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  1. #1
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    Best chain lube?

    What type of chain lube do you all recommend? I've been told that Yelo Velo (X-tra Dry lube and Milky White) makes the best one and I've also been recommended MUC OFF USA (Wet/Dry chain lube). Has anyone used these on their chains? How often should you lube the chain and anywhere else? Ever other ride?

    Thanks...

  2. #2
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    Your chain will tell you when it needs to be lubed, the are a ton of lubes out there. In my experience it depends on the conditions that you ride in on how long between lubes. If i am riding in dry dusty conditions and my chain starts squeeking I know I have went to long. I generally lube up every couple of rides if it is dry or else after every wash. I use some of the white lightning products And purple extreme
    Last edited by Live2rideUtah; 05-29-2012 at 12:09 PM.

  3. #3
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    This has nothing to do with the "29er components" forum.....why post it here?
    Mike
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  4. #4
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    I like Rock n Roll Gold.

    I do my chain often (probably every other ride).

    Use as directed ... liberally ... and wipe down. Every once in a while I twist up the paper towel and go between the links.

    Clean drivetrain = long life.

    SPP
    Rigid.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swerny View Post
    This has nothing to do with the "29er components" forum.....why post it here?
    cuz 26" lube is incompatible

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan GSR View Post
    cuz 26" lube is incompatible
    I find both White Lightning and Remington teflon gun oil are compatible even with 650b
    Mountain bike with 15k miles, Road bike with 10k miles, breaking in my 29er by riding the entire AZ Trail

  7. #7
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    I use Rock n Roll Extreme

  8. #8
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    Synthetic motor oil. You chose the weight to suit your riding.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev. 14 View Post
    What type of chain lube do you all recommend? I've been told that Yelo Velo (X-tra Dry lube and Milky White) makes the best one and I've also been recommended MUC OFF USA (Wet/Dry chain lube). Has anyone used these on their chains? How often should you lube the chain and anywhere else? Ever other ride?

    Thanks...
    There is no one best lube....just lubes that work well in your conditions...

    Triflow Teflon works in the summer and dry for me.....Pedro Ice wax surprisingly works well in winter...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    There is no one best lube....just lubes that work well in your conditions...
    This.

    Ask at your LBS to see what they recommend for your conditions. Local knowledge counts for a lot.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swerny View Post
    This has nothing to do with the "29er components" forum.....why post it here?
    Sorry made a mistake putting it here. Thank you for moving it...

  12. #12
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    The search function should bring up at least a dozen threads with the same subject since it gets regurgitated on a regular basis.

  13. #13
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    I use "K-Y Yours + Mine Couples Lubricant". I apply the blue bottle (his) to the chainring and the purple bottle (hers) on the chain. The lubrication will heighten during peak physical strain.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by poowilliams View Post
    I use "K-Y Yours + Mine Couples Lubricant". I apply the blue bottle (his) to the chainring and the purple bottle (hers) on the chain. The lubrication will heighten during peak physical strain.
    I stepped out of line at the drug store to pick some up. It gets warm when they mix.

    The perfect winter lube to keep the chain and jockey wheels from freezing.

  15. #15
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    Bacon Fat for me.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  16. #16
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah View Post
    Synthetic motor oil. You chose the weight to suit your riding.
    I use 10W40. Easy starting in cold weather, and appropriate for high speeds on hot days, too.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    I use 10W40. Easy starting in cold weather, and appropriate for high speeds on hot days, too.
    Make fun if you must, but it's the best bang for your buck and it works. Just buy a bottle of Brand "X" bicycle chain lube, and when it's empty refill with syn. motor oil. One quart lasts a long time.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    There is no one best lube....just lubes that work well in your conditions...
    Agreed.

    I currently use Phil's Tenacious Oil for road and paved trails. I used White Lightening for a couple of months in dirt trails, which was great, but I wasn't happy having to reapply it so frequently.

    I, like many others, wish I could have the lube that comes on the chain. Not as sticky as oil and lasts quite a bit longer.

  19. #19
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah View Post
    Make fun if you must, but it's the best bang for your buck and it works. Just buy a bottle of Brand "X" bicycle chain lube, and when it's empty refill with syn. motor oil. One quart lasts a long time.
    no, i really do use it. sometimes straight, sometimes thinned out a bit.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    no, i really do use it. sometimes straight, sometimes thinned out a bit.
    Nice. My bad.

  21. #21
    Zero Miles from Myself
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    ProGold ProLink.

    OP ... perhaps using the reviews pages would help you decide.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrm1 View Post
    ProGold ProLink.

    OP ... perhaps using the reviews pages would help you decide.
    konahonzo

  23. #23
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    I avoid these threads because I have an obvious bias.

