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  1. #1
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    Home made chain lubricant

    Does anyone have a recipe for home made wax lube?

    I know lube is fairly cheap but I love tinkering with my bike - doing things for myself rather than buying it or paying someone to fix it.

    A guy I know claims that if you shave a candle up and wack it in lighter fluid to dissolve. You can then use the resulting solution like self-cleaning wax lubricant. He claims that if you want it thicker just add more candle or more lighter fluid if you want it thinner.

    Anyone tried this - or is he just pulling my chain (pardon the pun).

    Any ideas gladly accepted.

    Most likely I will blow myself up but its fun to try.

  2. #2
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    Guess it cant hurt to try. I use a mineral spirits and motor oil mix, it works pretty good. better than anything I have ever used.

    have you tried that?
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    I am almost certain that is

    Quote Originally Posted by BigTree
    Does anyone have a recipe for home made wax lube?

    I know lube is fairly cheap but I love tinkering with my bike - doing things for myself rather than buying it or paying someone to fix it.

    A guy I know claims that if you shave a candle up and wack it in lighter fluid to dissolve. You can then use the resulting solution like self-cleaning wax lubricant. He claims that if you want it thicker just add more candle or more lighter fluid if you want it thinner.

    Anyone tried this - or is he just pulling my chain (pardon the pun).

    Any ideas gladly accepted.

    Most likely I will blow myself up but its fun to try.
    I am almost certain that is the recipe for Extreme RaceDay.

    I am in the muddy east so I don't think I will go the motor oil mineral spirits thing.

  4. #4
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    Are you kidding me?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigTree

    I know lube is fairly cheap...
    If people had to pay for gasoline what they pay for chain lube, this country would be up in arms and only the rich could afford to drive to the corner market and to pick up their kids at school and drive to the gym.

    Lube is fairly cheap. *snort* Good one.

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  5. #5
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    If you make a mixture of parafin wax and mineral oil then heat it up and let the chain sit in it that works really well.

  6. #6
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    I read on this board sometime back where someone was using a combination of wax and chainsaw chain lube (like a couple of tablespoons of chainsaw lube to a small pot of melted wax). I believe he was using blocks of parafin wax that should be available at any craft store. Run the chain through the melted wax and oil combo while it's really hot to ensure flow through the pins.

    I personally plan on using the mineral spirits and synthetic motor oil combo when I'm done with my three bottles of Prolink.

  7. #7
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    Lighter fluid and wax is what I'm pretty sure White Lightning is. It's definitely Naptha (lighter fluid) based. As an aside, if you lube your chain over carpet with white lightning and it drips black drops on the floor you can use lighter fluid to clean it up before your girlfriend sees it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brace1
    I personally plan on using the mineral spirits and synthetic motor oil combo

    I and a lady racer I mechanic for have been using it (50/50 mix) for over two years now and we have zero reason to ever change.

  9. #9
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    Hey Mike T. !! I use the same thing w/a lil lower dose of motoroil, drivetrain doesn't get as blackened. What if, I'm sayin' IF a fellow was to add a lil carnuba car wax to the mix ??? What do you think ???? I've been constapatin' on this mix for sometime now, jus' to lazy to do it. Wut'cher thinkin' on thees Carnuba additive??

  10. #10
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    I've been using the synthetic/mineral spirits mix but only for the non dusty season here in California (winter). Problems with it are you have to apply it the night before so the volitiles evaporate leaving a tarlike coating which needs to be wipped from the chain before use. In dusty it makes a great grinding goup that eats both chain and cogs over time. I'm back to using grease like on the sram chains cause it lasts and doesn't seem to run out of the rollers like the lighter oils. I get about 100-140 miles per lube but its a PITA to lube it cause you need to syringe it into every link. Takes a while and needs to be done overnight so the small amount of solvent used to keep the grease viscous in the syringe evaporates out leaving the grease in place. There is a reason construction companies grease their chains, its because grease is thick and stays in place. Oil tends to flow out and drag dirt in. Have fun!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by man w/ one hand
    Hey Mike T. !! I use the same thing w/a lil lower dose of motoroil, drivetrain doesn't get as blackened. What if, I'm sayin' IF a fellow was to add a lil carnuba car wax to the mix ??? What do you think ???? I've been constapatin' on this mix for sometime now, jus' to lazy to do it. Wut'cher thinkin' on thees Carnuba additive??

