What's the end all chain lube?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What's the end all chain lube?

    What's the best chain lube for South-West USA desert conditions? It's dry, dusty, and rarely rains. Even when it does, the ground usually dries up before I can get geared up and to the trail head.

    I know this isn't a WW topic, but it's for a PC89R Hollow Pin chain, though ...

    Yeah, I know, it's not a MTB chain, and I've already busted a link. Luckily, I got home (it only busted one one side, half was through from the slot in the middle of the side plate), and shortened my chain. Worked out because I just before that switched from a 11-34t rear cassette to a 11-32t so it all worked out. I'm planning on replacing it with a PC99 hollow pin...

  2. #2
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    This is like asking "what is the end all tire." Everyone will have a different opinion. So here is mine. RocknRoll Gold is my personal favorite. The best deals are direct from rocklube.com.

    Good Luck
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  3. #3
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    I ran a PC89R on my Mt Tam 29er until it stretched beyond belief! Now its on my singlespeed road bike... probably has about 800 miles on it.

    I use Dumond tech for chain lube. I lube the chain after I ride, so it can soak in for the next ride. Before I go riding I wipe the excess off... no problems!


    Quote Originally Posted by bmadau
    What's the best chain lube for South-West USA desert conditions? It's dry, dusty, and rarely rains. Even when it does, the ground usually dries up before I can get geared up and to the trail head.

    I know this isn't a WW topic, but it's for a PC89R Hollow Pin chain, though ...

    Yeah, I know, it's not a MTB chain, and I've already busted a link. Luckily, I got home (it only busted one one side, half was through from the slot in the middle of the side plate), and shortened my chain. Worked out because I just before that switched from a 11-34t rear cassette to a 11-32t so it all worked out. I'm planning on replacing it with a PC99 hollow pin...

  4. #4
    Riding free's the mind
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    ProLink

    On the dry fire road trails in my area, I've had great performance with ProLink lube. It's of the dry variety, and seems to shed dust pretty well. You need to reapply every 2-3 rides however, but it does keep the chain relatively clean and running smoothly.

    Before this was using Pedros synthetic oil and would get a lot more **** and grime collecting on the chain. Haven't tried any other dry lubes yet.
    Question to a custom frame builder..."So what makes your bikes climb better?"....his answer, "Uh, your legs?"

  5. #5
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    I've tried White Lightning, Tri-flow, Pedro's SynLube, and now I'm also using ProLink. Pedro's last the longest because it's a thick oil, but it attracts the most dirt and grime. The chain must be cleaned with degreaser. Tri-flow was similar to Pedro's except it didn't last as long because it's pretty thin. White Lightning simply sucked for me, but it kept the chain dry. ProLink keeps the chain as dry as White Lightning and lubes as well as Pedro's. The only problem is that it doesn't last very long. As mentioned above, about 2-3 rides and my chain starts to make noises. The best part about ProLink is that you can clean all the dirt off your chain with plain water. Yes, that's right, just hose off your chain to get it clean! So, I'd vote ProLink as long as you don't mind reapplying after 2-3 rides. Oh yeah, ProLink smells really foul but claims to be environmentally safe.

  6. #6

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    50-50 blend of 30 wt and 90 wt

    I've had good success with a 50-50 blend of 30 weight motor oil and 90 weight gear oil. With wax lubes I had to lube the chain after every ride to keep it quiet and rarely got more than 1200 miles before they were shot. With wax, they were also very difficult to clean. The wax "goo" just doesn't want to come off.

    With oil, I just replaced a chain (PC59) at 3,000 miles that saw 95% middle and big ring use and it still only had 0.5% stretch. On my F/S bike that sees mostly steep granny climbs, coasting descents or big ring work on the way to the trail, I get about 1200 miles on a chain (PC58). I just replaced it with a PC80R to see if a more high end chain might last a little longer. The other bike got another PC59. I weight about 210.

    As for dirt build up and cleaning, dirt build up is more but minimized if the chain is lubricated sparingly and wiped off afterward. Cleaning an oiled chain is easy with water and simple green and a brush.

    As for frequency of lubing the chain with oil, I generally lube the chain when it get noisy which is about every 100 to 150 miles which is much less than after every ride which is what I did with wax.

