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.
mtn. biking 101
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.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    19

    Using cutterbar lube for the chain

    I have a bottle of Valvoline chain and cutterbar lube, is it alright to use on my bike chain?

  2. #2
    A wheelist
    Reputation: Mike T.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,573
    Quote Originally Posted by kataclysm
    I have a bottle of Valvoline chain and cutterbar lube, is it alright to use on my bike chain?
    Sure it is but I would suggest a modification to it. Many of us use what we call "Homebrew" (do a Search here for it). Really the only good lube on a chain is lube on the inside - between the pins and the rollers. Lube on the outside just attracts dirt and that makes a fine grinding paste.

    Straight oil tends not to flow into the tiny gaps that lead to the chain interior so we need to thin it down so that it gets there easier. We use a thinner, or carrier, that later evaporates and leaves behind the oil in its original viscosity. Mostly we use Mineral Spirits. This is the same stuff that paintbrushes are cleaned with.

    I personally use a 50/50 mixture; some other people use a variety of ratios. I mix it up and store it in a large jar and use a normal chain lube bottle to apply one drop per link.

    As the only good chain lube is the stuff inside the chain, and the stuff outside the chain picks up dirt, I do this - I first clean the chain by backpedaling it through a WD-40 heavily sprayed old towel. This cuts any old dirt. Then I apply one drop of Homebrew per link and repeat the above step, only this time with a dry towel, to remove as much oil as possible. Then I let the bike sit overnight.

    The next day I repeat the first step with a lightly-sprayed towel and remove all outside oil.

    All the above has worked perfectly for me for probably a couple of decades. This way, with Homebrew, we get about two litres of chain lube for less than the price of one dinky bottle of the store-bought stuff.
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    974
    I like white lightening. It can get a little gummy at the derailleur, so you'll have to clean that up every now and then. But it's a cleaner lube that is wax based and won't attract dirt. My cassette is shiny every ride.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    521
    Bar & Chain lube will work fine (it's actually really close in consistency to Phil Woods Tenacious Oil) but it is messier than most bike lubes.
    When I've used it, even with a well wiped down chain I find some does get flung onto the driveside spokes and rim. Not a big problem as it wipes off with a rag but a concern for some...
    It does seem to require less frequent re-application than thinner bike specific chain lubes (Prolink for example) which is a plus.

    If you ride in a dry, dusty environment though you might want to look into a dry type lube like mlepito suggested instead of an oil-based wet lube.

  5. #5
    No good in rock gardens..
    Reputation: Sideknob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    3,824
    Wet lubes are a crap magnet.
    My Cannondale Lefty keeps failing....

  6. #6
    A wheelist
    Reputation: Mike T.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,573
    Quote Originally Posted by Sideknob
    Wet lubes are a crap magnet.
    That's only true for people who don't know how to simply manage them. Two minutes maintenance once a week proves you wrong.
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,905
    id rather use dry lube, spray a bunch of the crap on, lazily wipe it down with whatevers close by, and enjoy a quiet, dry, smooth chain. a 10 dollar bottle of prolink still lasts a month or so.

    its bone dry dusty summertime here! even the best wiped off dry lubed chain picks up tons of dust! i cant imagine a ride after a wet lube like that.

  8. #8
    A wheelist
    Reputation: Mike T.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,573
    Quote Originally Posted by tomsmoto
    its bone dry dusty summertime here! even the best wiped off dry lubed chain picks up tons of dust! i cant imagine a ride after a wet lube like that.
    Horsefeathers. My correctly applied Homebrew (NO excess lube on the outside of the chain, it's all inside where it's supposed to be) is as clean as a whistle. All my rides on my cyclocross bike are on dusty dirt/gravel roads. As I keep saying, it's how you apply & maintain it. Slop it on and it's gonna pick up dust.
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,905
    my bone dry frame, wheels, tires, shoes, helmet, under the seat, camelback etc all are just covered in dust after riding some days. none of those have lube, doesnt even need lube to stick to it, i just dont see how anything is going to keep dust from sticking, especially something thats already sticky to begin with. bring it home, quick wipe with dry lube and its ready to ride again. avoids the whole two rags, wd40, drying overnight shenanigans.

  10. #10
    A wheelist
    Reputation: Mike T.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,573
    Quote Originally Posted by tomsmoto
    my bone dry frame, wheels, tires, shoes, helmet, under the seat, camelback etc all are just covered in dust after riding some days. none of those have lube, doesnt even need lube to stick to it, i just dont see how anything is going to keep dust from sticking, especially something thats already sticky to begin with. bring it home, quick wipe with dry lube and its ready to ride again. avoids the whole two rags, wd40, drying overnight shenanigans.
    All my cyclocross bike is covered in dust too. You stick to your lube Tom and I'll stick to mine. I've tried ALL types of lubes including (for many years) the waxy types. I'll stick to what I know works best for me.
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    5

    Try this and let me know what you think

    I can offer another option. I've been using Kano Labs Molyfilm dry lubricant. In our local dry summer sandy dusty conditions this stuff outlasts wet lube and doesn't pick up a lot of crap. I haven't cleaned or lubed the chain in a dozen or so rides and everything works fine. Under wet conditions I simply apply more often. I've found it to be a very economical alternative. You can only buy it direct.

  12. #12
    No good in rock gardens..
    Reputation: Sideknob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    3,824
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T.
    That's only true for people who don't know how to simply manage them. Two minutes maintenance once a week proves you wrong.
    Nope. Like you said, you stick to the lube that works for you, I'll stick to what works for me. 14 years and I've yet to find a wet lube that's good for more than one ride, even in average conditions. In summer, you might as well coat your chain with honey.

    I ran some of my Finish Line Extreme wet lube the other day, that the LBS recommended - it's not even all that dusty here and after only a couple of hours my chain was caked with grit.

    Wax lubes are better IMO.
    My Cannondale Lefty keeps failing....

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •