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  1. #1
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    Tri-flow not enough?

    After a few rides on my new bike I noticed accumulation of sand on the chain and derailleurs. I cleaned the area with simple green degreaser, ran the chain through a brush cleaner and used a stiff brush for between the cogs. After I dried things off, I applied triflow and ran the chain through all the gears.

    Went for a ride today and noticed the gears not grabbing, not-so-smooth shifting, and eventually a grindy, crunchy sound coming from the crank.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this? I wonder if I should have greased the chain instead of running the triflow (which I also apply to my road bike chain - seems to be fine).
    Last edited by JamisDan; 09-01-2009 at 05:34 PM.

  2. #2
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    I also found Tri-flow not to work well for mountain bikes. I know there are tons of people that swear by it (or whatever there lube of the week is).

    Personally I have had good luck with Rock N Roll lube. You may just need to clean the chain and drivetrain a bit more though.

  3. #3
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    Tri-flow is a good lube, but it attracts too much dirt for me.

    Brush cleaners don't work well. You have to take the chain off the bike to clean it right. I use boiling hot water and a little Simple Green in an old water bottle. Take care not to scald yourself. The hot water really cleans off the gunk.

  4. #4
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    Try this stuff. I really love it.

    www.chain-l.com

  5. #5
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    Rock-n-Roll lube works great. Dry lubes work the best IMO, I stay away from oily stuff.

  6. #6
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    I have some Chain-L as well. Have not had a chance to use it yet. Will let you know when I do, though.

  7. #7
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    Warning consider the source here, I make Chain-L so I'm biased.

    Discounting the dirt issue, Tri-Flow is inadequate as a chain lube. Chains operate at a tension two to four times the pedal pressure, and the bearing surface area within the pins is obviously pretty small, especially with newer narrower chains. The net result is that the pressure pressing the moving parts together is intense and requires a lubricant with enough film strength to withstand it.

    There are a number of decent choices, but thin solutions of teflon in solvent just won't cut the mustard.
    fb
    www.chain-L.com

    The key to solving any problem is to understand and address the underlying cause.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY
    Warning consider the source here, I make Chain-L so I'm biased
    Classic.

    Anyway, I'm going to stop by the dealer and see what he has to say, too. Didn't have any problem with whatever he used initially during bike set up. Also emailed a Jamis rep for his opinion.

    Yeah, I could feel a difference between the tflow and the previous stuff. I will check the Chain-L out, too. Thanks for the input.

  9. #9
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    TriFlow if i'm not mistaken is a petroleum based lube, having lower viscosity and generally these types of lube will require more frequent reapplication. It's not as resistant to harsher condition as wax based lube. Wax based lubes such as the Finish Line Wet Lube will go on and stay on long, but will be thicker and attract more dirt and will probably be harder to wash.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by peternguyen
    TriFlow if i'm not mistaken is a petroleum based lube, having lower viscosity and generally these types of lube will require more frequent reapplication. It's not as resistant to harsher condition as wax based lube. Wax based lubes such as the Finish Line Wet Lube will go on and stay on long, but will be thicker and attract more dirt and will probably be harder to wash.
    Thanks. Just spoke with the shop and they said definitely go with the wax-based stuff on mountain bikes due to the constant exposure. Heading over there in a few to pick up whatever they recommend.

  11. #11
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    Triflow is good for a multi-use lube, but I would never use it on a chain.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  12. #12
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    Triflow is a great lube for certain things but is terrible for bike chains. it is very prone to collect dust and making the chain griity. Use white lightning or a similar product for a clean quiet and lubed chain!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEKrider
    Triflow is a great lube for certain things but is terrible for bike chains. it is very prone to collect dust and making the chain griity. Use white lightning or a similar product for a clean quiet and lubed chain!
    All good info on this thread so far. Went to the dealer today and he mirrored everyone elses info: wax/dry-based lube.

    He said he would soak the chain to get all the petrolieum-based lube off and then re-soak the chain in wax. Awesome. Also going to take my road chain there, too.