    But there's no one chain lube that will work best for everyone. That's because even though chains are basically all the same, outside conditions vary tremendously by area, season, and they type of riding you do. A lube formulated to work best in the clay of the east, may attract too much dust in the dry areas out west.

    There's also the issue of what properties the owner values most, whether he prefers a great looking chain, or to spend less time working on his bike.

    My suggestion is to go the chain lube section of product reviews on this forum, choose the top few rated lubes with a decent number of reviews, than read the reviews focusing on those from reviewers describing riding conditions similar to yours. That should help you narrow down the many choices to a short list of two or three, then try one, and if not pleased try another.

    Most experienced riders have tried a number of lubes before settling on a long term favorite, others have more than one favorite depending on the bike or season.

    So don't expect to pick a winner your first time out, but decide what properties you value and work your way to one that best meets your needs.
    fb
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    The key to solving any problem is to understand and address the underlying cause.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I avoid these threads because I have an obvious bias.

    But there's no one chain lube that will work best for everyone. That's because even though chains are basically all the same, outside conditions vary tremendously by area, season, and they type of riding you do. A lube formulated to work best in the clay of the east, may attract too much dust in the dry areas out west.

    There's also the issue of what properties the owner values most, whether he prefers a great looking chain, or to spend less time working on his bike.

    My suggestion is to go the chain lube section of product reviews on this forum, choose the top few rated lubes with a decent number of reviews, than read the reviews focusing on those from reviewers describing riding conditions similar to yours. That should help you narrow down the many choices to a short list of two or three, then try one, and if not pleased try another.

    Most experienced riders have tried a number of lubes before settling on a long term favorite, others have more than one favorite depending on the bike or season.

    So don't expect to pick a winner your first time out, but decide what properties you value and work your way to one that best meets your needs.
    He said what I said ... only with bigger words !! Great idea.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    There's also the issue of what properties the owner values most, whether he prefers a great looking chain, or to spend less time working on his bike
    Frank makes a great point here. I use the lube that I do because it is forgiving and lasts a long time and I can just grab the bike and ride without having to worry too often about whether I've lubed it recently. The lube does ok on the looks front too, for me, but it's the longevity that drives the decision for me.

    Back when I was still using various Teflon-based dry lubes, I always made a point to use plain old oil wet lubes on neighbor bikes whenever I worked on them. That was the right choice for my friends who never actually lube their chains themselves. I'd give them the best start that I could by giving them the longest-lasting lube that I could.

  26. #26
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    Dumonde or nothing for me. You will not ever find lube that settles (rock&roll, W.Lightning etc) in my box either.

  27. #27
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    If you like Dumonde lube you will love LillyLube, give it a try. The best lube I have ever used.

  28. #28
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    So I recently started using Squirt on my mountain bike. I use it on my road bike and works well. I figured I'd give it a shot with the new chain.

    I'm getting clumps of gunk on the chainring. In the pic...you can see the clumps of gunk below the teeth. It was worse before. There were chunks before I brushed most of it off. The Squirt leaves a sticky residue behind. It isn't an issue on the road bike, but with the dirt...it just clumps up.

    Best chain lube?-xx1.jpg

  29. #29
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    I also have the Sram XX1 on my Pivot 429c 29er, you won't get any of that with Lilly Lube. Its very slick without the greasy feel, use it the night before ride wipe it good for best results and great it wet weather!!

  30. #30
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    For the guys using rock n roll lube , it says it cleans the chain if you apply it correctly...do any of y'all still us a chain scrubber , or just keep using the lube and a rag for the life of the chain ?

  31. #31
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    I live and ride in the high desert of SoCal, so think dry and gritty. The solution that works best for me, by keeping the chain lubed, but not overlubed so it collects drivetrain killing gunk everywhere, is a follows.

    After every ride I clean the chain with a dedicated "chain cleaning rag" by running the chain through the rag between my fingers. Then I lock out my RD and remove the chain from the front ring and quickly do the same cleaning for my NW chainring. Doing both takes about 90 seconds.

    Then I put the chain back on, reset my RD and I clean the RD's chainwheels front and back with my finger tip and the same rag. Lastly, I use my Park drivetrain brush to quickly clean the cassette. Doing both takes about 60 seconds.

    Now the chain is ready for lube, and this is what I found is the best way to do it, albeit, not the most economical. I use the large spray can of Tri Flow, and a thick, athletic sock over my hand. I saturate the sock between my thumb and fingers, and then I run the chain through the sock while keeping my hand "twisted" (so the chain zig zags through my thumb & fingers) so the lube gets in between the rollers top & bottom. This takes 30 seconds.

