain-wear experiences. I'm currently on the original lube for my Thorn-supplied chain, and am doing well so far. This is a bit of an experiment for me as well, as I generally have always used the factory lube till the first clean (yes, in a solvent dash tank, followed by a compressed air-dry), then replaced the lubricant entirely. Chains treated by me in this way have always lasted well and given great service life, so we'll see how this goes in comparison. It is still quiet, and so far still clean.

When I do go for a relube, I'll be trying the Purple Extreme at Pete's suggestion. Playing with it and speaking with the company head at great length, I find it impressive, but the proof will be in my actual use. I have filled a sample bottle to the brim and carry it in a small zip-top bag in my Ortlieb underseat bag where I can readily access it at the first sign of chain dryness.

Much will depend on where I ride. In the desert, the biggest problem I face is talc-fine playa dust blowing its way into every possible nook and cranny, a bit like th ered-sandy dust you encountered. In The Netherlands, the problem was the sand roads, particularly along the North Sea, where they also contained a fair amount of accumulated salt. When wet, it firmed up and you could ride on it with no problem. When dry, it just churned and was carried conveyer-beltlike by the tires, where it then sifted down on the chain. Yeah, there's a lot of similar sand there in western France on the cycle tracks.

Chain life in this use doesn't look too good, given the actual distance traveled; your local use with regular cleaning and lubing sounds much more typical. Looking back on it, do you think the use of original lube was a greater factor, or the lack of cleaning/environmental effects...or both (I'm guessing the latter, both)?

Thanks for the report!

Best,

Dan.

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8039
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #35 on: April 04, 2012, 04:54:58 PM »
The Cospea/Stronglight looks magnificent mounted, Andre; nice job on seeing it through, and a nice job on the photography.
Quote
the Amars are thinking of appearing on a Thorn
Is this what we might think of as "foreshadowing"? How long till we reach this chapter in the story?

Best,

Dan.

Andre Jute

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3821
Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #36 on: April 04, 2012, 04:55:15 PM »
As I reported in February:

Presently, having bought a wholesale lot of X8s, I'm running an experiment to see how far the factory lube on a chain, highly spoken of by Sheldon Brown, will carry me without any lube being added. Currently at 600km without any visible ill effects. (When this experiment runs out, I'll fit my new crankset and stainless chain ring.)

Andre Jute

The weather and a turn in hospital delayed further riding and also photography but I've now managed to take some photographs which tell the story.



This KMC X8 chain has been operated for 700km with only the lube with which it came from the factory. Sheldon Brown claimed that the factory lube would be good for 700 miles, so this chain has done about 5/8 that distance, and of course inside an enclosing chain case, rather than exposed to the elements and to dust in the air as is more normal on a touring bike.

However, I would say subjectively, that the Amar steel chain wheel, on which the paint was hardly scarred after 4600km when the old, regularly lubed, chain wore enough to replace, appears to be wearing faster under the chain with only the factory lube. The Amar was chosen to be a cheap temporary item which proved so attractive and effective and long-lasting, I kept it well beyond the original intention of swapping it out for something more prestigious in a hundred klicks or two. It is not surprising the top-notch KMC X8 chain preferred to wear the chain wheel rather than wear itself... (Not claiming that a subjective snapshot is conclusive, of course.)



The Hebie Chainglider is clean inside. Nothing has been flung off into it. The inside of the chain looks clean enough too. For purposes of comparison, I wore out the previous chain inside this Hebie Chainglider at 4605km, and that one was lubed from the beginning with Oil of Rohloff at intervals of 500km and then, when that proved superfluous, at intervals of 1000km whether it needed lubing or not; this figure (perhaps not impressive by comparison with some of the claims of ultra-distance chains on this board) is in itself twice as long as any other chain ever lasted on any bike with me.



Net result, after 700km, no visible or measurable wear on the chain, and evidence of wear on the chainring small enough to be qualified as "subjective". Not a conclusive test. Frankly, on the evidence plain to see in the photographs, I doubt that anything conclusive will be seen in under three or four times this distance, with only factory lube, say 2000 to 3000km. (We can conclude that Sheldon was right, that factory lube is "excellent" as he said, and that it will easily make 700m with no other lube added — but that's hardly a surprise: Sheldon wasn't often wrong!)



