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Anyone using or have tried a 'dry' or wax chain lube?

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    #16
    I don't have enough kms on it yet to know honestly. But cleaner forsure

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      #17
      The sticky feel you describe sounds exactly like how a new KMC chain comes. And the mountain bike community argues quite a bit over that. You have the strip that crap off immediately crowd and the use it as is and apply lube as normal crowd. Both sides are adamant in their stance on the subject.
      I tend to be in the camp of leave the factory lube in place and lube the chain in my usual manner. It's tacky but not really fly strip sticky.
      It's damn near impossible to get the thicker lubes to go into the tiny clearances in a chain but it's easy to wash it all out.
      I've never been one to worry about the messiness of my chain lube. As a kid riding BMX my pants all had chain stains. As a mountain biker I always had the big chainring to keep the chain off my leg. On my e bike I have the bafang chain guard in place to save my pants. And I don't commute on the bike, but even if I did I work construction and grease stains wouldn't really detract from the appearance of my work pants.
      I have been known to use thick motor oil additives like those offered by STP and Lucas to lube chains, thin them with a low flash solvent and you have instant "wet" lube. But before the e bike, my go to was always 3 in one oil and my 20 year old Specialized had the same chain, chainrings, and cassette for thousands of miles.
      I am trying out some Finishline "dry" lube that's supposed to be for e bikes(with no clear description for why) ...But it was cheaper than other varieties and Ican be a cheapskate at times. It has moly, goes on wet, and drys in a few hours. I am going with a dry lube because I want as little chance for oil to reach my disk brake as possible. We'll see how the new KMC X8 chain does with it. But it does leave the dreaded black stain, though it seems to wipe off my hands easy enough. Almost like a dry moly lube.


      One thing I have wondered is why no e bike lubes have ZDDP in them? It's an amazing high pressure lubricant. Basically a liquid zinc that leaves a coating that lasts for quite a while. It is what kept flat tappet lifters from failing in automotive engines. It took years for tappet failures to start after EPA rules caused most oil manufacturers to stop using it.
      Maybe I'll try some on a chain.
      Last edited by Dshue; 02-03-2021, 10:58 PM.

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      • Retrorockit
        Retrorockit commented
        Editing a comment
        I think the ZDDP was needed for the sliding contact under high pressure that mechanical lifters provide. I think it went away due to contaminating catalytic converters. It may have stayed around a bit longer in diesel truck oils. But most engines I've seen lately( retired so not that many) have gone to roller type cam followers.

      #18
      The squirt wax feels different than the factory lube but it does make me wonder if there is some wax like component in the factory lube.

      Do we know what the magic ingredient is in e bike lube? It always seems to cost more? Is it any different or do they just figure we had the money for an E bike so we can afford a little more for a different sticker?

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      • Dshue
        Dshue commented
        Editing a comment
        I can't see anywhere on the package that specifies why it's "e bike" lube but in my case it was cheaper so I got it. I have no expectations of it being any different than any other "dry" lube.

      #19
      How much does this magic stuff cost? Hopefully not more than the chain LOL...

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      • 73Eldo
        73Eldo commented
        Editing a comment
        The Squirt 4oz (mid size for them) bottles are around $15 so about 3x the cost of a typical chain lube. If I was using a bottle per week or maybe even month it would be a concern but at this point I'm thinking with 2 bikes I should get at least 6 months per bottle so not a huge factor in the grand scheme of things.

      #20
      I found this article comparing various chain lubricant types, and wax is well regarded, both hot and drip methods are covered.
      https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/buy...s/chain-lubes/
      Unfortunately new chains come with oil in them. To get the full benefits of wax lube it should be removed.
      Last edited by Retrorockit; 02-04-2021, 06:55 AM.

