Quick question - lube chain but not gears?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Quick question - lube chain but not gears?

    Just got a new chain installed on my now completed bike, so this means new cassette and front gears that have not been lubed yet. I read somewhere that you only need to lube the chain. This true? So the cassette and crank gears can be left unlubed? I have a an IRD Teflon-coated chain and cassette, and the cassette box mentioned something about it lubricating.

    Also, is it safe to use WD-40 to clean the chain? If yes, can I then apply lube to it right after cleaning?

  2. #2
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    When you lube the chain...

    Quote Originally Posted by djork
    Just got a new chain installed on my now completed bike, so this means new cassette and front gears that have not been lubed yet. I read somewhere that you only need to lube the chain. This true? So the cassette and crank gears can be left unlubed? I have a an IRD Teflon-coated chain and cassette, and the cassette box mentioned something about it lubricating.

    Also, is it safe to use WD-40 to clean the chain? If yes, can I then apply lube to it right after cleaning?
    especially after a ride (and you've cleaned it first-not with wd-40, but a good biodegradeable cleaner) and you've spun the crank arms to help it coat everything (including the cassette) and let it set a bit you then wipe off the excess as it won't help and will only attrack excess dirt.

  3. #3
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    The cassette and chainrings do not need lube. That will only attract dirt.

    The lube you apply to the chain needs to penetrate underneath the rollers to get between the moving parts of the chain links. Lube left on the surface doesn't do any good, just attracts dirts.

    WD-40 makes a crappy lube. It's is a poor quality oil suspended in a solvent. The solvent eats away at the "good" lube hidden under the rollers, and leaves behind this lightweight junky stuff that has a low load bearing ability, and quickly gums up.

    Lots of folks use WD-40 as a solvent or as a general purpose cleaner (you'll hear the "WD stands for Water Displacer story"). My personal preference is to use solvent, mineral spirits or simple green for various cleaning tasks, and use an appropriate lubricant.
    speedub.nate
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  4. #4
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    As the others have said....

    the chain rings and cassette do not need to be lubed. Just cleaned now and then. The chain is the biggy.

    You can use WD 40 to clean it, but there are MUCH better cleaners out there. WD leaves behind an extremely light weight oil that can be a pain to get off. So you're not really completely cleaning the chain with WD. It's also messy. Mineral Spirits, Pedros Bio Cleaner, Finish Line Citrus Bio Solvent, Simple Green, all work much better and don't leave oily gunk behind. Simple Green is probably the most cost effective (read cheaper) than the others. You can get a gallon of Simple Green for what you'd pay for 2 14 oz bottles of Pedros or Finishline.

    So use one of the above, other than WD40 and you can't go wrong. Soak the chain (if you have a removable chain like a SRAM) or scrub it (required for Shimano chains and the like) while on the bike, your preference depending on chain type. Rinse with water and let dry. To speed drying you can used compressed air, a blow dryer, etc. Once completely dry, relube and you're in business. While WD works as a degreaser it's not the best choice, nor the least expensive.

    Good Dirt
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  5. #5
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    First of all, to answer your IRD question - the cassette/chain are already lubed, kind of, It has a teflon coating!

    This design solution must have fell on deaf ears or an unwilling public as it looks like they are no longer offering the cassette.

    I guess the question to ask, Is there a way to increase the life span of the teflon coating by supplementing it with a lube or teflon protectant?

    As for the statement Lubes attract dirt, How about Wax?

    I use Stanchion lube (Fluoro Oil) on my fork and I'm not worried about attracting any dirt to the stanchions and causing premature wear.

    I may get laughs from this one but here goes - I have WD40 in my toolbox, I use it as a frame saver, I'll squirt the inside of my steel frame when I open it inspecting for rust.

    Lubing your cassette is not a normal routine, there may be special circumstances were it may be appropriate.
    Last edited by Crash_Burn; 03-15-2007 at 08:09 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash_Burn
    As for the statement Lubes attract dirt, How about Wax?
    DOH! Ok, fine, OIL based lubricants.

    FWIW, I've had my run with wax lubes, and although a mostly positive experience, the time and prep I spent in application wasn't worth the resulting cleanliness. I did it for a few years, but eventually switched to lazy oil based.

    The question is, what benefit is there to applying an external lubricant to the rings and cogs? I see none.

    Ring and cog teeth typically wear with the chain. At the chain pitch increases due to wear, the load on any individual tooth increases, increasing wear. This is how the teeth develop the "shark tooth" profile over time.

    I can't imagine a thin layer of teflon or oil on the thin surface contact area of the tooth will do much of anything to prevent this wear.
    speedub.nate
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  7. #7
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    Fun with lube

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    DOH! Ok, fine, OIL based lubricants.
    Thanks for taking the jab lightly!

