Ebike Chain Lubes

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Thank you, honestly I would expect more from a 9 speed on a hub motor but again riding conditions makes a huge difference.

My measurements were all on mid drives but the current one is on a hub motor and I will see how much improvement there will be.
I think I could have used the chain a little longer if I wanted to, but I have this chain wear indicator tool and change my chain as soon as it hits around 0.75 or 1.00
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
I think I could have used the chain a little longer if I wanted to, but I have this chain wear indicator tool and change my chain as soon as it hits around 0.75 or 1.00
In my experience it is not worth trying to keep the chain longer unless you have a cheap cassette and front chainring that you simply like to change together.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
In my experience it is not worth trying to keep the chain longer unless you have a cheap cassette and front chainring that you simply like to change together.
yeah I agree..

On motorcycles you generally have to change both chain and sprockets.

Anyways, on my ebike, I have Deckas front chainring, and for the rear cassette, I only change the smallest cog by ZTTO, available on AliExpress.
I was a little suspicious about ZTTO cog because of the price, but the quality seems to be pretty equal to Shimano cog.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
I guess I goofed my commuter is 10 speed. so I got 2500 miles on a ten speed chain. but the first chain I only got 1200 not sure if it was al lets rain and a wet lube my use of turbo almost the whole time or a combo.
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
I guess I goofed my commuter is 10 speed. so I got 2500 miles on a ten speed chain. but the first chain I only got 1200 not sure if it was al lets rain and a wet lube my use of turbo almost the whole time or a combo.

Interesting, 1200 is what most of us get , 2500 miles under 0.5 that is very rare. What brand /model chain was the first and the second ?
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Interesting, 1200 is what most of us get , 2500 miles under 0.5 that is very rare. What brand /model chain was the first and the second ?
first was what came with the bike kmc I used a wet lube but it was nov and this is portland it rained a lot .chain would get gunky but I was really sick and used only turbo for a couple of months. but I doubt I put out more then 100 watts or so. the second chain is this guy I believe

Shimano E-Bicycle Chain - CN-E6090-10​

 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
first was what came with the bike kmc I used a wet lube but it was nov and this is portland it rained a lot .chain would get gunky but I was really sick and used only turbo for a couple of months. but I doubt I put out more then 100 watts or so. the second chain is this guy I believe

Shimano E-Bicycle Chain - CN-E6090-10​


I see so you also had that kmc E10 chain and the low mileage. I will try shimano whenever I can.

With 100W even on eco/tour I think total power will be in the range of a good road cyclist and that may be the reason for good chain life.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
I see so you also had that kmc E10 chain and the low mileage. I will try shimano whenever I can.

With 100W even on eco/tour I think total power will be in the range of a good road cyclist and that may be the reason for good chain life.
I was learning the bike too so who knows. on a really good day I can average 189 watts. but 150 to 160 works better as I don't wear myself out. I will see if this next chain goes longer. right now its 2300.
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
I was learning the bike too so who knows. on a really good day I can average 189 watts. but 150 to 160 works better as I don't wear myself out. I will see if this next chain goes longer. right now its 2300.
What kind of bike are you riding and total power(rider+motor) btw?

Idk the only thing that comes to mind is dry riding conditions plus not putting too much power on the drivetrain, keeping reasonable speeds (around 15mph or less).

I also found the following video comparing E6090 to a kmc 10.73, results are not very impressive.

 
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fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
my bike is a bulls crossmover speed. and no I don't go slow I try to keep it at 22mph or so. though its in the city so lots of starting and stopping so the best I average is 18 or 19pmh. I use as little assist as I can but those speeds I am in tour the whole ride maybe putting out 160 or so watts. on our. tandem the motor cuts off at about 19 so then its just us. so that chain should last longer
IMG_1536.jpg
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
my bike is a bulls crossmover speed. and no I don't go slow I try to keep it at 22mph or so. though its in the city so lots of starting and stopping so the best I average is 18 or 19pmh. I use as little assist as I can but those speeds I am in tour the whole ride maybe putting out 160 or so watts. on our. tandem the motor cuts off at about 19 so then its just us. so that chain should last longer
View attachment 68296

Interesting, your bicycle is awfully similar to mine, same derailleur, similar geometry (Mine is a Haibike Xduro Cross).