    I let the chain sit for a few minutes while I put the tools away and wash my hands (the worst part of my technique) and then I use a paper towel and run the chain through it, to wipe off the excess lube....... That's 3 minutes and my drivetrain is ready for the next ride.

    My drivetrain shifts like butter, and seems to last forever. My riding buddies are more of the "lube the crap out of it once in a while" type, and they are the ones ALWAYS complaining about their shifting and weird noises, as well as buying new equipment..... Hell, I can't even tell what color their chain, chainrings and cassette are supposed to be, other than the custom 'Kool Gritty Black' they sport every ride.

    I tried the 1 drop per link method, but even that puts too much lube on the chain for my conditions, and it does nothing but gunk up my chainring, cassette and chainwheels.

    I do go through a bit more chainlube per year, but it pays for itself in the long run.

  32. #32
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    Best chain lube?

    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    So I recently started using Squirt on my mountain bike. I use it on my road bike and works well. I figured I'd give it a shot with the new chain.

    I'm getting clumps of gunk on the chainring. In the pic...you can see the clumps of gunk below the teeth. It was worse before. There were chunks before I brushed most of it off. The Squirt leaves a sticky residue behind. It isn't an issue on the road bike, but with the dirt...it just clumps up.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Did you thoroughly clean your chain and gears to remove the old lube a d dirt before applying Squirt? They look pretty dirty to me. I think you will get some wax flecks when using a wax based lube, buy I haven't noticed much, if any any, with Squirt.

  33. #33
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    Chain-L works well for me. Holds up to all kinds of nasty weather/conditions. Makes your drivetrain ninja-quiet. Works best when used correctly and left alone.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnD View Post
    For the guys using rock n roll lube , it says it cleans the chain if you apply it correctly...do any of y'all still us a chain scrubber , or just keep using the lube and a rag for the life of the chain ?
    I use the Blue lube and I've also used the Yellow lube they both wash off the loose dirt in the chain but it certainly won't leave it clean. I still degrease my clean after every couple of rides and then re-apply lube. I like the Blue lube a lot better since it seems to pick up less grime and also tends to coat the chain and cassette instead of drip off like the Yellow lube.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by matadorCE View Post
    I use the Blue lube and I've also used the Yellow lube they both wash off the loose dirt in the chain but it certainly won't leave it clean. I still degrease my clean after every couple of rides and then re-apply lube. I like the Blue lube a lot better since it seems to pick up less grime and also tends to coat the chain and cassette instead of drip off like the Yellow lube.
    I tend to agree , thanks !

  36. #36
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    The guys should check out Lilly Lube, I was a R&R blue fanatic. The Lilly is better in every way, chain stays cleaner and lube last longer even in water. The only thing about Lilly, it works best when applied the night before. You apply it just like Rock N Roll on my 1x11 system I never use chain scrubber with Lilly Lube, not needed!! I would use it the scrubber the the very 1st time before starting with any new lube.

  37. #37
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    i like this a lot...

    put some on, let it sit over night, wipe off excess in the morning


  38. #38
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    I tend to monitor for sun spots to determine appropriate lubrication of the day. Sometimes I just consult an astrologist.
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  39. #39
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    Best I have used is Profi Dry Lube, but I have had trouble ordering this since the shipping restrictions. Been using Boeshield T-9 as replacement which works pretty good, but not as good as the Profi.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    i like this a lot...

    put some on, let it sit over night, wipe off excess in the morning

    That Dumonde Tech lubes well, but man I get a lot of build up on my chain after a couple rides with it. Might be just my dirt here in the Sierra Foothills. I just switched to a dry lube (squirt long lasting dry lube) to give a shot. We'll see in a few months.

  41. #41
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    I sure do like the Dumonde lubricants, but I have never tried this chain lube. Does anyone else have comments on this chain lube?
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgw7000 View Post
    The guys should check out Lilly Lube, I was a R&R blue fanatic. The Lilly is better in every way, chain stays cleaner and lube last longer even in water. The only thing about Lilly, it works best when applied the night before. You apply it just like Rock N Roll on my 1x11 system I never use chain scrubber with Lilly Lube, not needed!! I would use it the scrubber the the very 1st time before starting with any new lube.

    Thanks for the tip. I bought some from fleabay...gonna be using it soon ,still have a little bit of r&r extreme to get rid of first.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrm1 View Post
    ProGold ProLink.

    OP ... perhaps using the reviews pages would help you decide.
    I use Prolink on my road bike, and it works well. I've got ~5000 miles on the chain with no measurable stretch. But I find that it evaporates quickly. I basically need to re-lube every 3-4 weeks, independent of mileage. If you ride regularly that's fine, but not what I would recommend for a bike that is infrequently ridden.

