Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bike Oil Alternative?

When I run out of bike lubricant I might use what I have around the house. Recently I experimented with Marvel's Mystery Oil. I filled Grandpa's Oil Can with the red stuff, after my dad's praises - besides, he'd given me a bottle. I'd used it on the brakes and derailleur, but never the chain until now.

For a while it seemed to work. No more squeaks and groans...or so I thought. But gradually the pedaling felt rough under my feet and worsened  until the chain was literally grinding over the cogs.

At first I thought the year-old chain needed replacement, but after measuring links I determined that wasn't the cause. I borrowed a bit of my husband's bike oil and applied it in place of the Mystery Oil. After wiping the chain and pedaling a few laps of the neighborhood, the problem cleared up - just like that.

I learned my lesson: always use specific bicycle lubricant. But this irks me, in a way, because a bike is a machine and there must be a multipurpose oil that could replace those expensive small bottles, only found at a bike store.

In a pinch I've used motor oil on a chain, but it was a one time event - I have no idea how this stuff works over the long haul.

What kind of lubricant do you use?


7 comments:

  1. I've tried so many, but once I found Finish Line Dry in a 32oz jug (75 cents an ounce) I think I've found what works for me in dry conditions.

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  2. I think washing my bike/chain has helped me. I have this big,soft bristled brush. Lots of soap and water.Let it dry.Then apply a wax type lubricant. Let it dry.

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  3. I use a liquid wax lubricant. Just a smiggen less oil over my best pants!

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  4. I rarely ride in the rain (if I can help it). Maybe I'm crazy, but I just buy a new chain. My bikes are all IGH's, so the chain is a simple 1/8 and really cheap to replace, around $10.

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  5. Yeah Marvel Mystery Oil is more of a fuel oil. I add it to the gas tank of my little 200cc motorcycle a few times a year, works great for that...:) I like the waxey lubricants when I know I'm going out for a long ride the night before and have time to let it dry T9 is by far my favorite of these. For daily use though I just use Tri Flow.

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  6. Thank you for all your comments. It looks like I should stick with the specialized bicycle lubricants. But it makes you wonder what people did in the early 1900s...

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  7. I'm with you, Annie. There are some alternatives that can be effective to use for your bike. However, there's a lot of difference if you use a lube that's really made for your bike. Even though they can both keep the bike from getting dry, the grease from the lubricant gives a smooth cycle.

    #Tanner@Tulco.com

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