The riding habits are also similar the only differences are my input is 200-250W range most of the time and use Eco or custom mode which is less than tour more than eco. When I go to %100 (custom mode less than Tour %120 ) I usually cruise around 25+ on flats.

Btw how many miles in total does the bike have? You seem to be riding a lot.

Again according to your input 3 things come to mind:

1. Riding in dry, clean conditions.
2. Using a different chain than KMC e10.
3. Your lube Rock N Roll gold. You are the second person who used Rock n Roll Gold version on dry conditions and have very good chain life. My experience was with Extreme(blue one) and rain, salt , snow and I am very disappointed. Maybe dry conditions and Gold version is where it is at. On paper it is a Wax lube with additives (which looks awfully similar to Oz Cycle's own to go version that He makes from pieces of wax) so it may give the chain life benefit of waxing.

If I change the new cassette on my Cross then I will start with wax and will see the chain life but I am not riding that much to put too many bikes to several bikes.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Interesting, your bicycle is awfully similar to mine, same derailleur, similar geometry (Mine is a Haibike Xduro Cross).

The riding habits are also similar the only differences are my input is 200-250W range most of the time and use Eco or custom mode which is less than tour more than eco. When I go to %100 (custom mode less than Tour %120 ) I usually cruise around 25+ on flats.

Btw how many miles in total does the bike have? You seem to be riding a lot.

Again according to your input 3 things come to mind:

1. Riding in dry, clean conditions.
2. Using a different chain than KMC e10.
3. Your lube Rock N Roll gold. You are the second person who used Rock n Roll Gold version on dry conditions and have very good chain life. My experience was with Extreme(blue one) and rain, salt , snow and I am very disappointed. Maybe dry conditions and Gold version is where it is at. On paper it is a Wax lube with additives (which looks awfully similar to Oz Cycle's own to go version that He makes from pieces of wax) so it may give the chain life benefit of waxing.

If I change the new cassette on my Cross then I will start with wax and will see the chain life but I am not riding that much to put too many bikes to several bikes.
I have put almost 6000 miles on it since late November. so ya a bit. this is portland Oregon we have a lot of rain. I used the blue in winter and I used it twice a week if I had more then one rain ride. the yellow would give me about 100 or so miles between applications if there was no rain. I ride every day as long as the ground does not have ice or snow on it. so 25 miles a day. I bought some mukoff but it wants to sit overnight to dry that does not work for me. I lube at my shop at work then ride home so I don't have time for it to dry and I doubt it would overnight in my united garage. plus rock and roll is fast to apply no link by link application just squirt it on and then wipe it off. no cleaning of the drive train. only a little gunk on the jockey wheels. I think I will test the 50/50 chain test on the next chain. I was wishing I could edit the assist levels as I found in tour I was going 24 and thats a bit faster then I want on the roads but eco was not enough it slowed me down though I put out more watts. but then I found I am working too hard with a average of 35+ miles a day I am running out of steam. so back to. tour again.
 
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FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
I use the Muc Off C3 ceramic dry lube and have never waited for it to dry overnight... I lube and ride with good results.
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
Quick update.

The first wax was still going good at 190 miles, I still rewaxed it just in case it was the easiest "relube", the bike needed almost no cleaning.

My bosch CX mtb is doing just as good, shifts great, stays clean. It has been only around 60 miles but I think it will last quite a while.

The price also seems to be way cheaper than any other lube. All in all I am a convert to wax+ptfe this is by far the best lubrication I have ever used.
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
Lately I have switched to waxing and find it to be vastly superior to anything I have ever used. I will leave my previous experience for the curious ones otherwise you can skip to Waxing part.

So I have worn 3 KMC 10 speed Ebike specific chains on my Haibike with Bosch CX motor. During this period I have used several different brands of lubes and here are the results.