    Warning Thread Jack ahead - What about waxing a cassette for mud conditions or maybe a below freezing situation?

    Since djork rides in SoCal - I personally like Finish Line stuff so Teflon Dry Lube would be a good choice.

    Is this "Ceramically Reinforced" lube new, or just a repackaged product?
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  8. #8
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    Two words....Dumonde Tech

    Follow the directions correctly (key thing here) and your chain will remain clean and well lubed for extended periods of time.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash_Burn
    Thanks for taking the jab lightly!

    Warning Thread Jack ahead - What about waxing a cassette for mud conditions or maybe a below freezing situation?

    Since djork rides in SoCal - I personally like Finish Line stuff so Teflon Dry Lube would be a good choice.

    Is this "Ceramically Reinforced" lube new, or just a repackaged product?
    cecramic is hard
    ceramic is abrasive
    I've never heard of ceramic being a lube, maybe they mean its reformulated for ceramic bearings?

    I ride in below freezing situations all winter and have never had any issues with the cassette icing, in fact if its real cold its real dry. its the 30 degree days that get messy. the finish line "wet " lube is good for cold, it even has a snowflake on the spray can. I have squirted it into my frozen shifters more than once with good results.

  10. #10
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    $4.94 for that tiny bottle?
    Last edited by rkj__; 03-15-2007 at 06:38 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    The cassette and chainrings do not need lube. That will only attract dirt.

    The lube you apply to the chain needs to penetrate underneath the rollers to get between the moving parts of the chain links. Lube left on the surface doesn't do any good, just attracts dirts.

    WD-40 makes a crappy lube. It's is a poor quality oil suspended in a solvent. The solvent eats away at the "good" lube hidden under the rollers, and leaves behind this lightweight junky stuff that has a low load bearing ability, and quickly gums up.

    Lots of folks use WD-40 as a solvent or as a general purpose cleaner (you'll hear the "WD stands for Water Displacer story"). My personal preference is to use solvent, mineral spirits or simple green for various cleaning tasks, and use an appropriate lubricant.
    check the ingredients, the solvent is stodard solvent aka mineral spirits, and the oil isnt crappy, its a light penetrating oil (not appropriate for chain lubing and not what its made for)
    wd40 is Ok to use to clean your chain, providing you lube it after, youre right about it leaving behind a light penetrating oil but if you lube it after it will dissipate and mix with your lube. while it is OK, its not the best thing you could use (would you clean oil off with oil?)
    any degreaser or solvent will "eat away at the good lube" thats what degreaser means
    if it cleans the grease & oil off the chain it will clean the grease and oil off the bearings, rollers, etc.
    the key is to not put degreasers, solvents or simple green on any bearings. the best way to do that is to take the chain off to clean it

    BTW
    take a couple of chain links apart, the only "good lube" Ive ever seen on the pins or bushings(rollers) is the grease they put on the whole chain for shipping and storage. basically you have 2 side plates, 2 bushings and 2 pins per link, and while the bushings arent attached they really dont move much if at all, the moving parts are the pins against the bushings and the side plates.
    Last edited by dan0; 03-15-2007 at 06:48 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash_Burn
    First of all, to answer your IRD question - the cassette/chain are already lubed, kind of, It has a teflon coating!

    This design solution must have fell on deaf ears or an unwilling public as it looks like they are no longer offering the cassette.

    I guess the question to ask, Is there a way to increase the life span of the teflon coating by supplementing it with a lube or teflon protectant?

    As for the statement Lubes attract dirt, How about Wax?

    I use Stanchion lube (Fluoro Oil) on my fork and I'm not worried about attracting any dirt to the stanchions and causing premature wear.

    I may get laughs from this one but here goes - I have WD40 in my toolbox, I use it as a frame saver, I'll squirt the inside of my steel frame when I open it inspecting for rust.

    Lubing your cassette is not a normal routine, there may be special circumstances were it may be appropriate.
    wax attracts dirt as well, its soft and when warm sticky why wouldnt it attract dirt

  13. #13
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    teflon coatings

    Ive been doing a little research on teflon coated chains, heres a few facts

    teflon is fragile (why do all cooking pan manufacturers tell you NOT to use metal utensils)

    the teflon coating (at least on my wipperman chain is only on the side plates)

    after 2 months of riding the teflon is worn off anyplace that contacts

    while it may make it a little easier to clean, as a lube, the coating doesnt work (at least not after a couple of rides as it wears off)

    I would say Gimick

  14. #14
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Quality, not quantity

    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    $4.94 for that tiny bottle?


    You will end up using a fraction of the amount of lube your used to using. I purchased a big bottle of it in 2002 and its still 1/3 full 5 years later!!!

    Its a better deal than most lubes


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