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  1. #1
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    Which chain lube for winter riding?

    So I've got my first fatbike and done a couple of snow rides and am starting to wonder what chainlube to run. My Fatback's chain seems to have come very well greased, I'm guessing that it is still the packing lube on the chain but seems to be working fairly well (I've never run an FSA chain before, maybe they just throw a lot more lube on it at the factory). I personally will be riding between 5C (41F) down to -10C (14F) in fairly humid snowy conditions, but I'd also like to hear recommendations for colder, drier conditions too.

    My current lube collection is pretty wide thanks to trips to IB as well as trail finds. Here's a list;
    Boeshield T9 (my fave)
    Prolink Gold (heard good things but haven't used due to issues with plastic bashguards)
    Squirt
    Pedro's Chainj
    Pedro's Icewax
    Finishline Krytech
    Finishline Crosscountry
    White Lightning Epic, and Cleanride.

    I'm going to test out what I've got, but any input/experiences from those of you with a few seasons under their belt would be appreciated!

  2. #2
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    I've had good luck with Rock'n Roll blue, which is a PTFE lube.

  3. #3
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    I use squirt, myself and like it a lot. I normally apply it at the end of my ride (or right after washing the bike) so that it dries before I ride it. You have to keep it indoors or it will freeze.

    I've used Prolink in the past, but didn't like the black gunk that it left on the chain. I also used Icewax many years ago, but found that it wore off quickly, often mid-ride. Squirt is much better IMO.

    I think that I have used Finish Line wet a few times when riding in wet conditions. I don't ride much in the wet as it just tears up the trails here.

  4. #4
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    Also a big fan of Rock'n roll blue all conditions use year round.

  5. #5
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    Fresh baby seal blubber if you can source it.

    If you're not down with the club scene, Rock N Roll works too.
    Professional Amateur. Disagree? Submit your grievances here.

  6. #6
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    I used to use Finish Line Cross Country and loved it until I found Chain L. I wouldn't use it in dry but in wet and snow and cold I haven't found anything better. I only have to lube my chain once or twice during the winter and it simply does not wash off when riding in snow like all other lubes (including cross country) I've tried

  7. #7
    Chad
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    2nd Chain-L

  8. #8
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    Big fan of DuMonde Tech (the dark green one)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mavicrider View Post
    Big fan of DuMonde Tech (the dark green one)
    Hot DOG we have a weiner!

    Me too, love the stuff.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  10. #10
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    Bar oil.

    Cheap as chips, very high performance, inhibits rust, and does fine till minus 25C.


    Magura

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Magura View Post
    Bar oil.

    Cheap as chips, very high performance, inhibits rust, and does fine till minus 25C.


    Magura
    I use this mixed with about 1/4 motor oil to thin it out a bit. Works fantastic & I get to make fun of the guys with squeaky chains after 20 miles when I haven't lubed in a month.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRALPH View Post
    I've had good luck with Rock'n Roll blue, which is a PTFE lube.
    +1 love this lube for everything.

  13. #13
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    White Lightening Wet Ride has worked for me. I've tried it up to -25C. All good

  14. #14
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    The tears of roadies on indoor trainers.

    Or Gnar Lube Wet.
    Jason
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Magura View Post
    Bar oil.

    Cheap as chips, very high performance, inhibits rust, and does fine till minus 25C.


    Magura
    What is "bar oil"...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by patineto View Post
    What is "bar oil"...
    The stuff also called chain saw chain oil.

    It's available at every second street corner, like gas stations, home depot (for the ones on the wrong side of the pond), around here you can even find it in the big supermarkets.

    1 liter of bar oil, is roughly 15-20$, and will last for the next decade of lubricating bikes.
    In fact I think that if I didn't have a chainsaw, it would get too old before I would get rid of the entire bottle

    Magura

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Magura View Post
    The stuff also called chain saw chain oil.

    It's available at every second street corner, like gas stations, home depot (for the ones on the wrong side of the pond), around here you can even find it in the big supermarkets.

    1 liter of bar oil, is roughly 15-20$, and will last for the next decade of lubricating bikes.
    In fact I think that if I didn't have a chainsaw, it would get too old before I would get rid of the entire bottle

    Magura
    Great, I have no idea about this oil but it makes perfect sense if it works on chainsaws..

