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  1. #1
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    What chain lube for beach (wet sand) rides

    What are you guys using?
    What will keep the chain lubed without attracting sand?
    I heard some cyclo-cross racers from Belgium will use talcum powder on their chain on wet, sandy courses.
    - Mark Ehlers
    The Prodigal Cyclist

  2. #2
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    Squirt lube, perfect for beach riding, nothing sticks to it,
    The secret is to totally degrease your chain properly before using. This is the mistake some people do then say it just comes off and does not work.

    I degrease a new chain using a screw on plastic container half filled with Parrafin, give it a good shake, then empty and refill.
    Once the chain has dried you need to build up the layers of Squirt, 2 or 3 lubes , letting it dry between applications.

    I only run the chain through the chain cleaner tool every month or so, usually it is just a hose down of the bike after a beach ride, then dry the chain back peddling with a towel hand held running the chain through (watch your fingers!), do this a couple of times, then once dry, i wait till the bike is dry, a couple of lubes allowing to dry between application and your good to go!
    plan it...build it....ride it...love it....
    http://coastkid.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
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    Thanks, coastkid! I've heard of Squirtlube but I haven't had the opportunity to try it yet.

    The results sound very similar to my newest sand-ride test lube, Dumond Tech Lite. I first cleaned my chain in our shop's ultra-sonic cleaner, then applied the lube. I did a 40 mile ride last week that included sand-filled waves washing over the bike's drivetrain frequently.

    When I was done with the ride, I noticed that the chain had a bit of loose sand "dust" on the outer surface of the plates, but the rollers and inner plate surfaces were completely dry. At first I thought that the lube had completely washed off of and out of the chain. But then I realized that during the entire ride, and afterwards, the chain was just as silent as after I had originally applied the lube. So I just wiped off the outer plates with a clean rag, and gave the chain another very light application (per the instructions).

    Apparently it's best to give the chain 2-3 initial applications before the lube makes the best bond to the chain. After that, apply only when the chain makes noise, and not by appearance. I hope to give the lube another test in similar riding conditions today. One thing for sure, it sure made cleaning the drivetrain after the ride, a much easier process.
    - Mark Ehlers
    The Prodigal Cyclist

  4. #4
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    I use dumode tech all the time, except that in wet sandy or really wet muddy environments, it does wash off eventually and nothing is better than having a small (like trial-size) bottle of ATF fluid or wet-lube. Dry waxes are good for environments that are always dry. Being up in the mountains in AZ, this wasn't a good bet, due to wintertime snow/rain and summertime monsoon. Wet lube on the other hand attracts lots of dust and grime, although this isn't really an issue if it's super-wet out, it's going to look gunky, but it's going to work. The dumonde-tech is a polymer-based lube and it's kind of "in the middle" I've found, compared to dry waxes and wet oils. I found the "normal" (not lite) version attracted too much gunk, but I also never gave it a fair test (apply night before, let carrier fluid evaporate, etc) I think. In any case, riding in mud and abrasive sand, I've always found that your lube will eventually wear off and on a longer ride it really helps to have a little micro-bottle of wet lube, because you get into situations where nothing works quite as good, even though it will look like crap on the chain, the chain will at least work and shift. In this case I don't find that wet lube "outlasts" dumonde tech, I just find that both do eventually wash off with enough mud and grit, and you can't really reapply dumonde tech in the field. You only get minimal lubrication if you apply it and do not let it dry/let the carrier evaporate. Wet lube on the other hand works here and now, which is sometimes what you need.
    "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.

  5. #5
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    Rock n Roll Extreme lube for me, cleans and lube's all in one. As Coastkid say's the hardest part is getting off the grease from the chain to start and once applied, wipe clean like it tells you!

  6. #6
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    I have found squirt work perfectly
    Drink coffee....ride bikes....eat cake
    http://morayfatbike.blogspot.com

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the input, guys! You've made me think about a few things I hadn't considered before, and some things I still question when it comes to effective lubrication in wet, sandy conditions.

    First, Rock & Roll Extreme has been my favorite road bike lube for some time now. But I wasn't satisfied with it when fatbiking on the beach. Until I started using Dumond Tech, anything else I tried was just picking up and holding onto the sand along the entire drivetrain. I'm not convinced that this is better than even no lube at all. If you're chain is holding onto sand grains, and scraping them along in their path, I'm not sure that it has less friction than even no lube at all.

    I could hear the grinding for a long time during the ride, each time a wave would come along and deposit another coating of sand on the chain. However, I've been on two beach rides now (40 miles last week, and 20 miles today) after applying Dumond Tech as they direct you to. On both those rides, the chain would not allow any sand to cling to it, or any build-up on the derailleur pulleys.

    Now, I have to say, the chain looks completely dry after the each ride's first couple "sand flushes". HOWEVER, it was silent. Not just without a grinding noise from a "glued-on" coating of sand as a result of using a wet lube, like I was having before I started using the Dumond Tech lube. But there was also a lack of any "dry chain" noise that I would normally get when I have a chain void of any lube at all. This leads me to believe that there might still be some type of lubrications going on in the rollers, even after the wet sand visually appears to have completely washed all the lube off.

    After today's ride I made another inspection of the chain when I got home. Yes, it appears completely dry. But it also no built up of wet lube, sand, or gunk, and neither do the pulleys. And upon riding the bike on the street, the chain makes no more noise than I would get from an otherwise lightly, freshly lubed chain.
    - Mark Ehlers
    The Prodigal Cyclist

  8. #8
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    Another Squirt fan here too

    Important to note: with any dry lube if riding in marine environment choose a chain that will best resist corrosion, since such a lube provides minimal protection. eg. I run a SRAM 991 (full nickel-coated) and the chain is as shiny now as when new a year ago.

  9. #9
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    I just wore out a chain. It lasted from June till now. I beleive it was my sticky lube keeping the sand on the chain, acting as a grinding paste.

    Got a new chain on now, and I am using the Muc-Off C3 Ceramic Dry. I'll let ya's know in the future if this lube is good.

  10. #10
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    I've had great luck on all of my bikes with hot paraffin wax. I use a small crockpot I stole from my wife, 1lb of Gulf Wax from the canning section of the hardware store, and some powdered graphite. It's pretty simple: plug in the crockpot and find something else to do for about 2 hours. Drop the (clean & dry) chain in, give it about 10 minutes until the little bubbles stop coming out, pull it out and hang it up to dry/cool for 5 minutes, reinstall. The wax pops off the plates and stays in the bushings, road chains are good for ~500 miles, mountain for ~350. When the chain starts chirping, repeat. Total cost, if you have to buy the crockpot, under $25.

    My favorite part is that the chain stays dry and clean- always. After 500 miles, you can rub it with your fingers and they don't turn black. Neither does your leg, inside of your car, or anything else. I can't speak to wet beach sand, but it doesn't pick up sand in Moab, even after a soaker rain.

  11. #11
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    "Powdered graphite"...I got lots. Good idea with mixing it in.

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