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Graham NZ

Spray-on Dry Chain-lubricants

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embee
On ‎27‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 16:48, temp said:

Only a bit about bike chains, so please excuse that, but I knew some JCB operators who used light oil instead of grease in dusty/sandy conditions cos the grease turned into a grinding paste. Very happy for someone to describe that in bike chain terms :)

I'm always happy to listen to any argument for doing things if someone can give a rational explanation or reason which stands up to basic scrutiny, and especially if there's some practical experience to back it up. What I won't usually accept is some blanket statement about something with no justification nor logical reasoning.

 

Using oil rather than grease in dirty environments makes sense for various reasons, much as you describe. This is one of the favourable factors in using chain oilers on bikes. The oil generally doesn't hold grit like grease does, it flings off and takes dirt with it, and it will wick into crevices and lubricate the chain rollers and external rubbing parts of the O-rings. It should be remembered that sealed-ring chains only keep the factory lube between the pins and bushings, you still need to provide some form of lube for the rollers on the bushings and the roller/sprocket contact. They are particularly useful in my opinion for touring, where you may do several hundred miles on motorways in a day, an oiler keeps a steady supply of lube during this to ease the duty on the chain.

 

The objections to chain oilers are usually to do with unsatisfactory installations or poor quality devices where you can't control the flow successfully and you end up with too much oil spread about the rear wheel. Good oilers properly installed don't make significant mess. There are quite a few options out there to choose from, with plenty of real world experience from forum members to draw on. Of course you can lube chains other ways (or not at all if you prefer).

 

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Andy m

It's easy to spot when the conditions off road change to the point you are better off not oiling. The sand will be caked on every surface on the inner face of the chain except where the sprockets touch. You can hear how crunchy they are. Clean off with petrol and give it a few days and the touching faces will be polished and wearing like a student's bed springs, but no longer crunchy. A greased chain with added sand will reduce the sprockets to a plain disk in a thousand miles, less if race technology in weird alloy instead of steel. Once off the dirt just clean again and lube. You have to accept than in such conditions chains last about a quarter of what they do on the road. It's why they use cheap industrial style stuff. 

 

Andy

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Graham NZ

Cleaning with petrol should be avoided.  Kerosene/paraffin yes.

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Andy m

At home I'd agree, but 15 days from home and 50 miles from anywhere you cannot be precious about such things and have the petrol.

 

These chains wear out they don't die of old age as O-rings swell during the winter lay off. Its a different usage and you have to aim to keep the machine going for 3 weeks not preserve any value. Mixing up this type of use and touring round near home can lead to some of the odd advice you get on the Internet.

 

I've seen a BMW rider having a meltdown in the Atlas because his ABS warning light was on. The crying (I kid you not) was not due to the likely impending battery failure but due to the nearest dealer who might tell him a sixty quid "reset" would make his toy perfect again being 900 miles away. The bike ran perfectly so could just be ridden a bit more carefully on wet roads. The battery finally died somewhere in Spain. 

 

I have likewise seen bits of fence wire used to join snapped chains in London. Why you would risk a Kazakh bodge in a city where a bus ride would let you buy the part was beyond me. The rider in question was more interested in getting the photos on his blog before the next installment of Obi-one's holiday film though. 

 

Andy

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sad vampire

I'm finding this thread quite interesting as my NC750X DCT is the first chain drive bike I've had in years, heaving been spoiled by NTV600s (just pop any old oil in the bevel box) Guzzis (a strange blend of two gear oils in the bevel box) and scooters (bevel box again plus rubber bands).

 

The last bike with a chain that I did enough miles on to shred them was an MTX125, & I ran then with a few drops of hideously expensive teflon stuff with engine oil over it, & they lasted about 10k miles per chain & sprocket set.

 

I've currently got dry spray lube on the NC750X, it's "Muc Off" brand that I picked up on offer & it doesn't appear very good, but time will tell. I guess it's a lot better than nothing.

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Graham NZ

What might be appropriate in a 'life boat' isn't what would be better at home I agree.

 

Apart from the maintenance I like chains.  If only they had chain cases.  The duplex, enclosed chain on one of my bikes was the smoothest running final drive I've experienced.  Why duplex?  To fit the maximum number of teeth onto the space-restricted front sprocket.  That is key to smooth running.

 

Long chain and sprocket life are far less important to me than freedom from mess.  My first shaft bike was a new 1987 Honda VT500 and a cleanliness revolution it was.  Next a new 1988 Yamaha XJ900 which was clean, and powerful.  After a few more shaft bikes and one with a belt I'm amazed to be riding a chain bike again now and that is solely because I need an automatic bike.

 

The cleanliness search is the reason for trying a dry wax spray.  So far it seems good.  Fingers crossed.

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Ignatius
Posted (edited)

I commute 28 miles each way to work and got center stand to my bike. As soon as i come back home, i spray the GT45 (£3 from Aldi) in 30 seconds. Give a proper clean every 2 weeks with  Muc off degreaser and chain brush. Haven't adjusted the chain till date in  my 2 years 16000 miles. Don't think to worry for another 5000 miles for sure.

Edited by Ignatius

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Graham NZ

Such dedication to a chain, Ignatius.  I commend you.  Not something I could bring myself to do because I'm too lazy.  Even cleaning bikes is something I do seldom.  I'd much rather adjust a chain than clean and lube it.

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