Are you facing the problem of chain shifting while running your bike in the streets these days? Well, chances are that you haven’t used any lube in recent times to keep the chain smooth and fast-moving.
Unfortunately, you don’t have any lubes around you now, so the question is arising in your mind ‘ Can I use grease instead of chain oil or chain lube as a substitute, grease is way cheaper than oils?’ the thought of using grease instead of oil is very interesting. There will be a lot of discussion regarding this matter.
Using grease in motorcycle chains causes numerous problems such as friction reduction, more dirt, and dust, transmission, squeakiness problem, greasiness in low temperature. These problems can reduce the efficiency of bike engines and hamper the longevity of chain life.
Wondering what are the alternative ways that are better than greasing at the same time more affordable and safe? Now I am going to talk about some effective ways and products that you can use to keep your bike chain lubricated and smooth for a long time.
Don’t forget to check out our another article about how to clean motorcycle chain. and how to clean motorcycle engine.
Why Is Grease is Not A Good Option to Lube Bike Chains?
Grease and motor oils have high viscosity resulting in friction reduction. It can damage your bike chain as well as your engine in the long run. Using motor oil to make any kind of lube is not recommended too. Using grease in motorcycle chain causes the following problem :
- Friction Reduction
- Squeakiness Problem
- greasiness in low temperature
- Dirt and dust
- Reduction in engine efficiency
5 Alternatives to Lubricate Motorcycle Chain Without Grease :
There are plenty of alternative products available that are better than grease. They are mostly wax or paraffin used, don’t have a higher viscosity, and can easily pass through chain spaces. Some home products can also be used for short-term needs. Let’s talk about these products and how to use them to lubricate your bike chain.Let’s look at the alternative products
- Olive Oil or Vegetable oil.
- Gear Oil
- Homemade Wax Lube
- Paint Thinner And Oil Mixture
- Brand Lube Spray And Oils
Now let’s talk about all these products and the procedures to lubricate your bike chain with them.
1. Use Olive or Vegetable Oils As Chain Lube :
Olive oil or any kind of vegetable oil can be used as an instant solution instead of grease to lube your bike chain. The thing you will have to do is thoroughly clean your chain. Never use water to clean chains as it can cause rust on chains. Clean the chain with diesel or kerosene. Then follow these steps
- Take small squirt bottles, open the top nozzle and fill the small bottle with olive oil.
- Remove guards to expose the chain, use a towel over your disc brake. Now spray diesel over your chain and clean the entire chain and crank with a small brush.
- In your one hand take the squirt bottle and with another hand keep moving the tire. Lube gently through the left and right sides of the chain. Keep the middle part free. Let the oil soak properly. Then attach the guards again.
2. Gear Oils Are Better Than Grease to Lube Chains:
People have been using gear oils as lube since the invention of motorcycles. Gear oils lube your bike to run at least 1000 km. And it is safer than any kind of grease and affordable. Here are the things that should be followed while using a gear oil :
- The grade of gear oil is important. The higher the gradient is, the thicker it is in nature which will stay inside the chain for a long time.
- The lubing process is similar to the previous one. Open guards, clean chain. Apply oil with bottles, let it pass through and you’re done.
3. Make Your Homemade Lube Instead of Using Grease:
You can make your homemade motorcycle lube with some really simple and easy-finding ingredients. As said earlier most chain lubes are wax-based. Let’s make a wax-based chain lube at home. The things you need are A pot to boil, wax sticks, oil of paraffin, and a box of Xylene. If you can’t find Xylene use any kind of oil such as pine, rose, etc. Now go back to the process
- Set up the pot over the fire and heat it in a very low flame.
- Put the wax sticks inside the pot, let them melt completely.
- To stop wax from hardening again, put paraffin oil and other oils and make a mixture of them. Keep the oil ratio higher.
- Now keep boiling the mixture and check for desired consistency. The consistency should not be extra hard or too much melting.
- When desired consistency is found, turn the fire off and let it cool a bit. Pour the mixture into a transparent PVC bottle. Use the mixture as you use any kind of lubes on your chain
- Keep in mind one thing, wax can get hard due to changing temperatures. Just put the bottle in low-boiled water and the mixture will become liquefied again.
4. Paint Thinners and Oil Mixture To Replace Grease:
You can use paint thinner and oil mixtures as a good substitute for lube. The good thing is that paint thinner can make any oil a bit thicker, just giving it a perfect consistency to stay inside the O ring of the motorcycle chain. Follow these steps to start the lubing process :
- Make a mixture of paint thinner and oil ( motor oil or any oil such as vegetable, gear) in a 2:1 ratio.
- Take the mixture and put it into the applying bottles. Lube your chain as you do usually.
- Keep in mind paint thinners will vaporize in the air gradually leaving the oil behind mostly. So these types of lubing won’t stay much longer.
5. Use Quality Aftermarket Lube Sprays or Oils :
If you want a safer and long-lasting solution than grease and weary chains, just use high-quality bike lubes from the market instead of using any kind of grease or short-termed home solutions. In the US market, there are plenty of good options such as WD-40, Motorex, or brands like Motul. Buy any of them and lube in the following process:
- First, you should keep an eye on the mileages you crossed and the limit of chain cleaning mileage.
- Then check the condition of the chain. If it’s dirty too much, clean it with substances like diesel and brush.
- Take all your bike guards away and spray lube in the chain according to the guideline or its oil then apply it with a small squirt bottle.
- The next thing is patience. The lube will pass through the holes of the chain and stay there.
- You are done, now assemble the opened parts back to their places.
Can I Use Vaseline As A Bike Lube Instead of Grease?
Vaseline can be used as an instant option to lube your bike chain and safer than grease. However to take vaseline inside of the chain you will need artificial thinners. This will make a mixture with vaseline and will disappear after the mixture passes inside bike chainrings leaving vaseline.
What are the disadvantages of Thinner Based Lubes?
The problem with thinner-based lube is that these are not long-lasting. Also not suitable for rainy weather. Most of the lubes will wash away with water in rainy conditions. These types of lubes should only be used in dry conditions.
Final Words :
Lubing your bike chain is an important thing as it keeps your bike smooth in running and gives you a better riding experience. Don’t use any kind of cheap products such as grease or motor oil in the lubing process as they can reduce the life of the bike chain and create several damages. Always use products that are safe and suit your bike chain properly.
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