  44. #44
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    Hmmm...while I think ProLube is a quality product, my results in dusty, sandy conditions has been far less than desirable.

    Some of the mentioned dry lubricants are superior for the dusty like conditions.

    Very difficult to compare road bike use to mountain bike applications.
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  45. #45
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    So I just cleaned my chain off with some simple green and then brushed it and dried it in the sun, came back a little later and put on the Squirt Dry Lube. I can't even tell it is on there, but that chain sure is smooth... i'll update after some rides.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAVELBIKE View Post
    Chain-L works well for me. Holds up to all kinds of nasty weather/conditions. Makes your drivetrain ninja-quiet. Works best when used correctly and left alone.
    I have used almost all of these lubes mentioned and I keep going back to Chain-L. It is the longest lasting and seems to be the best at protecting drive train parts. For race days and dry conditions, nothing is better than paraffin wax bath but for everything else, Chain-L is the best.
    Formerly known as iceaxe

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Live2rideUtah View Post
    Your chain will tell you when it needs to be lubed
    If your chain is telling you something it will already be too late!

    The best lube is the stuff that comes on the chain when it's new. After that you are forever playing catchup. What kind of lube you use seems less important than the fact you do actually lube it. Once the honeymoon period is over I take the chain off the bike to clean and lube it regularly but It only prolongs their life a little I reckon.

    Chains are not expensive. When it starts to show even slight wear just bin the thing and fit a new one. Your gears will thank you.

  48. #48
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    I have tried many chain lubes over the years and never found one that I loved. Currently I am using Squirt, and my early impressions are positive although I don't have a lot of miles on it yet. As I was browsing this thread I noticed Lilly Lube mentioned a couple of times so I did a quick search on it, and Lilly has a link to a magazine test. The test seems to actually be a stronger testament to Squirt's benefits than Lilly's, and lo and behold Squirt has the same test linked on their site. I think I will stick with Squirt for a while and see if it lives up to my early impressions. A note about Squirt, starting with a clean chain is very important. Probably important when trying any new lube, but if it really is the best stuff going you wouldn't want to compromise it by a poor initial application.

    VeloNews Lube Test 2014-01.pdf

  49. #49
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    The worlds best chain lube will absolutely blow if used incorrectly, I think it's one of those things where the application is generally much more important than the actual product.

  50. #50
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    Chain maintenance seems to be a widely different practice. Everyone seems to deal with this differently. Generally speaking, I tend to place considerable emphasis on preventive maintenance. I try to wipe down the chain after all rides and lube appropriately. Then before the next days ride, I wipe off as much residual lube as possible and ride (to avoid dust attraction). Repeating the process after most all rides.

    I tend to buy high end chains (Shimano XTR M981) and they usually last me a full season (3,500 to 3,800 miles) depending on conditions. They are cheaper than cassettes and chain rings. Contrary to Mr Pig's claim, I don't find my choice of chains to be particularly cheap. A subjective term I suppose depending on one's choice of allocating scarce resources (disposable income).

    We know that the conditions we ride in probably has the most profound effect on chains tempered by how we maintain those chains. I don't tend to ride muddy or wet conditions. Several shallow creek crossings on generally dry to dusty trail conditions per ride are the norm. So given my conditions, I feel the dirt and dust is the most detrimental factor in my chain wear and thus my selection of appropriate lubricant. Hence, the daily wipe down and lube.

    So, as a result of my riding conditions (usually more dusty), I tend to use lubricants with more wax and less pure oil-based lubricants. I have tried most all of the high-end quality chain lubes and for the moment, I have settled with Rock n Roll Red (Absolute) or Blue (Extreme). Red for the most dusty conditions and Red for slightly moister trails. For me, I have found the Rock n Roll Yellow to be better suited to wetter conditions (leaning towards more oil-based and less wax). And. I find the same true for ProGold (ProLink). I believe these last mentioned are high-quality lubricants, but I feel better suited for wetter riding conditions. For my general trail conditions, I find the more oil-based chain lubes to attract dust and dirt more than I prefer.

    I have wanted to try the Dumonde chain lubricants, but have not yet. I believe this is Customfab's lubricant of choice. As an example of opinions, Customfab is clearly not an advocate of Rock n Roll chain lubes because they settle (wax settling from the general lubricants). I would be interested in his expanding on that thought.

    And like JB mentioned above, the best lubes are null and void if used incorrectly. Generous application of a lower quality product is prolly better than liberal use of a high-quality product. Make your own decisions and don't be afraid to try different approaches. To each his own.
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  51. #51
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    DexMerc, it's cheap, easy to apply, and has no gunky residue.