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        #21
        There is a thing called a Hebie Chainglider which is a DIY chain case for single speed and IGH bikes. Then you could run the wet lubes and keep the dirt off also. Chain cases are pretty common on European commuter bikes.
        https://www.hebie.de/en/protection/c...ainglider/350/

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          #22
          Long article on bicycle chains, lubes, etc. https://cyclingtips.com/2019/12/the-...ciency-tested/

          I mostly point to this when people think wider (7, 8, 9sp) chains are stronger or more durable than higher speed (11 or 12 primarily)... but it's on topic here and has lots of info


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          • Retrorockit
            Retrorockit commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for that AZ. I did a deep dive there(followed many links) and have an idea for what I need to do from now on. Pre strip the factory lube out of my new 8SE chains, melt wax them once, and drip lube the riveted chain with Squirt etc. from then on.
            One thing I did come across is that KMCs chain grease, or metal treatment seems to repel the wax based lubes even after stripping.Hmmmmm.
            One thing there is that all bicycle chains have an 8000Nm industrial standard tensile strength rating, but the Germans have a higher 9200Nm standard.
            Last edited by Retrorockit; 02-05-2021, 10:20 AM.

          #23
          Someone asked if high end lubes cost more than the chains, and some of the stuff racers use does cost more. 70-100 Pounds or Euros depend one who and where you ask. They test them at a known power level on Peleton or similar bike treadmills, and can calculate how many seconds it will be worth in a 1 hour time trial. 10 seconds there can change your career in pro cycling.

          Comment


          • Retrorockit
            Retrorockit commented
            Editing a comment
            It's possible that KMC is using castor oil vegetable based, lube which is known to penetrate metal and be hard to remove. It might even be baked in.

          #24
          IMNSHO: Factory lubrication & anti-corrosion coatings are the best and nothing beats a nice new chain.
          MV


          Ref. : Machinery Lubrication - chain lubrication best practices

          Lubrication Effects on Chain Operation



          The majority of chain drives and conveyors will perform better and last longer when timely and adequate lubrication is provided. One rule-of-thumb is that proper lubrication can extend chain life by as much as 100 times (Figure 3).

          Last edited by Mike_V; 02-09-2021, 04:39 PM.

          Comment


          • Retrorockit
            Retrorockit commented
            Editing a comment
            Industrial chain drives can be anything from pristine enclosed drives with oil baths to exposed chains in sand or other abrasive environments.
            Of course either extreme could apply to a bicycle in some situations.

          • Mike_V
            Mike_V commented
            Editing a comment
            This graph is design data, non specific motive application, and for choosing chain drive in any environment displaying either ' No Lube ' or ' Lube '.
            After seeing this: I just buy a new KMC chain whenever required.
            Last edited by Mike_V; 02-09-2021, 04:43 PM. Reason: Buy chain, work

          • AZguy
            AZguy commented
            Editing a comment
            I wasn't going to comment on this since it appears to me that it is oriented towards machinery operated indoors that has little bearing on bicycles...

            But I just noticed the math... when the wear percent in the factory lube only chain reaches 0.5% or so the chain has been operated for about 300hrs... 300hrs at a generous 20mph = 6000mi and even if a conservative 10mph = 3000mi... I'd take that!!! =]

          #25
          After consulting with various cycling experts on the wax vs grease question, I'm now arguing with myself about what to do next. LOL.

          Comment


            #26
            I think it really depends on what your goal is.

            Comment


            • Retrorockit
              Retrorockit commented
              Editing a comment
              I've settled on riveted chains, and that makes me want a lube that will hang in there a while as far as stripping and soaking a chain. External lube I like the squirt wax.The experts seem to agree on having a few chains prepped, and rotate them out regularly. Weekly seems to be the consensus there.
              Watt weenies like wax. But you have to strip the lube out of the chain to get there, and then old wax is hard to remove.It doesn't waterproof like oil based lubes,
              but repels grit better and doesn't rub off on everything it touches.
              Oil based lubes keep the water out. Can be removed easier, which will come in handy because they trap grit. In a commuter situation it can destroy clothing with permanent stains. Of course there are various chain guards to prevent that.
              One of the advantages of a BBSHD is not having to spend all my time working on the bike. Right now I just install a new Wippermann 8SE and regularly lube the outside with wax and run it until it stretches .5mm. I might try some less expensive chains and see what happens. I'm sure if I invest more time into cleaning and lubing chains they will last longer. But as a retired truck mechanic I'm kind of through spending all my time greasing things.

