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  1. #1
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    What is the best Chain Lube for wet conditions?

    I've used a lot of different lubes over the years but I can't say as I've typically been overly satisfied with too many of them when the conditions start to get wetter. I know the wax-based ones are not too good in the wet but I get mixed results with others as well. I've always heard Tri-Flow is good for these conditions but in the past whenever I used it I always hated how quickly the drivetrain got gunked up with it. It is certainly not one of the cleaner lubricants out there to use. What are some opinions on this topic?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burkeman
    I've used a lot of different lubes over the years but I can't say as I've typically been overly satisfied with too many of them when the conditions start to get wetter. I know the wax-based ones are not too good in the wet but I get mixed results with others as well. I've always heard Tri-Flow is good for these conditions but in the past whenever I used it I always hated how quickly the drivetrain got gunked up with it. It is certainly not one of the cleaner lubricants out there to use. What are some opinions on this topic?
    Every wet lube I have used has gunked up the chain quickly. Usually the wetter the conditions it's aimed at the quicker it gunks up the chain. Don't even try the Extreme condition lubes...

    That said, Rock 'N Roll lube is a wax based lube that holds up a lot better than either Pedro's or White Lightning. A little more pricey, and hard to find at your LBS, but it's about the closest I've come to a clean, mix condition lube.

  3. #3
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    I've been happy with the green cap lube from Finish Line. Use a drip bottle and wipe the chain with a rag several times afterwards. Drivetrain gunk is just a fact of life, and cleaning it is like cleaning a toilet -- a little housekeeping effort every day keeps things tidy, but ignoring it will result in a disgusting task you'll want to avoid all together.

  4. #4
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    Rock N Roll Extreme does make for a very clean drivetrain in wet conditions. The chain also stays very quiet. It provides seemingly no rust-protection though, so if you put your bike away wet (as I often do in the winter) the chain will look nasty later. Like any lube in wet conditions, you have to reapply often. I've tried a lot of stuff and the R N R works best so far.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  5. #5
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    I use one well placed teensy little drop of oil on each roller (I place the drop on the edge of roller next to the inside of the side plate - it gets sucked right in where needed). I use Shimano Hypospitt which comes with a needle applicator.

    My drive train stays surprisingly clean - cleaner than when I used white lightening and a few other fancy lubes. It doesn't collect much dirt (unless your ride in dry sand) and stays quiet.

    I do clean my chain every couple of rides and I'm sure that gunk would accumulate if I didn't...

  6. #6
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Dumonde Tech Lite.

    Not a wax.

    Not an oil.

    Polymer based.

    Amazing stuff. Try it.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  7. #7
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    I recently tried a bunch of different chain lubes (Pro Gold, White Lightning, Tri-flow, Boeshield T-9, Rock-n-Roll, etc.) I found that the "cleaner" lubes, while being okay for dry conditions, did not hold up well in wet conditions. ProGold was the "cleanest" lube (thin, easy to apply, did not gunk up at all) but it did not hold up well in wet conditions at ALL. The "typical" wax based lubes tend not to last too well in wet, muddy conditions either. The one lube that in my experience had the best overall performance was Boeshield T-9.

    Boeshield is not as clean as the cleanest lubes (like ProGold) but it's really not too bad -- it does get a little gunky in moderate conditions, but it's not nearly as bad as other lubes in this respect, and in dry conditions it actually stays quite clean. Of all the ones I tried, it held up the best in sloppy conditions -- it's the only one that could get a bit muddy and still remain lubed after the mud washed off and/or dried. The other lubes all resulted in a squeaking chain after sloppy conditions, but not the Boeshield.

    While my tests were by no means "scientific," I did try to give each lube a decent amount of time before formulating any opinion. I used each lube over a period of time while riding in the same general areas, sometimes going through more than one bottle before switching. In the end, the Boeshield ended up being the one I am currently sticking with. It penetrates well, it's a water displacer and rust preventer, it lasts longer than other lubes, it stays clean in dry conditions and decently clean in sloppier conditions, and it holds up well in sloppy conditions.

    The one thing that I 'thought' would be a problem with Boeshield is that you're supposed to let it dry for a few hours, then wipe the excess off before using it. Apparently, the solvent that is uses in order to achieve good penetration takes a while to dry. I thought this would be a problem, but it turns out that it's not hard to get in the habit of cleaning or lubing the chain AFTER a ride rather than right before. That said, I did use the lube a time or two without giving it the full drying time and it still seemed to work okay -- it just got a little more dirty.

