Chain prep for NON waxed chains

I’m putting a new chain on my MTB (SRAM eagle). Not planning on waxing as I do on my road bike. But got me thinking, should I do the factory grease strip on it anyways? I’ve got the tubs and chemicals so it isn’t a huge deal to do

If the lube you are putting on is potentially faster, then you might benefit from stripping the chain of factory lubricant. However, I have no clue about off-road riding. At least on paper, waxing it would make a lot of sense, since the main advantage in my opinion is the resistance to collecting grime and dirt on the chain…

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De-grease it, especially if it’s not a big deal for you. For MTB, and after many years of using a synthetic type of chain lube, it dumonde, tri-flow, pro-link etc… I have become a convert to Squirt. I was told that wax based lubes are bad for MTB, but after using the product for a few years now in the wet east coast it’s by far my favorite. Biggest mistake people make is not degreasing the chain from the factory gunk on there (only meant to prevent corrosion in shipping) - but if you start with a clean and dry chain and follow the instructions it’s the best performing and cleanest lube I’ve ever used. I see friends and co-workers using a synthetic lube, their drive trains are very nasty.

I’m fairly certain you should strip the factory grease off of every chain. Since that grease is not applied for the purposes of preventing dirt egress or reducing friction but in order to prevent corrosion while the chain sits on the shelf. I would strip it before applying your preferred lube.

I guess the question is how much effort should be put into the stripping.

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Thanks everyone, that’s what my gut told me as well. I’ve got squirt on the shelf to supplement my road chain waxing. I think I might try that. I’m in New England so it can get wet here we’ll give it a go

Every article I’ve read says to leave the factory grease/lube on as it helps with break-in of parts and lasts longer than what you can apply.

That said I’ve never kept it on and my chains last freakishly long. I think it’s more about maintenance than the factory stuff


My experience is the first part of this. I leave it on. It can go a couple thousand of kilometers but as soon as you start messing with you, have have a frequent chore of cleaning it up.

There are so many other things holding me back other than the lubrication on my chain, so I’m not really in that league where it matters.

Personally I strip all the factory grease off new chains. It’s just collects dirt too fast otherwise.

What lube do you intend to use on it? If it’s a wet lube I feel it wouldn’t matter too much what you do. If it’s something wax based (personally I use Squirt) leaving the factory grease on would be a no no.

Edit: Just read that you intend to use Squirt. So my advise is to clean the chain very diligently and get off all the factory grease. Otherwise the lube will not stick as well to the chain and it gets dirty quicker.