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  1. #1
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    Mountain Bike Lube

    It's that time to buy some new chain lube again. What is eveyone's favortite? Dry, Wet, Wax, Teflon, etc.?

  2. #2
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    I have always used Rock and Roll Gold...

    The trick with this lube is to put it on in a warm temp (or else the wax is too solidified), put it on liberally, and completely wipe it down until your chain is clean and dry. Give it a little time to dry thoroughly and you are good to go...

    SPP

  3. #3
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    29ers don't require lube.

  4. #4
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    Wet lube actually lubricates your chain much better than any wax lube can, but requires more work. But if you use it sparingly and can follow directions, it provides far superior and longer lasting lubrication. I prefer biodegradable lubricants since chain lubes are in direct contact with the environment (versus bearings grease or fork oil for instance). Pedros Chainj, Ernesto Lube, Green Oil, and Phil's Biolube come to mind for off the shelf product. I mix my own from a biodegradable bar and chain oil cut with canola oil and it has worked as well as any wet lube (bio or not) that I have ever used in 18 years of mountain biking.

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    +1 on the wet lube ideas above. I put it on the night before, then wipe down b4 riding the next day. It is surprising how little comes off on the rag after setting up overnight.

    Currently using Finish Line Wet, with a little brake cleaner sprayed into the bottle to thin it and help flash off the light ends, leaving the "real" lube behind, in the pins and rollers where it belongs.

    I love the idea and pure cleanliness of the dry lubes, and they work great as long as I'm not riding over an hour and a half -- which just doesn't happen very often.
    Whining is not a strategy.

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    Boeing T-9 spray. Easy to clean ... lasts a long time. Also, there's a degreaser called "El Duke" which is both a fantastic cleaner and lubricant. These are my two favorites. The T=9 is remarkable at preventing rust too on other exposed parts. Just wipe a little on things like cables and other exposed metal once in awhile and it really works. Believe me, I live in Hawaii which is ground zero for corrosion.

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    dumode tech

  8. #8
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    I personally use Pedro's Syn Lube and have for over a year. I have nothing but praise for it. A nice synthetic wet lube is very versatile and puts up with most any climate.

    However i will say this, proper maintanence (ie cleaning and lubing often) is infinitely more important than the lube you are utilizing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai
    Boeing T-9 spray. Easy to clean ... lasts a long time. Also, there's a degreaser called "El Duke" which is both a fantastic cleaner and lubricant. These are my two favorites. The T=9 is remarkable at preventing rust too on other exposed parts.
    If it's good enough for aircraft parts - it's good enough for me. I love this stuff too.

  10. #10
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    I use Land 'o Lakes buttery spread. It keeps my chain rollers smiling.

  11. #11
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    chain-l oil #5 lasts and lasts

  12. #12
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    I've always used Triflow.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
    My Blog: http://http://kona0197.wordpress.com/

  13. #13
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    im pretty sure i use white lightning easy lube right now..it works alot better than the grease that was on the chain when i got it..seems to work really well.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by slalomnorth65
    It's that time to buy some new chain lube again. What is eveyone's favortite? Dry, Wet, Wax, Teflon, etc.?
    Once a dry lube is displaced it stays that way. Wet lube will flow back between the rollers where it is needed.

    Actually, researchers at John's Hopkins did drivetrain efficiency tests with various lubes. Turns out that a clean chain with NO LUBE is nearly as efficient as pretty much anything else. It led researchers to speculate that the value of the lube is actually to keep out impurities.

    After I read that, there was no more dry lube. Besides, I was going through chains way too fast with the dry and it required constant reapplication.

  15. #15
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    Was the test conducted by Dr. Hannibal Lecter?

  16. #16
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    White Lightning, my old mtb lasted me over 10 years and I never once had to clean the drivetrain or replace any of it. 300 dust filled miles on the Sultan (one year old now) also using White Lightning and drive train still is clean and quiet.

    Of course I lived in Colorado and AZ so moisture isn't a concern, don't know how it holds up to water.

