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29 votes

Lithium grease for bicycle chain?

No, lithium grease or similar grease compounds are in general not suitable for bike chains. Bike chains need lubrication of inner surfaces between rollers. Chain lubes contain solvents to reduce ...
gschenk's user avatar
  • 9,778
17 votes

Lithium grease for bicycle chain?

When lubricating a chain, we need to get the slippery stuff "into" the chain. Specifically it needs to get between the rollers and the pins, marked in RED below. This is the area that takes all of ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 125k
16 votes

After I lubricate my chain, I hear a gritty, sandy crunching sound coming from the chain and chainring. What am I doing wrong?

This sounds like that the chain might not be clean enough before being lubed. It is important to clean the chain thoroughly before lubricating. Otherwise dust particles will remain in the chain and ...
Vladimir F Героям слава's user avatar
16 votes

After I lubricate my chain, I hear a gritty, sandy crunching sound coming from the chain and chainring. What am I doing wrong?

You cleaned sticky stuff made of ground up bits of dirt, lube and metal from the chain etc. out of the chain, and the lumpy bits stayed behind. With the sticky stuff washed away, you now feel the grit ...
mattnz's user avatar
  • 50.9k
14 votes
Accepted

Will a dehumidifier dry out the lubricants on my bike?

No. Here's a vague, handwavy descrption of why: A dehumidifier will reduce how much vapour (oil or water, so long as the boiling point and saturation vapour pressure at room temperatureare ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 59.6k
14 votes
Accepted

Threadless handlbar stem bolts - grease, threadlock, anti-seize, or dry?

Any of the choices except dry will be fine in most use cases. (This assumes a medium strength threadlocker). Lubrication on torque-sensitive fasteners is important. When your goal is to achieve a ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Does dry dust and dirt stick worse to bees wax or WD40?

My name is Criggie and I'm a Waxxing addict. Oil is quick and easy to put on - you can rejuvenate a chain in 15 seconds. Downside, it goes black with road dirt over time. By comparison wax is a much ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 125k
13 votes

How much can I reuse paraffin to wax to my chain?

Paraffin wax is not a single chemical, rather it is a mix of alkanes with the formula CnH2n+2, having between 20 and 40 Carbon atoms. Commercially available Paraffin wax may also contain additives to ...
Emyr's user avatar
  • 3,896
13 votes
Accepted

Should I be worried about sand in the chain?

It was the right thing to use the lube for the chain. I do not know the particular product but in general spray lubes have the tendency to become too plentiful on the outside of the chain. This film ...
gschenk's user avatar
  • 9,778
12 votes
Accepted

How does lubricating your chain help protect your cassette and chainrings from wearing too?

In the ideal case, the chain will not actually be rubbing significantly against the chainrings under load. As the chain wears, the spacing between the chain links becomes different from the tooth ...
RLH's user avatar
  • 1,623
12 votes

Crank-arm fell off *after lube*

Your crank arm is toast. In my experience, if a square taper ever gets loose while riding, even once, it's done. Retightening the bolts buys you a few miles at best but it'll loosen up again before ...
whatsisname's user avatar
  • 12.2k
11 votes
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Remove lubricant from seat tube and seat post

This is an XY problem. Seatposts should be lubed. While removing all lube may solve your slipping problem, it will likely do so by making the seatpost corrode into place, which isn't something you ...
whatsisname's user avatar
  • 12.2k
10 votes

Remove lubricant from seat tube and seat post

A thorough way to do it would be to: Remove the cranks, bottom bracket and seat post. Make sure there is a decent hole between the seat tube and bottom bracket shell (might depend on the frame). Ram ...
Jambo's user avatar
  • 276
10 votes
Accepted

Should I use cheap or expensive lubricant?

There are actually some organizations that have tested various chain lubricants against each other. However, some caveats. The easiest thing to test in the laboratory is drivetrain friction. The chain'...
Weiwen Ng's user avatar
  • 32.3k
10 votes
Accepted

(How) should I wax my cassette along with my chains?