  52. #52
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    Took a ride on my local trails after applying the Squirt Dry lube. I cleaned the chain before I applied the Squirt with Simple Green a towel and brush. The chain looked dry 15 mins after I applied the oil. After the ride there was no added dirt/debris to the chain which is not normal as I usually have junk on the chain with the normal Dumonde lube... anyhow... first impressions are good. We'll see after 100 miles.

  53. #53
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    I converted to Squirt after using pretty much everything that has been mentioned... I actually really liked the RocknRoll stuff, but it would only last for a ride and a half... The chain would squeal in the middle of my second ride... Started lubing the night before a ride, but was going through bottles quick...

    With Squirt, I clean the chain with mineral spirits, hit it with a heat gun, and then apply... It quickly gets absorbed into the link, then cools to lube accordingly... Depending on the conditions, I usually clean and lube a chain once a month... As for gunk build up, I wipe before and after a ride, so no issues there... But if I get lazy, the gunk just seemed to flick off overtime, and never affected chain performance... It would build up on the der sprockets and chainring, but never made that gritty chain sound...

    There's an extensive Squirt thread in here somewhere... It's worth a quick read...

  54. #54
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    Squirt user here as well. I used to clean and lube every two rides with Finish Line Teflon. After switching to Squirt, I have gotten lazy and only wipe my chain and re-lube once a month. I should probably do it more often, but it hasn't caused any problems yet.

  55. #55
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    Squirt here too...

    Squirt dry lube here too.

    For the last couple of years I'd been using Muc-Off Ceramic dry and wet lube on my 11 speed XO1 drive train,now shifting was always great but after even a few miles the chain was sounding really gritty and at the end of the ride the chain was covered in grey gunk and had to be degreased after every ride.

    I was given a small sample bottle of Squirt dry chain lube in mid December.Degreased the chain,applied 2 coats of Squirt ready for the next ride.Even riding out of the car park it was quieter and smoother.The trail was wet,muddy and gritty.After 12 miles everything was covered in mud and grit but the chain was still super quiet,smooth and looking clean.

    Just used a soft brush on the chain and gears when I washed the bike,no degreasing and applied another coat of Squirt.Ive been re-applying after every other ride now and its run great all winter.

    Did 20 miles yesterday in dry,semi dusty conditions for the first time using Squirt and still runs quiet,smooth and clean
    This stuff works great but the biggest plus for me is no need to degrease after every ride

    Squirt are making a cold temp lube as well now,its too warm in the UK for it now but ill be trying that come next winter....

    "Squirt Low-Temp Chain Lube is a low temperature lube for use in very cold conditions. Lube that thickens or hardens in cold conditions causes more drag in the drive train, resulting in less efficient usage of power. Squirt Low Temp Lube has a modified congealing point, allowing it to lube optimally in these temperatures, keeping your chain quiet and clean, with long lasting durability."

  56. #56
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    Another Squirt converter here also. As others have mentioned, they are all good if used properly and wiped down after every ride. But for dry dusty conditions, Squirt is my go too lube.

  57. #57
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    Motul chain lube

  58. #58
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    I've been using Pro Link for quite a while and love it, but all this talk of Squirt has me interested.....

  59. #59
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    I bought squirt , wasn't a fan. Felt like half of the trail was on my drivetrain when I got home..Much like the pic in post #28.

  60. #60
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    Olive Oil is sixth best tested:


    http://www.lillylube.com/uploads/Lin...lo_Article.pdf


    My chain already looked shiny clean, but I filled this chain-cleaner with olive oil to add some lube. Turns out, the chain was dirtier than I expected. Olive oil - cleans and lubes at once and is super cheap so you can just dump it out and fill it again - something I would never do with expensive oil.





  61. #61
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    Lilly lube all the way, It's all I use now. The only bad thing is you must apply night before ride so it dries.

  62. #62
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    I use a wax lube, "White Lightning" or something like that. I usually ride in dusty conditions and it significantly cuts down on dirt sticking to the chain. In fact, I've got 5 decently long rides on it since the last cleaning and lube and the chain is still completely shiny as if I just cleaned it. I've wiped it with a white paper towel to see how much is actually on it and it's surprisingly clean. As a lube, it seems to work well and last a long time; it sticks around in the places it's needed and the excess just falls off. I have no idea how it would work in the wet. I've crossed small streams and rode it in the mud with big water puddles last week and had no issues but never continuous wet use. It's sad to say but I like trying new products so much that I will end up swapping the drivetrain out before it has a chance to wear out most likely. I'm already eying the new 9-44t 1x cassette coming out which will mean a change from a 32t to a 30t front and a new chain while I'm at it so I will probably not know how this lube works long term for a very long time.

