Off Road Chain Lube- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Off Road Chain Lube

    I did a search but couldn't see where the question had been discussed. I sprayed some off road motorcycle chain lube on an old chain, it cleaned it really good because of the volatiles then when evaporated I wiped off the outside of the chain and all looked well. It felt lubed inside when I rolled it. It's supposed to repel dirt, water and corrosion so I'm wondering what the cons are. Has it already been dismissed?

  2. #2
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    There many, many lubes. You could add a product name with a link so yours can be compared.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    There many, many lubes. You could add a product name with a link so yours can be compared.
    I am currently using Yamaha Off Road Chain Lube but any off road motorcycle chain lube could be used I guess.

    https://www.chapmoto.com/yamalube-of...BoCF2QQAvD_BwE

  4. #4
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    In 1998 I purchased a 4L of chainbar lube for chainsaws. I still have 3Ltr left!


    It works awesome! The trick is to put only a little bit of lube on every other ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    In 1998 I purchased a 4L of chainbar lube for chainsaws. I still have 3Ltr left!


    It works awesome! The trick is to put only a little bit of lube on every other ride.
    Good to know! I sprayed some of my dirt bike chain lube on a piece of metal and when the solvents evaporated it left a very slick film. It undoubtedly has very stable pressure shear properties.
    Last edited by FKipper; 03-08-2019 at 02:04 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    In 1998 I purchased a 4L of chainbar lube for chainsaws.....
    Yeah. Chainbar lube is good, IMO. I recommend putting enough on so that it penetrates the chain and wiping off all the excess you can. It needs to be in the chain, not on it. IMO, thinning chainbar lube with some solvent (e.g. OMS) so it penetrates better and can be more easily wiped off can be helpful. The solvent will evaporate.

    Most all motorcycle chain lubes I've used (on motos) are pretty thick. They have solvent to thin them out but once it evaporates, the lube is very viscous and gummy...too viscous and gummy to be optimal for bicycles...at least at my power output.
    What, me worry?

  7. #7
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    I use Stihl Bar & Chain oil with a Shimano Sil-Tec coated chain. That Sil-Tec treatment helps shed dirt out of the box. I wipe the chain and never use a cleaner or water. Just drops of B&C with excess after a couple hours wiped off.

  8. #8
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    You all put way too much effort into this stuff. I just buy whatever lube happens to be sitting on the counter at my LBS whenever I'm there. Usually, I'm there for some other reason, and right as I"m checking out, I remember, "hey, I need some lube!"
    The cake is a lie.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kubikeman View Post
    You all put way too much effort into this stuff. I just buy whatever lube happens to be sitting on the counter at my LBS whenever I'm there. Usually, I'm there for some other reason, and right as I"m checking out, I remember, "hey, I need some lube!"
    Lol, just goes to show it's really a matter of personal convenience.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    ...Most all motorcycle chain lubes I've used (on motos) are pretty thick. They have solvent to thin them out but once it evaporates, the lube is very viscous and gummy...too viscous and gummy to be optimal for bicycles...at least at my power output.
    Yep, street bike chain lube is really tacky because of the constant high speeds but the off road chain lube is no where near as sticky (in my experience). Stuff I have now goes on so thin it really penetrates well.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FKipper View Post
    Yep, street bike chain lube is really tacky because of the constant high speeds but the off road chain lube is no where near as sticky (in my experience). Stuff I have now goes on so thin it really penetrates well.
    Every one seems to forget that motorcycle road bike chains, and a large number of off road chains for motorcycles are sealed. There are o-rings sealing every single roller. When properly maintained, these chains don't need any more lube than the lube installed inside of them at the factory. The lube applied to them is applied to keep them quiet and to keep the o-rings (sometimes branded as X-rings) moving smoothly.