    As for cost, a 10 year supply of my lube costs about $5.00.

  7. #7
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    Another vote here for Rock-n-Roll.

    I use the Extreme on the MTB, and Gold on the roadie.
    I've used Pro Link, Finishline, home brews, and think RnR is better.

    Of course, as CDMC said, this question is like tyres, or worse still saddles.
    Everyone has an opinion.

    rick.
    weight weenie in remission

  8. #8
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    Lubes definitely depend on conditions.

    Me, i've been pretty partial to Tri-Flow Chain Lube (seems to work the best so far) and then Pedro's for the muddy season(s).

    I usually reapply about once a week, which averages about 100 miles... maybe 65-70 miles.. just kind of varies. My bike sees all kinds of use, from hucking to dh runs, to aggro-xc, to all kinds of crap. Every gear combo imaginable. I'm on my 2nd chain in 3 months... simply because the stock one was cruddy...

    -Matt
    You in Oklahoma City? If yes, come ride with us.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the input. I don't mind lubing after every ride. IMO, it's less work in the long run, when the grime builds up and becomes a nightmare to clean the cassette, jockey pulleys, and chainrings too. I guess it's a toss up 'tween pro link and rocknroll. Have you guys tried the Rock N Roll absolute dry?

  10. #10
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    Rohloff rules!!

    I have been using Rohloff Chain Lube for 5 years now and I will never change. Unless I run out, of course. You just put it on maybe once every two weeks. It stays on and keeps my drive train happy like no other lube. I tried them all: BoeSheild, Rock and Roll, Pedro's, White Lightning, etc. All of these need to be reapplied daily or every ride. Not the Rohloff. Check the reviews, everyone that uses Rohloff is converted for life. The unfortunate thing is that it isn't readily available. I use to get it on my yearly trips to Germany with my former employer. Like the dummy I am I gave a couple of bottles away to friends and I was down to my last bottle just last month so I called Thomas at Rohloff USA and he sold me a 1 liter bottle. This should last me 10 years. I''m serious you gotta try this lube. Just my humble opinion

  11. #11
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    See the LIGHT

    The best lube, hands down, is PURPLE EXTREME! Our shimano rep gave us all samples of it and I will never go back to Pro-Link or Extra Dry. It is made by the same company that makes Royal Purple car oil. They claim you can go 400 miles between applications (road or mountain) and I just relubed the road bike just shy of 500 miles. It is extremely quiet, lasts forever, doesn't attract any grime, dirt, or dust. I only have about 160 miles on the MTB since appliying so I will have to see how long it lasts, If you can find it, pick yourself up some.
    XC

  12. #12
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    Hey Xtearor ... where might I be able to purchase this Purple yumminess ?


    -Matt
    You in Oklahoma City? If yes, come ride with us.

  13. #13
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    I just tried searching online with little luck. It has not been around very long, we have been carrying it for about 6 weeks, and got it as soon as it came out. If you want to PM me, I would be happy to send you a sample bottle.
    XC

    Ps- I found this head to head test online- both chains were ridden ~150 miles, the chain on top was lubed with Purple Extreme and the bottom chain was lubed with White Lightning.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
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    I like the sound of this Purple Stuff.

    Might it be at the auto parts store?


    I hate white lightning... it gunks everything up.... ... so funk dat.


    Thanks for the info.

    -Matt
    You in Oklahoma City? If yes, come ride with us.

  15. #15
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    Boeshield, Prolink, Rock-n-Roll Extreme, Purple Extreme

    are all good for fine dusty conditions, but they each have their quirks.

    The key to getting the most out of Boeshield is to let it dry at least a few days. A week is even better. If you don't do this, it is nearly useless. I rotate 3 chains so I always have a clean, dry chain ready to go even this time of year (moondust). Definitely not an apply 'n ride lube.

    Prolink can't take any water crossings but stays just a little cleaner than Boeshield in fine dust. I don't notice any odd smell. In fact, I think it smells good!

    Rock-n-Roll Extreme is also decent for the conditions you describe and is the best of the bunch if you need a lube that you can apply and just ride. It performs similar to Prolink. I haven't tried it since it changed color from chunky brown to blue though.