    There are a lot of differing opinions on chain lube, so you need to try them yourself to see which works best for you given your specific needs and riding conditions. I'd recommend you give Boeshield a try.

    Larry

  8. #8
    No, that's not phonetic
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    I've tried Boeshield and agree it's pretty good. I do get more goo buildup than with R 'n R Extreme though. It seems to lube a bit better and longer with a little less rust at the expense of getting messy over time. It's a tradeoff.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  9. #9
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    I ride in mixed conditions everyday. Try the T-9 and I feel you will be happy. As posted earlier you need to lube your chain the night before or several hours in advance to let your chain dry. After your chain is dry wipe off the excess and ride.

  10. #10
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    Good job! Ky-jelly

    Quote Originally Posted by Burkeman
    I've used a lot of different lubes over the years but I can't say as I've typically been overly satisfied with too many of them when the conditions start to get wetter. I know the wax-based ones are not too good in the wet but I get mixed results with others as well. I've always heard Tri-Flow is good for these conditions but in the past whenever I used it I always hated how quickly the drivetrain got gunked up with it. It is certainly not one of the cleaner lubricants out there to use. What are some opinions on this topic?
    Try it on your girlfriend too, it is great! Astrolube is good but harder to get...
    Sit and spin my ass...

  11. #11
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    The key to dry lubes is to let them DRY. Not 5 minutes like it says on the bottle but more like minimum of overnight. I see people all the time at the trailhead putting on ProLink or whatever right before they ride. While better than nothing, that's not how it was intended to be applied. Dry lubes need to dry.

    That said, nothing last forever. So if you need to apply right before you ride, or in the middle of the ride, nothing is going to work better than some oil. Finishline Cross Country, winter chainsaw oil, whatever. That other stuff isn't going to stick.

    The last word of advice is to completely wipe off your chain after you lube. Any lube on the outside of the chain is just going to pick up dirt and make a mess but adds nothing to keeping the links moving.
    Long Live Long Rides

  12. #12
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    This goes to show that lubes won't work universally well or poorly for every rider. I use Ice Wax and love it, while I've used the Rock n Roll lubes and found them to be nothing special.

    The Ice Wax keeps the chain very clean, especially in our muddy, sandy conditions. It lasts just under 30 miles per application in my usage. Generally, it will last around 20 in hot conditions, while it lasts closer to 30 in the winter.

  13. #13
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    I live in North Vancouver and have been using Progold for 4 years or so. It outperforms any other lube I've tried hands down for any type of weather conditions. As someone mentioned further up the thread, apply any lube the night before the ride and wipe off excess.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    This goes to show that lubes won't work universally well or poorly for every rider. I use Ice Wax and love it, while I've used the Rock n Roll lubes and found them to be nothing special.

    The Ice Wax keeps the chain very clean, especially in our muddy, sandy conditions. It lasts just under 30 miles per application in my usage. Generally, it will last around 20 in hot conditions, while it lasts closer to 30 in the winter.

  14. #14
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    bar and chain oil

    I've used this for the last 2 months. It's been pretty wet and gunky up here in Santa Cruz for the past couple weeks. (in the mountains anyway) Lots of mud gunk to crap up yer chain.

    Bar and chain oil, available from any hardware store. It's a super viscosity clear oil, mineral based, used mainly to lube chainsaw chains. The stuff at room temp is similar to honey.

    Put it on by submerging the chain in a container and lift it out. You won't be able to drip or pour it on the chain...it's too thick. The oil wont run off when you lift it out, you'll need to wipe it off with your fingers back into the container. Then work it in well, and dry the chain as much as possible with a rag.

    The stuff held up real well in some very wet goopy rides. Yer chain is still gonna turn black, so save the trauma and buy a black chain to begin with.

    To replace, I use a 5 times concentrate orange oil liquid, and just pour a few ounces in a plastic milk jug, drop in the chain and shake it up. Take out and wipe with a rag....pretty clean...then dunk it in the oil and start all over.

  15. #15
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    I've tried Boeshield and agree it's pretty good. I do get more goo buildup than with R 'n R Extreme though. It seems to lube a bit better and longer with a little less rust at the expense of getting messy over time. It's a tradeoff.
    I can't remember exactly how R'n'R compared to Boeshield for goo buildup, but I do know that Boeshield definintely had better lubrication performance. As far as goo goes, I'd say that Boesheild is a bit messier compared to the cleanest "dry" lubes, but it's a lot cleaner than wet lubes.

