To oil or not on your O or X ring chain


36 replies to this topic
  • allterra

Posted March 05, 2013 - 03:44 PM

#1

I have heard arguments both ways from local people and was wondering what your views and observations are. I will remove my chain 2-3 times a year and heat it in a big pie pan of gear lube (95-120 weight) up to about 175-200 F then let it cool. The theory being that as it cools it will "suck" the oil (lube) in. then I run it dry with no lube applied externally in the hopes that it will not collect the dirt, sand, or whatever and become an impromptu grinder. Why do I do it this way? Because that is what my father told me to back in the early 70"s. I ride year round including in the snow a set of chain and sprockets on other bikes last about 1.5 seasons. but it looks like on this bike it will only last 1 season however i definitely have more miles on it due to the fact that it has a plate and I now ride to the trails. What do you do?

  • Kah Ran Nee

Posted March 05, 2013 - 04:05 PM

#2

The method you use is valid, but was applied back when o-ring chains did not exist.

The need to 'heat soak' a chain in oil is not really needed anymore.

The point of an oring chain is to keep water and contaminates out of the pin mating surfaces, and hold in some of the lubricant.

I don't think putting a o-ring chain in hot oil would be good for the chain, for a couple of reasons: Hot oil has strange properties. It acts like a solvent, and actually attracts dirt and contaminates.

Neither of these thing are any good for the o-ring itself, which is good up to about 150 degrees. After that the o-ring starts to fall apart. The oil you are heating up is probably closer to 350 degrees.....!

The MOST important part of chain maintenance is the quality of the chain and sprockets, and alignment.

If any one part is worn, the rest will wear out to match, in short order.
If the rear wheel is not perfectly aligned, you will wear the chain out much faster.

After that, you keep it clean, use NO greasy lubricants, and eliminate water after washing the bike (like with WD-40), and then eliminate the WD-40 (which will act like a solvent if you leave too much of it on the chain) with light chain oil or Chain Wax.
I prefer the Chain Wax to Chain oil.

There will be many different opinions on chain maintenance.

I've tried a bunch of different methods, and this is what I now stick with.

  • dustdogg

Posted March 05, 2013 - 05:36 PM

#3

I agree with Krannie. No need to soak an o-ring chain. Keep it clean and lubed and it will last a long time.

My method of chain maintenance is to use simple green and a "Grunge Brush" to get all the dirt and crud off the chain when I wash the bike after each ride. Rinse it off and then use WD40 to get rid of the moisture on the chain. Once that is done I take a clean rag and dry the chain removing the WD40 and any water still on the chain. Then I apply a good coat of chain lube and call it good.

There are many good chain lubes out there but I have been using Honda chain lube for years and really have no reason to change. My chains last forever and the lube does not attract dirt and leaves no mess. This isn't a debate over what chain lube is best, its only my preferance based on my own experience and availability in my area. Just don't tell my Yamaha that it gets Honda chemicals!!!

  • DDACT

Posted March 05, 2013 - 05:51 PM

#4

Don't overthink o-ring chains too much. Longevity and ease of maintenance is what they're all about.

After a ride I stop at a car wash on the way home and hose the bikes off. Just try not to spray directly at the chain. By the time I get home the wind has dried the bikes off.

I then take 30 seconds to spray some el-cheapo chain lube (I think I got my last can from Lowes for $1.50) on the chain before tossing the bikes in the shed. After that I just forget about it and ride. My chains last for years and years.

Expensive chain lube is a scam. It'll be gone 30 seconds after you start riding. At least in all the sand/mud where I ride.

Edited by DDACT, March 05, 2013 - 05:53 PM.


  • MANIAC998

Posted March 06, 2013 - 04:14 AM

#5

Does Vermont salt there roads? When I lived up there they didn't, but that was a while ago! Like the others have said, don't overthink it. Unless you have to deal with salted roads and your bike riding them or even being transported down them. In that case, definately make sure you get all of that salt off of there or you will quickly regret it!!! Are you using Steel, or something other than Aluminum sprockets? You will get much, much more life out of your chain with good sprockets.

  • allterra

Posted March 06, 2013 - 06:14 AM

#6

We have salt and brine solution on the roads. After the ride home I will normally ride around the yard to get most of the road salts off then in the shop I have an air attachment that will suck up a liquid and spray it out muck like a paint gun would. First I would use a solution of water, dawn and windshield washer fluid to "wash" all the metal parts. Then I would switch to a mix of wd, kero and bar&chain to spray all the metal especially the fasteners. Then left to "dry". The chain gets the same treatment. I change the chain typically after 2 sets of sprockets. I run steel sprockets. I think my last set were sunstar. My bike is often buried in mud and sand like the pic posted earlier. Buried up to the axle.

  • beezer

Posted March 06, 2013 - 07:40 AM

#7

I use WD-40 on o-ring chains.

I wash the bike, blast up and down the block and then hit the chain with the WD and call it good.

  • weantright

Posted March 06, 2013 - 08:03 AM

#8

+1
Wash the bike, dries in the garage and add WD-40. Add WD-40 before and after rides. All my chains o-ring and non o-ring have lasted a long time. My last bike had the stock chain and gears for 3800 miles in DS dusty lime stone roads to clay mud trails. WD-40 cleans off easy with soap and never builds up.