    So what IS Tri-Flow good for on the mtn. bike?

  14. #14
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    Prolink Progold has to be the benchmark. Easy/quick to apply, very little excess (which is easily wiped off before riding) and the chain doesn't need cleaning off to re-apply unless it has been out in very wet/muddy conditions. With the excess wiped away, it'll run very clean in dry conditions with very little pick-up, so rings and sprockets stay dry/clean as well.

    For winter or riding in wet conditions, I'd go for the Chain-L as it lasts much longer on the chain. It's too thick and sticky, with too much excess, for me to consider it for a dry weather lube, but it's absolutely perfect for long rides/weekends in the wet. I see limitations for MTB use, but for road and commuter bikes it seems ideal whatever the weather.
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  15. #15
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    I've used Tri-Flow for ages (because it's dirt cheap at MEC) and while I think it's fine for lubrication, I also agree that it picks up alot of dirt and needs to be cleaned/reapplied very regularly (after every long ride or 2 short rides). Provided you do this I've had chains last me at least a few years which is all I ask of it.

  16. #16
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    Same as above....triflow seems OK for some things, but I had no luck using it on a chain...

  17. #17
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    Tri-flow works great for chains. It is just that there are some conditions where other lubes work better.

    Sand and heavy dust = dry lube
    General riding or wet riding = Tri-flow
    Muck = Something heavy like Phil lube
    Only two infinite things exist: the universe and stupidity. And, I am unsure of the universe
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  18. #18
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    I disagree about the Chain-L being too messy in the dry. I have been riding with it since the first of the year in wet and dry conditions and am loving how unmessy this stuff is. Yes, initially some dirt collects on the chain, but all i do after the first ride is wipe the chain off with a rag and then i might have to do it one more time. Thats it. I have been amazed at how long i can go between lubes with Chain-L. The best thing i love about this oil is how quiet it makes my drivetrain! To each his own, but i am sticking w Chain-L!

    BTW i have tried many of the lubes mentioned here and living in the south where it could be dry as a bone one minute and the next it will be pouring on you this is by far the best lube i have found to cover all the elements mother nature can throw at you.

  19. #19
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    I would never use tri flow on a chain, but it does it's job on things like derailleurs.

  20. #20
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    TriFlow is great for lubing shift cables or mechanical brake cables, it is also good in a pinch for a sticky shifter body. Also it can be used for lubing derailleur pivot points if used sparingly!

  21. #21
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    TriFlow has many useful applications. On my mtb chain is not one of them. TriFlow has Teflon in it. All those minuscule particles of Teflon tend to cause everything to gunk up, at least in the dry, dusty desert I ride in. It's great for door hinges though

  22. #22
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    No body uses White Lightening? Am I alone here?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY
    Warning consider the source here, I make Chain-L so I'm biased.
    Chain-L is junk!
    Warning - I have never used it so I may be biased too

    use THIS method to properly clean and lube your chain
    Honestly, you just take a deep breath and say Fuck it.

  24. #24
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    Follow up

    Well, just for good measure, I explained my situation to a very helpful rep at Jamis. He said that by using (foaming) Simple Green I could have degreased areas I may not have wanted to such as the free hub and shift cables (hence poor shifting). He suggested I take the whole bike back to the dealer for inspection.

    Sure enough, the dealer went over the bike and found that exact scenario. He kept the bike over night, regreased, switched me to Finish Line, showed me how to care for my drivetrain emptied my wallet of $20, and had me off.

    The scary thing is that I've been using this method for years. I honestly though I was doing the bike a favor. ****!

    .

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    Chain-L is junk!
    Warning - I have never used it so I may be biased too

    use THIS method to properly clean and lube your chain
    Now that is funny. At first, I was like "What the hell? Why would anyone do that?". Then I realized it's a joke site. I love the 'Real Man Saddles", and the "Carrababy". Awesome stuff!

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