This is a big nuisance while touring, as it has to be done more than once a day if you are covering serious distance, and an especially big nuisance if it’s a modern bike where mainstands are considered excess flab (and thereby dispensed with). That’s where the chain oiler comes in. The concept is not in the least bit new – the idea being to slowly drip oil onto the chain or sprocket over a sustained period of time with the flow controlled as per requirement, with the hope that it would flow to all areas of the chain that need lubrication. As the chain would be oiled over time, there would be less spatter, the sort that happens when the chain is sprayed a large quantity of oil/chain lube/grease every “x” number of km. Oil spattered onto the rear rim, is not only a hassle in terms of cleanup, it’s a reminder as to how little lubed the chain in the first place, considering what was put on.
The problem with chain sprays – vast quantities make their home someplace OTHER than the final drive, and chain wax is not particularly easy to clean. Neither is it cheap, and as speeds build up and the chain sprocket combo gets hot and the viscosity of the chain wax changes, it tends to spatter all over the rim and rear tyre. Over a period of time the excess also tends to collect in the front sprocket area – a thick mix of abrasive dirt and grease which periodically breaks off… onto the chain.
The problem with oils – mess, and the lubing has to be done more frequently as anything more than what the chain needs at that moment will simply be flung off, and usually the sides of the chain do not get oil on them.
Both the oil as well as the grease will have to be cleaned off at regular intervals, though a chain lubed with oil is a lot lot easier to clean. So what is needed is something that cleans the chain to some extent, and delivers lube to all parts of the chain, with minimum spatter and wastage. This is what I came up with after some trial and error, that is different from existing oilers. Considering that the total cost of the entire jing bang is less than 150 INR, and the fact that it was tested for more than 10000km recently, I’m putting up the “how to” here
What you need:
- A 25mm paintbrush, available at your local hardware store for approximately 20 bucks
- Two tie wraps, one long, and one short. In case you cannot get a long tie wrap, you can join two short tie wraps together.
- An infusion set, available from the neighbourhood chemist at about 80 bucks.
- A craft knife
- A plastic tube with 6 mm ID (easily available), about 1 meter
- A syringe (larger the better) as the oil dispenser
This is what the business end of the dispenser looks like. To get to this point, the most important step, one that requires a little skill, is to cut a flat notch in the handle of the brush such that the brush is centered over the lower part of the chain as can be seen in the photo. On either side of the chain the brush should stick out a little, and the bristle tips touching the chain should bend SLIGHTLY.
The brush is fixed by means of a figure of 8 tiewrap, as shown in this photo, possible only if you have a robust tie wrap.
More to come!