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Lubricating chain
#1
Am I lubricating my chain too often? I have been doing it after every ride, is that too much?
Bob
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#2
That depends on how and where you ride. You should clean the chain thoroughly before lubricating it, though.
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#3
Every ride is probably too often, though it won't hurt anything. But since "Chain maintenance is one of the most controversial aspects of bicycle mechanics", I will defer to the master:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html
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#4
HEY IT'S GILLIGAN. Smile just kidding. I'm glad you added the "K" so we would know. Welcome to the forum.

The age old question comes to mind though, Ginger or Maryann? Smile

Steve
Junkyard Tools rescued from the junkyard!
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#5
As per chain in normal conditions with good chain a few times a year at most. If you ride a lot. Not talking pro here. IMO.

Nashbar currently has a sale on chain cleaners, I just got my first one after 30 years.To much lub attracts dirt and acts like a grinding compound.

AS per Gilligan, no more welding fumes for you KC. :-) BUT how about Maynor G Crabs from Dobbie Gillis. We are giving out our age here. :-))
Never Give Up!!!
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#6
"Maynard G Crebbs" ???? Ha-ha-ha! Too funny. (also played by Bob Denver) That was one of my favorite shows back then when it was in prime-time. His "style" fits in with the younger generation today. It's the circle of life. Thanks for the visual. Smile
Junkyard Tools rescued from the junkyard!
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#7
Well, when commuting in winter I clean my chain almost every day. I believe that salt is really bad and my chain did last through winter (>1000 km on snow and ice) and shows hardly any sign of wear (according to a Rohloff Caliber), so this is probably not that wrong. Still: we're touching a controversial (to say the least) subject here (I'd call it more of a religious question as proofs are... well... hard to find and most are willing to defend their position with almost any means).
This reminds me: I should probably look at my road bike's drivetrain tonight, might need some cleaning / lubing.
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#8
I do mine every other week unless I have been through wet muddy terrain then it gets cleaned and lubed right after I get back home. Salt, plays heck on just about metal surface Sad .
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#9
Salt we dont got no salt or snow here in S. Cal. IT rots cars too. BTDT.

Ye those are abnormal conditions and the entire bike should be cleaned. Making sure the bearings are sealed and use good waterproof marine grease. All I got to worry about is some sand. So a dryish chain is better. Man you guys ride in winter, wow.

As a side note I just went through my entire bike and found that the middle crank sprocket was worn out but everything else was good. The chain showed zero stretch, and got minimum service. Looks OK too.

The middle chain ring got 90% of the wear. As several gears in back are used.
Never Give Up!!!
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#10
There are two big problems with cleaning "too often". Worst is if you actually separate the chain to clean it a lot. Unless you have a master link, breaking the chain does some damage and weakens the link where you separate it. The other is if you use a water based cleaner and don't get all the water out, you can actually be causing corrosion. It is hard to get all the moisture out from inside the links.

But that said, salt is probably the worst thing that can be on there. So either cleaning or flushing with fresh lube is probably needed much more often in the winter.

I guess the other issues are chemicals and time/money. I don't like using a lot of toxic cleaners so I guess I'm willing to clean less frequently. Also, chains just aren't that expensive. I'd rather swap it out fairly regularly than spend time/money with constant cleaning. But of course, these are personal issues, not technical.
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#11
Agreed, cleaning and maintenance is my own personal enjoyment so everyone's got their own thing Big Grin .
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#12
I just started using KMC SL chain with "missing link" and am really enjoying having an impeccably clean and smooth running chain. I am interested in seeing how long this setup lasts.
...j
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#13
I did want to add to my last reply, I don't remove my chain when I clean it, just leave it on. The only times I remove it is when I restore a bike and the chain is great condition. Or when it is time to put a new one on.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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