    I dunno about the carnuba M-W-O-H. Do I really want my chain as shiny as my car? Ooops I digress! I dunno, give it a try and get back to us whydoncha?

    On the "dirt" thing - I can't say I notice too much of a dirt buildup so what's there really doesn't bother me. Maybe I'll try less when the litre I've got already mixed up runs out. That'll prolly be in 2010.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T.
    I and a lady racer I mechanic for have been using it (50/50 mix) for over two years now and we have zero reason to ever change.
    Add me to the list of users for Mike T.'s very own formula; I have a half year on it and am liking it so far. Used to use Boeshield but I think I like this better.

  13. #13
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    I live in the muddy east too. The motor oil works great, theres no reason to use synthetic. I use regular SAE 30 that goes in my lawnmower. It works great in wet, doesnt come off too easily. I use it something like once every 2 weeks. And I ride about 40 miles a week. About 80% of my riding is offroad, it works really well.

    One thing is, i would put it on the chain, and let it sit overnight, then in the morning all the excess is gone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by summitlt
    I live in the muddy east too. The motor oil works great, theres no reason to use synthetic. I use regular SAE 30 that goes in my lawnmower. It works great in wet, doesnt come off too easily. I use it something like once every 2 weeks. And I ride about 40 miles a week. About 80% of my riding is offroad, it works really well.

    One thing is, i would put it on the chain, and let it sit overnight, then in the morning all the excess is gone.
    I have used Wet oily based lubes and the wax or teflon based . I defineltly prefer the dryer lubes I find the oily based lubes tend to crud up rapido and lead to chain suck. Extreme from Raceday is my favorite at the moment.

  16. #16
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    Whoah, I think that was me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brace1
    I read on this board sometime back where someone was using a combination of wax and chainsaw chain lube (like a couple of tablespoons of chainsaw lube to a small pot of melted wax). I believe he was using blocks of parafin wax that should be available at any craft store. Run the chain through the melted wax and oil combo while it's really hot to ensure flow through the pins.

    I personally plan on using the mineral spirits and synthetic motor oil combo when I'm done with my three bottles of Prolink.
    Whoah, I think that was me! About 5 years ago, under my old name GTMan I used to preach about this method. I heard about the parafin thing as being an old roadie method, and I happened to have a gallon of chainsaw lube in my basement.

    If anyone wants to try this, but be sure to use a bouble-boiler to let it heat slowly and evenly.

    *It works well, but makes a bit of a mess if you're not careful.
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  17. #17
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    About 50-70% candle wax and 30-50% motor oil. (experiment!) Has that stick-on waxy feel but liquid enough to not flake off like pure candle wax does.

  18. #18
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    Wax for dry and dusty conditions, wet lube for everything else.
    my lbs uses a mix of trans, gear, and motor oil. Made some for myself, works great.
    Round and round we go

  19. #19
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    Interesting read. The conditions here in the dusty season (May-Oct!) are such that even branded dusty/dry lubes still attract grinding compound.

    Being a gearhead (like cars I'm talkinbout) before MTBing swallowed my soul, I have an endless variety of oils and solvents on hand. So I may give some of these a shot.

    FWIW I found White Lightning to be useless, attracts tons of dust, no staying power.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle242gt View Post

    FWIW I found White Lightning to be useless, attracts tons of dust, no staying power.
    Well, then you should figure out how to apply it correctly, because that's about as good as it gets.

    There are other lubricants besides oils and waxes, and neither are the best for everything, but no matter which you use, you should understand how to apply them and what the limitations are.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle242gt View Post
    Interesting read. The conditions here in the dusty season (May-Oct!) are such that even branded dusty/dry lubes still attract grinding compound.

    Being a gearhead (like cars I'm talkinbout) before MTBing swallowed my soul, I have an endless variety of oils and solvents on hand. So I may give some of these a shot.

    FWIW I found White Lightning to be useless, attracts tons of dust, no staying power.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Well, then you should figure out how to apply it correctly, because that's about as good as it gets.

    There are other lubricants besides oils and waxes, and neither are the best for everything, but no matter which you use, you should understand how to apply them and what the limitations are.
    While I agree with Jayem's post it isn't very helpful. Dry lubes (the real dry lubes like White Lightning or Squirt) are wet when applied. You don't ride when they are wet, you apply the lube after a ride so they are dry in time for the next ride. If you apply them just before a ride they will attract dirt.
    Also you need to remove off any other lube from the chain prior to applying.

