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WD40 on chain? [Solved]
#1
Hi, new here. Do not know much about maintenance, that is why I need an advice on chains. I have KMC chain on my hybrid and someone told me that I can use a bit of WD40 to keep it running, clean it from dust and whatsoever. He also is not very bright in terms of bike knowledge so I am doubting his claim. Probably WD40 is not good for lubing the chain or keeping it clean, right? There is need for something else?
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#2
(07-10-2019, 04:13 PM)stanS Wrote:  Hi, new here. Do not know much about maintenance, that is why I need an advice on chains. I have KMC chain on my hybrid and someone told me that I can use a bit of WD40 to keep it running, clean it from dust and whatsoever. He also is not very bright in terms of bike knowledge so I am doubting his claim. Probably WD40 is not good for lubing the chain or keeping it clean, right? There is need for something else?

Most definitely not! WD-40 dispels moisture and can help free rusted parts but it's not a chain lubricant. And regular oil such as '3 in 1' are not recommended. There are lubes specifically made for chains. I used 'Rock 'n' Roll' lube, the red one. (they make different colors for different riding conditions. I ride pavement and seldom in the wet, although we're having a rainy season in Florida right now, and the lube still protects it.

I buy the kit which is a 16oz bottle and a 4oz empty bottle for refilling. I have two bikes and service the chains every 100 miles, hence buying the big bottle. It saves money, costing about half as much if you buy the 16oz as opposed to four 4oz bottles. It depends on how much riding you do and how often you intend to service the chain. The manufacturer's lube that's on the chain is usually good for 300 or more miles.

Rock 'n' Roll instructions say to use it liberally on the chain, and wipe it clean... really clean, when it's done. Then let it sit for a few hours before riding.

When my next service time comes around, the chain feels slightly waxy because it's protected by the lube. It was recommended to me by my bike shop, and I wouldn't change it for something else. There are wax lubes, too, that Walmart sells. I don't know much about that kind.

To clean a dirty chain I use 'Spray Nine', a citrus based cleaner, and one of the plastic gizmos with 3 circular brushes in it. Pour the cleaner into it, attach it to the chain and turn the chain several times. You'll need the bike suspended while you do that, to get the back wheel off the ground.
If I knew how to ride a bike properly, I'd do it every time.
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#3
completely agreed. Rock n Roll is solid, I am now using Soudal that my friend got me in bundles from Europe. there is actually a video in the repair guides section about WD 40 & chains: https://www.bikeride.com/no-wd40-bike-chain/
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#4
(07-11-2019, 11:17 AM)Papa Dom Wrote:  completely agreed. Rock n Roll is solid, I am now using Soudal that my friend got me in bundles from Europe. there is actually a video in the repair guides section about WD 40 & chains: https://www.bikeride.com/no-wd40-bike-chain/

I remember when WD-40 first came on the market. It was hailed as a wonder tool. It certainly does have many uses except on bike chains. I was an electrical contractor and I turned up at a man's home, one very damp morning. He was outside trying to start his car, and I could smell the raw gas. I told him to open the hood while I got my can of WD-40 out. He was mystified when I sprayed it over his distributor cap and plug wires. He was amazed when he was able to start his car, and wanted to know how it worked. He said he was going to buy a can of it, that day, but I suggested he get a new distributor cap and plug wires, or at least clean them thoroughly, because the high voltage will find the shortest path to ground, through the moisture on the cap and wires.
If I knew how to ride a bike properly, I'd do it every time.
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#5
Ah, that is what I thought! Big Grin Thanks for your replies and tips on alternatives, I will most certainly buy an actual chain lube. Though can you still use WD40 to clean the chain from all the bad (old?) lube if it is so effective? Or is there a special bike lube for that as well?
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#6
Smile 
(07-12-2019, 09:25 AM)stanS Wrote:  Ah, that is what I thought! Big Grin Thanks for your replies and tips on alternatives, I will most certainly buy an actual chain lube. Tough can you still use WD40 to clean the chain from all the bad (old?) lube if it is so effective? Or is there a special bike lube for that as well?
WD-40 will remove gunk from a chain, and I've heard of no problems with anyone who used it. From my observation, most cyclists who service their own bikes use a citrus-based cleaner on both the chain and sprockets. 'Spray-Nine' is the one I use, and it's good for cleaning all kinds of stuff, not just bike chains. I get mine in Home Depot for around $10 a gallon, which is a lot cheaper than a gallon of WD-40 at $23. And you can't use WD-40 for all the cleaning jobs you might do with Spray-Nine. You can even use it indoors on most surfaces. Hey, I'm starting to sound like a Spray-Nine salesman! ?

