Sound is the best way to determine when lube should be reapplied. I take a new chain, degrease it and hot wax it. I’m of the opinion that degreasing is mostly unnecessary, save for the following scenarios: The perfect amount of lube is enough to overcome the resistance set forth by the rollers, plates, and pins, and prevent rust to those parts, without attracting excessive dirt. Ballpark Tire and Suspension Inflation in One with the Topeak... Mountain Bike Deals to Make Winter Suck Less. Leave chain on bike, attach chain cleaning machine, run chain through machine, wipe dry(I guess), clean mess off of rest of bike, re lube. A bicycle chain needs lubricant to overcome mechanical resistance, prevent rust and wear, and keep your drivetrain in tip-top condition. For some, this means re-applying lube every day, while for others, it may be once a month or more. Now that you have all your cleaning materials, simply follow our steps here in order to clean your mountain bike: Remove the wheels and clean them separately. Dry lubes typically require a few hours to set up, while a wet lube needs less. A mountain bike will “shine” in the mud, but on a paved road it will be blown away by a road bike – and vice-versa. I like White Lightning Clean Ride for that. If not taking chain off of bike, try to protect tire from spills. Changing the chain on your mountain bike is relatively easy if you have a little experience maintaining bikes. Degreasers are for removing oil/grease from chains – general bike cleaning sprays are just to help break down road dirt/grime. A toothbrush works well along with plenty of elbow grease (see what I did there?). While it’s possible the new lube penetrates the chain and sets up properly, it is also very likely that it will not, and will become suspended by old lube. Spray lube Goes on thick, dries clear, lasts a long time, and doesn’t collect much dirt. Over-lubricating … Grip a segment of the chain with the cleanser-soaked rag and hold it gently but firmly. As there is no cookbook recipe, use the following as a guide to explore what works best for you. I’m assuming the picture was sort of a tongue-in-cheek sentiment. The latter will not effectively clean a chain… A forum community dedicated to Mountain Bike owners and enthusiasts. Why? In addition to keeping the bike moving smoothly, oiling the chain frequently will help remove debris from your chain. It is much more convenient than switching to a wet lube. Note: the intricacies of chain lube use is a topic of much debate among mountain bikers. Bike Chain Lube Unlike grease Bike Lube (also Chain Lube) are not paste but liquid, lubes are often found to replace lubrications where oil previously would've been used. The steel used for the chain is, of course, prone to rust in even the mildest of watery conditions and brine is a much more aggressive agent of corrosion. I'm not saying you're wrong for using "homebrew", but I'm trying to understand the appeal of it versus the exisiting products. If it is dirty, the lube will work the dirt into the moving parts of the chain, which accelerates chain wear. Singletracks Merch | It doesn’t hurt anything if you get it on your bike, smells not so bad, and is (supposedly) not bad for the environment…and it’s fairly cheap. The Moots Womble: A Titanium Hardtail That's Designed to Rip... when switching from dry to wet lube (or vice versa). Over-lubing can also be detrimental, as excess lube attracts dirt, forming a gritty paste which grinds down chain components and other drivetrain bits. 7 trailside fixes every cyclist should know 11 tools every home bike mechanic should own Five sneaky bike marketing terms you shouldn't trust … Of course, as you mentioned, chain’s sound is the best indicator when relubing is required. The little bottles of oil from the bike shop are fine too, but they're expensive and I … VerticalScope Inc., 111 Peter, Suite 901, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1, Canada. Look for a master link in your chain, which is a special link with a slot in it to connect the 2 ends of the chain. Routine use of degreaser on a chain prior to application of fresh lube as best practice is debatable. Most sources recommend some amount of wait time between application and tearing off into the sunset. Seems like there are generic version on the market nowdays so you might be able to find it in Mongolia. That said, there are some basic differences between types of lube that suit certain conditions. Whether your mountain bike is dirty, wet or dry, you can rely on the Boeshield T-9 to lubricate, deep clean and protect your chain from corrosion and rust. A common reason the