The point of waxing is not to rustproof but to lubricate the chain's internals where they articulate. The rest of the wax flakes off quickly. So this wouldn't have the desired effect.
Adam Rice's user avatar
  • 30.1k
10 votes

Are fluorocarbons in chain lubricants a real environmental issue?

The European Environment Agency has declared that PFAS are an emerging chemical risk. As indicated in this page, the effects of this components is not yet entirely understood, but there negative known ...
Rеnаud's user avatar
  • 20.6k
9 votes
Accepted

Which threaded fasteners on a bike should not be lubricated?

Basically every metal-in-metal thread on a bike should get some kind of treatment, because at the very least none of them are perfectly corrosion resistant, and as you say, thread lubrication helps ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
8 votes

Remove lubricant from seat tube and seat post

Hang the bicycle upside down, on a stand if you have one, but you can also simply suspend it with a bit of rope. Next, you can easily clean the inside of the tube with a bottle cleaner dipped in ...
bobflux's user avatar
  • 1,784
8 votes

Hydraulic brakes accidentally oiled

Braking surfaces (pads, rims, rotors) must never be lubricated in any way. Doing so can severely affect braking performance and is dangerous. You can clean the rotor with isopropyl alcohol or mineral ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Does greasing the threads of an inline barrel adjuster cause slippage?

It is very unlikely that the constant compression on the joint would result in any turning of the barrel adjuster. Two factors affect this: firstly the friction between the threads and the friction ...
Paul D's user avatar
  • 196
8 votes

What's the power loss to a squeaky chain?

This seems to answer your question: https://cyclingtips.com/2020/05/how-many-watts-does-a-dirty-chain-steal/ It suggests a dry chain loses 7W out of 244W, which is 2.9%. Your % speed loss will depend ...
thelawnet's user avatar
  • 4,230
8 votes

0W-20 engine oil for freewheel pawls?

Engine oils are generally a bad idea on a bike. They tend to be quite liquid and will dribble out over time. Engine oils are also known to grab and hold dirt, because that's one of their purposes in ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 125k
8 votes

Caliper brake lubrication

How confident are you with hand tools? I've had several sticky rim calipers, and one longer-lived solution is to disassemble and clean the insides of the pivot. Downside, there's a lot of parts and ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 125k
8 votes
Accepted

Does the rear derailleur hanger need lubrication

A rear derailleur has four pivot points in a parallelogram, a bushing in each jockey wheel, and a big pivot to apply B tension. That's 7 different places where corrosion can mess with the operation of ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 125k
7 votes

How good or bad would chainsaw bar lubricant be as a bicycle chain lube?

Bar lube would perform horrible on a bicycle chain. Why? Well, bar lube must be fully bio-degradable, which chain lube is not required to be. As such, bar lube is basically a vegetable oil, and ...
cmaster - reinstate monica's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Should I lubricate rear derailleur wheels

Usually if they're turning as you describe with high resistance, they're either gunked up and need cleaning or they're put together wrong. They should spin very freely without any added lubrication. ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Use of an alternative chain lubricant

That Castrol EP 90 has a gear oil viscosity rating of SAE-90? That is way to viscous for use on bicycle chain. Dirt & road grime is going to stick to it like crazy, wear out the chain & cause ...
renesis's user avatar
  • 1,411
7 votes

What kind of rags to clean drivetrain?

Whatever you have to hand. Generally chains are filthy, so I use cloth rags whose next stop is the bin. I don't wash rags for reuse - by the time they're down to cleaning chains, they're pretty ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 125k
7 votes
Accepted

Always Lubricate Skewers?

This is really a personal preference. Usually people will grease the skewer threads and sometimes the skewer shaft as a way to help prevent seizing and corrosion. This can be especially useful if the ...
Rider_X's user avatar
  • 30.7k

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