    The key to dry lubes is to let them DRY. Not 5 minutes like it says on the bottle but more like minimum of overnight.
    Boeshield recommends 2 hrs. I wouldn't call overnight the "minimum" time needed for Boeshield, but I'm not really sure how much difference it makes to give it more than two hours. I typically do give it overnight, but not always.

    The last word of advice is to completely wipe off your chain after you lube.
    I agree. Even with a decent amount of wiping, a slight film still remains, which prevents rust and makes gear shifts smoother.

    Larry

  16. #16
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    link
    Here are some pics from a mud night ride I did last week. Note the chain.

  17. #17
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    My $.02, I mostly use syntethic engine oil 10W-30 to 40, apply with an eye drop dispenser link by link and voila it's way cheaper around $5 for a litter. Have had better wet results witn 3 in 1 household oil, stays longer but gets way black. For rust I use a Sram chain (pc99 hollow) not like shimanos that you have to take extra care as they are not plated. After I clean the chain I spray it with WD-40 and wipe the excess and it's ready for the next lube and ride. For dry / dusty conditions I've tried PTFE dry lube spay, not the best but clean.

  18. #18
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    Dumonde Tech over any other brand. Clean if used As The Directions Say To, outlast other brands especially those "dry" lubes, hit any water and you might as well just stop and re-apply it.

  19. #19
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    Good job! Progold

    I have been a user of Rock & Roll for quite a few years, but I switched to Progold lube earlier this year and it's fantastic stuff.

    I soak my two spare cleaned chains in a sealed container of Progold while i'm using the third one on the bike.

    It's brilliant stuff, the chemical in the lube bonds to the steel of the chain to help prevent wear and friction...and it lasts a long time between lubes.

    The chain always looks clean even after a muddy ride, and being a 'wet' lube its easy to apply while the chain is on the bike if you want to do it that way.

    I don't use anything else now.


    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  20. #20
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    Good job! I agree ProLink

    Quote Originally Posted by lebikerboy
    I live in North Vancouver and have been using Progold for 4 years or so. It outperforms any other lube I've tried hands down for any type of weather conditions. As someone mentioned further up the thread, apply any lube the night before the ride and wipe off excess.

    ProLink is by far the best, when used properly it will look like you never lubed your chain. Your chain will be bright and shiney and dry to the touch, the lube bonds to the metal inside the rollers and is dry as they come and water won't wash it off, Mud and grime will evenually wear it away but it will last your nasty ride with ease. After the ride just wash chain with soap and water water with a brush dry chain then apply ProLink and let dry and your ready to go again. Nothing better.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by danoalb
    ProLink is by far the best, when used properly it will look like you never lubed your chain. Your chain will be bright and shiney and dry to the touch, the lube bonds to the metal inside the rollers and is dry as they come and water won't wash it off, Mud and grime will evenually wear it away but it will last your nasty ride with ease.:
    It seems to depend on the specific type of dirt/mud in your area. Some people report similar findings to yourself, but my personal experience with Progold (in Los Angeles area) was that it didn't last well in water/mud at ALL -- I was quite dissappointed. Riding in the same areas, I get much better longevity with Boeshield T-9.

    The bottom line is that there is NO way of determining the "best" lube from other people's reports. You have to try lubes out yourself to determine which one works best in YOUR specific areas doing YOUR specific types or riding.

    Larry

  22. #22
    lube yer chain on demand
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    The solution is here...

    Quote Originally Posted by forkboy
    Every wet lube I have used has gunked up the chain quickly. Usually the wetter the conditions it's aimed at the quicker it gunks up the chain. Don't even try the Extreme condition lubes...
    Check out the Active Fluid System from Scottoiler. It's proven and it works.
    Yea though I ride through the valley completely out of breath,
    I will be dropped by no people: For my bike continueth carry me; Thy suspension and Thy granny ring they comfort me.

    Scottoiler Chain Lubrication Systems
    www.scottoilerusa.com

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottoiler
    Check out the Active Fluid System from Scottoiler. It's proven and it works.
    That's actually a pretty cool idea. I don't know if I'd go for it (I don't even trust hydraulic brakes) but it is pretty darned innovative.

    Good luck with it!

  24. #24
    lube yer chain on demand
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    Quote Originally Posted by forkboy
    That's actually a pretty cool idea. I don't know if I'd go for it (I don't even trust hydraulic brakes) but it is pretty darned innovative.

    Good luck with it!
    The system has been thoroughly tested and is very reliable. It just plain works. (just like most hydraulic brakes).
    Yea though I ride through the valley completely out of breath,
    I will be dropped by no people: For my bike continueth carry me; Thy suspension and Thy granny ring they comfort me.

