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So, I'm looking for drip style containers to keep in my messenger bag and my home shop to dispense bike chain lube. I want to just buy a 32oz container of lube for cheap on amazon and fill my own dispensing bottles since I need to clean a lot of chains on a lot of bikes.

http://www.amazon.com/Finish-Line-Bicycle-Chain-32-Ounce/dp/B001XRW0DY/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pdT11?ie=UTF8&coliid=IR73EP9U85298&colid=41YO2K2T7TMA

However, I have maybe one small bottle of chain lube, which I'm not sure how to refill (it doesn't appear to be made to be dissassembled). Does anyone know where I can find dispensing bottles that can be securely closed for transport with all the other crap in my bag? I've checked a few science supply places online, but havn't found anything that would drip dispense and also have a screw cap.

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It's amazingly difficult to find a supply of good small bottles. Lab-style drip bottles and "wafer top" bottles do not seal securely. You need either a flip-nozzle bottle or something like the Finish Line bottle with screw cap (which can generally be refilled by prying out the squirt plug). But I don't know of a source of these other than to reuse existing. (Ah, here's a source, if you don't mind buying them by the case lot.) –  Daniel R Hicks Mar 27 '12 at 20:37
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Look for "eyedropper bottles" in Google Images, some of the results are from suppliers, and they're FinishLine style bottles (flip-nozzle + screw cap). –  heltonbiker Mar 27 '12 at 22:36

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In my experience, the best kind of lube container is the Finish Line one, or similar. It has a nozzle that can be snapped off easily for refilling, and a threaded cap which covers it all. The "secret" is this threaded cap, which actually presses the removable nozzle against the bottle mouth.

Then, I guess there are three ways to use it:

  1. Buy one, use it, and then refill it indefinitely with the lube of your choice (that's what I do at home and in my carry-along toolbag. Have had any spilling so far, and I shake them a lot while riding);
  2. Find a product that has the same design (medicines, hair products, etc.), buy some, use them, and then reuse the containers. I found the last image I post below looking for "eyedropper bottles" on google images;
  3. Find similar ones to buy off the shelf. I don't have experience with that.

That's what I am talking about (this is the 100ml bottle, there are smaller ones):

enter image description here

The "eyedropper bottles", showing the inner removable nozzle on the second bottle from left to right (with threaded cap removed):

enter image description here

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I found a few avogadro-lab-supply.com/item.php?item_id=1375 or ebay.com/itm/… I think the ebay deal is what I'm going to go for. They are only 2oz, but that should be plenty for travel packing. –  Benzo Mar 28 '12 at 12:56

Just about any drug store sells travel bottles in small sizes for those who need to stay within TSA limits for carry-on. There's a large assortment of sizes & cap designs including applicator caps suitable for chain oil.

Be careful about the conical snip-off caps pictured above unless you're using them on a bottle small enough for one shot use. The little red caps at the tip don't hold on well and will leak in your pack.

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Most of the drug store bottles are "wafer top" bottles (push down on one side to pop up the other side) that are highly untrustworthy. –  Daniel R Hicks Mar 28 '12 at 15:48

If you need to pick up a large number of bottles quickly then I would look for Drip Bottles like these: enter image description here

Otherwise I would just pick up a couple of bottles of lube from my local bike shop that had screw off lids and refill them when they are empty.

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Are these going to be safe for transport being tossed around with my lunch and spare clothes in a messenger bag? –  Benzo Mar 27 '12 at 19:13
    
I would do what I do when I pack any liquid that might leak - put the bottle in a zipper-type plastic bag. –  Gary.Ray Mar 28 '12 at 2:14

Ask around at bike shops and community bike shops for empty lube bottles. They're sure to find one or two in the recycling bin.

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