Drive Chains

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Repairs' started by rocky289, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. rocky289

    rocky289 Member

    I'm sure this has been discussed before, but a quick search didn't bring up what I was looking for.
    I have recently bought two SDURO FullNine E-Bikes for my wife & I.
    I will get one new chain to keep on hand.
    Initially I will be washing the chains on the bikes when required.
    But eventually the pre-installed lubricant will be all washed out.
    So at this point the new chain will be fitted & the dirty one left to soak in cleaning solution.
    My question is:
    What is the lubricant the manufactures put in the new chains?

  2. Please support your local electric bike shop! These guys work hard offering test rides, sharing expertise and performing support.
    EBR strives to be impartial, we don't sell bikes ourselves and keep ads limited and relevant. Donations are greatly appreciated.

  3. J.R.

    J.R. Well-Known Member

    Congrats on the new bikes, very nice! I suspect you may be coming from the motorcycle world, where there are o-ring chains with factory lube in every link. That's not the case with bicycle chains that need to be cleaned and lubricated regularly. Here are some posts that might help.

    Electric Bike Primer Ideas...
  4. rocky289

    rocky289 Member

    Thanks for that info JR.
    Had a look through it.
    Yeah, gone through a few motor bike chains over the years.
    I've got one of those chain scrubbers & it certainly does clean then up nice.
    Havent actually had to do these new bikes, not enough dirt on them yet.
    So you recon they aren't pre-lubed in the factory.
    My logic suggests there's no way of getting lubrication inside the rollers unless you soak the chain.
    But I was wrong once before.

    Just another thing regarding the joiner links on these bikes.
    On the KMC Chain site they say not to reuse them.
    But on the replacement links it says reusable
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  5. J.R.

    J.R. Well-Known Member

    There's no usable lasting lubrication on new chains, proper lube has to be chosen for the environment it will be used in. I always lube a new chain prior to use. There aren't rollers or insides on bicycle chains, just solid pins and links. As for master links, I've seen conflicting advise on sites as well. Most can be reused, but they are cheap and it's rare to break a chain or have the need to completely remove it. I just purchased a six-pack of KMC Missing Links for $10, so not a big deal to replace when needed.
  6. EddieJ

    EddieJ Well-Known Member

    Chain lube and the application of, is very much subjective to the conditions that you ride in. I frequently have to re apply chin lube every 20 miles or so when riding off road over here in the UK.

    I've yet to find anything that lasts longer, and trust me I've been given enough to try.

    I do have two that I tend to use though. Mucoff wet lube when conditions are wet and sticky, or Mucoff ceramic dry lube when things get dusty. One of the best that I have found to use, isn't even a chain lube, it's Duck oil. It seems to work better than anything else that I have tried, but does collect residue of dirt very easily.

    This is how things can look after just leaving the bike a couple of hours, after a 34 mile off road event ride. As you can see, our soil conditions are both very corrosive and abrasive.


    You are certainly lucky with the price of the KMC snap links. Working it out roughly, over here I have to pay nearly $10 just for two links!!! :(

    I always carry one spare chain, and a couple of snap links. I also have one attached to a key ring, which hangs from the cable on the rear mech.

    Chains last anything from 200 miles - 550 miles.

  7. rocky289

    rocky289 Member

    Wow, that's a good test for a bike.
    I imagine the rider would be as dirty as the bike.
  8. EddieJ

    EddieJ Well-Known Member

    You could say that. The event was this time last year, and it is being run again next weekend. I'm currently undecided about doing it though this year, as we have had months of rain, and things will be far worse than last year. I must be going soft in my old age! ;)


    Interestingly in respect of chains, I've yet to snap a chain on an e-mtb.

    I'd say that at every event that I have ever taken part in, I've been witness to chains snapping on pedal mtb's, and indeed I snapped my first one just this week on my own pedal mtb. It has always surprised me that a chain hasn't yet snapped, but credit has to go to KMC for producing a very good quality chain. I might get through them at quite a rate, but that is in no way a reflection of the product.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
  9. rocky289

    rocky289 Member

    I don't think I'd be all that keen either. Looks like you have mud guards too, suppose that would help a bit.
    That battery looks very similar to mine, how much juice is left after 35 miles of that.

    Back to chains, sounds like you have bought more than I have. The recommended one for the Haibike is KMC X10e EPT
    Best price I can find is on eBay for about $85 NZ delivered to my location. From Star Cycles UK.
    They are over $100 to buy local. Is that about the going rate.
    Sounds pretty steep compared to the 9 speed ones I've been buying here for around $35
  10. EddieJ

    EddieJ Well-Known Member

    These are the chains that I buy. I watch for them to become discounted, then buy two or three at a time.