    Scottoiler Chain Lubrication Systems
    www.scottoilerusa.com

  25. #25
    Linoleum Knife
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottoiler
    It just plain works. (just like most hydraulic brakes).
    Yup.

    Still doesn't mean I'm going to put 'em on my bike.

  26. #26
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    Of course the distributor is going to say the system works. Also, is the replacement lower pulley compatible with every derailleur out there? I think not.
    Get over it!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by lebikerboy
    Of course the distributor is going to say the system works. Also, is the replacement lower pulley compatible with every derailleur out there? I think not.
    Yeah - I wasn't going to get into that. And how does the quality / longevity of a 3rd party pulley & bushings compare to an OEM shimano lower pulley?

    I still say it's an innovative idea.

  28. #28
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    Scottoiler

    Thought I'd share my experience on the Scottoiler -

    http://www.ride424.com/reviews/

    Overall, very happy with it. Truly unique product.

    Cheers,
    Karl Etzel
    Silicon Valley Cycling Center - Premium Custom Bikes
    Bike fitting specialists for road & MTB
    BikeConcierge

  29. #29
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    Lubes are like beer choices...everyone has their swill.

    One thing...If you run an e13 bash or Chainguide be SURE NOT to run ProLink ProGold or Boeshield T-9. The mineral spirits "attack the polycarbonite in a way that changes the characteristics of the material. "

    This was key info for me, from Jonas @ e13 as on my cyclocross bike I ran 3 parts synth motor oil to one part Mineral spirits (UNREAL lube for the much here in New England). Glad I found out before slopping it on my Trek Liquid with the e13 SRS.
    unityhandbuilt

  30. #30
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    Dumonde Tech is The Best wet weather lube on the market. Period. Oh yeah, is awsome on the dry dusty conditions too.

    It is very safe on all other parts of your bike also. It will not effect Chainguides at all. I use Dumonde Tech on may cable housings and fork legs seals etc.... works great.

  31. #31
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    My rides can look like Jerk Chickens, a little more salt a little less gravel though.

    Rather than protect the exterior of the chain from corrosion I went to the CN7701, nickel plated chain.

    I just run Pedro's Extra dry.

  32. #32
    Ride Everything
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    link
    Here are some pics from a mud night ride I did last week. Note the chain.
    That's pretty impressive. First thing I thought was, "Damn, did he put a clean chain on for that pic?"

    I've had good luck with RnR Extreme and Boeshield T-9, myself.

  33. #33
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    I think that whatever you use, how you apply and prep are just as important. A few have touched on the importance of letting the lube set or dry, and not just splashing some on at the trailhead. Lube that attracts grit will reduce the life of your chain dramatically - especially in dry areas that have fine, dusty particles that can infiltrate into the bushings and between the plates. These act like a grinding compound and chew away at your chainring and cassette teeth, etc...

    Here's my (admittedly a bit anal) process for lubing my chain:
    After the ride, I take a minute and wipe my chain off with a rag - always.
    Every couple/three rides (or more frequent in wet conditions) I then put the bike in the repair stand and do a quick wipe off the teeth of the chainrings, dry brush the cassette lightly with an old toothbrush, and make sure the pulley wheels on the RD are clean.
    Shift the chain to the largest chainring and middle of the cassette.
    Lightly apply the lube. If you have an extra couple of minutes, do it drop at a time on each chain bushing, otherwise, a light application as you turn the pedals backwards by hand. I always apply on the top of the chain as it is moving away from the RD tension pulley towards the front of the bike. Make sure that you cover the entire length of the chain. (A SRAM Link is a good visual clue to look for, and easy to see if you keep your chain clean!).
    Turn the cranks for at least 30 seconds at a rate about like if you were pedaling. This helps the lube move throughout the bushings and slightly heats the lube to let it flow better if it was cold. If it is really cold out in the ol' garage, turn them for a minute or two.
    Let the bike sit for at least a couple of hours. Overnight or until the next ride is even better.
    Before you ride, take a fairly clean rag, and wipe the chain off, then shift to the small-small combo and (this is harder if you ride with a bashguard) wipe off the chainring teeth and lightly clean the cassette middle cogs. This helps keep the dirt from being attracted to residual lube that was on these teeth from the application.

    It might sound like a pain in the A$$, but it really only takes about 3 to 5 minutes and will greatly extend the life of your chain, cassette and rings. Also, invest in a Park or other brand "chain checker" tool. Replace your chain before it is too worn, and you can get some big miles off your expensive cassette and chainrings.