    I'm sure there are better lubes out there but this cheap lube has worked well for me in my conditions. If I were to experiment, it would be with a Redline product as the Ester base oils have many advantages as does the ZDDP. It might require some heat when applying that kind of oil but it would be fun to try out when I get bored with what I've got.
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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuickGN View Post
    I use a wax lube, "White Lightning" or something like that. I usually ride in dusty conditions and it significantly cuts down on dirt sticking to the chain. In fact, I've got 5 decently long rides on it since the last cleaning and lube and the chain is still completely shiny as if I just cleaned it. I've wiped it with a white paper towel to see how much is actually on it and it's surprisingly clean. As a lube, it seems to work well and last a long time; it sticks around in the places it's needed and the excess just falls off. I have no idea how it would work in the wet. I've crossed small streams and rode it in the mud with big water puddles last week and had no issues but never continuous wet use. It's sad to say but I like trying new products so much that I will end up swapping the drivetrain out before it has a chance to wear out most likely. I'm already eying the new 9-44t 1x cassette coming out which will mean a change from a 32t to a 30t front and a new chain while I'm at it so I will probably not know how this lube works long term for a very long time.

    I'm sure there are better lubes out there but this cheap lube has worked well for me in my conditions. If I were to experiment, it would be with a Redline product as the Ester base oils have many advantages as does the ZDDP. It might require some heat when applying that kind of oil but it would be fun to try out when I get bored with what I've got.
    I used white lightening for a while. It definitely keeps the chain clean but I felt I had to re-lube too often. I would notice chain noise or deteriorated shifting if I went a couple of rides without refreshing. For a while I was used to it but having since switched to more traditional lube, I can tell the difference. I think a clean chain is more of a cosmetic thing anyway.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsilvers View Post
    Olive Oil is sixth best tested:


    http://www.lillylube.com/uploads/Lin...lo_Article.pdf


    My chain already looked shiny clean, but I filled this chain-cleaner with olive oil to add some lube. Turns out, the chain was dirtier than I expected. Olive oil - cleans and lubes at once and is super cheap so you can just dump it out and fill it again - something I would never do with expensive oil.




    That's a pretty awesome idea. I like that its environmentally friendly too.
    I wonder if there are any downsides. The test in the article just looked at watts expended, but what about longevity between applications, protection of the chain, chain wear, tendency to pick up dirt, etc?

  65. #65
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    Don't be Hoodwinked by Corporate Marketing...

    I tried them ALL: Finish Line, Dumonde, PTFE Synthetic, White Lightning, Squirt, Pedros, etc. - but learned a $4/quart of trusty Chainsaw Lube kicks all their asses.

    If Chainsaw Lube can handle muddy dirt, sawdust and moisture....it's MORE than enough for MTB.
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  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cayenne_Pepa View Post
    I tried them ALL: Finish Line, Dumonde, PTFE Synthetic, White Lightning, Squirt, Pedros, etc. - but learned a $4/quart of trusty Chainsaw Lube kicks all their asses.

    If Chainsaw Lube can handle muddy dirt, sawdust and moisture....it's MORE than enough for MTB.
    You make a very good point and I bet it's a great oil. I'm always looking for alternative lubes to boutique $100/quart stuff and it sounds like you've found it. The only thing I would worry about is dirt sticking to it. It's been a long time since I've handled a chainsaw but from what I remember the lube is very "stringy" and clingy/sticky. That sounds like a good thing on one hand but on the other it seems like it would pickup a lot of "crap" from the trail. What is your experience with this and what brand do you use? If it's good enough, I wouldn't mind having to clean the drivetrain a little more often.
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuickGN View Post
    You make a very good point and I bet it's a great oil. I'm always looking for alternative lubes to boutique $100/quart stuff and it sounds like you've found it. The only thing I would worry about is dirt sticking to it. It's been a long time since I've handled a chainsaw but from what I remember the lube is very "stringy" and clingy/sticky. That sounds like a good thing on one hand but on the other it seems like it would pickup a lot of "crap" from the trail. What is your experience with this and what brand do you use? If it's good enough, I wouldn't mind having to clean the drivetrain a little more often.
    Stihl, or Home Depot PowerCare Bar and Chain Oil. Looks gooey - but once it penetrates the chain, it keeps it lubed like mofo. I clean chain after every 5 rides, in dry, dusty, desert conditions. Best is even after a bike wash, or deep stream crossing....the chain still remains lubed!
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    That's a pretty awesome idea. I like that its environmentally friendly too.
    I wonder if there are any downsides.
    One time a guy brings his bike in the shop bragging about how he had used only pure 100% virgin olive oil on his chain for the past year, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that during all my years wrenching in a shop I had never seen a more disgusting, rancid, sticky-gooey mess of a chain. Nothing in the shop, including the nastiest chemicals or ultra-sonic cleaner could clean it.

