1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
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  1. #1
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    Chain Lubrication Frequency

    Quick question,

    If I'm just using my bike during the week to get too and from campus, streets most of the way with a short dirt path if it's nice out, how often should I clean and lube my chain?

    Using Tri-Flow lube, ride is at most 20 min round trip, and its a pretty dry area (except when it rains )

    Right now I'm just cleaning it on the weekends, but I wanted to know what you all thought.

    Thanks,
    Dave

  2. #2
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    Should be fine. Quick inspection will tell if it needs cleaned. Otherwise I would think if that is all you are riding cleaning and lubing once a week more than enough.

  3. #3
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    That's what I was thinking.

    Thanks for the quick response!

  4. #4
    local jackass
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    thats fine im lazy about it on my bike and still have no issues
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  5. #5
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    if you ever hear your chain making noise, you aren't doing t often enough. IMO, tri-flow isn't that great of a lube. If you really are concerned about it you can use chainsaw bar oil or the stuff frequently advertised here, chain-L. If using either of these as lube it'll last a long, long time. Just wipe the chain clean once a week or so.

  6. #6
    Cholla Magnent
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsimp1712
    Quick question,

    If I'm just using my bike during the week to get too and from campus, streets most of the way with a short dirt path if it's nice out, how often should I clean and lube my chain?

    Using Tri-Flow lube, ride is at most 20 min round trip, and its a pretty dry area (except when it rains )

    Right now I'm just cleaning it on the weekends, but I wanted to know what you all thought.

    Thanks,
    Dave
    You are riding in Pullman? Your legs will get strong! I used to live there while my wife got her graduate degree from WSU.
    Go Cougs!
    Cholla Magnet

  7. #7
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    To the advice on chainsaw oil:
    I'm planning to get a jug after I use up the small bottles of this I have. Seems that a lot of people use that. Just figured if I could use this up first as I'm just getting started in the sport. I like the sound of the chainsaw oil better, like you said it seems that it will be better and last longer.

    To Rzar:
    Yes sir, even just commuting in Pullman has been doing work on my legs. Any chance you remember any good trails? Most people seem to go to Moscow Mountain, but if you remember anything else let me know. Nice to here from a former Pullman-ite.
    GO COUGS!

  8. #8
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    First I have heard of using chainsaw lube on a bike chain. Sounds like a damn good economical idea. Plus I have a gallon of it in my basement. Are there any negatives to doing this?

  9. #9
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    Here's a link to 2 reviews on Chainsaw oil, the first one gives some info on how to apply it.

    http://www.mtbr.com/cat/accessories/...68_131crx.aspx

    Anyway, from what I've read on here people say it's a great cheap alternative. You just have to get the chain clean first (obviously) and then wipe off excess. Although I haven't used it yet so I don't know of any major disadvantages. I think some said it can be stickier than other stuff, but as long you really take care to wipe it and clean when crap gets in it should be fine. Again, I haven't used it yet, this is just what I've gathered from reading about it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsimp1712
    Here's a link to 2 reviews on Chainsaw oil, the first one gives some info on how to apply it.

    http://www.mtbr.com/cat/accessories/...68_131crx.aspx

    Anyway, from what I've read on here people say it's a great cheap alternative. You just have to get the chain clean first (obviously) and then wipe off excess. Although I haven't used it yet so I don't know of any major disadvantages. I think some said it can be stickier than other stuff, but as long you really take care to wipe it and clean when crap gets in it should be fine. Again, I haven't used it yet, this is just what I've gathered from reading about it.
    FYI most of us who do a fair amount of sawing merely use straight 30 weight oil

  11. #11
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    Really interesting. So what about using motor oil? Heavier weight stuff but not as heavy/sticky as chainsaw lube? Would the detergents and additives in motor oil be an issue I wonder? I figure chainsaw lube does not have this since it is used simply to lubricate and help cool the chain rather than clean the internals of an engine.

  12. #12
    Riding or Drumming
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    If just for your commuter bike, I'd go Chainsaw lube. It's a mess off-road if continually dusty but in-town would lube great and last a long time.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster
    Really interesting. So what about using motor oil? Heavier weight stuff but not as heavy/sticky as chainsaw lube? Would the detergents and additives in motor oil be an issue I wonder? I figure chainsaw lube does not have this since it is used simply to lubricate and help cool the chain rather than clean the internals of an engine.
    I just lube with motor oil, dono if its the best or not, but my chain seems to stay fairly tacky.

    With that said I used to have a fun park, and the absolute best lube I used on the gokart chain was hands down a basic Napa chain and cable lube, I tried all kinds of lube and again, that was without a doubt the best, and one of the dirtiest, that I had found.

  14. #14
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    It's actually not desirable for the chain to stay tacky. They wear out when dirt, steel particles and sometimes carbon get onto the surfaces that move against each other. They add to the friction and grind away at the surfaces, releasing more steel particles and making the problem worse.

    If there was a "perfect" chain lube, it would be something that applied wet, so that it flushed out the insides of the rollers when you lubricated, and then wasn't sticky but stayed on the friction surfaces. I realize that second part is an oxymoron, and that's where people get into huge arguments about what lubricant is better.

    I use Pedro's Road Rage on my road bike and White Lightning Clean Ride on my others. Road Rage is an oil and stays on longer but gets really dirty eventually. Or quite quickly if I ride in dirty places. Clean Ride, which used to be Race Day before they messed up all the names, dries to a wax, so it tends to stay cleaner. However, it doesn't last as long, especially on a wet day.

    I keep a rag where I keep my bike and drag my chain through it after almost every ride. It only takes a few seconds and I think my chains have been staying a lot cleaner for a lot longer since I started doing that. I never take my chains off for cleaning.

    Lately, I'm curious about the lubricants on McMaster. Has anyone ever tried either of these?

    http://www.mcmaster.com/#chain-lubricants/=6imax4

    They're purpose-mixed chain lubricants, but come in much greater quantities and much lower prices.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  15. #15
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    Can't speak for chain saw lube, but motor oil is bad... If your running in a wet environment I would suggest looking into a dry lube. Over the last few years I've had good luck with a few wax based lubes. The chain stays fairly clean after trips into the mud and lasts for over 1100mi.

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