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    Running two chains.

    im loving my new BBSHD Anthem and since the build my regular factory hard tails remained parked up in the shed. I've already got about 1000klm on the clock and ever conscious of the power I'm putting through the chain and sprockets, I regularly lube the chain and remove and clean it every other week.
    Down at my local bike shop I noticed they use a bubbler cleaning system where they blow air through the solvent to clean parts. My light bulb moment came a bit later. Perhaps I could rig a similar system for cleaning my chain, and run a second chain. One off getting cleaned and deep lubed and the other on the bike, and aternate. Perhaps this would extend the life of the drive set up.
    Just posing the question. Does anyone bother running two chains and does it pay dividends in the long run.

    #2
    I abused a high-end 11speed driveline very badly. Shifting under power, bad alignment on the derailleur, lousy PAS settings, I stopped lubing them 'cus out here they just become dust magnets and I expect the dust is worse than no lube, applying way too much power at low RPM's (one of the really bad things I've learned) and ended up replacing the cassette, chain and chain ring at a bit over 2000mi for about $125.

    I've since learned from the errors of my ways and have addressed all those things except lubing the chain and have just accepted leaving it be. I bet I get a lot more than 2000mi this time around.

    Point being is that if I end up eating $125 even every 2000mi (and not plenty more) I don't see it as a big deal. Most drive lines are likely more robust than an 11speed and if you aren't hammering it like I did (I still climb very steep terrain, etc. I just make sure I've got a decent pedal cadence now) you will almost certainly spend less and get more mileage than I....

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      #3
      Thanks AZ you articulated the flip side of the coin very well. Is the effort worth the reward. Possibly easier to simply pay the bucks. If I can locate a solvent cleaner at the right price though I might still consider it for the convenience of swapping over the chains when cleaning is required.

      Comment


      • AZguy
        AZguy commented
        Editing a comment
        I use white gas when I bother... it's inexpensive and leaves no residue but if I use it then I'll lube after and out here I'm experimenting with neglect since there's so much dust <cough cough>

      #4
      Most cyclists over-lube, which - as suggested - just jams more crap into the chain. I run them with the new sticky stuff on them for a while, then clean and add a light lube very infrequently. Your results will vary for dirt riding, but this works for me on the street..I hate gunked up chains and cassettes.

      Comment


        #5
        Thanks for the input here guys. I guess the fundamental question is the overall life of a typical chain compared to the life span of a sprocket set. I was thinking a chain would typically wear our prior to the sprockets. Perhaps running two chains alternately you might dramatically extend the life of both. Since I remove and clean the chain anyway my overall workload wouldn't increase.
        From my old dirt bike days when o ring technology first hit the market I recall chain life extended dramatically. Thinking along these lines,
        perhaps there's some value in submersing the alternate chain in paraffin or some similar lubricant during its spell off the bike.
        I might give it a run and let you know the outcome. I've got access to turbine kerosene so reckon I'll start using that as my degreaser.

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          #6
          On my DRZ400 dirt bike I use a lube system that is just a small container with a simple needle valve tap to control the flow and use a very light oil, the oil flings off taking the dirt and grit with it, I use about 150ml of Auto Trans Fluid over a day of riding, 250klm or so of mostly dirt in rocky and gritty conditions, at the end of the day the chain is still mostly clean, I then use a solvent based degreaser, Gulf Western Degreaser, $100 for 20 ltrs and clean the back end after a ride and re-oil the lot with ATF, works for me really well.

          ..
          My Rides: DRZ400e setup for ADV, I love it, An old Hardtail MTB with a BBSHD

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            #7
            I'll keep you posted. Purchased my second chain today and fitted it for my ride to work. I'm looking for a ultrasonic cleaner next, which I intend to use with kero as the cleaning agent. Third purchase will be an old croc pot cooker where I intend to melt paraffin wax and a handful of moli powder to immerse my chains.A crazy plan but it might just work.

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              #8
              That sounds like an good idea, I'll be following this.
              Paraffin wax is meant to be excellent, almost as good as the sticky gunk (hot melt grease?) the chain comes with according to what I have read in books and from the Sheldon Brown website.
              The wax gets into all the moving parts, does not evaporate or attract dirt in use and provides more protection than oil.

