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Grease inside the chain > good. Grease outside the chain > not good. It takes about a minute to wipe the stuff off the outside and you're ready for many lube-free miles. You are doing your chain a disservice by soaking them in simple green.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Grease inside the chain > good. Grease outside the chain > not good. It takes about a minute to wipe the stuff off the outside and you're ready for many lube-free miles. You are doing your chain a disservice by soaking them in simple green.
What are you using to clean the grease away? The only thing that will cut it is a petroleum based product, which attracts dirt, or simple green. Guess I could just spray outside of chain with SG and preserve the grease inside rollers.
 

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The time I stopped getting rid of the 'factory grease' was also the time I started getting much better wear out of both chains and cassettes. Perhaps it helped that I started using Chain-L too.
 

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I spray a rag with a penetrating oil, like WD40, then run the chain thru the wet rag. The solvent strips the sticky lube from the outer plates, and leaves the inner faces lubed.

If you were really anal, you could q-tip the inner plates too...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just figured that the same grease is on the inside of the rollers and it would be best to get rid of it and replace it with a good, non petroleum based lube. That's my reasoning for soaking the chain and ridding it completely of the grease.
 

· The Original Suspect
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I lightly run a rag over the outside but much prefer to keep the factory lube in place. I am not sure of the process manufacturers take to ensure the chain is lubed this way but I am quite sure that I don't do as good a job.

I have one of these Finish Line Grunge Brush | Finish Line | Brand | www.PricePoint.com

IMO the best dirt removal tool for chains.
 

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Grease is a lubricant too. In fact a much better one than oil as it stays in place better. The downside is that it is very hard if not impossible to get into tight places like chain links without total disassembly.
By removing it you are replacing a superior lube with an inferior one.
 

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the factory lube is FAR better than anything you can buy. the best thing to do as many have already stated is take a moistened rag and wipe off the excess. I prefer to use something like rubbing alcohol over the oil based as you really don't want it to get inside the rollers and such. A moistened rag of rubbing alcohol will actually remove the excess, but leaves a light film of the original oil BUT it kinda skins it.. making it much less tacky. if you wipe it quickly after the first 2-3 rides the chain wont attract dirt anymore but will run quieter and last longer...

NEVER STRIP A NEW CHAIN!! you just 1/2 the life span of it.
 

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Back when I believed in wet lubes, riding new chains with the original grease made sense. I went thru about 8 chains a year with my measure often and replace early plan.

Now I totally strip the factory lube from chains and use Squirt chain lube. I get over a year per chain now. No more grinding compound inside my chains from the mixture of super fine sand particles, mostly from Fort Ord, and oil/grease. I still measure often and replace at the same point of wear. It just takes a whole lot longer to wear a chain to the same point now.
 

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Factory Lube
New chains come pre-lubricated with a grease-type lubricant which has been installed at the factory. This is an excellent lubricant, and has been made to permeate all of the internal interstices in the chain.
This factory lube is superior to any lube that you can apply after the fact.

Some people make the bad mistake of deliberately removing this superior lubricant. Don't do this!

The factory lubricant all by itself is usually good for several hundred miles of service if the bike is not ridden in wet or dusty conditions. It is best not to apply any sort of lube to a new chain until it is clearly needed, because any wet lube you can apply will dilute the factory lube. Sheldon Brown

Chain Maintenance
 

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You guys do realize that the goop that comes on most factory chains is there primarily to prevent corrosion between the time of manufacture and the date of sale? Even if you grant that whatever each manufacturer uses is a superior lubricant, what good is it if it attaches to the rest of the drivetrain and attracts sand and grit - the things that damage and wear drivetrain components? Surely it would be better to strip it off and apply another thinner lubricant, that may be only 95% as good a lube, but doesn't attract dirt to anywhere the same degree and doesn't gum up the rest of the drivetrain?
 

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You guys do realize that the goop that comes on most factory chains is there primarily to prevent corrosion between the time of manufacture and the date of sale? Even if you grant that whatever each manufacturer uses is a superior lubricant, what good is it if it attaches to the rest of the drivetrain and attracts sand and grit - the things that damage and wear drivetrain components? Surely it would be better to strip it off and apply another thinner lubricant, that may be only 95% as good a lube, but doesn't attract dirt to anywhere the same degree and doesn't gum up the rest of the drivetrain?
It's fair to assume that the engineers who make chains aren't a bunch of numpties. If you read the guides from the chain manufacturers they all say, the sticky stuff on the outside is for protection and can be removed, but all of the also say DONT soak the chain in degreaser.

The grease on the inside is put there before assembly because you can't get it in there afterwards. BUT, you can remove it by soaking e chain in degreaser .

So, says most advice says, lightly clean the outside of the chain with a rag, but don't soak it. KMC recommends you don't put lube on the chain for a 100miles or so.
 

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Ok, seriously folks: Drive chains are a pressed together assembly. To the OP: yes the chains individual parts are treated with the grease you are referring to before being assembled. It is just good manufacturing practice, in most cases, to use an assembly lube when pressing components together. Of course, the grease is formulated to prevent corrosion in the time after being assembled and when it is put into service.

If one is going to use a liquid lube I see no need to degrease as the factory grease is a better lube than any liquid lube. Mainly the grease is better because it is inside the chain from the get-go, also it does not wick trail grit into the chain nearly as badly a liquid lubes do. However, the chain is doomed to be ground down internally by a grinding compound made of trail grit and lube oil anyway.

Most folks who use liquid lubes don't realize that they are creating a near perfect grinding compound inside their chains. Just roll a liquid lubed chain that has had a fair amount of trail time back and forth between your finger and thumb and feel that familiar crunchiness, that is trail made grinding compound.

I will concede that in a contamination free environment many liquid chain lubes will outperform Squirt chain lube. However, in real world trail conditions Squirt lubed chains stay crunchiness free, and therefore free of internal grinding compound. I'm sure that is why I now get about 10x more chain life than when I was using liquid lubes.

Yes, I tried all the liquid bike chain lubes mentioned in this thread, and many more, before discovering Squirt.

I am a manufacturing engineer.
 

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I always remove the cosmoline off a new chain. That **** is NOT a lube, but a corrosion inhibitor that hardens over time like lacquer, and attracts all kind of dirt. I have a brand new looking chain that is going on two years of rough riding to prove it.
 
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