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeG View Post
    I've used Prolink in the past, but didn't like the black gunk that it left on the chain..
    The black gunk is the remains of the stock grease coming out. ProLink has a solvent base that eats through previous lube. If you thoroughly clean your chain ahead of time in some mineral spirits, then the ProLink goes on clear and stays that way throughout its use. Only downside of ProLink is that it's thin and doesnt last long, and it eats through rubber and plastic.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by patineto View Post
    Great, I have no idea about this oil but it makes perfect sense if it works on chainsaws..
    As posted above, it works very well for bikes. Better than any of "bike oils", especially in harsh conditions.

    That it's an industrial product just means you'll have to find a fancy bottle yourself, and write "bike oil" on the bottle


    Magura

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Magura View Post
    As posted above, it works very well for bikes. Better than any of "bike oils", especially in harsh conditions.

    That it's an industrial product just means you'll have to find a fancy bottle yourself, and write "bike oil" on the bottle


    Magura
    you can buy bio-degradable chainsaw bar oil as well, which is a big plus. i've switched to bar oil diluted with either motor oil or ATF (slight amounts) and experimenting with vegetable oils for diluting, and as you said, $10 will last longer than the bike.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferday View Post
    you can buy bio-degradable chainsaw bar oil as well, which is a big plus. i've switched to bar oil diluted with either motor oil or ATF (slight amounts) and experimenting with vegetable oils for diluting, and as you said, $10 will last longer than the bike.
    LOL!

    Around here you can only buy bio-degradable bar oil, and it's been like that for quite some time.

    I have never found a reason to dilute it though, why are you doing that?


    Magura

  22. #22
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    Amsoil Semi-Synthetic Bar and Chain Oil. Should work good in the cold plus the price is right a less than $6 per quart.

  23. #23
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    There are summer and winter grade bar oils. I would guess people are diluting the summer grade oil which gets thick and stringy when its cold. Winter grade should work without diluting. The other great thing about the bio-degradable bar oil (other than it is slightly more environmentally friendly) is that it works well both in winter and summer.

    Phil Wood Tenacious Oil is basically summer grade bar oil.

    I prefer Tri-flow most of the time since I like to clean the salt off of my chain a lot in the winter. If I think its going to be wet or a long ride I might use Pedro's Syn Lube. These lubes can easily be applied when the bike is outdoors, wet and cold. I think most fancy bike lube apply best indoors when its warm and with a little more care.... with that said, I bet T-9 would be great for winter, I miss that stuff.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishMan473 View Post
    There are summer and winter grade bar oils. I would guess people are diluting the summer grade oil which gets thick and stringy when its cold. Winter grade should work without diluting. The other great thing about the bio-degradable bar oil (other than it is slightly more environmentally friendly) is that it works well both in winter and summer.
    Ahh, that would be the reason I have never understood the point in diluting bar oil. I have simply never had anything but the bio version.

    Thanks


    Magura

  25. #25
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    The black gunk is the remains of the stock grease coming out. ProLink has a solvent base that eats through previous lube. If you thoroughly clean your chain ahead of time in some mineral spirits, then the ProLink goes on clear and stays that way throughout its use.
    Not in my experience. The chain was degreased with carb or brake cleaner. Black gunk appeared throughout the life of the chain when using ProLink. YMMV.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeG View Post
    Not in my experience. The chain was degreased with carb or brake cleaner. Black gunk appeared throughout the life of the chain when using ProLink. YMMV.
    Strange, I did a full mineral spirits soak and shake until the chain ran clear then used nothing but ProLink and it dried clear and dry. Worked great but I've moved on from ProLink as it just doesnt last long enough.

  27. #27
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    ProLink for me.

    I found T-9 to work great till it gets cold (15deg or cooler.)

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Hot DOG we have a weiner!

    Me too, love the stuff.
    That stuff looks pretty interesting, very different in it's description - "liquid plastic through polymerization" - unless they mean PTFE. Wonder if there is a Canadian distributor...

