A constant lubricating film in the link can improve the durability of the chain substantially. However, this is not easily achieved due to the link movements being so small and the pressures applied being so great. Achieving a sustaining film of lubricant proves incredibly difficult.
Only special lubricants will be able to cope with the unique conditions that are to be found in a link of a chain:
- Firstly, the lubricant must be able to creep into the link and between the moving parts. Secondly, the lubricant must be able to withstand the high forces applied to each link.
- A lubricant without this extremely important property will be displaced by the pressure with the effect that metal rubs on metal as if there were no lubricant present at all.
Our tests have shown that most available lubricants do not fulfill these requirements. Most products do prevent rust and are better than no lubrication at all, but are not suitable for the extreme conditions found within a chain link.
These lubricants are in particular the popular silicon and teflon products, but also all the very thin oils. All products which claim to have a cleaning and/or rust removing effect are in our opinion also unsuitable for the correct lubrication of the bicycle chain.
In order to give the consumer a secure alternative in terms of lubricating the chain, we have developed the automatic chain lubrication system Rohloff LUBMATIC and the biodegradable, pressure resistant Rohloff special chain lubricant Oil of Rohloff. This high performance lubricant creeps under water and has a stable viscosity over a wide temperature range.
For off-road trips and riding through cold climates you can additionally protect your chain by using a wax spray. However, the wax does not lube your chain, therefore it should only be used after lubrication. The wax film reduces the amount of dirt sticking on the chain and partly protects the link against dirt and water. Please only use thick wax products which leave a noticeable white wax film.