chain slips is too much build up on the sprockets. It is important that you have a clean mountain bike chain before you apply bicycle lube to it. Author of this text usually uses either motor oil, or chain saw bar oil, diluted in diesel fuel to achieve required “thickness” – for autumn pouring rain, I prefer thicker oil. Rain, snow, and slushy roads can wash away dry lube on a bike chain. Straight chainsaw oil (chain and bar lube) is very thick and sticky and tends to attract and hold dirt. Living in Mongolia I don’t have any bike specific products like this available. I use 5W 20 Amsoil - because I always have a little left over from changing the oil in my car. Goes on thin, dries to chain to reduce dirt sticking, can wash away quickly. Squirt is my lube of choice for the same reasons you mention. If I apply it every other ride, is there any real difference in lifetime or performance? I find the photo associated with the article funny. As expansive as the chain lube market is and because drivetrain maintenance rituals differ so greatly, I don’t advocate one lube over another. To use it on a bike chain mix it about 1 part oil to 4 parts mineral spirits in a small squirt bottle. It ensures the hardworking moving parts of your bike chain are able to move smoothly past each other, it helps stop the chain wearing down or rusting, and … Slowly run the chain up and down the cassette to help distribute the lube as far down into the rollers and pins as possible. Wipe off excess lubricant with a clean, dry rag. Changing between types of lube is a case where using a degreaser may be warranted. Just run the chain backward several spins. Relubricate the links from time to time with a chain lubricant. I’m sure someone’s cousin’s roomate’s uncle has been using motor oil since Repack and maybe, in a pinch, you’ve even shot some WD-40 with no issue, but generic and household products are not long-term solutions for keeping your chain in proper order. How Often do you Bleed Your Hydraulic MTB Brakes? If you go too long without cleaning your bike it will build up enough that it will cause your chain to slip. The only way I could see light motor oil working well would be on a road bike or winter snow/Ice riding. I went thru many different lubes, including motor oil once and ATF, but for past three years using Dumond Tech Original. Throw some shop towels in the car and develop the habit of wiping down your chain after every ride. Welcome to off-road.cc's guide to the best chain lubes for mountain and gravel bikes. I'm doing that on my road bike. Wet lubes typically require a second wipe, so remember to hit it again with a rag at the trailhead. Now, use your free hand to pedal backward, until the entirety of the chain has been run through the rag and wiped off. I was skeptical at first, but now I don't see the point in trying anything else. I'm familiar with the benefits of synthetic lubricants in an automotive application. Hey can anyone recommend some good degreasers? I need to replace chains frequently, but I’m always really happy when I do….. Nope, but unless you have the time, patience, an obsession with chemistry experiments, or think The Man is trying to keep you down, what’s the point in not using a bike-specific lube? Historically, the discussion surrounding types of lubes have revolved around using wet lube in wet conditions and dry lube in dry conditions, but these are simply guidelines. Drive train stays really clean, and not collecting the sandy loam on the gears really helps extend their life. That said, if you’re in a pinch, squirt it on, wipe it down, and get going! Use chain lube that matches your conditions, wipe off excess after application, and allow at least a few hours for the lube to set up. Not a problem for its intended use but not so good for bike chains or other parts. Motor oil is a perfectly good lubricant for a bike chain. With a clean, dry rag, grip the chain and back pedal, wiping off excess lube. Come join the discussion about bike parts, components, deals, performance, modifications, classifieds, trails, troubleshooting, maintenance, and more! And during the couple of short times of year when it can be wet, I just apply it more often. Agreed Greg. And of course we have no way of evaluating who benefits more from these specific products - us or the maker. This bike lube flushes out the dirt and grime exceptionally well, with many users noting just how much gunk came off their bikes during their first use. Using a dry lube in February riding Vancouver, B.C.’s North Shore won’t disintegrate your chain anymore than a wet lube will in Moab, but you must appreciate the limits of each