  29. #29
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    I like bacon fat. Gives the chain a nice scent and if I get hungry mid-ride, well you know...

    Actually I currently use ProLink. Seems okay. Not sure that I am completely sold on it though. It does seem to require application more often than others I have tried.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by blockphi View Post
    I like bacon fat. Gives the chain a nice scent and if I get hungry mid-ride, well you know...

    Actually I currently use ProLink. Seems okay. Not sure that I am completely sold on it though. It does seem to require application more often than others I have tried.
    Hmmm, main prob with bacon fat around here is the potential for waking sleeping Grizzlies. Although wouldn't be as bad as this past summer when a buddy spilled the oil from a can of sardines on himself on a high alpine bike ride...
    Had to explain to him that it wasn't the wisest food choice.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by blockphi View Post
    I like bacon fat. Gives the chain a nice scent and if I get hungry mid-ride, well you know...

    Actually I currently use ProLink. Seems okay. Not sure that I am completely sold on it though. It does seem to require application more often than others I have tried.
    You must ride a FatBack!

    That must force you to keep the cadence up so you can stay ahead of the circus parade.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    Where am I? Again.

  32. #32
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    I've been a fan of Rock and Roll, and it works well at low temps. The problem I've found with wax based lubes is that you can't reapply while the chain or lube is cold. After slushy rides or things like the Arrowhead 135 I've found the chain unhappy and I have to bring the bike (or at least the chain) indoors to warm up before lubing.

    I might test out the AmsOil+thinner of some kind for a lube that could be applied at below zero...
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyRider View Post
    I used to use Finish Line Cross Country and loved it until I found Chain L. I wouldn't use it in dry but in wet and snow and cold I haven't found anything better. I only have to lube my chain once or twice during the winter and it simply does not wash off when riding in snow like all other lubes (including cross country) I've tried
    +1

    I use it as well, its a bit dirtier but my drivetrain now lasts a whole season ( chain 6 mos.)
    Last edited by dan0; 12-05-2012 at 01:53 PM.

  34. #34
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    [QUOTE=FishMan473;9932112]There are summer and winter grade bar oils. I would guess people are diluting the summer grade oil which gets thick and stringy when its cold.


    actually the stringyness is on purpose, it draws the oil back into the cracks and crevases instead of letting it fling off into the air

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by soupboy View Post
    fresh baby seal blubber if you can source it.

    If you're not down with the club scene, rock n roll works too.
    lmao....
    Last edited by Davesnhere; 12-04-2012 at 11:14 AM. Reason: Smiley malfunction

  36. #36
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    I found myself without a bottle of lube this summer and a bike that had been ridden hard and put away wet, but I did have my chainsaw in the van. I pillaged it for some bar lube, it worked fan-freaking-tastic. I was not aware that it was a common practice. I just bought a heap of rock and roll, but glad to hear that people use bar lube regularly.....good work. Eat food, chop wood, ride bike.

  37. #37
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    Any tips on how you apply bar oil from the quart container without making a huge mess? Thanks.

  38. #38
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    Put some in a smaller bottle?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinS View Post
    So I've got my first fatbike and done a couple of snow rides and am starting to wonder what chainlube to run. My Fatback's chain seems to have come very well greased, I'm guessing that it is still the packing lube on the chain but seems to be working fairly well (I've never run an FSA chain before, maybe they just throw a lot more lube on it at the factory). I personally will be riding between 5C (41F) down to -10C (14F) in fairly humid snowy conditions, but I'd also like to hear recommendations for colder, drier conditions too.

    My current lube collection is pretty wide thanks to trips to IB as well as trail finds. Here's a list;
    Boeshield T9 (my fave)
    Prolink Gold (heard good things but haven't used due to issues with plastic bashguards)
    Squirt
    Pedro's Chainj
    Pedro's Icewax
    Finishline Krytech
    Finishline Crosscountry
    White Lightning Epic, and Cleanride.

    I'm going to test out what I've got, but any input/experiences from those of you with a few seasons under their belt would be appreciated!
    I use Pro Gold ProLink Chain Lube.