  17. #17
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    "Finishline Wet (Cross Country) lube" is the best lube there is hands down. I have been mountain biking 24 years have tried almost everything. A lot lubricants have hit the trash can pretty fast because they just didn't offer the same lubricating properties as Finishline Cross country. Here is a quick review!

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/catego...wet-lube-28377

    Here is a "tip" for you!

    Be sure to clean your chain completely with a mechanical chain cleaner and a good degreaser. Be sure to rinse the chain clean and wipe dry. (Note: Old warn out socks are ideal for chain and derailleur cleaning. (BTW finish line has two really good youtube clips on how to clean and lube your front and rear derailleurs). Not exactly the most environmentally friendly, but hey cycling season is short. And no I don’t work for Finishline!)

    http://www.youtube.com/user/caeasura#g/a

    Once the chain is sparkling clean and dry. Place a drop of lube on each pin and let capilary action do its thing. Once all the pins have a drop of lubricant on them, spin the cranks for a minute or two to work the lubricant into the chain and let stand over night or longer (unless your in a hurry). Before your next ride remove all the excess lube with a clean rag by spinning the crank and chain. I ussally do this for a minimum of two minutes. As a last step I will spray some "Break Clean" into the rag just to get the excess oil of the chain links. "Break Clean" drys really really fast so it will leave the lubricant between the pin and roller where you want it. Instead of or after using the Break Clean you can apply a little Finishlines Dry Teflon lube to help reduce friction between the chain links and the cassette. It really helps make the drive train whisper quiet and shift like a hot knife through butter.

    Check out Stephans blog it's where I picked up a lot of lubricating tips. He is obviosly payed by Finishline so can take him with grain of salt. But he has a lot of good tips and great advice there.

    http://maintainthatride.blogspot.com/

    I hope that helps!

    PAX CHRISTI

  18. #18
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    ^^^^ has wayyy to much time on his hands to go through that BS

    I use regular motor oil, whatever is laying around, its a friggin lubricant which is all that matters, the only thing that really should be done with chain lube is to apply it AFTER you are done riding while the chain is somewhat warm, helps the lube adhere to the chain, It should also be applied after riding in the wet.

  19. #19
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    Thank you farmer Brown!

    And if motor oil doesn't work you can always try KY Jelly!

    (Note: Motor oil is designed to work in a hot internal combustion engine not on a bicycle chain!)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sopwithcamel
    And if motor oil doesn't work you can always try KY Jelly!

    (Note: Motor oil is designed to work in a hot internal combustion engine not on a bicycle chain!)
    lol yea ok their "I have to sped money on something that says specifically what its for"

    I have used it since my first peddle bike with training wheels, works just fine. My personal favorite and what hands down has worked the best as I mentioned on another thread is NAPA chain and cable lube, used it when I had the fun park and nothing lubricated the go kart chains as well (that I personally found) but IM to lazy to purchase any now

    Of note, Wd 40 not a true lube, and I personally do not use it except for cleaning one, however I know people in the motorcycle community who use it regularly and are getting 10s of thousands of miles out a chain, could be that all a person needs to do is keep their chain lubed regardless of what type they use, novel concept, but whatever makes you sleep best at night

  21. #21
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    another vote for triflo, cheap, easy and it smells like bannanas

  22. #22
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    Actually, researchers at John's Hopkins did drivetrain efficiency tests with various lubes. Turns out that a clean chain with NO LUBE is nearly as efficient as pretty much anything else. It led researchers to speculate that the value of the lube is actually to keep out impurities.
    MBA did a similar test and said that the chain actually doesn't need any lube at all.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    MBA did a similar test and said that the chain actually doesn't need any lube at all.
    Would love to see that test, but in the real world rust is of course one of your chains main enemies which is one of the main purposes of lube, to help resist that.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    MBA did a similar test and said that the chain actually doesn't need any lube at all.
    The JH test were done in a (clean) lab and only tested efficiency...not wear (though efficiency measures friction which would be an indicator of wear), if all you do is ride your bike on a trainer in a sterile environment, then you probably don't need lube.