              The chain my non-electric 8 speed bike came with wore out and began skipping in approximately 600 miles of riding on dusty tracks with no real lubing during that time, wearing the sprocket out too. I'd never known a chain wear out so fast.
              Once I put the hub motor on, it lasted 2600 miles of neglect before it finally snapped , but I did allot of heavy pedaling along with the motor.

              New decent branded chains and/or sprockets for 7/8 speed can be had for £5 - £15 on ebay so worth replacing regularly if you have an expensive fancy crank sprocket like the lekkie bling ring.
              You might not notice the wear as the sprocket wears with the chain and then a new chain will skip on the old sprocket.
              If you change the chain even sooner then the sprocket life can be preserved, but I normally overshoot this point and end up having to replace both, in the process damaging my crank chain ring a bit.

              Comment


                #9
                hi eBik. My thoughts exactly. I've got a 10speed cluster on the rear and a bling Ring up front, about $200 Aus. The 10speed chains are lighter than the old 8 speed units and now I,m asking it to pull loads in excess of 3 times their rated design levels. So plan at end of the day is to alternate two well lubed chains and see how well they go. I typically commute about 200klm each week so hopefully the effort invested will pay dividends in the long run.

                Comment


                  #10
                  It's been a couple of weeks now and I think I've stumbled upon the elixir of chain life. Paraffin wax treatment coupled with ultrasonic cleaning. I'd love to claim credit but I basically copied this bloke. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gF9nbwsaSHs The whole set up cost me less that $200 Aus for the Ultrasonic cleaner, rice cooker and a lifetimes supply of Paraffin wax. Bottom line, I'm running two chains now and changing them over each week. (about 250klm) Every second week I'll retreat both chains in a hot bath of hot paraffin wax.
                  Now I thought I always had a well maintained, lubricated chain, but this is a whole new level. The chain just spins so freely, silently and smooth gear changes and hopefully this will translate into extended chain and drive train life. This must be the benefit of the lubricant getting right inside the chain rollers. Furthermore, the chain seems to remain clean and not pick up dust and dirt with the paraffin wax.
                  I've also ordered some Mollibnium Solphate powder from ebay, and will try incorporating this in my wax bath when it arrives.
                  The only down side I can see is the bench space occupied by the cleaner and rice cooker. Otherwise it's a very easy process, (approximately 2 beers) waiting for the ultrasonic cleaner and paraffin bath to do their thing.

                  Comment


                    #11
                    Originally posted by Hard Tail View Post
                    It's been a couple of weeks now and I think I've stumbled upon the elixir of chain life. Paraffin wax treatment coupled with ultrasonic cleaning. I'd love to claim credit but I basically copied this bloke. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gF9nbwsaSHs The whole set up cost me less that $200 Aus for the Ultrasonic cleaner, rice cooker and a lifetimes supply of Paraffin wax. Bottom line, I'm running two chains now and changing them over each week. (about 250klm) Every second week I'll retreat both chains in a hot bath of hot paraffin wax.
                    Now I thought I always had a well maintained, lubricated chain, but this is a whole new level. The chain just spins so freely, silently and smooth gear changes and hopefully this will translate into extended chain and drive train life. This must be the benefit of the lubricant getting right inside the chain rollers. Furthermore, the chain seems to remain clean and not pick up dust and dirt with the paraffin wax.
                    I've also ordered some Mollibnium Solphate powder from ebay, and will try incorporating this in my wax bath when it arrives.
                    The only down side I can see is the bench space occupied by the cleaner and rice cooker. Otherwise it's a very easy process, (approximately 2 beers) waiting for the ultrasonic cleaner and paraffin bath to do their thing.
                    I"m interested to see how you do with this. I switched to waxing last spring and used it all through the dry season. While my chain stayed much cleaner, I'm not sure it really bought me more life. Hard to tell, since dirtiness of conditions is such a variable, etc. So, more data points are of interest.

                    I'm trying wet lubes this winter, again, and actually did do a LOT worse than my last waxed chains, but also less life than ever before. I suspect that's because I'm using real high torque, more, due to having heavy wet snow on the ground a lot lately, high loads. Maybe the change from wax back to oils is a large factor, I can't tell. Not a well controlled experiment, just trying different things, hoping to pull a bunch more miles out of a chain, then try same again and hope it continues.

