Lube Responsibly.

I spend a good portion of my days in the workshop with a thin bladed screwdriver in hand chipping away at derailleur jockey wheels  and chain plates removing great clods of greasy muck.
      It seems that riders fall into two main categories when it comes to lubing the drive-train. The "I lube every March 8th in a leap year" crowd or the " I use a whole bottle of lube per ride" bunch. While both scenario's are sad sights to behold, the latter is the toughest to clean.
      So with the hopes of prolonging some chain and cassettes lets go over correct lube procedures. Firstly let's start with a good clean, if you are a serial luber this may take a while. I use a product called "Simple Green" to good effect, available at all the usual hardware stores, if all you have is dish soap then that will work as well. Remember whatever you use as a degreaser must also be washed off as well. Just flush everything with clean water and let dry.
       Now, lube choice. So many options to choose from but here is the rule. Dry conditions use a dry or wax lube and conditions are definitely dry at present, wet conditions use a wet lube. Really though the dry lubes are so good now that I recommend using them all the time. The only time you need consider a wet lube is if you plan riding your bike up the Amazon.
       Besides the wax lubes being good at lubricating they also, being dry, attract less dust and debris. Another plus point is the ability to re-apply a second, third and probably a fourth application of lube over the top of the existing coats before having to clean the chain to start fresh. Just wipe the chain down with a clean rag and apply the lube. When using a wet lube you must clean thoroughly before a fresh application. In these dusty conditions a freshly wet lubed chain will look like a ships anchor chain after a 20 minute ride on the trail and all that dusty mess will act like sandpaper on your expensive drive-train.
        Whatever your choice of lube and, regardless of make and type, show a little restraint when it comes to applying it. Go for the delicately dripping a drop on each roller approach rather than the squirting back and forth method. There really is no need to flood the whole thing to the point of drowning it. Also, no need to squirt the cassette either, all that does is pack down between the cogs and requires digging out with the trusty flat bladed screwdriver.
        So there we have it, follow these guidelines and you will be lubed to perfection.
Posted on July 26, 2012 .