    I also agree that bicycle chain lube is way overthought. All I do after every ride is remove the chain and soak it in turpentine. About an hour or so before my next ride I pull it out of the turpentine bath and throw it in a toaster oven at about 200f. Not too hot to avoid a fire risk. After it is dry I use a natural Shellac based oily wax to lubricate the chain. Wipe it on and ride. It gets drawn in as the chain cools. A 55 gallon barrel of turpentine lasts me more than 6 months of use for my whole family, and the Shellac is basically bug secretions so it is good for the environment. It also avoids a trip to the LBS to buy chain lubes that cost hundreds of dollars per gallon.

    Nooo ... I just wipe it, add ATF, and wipe it again.

  12. #12
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    Coming from someone who had rode bicycle and offroad motorcycles (as well as shot guns, ran old Toyotas and kept dozens of old vehicles alive) for 45+ years - it does not matter. One single bit. Buy the one that smells best you you - like your wife's or girlfriend's perfume. Then put your nose to your grips while you ride, and blankety blank your significant other when you get home. Nothing else matters. Really. Seriously. It's all snakeoil). Brand or type of lube means nothing (except for the smell, or price). No sheatt.

    Ride on, dude.

    Seriously.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by adaycj View Post
    Every one seems to forget that motorcycle road bike chains, and a large number of off road chains for motorcycles are sealed. There are o-rings sealing every single roller. When properly maintained, these chains don't need any more lube than the lube installed inside of them at the factory. The lube applied to them is applied to keep them quiet and to keep the o-rings (sometimes branded as X-rings) moving smoothly.

    I also agree that bicycle chain lube is way overthought. All I do after every ride is remove the chain and soak it in turpentine. About an hour or so before my next ride I pull it out of the turpentine bath and throw it in a toaster oven at about 200f. Not too hot to avoid a fire risk. After it is dry I use a natural Shellac based oily wax to lubricate the chain. Wipe it on and ride. It gets drawn in as the chain cools. A 55 gallon barrel of turpentine lasts me more than 6 months of use for my whole family, and the Shellac is basically bug secretions so it is good for the environment. It also avoids a trip to the LBS to buy chain lubes that cost hundreds of dollars per gallon.

    Nooo ... I just wipe it, add ATF, and wipe it again.

    OMG you had me goin! That was effin hilarious

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by adaycj View Post
    Every one seems to forget that motorcycle road bike chains, and a large number of off road chains for motorcycles are sealed. There are o-rings sealing every single roller. When properly maintained, these chains don't need any more lube than the lube installed inside of them at the factory. The lube applied to them is applied to keep them quiet and to keep the o-rings (sometimes branded as X-rings) moving smoothly.

    I also agree that bicycle chain lube is way overthought. All I do after every ride is remove the chain and soak it in turpentine. About an hour or so before my next ride I pull it out of the turpentine bath and throw it in a toaster oven at about 200f. Not too hot to avoid a fire risk. After it is dry I use a natural Shellac based oily wax to lubricate the chain. Wipe it on and ride. It gets drawn in as the chain cools. A 55 gallon barrel of turpentine lasts me more than 6 months of use for my whole family, and the Shellac is basically bug secretions so it is good for the environment. It also avoids a trip to the LBS to buy chain lubes that cost hundreds of dollars per gallon.

    Nooo ... I just wipe it, add ATF, and wipe it again.
    And, such an outlook and procedure, would keep everyone riding happily, except for the korporut sharehololders, forever. And ever. But some people like snakeoil. Justification and rationalization keeps their gonads happy. Others of us see reality.

    Rock on, dude. Rock on. And ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aerobat66 View Post
    Coming from someone who had rode bicycle and offroad motorcycles (as well as shot guns, ran old Toyotas and kept dozens of old vehicles alive) for 45+ years - it does not matter. One single bit. Buy the one that smells best you you - like your wife's or girlfriend's perfume. Then put your nose to your grips while you ride, and blankety blank your significant other when you get home. Nothing else matters. Really. Seriously. It's all snakeoil). Brand or type of lube means nothing (except for the smell, or price). No sheatt.

    Ride on, dude.

    Seriously.
    I kinda lean toward this school of thought that's why I questioned using special bicycle chain lube in the first place. For me, one can of Yamaha Off Road Chain Lube (or equivalent) will probably last for many years.