Original Chain: Not cleaned as frequently as the later 2. Used Prolink until 1100-1200 miles in CA and the chain stretch was below 0.5. Moved to east coast and rode the bike whole winter, using rock n roll, chain stretched well over 0.5 close to 0.75 before 1450 mile mark.

Second chain: Used muc off dry mostly, later stages switched to Dumonde tech. Chain stretched to 0.5 in around 800 miles and done in 1100 miles. Half winter half summer riding.

Third chain: Used Dumonde tech exclusively, Chain is stretched to 0.75 in around 1000 miles.

Some observations about the lubes I have used(Before each application the chain is cleaner with parktool chain tool, rinsed and dried):

  • Prolink gold: This is a cleanish, light lube. It still gets tacky after a while however overall it is easy to apply, shifts very well and somewhat cheap. For my riding in summer this went for around 100miles before lubrication.
  • Muc off dry: Very clean, shifts well when fresh but gets noisier fast. I lasts merely 50 miles for me and this left the most metal particles in the scrubber.
  • Triflow: Used it once and this is my least favorite. It is heavy, drivetrain gets gunky real fast and doesn't last long
  • Dumonde tech original: I think this is my favorite. The chain stays quiet, shifts are very crisp, does not get tacky easily and drivetrain stays very clean. There is a catch though, you have to wipe the chain with a dry cloth(I use a cheap microfiber tower) after the first 3-4 rides to clean the black residue coming out of the chain until the lube cures. It takes 5-10 seconds, not tacky and very easy to wipe clean unless you let it sit for a couple of days. This lube lasted around 150 miles each application and after the first application I didn't even need to use any degreaser.
  • Dumonde tech Lite: This is in between the original and prolink. It is thinner than dumonde original. Lasts around 120miles. I like it but honestly I don't find any advantage over original. I would just stick with original.
  • Rock n roll Extreme: Cleanest lube of all that I have tested but it is not durable at all for wet conditions. Also no matter how clean it looks from outside you still need to clean the chain before at least the first application. On wet lasted 30-40 miles.

I will not attribute wear to the lubes I don't have enough data for that. The decrease in chain life of subsequent chains is probably due to drivetrain wear. When you put a chain on a worn drivetrain the chain will wear out faster to match the drivetrain and this is probably the reason for less chain life on each new chain.

In short Dumonde Original is my favorite. If you are only riding in dry hot weather only Prolink gold is a good choice. For strictly winter riding on snow, salt, slush I would probably go for a very thick lube like Park tool lube.



----------WAXING----------

Lately I wanted to give waxing a try. I used oz cycle's %10 PTFE %90 food grade paraffin formula( see the video below) and after 100miles on the drivetrain I am amazed how clean it is. It still shifts very crisp, the rollers are free of dirt and unless I am pushing hard chain is mostly quiet. Not as quiet as dumonde tech but quiet.


I use Gulf Wax and Runaway PTFE (Their PTFE mixes as well as the one in the video but these guys seem to know what they are selling):

Since I live in an apartment I did not use the chamicals that he suggests. Instead I used Finish line citrus degreaser(soaked without dilluting for around 30 minutes) then soap to wash it off then a shake in IPA.

This is how my chain looks after a 100 miles(update at 192 miles still looks the same, rollers are free of dirt , clean, rolling freely, update over 300 miles and cassette/ drivetrain still looks almost the same).

UPDATE

I have done 900miles on the first chain since the first time I started waxing(A total of 1150 miles on the chain). I am still measuring around %0.06-0.08 wear which is almost the same as what I measured 900 miles ago. and the drivetrain still looks like the picture. It is amazing how clean everything stays.

Bosch CX, full suspension. Installed a new 11 speed Sram chain, has done 140miles, clean and quiet.

Another 11 speed KMC on my yamaha pw-se powered gravel bike. Second application and still very clean and quiet. No measurable wear.

View attachment 67643




A word on chain wear measurement:

I do own a simple Parktool wear indicator but it only gives a go/no go answer.

Although I have a digital caliper, because it has the knife edges, it is very hard to reliable measure chain wear in between rollers(measurement that includes roller wear). I didn't want to spend $70 on a KMC caliper since it is nothing more than a cheap digital caliper with flat tips.