    Purple Extreme is also very good, but attracts a little more fine dust than Boeshield or Prolink. It would be the best if you have to deal with dust as well as a few water crossings on the same ride. This stuff works best if you can let it dry at least a few hours - overnight is even better. I seemed to go thru this stuff faster than any other lube I've tried for some reason. It's also not easy to find and is expensive.

    My favorite all around is still Boeshield. It lasts as long as anything else I've tried (except Dumonde Tech which is a sticky mess, but great for winter riding) yet cleans off easily when necessary. A bottle also seems to last longer than most other lubes, it is not too expensive, and seems to be easy to find.

  16. #16
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    from now on: Pro-Gold...

    they had their booth right next to us on eurobike and convinced me to try it out ( i got several samples) they say it will extend the lifetime of my chain to 3-4 time. no oil is used. instead they do kind of a metal surface treatment.

    read the reviews on the website. makes you wonder if there can be anything better!
    http://progoldmfr.com/

  17. #17
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    Seeing as how you have multiple posts with just as many "answers" it's obvious there is no one lube.
    But for me, I have enjoyed good results with DuMonde. It lasts longer than most dry lubes but still bites you at $9 or so for 4 oz. Now I will try Super Lube. From an auto store, lasts as long, rides as clean and costs about 10 times less.

    I mainly use dry lubes but if I was to use a wetter lube, it'd probably be.... mmmm, crap, anything I can easily clean off.

  18. #18
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    for dusty conditions

    I have tried everything and by far dumond tech is best with boesheild a distant second

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by palerider
    I have tried everything and by far dumond tech is best with boesheild a distant second
    I'd agree with this statement 100%. The key to Dumond Tech's superiority, however, is making sure that you apply the tiniest fraction of a drop to each roller. Applying a full-on-globby drop will cause headaches.

    Just my take,

    -Que?

  20. #20
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    I hated that stuff

    I got a couple of small sample bottles at Sea Otter. My chain was making sandy grindy sounds within 1 mile after application, and I followed the instructions to the letter, including a super chain cleaning prior to application. Sorry, but IMHO, that stuff is crap.

    I've been on ProLink and DuMonde Tech for the last six months, and have been mostly happy with both. I've also had good luck with White Lighning Raceday.

    I tried some of that Pedros wax stuff in the aerosol can, and it worked well, but it was the messiest thing I ever used. I was cleaning my whole drivetrain in a solvent tank with a toothbrush soon afterwards.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by EIBfan
    I've had good success with a 50-50 blend of 30 weight motor oil and 90 weight gear oil. With wax lubes I had to lube the chain after every ride to keep it quiet and rarely got more than 1200 miles before they were shot. With wax, they were also very difficult to clean. The wax "goo" just doesn't want to come off.

    With oil, I just replaced a chain (PC59) at 3,000 miles that saw 95% middle and big ring use and it still only had 0.5% stretch. On my F/S bike that sees mostly steep granny climbs, coasting descents or big ring work on the way to the trail, I get about 1200 miles on a chain (PC58). I just replaced it with a PC80R to see if a more high end chain might last a little longer. The other bike got another PC59. I weight about 210.

    As for dirt build up and cleaning, dirt build up is more but minimized if the chain is lubricated sparingly and wiped off afterward. Cleaning an oiled chain is easy with water and simple green and a brush.

    As for frequency of lubing the chain with oil, I generally lube the chain when it get noisy which is about every 100 to 150 miles which is much less than after every ride which is what I did with wax.