    FWIW, I also use the Boeshield T-9 in most conditions - if it gets REALLY wet and I get coerced into riding, I will sometimes use 10w30 synthetic motor oil, as I know I will have a major cleaning to do anyway.

  34. #34
    Live 2 Ride
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    Sure would be nice to have a bike stand. Not everyone has one you know...
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
    My Blog: http://http://kona0197.wordpress.com/

  35. #35
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    Hey Kona0197 - the directions that I gave don't require a bike stand... Since you're pedaling the chain backwards, the only thing that may be a bit of work is getting it into the chainring/cassette combo that I mention. Sometimes I don't use my stand for the quick clean after a ride - I just lean it against something so that I can clear the pedals to turn them and have at it. You can also hang the bike by the saddle from a rafter in a garage or carport too - a few feet of rope with a loop big enough for the nose of the saddle to go into. Kinda swings around though!

  36. #36
    lube yer chain on demand
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATBScott
    I think that whatever you use, how you apply and prep are just as important.
    Huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by ATBScott
    A few have touched on the importance of letting the lube set or dry...
    Huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by ATBScott
    Lube that attracts grit will reduce the life of your chain dramatically - especially in dry areas that have fine, dusty particles that can infiltrate into the bushings and between the plates. These act like a grinding compound and chew away at your chainring and cassette teeth, etc...
    Tru dat.

    Quote Originally Posted by ATBScott
    Here's my (admittedly a bit anal) process for lubing my chain....
    ....Every couple/three rides (or more frequent in wet conditions) I then put the bike in the repair stand and do a quick wipe off the teeth of the chainrings, dry brush the cassette lightly with an old toothbrush, and make sure the pulley wheels on the RD are clean.
    Why all this fuss???

    Quote Originally Posted by ATBScott
    Shift the chain to the largest chainring and middle of the cassette.
    Lightly apply the lube. If you have an extra couple of minutes, do it drop at a time on each chain bushing, otherwise, a light application as you turn the pedals backwards by hand. I always apply on the top of the chain as it is moving away from the RD tension pulley towards the front of the bike. Make sure that you cover the entire length of the chain. (A SRAM Link is a good visual clue to look for, and easy to see if you keep your chain clean!).
    Turn the cranks for at least 30 seconds at a rate about like if you were pedaling. This helps the lube move throughout the bushings and slightly heats the lube to let it flow better if it was cold. If it is really cold out in the ol' garage, turn them for a minute or two.
    Let the bike sit for at least a couple of hours. Overnight or until the next ride is even better.
    Before you ride, take a fairly clean rag, and wipe the chain off, then shift to the small-small combo and (this is harder if you ride with a bashguard) wipe off the chainring teeth and lightly clean the cassette middle cogs. This helps keep the dirt from being attracted to residual lube that was on these teeth from the application.
    <b>There is definitely a quicker, easier, & simpler way....</b>
    Yea though I ride through the valley completely out of breath,
    I will be dropped by no people: For my bike continueth carry me; Thy suspension and Thy granny ring they comfort me.

    Scottoiler Chain Lubrication Systems
    www.scottoilerusa.com

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottoiler
    <b>There is definitely a quicker, easier, & simpler way....</b>
    Yes, and I love it for my F650 Dakar, but it's waaaaay to filthy for my bicycle. When it's that rainy and ****ty out, I don't ride 'cause it trashes most of the trails here and it shows for months - just break out the road tires.

  38. #38
    lube yer chain on demand
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    Quote Originally Posted by forkboy
    Quote Originally Posted by lebikerboy
    Of course the distributor is going to say the system works. Also, is the replacement lower pulley compatible with every derailleur out there? I think not.
    Yeah - I wasn't going to get into that. And how does the quality / longevity of a 3rd party pulley & bushings compare to an OEM shimano lower pulley?

    I still say it's an innovative idea.
    Actually the system is compatible with about 99% of the derailleurs out there including all Shimano's offerings, all Campy, & most SRAM. The only SRAM rear derailleurs that we've found a compatibilty issue are the '94 X9 and the SRAM 3.0. The kit is supplied with several pulleys for full compatibility with everything else.

    As for durability & quality, the Scottoiler pulleys have been proven to outlast stock lower pulleys by at least twice, as they run cleaner than stock and are contiually lubed. I've proved this on my own bike and there are at least 2 cases documented by the mfgr of the pulleys lasting over 20K miles.
    Yea though I ride through the valley completely out of breath,
    I will be dropped by no people: For my bike continueth carry me; Thy suspension and Thy granny ring they comfort me.

    Scottoiler Chain Lubrication Systems
    www.scottoilerusa.com

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