    BTW, some desert riders use o-ring chains but almost no one riding MX uses o-ring. Too much extra drag.

  16. #16
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    Some funny responses on the subject, and a lot of truth to overthinking our MTB chain lube. Having said that, I will say that when I decided to try a wax lube (because it smelled good! ), I did actually notice my chains lasting longer. Not that I paid that close attention, but it was significant enough that I noticed. Something like a chain a season or less (sometimes pushing it) to 1 1/2 seasons on one chain without pushing it. But then, it could be that chains just got better. Either way, been on a (good smelling) wax lube for many years now. Typically dry climate riding, btw.
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir kayakalot View Post
    OMG you had me goin! That was effin hilarious
    Ha! Me too. Given how many people dislike reading long posts I wouldn't be surprised to see a spike in turpentine sales.
    Veni vidi velo!

  18. #18
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    I agree that the brand of lubrication doesnít matter, but I think depending on where you ride one style of lube can have advantages over another. I live in the PNW, where conditions range from monsoon to bone dry. As a result, I havenít found 1 lube which is ideal for all conditions. I use 2 different styles. During the wet season (fall, winter, spring) I use a vegetable oil based lubricant (whichever one the bikeshop has that smells good, I think I bought Dumond tech or something last time). Seems to last longer and lube better in the rain. During the summer I use one of those wax lubes that go on wet and then dry out (again, whatever the bikeshop sells, I think itís Finnish Line brand this time). This stuff works great in dry conditions where the thick, wet lube attracts too much grit. My chain stays clean and I can go more than one ride between cleaning the drivetrain and lubricating.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by adaycj View Post
    Every one seems to forget that motorcycle road bike chains, and a large number of off road chains for motorcycles are sealed. ...
    I haven't. I've been riding motos since '75, on and off road. It was around then that sealed chains first came out IIRC. The sealing is only between the pins and bushings so lube is still needed under the rollers...and to keep the chain from corroding. That moto chains are sealed is kinda irrelevant to this thread, IMO.
    What, me worry?

  20. #20
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    Boeshield T9

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kubikeman View Post
    You all put way too much effort into this stuff. I just buy whatever lube happens to be sitting on the counter at my LBS whenever I'm there. Usually, I'm there for some other reason, and right as I"m checking out, I remember, "hey, I need some lube!"
    This is what I typically do. I have chain lubes from various manufacturers in my garage cabinet from years gone by. I just use whatever is see in the cabinet first. It's been the Rock n Roll blue as of late. Bike chains don't cost enough for me to put too much thought into the lube that's used.

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    Iím one of those annoying nerds who use Molton Speedwax (and all the accessories in a bike chain waxing system) for my RB, and have converted my MTB to same. I bought 3 new chains, labored through the process to clean & wax Ďem all up, and now just rotate when current chain needs a recharge (about 100-150 miles/chain give or take depending on # of wet rides). Dumping the old ones in wax pot to eventually heat up and soakin wax bath (about 10 minutes labor). Itís quick & easy and nice not to worry about dirty, greasy, or noisy drivetrain, but I wonít lie, setting the system up is a chore and not cheap...maintaining it is easy and cheap enough though.
    Figured none of us wax evangelists have preached on this thread yet...sorry....couldnít resist.
    It ainít the best system, but I got it working for me.
    As for my experience with lubes; use often, but sparingly, and use whatever is on sale, not worth it to agonize over brands. Cheers!

  23. #23
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    Motorbike lube, chainsaw lube, or even wd40 in a pinch. There are some differences, but you're really not going to notice much if your not a chemist.

  24. #24
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    I have a friend who swear by WD40 and have done for years, wipes his whole bike down with it too (obviously not the rotors...). I ran out of expensive bike shop lube a while back and started using it, seems fine, way cheaper, save the money I'd waste on expensive lube and replace the chain more often to save cassette/chainring wear? Works for me...

  25. #25
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    To each his own, but the original WD40 is a cleaner and rust protectant not a lubricant. They do have a version for motorcycle chains that does lubricate.
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  26. #26
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    I've settled on dumonde tech original. Chains stay quiet significantly longer than with anything else I've used.