lube, what they’re best suited for, and adjust your maintenance habits to get the most out of any particular lube. While strict wet and dry lubes mark the extremes of lube types, many manufacturers market options in between, such as lubes for wet and dry conditions, 2-in-1 self-cleaning lubes, one for on-road and one for off, and… the list goes on. Good article. IMBA Epics | Cooking oil for my bike chain. Shake off the flakes, and install. Widgets, Explore   Taking care and providing timely maintenance to the bike chain is important to achieve a smooth riding experience, improve the longevity of the bike components, and save you money from needing … Wet lube isn’t necessary if you’re going to be riding in dry weather conditions, and it attracts more dirt than dry lube. First, turn your bike upside down or place it in a bike rack. While it is by no means comprehensive, here’s a list of many well-respected bicycle-specific chain lube brands to get you started: Your Turn: Share your favorite chain lube, or favorite lubing technique/time interval, with us in the comments section below! JavaScript is disabled. For most day in, day out maintenance, simply wiping down the chain with a dry rag or scrubbing the chain with a dry toothbrush between every ride and before application of fresh lube will suffice. There are car products here; could those be too strong? Remove it and let it cool. Then, repeat. Dry lube has a lighter consistency, goes on wet, and then dries, leaving behind a protective, lubricating layer (wax, Teflon, ceramic). Mind you, not fresh but used engine oil. That’s exactly what small-time roadside cycle repairers do. Don't go too light because you don't want to have it flying off . Enter your email address to receive our top stories via email each week. @mongeolf, carb cleaner, acetone or gasoline will work best. Time - I'm guessing at least 30 minutes and probably more. Singletracks may receive compensation for purchases made through affiliate links in this article. In order to limit the amount of wear on the chain and sprockets caused by this friction, you need to regularly lubricate your chain. Use the de-greaser to remove old grease, lubricant and muck from the sprockets, chain rings, chain, derailleur and pulley wheels. MMMM liquid sandpaper! And the best part is, you can do it all at home with the right supplies and some basic knowledge. Because it’s available for free and does the work. Triflow is my go-to lube. New chains come packaged with some sort of lubricant and, although some are excessively slimy and sticky, attracting way more dirt than any lube I’ve used, they can be used without degreasing and lubing. [1] X Research source You can find bike lubes of all kinds online or at your local bike shop.Step 2, Use a dry lube if you live in an arid climate. You don’t have to use bike-specific lube, but you should. Very late to the discussion, but I use Simple Green (diluted). As your bicycle chain turns around the gear sprockets and pedal cranks, it creates friction. The question of how often should I degrease and lube my bike chain is a common question, especially when beginning. Apply an hour before every ride. While degreaser rids the chain of grime, it also strips it of the very substance your chain needs. I've been using the Mike T method for over a year now. In our country, dry works best. Most lubes unlike are now engineered better, providing lubrication whilst not collecting dirt, and grime and continuing to wash rain off while riding. It just works so good and is dirt cheap. Add lube to your chain : Choose a bike lubricant that’s right for the conditions. Wet lube. These wet and dry lubes have all been tried and tested by us in all conditions and have received a score of over four out of five in their review. Agree with most everything, no one brand/style lube perfect for all. Sunenlyst Bike Chain Oiler Lubricator, Portable Bicycle Chain Gear Oiler Roller, Green Roller Lube Oil Maintenance Tool for All Kinds of Bikes, Such as Mountain, City, Folding 4.4 out of … When using degreaser, you need something that reaches every nook and cranny of the chain, as that is where bicycle-specific lube is made to penetrate. Start by applying one drop per link (each roller) as you back pedal the chain through the drivetrain, and take note where you started to avoid redundant lubing. A lubricated chain will move with less resistance and the lube will prevent dirt from building up. Problem for its intended use but not so good and is dirt cheap, rust... Understand about `` homebrew is a matter of personal experiment with less and. 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