    So iME it was pretty much the worst chain lube I've ever come across.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cayenne_Pepa View Post
    If Chainsaw Lube can handle muddy dirt, sawdust and moisture....it's MORE than enough for MTB.
    It's a little different deal though, a chain saw chain is designed to be constantly flooded with lube. I've used enough bar oil to know that for me it's a poor substitute compared to what I normally use, good in a pinch though. Maybe the Ace brand I use is low grade?

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsilvers View Post
    Olive Oil is sixth best tested:

    My chain already looked shiny clean, but I filled this chain-cleaner with olive oil to add some lube. Turns out, the chain was dirtier than I expected. Olive oil - cleans and lubes at once and is super cheap so you can just dump it out and fill it again - something I would never do with expensive oil.
    Interesting enough that I had to do a research and see if I could find anything on using olive oil. I found several good studies and articles. It seems that olive oil is actually a pretty good lubricant and is considered as a biodegradable lubricant. The predominate problems with olive oil as a lubricant is also one of its good points...Biodegradability. So, because of water, or even moisture even in small amounts of a few hundred parts per million, is the natural enemy of olive oil. Water, even in very small amounts is detrimental to its biodegrading properties just sitting on the chain. Moisture quickly degrades the lubricating properties and is therefore a significant downside to it's use on a bike. However, it was found that olive oil does a good job of keeping dirt and contaminates in suspension that aids in minimizing wear due to abrasives. Unfortunately, that seems to be where the good part ends.

    I wonder if Extra Virgin is the superior choice?
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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post

    I wonder if Extra Virgin is the superior choice?
    For the best tasting chain, use extra virgin.

  72. #72
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    no one mentioned Boeshield T9?
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  73. #73
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    I like Rock N Roll Blue for MTB and cross, year round. Rock N Roll Gold on the road bike.

  74. #74
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    On my last bike trip I used my buddies rock n roll lube. My shifting went to shit all week.
    Got home, put my homebrew back on (2/3 bar chain oil, 1/3 10w30), shifting back to normal and a small bottle lasts all season 1500+ miles.

  75. #75
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    My absolute favorite. Been using other brands for the past year just to try them out (all samples free) and nothing compares to T9 for my trails. $9.50 for 4 oz ain't highway robbery because I use less of it and it lasts longer. I'm a DIY type of guy and the 10W30 and chainsaw oil seems "fun" but the T9 is flawless and I have no reason to DIY.
    Quote Originally Posted by FT251 View Post
    no one mentioned Boeshield T9?

  76. #76
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    What kind of attraction does your brew have with mud, sand or dust?
    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    On my last bike trip I used my buddies rock n roll lube. My shifting went to shit all week.
    Got home, put my homebrew back on (2/3 bar chain oil, 1/3 10w30), shifting back to normal and a small bottle lasts all season 1500+ miles.

  77. #77
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    Since reading the Friction Facts article in 2013, my riding and buddies and I have been hot dipping our chains in parrafin wax. Once set up with a one quart crockpot, this method is cheap and easy. We just buy food grade Gulf wax at the market. You do have to plan ahead when its time to rewax your chain. Takes about 30 minutes for the wax to melt and then let your chain sit in the wax for another 30 minutes, pull it out and wipe off the excess wax and you're good to go. Big benefit in addition to being one of the best lubes as tested is the cleanliness of the chain. You can touch the chain when changing a wheel and such and no mess on your hands. The wax lasts for about 10-15 hours of riding.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael9218 View Post
    Since reading the Friction Facts article in 2013, my riding and buddies and I have been hot dipping our chains in parrafin wax. The wax lasts for about 10-15 hours of riding.
    While I understand some of the possible positive attributes to this method of chain lubrication, getting only 10 - 15 hours between waxing of riding is one week (or less) for me. I can't see going through this process every week. I've been using Rock and Roll red or blue depending on conditions for years with complete happiness. I generally do a quick wipe down my chain after every ride (not necessarily re-lube) to just clear it of most dirt and dust.
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  79. #79
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    Wax is good for around 200 miles on a road bike. When I ride off-road, I average about 8, so that is 25 hours of riding.

    After the mess I made with olive oil yesterday where it after 5 miles off-road my chain was black gunk, I redid it with wax and road 10 miles in the same area this morning. My chain was clean when I finished. I wiped it with a wet-wipe and virtually no black marks were on the wipe.

    I could see using T9 though - the 1.5 watts worse than wax doesn't really matter to me when I am riding 20 psi knobby tires on dirt.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    What kind of attraction does your brew have with mud, sand or dust?
    It generally stays pretty clean (not as much as a wax based but....).
    I apply and let it sit for a while, hour or drive time to trailhead. Then wipe a few times until not much on rag (ie it should be in the rollers, not on top where it will collect dust).
    White lightning used to squeak after about 20 miles. I can go 200 before chain starts making noise.

