Author Topic: What lube to use for touring.  (Read 30063 times)

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Offline staehpj1

Re: What lube to use for touring.
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2015, 12:46:19 pm »
Is there a special lube that stays clean that I'm not aware of?  Wax lubes stay clean but a person would have to reply it every day, is that what touring people do?  My experience with drip on wax lubes is that my chains get about 2/3rds LESS mileage on them before they are worn out, so replacing a chain once or twice going across country would be ridiculas too.

That has not been my experience.  I have not seen issues with shortened chain life and wax based lubes.  I generally get 10,000 miles or so with something like Boesheild T9 applied every few days and with pretty much no cleaning.

when I did the NT I replaced my chain twice. I look on chains as disposable and not worth the effort and mess of trying to make them last by cleaning etc. It's a 5 minute job replacing a chain like a SRAM that has a Quicklink if you know the trick for opening gummed up Quicklinks. And they aren't that expensive. I carry a Park CC-1 chain checker and replace them sooner rather than later to preserve the teeth on the cassette (generally I get 3 chains to a cassette another consumable)

That surprises me.  It sounds like you change chains every 1500 miles or so and that cassettes only last you maybe 4,000 or 5,000 miles.  Is that correct or am I reading that wrong?  Is that with a steel cog cassette?  Aluminum? Something else?

Chains typically last me 10,000 miles or so (with very minimal care) and truth be told I have only rarely ever worn out a cassette, but some of them have certainly lasted me 20,000 miles or more, some of them probably a lot more.

Offline PeteJack

Re: What lube to use for touring.
« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2015, 01:14:56 pm »
That surprises me.  It sounds like you change chains every 1500 miles or so and that cassettes only last you maybe 4,000 or 5,000 miles.  Is that correct or am I reading that wrong?  Is that with a steel cog cassette?  Aluminum? Something else?

Chains typically last me 10,000 miles or so (with very minimal care) and truth be told I have only rarely ever worn out a cassette, but some of them have certainly lasted me 20,000 miles or more, some of them probably a lot more.
No you're not reading it wrong. Good for you with the chain life thing. Can't be bothered myself. I use vanilla SRAM or Shimano cassettes whatever the LBS has in stock. Different strokes, different folks

Offline staehpj1

Re: What lube to use for touring.
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2015, 01:19:40 pm »
That surprises me.  It sounds like you change chains every 1500 miles or so and that cassettes only last you maybe 4,000 or 5,000 miles.  Is that correct or am I reading that wrong?  Is that with a steel cog cassette?  Aluminum? Something else?

Chains typically last me 10,000 miles or so (with very minimal care) and truth be told I have only rarely ever worn out a cassette, but some of them have certainly lasted me 20,000 miles or more, some of them probably a lot more.
No you're not reading it wrong. Good for you with the chain life thing. Can't be bothered myself. I use vanilla SRAM or Shimano cassettes whatever the LBS has in stock. Different strokes, different folks
Thanks for the clarification.  Whatever works I guess.

FWIW, the care my chains get is mostly sloshing on some lube and wiping it off with a napkin.  They very rarely get any cleaning beyond that.

Offline PeteJack

Re: What lube to use for touring.
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2015, 01:35:57 pm »
In Bellevue WA there is a bike mechanic who seems to know his stuff (claims to have been a wrench on the TdF and have worked for Shimano. Very nice guy) he reckons you should use the cheapest chains you can get and change them every 500 miles! I kid you not.

Offline PeteJack

Re: What lube to use for touring.
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2015, 05:56:39 pm »
FWIW, the care my chains get is mostly sloshing on some lube and wiping it off with a napkin.  They very rarely get any cleaning beyond that.
Hmm. It could be I'm not oiling my chain often enough. I took the Dumond label at its word when it says not to relube until you can hear the chain. I'll try more frequent oiling and see if that makes a difference. I can live with oiling more but the cleaning razmtaz is insufferable.

Offline staehpj1

Re: What lube to use for touring.
« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2015, 06:24:45 pm »
I'll try more frequent oiling and see if that makes a difference. I can live with oiling more but the cleaning razmtaz is insufferable.

It might be worth a try...  I get pretty good results with fairly frequent lubing and pretty much no cleaning.

I don't follow the directions on leaving the lube on for a few hours or overnight.  I apply fairly liberally spin the pedals for a minute, and wipe it off.

The only time I clean the chain more than that is in the rare case that I get it loaded up with sand and then I do as little as I can and still get the sand off.  Usually a low pressure water rinse or sometimes a WD40 rinse.  I try to let it dry before relubing.  Either way it is a rare event.

Offline PeteJack

Re: What lube to use for touring.
« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2015, 06:43:53 pm »
Off to lube my chain.

Offline DaveB

Re: What lube to use for touring.
« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2015, 09:15:57 pm »
In Bellevue WA there is a bike mechanic who seems to know his stuff (claims to have been a wrench on the TdF and have worked for Shimano. Very nice guy) he reckons you should use the cheapest chains you can get and change them every 500 miles! I kid you not.
Pro mechanics treat chains like they are free because, for them, they are.  The sponsors provide them by the case.  Team mechanics scrub the rider's bikes every day and change chains every couple of days.  It doesn't mean the rest of us can or should do that.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: What lube to use for touring.
« Reply #38 on: January 26, 2015, 10:51:24 pm »
Discussions about chain and cassette longevity are interesting if only because the variation is so great. I don't want to doubt those who get 10,000 miles but that hasn't been my experience. What is missing from these discussions is what our personal tolerance is for the manifestations of chain and cassette wear. I swap out a chain when the shifting begins to be anything but perfect. I love the exact crispness of a good quick shift. That is just my preference. Others may be more tolerant of shifting that isn't as precise.   If I was riding downtube or barend shifters, maybe I  could also get 10,000 miles because I would have more direct control over the shifting with those systems than with any indexing system.