A buddy of mine places his chain in a oil tank with a vaccum drawing out all the air. You will be shocked to see all the air coming out even after the oil was heated. He would let the chain sit in the vaccum for the winter. Swears by this, I am too lazy and get good milage out of my equipment to worry about it.

  • n16ht5

Posted March 06, 2013 - 08:10 AM

#9

I keep it clean and keep it from rusting. In the winter that means bar and chain oil, otherwise that Teflon chain lube stuff. I take my time to make sure my rear wheel is straight and sprockets look good. WD40 tends to get past the O rings so I dont use it much anymore. Got 10,500mi out of an X ring on my old XR. Finally let go at 40mph on one wheel shifting to 3rd.

  • allterra

Posted March 06, 2013 - 09:36 AM

#10

I have had this bike for 10 months now and according to the trip odometer (I haven't find a standard odometer on it) i have 3273mi on it since I bought it minus the few miles i put on it prior to replacing the batt. When I first got it I tore it down and replaced many parts including chain and sprockets. I will try to attach pics to show what I currently have for wear. 1. Big snow drift on the lake. 2. The sprayer i use. 3. My beast in the garage. 4. Rear sprocket and chain. not bad for wear. 5. Front sprocket. showing some wear will need to change about mid summer i guess.

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  • GuyGraham

Posted March 06, 2013 - 11:15 AM

#11

boiling chains in oil / lube is for non o-ring chains only.

you are doing more damage than good by doing this with a O or X ring chain

You only need to keep the O-rings wet, to prevent wear and hence leakage of the lubricant held inside the chain by the o-rings
Once the o-rings leak, and the lube comes out of the chain, the chain will need adjusting after every ride and at this point should be tossed in the bin.

  • diekatze450

Posted March 06, 2013 - 01:56 PM

#12

On Regina Xring Enduro box: Oil Every 500Km with SAE 30

  • Kah Ran Nee

Posted March 06, 2013 - 02:56 PM

#13

I have had this bike for 10 months now and according to the trip odometer (I haven't find a standard odometer on it) i have 3273mi on it since I bought it minus the few miles i put on it prior to replacing the batt. When I first got it I tore it down and replaced many parts including chain and sprockets. I will try to attach pics to show what I currently have for wear. 1. Big snow drift on the lake. 2. The sprayer i use. 3. My beast in the garage. 4. Rear sprocket and chain. not bad for wear. 5. Front sprocket. showing some wear will need to change about mid summer i guess.


Front sprocket is hooking pretty badly............

Edited by Krannie, March 06, 2013 - 02:57 PM.


  • allterra

Posted March 06, 2013 - 03:13 PM

#14

Front sprocket is hooking pretty badly............


it is certainly getting there. I hope I can get through the spring on it. too bad they don't make a real hard front sprocket. this one hasn't even gone a full year yet. Worse than my YZ but than again I did not ride that to and from the trails or to or from work. I had the street bike for that.which since I got this WR I have not been in any hurry to put back together. I prefer the dirt but need the asphalt as well. I am on 2 wheels when ever I can.

  • MANIAC998

Posted March 07, 2013 - 04:10 AM

#15

It looks like your running a 14 tooth front sprocket. When you go to replace your chain & sprockets, if you go up to a 15 tooth front sprocket, and a corrosponding smaller rear sprocket to keep your gearing the same, the larger front will last longer, which in turn will make them all last longer. Just a thought.

  • GuyGraham

Posted March 07, 2013 - 10:29 AM

#16

It looks like your running a 14 tooth front sprocket. When you go to replace your chain & sprockets, if you go up to a 15 tooth front sprocket, and a corrosponding [color=#ff0000]smaller rear sprocket[/color] to keep your gearing the same, the larger front will last longer, which in turn will make them all last longer. Just a thought.


Err, you need a bigger rear sprocket to compensate for a bigger front sprocket

  • allterra

Posted March 07, 2013 - 10:44 AM

#17

It looks like your running a 14 tooth front sprocket. When you go to replace your chain & sprockets, if you go up to a 15 tooth front sprocket, and a corrosponding smaller rear sprocket to keep your gearing the same, the larger front will last longer, which in turn will make them all last longer. Just a thought.


Impressive deduction. Yes, that is a 14 and as you can see in the pic I am running a 48 in the rear. I am thinkinking of going with a 16 if it will fit with the case saver.

Edited by allterra, March 07, 2013 - 11:05 AM.


  • n16ht5

Posted March 07, 2013 - 12:07 PM

#18

16 will fit after a custom case savor, or modding the stock one. I run 16/50.

  • MANIAC998

Posted March 07, 2013 - 12:10 PM

#19

Err, you need a bigger rear sprocket to compensate for a bigger front sprocket


I stand corrected!!! I knew what I meant!!!! :p

  • allterra

Posted March 07, 2013 - 01:56 PM

#20

16 will fit after a custom case savor, or modding the stock one. I run 16/50.

. I might try that I just don't want to make it too thin.




 
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