I've now replaced the Amar crankset with Stronglight Impact Double/Sugino Cospea cranks and a Surly stainless steel chainring, while retaining the KMC X8 chain which has already travelled 700km without any additional lube. No new lube has been added, and the chain hasn't been cleaned. The Hebie Chainglider has also been retained; I have no appetite for speeding up wear artificially merely for an experiment, which would undoubtedly be the effect of removing the chain case. I'll run it like this for another few hundred klicks just to see if there is any wear, and whether it is preferential (I expect the stainless steel chainring to wear the steel chain rather than the other way round as with the Amar/KMC combination). Those Phlllips vintage block pedals are not for sale, sorry.

Even more speculatively, this test if carried forward, and specifically as I have carried it forward, with best quality chains and stainless chainrings, see above, and see also Martin F's post on 12 February, may well offer evidence in favour of the "don't ever lube, the factory lube is good for the life of the chain" school of thought, especially when the grinding bits are run inside a chain case. It certainly offers an encomium to the Hebie Chainglider, but then we already knew that it is the best of the chain cases available.



The Amar crankset has been honourably retired to live in the Stronglight box, together with the 131mm Kinex bottom bracket required to make a Rohloff chain line of 54mmm, the crank equivalent of moving into a MacMillions Mansion...



... and, having moved so far upmarket, the Amars are thinking of appearing on a Thorn.

I am Andre Jute and I approve of this message.
MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT, VOTE DANNEAUX FOR PRESIDENT, VOTE THE STRAIGHT BICYCLE PARTY TICKET
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 05:07:22 PM by Hobbes »

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8039
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #37 on: April 04, 2012, 05:06:20 PM »
Quote
lads just came across this oil...chain-L chain lube...anyone here using it
jags,
I have not yet used it, but the reviews on their site sound good (they would!). See:
http://www.chain-l.com/index.html
They describe it as a mineral oil with extreme-pressure additives. They also describe it as thick, and needing time to soak-in, with the excess wiped off till no oil-stringing can be seen coming off the derailleur pulleys. Always good advice. It sounds a bit like Phil Tenacious Oil from the general description, but they claim a unique formula. Like most lubricants marketed to cyclists, it is incredibly expensive on a per-volume basis.

I'd sure be interested to hear user experience with this lube. As mentioned, the testimonials and reports on the manufacturer's site sound good, but that is to be expected.

Best,

Dan.

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8039
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #38 on: April 04, 2012, 05:12:29 PM »
Ooh, Andre; I may have won already, but thanks for the campaign endorsement! Thanks to a hiccup in Thorn's server, my response appears before your post -- a true Wrinkle In Time (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Wrinkle_in_Time).

Ooooweeeeooooo.  :o

Best,

Tesseract Danneaux.

martinf

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 985
Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #39 on: April 04, 2012, 05:53:11 PM »
Looking back on it, do you think the use of original lube was a greater factor, or the lack of cleaning/environmental effects...or both (I'm guessing the latter, both)?
I reckon inadequate cleaning/environmental effects, plus extra force from mountain climbing with luggage. Don't reckon the type of lube had much effect. U-brake is definitely a bad thing for chain life.

Looking very seriously at getting a a Rohloff-equipped bike for any future long tours I do . Much easier to wipe 1 chainring and 1 sprocket clean than try and clean a 21-speed derailleur transmission.

In addition to the old mountain bike, I have an even older 650B-tyred commuter that gets used locally in all weathers. I converted this to a 5-speed hub. Compared with the old mountain bike in local use, chain life on this bike is typically 2-3 times better, often over 8000 kms. Maintenance needs doing less often, and is much quicker.

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8039
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #40 on: April 04, 2012, 07:10:06 PM »
Quote
I have an even older 650B-tyred commuter that gets used locally in all weathers. I converted this to a 5-speed hub
Thanks for the followup, Martin. I do believe -- just as you've found -- modern, narrow derailleur chains exhibit greater wear and poorer service life regardless of lube or use than the older, 5-speed chains. There just isn't as much bearing surface area, and wear seems commensurately high. 9-sp chains seem particularly bad in this regard, especially when used with cross-chain combinations (which of course force the chain to run at greater lateral deflection and so should be avoided).

I would expect any chain to have a greater service life on a Rohloff hub, thanks to the single cog and chainring and a perfectly straight chainline allowing for no chain deflection. The environmental protection afforded by Andre's chain case is icing on the cake and must surely be a bicycle chain's vision of heaven.