I used Spray-Nine, recently, on an old chain, by pouring it into an old coffee can, enough to cover the coiled up chain, and shaking it around for a minute. It's surprising the muck that came out of it.

And while we're talking about chains, it's not a bad idea to have a measuring tool to check the chain for wear. You can do it with a ruler but I use a Park tool. A worn chain will increase wear on a freewheel or cassette sprockets.
If I knew how to ride a bike properly, I'd do it every time.
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#7
(07-12-2019, 12:31 PM)CharleyFarley Wrote:  WD-40 will remove gunk from a chain, and I've heard of no problems with anyone who used it. From my observation, most cyclists who service their own bikes use a citrus-based cleaner on both the chain and sprockets. 'Spray-Nine' is the one I use, and it's good for cleaning all kinds of stuff, not just bike chains. I get mine in Home Depot for around $10 a gallon, which is a lot cheaper than a gallon of WD-40 at $23. And you can't use WD-40 for all the cleaning jobs you might do with Spray-Nine. You can even use it indoors on most surfaces. Hey, I'm starting to sound like a Spray-Nine salesman! ?

I used Spray-Nine, recently, on an old chain, by pouring it into an old coffee can, enough to cover the coiled up chain, and shaking it around for a minute. It's surprising the muck that came out of it.

And while we're talking about chains, it's not a bad idea to have a measuring tool to check the chain for wear. You can do it with a ruler but I use a Park tool. A worn chain will increase wear on a freewheel or cassette sprockets.

Ah man, thanks again for your comments, will keep them firmly in my head for the future Smile

How about if the chain is a bit rusty from being parked outside for weeks. Would it be an OK idea to use WD40 in order to get rid of that rust? This one is a very used commuting bike and I am fine with having chain that is a little bit rusty, yet the current state of that chain is unacceptable.
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#8
(07-12-2019, 11:44 PM)stanS Wrote:  I used Spray-Nine, recently, on an old chain, by pouring it into an old coffee can, enough to cover the coiled up chain, and shaking it around for a minute. It's surprising the muck that came out of it.
Quote:Ah man, thanks again for your comments, will keep them firmly in my head for the future Smile

How about if the chain is a bit rusty from being parked outside for weeks. Would it be an OK idea to use WD40 in order to get rid of that rust? This one is a very used commuting bike and I am fine with having chain that is a little bit rusty, yet the current state of that chain is unacceptable.
There's nothing to lose by giving it a wash in WD-40, as far as I know. Let it soak overnight.

My sister-in-law recently found a bike at the dump and brought it home for me to have a look at. The chain was hanging off the cogs and was rusty. I'd say it had been outside for a long time being that the brake and gear cables were rusty and wouldn't pull through the housings. The Bottom Bracket (crankshaft) bearings were rusty, too, one of them had even disintegrated so that the pedals wouldn't turn.

I didn't want to put much money into what was once a cheap Walmart bike, so I just put new brake and gear cables on, and new bearings in the BB, for a total cost of $16.

I put the chain into a coffee can and left it to soak in Spray-Nine. The chain was slightly stiff with the rust, but the Spray Nine did a pretty good job. I wiped it clean with a rag and then lubed it with Rock n Roll. I also checked it for wear. It runs like a new chain, which surprised me. Even the freewheel must have had some rust in it because after removing the wheel, I could feel the stiffness of the freewheel and hear it grate very slightly. I removed the freewheel from the hub and poured 3 in 1 oil into it, and it loosened right up. So the drive train is actually pretty good, but it's not something I'd do to a good bike. A proper restoration would require a new freewheel and chain, but that would have added $40 to the $16 I'd already spent on it. The finished bike, although it rides nicely, probably isn't worth more than $25 because of the 24" wheels. I've been trying to sell it on Craig's List but gotten no responses. We'll put it in a yard sale in December, and if I can't get $25 for it, I'll give it to the Salvation Army.

I had a great time working on the bike, so I got my sixteen dollars worth.

So, yes, go with the WD-40 and let us know how it worked.
If I knew how to ride a bike properly, I'd do it every time.
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#9
(07-13-2019, 02:21 PM)CharleyFarley Wrote:  So, yes, go with the WD-40 and let us know how it worked.

1000 thanks, for sure will let you know about the result Smile
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