Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oil Lubricants

Sliding around in the slop requires a bit of an attitude adjustment. You need to accept that your chain is going to need replacement at the end of winter. You need to recognize that you will be beating on a bike in the winter if your municipality uses salt.

Chain lubricants come in many different compositions and thicknesses. In the summer, I use White Lightning Clean Ride, a light weight lubricant. In the winter I switch to Cross Country Finish Line Wet Lubricant. It has the weight of lithium grease. This lubricant doesn't repel dirt, but instead sticks mightily to the chain and keeps the salt away from it. Every so often, I spray the chain with WD-40, which breaks down the Wet lubricant and then I wipe it all off and reapply the Wet.

Lastly, if you can leave a slushy bike outside, this keeps some of the slop from melting and further corroding the metal. Unless you rinse your bike after each ride, there will be salt left on it anyways. Again, fenders help keep the slop off the bike. Planet Bike seems to make most of the ones seen in bike shops. The ones that screw into drop-outs work best for me.

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