I can however measure stretch without the addition of roller wear( which is said to be the right measure since play in subsequent rollers cancel each other out) from outside, in between edges of outer plates. I use 5 full links (5 inches) and I can have consistent , repeatable measurements this way, 5.01 ~ 0.20 5.025~ 0.5, 5.05 ~ 0.1 wear.
So with a digital caliper with standard knife edges I measure my chains the following way. While the chain is under tension (measuring it on the bike is the best) measure 5 links from outside(every full link is 1" initially) since most standard digital calipers are 6" max this is a good length to get consistent measurements.
View attachment 72347



After 900 miles on the kmc 11 speed the chain still measures <%0.1. Waxing seems to work.
After 250miles on the Yamaha pw-se mid drive, there is no difference compared to when the chain was new. But it is too new to judge.
Bosch CX mid drive has done 400+ miles since the waxing and the wear did not increase measurably.

Below are recent pictures, one can see how clean they still are. Last time I cleaned these cassettes are 250 and 700 miles ago respectively.

View attachment 82986
View attachment 82987












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Ok I searched for it but couldn't find a general thread on the subject. We have a couple of threads on specific products or bikes.

I think this is an important topic. I will be very happy to see your experiences with different lubes, especially their longevity.


About 2.5 months ago I changed my lube to Rock n Roll extreme after seeing the great reviews and the article on how efficient it is I wanted to give it a try. It is a wax based lube, You apply it to the chain until it is dripping wet, wait a couple of minutes then wipe with a dry cloth. It does a very good job of cleaning and keeping the chain clean during the rides. At first I thought this was it.

The problem is when I started this lube I had around 1000-1100 miles and when I measured the chain with a ruler it was almost like new. After 3-4 applications and 300 miles later I measured again and it was significantly extended. To make sure I got a park tool measuring gauge and wow, around the missing link it is 0.5 (one measurement may even be 0.75!!!) and the other half is less than but close to 0.5.

Given that I rode the bike in snow twice and 3-4 times when it was raining I didn't expect this kind of wear so quickly.

Now I don't want to bash the products , I actually want to like it since it stays much much cleaner than oil based lubes and chain is silent in the first couple of days but today I gave it a light wipe and the cloth was again covered with a dark grey dust. I cleaned and lubed the chain 6 days / 40 miles ago.

Before moving onto another lube I wanted to see what others are using. I like to get more than 1500miles out of a $50 chain if possible.

Some additional information:
-It is a KMC e10 Silver chain.
-The support level I use on my Bosch is almost never over ECO, lately I actually am using custom modes and decreased the assist level to %20 percent (feels like a nice road bike, getting great mileage of course).

I may switch to Smoove since I really liked the wax based lubes but this wear issue is a deal breaker.

Your experiences will be appreciated.
Where are you riding? My drive train would get dirtier than that sitting in my living room. :oops:
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
Wd-40 everywhere , Little bit of it ! In due time, may use WD-40 Ebike edition, that Is if they're smart enough to make one and add 3.99 on top of the reg. Price...
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
I use the Muc Off C3 ceramic dry lube and have never waited for it to dry overnight... I lube and ride with good results.
I would let it dry, otherwise it's going to attract more dirt. See this video.


I've also been using Muc Off C3 ceramic dry lube on my Frey CC with good results but I'm somewhat torn. My chain doesn't show stretch after 2.5K miles but the lube seems to attract a lot of dirt for a dry lube so I'm having to clean it pretty frequently which is a pain. Tempted to switch to Rock 'n Roll Gold.
 

TrailSeeker

Active Member
Region
USA
3. Your lube Rock N Roll gold. You are the second person who used Rock n Roll Gold version on dry conditions and have very good chain life. My experience was with Extreme(blue one) and rain, salt , snow and I am very disappointed. Maybe dry conditions and Gold version is where it is at. On paper it is a Wax lube with additives (which looks awfully similar to Oz Cycle's own to go version that He makes from pieces of wax) so it may give the chain life benefit of waxing.
What is everyone using for wet lube though? I've only been using dry lube for this time of year, but no clue what to use in winter or fall.