How dirty does your chain get?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Boshk
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by Boshk

Only rode 100km in good weather on my new XR3 and my Chorus chain is already black when I wipe it.
I was doing some adjustments and my hand touched the chain and it's black oil/lube.

Granted I didn't clean the factory lube off the new chain (some suggest doing that and apply a 'better' lube)

How often do you clean and any recommendations for a better lube?
Just using a standard Finish line product.
Colnago C60

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TonyM
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by TonyM

For my C60 with Campy SR that I ride only when the weather is100% dry I clean with a cloth my Record chain every 250 km I would say. The chain has sometimes already some visible black spots. I then apply some Rock n Roll absolute Dry and leave it for a few hours. I clean then the excess of lube with a cloth and that's it. It looks clean and works well.
http://www.rocklube.com/about-us.html
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by Weenie


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silvalis
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by silvalis

I'm a big fan of squirt wax lube as it doesn't get that dirty, provided you follow the instructions and don't go overboard.
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sungod
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by sungod

depends on local conditions, in lanzarote things go black fast, even lube-free surfaces get coated by the fine black dust

some vegetation can have a similar effect or worse, i've had the chain and rear mech clogged in under an hour by sticky stuff blowing down from trees

TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

Use a "dry" lube like Dumonde Tech Pro X Lite or Rock n Roll Gold/Extreme and thoroughly wipe away the excess with a rag immediately. Let the lube dry completely for a few hours before riding. I can run my hand over my chain after 100mi and there will barely be any black grease on my finger.

As for Squirt, my opinion on it still stands...it doesn't work well for me. To get the best performance out of Squirt you need to put a small dab on the inside edge of each roller a section at a time and then run your finger a couple times over that section so the thick lube gets massages into the rollers. Advance the chain and do it again until all sections have a thin white film on top. Some people even do the outside edge of the chain. Let it cure overnight.

I just find Squirt goes on a bit too thick with the official method and when dry it is quite hard/stiff. I've recently broken my personal rule about never using wax lubes again and tried my sample bottle of Smoove. Smoove goes on much thinner than squirt and even after letting it cure for hours, it stays a little pasty. That consistency means it's easier to apply and easier to remove the excess before or after rides. Optimal application is again not the official method, but putting a drop on each roller and running your finger over the chain so the wax gets inside the pin/roller assembly. Where Squirt seems to only last me 60mi before its performance is compromised, Smoove seems to last at least as long as Dumonde Tech Pro X Lite or Rock n Roll Extreme. Whether one is cleaner than the other is subjective. Smoove will shed a tiny amount of wax and leaves the chain looking dull. RnR and Dumonde collect a little more road grime, but not much. All except Squirt are easy to wipe down with a dry rag. If you want to wipe a chain that has Squirt on it, some kind of degreaser or Squirts own cleaner is recommended to get the residue off.

bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

Rock N Roll oddly is what i use my chains don't get dirty. I would not use extreme on a road bike. Here's a guide

Absolute dry for road bikes in dry weather it is washed off easily with rain or spray.

Extreme for off road use in damp or wet conditions. It picks up too much dust in dusty conditions. In very heavy rain it won't last but little does.

Gold for road or off road use in most conditions. I tend to use it all year round. When it very wet it has to be applied more often. It has the cleanliness of the absolute dry lube but with most of the persistence of the extreme.

The extreme and gold are now available in low vapour form I. E not flammable.

Holy cow is a very persistent wet lube. It picks up more dirt that the others but it survives wet rides.

bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

There is one other lube I want to try as I have heard good things about.

http://danico-biotech.de/nbcl.php

TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

Gold and Extreme are almost exactly the same for me. Neither pick up dirt, but they don’t last me more than about 200mi either.

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wheelsONfire
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by wheelsONfire

Mail Cerabike and buy Wax lube and you won't look back.
http://www.cerabike.com/wax-lube
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Open *UP*
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nikejervis
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by nikejervis

It depends on local conditions. Squirt wax lube is the best solution.
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CrankAddictsRich
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by CrankAddictsRich

I use Molten Speed wax....