    I've think a wax lube with MOS2 powder mixed in would probably work really well but wouldn't sell well because it would be black and would make the chain look dirty.

  22. #22
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    Very very interesting thread... I'm glad someone dug it up from the depths of nowhere!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by peanutaxis View Post
    About 50-70% candle wax and 30-50% motor oil. (experiment!) Has that stick-on waxy feel but liquid enough to not flake off like pure candle wax does.
    P.s. good luck getting this **** off your hands. Which is a good thing for your chain, I guess. (The idea behind this stuff is to mimic the goop that new bicycle chains come with.)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by peanutaxis View Post
    P.s. good luck getting this **** off your hands. Which is a good thing for your chain, I guess. (The idea behind this stuff is to mimic the goop that new bicycle chains come with.)
    Hmm, always heard that the stuff on a new chain was crap, and only good for keeping the chain from moisture while in the box.
    Round and round we go

  25. #25
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    The wax/oil combo sounds interesting.
    What weight motor oil are you using? Synthetic?

    Meat:
    Read this long ago, under 'Factory lube', and I tend to believe the guy.
    Chain Maintenance
    A lot of other interesting info as well, including the excellent disclaimer that chain lubrication technique is religious discussion.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    The wax/oil combo sounds interesting.
    What weight motor oil are you using? Synthetic?

    Meat:
    Read this long ago, under 'Factory lube', and I tend to believe the guy.
    Chain Maintenance
    A lot of other interesting info as well, including the excellent disclaimer that chain lubrication technique is religious discussion.
    Yeah, i tend to believe him also. Than i guess it's a good thing i never took the time to take off the factory lube, as many others swear you have to or else the chain god's will rain down on you.
    Round and round we go

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by theMeat View Post
    Hmm, always heard that the stuff on a new chain was crap, and only good for keeping the chain from moisture while in the box.
    What came on shimano chains was vastly different than the grease that came on sram chains. Not the same thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by theMeat View Post
    Hmm, always heard that the stuff on a new chain was crap, and only good for keeping the chain from moisture while in the box.
    Yeah apparently people either love it or hate it. I was told to remove it too and always did. But I get so sick of lubing my chain basically every ride that I thought I'd try leaving it on for my last (present) chain and it was great! Because it's so damn thick it gradually oozes out and keeps the surface a little lubed. It probably attracts dust a little but even if it does I'd gladly trade, say 20% of chain life with not having to lube!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    The wax/oil combo sounds interesting.
    What weight motor oil are you using? Synthetic?

    Meat:
    Read this long ago, under 'Factory lube', and I tend to believe the guy.
    I've tried mixing wax and grease (fail - the grease didn't want to melt), then used 100% wax and now am trying the wax/oil mix. I'll give it a week or two and post back.
    Chain Maintenance
    A lot of other interesting info as well, including the excellent disclaimer that chain lubrication technique is religious discussion.
    Yeah I came across that page, too. I think the oil I used was 20W-40. Mineral, I think, not synthetic.
    First I tried wax and grease (fail - the grease didn't want to melt). Then tried 100% wax for one ride but I decided it was too flaky, and now I'm gonna run the wax\oil mix for a week or two. I'll post back how it works.

  29. #29
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    in for results. Hate spending money on lube that I have to put on every ride

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by machine4321 View Post
    in for results. Hate spending money on lube that I have to put on every ride
    Even if you ride every day and put lube on it every day (which you don't have to), a few drops from a normal sized lube bottle usually lasts MONTHS....
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    With ice wax, I do have to put it on every ride. I follow the instructions. Its $12 dollars where I live and if I could make a lube as good or better for less money, why does that confuse you?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Even if you ride every day and put lube on it every day (which you don't have to), a few drops from a normal sized lube bottle usually lasts MONTHS....
    When you've run with factory lube that comes with new chains and it has lasted for AGES.....you want that back!