    But as the testers admitted:
    But it (lube) may contribute to energy efficiency in the rugged outdoors. "The role of the lubricant, as far as we can tell, is to take up space so that dirt doesn't get into the chain," Spicer says. "The lubricant is essentially a clean substance that fills up the spaces so that dirt doesn't get into the critical portions of the chain where the parts are very tightly meshed. But in lab conditions, where there is no dirt, it makes no difference
    Anyone who has suffered from severe chain suck as their lubricant has failed can attest to its critical role in keeping dirt out of their chain
    Last edited by mtnbiker72; 04-05-2010 at 05:40 PM.

  25. #25
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    mtnbiker72's formula of bio-degradable chainsaw chain lube cut with Canola oil . Works awesome and nicer to Mother Nature . Thanks for the Canola oil tip .

  26. #26
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    I dig wd40.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by glitz
    I dig wd40.
    Absolutely the worst thing you can use as a lubricant. WD40 is better suited to stubborn nuts and screws.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  28. #28
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    Here is a link to a video as why you should never ever use WD40 as chain lubricant. Personally I think you should be dragged out into the street and horse wipped for saying that.

    http://bicycletutor.com/no-wd40-bike-chain/

  29. #29
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    But it's an oil and it'sbetter than nothing, right? It degreases my chain and applies a new, light oil, and doesn't attract dirt.

  30. #30
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    glitz it is worse then nothing because WD40 removes any oil that was still on the chain! Try the technique I wrote in great detail above with Finishline Wet with the dry teflon chaser and you will notice a big difference in chain quietness and shifting.

  31. #31
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    The WD in WD40 stands for Water Displacement. All WD40 does is remove things - it doesn't add nothing. Lube is pretty cheap. No excuse to go get some.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by sopwithcamel
    "Finishline Wet (Cross Country) lube" is the best lube there is hands down. I have been mountain biking 24 years have tried almost everything. A lot lubricants have hit the trash can pretty fast because they just didn't offer the same lubricating properties as Finishline Cross country. Here is a quick review!

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/catego...wet-lube-28377

    Here is a "tip" for you!

    Be sure to clean your chain completely with a mechanical chain cleaner and a good degreaser. Be sure to rinse the chain clean and wipe dry. (Note: Old warn out socks are ideal for chain and derailleur cleaning. (BTW finish line has two really good youtube clips on how to clean and lube your front and rear derailleurs). Not exactly the most environmentally friendly, but hey cycling season is short. And no I donít work for Finishline!)

    http://www.youtube.com/user/caeasura#g/a

    Once the chain is sparkling clean and dry. Place a drop of lube on each pin and let capilary action do its thing. Once all the pins have a drop of lubricant on them, spin the cranks for a minute or two to work the lubricant into the chain and let stand over night or longer (unless your in a hurry). Before your next ride remove all the excess lube with a clean rag by spinning the crank and chain. I ussally do this for a minimum of two minutes. As a last step I will spray some "Break Clean" into the rag just to get the excess oil of the chain links. "Break Clean" drys really really fast so it will leave the lubricant between the pin and roller where you want it. Instead of or after using the Break Clean you can apply a little Finishlines Dry Teflon lube to help reduce friction between the chain links and the cassette. It really helps make the drive train whisper quiet and shift like a hot knife through butter.

    Check out Stephans blog it's where I picked up a lot of lubricating tips. He is obviosly payed by Finishline so can take him with grain of salt. But he has a lot of good tips and great advice there.

    http://maintainthatride.blogspot.com/

    I hope that helps!

    PAX CHRISTI
    Seriously, that's a LOT OF EFFORT to clean the chain. All I do is remove the chain (SRAM power link chains are best for this) then soak it in some citrus degreaser, rinse it off and spray Boeing T-9 on it. Chain is always whisper quiet and it doesn't get your fingers all mucked up with black crud when you touch it. theT-9 seems to do a good job of shedding sand, which is an issue in Hawaii. I think if I was looking at all the steps you put into cleaning the chain, I'd put off chain cleaning for weeks ... :-)

  33. #33
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    MSL Kauai.......

