New Shimano chains are covered in a greasy, sticky film, kinda like a wax, and I was wondering if this is proper chain wax or just something the use as a protective film. In other words: Is it okay to just leave this film on as chain lubricant or should you wipe it off and put some oil on instead when putting on a new chain?
its lube/rust protection. excessively put onto the whole chain.
take a microfiber towel and generously soak it with IPA, wipe the chain down to remove excess from the plates.
when you can feel clean, non tacky chain plates, then you can stop.
the IPA evaporates very quickly and doesnt disturb what is in the rollers.
ride your bike, knowing that the inner side of the chain plates will put this gunk all over your cassette, chainring and jockey wheels.
clean them after every ride with a rag and IPA until you notice little build up occurring.
the sandy grit this stuff accumulates is so damaging to your drive train, its not funny!!!
when you stop noticing it accumulating then you know that its time to add chain lube
Note: professional teams clean these chains completely and put their favorite product on from the start.
i switched to muc off ceramic dry. it has been awesome!!
this is a water based formula that washes out with a hose
you can use a touch of detergent or non-wax car wash soap for a bit more cleaning power.
i run the chain between two scrub brushes while pedaling backward. or scrub the lower section a bit at a time followed by a rinse with the hose. this will clean the grit out and off the chain, jockey wheels, chain ring and cassette.
if you can hear grit in the chain when turning the cranks on a stand. just wash again until clean.
add one drop of the muc off to each roller. works best when the chain is wet as the liquid disperses into the roller and pin.
after applying muc off over a section of the chain, i sometimes spray over it again with IPA. the solvent helps the lube penetrate the rollers. this helps a lot on a new chain as the existing stuff resists taking up the muc off. (just being fussy)
after a while, you will notice that your chain will be almost void of all lube after a wash, but also void of grit and crap that damages your drivetrain. you will see that application of new lubricant penetrates easily and quickly into the rollers.
i usually clean my chain after every couple three rides. this only takes a few minutes and you dont have to wet the whole bike, just the chain and cassette area. I try to limit soaking the hub as much as i can.
let the lubricant's water evaporate out while you drive out to the trail.
my bike did over 1000 miles this summer and my chains have shown very little wear. it costs a lot of money to replace a cassette, chain and chain ring. so you might as well invest a few minutes time here and there and keep a cleaner better functioning bike.
you know you want to change a chain out eventually. why destroy the system with a badly worn chain before dropping on the new one??? So i highly recommend to purchase a second or third chain. after this one runs out of factory lube and has a month or so on it, you will want to switch it out and break in the next new chain. this way, you wear two chains into the drivetrain over time. This prevents a poorly wearing chain from damaging the drivetrain. so that later, even if you put on a new chain, it wants to skip, shift poorly, etc.
*keep crap off the disc brakes - always wipe your rotors with ipa and clean paper towel after every wash
*brakes will squeal a little till they dry out. try gentle pressure to build a little heat and dry them if riding immediately after.
*let the bike dry in the sun to prevent rusty bearings etc. - dont wash and then bury it in a damp garage