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  1. #1
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    How long will chain last without lube?

    I use a Park Tool Cyclone with citrus solution to clean my chain about once per week. After cleaning, I lightly lube the chain and wipe it quite a bit so there isn't any excess. However, I still get a good amount of dust sticking to the bike on the front derailleur area. During the week, I usually spray the chain once or twice with water under pressure to remove caked up dust/dirt.

    How long will a chain last without lube but cleaning it with the Cyclone once/week and spraying it off once/twice per week? I ride about everyday except winter. 1st half of year is more dusty than 2nd half. I only ride in dry conditions.

  2. #2
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    not long and it will sound like shit - no thanks
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  3. #3
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    I don't follow. If more crap sticks to the chain when it is lubed than when it isn't, why would it not last long? Especially with it being cleaned so much.

  4. #4
    local trails rider
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    It is the internal metal to metal surfaces in the chain that need the lube. Some lubes leave a very dry surface that does not collect all the dust.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  5. #5
    Class Clown
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    The problem is you are spraying it with water during the week and not relubing. Sounds like you might need a dry lube like Squirt. I would rather just wipe the chain down than hose it down, especially if it wasn't going to be dried and relubed right away.

  6. #6
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    a couple thousand years, not any good for riding but it'll make a great weapon or paperweight

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbn View Post
    a couple thousand years, not any good for riding but it'll make a great weapon or paperweight

    ^ +1
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  8. #8
    official eMpTyBRain
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    It's critical to lube the chain immediately after you hit it with water. The lube chases the water out, otherwise the water begins the corrosion process which is eveident by the embarassing noise a dry, corroding chain makes.

    What I do is this...After every ride (in dusty season), wipe the chain well with a rag. Wrap a clean rag around it below the chain stay and turn the cranks a whole bunch. Then turn the rag and do it some more. Then wrap the rag around the chain above the chain stay and wipe it in the opposite direct, turning the cranks to expose a section of the chain at a time. Then, run a gear cleaning brush over the top of the chain as you turn the cranks. Do this above and below the chain stay.

    If you are feeling super frisky and there is still alot of build up, get a tiny bottle brush and run it between each link. Otherwise, use the brush to clean all gears and teeth of the cassette and chain rings. Also, use the brush on the derailleur teeth.

    Another thing is to never lube your chain right before you ride. Do it when you get home from a ride so that the lube will dry for a day before it hits the dust again.

    And one last thing. What kind of lube are you using that attracts so much dust???

    Now back to your question: The chain will probably last longer than your patience considering it will get so loud and sound so horrible that you will feel obligated to do something about it.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  9. #9
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by brettr2 View Post
    I use a Park Tool Cyclone with citrus solution to clean my chain about once per week. After cleaning, I lightly lube the chain and wipe it quite a bit so there isn't any excess. However, I still get a good amount of dust sticking to the bike on the front derailleur area. During the week, I usually spray the chain once or twice with water under pressure to remove caked up dust/dirt.

    How long will a chain last without lube but cleaning it with the Cyclone once/week and spraying it off once/twice per week? I ride about everyday except winter. 1st half of year is more dusty than 2nd half. I only ride in dry conditions.
    Stop cleaning it so much. You do not want to use degreaser very often.

    Just wipe it with a rag before you lube it and again after you have let the fresh lube soak in.
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  10. #10
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    If you use a quality lube which hangs around (prolink is NOT one of these) then you can simply wipe off excess gunk and keep going. For other thinner lubes you might need to top up. Some of the black crud can be the lube bringing crap out from the internals as much as sticking to the outside.

    Remember - you should try and wipe off as much excess lube from outside as you can once you're done, its not doing much on the outside.
    Rimmer - "There's an old human saying - if you talk garbage, expect pain"

  11. #11
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    It's up to you to decide whether you want a long lasting chain, or a pretty one. Despite claims otherwise any chain lube will adhere some dirt and dust to the outside. That's mostly a cosmetic issue, since the wear and lubrication happens inside.

    You can either live with it, or manage it with an occasional wipe as needed, or you can wash and dry it and live with the chirping noise and rapid wear.

    In fact you might be doing yourself a disservice with your constant cleaning. The cleaner carries outside dirt deeper into the chain, and unless you do lots of multiple rinses deposits it there (exactly where you least want it).

    Years ago I was Campagnolo's east coast service tech, just when 10s came out. We got lots of complaints of chain life and a pattern soon appeared. Those who were most meticulous about cleaning got the shortest life, and those who left the factory lube on, and oiled once in a while got the best.

    My suggestion is that you follow AlexRandall's advice. Lube your chain properly, then leave it alone except for an occasional dry wipe as needed.

    Of course, it's your chain and it's nobody's business how or if you lube it.
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  12. #12
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexRandall View Post
    If you use a quality lube which hangs around (prolink is NOT one of these) then you can simply wipe off excess gunk and keep going. For other thinner lubes you might need to top up. Some of the black crud can be the lube bringing crap out from the internals as much as sticking to the outside.

    Remember - you should try and wipe off as much excess lube from outside as you can once you're done, its not doing much on the outside.
    I have found ProLink to work very well with the wipe/lube/wipe method.
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  13. #13
    official eMpTyBRain
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    To me, cleaning the visible build-up off the chain is not about being compulsive or for it's prettiness.

    It's about keeping grit and grim from wearing on the teeth of the gears as the chain pushes down on them...
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg View Post
    To me, cleaning the visible build-up off the chain is not about being compulsive or for it's prettiness.

    It's about keeping grit and grim from wearing on the teeth of the gears as the chain pushes down on them...
    I don't disagree, but there's a difference between maintaining reasonable, functional cleanliness, and obsessively washing the chain.
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