Chain and cogs are always clean to the touch. It is a little bit more work in the beginning to strip your chain (if it's used, of the old lube... or if it's new, of the factory grease) and cogs (if they're used), but after that, I'd say its a pretty even in terms of time invested to re-wax. I use 2 chains, so one is already waxed, ready to swap on and then I can re-wax the one that comes off at my leisure. I'm getting about 600-650 miles between re-applications. I could stretch it more if I really wanted to.

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Ltyarbro42
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by Ltyarbro42

I've been using Squirt, as a few others suggested, but I still end up with a dirty chain and only dusty backroads to blame. Following their application guidelines every time, I still manage some gunk before I clean it (2-300 miles). The upside to this lube is it cleans itself in a way and only leaves behind small buildup but the chain keeps shiny. Also, it is super easy to clean. Any degreaser and it all just disappears. I get more quiet miles out of Chain-L, but not the same performance or cleanliness.

TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

Ltyarbro42 wrote:I've been using Squirt, as a few others suggested, but I still end up with a dirty chain and only dusty backroads to blame. Following their application guidelines every time, I still manage some gunk before I clean it (2-300 miles). The upside to this lube is it cleans itself in a way and only leaves behind small buildup but the chain keeps shiny. Also, it is super easy to clean. Any degreaser and it all just disappears. I get more quiet miles out of Chain-L, but not the same performance or cleanliness.


The problem is what you’re describing isn’t nearly as clean as RnR or Dumonde. Squirt leaves build-up on cogs, chainrings, pulleys, etc. It might be easy to brush off, but the other lubes mentioned you just run the chain through a disposable rag for a few revolutions to get what little dirt there is on the chain off. It’s something I only do just before applying new lube because the chain is so clean anyway.

I basically want Squirt, but without the buildup and without the effort of paraffin or molten speed wax. Maybe that’s Smoove, maybe it’s Cerabike. I doubt I’ll try Cerabike unless it gains distribution in the US, and I’m still undecided on whether Smoove’s sticky coating is actually clean enough vs the dry Teflon lubes.

Delorre
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by Delorre

I used squirt, but the chain was overly stiff after application, and became noisy quite often, even in dry conditions. Back on finishline dry lube for me. To OT : it's normal, if you use a new chain out of the packagin, that it attract lots of dirt and dust and become black. That stuff is really sticky, but works great and last a long time. Just wipe it of after every ride, and when the chain finaly dries out, clean it and relube with whatever you like.

by Weenie


Ltyarbro42
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by Ltyarbro42

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Ltyarbro42 wrote:I've been using Squirt, as a few others suggested, but I still end up with a dirty chain and only dusty backroads to blame. Following their application guidelines every time, I still manage some gunk before I clean it (2-300 miles). The upside to this lube is it cleans itself in a way and only leaves behind small buildup but the chain keeps shiny. Also, it is super easy to clean. Any degreaser and it all just disappears. I get more quiet miles out of Chain-L, but not the same performance or cleanliness.


The problem is what you’re describing isn’t nearly as clean as RnR or Dumonde. Squirt leaves build-up on cogs, chainrings, pulleys, etc. It might be easy to brush off, but the other lubes mentioned you just run the chain through a disposable rag for a few revolutions to get what little dirt there is on the chain off. It’s something I only do just before applying new lube because the chain is so clean anyway.

I basically want Squirt, but without the buildup and without the effort of paraffin or molten speed wax. Maybe that’s Smoove, maybe it’s Cerabike. I doubt I’ll try Cerabike unless it gains distribution in the US, and I’m still undecided on whether Smoove’s sticky coating is actually clean enough vs the dry Teflon lubes.


That is all absolutely true, however, for race day when everything is really clean and the application is only meant to last a weekend, I don't think the performance can be beaten. Otherwise, RnR is the choice. I like Chain-L but once applied its hard to get off.

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