clean bike chain joy in the change of seasonsPosted: October 2, 2013
Previously I posted about how I clean my bike’s drivetrain and the products I use. During the summer I prefer to use a “dry” chain lubricant because it’s dry here in Northern California and it doesn’t rain for months. Using a dry lube (teflon or “dry” polymer) is much less gunky and allows me to keep my chain clean for a long time with a simple wipe after each ride to get the dust off. But during the rainy season I have never trusted dry lubes and I prefer to use a more traditional wet lubricant, a petroleum-based chain lube. A rusty chain makes a very unhappy bike!
So I went to my fancy LBS (local bike shop) to pick up some winterizing supplies. Previously I had been using White Lightning Clean Streak Degreaser but the LBS I visited doesn’t carry it. They sold me Finish Line Citrus Degreaser. On their recommendation I also bought Dumonde Tech Bicycle Chain Lube – Lite. The LBS said this lubricant was good in wet or dry conditions and I could use it year-round. The LBS sponsors racing teams and they use it so I figured it was worth a try.
Now that I’ve tried these two products I am switching my loyalty to the Finish Line Degreaser. That stuff is miraculous! As good as White Lightning is, this is even better, which I didn’t know was possible. All the gunk just melted off my chain. It’s such a wonderful thing to run a clean rag over the chain and have nothing come off – no dirt, no grime. The cassette is shiny and clean and I think my chain has only been this clean when it was brand new.
I let my chain dry off for a couple of hours, then I applied the Dumonde Tech. It’s a polymer, which is intended to bond to your chain surfaces, forming a protective coating. The company instructs you not to use it liberally, unlike other chain lubes – use it sparingly and wipe it until it’s dry. And by all means, wipe the chain after each ride. That’s a really good practice to get into no matter what you use on your chain. It will increase the lifespan of your drivetrain components.
So I was eagerly anticipating riding on this blissfully clean chain this morning. I was happy – it was perfectly silent. It was like riding on satin. My pedaling felt effortless and shifting was so smooth I could barely feel it.
I can highly recommend these two products. I still think White Lightning Degreaser is good, but Finish Line Citrus is better. Time will tell regarding the Dumonde Tech chain lube but I’m pretty impressed so far.
- my chain was yelling at me (mendocino04.wordpress.com)