Oil Delivery Hose

OK so your Oiler is just where it needs to be, now spend some time routing the hose and positioning the nozzles correctly to get a hassle free installation first time!

TOP TIP : Always work from the Nozzle end of the hose, back towards the Oiler unit.

Topics covered here:

  • Attaching the hose
  • Use of Hose Clamps
  • Correctly routing the hose & Air bubbles
  • Single Feed Nozzle
  • Twin Feed Nozzle
  • Nozzle Anchor Kit
  • Helix

Before you even start routing your hose its important to bear in mind how you attach the hose to the frame - cable ties are a simple effective method which provide a reliable way to keep the hose in place BUT they should be used with care. An over tight cable tie will crush the hose flat and make the passage of oil through it either severely restricted or at worst cut it off altogether.

In practice there is no need to pull the cable ties so tight that they effect the oil flow, the only place the cable ties need to be tight is where they provide the anchor point on the swing arm for the short section of hose (see*) leading to the nozzle so that the nozzle is stable and doesn't wave about where it touches the sprocket.

The short section of hose with the internal alloy wire is used next to nozzle when using the Single Nozzle or the Nozzle Anchor Kit. If you are using the Helix then it is the section that the Helix "plugs into".

This *short section of hose is provided with an internal positioning wire which does two things.

  1. It provides a malleable section of hose that can be bent to shape to present the nozzle at the correct position against the sprocket.
  2. It prevents the hose from being crushed flat when cable ties are pulled hard against it.

Hose Clamps

For a really neat installation use plastic hose clamps as provided in the Hose Clamp set, these self adhesive clamps are a good way to hold the hose in place without crushing it but they may not adhere to some surfaces (smooth clean surfaces are the best) and they should never (on their own) be relied upon to hold a nozzle in place.

Even where the surface is not smooth, hose clamps are useful if they are used in conjunction with a cable tie - the hose is routed through the hose clamp whilst a cable tie is strapped over the top. In this way the hose is protected from over tightening by the internal shape of the hose clamp and the hose clamp is held firmly to the swing arm or frame by the cable tie.


Correct Hose Routing is important because it allows the hose to flex with the suspension movements without compromising its seal with the oiler unit. This will lead to oil leaks.

Put another way if you install your oiler so that the hose runs directly from the oil spigot to the swing arm then eventually the constant movement of the swing arm pulling on the hose will let air bubbles enter the hose/spigot junction - this will mean that oil will leak out of the nozzle when the bike is stationary.

By following the example diagram below all swing arm movement is isolated from the hose spigot junction and the seal will remain intact for many years and oil leaks will be avoided. 

More on Air Bubbles in the hose...

  • On a recently installed oiler you may find a few air bubbles at the top of the hose where it joins the oiler - this can happen when the flow control valve has been opened a bit too far during priming, air is able to leak past the flow control valve's internal seal and will be displaced down into the hose when the flow control valve is returned to its normal ( screwed further in) position. You can either re-prime the system (taking care not to undo the flow control valve more than 4 turns) or ignore the bubbles as they will not effect normal operation of the oiler and will eventually be flushed through the hose by the oil during normal use.
  • Air bubbles can also be caused by a pinhole in the hose.
  • There is one more way air bubbles can appear at the top of the hose and that is the oiler has run out of oil.

The Single feed Nozzle

Correct nozzle positioning allows the oiler to deposit the oil where its most needed whilst minimising wasted oil. Excessive fling can occur if the oil is allowed to drop onto the top run of the chain or onto the sprocket a long way from the chain/sprocket mesh.

Please note positioning the nozzle so that it drips onto the moving chain will most like lead to excessive "fling" or the oil even missing the chain altogether as the oil drops may be swept away by the air before it can hit the chain at all!

There are hundreds of ways you can position the single nozzle but long experience tells us this really is the most effective, trouble free method.

The photo below illustrates the correct installation position for a single feed nozzle.


Twin Feed Nozzle

 Installing a Twin feed Nozzle. Note the position on the sprocket (approx. 7 O'clock) avoid installing this at a greater distance from the sprocket/chain mesh as this could lead to oil leaving the sprocket before it even gets to the chain (subsequently leading to excessive fling).  

Its vitally important that the hose is secured to the swing arm as close as is possible to the Nozzle, leaving a long length of hose drooping between the nozzle and the swing arm will inevitably lead to the nozzle "going off target" and or being displaced/destroyed by the chain and sprocket mesh.

There are two ways to secure a twin feed nozzle effectively...

1.The Nozzle Anchor Kit - suitable for box section swing arm bikes Click here

The nozzle anchor kit is by far the best way to achieve a good stable twin feed installation but where its not possible to use a Nozzle Anchor Kit, because of a round or curved section swing arm it might be possible to use the Helix (see below).

In some cases where its not possible to accurately and rigidly install a twin feed nozzle at all, in particular where the sprocket bolts are very close to the teeth then the single feed nozzle should be used. 


2.The Helix Click here

This is a simple way to gain much needed rigidity in positioning a nozzle at the sprocket. It consists of a semi-rigid nylon tube, spiral wound with aluminium wire- it can be tightened firmly ( with cable ties) against the swing arm with risk of crushing the tubing and cutting off oil flow thus giving a really firm anchor point for the nozzle.

 The helix is then bent into shape to suit the ideal positioning of the nozzle against the side of the sprocket.

NOTE - You still need to use the internal alloy wire section of the hose with the Nozzle anchor kit - it helps stabilise the nozzle and hose between the "P" clip and the anchor plate.

Once bent into shape it retains this configuration and supports the nozzle in place, its critically important to secure the Helix (onto the swing arm) as close as possible to the sprocket to minimise the amount of unsupported material. Use 2 of the medium sized cable ties and 1 small cable tie to secure the Helix.

For all box section swing arms the Nozzle Anchor kit is our recommended accessory for Twin Feed nozzles.

IMPORTANT - When installing the twin feed nozzle it must be aligned so that the sprocket is central to the nozzle i.e. both nozzle tips must touch the sprocket at the same time. If it is not properly aligned then there will be an unequal pressure on one nozzle leading to premature wear and eventually you will find that one tip will miss the sprocket entirely. See Fig 1 and Fig 2 below.

Fig 1.  Nozzle centralised over sprocket. The nozzle tips are resting on both sides of the sprocket face, both tips are exerting the same pressure against the sprocket face resulting in very little wear even over long term use. 

Fig 2. The nozzle was not centralised over the sprocket. Incorrectly aligned at installation, one nozzle tip has worn away and due to the unequal pressure exerted against the sprocket face the unworn nozzle (right hand side n this case) has "moved" away from the sprocket so that its not touching at all. 

Fig 1. Correct Alignment                                    Fig 2. Incorrect Alignment


One last note about fling! -

Chain oilers operate on a total loss basis - any oil that goes onto the chain must come off again.

It is therefore reasonable to expect that there will be always be some fling - defining how much is reasonable is more of an art than a science but too much could be characterised by having wet oil on the road surface of the rear tyre whereas a few thin streaks on the side wall of the tyre is of little consequence and merely indicates that the chain is getting lubricated. 

Always check the chain itself for evidence of lubrication - if its well oiled and your back tyre just has a few streaks on the side wall then chances are you have it set up just right.

Here's a link to short video which helps illustrate the points above. Please bear in mind that this film is a few years old now and the Nozzle Anchor kit is not mentioned as it had not yet been invented and now largely supersedes the use of the Helix as our preferred Twin Feed Nozzle installation method.