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Old 09-03-2011, 02:56 AM
BarelyAWake's Avatar
BarelyAWake BarelyAWake is offline
Motorized Bicycle Elite Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Maine
Posts: 7,212
Default Re: Chain lube and rust

There's an old saying, wet lube for a wet environment & a dry for dry & it seems to hold much truth...

In a dry environment, wet lubes will attract all sorts of grit & dirt whereas in a wet environment it's much more a challenge to keep contaminants out of the inside of the rollers, where dry lubes normally don't penetrate as well - generally wet lubes work a little better, dry ones are cleaner.

I've used them all lol, I do prefer the waxy, paraffin based stuff (sprays on wet, then drys to a film), in the summer it does seem to last a bit longer & is a lot cleaner, but greater care must be used to be sure the pins & rollers are well lubed... but the sunny summertime isn't the problem - jus' about any lube will do, it seems to be only how frequently you need to maintain it.

It's the winters that slay me - or more precisely the salt and far worse, the sodium chloride/calcium chloride mix they're using now.

Doesn't matter what I use it seems, regardless of quality, type or brand, in the salty slushy & with the frequency & miles I ride - my chain rusts out in two to four days... and I'm not talking about a little bit of spot rust, I'm talking about seized plates and rollers & a chain that looks like it's been at the bottom of the ocean for years >.<

So, in desperation I've developed a somewhat tedious, time consuming & messy method that does help to prolong my chain's life - instead of two to four days before locking up, it grants me a whole two weeks - which may not seem like much, but it defo saves on lube & chain lol

I take all the chains off, flush them thoroughly in my parts washer, shake out the kerosene & hit 'em with some brake cleaner to get 'em as clean and dry as possible (first time winter prep), then I let them sit overnight in a coffee can filled with a quality bar & chain oil (normally for chainsaws), the next day I pull 'em out and wipe all the excess B&C oil off, then (and this is the tedious bit) I carefully pack each roller & plate with a good, marine grade heavy bearing grease & lightly wipe it down again to get just some of the excess off.

I would never recommend this to others as it's stupid overkill under most riding conditions and it will instantly attract all sortsa road grime & grit... but I suspect winters in Maine aren't "most riding conditions" and the benefits help me immensely, the B&C oil is thick & sticky, but letting it sit overnight allows it to seep in deep into the pins & rollers and while the bearing grease would never manage to penetrate as far, it helps to keep the oil in and the salty water out while protecting the side plates as well.

Once that's been done I can usually get away with just a quick oil & grease wipe down every two weeks or so w/o removing the chain, depending on conditions ofc. After roughly two months it could use a bit more, but I usually tell it to shut up & deal & just give it another shot of B&C & grease, I don't care that much lol

I love the summer months & paraffin lube... blarg it's September again already >.<

Last edited by BarelyAWake; 09-03-2011 at 03:03 AM.
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