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From: (Jobst Brandt)
Subject: Re: When to replace chain??
Date: 8 Jun 1998 17:40:09 GMT

Jim Ehle writes:

> Please clear us up about this oiling only a clean chain. I remember your
> account of a Switzerland tour last year and I believe you said you just
> used left-over oil from discarded containers at auto service stations to
> take care of your chain. Exactly what do you recommend?

If you ride in the rain any length of time, all lube is washed out of
the chain and if the chain squeaks, this is additional proof that the
chain is clean inside.  If you bother to brush off the surface dirt
that will also be loose for lack of oil, you can reasonably lubricate
your chain.  In the absence of a shop with a wash tank, this is a
reasonable alternative.

Today's non sleeved chains, however, will not run dry for lack of
bearing area and will weld every link of the chain, some irrecoverably
if ridden up hill when dry.  Hence, oiling is a must if you don;t want
to buy a new chain. after riding in the rain.

Jobst Brandt      <>

From: (Jobst Brandt)
Subject: Re: When to replace chain??
Date: 8 Jun 1998 17:49:18 GMT

Jim Quinn writes:

> Personally I never take my chain off in order to oil it.  This may be
> necessary with MTB chains which accumulate a lot of grit and grime but
> road bikes don't get that much stuff on them.

I don't think you understand which grit I am concerned with.  An oily
chain picks up grit that is practically invisible to the eye.  It
resides in the black slime that develops on a chain.  Oiling over this
residue brings it into the pins where it wears the chain rapidly.
Sleeveless chains, as all are today, ingest grit more easily because
the bearing area is exposed to the roller that can pump dirt inside
directly.  Formerly the side places covered the ends of the sleeve and
this retained lubricant even in wet use.

> In addition it is a real hassle to take the chain off and put it
> back on.  I use the Shimano chains and that means that I have to use
> one of their replacement pins whenever I put the chain back on.

Well that's what the market demands.  Chains that can't be separated
and rejoined as has been done the last 100 years.  8 & 9-speed
clusters demand a chain with flush sides and this is only possible with
flush ground link pins.  Flush ground link pins cannot be reinserted
without broaching out the hole.  Now tell me we need 9-speed clusters.

> Taking the chain off to lubricate is probably the "best" solution
> but most people I know don't bother.  I use one of those brush
> devices, it isn't too bad and I don't have to go through the pain of
> taking off the chain.

That is probably better than nothing but it is a big mess and doesn't
get the fine stuff out that it recirculates in the solvent.

Jobst Brandt      <>

From: (Jobst Brandt)
Subject: Re: White Lightning
Date: 31 Mar 1999 17:46:02 GMT

Charles P. S. Gianotti writes:

>>> What do you think about the new formula of White Lightning chain
>>> lube?  I still use the original formula and like it, but I have
>>> heard some bad comments about the new stuff.

>> The best thing it has going for it is its name.  That seems to span
>> all gaps of performance.

> And, what's wrong with WL?

It's a dry lube.

> Can you recommend a dry lube?

No.  That's why machinery runs on liquid lubes.  Chain saw lube is
about as close as you can get to an ideal chain lubricant for an
exposed chain.  It isn't white.

Jobst Brandt      <>

From: (Jobst Brandt)
Subject: Re: White Lightning?!?!?  Never again!
Date: 9 May 2000 15:18:49 GMT

John Getsoian writes:

> Have you considered that the nature of the very sticky oil coating
> put on chains prior to distribution may have more to do with long
> term corrosion resistance on storage in possibly humid environments
> than it does with its virtues as a working lubricant?

This a classic rhetorical question with no endorsement of one position
or another, except to perpetuate folklore.  I can see it now, chains
are made in far away places, across the sea, from whence they are
shipped unpackaged and exposed to the elements on the decks of small
ships.  GIVE ME A BREAK!

I can also see Trek and Cannondale rinsing these corrosion protected
chains so that they can be "properly" lubricated before installation
on new bicycles.  You should be glad if you could care for your chain
with as good a lubricant as what is on it when you unpack it.  The
stuff does not run or spatter, and if there's too much, you can always
wipe off the excess after installation on your bicycle.

Jobst Brandt      <>

From: (Jobst Brandt)
Subject: Re: White Lightning?!?!?  Never again!
Date: 9 May 2000 21:59:48 GMT

Brian J. Wolf writes:

> Well, I may not be a "professional" bike mechanic but I do have a
> fair amount of mechanical experience as an auto mechanic, Gas
> Turbine technician, and a marine mach. mechanic.

Nice disclaimer.  Under this perspective you might hold your comments
about bicycle chains for another day.  Gas turbines and cars don't use
these chains and I don't know that the boats with which you were
associated do either.

> The coating that comes on chains, bearings, and many other machined
> metal parts isn't used as a lubricant.  It is a protective coating
> and anti corrosion measure; It is sticky to prevent it from running
> off when "sitting" on a shelf etc., a normal lubricant wouldn't be
> viscous enough and would eventually run off leaving parts exposed to
> corrosion.

And you know this on the basis of working on gas turbines I assume.
This lubricant is semi stiff because it is intended to not fly off
when the chain rotates around a sprocket and especially a derailleur
wheel with its small radius.  Motorcycle chain and chain saw lubricant
has a similar consistency and uses a volatile solvent that permits
penetration before the lubricant becomes stiff.

> Another example of this coating would be if anyone here has ever
> changed automotive brake rotors, they come with a similarly "sticky"
> coating that must be removed before installation unless you believe
> it is a good thing to have a lubricated braking surface..

Similar maybe, but not the same.  You seem to imply that if it's
greasy prevents corrosion it must not be a lubricant.  From what you
say one might deduce that wax, that isn't sticky, doesn't prevent rust
and flakes off at the thought of water, is a far better lubricant for
having those characteristics.  This sounds like an exclusive OR
condition the way you present it.

Jobst Brandt      <>

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