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Dampen a cloth with some white (mineral) spirit and wipe the whole length of the chain to remove the excess. You're right in that the factory lube is going to pick up a lot of crap very quickly. If you're using something like ProLink you could use that instead of the mineral spirits, then apply fresh lube in the usual manner. Another option is to totally clean the factory stuff and start over with whatever lube you'd regularly use. If you haven't already tried it, the ProLink sounds ideal for your "clean and lightly oiled" preference.
 

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The "goop" opn SRAM chains is GLEITMO, an expensive and decently long lasting lube. Don't wipe it off. Shimano and other brands use corrosion inhibitor for packing and that can be removed.

I tried to buy GLEITMO, but it's just too expensive and it's probably more practical in use as a storage corrosion inhibitor and initial use lube than a lube throughout the chain's life. At least SRAM uses a lubricant coating.
 

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Considering the spirits-based homebrew you're using, you could probably dispense with the degreasing unless the chain has gotten really soaked or dirty. Degreaser is only going to break down and/or wash out the 'good' lube inside the bearings, so giving the outside a wipe down with the mineral spirit cloth should generally be all the 'cleaning' you need.

What ratio of Mobil to spirits do you use? I'd like to start experimenting with homebrew...
 

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SteveUK said:
What ratio of Mobil to spirits do you use? I'd like to start experimenting with homebrew...
About 3 parts mineral spirits to 1 part Mobile 1. I also added a bit of motorcycle chain lube to the mix (for the "anti-fling" properties) since I had some on the shelf in the garage.

I think I'll leave the goop on, and just clean the chain normally when needed. Thanks folks!:thumbsup:
 

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Do not wash out the original lube. Sram uses a quality lube on their chains, so there's no percentage in removing it.

If you're concerned about attracting dust, put a bit of kerosene or other solvent on a paper towel and wipe the exterior of the chain down reduce stickiness, but do not soak the chain and de-lube the interior.

If you talk to the tech support staff at Sram, Shimano, or Campagnolo, they'll all tell you that 90% of the complaints about short chain life come from folks who wash out the factory lube and replace it with something else.

Replace or supplement the original lube when the chain asks for it, not before. Then use a high quality product of your choice. I recommend chain-L #5, but then, of course, I'm a bit prejudiced.

francis
 

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Personally, I think that crap is some kind of dirt glue. Sounded like my kid eating a candy cane...only, it lasted for the duration of the first ride.

I love using Mobile1 during the winter riding season. Good stuff!
 

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Hawseman said:
I love using Mobile1 during the winter riding season. Good stuff!
Do you guys mean Mobil 1 motor oil, or tranny oil? What weight, if that matters..?

Without a doubt, this chain lubing/maintenance is one of the most contentious issues in biking. The holy grail is a technique that minimizes wear and noise while taking the least time and effort.

Sometimes I wonder if (for dirt riding) the best is to buy chains by the dozen, just put one on the bike, then replace it after a couple hundred miles when it gets noisy.:eek:ut:

At my pay rate, I'd save money.

Happy New Year to all.

jeff
 

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noodletips said:
Without a doubt, this chain lubing/maintenance is one of the most contentious issues in biking.

Sometimes I wonder if (for dirt riding) the best is to buy chains by the dozen, just put one on the bike, then replace it after a couple hundred miles when it gets noisy.:eek:ut:

At my pay rate, I'd save money.
Three things one should avoid discussing in polite company: religion, politics, and chain lubrication.

Chain lubing is a lot like religion with commited followers of a number of mainstream beliefs and also a large number of cults. Without getting into a debate of the relative merits of any one approach, I can tell you that just about any chain lube is vastly better than none.

Chain lubes improve chain performance and life three ways; they keep water from wicking in and rusting the working surfaces, they keep grit from entering and binding the links, and they reduce wear on the bearing surfaces to keep chains within tolerance longer.

Even if performance is unaffected the cost/benefit ratio justifies even the most expensive chain lube. Assuming chains cost over $20.00 and lubes about $12.00 per 4oz. bottle, a lube would only have to give a marginal - less than 10% - improvement in chain life to fully pay for itself. And this is before factoring the added cassette life.

Trying to save money by running chains without maintainance is false economy.

I obviously have my own prejudices about what's the best way to lube a chain, but I won't try to convince you, except to tell you to find something that works for you and lube your chain religiously.
 
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