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I think by using white lightning is the reason you are having problems with your chain being full of gunk and junk.
Try using one og the other recommendations other than WD40 (which is just a water displacement lube and not a lube at all) or grease and see how long your chain will go without getting the gunk and junk. I think you will be amazed by the results.
White Lightning, haven't tried the "Epic". Why? I used it in South Africa in harsh dry gritty conditions, excellent performance. No good when wet, though.
Pain is weakness leaving the body.
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Ha! We used to use motor oil on our chains when I was a kid. I ride my bike around 100 miles a week this time of year (commuting mostly) and find that my chain gets gross often. I wipe it down about once a week and give it a thorough cleaning as often as possible, which isn't often enough. It just seems like it is ALWAYS grimy no matter what I do.
Kitty, I'm hoping you're joking on both counts.
I use WD40 a lot. I am also considering using what I use on the car which is grease.
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Everyone has a favorite lube for the chain but they are always looking for a better option.
Dirt or contamination is the enemy of any moving system. The chain needs to be checked for stretch or wear. I find the more you clean it the longer it will last. I get 1500 to 5000 miles on a chain.
If a chain fails it can happen from a missed shift under load and that chain will be instant history. If touring or doing tandem things keep an extra chain on hand.
The other death of a chain is from wear, road grit being the major cause. That fine grit acts as a lapping compound and over time it causes the system (wears tolerances of the pins and rollers) to become sloppy. It will appear to stretch (there is a tool for this) or if you give it the twist test the chain will rotate much further than new. You will notice sloppy shifting and itís best to change the chain before it wears on your cogs or chain rings.
If you clean the bike off often and there is enough lube in the rollers and pins it should last a while.
I take my chain off often (use one of those special links) and put it in an ultrasonic cleaner while I wash the bike. Then I blow the chain dry with an air hose, hang it and use Boeshield T-9 drip down, get off an excess, and let it dry. Iíve tried a lot of different things but this is ok for my needs. I will clean the chain every 200 to 400 miles depending on the road dirt. Riding on indoors is easy on the chain. The best way to see if it needs to be cleaned is to rub the chain with your fingers and then rub your fingers together and see if you can feel abrasive road grit. You can do a quick cleaning with a hose, soap and water using a lube that displaces water.
Cleaning the chain is a pain.
Just to prove that we are all different, I HATE White Lightning. Gah.
I use Finish Line dry and wet lube. Dry on the road and TT bikes, wet on the CX bike. I don't lube often either, there's no need to until the chain starts chirping.
However, after every ride in the rain or bike wash I lube.
In God we trust, all others bring data.
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If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
Specificity, specificity, specificity.
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Up until recently, I was using Tri-Flow. It works GREAT! However, it's a wet-lube and in just a simple MC, I picked up so much crap on my chain and cassette. I would start out with a **perfectly** clean drive train and, literally, by the time I finished, ALL of my components were black and looked greasy. No matter how well I wiped the excess off, it was like I'd soaked the chain and cassette in grease by the time I finished.
Since I ride only on asphalt, and on roads that are relatively clear of debris, I was constantly vexed with the grit I got and having to clean the drive train every 75-100 miles.
About 2 months ago, I started using the DuMonde Tech bike lube and the difference is truly amazing! It's a dry lube, so, once it ''cures'' out, there's no wetness to pick-up anything. Even better than that, you lube up once, let it cure-out, and don't worry about re-lubing for about 350 miles with the Lite, or about 700 miles for the original formula. I usually just wipe down the chain, after my ride, and all is good - no grit!
This place has some: www.modernbike.com/itemgroup.asp?igp
2126175940&TID=367 but it is a tad pricey at $8.95 per 2 oz container; however, it is so worth the investment. I would recommend shopping around before buying.
If you don't keep track of your miles, rule of thumb is to reapply when you start hearing chain noise. And this stuff is great for both road AND MTB'ers.
Edited by: SWEETCYCLINHAMS at: 3/30/2010 (11:27)
Just curious what everyone uses to lube their chain! I've been a fan of White Lightning for a long time, but I know people who hate it. What do you like and why?