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    Quote Originally Posted by peanutaxis View Post

    Yeah I came across that page, too. I think the oil I used was 20W-40. Mineral, I think, not synthetic.
    First I tried wax and grease (fail - the grease didn't want to melt). Then tried 100% wax for one ride but I decided it was too flaky, and now I'm gonna run the wax\oil mix for a week or two. I'll post back how it works.
    So I've gone for a few SERIOUSLY wet/muddy rides recently and this concoction has worked well. The surface of the chain went a little rusty but you could still feel it in between the plates. Maybe it's not quite as good as the stuff chains come with but it's okay. I'll be interested to see how it lasts in the dry....

  34. #34
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    I've been running straight chainsaw bar/chain oil for a few years, works well and wipes clean easily with no gummy residue. I have come to prefer it and the price is right, just refill an old lube bottle to apply.
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  35. #35
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    I am still rocking the Boesheild T9. A $20 can lasts forever, no problems so far.

  36. #36
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    ^I used T9 back in the day, but you have to clean the buildup of residue off your drivetrain periodically. All I do now is wipe, lube, wipe until it's time for a new drivetrain.
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  37. #37
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    howdy.

    I made my own lube consisting of hydraulic oil, motor oil, crc 556 (better/different than wd40) as the main liquid part.
    for the sticky part I used molykote longterm plus 2 or what its called, some really sticky yellow texaco multifak ep2, and teflon high temp spray, I steal all this at work. Maybe I use 20% of the greases and "additives" in my mix.

    This is sticky as fuk and you wont get it off. I just soak and shake my chain in this for like a day (after degreasing with 3 different polarity solvents).

    I'd say you could get by by only using 556/whatever oil and molykote if you're cheap. The molykote its fuking awesome. Everything else is just subpar crap compared to it. Multifak ep2 comes close though, maybe 40% as good as a stand alone lube. The rest are only dilutants to get good free flowing molykote.



    My results so far: after 1 dunk and occasional sprays with 556/motor oil about every month the chain was way over 1% (most likely 1.3% or something) after about 14months/5800km/250hours. No cleaning whatsoever, i just add.

    This is in a commuter enviroment and I ride every day no matter what, scandinavia.

    My theory/strategy is this: fill up the entire chain with this crap and nothing will enter it. ever. It will stick on the surface but not enter it.

    I was a bit disappointed that the chain only last a bit over a year, but, I have now read up on this and it seems I got at least 2x-4x the life out of the gear compared others. I still think its shitty though.

    The upside is that its low maintainence, minimal actually, and that was the goal.

    I use industrial high dollar lubes for everything because this is the only **** that actually works good. and i get them for free at work. And at work money doesn't matter, only performance does. And I get everything I want/need.

    Good luck
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    I've been running straight chainsaw bar/chain oil for a few years, works well and wipes clean easily with no gummy residue. I have come to prefer it and the price is right, just refill an old lube bottle to apply.

    +1 in wet weather. In the summer, I cut it with some synthetic motor oil and let it sit overnight. A quick spray of wd40 and a wipe of a rag if/when I get build up. Let the lube set up overnight so it doesn't fling everywhere. If I lived in a dry environment, I would look into dissolving wax and graphite into a solvent.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by peanutaxis View Post

    Yeah I came across that page, too. I think the oil I used was 20W-40. Mineral, I think, not synthetic.
    First I tried wax and grease (fail - the grease didn't want to melt). Then tried 100% wax for one ride but I decided it was too flaky, and now I'm gonna run the wax\oil mix for a week or two. I'll post back how it works.

    So I'm using 80% engine oil, 20%wax. It works brilliantly. Haven't lubed it for ages, then just went for a day of shuttling in torrential rain and lots of mud. Cleaned bike up and was waiting for the chain to show spots of rust. They never showed up!

  40. #40
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    i just use Dumonde Tech Original. I put it on about a quarter of my chain once a week. A 4 ounce bottle cost me about $10 and will last about a year. It's been good for wet and dry conditions

  41. #41
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    I spent YEARS experimenting and creating. Parrafin wax is a poor lube, Microcrystalline was is better, depending on molecular weight. Additives change properties making it better or worse>

    Here's a recipe for a wax lube that works pretty good in summer/fall in Mn:
    10# Freeman Micro wax FMSC - MicroCrystalline Wax
    1 gallon Coleman fuel
    1-1/2 cups 30w detergent oil
    Cost about $70, last you for life.

    Or, you can buy a bottle of whatever at the bike shop.

