Lubrication on Outside Surface of Chain Roller?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that the only lubrication needed on an O-Ring chain is atthe O-Ring interface and not on the outside surface of the roller where the roller has metal-to-metal contact with the sprocket. I would assume this to be a wear surface but I see no mention anywhere of lubrication for this metal-to-metal contact point. Is the reason because lubrication would not stay on the outside of the roller and that if applied it would attract contaminants as well?

On a dirt bike, all lube on the outside of the chain does is prevent rust. When being ridden, it attacks and holds grit on, wheich can cause the chain to wear faster.


Many riders, after a ride, clean and allpy a very thin lube to the chain to prevent rust but does not let grit get bound up in it.


The lack of external lubrication and subsequent faster wear is a price of the envirnment of off road riding.


There are lubes used on street bikes that do not get flung.

That is why most chain lubes contain moly which is a dry film lubricant.  Even though you can't see it, it is there and it does lubricate between the roller and sprocket.

The roller is a wear surface, although not a particularly aggressive one.  I use a chain lube on my O-ring chains, primarily on the rings, but of course some gets onto the rollers.  I choose the lube based on two criteria: It has to dry to a very low tack, so that it doesn't collect dirt and just make the wear worse, and it needs to wash away with strong soap and water solutions like Simple Green without the use of a high pressure spray. 


For the past several years, I've been happy with Maxima Synthetic Chain Guard.  Fits both criteria nicely.  Always apply chain lubes at least 6 hours prior to riding whenever possible so as to allow dry time for the vehicle solvents.

Thanks for the inputs. Unless I'm reading it wrong, lubrication of the outside surfaces of the rollers is not absolutely necessary except for preventing rust. Is this correct? Next question. Will there be any expected significant difference in wear of the outside surfaces of the rollers whether they are lubed or not?

I would think in most cases involving dirt bikes, even those with steel sprockets, that roller wear is much less an issue than sprocket wear will be.  But if the chain is replaced before it gets to be 2% longer than stock, the sprockets will wear pretty well anyway.

know it can make a difference in how hot the chain and sprockets run?  infrared temp gun, Alien hyw, NV. 100mph cruise on sport bikes, lube chain with different stuff, re check temps.  Anything on there helped. Even sunblocker lotion, LOL

I have to admit I haven't tried a good sun blocker on my chain.  They say it stays on in water, though, eh?  :smirk:

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