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-   -   "Wet" chain lube suggestions? (http://bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=4305)

zpl 12-03-2012 10:33 AM

"Wet" chain lube suggestions?

For years I've used Tri-flow to lube my chain, applying a drop to each link after wiping dirt off the chain when it comes time to re-lube, and wiping off the excess.

This winter I'm doing a lot more riding in soaking weather, and I generally find that after riding in even a short downpour, my chain needs attention before my next ride.

There are "wet" chain lubes that are supposedly stickier and less likely to rinse off in rainy conditions. Do they really work? Or do they just make more of a mess? Should I just resign myself to the drivetrain clean and re-lube routine after every wet ride (it would likely make me ride less)?

If they do work, I'd like to hear your recommended brands.



lynnef 12-03-2012 11:24 AM

Finish Line Cross Country.

Lasts through epic wet 200km brevets...

Simple Nature 12-03-2012 12:00 PM

You could always boil up a pot of Cosmoline and restore that factory sludge in the core of the links... but short of that, you have options.

Personally, I really like ProGold's ProLink. A light oil that really does wonders for chains if applied often (200-300 miles). It is the "go-back-to" chain oil for many. On particularly bad days, I might wipe and re-oil after the ride. It all depends on the grit I pick up from the bike lanes.

But for lousy condition, a heavier oil like Phil Tenacious Oil which is simply a thicker oil with good adhesion. You either love the stuff or hate it. Here are some reviews:

The problem is not neccesarily the condition inside the links. A lot of grit mixed in with wet oil can wear your drivetrain out prematurely rather than the chain. It is a tough balance. I'm pretty confident that the lighter oils are doing their work inside the chain even if the outside is looking a bit shabby.

RonC 12-03-2012 12:02 PM

Seattle's semi-famous bike blogger Kent Peterson has written rave reviews about Chain-L lube. (chain-l.com). I've not used it, but when my stash of Pro-Link Gold is gone, I may give it a try. Sounds a bit messy/smelly, but apparently it really-really works, and lasts a very long time.

Alan 12-04-2012 10:36 AM

If you can't find Cosmoline brand or want an easier way to apply it, any of the frame-saver sprays are very similar compounds. I used LPS-3 on a motorcycle chain for a couple years and it seemed to work fine. It goes on slightly wet, carrying it into cracks and crevices, then evaporates to a sticky, waxy lube that seems to last well. The difficulty I found was that the spray valve on the can gummed up long before the can was empty.

Over on CGOAB someone recommends "Squirt." It was suggested to them by a Dutch bike shop, so they should know something about wet weather chain maintenance. I haven't tried it but I am tempted. The website advertises:
Squirt is a NEW GENERATION emulsion chain lubricant. It lubricates better, stays on the chain longer and keeps the chain clean. It is a wax based, long lasting dry lube that does not contain harmful solvents and is environmentally friendly. This liquid lubricant has unique properties, making it ideal for any cycling condition. It was developed to give better lubrication, last longer and keep the chain clean over long distances, for both mountain biking and road cycling. No degreasing is required or recommended.
PS - I'm presently using ATB (All The Best) that a mechanic at Bike Gallery recommended. It's red color, in a plastic bottle with an extendable drip tube. It comes out fairly thin, maybe about 5-10W, but it gets quite sticky especially after it sits for 15 minutes or so. Doesn't seem to fling off much.

thumbprinterr 12-05-2012 08:14 PM

scott i second the finish line cross country recommendation. i've been using it for several years and it is awesome! i can literally go months of riding in the rain without re-lubing. i do wipe my chain down after every wet ride which seems to help a lot.
i tried the ATB and it sucked, made my chain make all kinds of weird noises and wore off pretty quickly.
FWIW, i'm still on the first small bottle of finish line cross country that i bought about 3 years ago. plenty left in it...


thumbprinterr 12-06-2012 09:56 AM

one additional thought - after lubing your chain and letting the lube soak into the links for a few minutes take a long while to carefully remove as much as possible from the outside of the chain. it generally takes me way longer to do that than to apply the lube. also wipe off the jockey pulley wheels during that process. it makes a huge difference in the amount of crap that sticks to the chain when riding in the wet. this stuff is very gooey so it takes a while to get it off...

zpl 12-06-2012 11:52 AM

Cool, thanks for all the helpful replies. Sounds like there is a bit of consensus on Finish Line CC being decent, so I will likely give that a try.

Ben, I hear ya on making sure the excess lube is cleaned from the outside of the chain after applying, and wiping the pulley wheels. That's generally part of my chain lubing routine.

I look forward to spending more time on the bike and less re-lubing my chain! :)


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