Quote
Looking very seriously at getting a a Rohloff-equipped bike for any future long tours I do
I predict happiness and success, Martin!

Best,

Dan.

Andre Jute

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3821
Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #41 on: April 05, 2012, 12:11:02 AM »
On my trip from Southern Brittany to Spain/Portugal and back in October 2011, I fitted a new KMC Z8RB chain before leaving. I ran it on the original lube for the first 6 days of the tour, 1027 kms without adding any lube. First 4 days down the west of France were on clean dry roads, more or less flat. 5th day was lumpier, but still clean dry roads. 6th day was wet, lumpy and I used some tracks, so the chain was rough by the end of the day. Chain gauge showed 0.075 wear, so I took the first chain off and fitted the new spare chain I was carrying.

I've just today seen your post, Martin. The KMC Z and X chains are a smart choice for almost anyone: I think they're better than other chains by a larger proportion than their price is higher, and your experience proves it again. -- Andre Jute

martinf

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 985
Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #42 on: April 05, 2012, 07:30:00 AM »
Thanks for the followup, Martin. I do believe -- just as you've found -- modern, narrow derailleur chains exhibit greater wear and poorer service life regardless of lube or use than the older, 5-speed chains.

Precision - 5 speed hub gear, so using 1/8" chains on that bike. Not sure whether increased chain life is affected by the different chain construction between 1/8" single speed type and 3/32" derailleur chains or just by the absence of derailleurs, perfect chain line, and cleaner environment due to being further from the ground.

Did seem to get very slightly longer wear from the old 1970's 5-speed derailleur chains as compared to the more recent and more flexible 7/8 speed chains, but if it exists, the difference is much less significant than between hub gear and derailleur, might just be due to generally better chain lines with fewer rear sprockets rather than chain construction.

I have avoided derailleur gears with more than 8 sprockets on grounds of cost, more complicated maintenance and overkill of number of different gears.

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8039
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #43 on: April 05, 2012, 07:44:02 AM »
Quote
5 speed hub gear, so using 1/8" chains on that bike.
Ah, got it; For some reason, I was thinking derailleurs and mentally substituted 5-sp freewheel (I still have a few of those) for 5-speed internally-geared hub when I read it. Thanks, Martin, that makes more sense now.

I do think my past outstanding derailleur chain life was/is due to my half-step gearing, where my favorite and most-used gear combos had nearly straight chainlines. Yes, the move to 9-sp cassettes meant the adoption of narrow chains, but also the loss of half-step gearing (no front derailleurs will handle the 2-tooth middle/high chainring difference required with a 9-sp cassette).

Mourning the old days of half-step gearing,

"Must adjust", Dan.

martinf

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 985
Re: Chain Lub
« Reply #44 on: April 05, 2012, 08:16:45 AM »
I've just today seen your post, Martin. The KMC Z and X chains are a smart choice for almost anyone: I think they're better than other chains by a larger proportion than their price is higher, and your experience proves it again. -- Andre Jute
Not in my experience. I have had 4 KMC Z8RB chains and overall they don't seem to wear better or worse than the cheapest locally available chain (SRAM PC 830 at the moment). I find brand and model don't seem to make much difference to wear, except for some Shimano chains in the 1970's that had bowed outer link plates that actually did seem to stretch (so-called chain stretch is due to wear in pins and rollers).

I think weather conditions and where I ride (sandy tracks, mud or nice clean tarmac) are the main factors for chain wear and mask any chain quality differences. This would probably not apply with a chaincase. Regular cleaning can help if the transmission picks up a lot of muck, but I generally just wipe as much dirt off as possible and re-oil when touring. I get better chain wear for local use because when necessary I can remove the chain, clean it and the sprockets/chainrings/derailleurs properly and relubricate.

I avoid modern Shimano chains when I can get an alternative (there wasn't an alternative in La Baneza) because I don't like the special rivet they say is necessary for rejoining the chain after splitting. I quite like the nickel-plated chains (SRAM PC890 is an example) as I have the impression dirt doesn't stick to them so easily and that they are easier to scrub clean, but haven't noticed any real wear advantage.

I also gave up on quick links (SRAM powerlink and similar) as I have had 2 come apart in use, and also occasionally needed to use pliers to separate them on very dirty chains. I don't carry pliers in my touring tool kit but do now carry a small chain breaker tool, necessary to cut the chain to the right length if buying one on tour. Not had problems breaking and joining KMC or SRAM 8-speed chains.