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How Do You Lube Your Chain? Please Share Advice.

mcmd

Finally made it
Location
SW Ohio
Just wondering how everyone lubes their chains? When I lube mine the excess lube gets slung onto other areas of the bike while riding. It seems to me that I once saw an individual lube his chain and then turn the wheel while he ran a waded up rag over the chain. Seems counter intuitive but wondering if this technique is allowing the inner areas of the chain to be lubed while the excess is being wiped off. What do you think? How do you keep excess lube where it belongs whiteout it getting on unwanted areas? Please share your technique.
 

Woodstock

Well travelled
Location
Woodstock, NY
You can wipe it. That is how I do my bicycle. Personally, on the Enfield, i have a cardboard shield shaped to keep the excess spray drops off the floor and the bike frame. One hand sprays, and the other turns the wheel. I first use aerosol penetrating lube, then aerosol chain wax as the brand sells it to me this way. Gullible I am sure as they also sell me the aerosol cleaner to use first. I also use the red plastic straw inserts from wd40 spray cans to really direct the spray and keep it light. I spray left and right side of the chain if need be and from the inside. Reading this, i am clearly losing it to spend the amount of time i do oiling my chain. But last thing i do after polishing my bike and works for me.
 

StefArmstg

Well travelled
Location
Colorado
I do it much like Woodstock. Cardboard between the chain and swingarm. After spraying the chain, and going for a ride, the excess lube will work itself to outside of the chain (seen at the back of the rear sprocket). I wipe that off with a rag sprayed with Tri-Flow. It works as well as a degreaser but leaves a film of penetrating oil behind. I'm not trying to wipe the rollers clean, just what's accumulated on the edges of the side plates.

It's best to lube the chain at the end of a ride, while it's warm. And let it dry before the next ride.

I also use Tri-Flow for cleaning the chain, when it's not too dirty. And use kerosene and a toothbrush if it is.

To remove grease and grime from the hard to reach places, I use Gun Scrubber. It's like automotive brake and contact cleaner, but not as harsh.

IMG_20240608_152002075.jpgIMG_20240608_150355148.jpg
 
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petespace1

Well travelled
Location
Aus
There are some old threads here about this.

My method of late: Two layers of cardboard on floor and side… (similar to Woodstock)
Spray WD40 while I spin the wheel with the other hand. Leave to soak in for an hour or so -while I have a cuppa, then wipe off…. Spray again Leave to soak in and drip onto the cardboard usually overnight, wipe chain and sprockets (takes 5 mins) next day.
The first ride I might get a slight bit of spray on the wheel and swing arm that I wipe off. Then it’s good for next over 500km. Of course we don’t get snow and assuming not ridden in rain. If it rains then of course clean and repeat sooner.

Edit: forgot to mention … no other oil or wax used.
 

Ric

Well travelled
There are some old threads here about this.

My method of late: Two layers of cardboard on floor and side… (similar to Woodstock)
Spray WD40 while I spin the wheel with the other hand. Leave to soak in for an hour or so -while I have a cuppa, then wipe off…. Spray again Leave to soak in and drip onto the cardboard usually overnight, wipe chain and sprockets (takes 5 mins) next day.
The first ride I might get a slight bit of spray on the wheel and swing arm that I wipe off. Then it’s good for next over 500km. Of course we don’t get snow and assuming not ridden in rain. If it rains then of course clean and repeat sooner.

Edit: forgot to mention … no other oil or wax used.
Yeah, I am doing exactly the same, no rust, and the chain and sprockets seem to like it, also every 500km. If I do get caught in the rain, I redo it asap. I am seeing no wear, unlike a friend with his bike, he oils all the time, the chain and sprockets wear a lot quicker.
 

Aitrus

Well travelled
Location
Georgia, USA
I use Liquid Wrench Chain and Cable lube for my Meteor's chain. I usually do it once every other week or so. I have a 40-mile round trip ride to work, so I usually end up lubing the chain about every 400 miles, depending on how many times I ride to work. If I'm in a season when I don't ride much, I'll still make sure to lube the chain at least once a month just to keep the rust under control in my humid locality.

As others have said, I try to lube the chain after a ride when it's still warm and everything is a little looser than it would be if it were cold. I don't spray, I use the straw attached to the nozzle. I hold the end of the straw about the 2 o'clock position on back pulley and very lightly squeeze the top so the liquid comes out just a little at a time while I slowly turn the tire forward. I hold the can / straw it in line with the chain and right on the actual chain / tooth itself so that if I should overspray, it ends up being aimed at the chain instead of spraying everywhere. As I slowly roll the tire it sort of dribbles down and around the links. I keep adding lube and turning the tire until the chain looks wet all the way around. I have a piece of cardboard underneath to catch the drips. Takes a while to dry, so I let it sit overnight. Has a pretty strong smell, but it's no worse than if you do an oil change / tappet adjustment.

Once every three months I'll take off the front pulley cover and make sure it's generally free of grime such, the main nut is still tight, and I'll do as above but this time I'll apply the lube at the front pulley / link juncture instead of doing the job at the back tire. This way the front pulley gets a good dose of lube instead of relying on it traveling from the back tire.

The bike gets a full cleaning twice a year, which includes taking a brush to the chain and front pulley area. It rains enough here that I don't need to wash it all the time. This bike is a workhorse, not a showroom piece.
 

Turbofurball

Well travelled
Location
Catalunya
I vary it depending on what I've been riding through. In summer off road I just hose it with WD40 once a week or after very dusty conditions, on road I give it a quick clean with parafin (kerosene) and use the cheapest motorbike chain oil only when it looks dry.
When I've been in deep mud off road I clean the chain thoroughly ASAP with parafin and use WD40 after, in snow or on salted roads I clean often and thoroughly, and prefer to use chain wax (chain wax is also the best stuff for when laying a bike up for a while IMO).

I've never had success with chain oilers or manually brushing gear oil on the chain, and I've never had an improvement from expensive chain oil. Dry lube is only useful for off-road competition IMO.

My main rule of thumb is that the chain looks wet and cleanish, if that's the case I carry on riding. I don't want to own a bike just to spend all my time cleaning it.
 

LIGuy

Well travelled
Lately I've been fond of 90w gear oil and a small 1/4 wide brush. Its a little slower but more precise IMHO
When it comes to cleaning its kerosene and a chain brush.
Of course a large piece of cardboard cut into an L shape with a semi-circle cut on top for the hub to spin freely when cleaning or using spray lube.
I dont mind cleaning the wheel after a ride the following day. If its really messy, I used too much ;)
And I always keep the side plates of the chain clean (just for the look)
 

Plasma

Getting there...
Location
Wirral
Lately I've been fond of 90w gear oil and a small 1/4 wide brush. Its a little slower but more precise IMHO
When it comes to cleaning its kerosene and a chain brush.
Of course a large piece of cardboard cut into an L shape with a semi-circle cut on top for the hub to spin freely when cleaning or using spray lube.
I dont mind cleaning the wheel after a ride the following day. If its really messy, I used too much ;)
And I always keep the side plates of the chain clean (just for the look)
yes that’s how I have been doing mine for 30 years

plasma
 
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