    It just sounds like a lot of work because I went into great detail and gave some other tips along the way. A practiced hand can do it in under 5 minutes not including the waiting over night part to ensure that every nano of the chain is lubricated. Also your not doing every ride only when your chain needs it or when you are washing your bike.

  34. #34
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    I actually take it a step farther by scrubbing each link after it has soaked in degreaser overnight. I then apply Triflow to each link.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
    My Blog: http://http://kona0197.wordpress.com/

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by sopwithcamel
    MSL Kauai.......

    It just sounds like a lot of work because I went into great detail and gave some other tips along the way. A practiced hand can do it in under 5 minutes not including the waiting over night part to ensure that every nano of the chain is lubricated. Also your not doing every ride only when your chain needs it or when you are washing your bike.
    No doubt about it, your system is thorough and solid. I'm pretty sold on the Boeing T-9 spray. My chain is staying cleaner longer than it ever has. I like sprays because it's fast and I don't have to go one drop, one link at a time.

    Another really cool product is El Duke degreaser. That stuff degreases absolutely anything and as a side benefit, it's a lubricant too. If you use a citrus degreaser then just dip the chain in the El Duke, you get another layer of cleaning and it's totally lubricated. It's amazing stuff.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    I actually take it a step farther by scrubbing each link after it has soaked in degreaser overnight. I then apply Triflow to each link.
    IF you REALLY want to get serious about chain maintenance and get off the chain cleaning slacker bench, here you go ...

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html

    LMAO when I first saw this!

  37. #37
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    I got me that purple stuff
    "If women don't find handsome , they should at least find you handy."-Red Green

  38. #38
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    Seems to me all the hate against wd40 is just everyone agreeing with a few loud people who sound like they know what they are talking about. No lubricating properties? really? fine then, if it leaves nothing behind, then you should have no problem spraying it all around the house. Spray it on your computer monitor, it'll be great. Have you ever actually used the stuff? Sometimes I feel ashamed to be a part of a hobby that excludes people just because they don't waste their money on the most expensive of everything.

    When i was younger, i only used wd40 on bikes and guess what, i never ever ever ever had to replace a chain. ever. Its already been stated clearly that, so long as there are no foreign contaminants, a chain doesn't even need lubrication. Therefore, your argument that wd40 doesn't work for that reason is moot. Maybe it just works the opposite way of normal lubes which prevent dirt from getting in, wd40 actively washes out the dirt every time you apply it. Maybe some people, possibly due to where and how they ride, have no use for the same lube you do. Seems like the same situation as in the tire forums, except that you don't see people there claiming that the so-and-so tire gets zero traction at all in any conditions anywhere.

    Anyway, to the OP, i use pedro's ice wax, a dry lube, because otherwise my chain absorbs sand like a sponge and i can't stand the grinding noise. Once i learned how best to apply it and such, my drivetrain has been running great(and quiet) no matter what i ride through. It all depends on what your needs are.
    Jarrod

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrod22
    Seems to me all the hate against wd40 is just everyone agreeing with a few loud people who sound like they know what they are talking about. No lubricating properties? really? fine then, if it leaves nothing behind, then you should have no problem spraying it all around the house. Spray it on your computer monitor, it'll be great. Have you ever actually used the stuff? Sometimes I feel ashamed to be a part of a hobby that excludes people just because they don't waste their money on the most expensive of everything.

    When i was younger, i only used wd40 on bikes and guess what, i never ever ever ever had to replace a chain. ever. Its already been stated clearly that, so long as there are no foreign contaminants, a chain doesn't even need lubrication. Therefore, your argument that wd40 doesn't work for that reason is moot. Maybe it just works the opposite way of normal lubes which prevent dirt from getting in, wd40 actively washes out the dirt every time you apply it. Maybe some people, possibly due to where and how they ride, have no use for the same lube you do. Seems like the same situation as in the tire forums, except that you don't see people there claiming that the so-and-so tire gets zero traction at all in any conditions anywhere.
    .......
    If they have to apply it every time they get the chain dirty(assuming every ride, this being a mtb forum), they're going to be spending a lot more money using WD40 than they will using other lubes that only generally need to be replaced at most every handful of rides.... The lubrication WD40 leaves behind is not thick/durable enough to keep out dirt and stay in place at the pivots on a chain.

