Oiling new chain


Fuelled with Jelly Babies
South Wales
The late great Sheldon Brown recommends leaving the manufacturers grease on and not oiling a new chain.

I recently replaced my 105 ten speed chain and followed his advice .Result was really crap gear changing.

I wiped off as much as I could but didnt use degreaser relubed it with what I normally use and gear changing is now slick again.

As a newbie I am reluctant to say Sheldon is wrong but it didnt work for me.
I once put a new chain on my bike and read Sheldon's advice and thought it'd be OK for its first ride (Glasgow - Edinburgh); it pi$$ed all the way and by the time I got to Edinburgh, 55miles later surface rust spots were already showing :biggrin:


I always left the manufacturers lubricant on but I was never happy with the amount of crap that stuck to it, one day I bought an SRAM chain and from the start I was not happy with it as gear changes were appalling and I was plagued with chain suck before I reliased how tacky the manufacturers lubricant was, after a few drops of finish line wet there was a vast improvement.

Following advise from the LBS, they recommend that I clean the chain of all manufacturers lubricant before fitting it and lightly oil it, I have found that the life of the chain is vastly improved, along with the chain, chain rings and sprocket all being cleaner and easier to clean when required.


Legendary Member
I've been led to understand that the manufacturer's lube should be left in place for its lubrication of the innards - I don't think there's any problem with wiping it off the exterior, and adding some lighter stuff of your own. I think that's what I'd do. I'd certainly hesitate before soaking/stripping a new chain.


Somerset UK
The stuff on new Shimano and SRAM chains is like ear wax. When I've fitted new ones I've started off with Finish Line dry in a couple of cycles of 'The method' which gets them nicely coated with water repellent and running smoothly.

Edit: Put the link in for The Method


Swea'pea is right. Sheldon advises against the dioping/soaking method as it's the inside of the rollers that really needs it.

Nothing wrong with wiping the exterior and lubing with Finish line - this helps give slicker changes
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