    It keeps dirt out of the drive-chain and helps to keep rust away. It's a lube and cleaner. Waterproof formula and removes all other lubricants; prevents dirt and grit from sticking to the chain, and doesn't wash off in wet conditions. I have found it never freezes and I actually use it to cleanly chain too.

    -Garret
    I'm so Fat!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastorgarret View Post
    I use Pro Gold ProLink Chain Lube.

    I have found it never freezes.

    -Garret
    I'm so Fat!
    Not at all true. I left my bottle outside the other day. It was 25F and the bottle was frozen solid. No dice.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeek29er View Post
    Any tips on how you apply bar oil from the quart container without making a huge mess? Thanks.
    You can pour it off into a dropper bottle. When I used to use bar oil on my fixed gear, I would pull the chain off and let it soak in a bottle of bar oil, then pull it out and wipe it off.

    I know guys that soak a rag in bar oil and just wipe it over their chains to lube, seems really messy but I guess its no worse than a drop on each roller.

    Guess the beltdrive bandwagon has broken down? This seems like the perfect thread for someone to jump in and chime on the allweather readiness of a beltdrive setup.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastorgarret View Post
    I use Pro Gold ProLink Chain Lube.

    It keeps dirt out of the drive-chain and helps to keep rust away. It's a lube and cleaner. Waterproof formula and removes all other lubricants; prevents dirt and grit from sticking to the chain, and doesn't wash off in wet conditions. I have found it never freezes and I actually use it to cleanly chain too.

    -Garret
    I'm so Fat!
    sounds like an impossibility, if it removes other lubricants and is waterproof it must be solvent based and as such it would also clean itself off , so while it may leave a small amount behind as it evaporates it would be a very small amount. Wd40 does the same thing, but is too thin to be of much value.
    there is a study done by one of the universities that tested all chain lubes ( in a lab) and they found that none of them did any better friction wise than no lube at all. they deducted that chain lubes value was in filling in the hollows and voids in chains so that dirt and water wouldnt get in and acumulate, also an oil based lube will also offer some rust protection

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by EPcycles View Post
    Not at all true. I left my bottle outside the other day. It was 25F and the bottle was frozen solid. No dice.
    I meant on my chain. Not in the bottle. There is less on your chain and maybe if the chain is moving there is enough fiction to keep it from freezing. Most of the other oils I have used froze at low temperatures. Just my experience.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by blockphi View Post
    I like bacon fat. Gives the chain a nice scent and if I get hungry mid-ride, well you know...

    Actually I currently use ProLink. Seems okay. Not sure that I am completely sold on it though. It does seem to require application more often than others I have tried.
    lmao!!!

    OK I am going to try this. Best advice I have ever heard. ;-)

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastorgarret View Post
    I meant on my chain. Not in the bottle. There is less on your chain and maybe if the chain is moving there is enough fiction to keep it from freezing. Most of the other oils I have used froze at low temperatures. Just my experience.
    no real friction going on with a bike chain, especially not enough to melt water
    any solvent based oil will not freeze in temps. that most people ride in. they will get thicker but you have to get well below zero to freeze

  46. #46
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    I'm fan of wax, now using squirt, but i also liked other brands!

  47. #47
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    If you ride in negative temps and are looking for reliability in all your moving parts, especially your hubs you should be using -
    Morning Star Free Hub Soup - FreeHub Soup (Lube) / Morningstar Tools

    I personally use this on ALL my moving parts. Headset, BB, hubs, pulleys etc

    As for chain, definitely, its like you do it once at the beginning of the year and call it good.. Massage it in and I will guarantee you over a thousand miles. It has worked for us every time crossing AK. Been using it on all my winter bikes for the past 5 years and the one time I didnt treat (Tracey's) hub it froze up at a very bad time...resulted in, well lets just say I boiled the grease and the seals right off the hub and then it worked again.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nothing's impossible View Post
    I'm fan of wax, now using squirt, but i also liked other brands!
    Freezes really easy.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTR2ebike View Post
    Freezes really easy.
    Once the water is evaporated it works really well and doesn't freeze anymore then other stuff.

    But if you have no chance of letting the squirt dry, or if you applicate it in low temperatures, you better look for something with a solvent that evaporates quicker or at low temperatures!

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