    As for the battery usage, I've posted a bit more info about it on the thread. :)

    This one is the biggest eye opener though. The battery was flat after just 10.5 miles. It's no reflection upon the system though, and was simply a tough ride.

  11. MLB

    MLB Well-Known Member

    Well of course, they're "extremely durability"!! ;) [​IMG]
    Berry78 and EddieJ like this.
  12. MLB

    MLB Well-Known Member

    How do you know when a chain is at it's wear limit? I know there are guages to measure the amount of stretch, but is there a short cut method?
  13. Ann M.

    Ann M. Administrator

    Yes, take a look at this YouTube video by the Global Cycling Network to see this simple method: Put your chain in the largest cog in the rear and front then gently try to pull the chain away from the front chain ring to the right. There should be almost no gap and the chain should snap back onto the chain ring readily. If it doesn't, or there's a large gap, then it's time to replace the chain. The tech in the video goes on to explain when to replace cassettes and chain rings and important care to reduce the wear on the cogs.

    MLB, tinasdude and David1 like this.
  14. EddieJ

    EddieJ Well-Known Member

    That's an interesting and concise clip. :)

    Shame that he didn't go on to mention checking the jockey wheels as well.

    Roughly speaking on the Bosch powered bike my wear rate is as follows.

    Chains last anything from 200 miles - 550 miles depending upon conditions.
    Front sprocket is very border line at 500 miles. I've got through enough of them now, to know that Connex make the best.
    Jockey wheels get replaced every second chain, and that is really pushing things, as they are well and truly worn out by then.
    Rear cassettes are actually very durable and I guess that I get roughly 2,000 miles out of a cassette.

    It's an expensive hobby! ;)
    MLB likes this.
  15. MLB

    MLB Well-Known Member

    Are you buying through your LBS or have you shopped around online? (off season task)
  16. EddieJ

    EddieJ Well-Known Member

    It's a bit of an interesting mix.

    I buy the front sprockets online from Germany.
    The chains I buy online from the UK.
    And the cassettes and jockey wheels I buy from a friend that owns an LBS.

    Like many in the UK, I use Germany to buy a fair bit of cycle related equipment and clothing. It's usually cheaper, and also arrives quicker than buying within the UK. Work that out.:confused:
  17. rocky289

    rocky289 Member

    Looks like I'm stuck with the recommended KMC X10e chain.
    They have 136 links & I need 121 of them for the SDURO.
    The KMC X10.93 chains are too short.
    EddieJ yours must be shorter or do you join them?
    Quite a price difference though.
    If I was going through as many as you, I would just buy several & cut one up to extend the others.

    I have a friend here who has the same model bike, but earlier, done about 6000k
    Currently on his second set of tires, second cassette & front drive.
    He runs two chains alternately.
    Swaps them when they get dirty.
    Soaks them in solvent to clean them.
    Soaks them in engine oil, then hangs them to drip dry until needed.
    Doesn't lube them at all on the bike.
    He is a bit cagey about just often he changes them & how many he has gone through.
    He makes his up & as far as I can tell he's just using std KMC 10 speed chain.

    Regarding lubrication.
    All our riding here is short runs in dry or dusty conditions.
    Short being not more than 25k continuous.
    So it's going to be quite a while before either of my bikes need a new chain.
    Been looking into reviews on what is available for dry lube.
    Finish Line, White Lightning, Chain Juice, Rock'N'Roll. Squirt, Boeshield, to mention a few.
    Currently using Finish Line Dry as it came with the chain cleaning kit.
    Seems to work ok but the chains are not staying as clean as it suggest they will.
    Currently both chains look the same, yet one has done 700k & the other 200k
    Neither has been properly cleaned yet.
  18. J.R.

    J.R. Well-Known Member


    I'd be very interested to hear from you about your experience with the KMC X10e, (ebike spec'd) chain, how long it lasts etc... I've seen that chain a few times and considered getting it, but at $68 USD I can get three X10.93 for the same cost. The e chain has a special anti rust coating, but since I ride and maintain my bike often, rust never has a chance to form. I do wonder if it lasts longer and shifts better for a longer period of time though.

    I use Finish Line lube as well. I get a three pack of 4 ounce bottles of the Dry from Amazon for $20 USD. The Dry performs well for me in most riding conditions. For severe wet conditions, I'll use the Finish Line Wet.

    For reference (US Amazon):

    KMC X10e

    KMC X10.93

    Finish Line Wet 3 pack
    tinasdude and Lenny like this.
  19. EddieJ

    EddieJ Well-Known Member

    Mine only requires 108 links. :)
  20. rocky289

    rocky289 Member

  21. Lenny

    Lenny Active Member

    We do have an account with KMC, let us know if we can help you in anyway.