                    Good luck, I hope you see a significant improvement.
                    Fabrication is fun! Build something today. Show someone. Let them help. Inspire and share. Spread the desire.

                    Comment


                      #12
                      Hi Hardtail, I'd like to give this a try but what wax did you get ??

                      I found 2 types, 50deg and 60-62deg melting points

                      ..
                      My Rides: DRZ400e setup for ADV, I love it, An old Hardtail MTB with a BBSHD

                      Comment


                      • JPLabs
                        JPLabs commented
                        Editing a comment
                        FYI there are recipes out there, too. I mixed my own. It should be a little softer for cold use, harder for warm. So it smears instead of chipping off, basically - that's the advice I found and it seems right. Too hard, it can flake off, and this depends upon temperature.

                        Mine's paraffin wax, Teflon lubricant, kerosene, a little synthetic gear oil and Krytox oil for good luck, and it's solid at room temp but you can smear it with a thumbnail, not chip it. Kept in a pan, melted on a hot plate.

                        For re-lubing between hot dips, I also have a bottle of the above, dissolved in Xylene, which I can squirt on the chain and then light on fire as I spin the pedals, to quickly burn off the solvent. That nicely warms the chain and coats it just like a hot dip. I need to occasionally blow it out with the air gun, before bike catches fire, but aside from that minor inconvenience, it works great!

                        Ha. Probably shouldn't try that yourself.

                      #13
                      That's Funny, I think I'll give the flaming chain a miss though, down in AU the temps are never going to get that low so I'll use the high temp paraffin and try a few additives just for fun

                      Thanks...
                      My Rides: DRZ400e setup for ADV, I love it, An old Hardtail MTB with a BBSHD

                      Comment


                        #14
                        Hi JPLabs and Felix. I've got to say from the start, I'm not doing anything new here, just adopting other people's methods.
                        The stoty so far. I'm just using pure paraffin wax at the moment. I purchased this from one of those artistic candle making outlets. A 5kg slab of pure paraffin wax for $35aus. ( I keep getting spam for scented candles now) I mixed the wax in a rice cooker with paraffin oil. Basically, I believe the main advantage with this method is the fact you're submersing the chain in heated lubricant that then penetrates right inside the rollers.
                        Now stage two. I've ordered molybdenum sulfide and PTFE powder and will add this to my wax bath. I've been reading the Jason Smith Friction Fact web site for this idea. Basically, paraffin wax with moly and PTFE is the scientifically proven optimum chain lube. It's primarilly for road racers where they can achieve a 15 watt advantage with this method. I'm doing it though because I'm conscious of the strain I'm placing on my chain during my commute and want an easy way of maintaining it. By running two chains that I alternate each week. Every fortnight I'll fire up my ultrasonics cleaner and rice cooker and retreat them both. All very easy whilst I consume beer.

                        Comment


                        • JPLabs
                          JPLabs commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Cool, thanks for the details. I use hot dip for my first cleaning, then once or twice more within chain life. Also with ultrasonic clean. Liquid wax for re lube between dips.

                          For those without ultrasonic cleaners, there's a study someplace (Sheldon Brown site?) showing shaking the chain in a plastic tub of solvent works as well. A second smaller tub with drain holes is placed inside, so grit can settle out below the chain.

                          Just doing this in any old margarine tub is my old method, then I'd blow off the residue.

                        • AZguy
                          AZguy commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I do the same - a cheap plastic food storage container just the right size for the chain (about 6-7" sq ?) and ridges on the bottom to let the grit settle. I just use white gas for solvent and hang the chain next to the new one to dry a bit although I'm not the least bit OCD about it drying completely.

                          When I lubed my previous chains I just put a small drop on each pin/bush - takes a minute or two. I'm going to see what happens if I don't lube at all though. I expect it to not last as long but you never know with all the dust out here and to me $30 extra per year or two for accelerated chain wear isn't enough to sweat.... and like I say, out here with all the dust, lube may not be my best friend...

                        #15
                        Originally posted by Hard Tail View Post
                        I keep getting spam for scented candles now
                        LOL, I know the exact place, spammers must die .....


                        My Rides: DRZ400e setup for ADV, I love it, An old Hardtail MTB with a BBSHD

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