    I've found this stuff to last a really long time, and it's fairly cheap. You can probably find it, or something similar, at your local hardware store.

    http://www.laco.com/productDetail43.aspx

  40. #40
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    I'm just going to start replacing my chain with a new one after every ride.

  41. #41
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    To say that WD40 has "no lubricating properties" is idiotic. Spray the stuff on your hands and you'll know immediately that it's oily ... take a super squeaky chain and spray some WD40 on it and you'll see and hear immediate improvement. Spray WD40 on a squeaky hinge or lock and the change is immediate.

    WD40 will lubricate a chain ... as good as the most expensive high tech stuff? Who knows. But it's certainly better than letting a chain get rusty and squeaky.

  42. #42
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    Yet a bottle of Triflow is cheaper and made for mountain bikes unlike WD40. What's next are we going to hear people say that liquid wrench is good for a chain?

    By the way the experts in the business say stay away from WD40.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  43. #43
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    Water Displacement 40 gallon....yeah everyone knows the origin to the thing, and it does displace water but then so does every oil product. The problem lies in the fact its a super light oil that doesn't last very long in a high usage department like a bicycle chain. Its great for door hinges which move thru only a small range and never encounter mud or water but not much else.

    Personally I prefer 10W40 for chain oil... its definitely meant for metal on metal parts, and its cheap.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    I mix my own from a biodegradable bar and chain oil cut with canola oil and it has worked as well as any wet lube (bio or not) that I have ever used in 18 years of mountain biking.
    What ratios are you working with? Also, have you ever cut the chain lube with anything else? I read somewhere recently someone used chainsaw lube cut with break cleaner. I have about a gallon of the stuff that I would like to find a use for and I figure it should last me pretty much the rest of my life especially if I cut it making even more volume of lube.

  45. #45
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    This is one of the better articles I have read on Chain Maintenance an lube, ya'll might want to take five minutes and read it.

    http://www.motorcycleanchor.com/moto...mc_chains.html

    FYI people WD 40 is rate as a light lubricant, make of that what you will.

  46. #46
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    I'm not following because it was submitted that a dry, non-lubed, clean chain operates the most efficiently. So if the chain is clean, then what problem do people have with WD40?

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurr
    This is one of the better articles I have read on Chain Maintenance an lube, ya'll might want to take five minutes and read it.

    http://www.motorcycleanchor.com/moto...mc_chains.html

    FYI people WD 40 is rate as a light lubricant, make of that what you will.
    Interesting. This article mainly talks about O-ring motorcycle chains which are very different than bicycle chains. The chains he refers to as "open-link" chains are closer to what are found on bicycles. In the article the author says WD40 is OK for these chains.

    FTFA...
    "WD-40 however, is perfectly suited to cleaning old-style open-link chains."

  48. #48
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    the key word in that quote is cleaning...not lubricating

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by glitz
    But it's an oil and it'sbetter than nothing, right? It degreases my chain and applies a new, light oil, and doesn't attract dirt.

    WD-40 has lubricating properties and contains lubricating compounds....

    Unfortunately because it is so thin it does not stay around for very long....hence lack of lubrication...

    I get it by the gallon tin....

    Check out the residue at the bottom really heavy smooth lubricating oil, but note most of that stays in the tin, cause the carrying fluid is so light.

    I use Triflow teflon in the summer and Pedro's Ice wax in the winter.

  50. #50
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    I don't know about you guys but have you felt your chain after you put no lube on it for a while, it gets bone dry. Not to mention without any lube during a wet ride (after) your chain gets rusty, which will make the links not pivot as well. So whatever those tests are on MBA and such, I think it's stupid....

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