    As for cost, a 10 year supply of my lube costs about $5.00.
    I've got a DIY forula that works quite well for me. I use a mix of about 80% parrafin wax and 20% mobil 1 motor oil. I keep this concoction in and old electric frying pan. After cleaning my chain thoroughly, I place it in the pan of melted wax/oil. After it sits a few minutes to heat the chain to the same temp as the wx, I just stir ir around to assure the stuff works into every nook and cranny, then take it out with the help of some pliers or something. [it's to hot to handle] set it on some newspaper to soak up the extra wax till it cools. Mixing the oil with the wax makes it a lot more slipery than wax only lubes. Although it's a lot more labor intensive than just squirting some oil on the chain, this lasts for much longer and doesn't get near as dirty. As a plus, once the stuff hardens back in the pan, carve a chunk out to use for lots of other uses- run your cables on a peice before installing them in cable housing. run it across drawer slides for silky smooth operation. Anything that requires a clean lube, this stuff is great. And oh- after cleaning your pedals, toss them in after your chain. Not only do the pedals get the lube job, but the wax fills in all the places where dirt normally takes up residence, forming sort of a "dirt gasket" aroung everthing.Door hinges- just run the hinge pin across the chunk a time or two. No more oil running down the door. And for wood workers- before screwwing into wood, stick the tip of the screw into the chunk of wax. The screw will go in with half the effort. I could go on and on. If I was more motivated, I'd pattent the stuff. Gotta go... RIDE.

  22. #22
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    For the dry and dusty conditions that you ride in, forget about all the home-made and auto parts stuff. I recommend something made for dry conditions, and bikes for that matter. I've had nothing but good luck with Finish Line Teflon-Plus Dry, it attracts little to no dirt or dust and can even handle a little bit of water now and then. I defenitely would NOT recommend any wax-based lubes like the Kytech, not only do they hardly last a ride, they collect dirt like a kid collects germs.

  23. #23
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    Of Tri-Flow, Motorex, White Lightening, Weld-Tite TF2, Finish Line Dry Tech . . .

    For riding and racing in SoCal, the best I've used is Tri-Flow, but there is certainly room for improvement. How lube is applied is as important as what lube. Wiping excess with a rag after application works great at minimizing gunk accumulation

    Tri-Flow: the best at lubricating - very smooth. Does build up a bit, but the least of these. Can handle a bit of stream crossing. For me lasts good for a 3 hour race. Chain can be cleaned well with a rag.

    Motorex Dry Lube: Somewhat thin, lubes well, but forms thin uniform gunk layer which requires chain removal to get clean. I will use the bottle I have happily, but will be going back to tri-flow (or

    White Lightening: crap; gimmick.

    Weld-Tite TF2: I got a large spray can of this at a race and really like it as a first lube on a clean chain before installation on the bike. It penetrates - bringing out deep grime that only mineral spirits could get - and protects and seems to pull tr-flow in deeper than it would normally go. My bottle is empty and I don't know where to get more. This is not really a chain lube as it would dry very quickly and attracts dust.

    FinishLine DryTech: Used one bottle and switched back to Tri-Flow. Did not lube well and I experienced build up.
    M

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigHit-Maniac
    I like the sound of this Purple Stuff.

    Might it be at the auto parts store?


    I hate white lightning... it gunks everything up.... ... so funk dat.


    Thanks for the info.

    -Matt
    If you would've gone to the Eureka Springs DH race you would've gotten some. I have it on my Bighit and its awesome.

    -TS
    Fayetteville, AR and N.W.A RePrEsEnT

  25. #25
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    Try

    Try www.purpleextreme.com - You can look up dealers in your area and also explains how the product works.
    XC

  26. #26
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    Discovered a sample

    Funny, I just realized that one of the vendors handing out samples at Sea Otter was the makers of Purple extreme- it turns out I have two small bottles. I guess I'll try it after my next chain cleaning.
    Question to a custom frame builder..."So what makes your bikes climb better?"....his answer, "Uh, your legs?"

  27. #27
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    Rock-N Roll..magic stuff.

    R.

  28. #28
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    Thanks for all the replys.. I think I'm going to either get the rock n roll or the progold prolink stuff.. I've yet to ride a water crossing so I think I'll be ok. I didn't even think to check if there were reviews on lubes untill it was mentioned in this thread, and both the rock n roll and prolink looked great.

    Thanks

  29. #29
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    My all-time fav. - Rock n' Roll in the Red Bottle - Super quiet, though does need to be applied every ride.

    Second best I'd say is Finish Line Dry - Again, have to apply every ride.

    That Purple Extreme IMO is NOT worth the hassle & only lasted 2 rides in my dry, dusty conditions, FWIW - Sea Otter course is in my backyard though I mostly ride everywhere else but there.

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