    Key is to let it penetrate into rollers, then wipe excess well.

  81. #81
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    Actually there is an article, "The Last Word on Chain Lubricants" that quotes a study on chain wear, chain lubes and synthetic motor oil. Synthetic motor oil works best is their conclusion.

  82. #82
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    Unless you're in a time trial where fractions of a second count, that Friction Facts article is irrelevant as the frictional differences between chain lubes is down in the noise level.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by adearmas2003 View Post
    Actually there is an article, "The Last Word on Chain Lubricants" that quotes a study on chain wear, chain lubes and synthetic motor oil. Synthetic motor oil works best is their conclusion.
    Actually, you are better off with non detergent motor oil. Detergent will cause the dirt to dissolve in the oil. Rather than the dirt being on the outside of the chain, where it does little harm, the detergent will transport it inside the chain and cause undue wear.

  84. #84
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    Been using White Lightning Lubes for a long time. Last few years been using their dry wax. Its cheap and it works great IMO. I ride in mixed weather from extremely hot and humid, to hot humid and wet, and in the winter dry. I generaly take a clean rag and run my chain through it after i get back from a ride. Than i squirt some T-9 Boeshield on another rag and and run the sides of the chain through it, for rust protection. I reapply the dry wax about every 4 days of riding. I seem to always have a smooth, quiet, clean chain with the above practice. I am curious to use the Boeshield in place of the dry wax though. Or maybe a mix of Boeshield, olive oil and Slick 50. ???

  85. #85
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    Another white lightning fan. Chain is quiet and clean, the other wet lubes tend to get too dirty and gum up the gears. I figure the more dirt, sand and dust that grinds between chain and gears will destroy the drivetrain quicker than a clean chain. So unless it's a mud ride white lightening for me.

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    Phil's tenacious oil = 90 W gear oil (I think)= really cheap.
    90Wflows much better than bar oil and instantly gets down into the pin and plates. Key step is to drip 1 drop on each roller side plate, then wipe off excess when done and the result is that everything stays clean quieter for much longer than any wax based lubes I've tried (yes cleaner too). The other beautiful thing is the rest of the bike also stays clean without any overspray on rims, frame, ground etc.
    When using wax based products, the chain noise reminds me when to lube. When using 90W, I have to remind myself when to lube. YMMV

  87. #87
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    Light weight motor oil for me, but here's how I do it:

    1. Crank the chain through a rag with WD40.
    2. Wipe off the chainring, cassette, and derailleur pulleys.
    3. Apply a drop of oil to each roller.
    4. Crank the chain for a minute or so.
    5. Crank the chain through a rag with WD40.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrm1 View Post
    progold prolink.

    Op ... Perhaps using the reviews pages would help you decide.
    ftw

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    So I recently started using Squirt on my mountain bike. I use it on my road bike and works well. I figured I'd give it a shot with the new chain.

    I'm getting clumps of gunk on the chainring. In the pic...you can see the clumps of gunk below the teeth. It was worse before. There were chunks before I brushed most of it off. The Squirt leaves a sticky residue behind. It isn't an issue on the road bike, but with the dirt...it just clumps up.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I like Squirt.Here is why...
    My thought process behind choosing a lube used to be about what was most slick and I tried all the oils from Finish line to Pedros to ProGold, the latter I found to be best, and they were great but really only for clean dry conditions.
    I then tried wax lubes(tried wet lubes but they were just too dirty) in hopes of a lube that would be cleaner off road and last but both WL and Pedros and Finish lines never lasted, especially when it was really cold but I liked them and heres why...
    I came to the conclusion that the "slick"properties on a human powered bike chain were likely easily accomplished by pretty much everything but the real problem with an exposed DT is obviously dirt. So ,to me, the most important thing is a lube that both stays in one spot but most important stops grit from entering the rollers. This is when I finally discovered Squirt, a wax lube that lasted.
    What I see in the image is something that doesn't bother me but shows what a wax lube is supposed to do which is gather any excess dirt and form it into a thicker and dryer ball until it falls off. Yes, the Squirt "balls" tend to stay a bit longer as its tradeoff for its staying powerbut what I like is knowing that unlike oils that are little transits for grit, Squirt forms thick barriers that do not transport dirt. The rollers get packed with dryish wax lube that essentially seals out grit and THIS is more important IMO than the slickness of ProGold, at least for dirty conditions.
    Since Using Squirt my chains have lasted noticably longer.
    My conditions are typical Vancouver Island?PNW and I like it because its great all year round.