    You can omit the white gas and melt in a container, soak your chains in melted wax to save money on the Coleman fuel. Take the chain put and wipe clean before the wax hardens...its lots easier that way.

    Or go to the bike shop and buy whatever you like and follow the directions.

  42. #42
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    Ive been playinh with the parrafin wax and I must say, I love how dry it is. Inhavent cleaned my drivetrain in awhile(I have ocd about dirty cassettes ect lol)

    Ive been slowly adding 5w30 to slow down the flaking. Still drying and flaking but seems a bit better each time. Im not sure how long it will last between applications but I will update how I like it. Even if I have to do it evey 4-5 rides im ok with that as ibhavent had to clean the chain other then a wipe down.

  43. #43
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    I've been using a mix of molygraph engine assembly lube and paraffin wax for several months now....and I love it.

  44. #44
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    Does it dry or stay flakey/waxy?

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    It doesn't flake like pure paraffin. It stays somewhat soft, but dry and not sticky. Still perfectly clean. I believe that the majority of the lubrication comes from the moly and graphite, and the wax just gets it in there and helps prevent rust. I've been treating it once a month, which for us is about 200 miles. The only downside is the moly stinks to high heaven when heated.

    When I take the quick link apart I can immediately see the difference in wear between it, and other quick links when I used wet lubes. My plan is to keep measuring stretch and see how it works in the long run.

  46. #46
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    2/3 chainsaw bar oil, 1/3 10w30. Lasts forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    2/3 chainsaw bar oil, 1/3 10w30. Lasts forever.
    Sounds like it would attract dirt and dust like flies on sh#t. How do you keep it clean without wiping it off? I know you don't need very much lube to make it do its job, but this combo seems thick to me....albeit cheap.
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    Im still playing with what I have at home. I started with pure paraffin then added small amounts of 5w30(had it around the house). Pure wax was awesome but didnt last very long. Loved how clean every thing stayed.

    Now have a good amount (stopped measuring) and its lasting longer but also starting to attract abit of dirt. I havent measured the stretch yet so I guess that will tell all but thenchain dose get loud every 3-4 rides.

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation: One Pivot's Avatar
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    I will never, never go back to using mineral spirits and motor oil. Ever.

    It makes a terrible mess if you dont do it correctly. Doing it correctly is a pain in the ass and it takes too long. Worst of all, it really doesnt work any better than prolink unless you're riding in a swamp or mudpit.

    To use it correctly, you need to LIGHTLY apply it to the chain rollers only and let it dry completely. Then wipe it off sometime the next day, completely. Really completely. If you dont, it turns into a huge dirt magnet that makes a terrible mess. It'll probably just make a terrible mess anyway . After a ride you'll likely need to wipe down your blackened nasty chain.

    Or you can hose on prolink, wipe it off 5 seconds later and go ride your bike. Chain never squeaks, never grinds, and stays clean.

    I have a garage full of DIY'd bike stuff, frankenforks, welders and all that fun stuff... but DIY chainlube just wasnt fun.

  50. #50
    saddlemeat
    Reputation: bsieb's Avatar
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    I have used everything I think, and I've settled on straight bar oil. It doesn't collect that much dust if you wipe it off after lubing. It doesn't ever gum up, just wipes clean with minimal effort, like a few passes through a shop rag, and does a superior job of lubing the chain. Not perfect, but very simple, easy to find, effective, cheap as dirt, while requiring minimal time investment and brain cell death. Not really diy I guess.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  51. #51
    mtbr member
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    i tried candle wax and looks ok for me, will go out and look for paraffin wax or other type of wax

  52. #52
    mtbr member
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    i tried candle wax and looks ok for me, will go out and look for paraffin wax or other type of wax

  53. #53
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
    Reputation: rideit's Avatar
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    Anybody try the newer WD 40 dry lube?
    It sounds promising.
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

    Thrill Bikers Unite!

  54. #54
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Anybody try the newer WD 40 dry lube?
    It sounds promising.
    Been using it for a year? or so with good results. For me it's much longer lasting than other stuff in the same price range. My trails are all very dry and dusty and the WD40 lube stays quiet the longest. Very good at shedding gunk too, chain is pretty clean by the time it needs reapplied.

    Smells really good also.

  55. #55
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    i'm now trying a combo of candle wax / paraffin wax and paraffin oil.. may be i need lighter fuel or a thinner to avoid the wax staying as solid?

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