Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Guitar Ted "Lube-Off"

One of the products categories that was well represented at FrostBike was lubrication products. I decided that since I already had the Dumonde Tech lube that it might be fun to run a comparison with a couple of other lubes and see what I think is the best one.

Here are the two new competitors for my lubing alegiance. I picked both of these products up as "swag" at FrostBike, so no investment on my part other than my time and energy into this fun test.

On the left we have Pedro's new entry called "Chainj", a biodegradeble chain lube , "best used in moderate to wet conditions". Perfect timing for me as I am about to use this product during snow melt season! As with all lubrication products, it's best to follow label instructions. Pedro's Chainj says to use on a thoroughly clean chain and to apply liberally, wiping off the excess. Mmmm.........okay, I can manage that! This will go on my Haro Mary XC bike.

In the middle we have Pro Link Chain Lube with "MFR" technology. The lable says: "Pro Link is a thin-bodied lubricant which utilizes Metal Friction Reducer technology -a molecule that bonds to metal surfaces- for smoother shifting and a quiet drive train. Pro Link is a little different in that the lable doesn't say that you need to clean off your old lube. (However, if you are starting off with a new chain, they recommend you remove the protectant that the chain was shipped with. Usually a tacky, greasy substance. Good to do with any lube!) Pro Link says you just apply liberally while back pedalling the chain, wipe off the excess, and ride. Apply smaller doses as you see necessary, or if you see traces of old lube leaching out. (I suppose you determine this by the dirty resisdue, as Pro Link claims to be self cleaning). This will go on the Dos Niner.

On the right we have the previously introduced Dumonde Tech lubricant. It "penetrates, plates, and protects for exceptional performance." So says the lable. Dumonde recommends you thoroughly clean the chain and apply lubricant sparingly, wiping off any excess. ( I already performed this task) You are not to re-apply lube until your chain starts getting noisey. Dumonde Tech claims their lube "plates" the chain surfaces in a plastic-like substance which provides your lubricity. This lube is already on the Raleigh XXIX+G.

Okay, so the plan is to run all of these at the same time, switching off days while commuting, gravel grinding, and getting in some early season single tracking. All of which should put these lubes to the test as this time period from now until late spring is usually the harshest part of the year on drivetrain parts for us in the Mid-West. Lot's of melting snow, mud puddles, sand, dirt, limestone, and other gunk will get thrown at these chains in the coming weeks.

I'll report back later with some initial findings. Right now, I have a few rides on the Dumonde Tech and it's doing just fine so far. Stay tuned!

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