Comparative overview of bicycle chain lubricants - article comments

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To prevent article pages from being miles long, but preserve all the useful questions and answers provided over time, I've decided to copy/paste the website comments to the forum - and "move" further discussions here.

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Comparative overview of bicycle chain lubricants

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If you can't find the answer to your question in this thread, please open a separate thread with your question/problem, in an appropriate forum section (this is the Oils, greases and lubricants section).

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  1. baron
    18/08/2020 at 17:49
    hi, im from another country and in this place, people are “lazy” with the names.
    What is exactly: paraffin oil?, hydraulic oil?
    thank for answering
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      18/08/2020 at 18:35
      Hydraulic oil: mineral (or synthetic) oil based hydraulic fluid.
      Paraffin oil: n-alkanes based mineral oil, also known as “kerosene” and “stove oil”.
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    16/07/2021 at 14:52
    You mention hydraulic oil. Does that mean that you can use the LHM (that i have watched you use in brakes) as a chain lubricant ? Does it also have lubricant properties ?
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      16/07/2021 at 14:55
      Hi George,
      Total LHM Plus (not selling it 🙂 ) has excellent lubricating properties and offers good corrosion resistance.
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    W. Vijitha
    06/09/2021 at 05:25
    Hi, quite confusing when you equalise Parrafin oil to Kerosene oil used for lubrication. I have seen a clip making wax lube better running by combining Paraffin wax with a little paraffin oil and i would like to know, if bothe are same, wherher Kerosene oil can be used in place of this paraffin oil? Kerosene oil which is rather used as a fuel oil (lamp oil) being an excellent cleaner of parts, washes out the grime and grease very easily and further more, it is said to contain very corrosive properties. So are both the same, am confused how such washing out and corrosive Kerosene can be used as a chain lube?
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      06/09/2021 at 12:58
      Hi Vijitha,
      As far as I know, “kerosene” is a US term for “paraffin oil” used more widely in the UK.
      English is not my native, so take this info with a grain of salt. 🙂
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      01/07/2023 at 05:25
      Hi,kerosene in australia is a fuel,people on bikes use kerosene as a degreaser,paraffin oil is totaly different,some folk do add paraffin oil to chain wax but you are better off using straight food grade paraffin wax for chains,you can also use paraffin wax candles but candles have a 5 percent oil content and food grade paraffin has around 0.5 percent oil content,some bikers in australia do mix paraffin oil with their wax to either soften it up abit or they use it for wet conditions,i prefer to use straight food grade paraffin to wax my chains,a wax with melting point around 55 c is good,the downside to adding paraffin oil to your wax mix is it does not last as long but it does work,straight food grade paraffin you get around 400 klms per chain dip in the wax cheers
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    15/07/2022 at 07:52
    Greetings to Serbia from the Czech Republic.
    I read your very interesting articles about chain maintanance and lubrication.
    On Czech bike forums is the lubrication of chain a wide and never ending debate with many participants. Maybe because it’s one thing that everybody is able to do even when being totally clumsy and unskilful.
    There is a number of cyclists here in CZ, who use motorcycle chain lubricants on their bicycle chains. Usually all possible sorts – universal, dry, wet, pure like Castrol O-R, enriched with PTFE or dissolved wax etc.
    I have a question on you: Isn’t the way the moto lubes work the solution of the problem with the collecting of dust and dirt of standard oils (like chainsaw bar oil)?
    The dissolved moto chain lube flows during aplication into the chain links, then the dissolver evaporates, and inside of the chain stays the sticky lube. Often later, when you touch the chain, the dried moto lube doesn’t make your fingers dirty.
    Have you tested the moto lubes on your bike chains? And if, how are your thoughts about them?
    Have nice and sunny summer holydays.
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      Relja Novović
      15/07/2022 at 09:14
      Hi Jaroslav,
      As you say, opinions on lubes are a can of worms. I try to provide comparable properties, and let everyone choose for themselves.
      A colleague, a former cycling national team member (now an international referee) rides road bikes a lot. He’s been very happy with Motul motorcycle chain lube.
      My opinion and experience is:
      Motorcycle chain lubes are a bit more “tacky” (sticky) than I like.
      Applying them using a spray is not very convenient and can get messy (though that’s avoidable with some rug and some caution).
      My chains aren’t any cleaner when using “ordinary” oil.
      But the lubes last a bit longer than ordinary oil.
      So, apparently, they work great for some, and not that great for others. 🙂
      On my motorcycle, I switched to Scottoiler a decade ago and never looked back.
      It works by constantly dripping very little oil (that’s not too “thick”) on the rear chainring’s side. Very, very slowly, very little oil, but constantly – when the engine is working (uses a vacuum from the carbs feedback to dose it).
      Since motorcycle chains spin very quickly, any excess oil, along with any dirt, gets flung off while you ride, and the fresh oil drips in.
      A very small bottle lasts for thousands of kilometres.
      And the chain is always perfectly clean and lubricated, making it last literally 5 times longer before it is worn and needs replacing.
      Spray motorcycle chain lubes come nowhere near this.
      For bicycles, extra complexity and weight of such a system are not practical.
      Also, because of the low chain speed, the oil would need to be very “thin” (low viscosity) to provide a similar effect, but that would cause it to leak all over the drivetrain parts.
      I think Scottoiller made some system for bicycles, but it didn’t catch on.
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    26/06/2023 at 02:51
    Smoove or Squirt
05/07/2023 at 14:48
smoove and squirt are pretty good drip on lubes,both are waxed based and squirt looks like it has ptfe added,most waxed based lubes are among the best lubes on the market but you do need to totally degrease a chain before applying them,some prefer drip on lubes as they are easier to apply than taking chain off bike and dipping it in hot wax,some folk do both,they dip chain in hot wax and then take along a drip on lube with them as well,wax lubes make better sence to me they are much easier to apply and more friendly to your hands and the planet,nothing worse than trying to put a very greasy chain back on the bike
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