  27. #27
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    A.T.B. Works well for me.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    I have a friend who swear by WD40 and have done for years, wipes his whole bike down with it too (obviously not the rotors...). I ran out of expensive bike shop lube a while back and started using it, seems fine, way cheaper, save the money I'd waste on expensive lube and replace the chain more often to save cassette/chainring wear? Works for me...
    Don't men to be contradictory but if your not using the chain lube version of WD40 you'll get nothing but a clean chain and metal to metal contact. I know from experience, when I was in my early 20's I used WD40 on my MX chain before every ride. I had the cleanest chain on the track, also the most stretched and worn in no time at all.

    A simple test for any chain lube is to spray it on a surface and let it dry. It should leave a very slick film that you could not wipe off by hand. Just like others have said there are many to choose from at LBS with superior friction fighting properties. I prefer my off-road chain lube (currently Yamaha brand). It goes on like thin solvent, penetrates and dries to a slick film. I just wipe off the outside and ride. If it can protect during MX it surely can protect during MTB.

  29. #29
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    6oz squeeze bottle of TriFlow is $10 on Amazon. I coat the chain every other ride or after a wash.

  30. #30
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    I don't like having a filthy chain, or spending crazy amounts of time messing with lube.

    Prolink is the fastest lube I've tried. Hose on, wipe off, done. It doesn't make a gunky mess.

    Is chainL still around? That was a huge pain in the ass lube. Triflow makes a bad mess too.

    There's a huge difference between lubes.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by FKipper View Post
    Don't men to be contradictory but if your not using the chain lube version of WD40 you'll get nothing but a clean chain and metal to metal contact. I know from experience, when I was in my early 20's I used WD40 on my MX chain before every ride. I had the cleanest chain on the track, also the most stretched and worn in no time at all.

    A simple test for any chain lube is to spray it on a surface and let it dry. It should leave a very slick film that you could not wipe off by hand. Just like others have said there are many to choose from at LBS with superior friction fighting properties. I prefer my off-road chain lube (currently Yamaha brand). It goes on like thin solvent, penetrates and dries to a slick film. I just wipe off the outside and ride. If it can protect during MX it surely can protect during MTB.
    Exactly. Regular WD40 is good at de-greasing, de-gunking and removing bumper stickers. Oh, and ok at displacing moisture (hence its name). But it is fairly worthless as a lubricant, and even more worthless as a thread penetrant. Despite what the labels states. Companies make billions off of convincing people, with marketing and labels, that their snake oil will do anything you want. And the prime directive of marketing is to create a problem so that you can sell a solution. Hmmmm - Gatorade comes to mind in that regard. If you want what Gatorade convinces millions and millions of people that it does, then buy some Pedialyte.

    I always keep a can of WD40 in my shop, but one can normally last me for years, because I only use it for the first 3 things I listed.

    I haven't done a lot of research or testing, but I am kind of partial to the chain lubes that leave a dry, waxy film. They don't seem to seem to attract and hold dirt as badly as some of the others I have tried.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Is chainL still around? That was a huge pain in the ass lube.
    I still have a bottle around my parents garage somewhere. I used it on my road bike. It always left my chain a gunked up mess...no matter how many times I would wipe the chain. I used it to lube the hinges on doors around the house.

  33. #33
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    Tolerances between plates, rollers and pins is pretty tight. Highly viscous/tacky lubes like straight chain saw oil is not likely to get in where you really want it. I would thin it with 2--> 3 part mineral spirits to allow it to flow. Mineral spirits will then evaporate leaving the lube.

  34. #34
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    Hi all, I am a retired Brit living in the Philippines, its very very dusty most of the time and chain lube of any description quickly turns into cutting paste. Not good for chain and component life. Any thoughts on the wax lube system as demonstrated by OZ cycle on You Tube

  35. #35
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    I have bought some chainsaw bar oil but I haven't tried it yet. So far the best lube I've used is squirt. Seems very close to the waxy oil they come with.