            • 73Eldo
              73Eldo commented
              Editing a comment
              Ya same here on not wanting to spend a lot of time. I can handle spending a minute or so every couple rides but I have zero interest in investing much more time screwing around with a chain. I'm not sure what was on my bike when I got it, it looked like Shimano to me. What ever it is seemed to last pretty long based on the physical wear I could see on the sides of the links presumably from shifting. My replacements are $40 Shimano lower-mid level I think. Not enough miles yet to really know. Below zero F all week so too cold for me.

            • AZguy
              AZguy commented
              Editing a comment
              Just shy of 3000mi on shimano hg-701 ($30) and just shy of 1.5mm overall stretch - will replace soon... only apply lube before significant rides or when it looks like it needs it... takes about two minutes...

            #27
            With the warmer weather and getting more miles on I will say that I still like the Squirt lube. I have been riding in wet salty conditions and have not seen any signs of rust or stuck links on the chain. I'm lazy so I have not been washing my bike down after a ride or even applying more lube. Yesterday before a ride was the first time I put any on since I prepped the chains off the bike. I think its been about 100 miles on the one bike so I figured especially with the wet salt it was time for a re application.

            Its not total magic so you don't get any black if you touch the chain but its no where near as bad as the regular lube and seems to wipe off easily with a dry rag and doesn't seem to stain things like regular lube did which was one of the main features that got me to try it. If its no worse lube quality than others and its cleaner I'm totally willing to pay a little more, its maybe gonna cost me an extra $20 per year over a standard lube but I may save that in gloves, rags, and stains on cloths.

            I did notice after an application there is a little build up in some places like the fist jockey wheel the fresh lube hits when you are applying it but for the most part it seems to fall off on its own when you ride. I have not noticed any stuck to anything or on the ground so when it comes off it must not be sticky or I would expect to see some on the chain stay or maybe rims. Any that doesn't come off on its own is easily flicked off with any sort of too. You don't need to dig in and scrape like the build up you get with regular lube.

            Comment


            • Retrorockit
              Retrorockit commented
              Editing a comment
              That's been pretty much my experience too.

            #28
            Remember how I said I didn't see any rust? And I had been riding in very wet salty conditions? And that I am lazy? Well the bike I have been riding the last couple weeks is fine. The one I last rode on a very wet and salty day a few weeks ago and literally put it away wet and snow covered did have some rusty spots on the chain. Wasn't stiff and the rollers even still turned easily. Rust darn near wiped off with a dry tooth brush. Applied another coat of the magic low temp stuff and all seemed Ok. With the last riding conditions and how I treated it I suspect there could have been some rust with regular lube too.

            Days we are only in the 40s F but next time they need some lube I will likely switch to the standard weather E bike formula. I got the E bike stuff because just a bottle of low temp wasn't enough to get free shipping and the place that had the low temp stuff didn't have the regular in stock but they had the E so what the heck its got to be more betterer right?

            Comment


              #29
              Geez, glad we don't deal with salt although the water here is silly hard and somewhat brackish =]

              OTOH we deal with tons of very abrasive fine dust... and of course silly heat - although that's more concern for electrics than chains... Heck, it's still winter - I was out riding yesterday and it was pushing 32°C (~90°F)... I hope we don't have another brutal summer like last year's...

              Comment


                #30
                I'm also with AzGuy. A bicycle chain is way cheap compared to motorcycle chain where you really should replace chain/sprockets as a set. I have no problem using a PTFE dry lube on my chain, and packing a spare one around.

                Jose

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