My vote goes for Squirt. Adelaide to Darwin via the dirt/dust/mud/sand to Alice. Never wiped the chain just applied more lube(a wax) daily. Nothing and I mean nothing sticks to it, you can rub the chain and your fingers barely get dirty. Now on every bike I own. I'm a convert. No I'm not getting paid for this.
The worst dry lube I've experienced, my vote goes to Bike Line, by Motorex.
Pro-link Gold. Excellent stuff. Stays on but not too much that it picks up crud.
All the pro teams use heavier wet lube BUT they take their chains off after each ride and clean them link by link. Personally, I wipe my chain with a rag after every ride and lube it every 200km or so.
Have always been worried about WD40. Heaps of solvent and little actual lube. It's more of a water dispersent than lube.
Yep...and it was the 40th formula that they tried. The main ingredient is fish oil.
Mark, Old as the hills discussion point but always guaranteed to get a (chain) reaction. Here I go - sucked in!
Bike chains are low velocity transmissions and therefore we are not worried about heat, not at the speeds most of us ride at any way. Friction is virtually non existent in a new roller chain, they are 98% efficient, so what is there left to be concerned about? Well the remaining enemies of longevity are contamination and corrosion. The dust in these parts is very abrasive (basically sand which can be harder than the steel in the chain rollers and quickly wear them) so the ideal lube should actively repel dust and dirt, reduce static charge, penetrate easily between the links and into pins and rollers and coat surfaces just enough to smooth the rollers over the sprockets.
As an aside motorcycle chains are sealed with O rings between the side plates and the rollers to prevent ingress of water and dust between pins and rollers. They run a lot faster and hotter under much higher loads than cycle chains and yet with a squirt of chain lube and a wipe down every 500 kms they will easily last 50 000kms or more.
In the good old days cycle chains ran in a sealed oil bath and they never wore out! Derailler type gear changes make that ideal set up rather impractical but you can see if the chain is free from dirt, dust and water it will last a long time. The lubrication side of things is secondary really and often using oils actually accelerates wear because they attract crud and combine to create a grinding paste.
Best thing is to keep everything clean and dry as far as possible and use a wet lube that penetrates and dries to leave behind a lubricating wax that will not attract the dirt. This is how Rock and Roll products work amongst many others including 'Woodsies' famous Liquid Parafin which contains wax and penetrates / evaporates to leave the wax behind where it can lubricate and repel water. The only problem with Parafin WD40 / CRC etc is that they enrage the tree huggers amongst us by evaporating and contaminating the pure air we breathe. Hence the popularity of 'non-solvent cleaners and lubricants, trouble is non of these really work as well as the old school stuff so it just depends on your own environmental proclivities as to which way you lean...and maybe the size of your wallet! One last thing, for all the reasons above dont ever put grease on your chain...
I've been dreaming of going to a belt system
In the days before O-ringed motorcycle chains there used to be a line of products that where waxed based. You opened a shallow tin, placed it on a stove, heat until the wax was molten and place chain within liquid wax. Once the wax had penatrated every where you removed the chain and hang it on a nail to cool down.
Has anyone used or tried this process on a bicycle chain?
Alastair / Heather, That's right before O-ring chains the best chain treatment was to cook it up in a tin of low melting point grease. This was specially formulated but essentially when heated soaked into the chain like oil then dripped off back intothe tin when the chain was hung up to cool and drain. I used to run two chains one in the tin and the other on the bike. When it was time for a clean and lube, say every 5000kms the old one went into kerro and the fresh one came out of the tin dripped dry and was run onto the spockets ready to go. This would be a very messy time consuming method for bike chains though!