Offline staehpj1

Re: What lube to use for touring.
« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2015, 05:53:40 am »
What is missing from these discussions is what our personal tolerance is for the manifestations of chain and cassette wear. I swap out a chain when the shifting begins to be anything but perfect. I love the exact crispness of a good quick shift. That is just my preference. Others may be more tolerant of shifting that isn't as precise.   If I was riding downtube or barend shifters, maybe I  could also get 10,000 miles because I would have more direct control over the shifting with those systems than with any indexing system.

Since you brought that up...  As one of the folks who tends to get very long wear out of chains and has indexed shifting on all of my bikes, I have not found that within the normal range of chain wear that shifting is affected much as the chain wears.  I find that once I set limit screws on the derailleurs they never need to be adjusted again, but cable tension does need a tweak once in a while on indexed systems.  That probably means tweaking it a few times on a coast to coast length tour and usually amounts to twisting a barrel adjuster 1/4-1/2 turn or so, which I typically do while riding.

I typically check my chains by measuring 12 complete links.  When they are 12-1/16" it is time to start thinking about a new chain and I make sure to get one before it is 12-1/8".  As I said, within that range, it has never seemed to me that chain wear had anything to do with any shifting issues.

I find that cassettes and chain rings typically last me a very long time.  So long that I have no idea how long.  I have found that cassette wear and derailleur wear have a lot more impact on crisp accurate shifting than chain wear.  A gunked up drive train also has a negative impact, but with my current routine that doesn't usually happen on tour.  Gunk build up does seem to be more likely for commuting for some reason I don't understand.

Offline John Nelson

Re: What lube to use for touring.
« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2015, 12:33:56 pm »
Pete, you are the only person I have ever heard report getting 10,000 miles out of a chain (or even anything close to that). I have read how you care for your chains, but try as I might, I cannot duplicate your experiences. I lube once a week with a quality lube, never deep clean it off the bike, and yet I cannot get more than 4000 miles out of a chain. When doing loaded touring, I cannot even get that much.

Offline staehpj1

Re: What lube to use for touring.
« Reply #41 on: January 27, 2015, 01:19:11 pm »
Pete, you are the only person I have ever heard report getting 10,000 miles out of a chain (or even anything close to that). I have read how you care for your chains, but try as I might, I cannot duplicate your experiences. I lube once a week with a quality lube, never deep clean it off the bike, and yet I cannot get more than 4000 miles out of a chain. When doing loaded touring, I cannot even get that much.

I started the TA in 2007 with a few hundred miles on the chain of my then new Windsor Touring bike.   Subsequently I did at least 3000 miles of other tours on that chain.  I know I did a few centuries and a bunch of around town riding, in between all of that.  So truth be told the 10k is an estimate, but I don't think it is off by all that much.  I can definitely document 8k miles.

I have no good explanation for why my chains last as long as they do.  I sometimes joke that it is my silky smooth spin, but I really don't do anything all that special.

Offline Old Guy New Hobby

Re: What lube to use for touring.
« Reply #42 on: January 27, 2015, 01:56:23 pm »
Quote
I sometimes joke that it is my silky smooth spin

That might be a big part of it. "spin" implies high cadence, low force. "Smooth" implies a smooth force without a bunch of jerks as the pedals go round. I think smooth might even be more important than spin. I know another rider who claims his long chain life is due to his very specialized lube ceremonies. But he is also a smooth spinner.

Offline PeteJack

Re: What lube to use for touring.
« Reply #43 on: January 27, 2015, 03:12:34 pm »

Offline froze

Re: What lube to use for touring.
« Reply #44 on: June 18, 2019, 09:08:25 am »
Well it's been a good discussion. Since I started this thread I decided to try Rock N Roll Absolute Dry to see how it would perform, and I've found it to work really good, though the chain wear issue hasn't been answered yet, but so far so good.  What I've found out about this lube so far is that it keeps my chain cleaner longer than other lubes I've tried, the chain is quiet. Even though it's a dry oil, which is typically bad if it rains because it washes off faster then wet lubes, but I've gone through rain with it and the darn stuff didn't wash off, I did relube once I got home because I wasn't sure about it, but the chain made no noise after a 30 minute rain; so I applied it my touring bike and the results have been very favorable so far.

But that test on the touring bike came to a sad ending when a car sideswiped me sending me crashing into a concrete barrier that I flipped over the top of the barrier and onto a concrete sidewalk, the accident bent my fork about an inch back and the frame has about a 1mm bow on the top tube and a 2mm bow on the seat tube, so the bike is toast, somehow I survived the crash with nothing but bloody scraped up knees and shoulder, while the helmet was destroyed the head inside of it was not, fortunately I had enough sense to let go of the handlebars when hit the barrier so I could flip over it and that worked like a charm enabling me to roll on impact with the sidewalk.  The person in the car took off of course, and there were no witnesses that saw the plate number.  So my once almost new condition 85 Schwinn Le Tour Luxe is gone, I'm going to strip the components off of it and put them on a 87 Dawes I have just a frame and fork for, then sell it because the frame is a bit large for me; along with selling a 84 Schwinn Voyageur which is also a tad too large, so that little bit of money will go toward a new touring bike plus I get to thin out the herd a bit.  Those two bikes were dumpster finds, both were in decent shape, the Voyageur was covered in some sort of grayish goo that took 4 cleanings to get off, but underneath the goo the paint was pretty good, I just have to replace the cables on it and it's good to be sold.

Anyway back to chains, typically on my non touring bikes I get also average 10,000 to 13,000 miles on my chains, and I don't buy expensive ones; the gear cluster will last 3 times longer than my chains do.