  36. #36
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    ^^^ I like chainsaw bar oil, thinned with solvent for application and excess wiped off thoroughly before it gets thick. It is sticky though. The main thing I do in dusty gritty conditions is to thoroughly clean excess lube off outside of the chain, wiping with a cloth wet with solvent if necessary. A terrycloth rag works the best.
    What, me worry?

  37. #37
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    I use the same stuff on my MTB, Road, and Cross bikes. Rock n' Roll Gold. It's wax based, smells nice and everytime you apply it it also has some cleaner in it so chain stays pretty nice and clean. Depending on how dusty it is can last from a week to 1 ride.

    Upside to wax is clean chain, downside is dusty conditions make it go away fast. If you are a XC racer or anything like that, the stuff is tested to be fast too, which is how I started using it on road bikes.
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  38. #38
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    Wax based is useless to me, it washes off in the first stream. In AZ, while it was mainly dry at high altitude, there'd always be streams and then sand/DG that would grind away once that wax was gone. Here in AK, wax works great in the winter (as does a lot of stuff), but in the summer, no way. The dumonde tech is the real deal IME. I've tried nearly every variation of wax lubricants, they all work the same IME. One of the best things that I do is on the 40+ mile rides through lots of streams and mud, bring a small "sample-size" bottle of 0w30 motor oil. Putting some of that on your chain halfway through such a ride is pure magic, especially when it's more like 100 miles.
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  39. #39
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    Rock n roll has the best application procedure. Squirt on, spin off, cleans and lubes. Not the cheapest.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Rock n roll has the best application procedure. Squirt on, spin off, cleans and lubes. Not the cheapest.
    Agree whole heartedly.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukbikerinph View Post
    Hi all, I am a retired Brit living in the Philippines, its very very dusty most of the time and chain lube of any description quickly turns into cutting paste. Not good for chain and component life. Any thoughts on the wax lube system as demonstrated by OZ cycle on You Tube
    I haven't tried the wax dip, as it seems like too much work.

    I tried Squirt, and found it didn't last much longer than 2 hours in dusty rides, even if I applied it the night before, before each ride. Many people like it though, so maybe I was doing something wrong.

    I received a free bottle of Muc Off C3 Ceramic Lube (for dry conditions), and it seems to stay relatively clean in the dust, while also keeping the Eagle drivetrain running smoothly. The key is to apply it the night before, and wipe off all the excess.

  42. #42
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    I like wax based don't care if I have apply it every ride. It keeps my chain clean and if it gets on me or my clothes it washes right out.

  43. #43
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    Pro Gold Extreme. Just stay on top of wiping off surface dirt after every ride.

  44. #44
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    Where I ride is dusty, therefore wax is the way to go. Of the waxes (and other "dry" lubes) I have tried, Squirt works the best.

    I do frequent short rides, 2-3 times a week, about an hour each. I have to reapply maybe once every two weeks.

  45. #45
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    Squirt, year-round. The only trick is you have to get ALL of the original oil off the chain before you apply it, as Squirt is water-based. I find it's good for about 30 miles in Nor-Cal dust (even Mammoth), longer when the rains come. I don't ride through creeks - I like my BB bearings too much.
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  46. #46
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    Another vote for RockNRoll ~ Blue! Cleans and Lubes done!
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  47. #47
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    I only use 29er specific chain lube. 27.5 lube doesn't seem to work as well on a 29er.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    I only use 29er specific chain lube. 27.5 lube doesn't seem to work as well on a 29er.
    You are so screwed if you ever get a Foes Mixer...
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    I only use 29er specific chain lube. 27.5 lube doesn't seem to work as well on a 29er.
    Yes, but I bet it's expensive. Everyone makes 27.5 lube. The only company that makes 29er lube is the same one that makes the blinker fluid for my truck - and that's pricey.

  50. #50
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    I like Pro-Link. It has been my go to for years. If I strip to factory lube off a new chain and just use the Pro-Link, the chain stays really clean and it is really easy to use. Just apply and ride. Never attracts dirt.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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