Monday, December 14, 2015

Guitar Ted Lube Off: Wet Season Part 2

They said it wasn't, but is it?
Okay folks, here is the next update on "wet weather" lube testing that I have been doing. Today, I want to give you a couple of ideas I've been testing and show you how things have been working so far with them. One of these ideas runs counter to conventional wisdom and the other is an old school Euro mechanic's trick. My objective is to see if the unconventional technique actually works and whether or not those old school Euro mechanics actually are on to something we should be doing. First, the non-conventional technique.....

You've heard it a million times: WD-40 is NOT lube! You laugh at people that use it. There are You Tube videos and meme's that make fun of people using WD-40 as bicycle chain lube. However, I was shown a video of a U.K. bloke from a rather popular cycling channel that showed him using WD-40 as lube for Winter/wet conditions. Hmm...... Maybe we're just accepting "conventional wisdom" as fact. Maybe WD-40 is actually worth checking into as a lube for wet conditions.

Consider for a moment that the "WD" in WD-40 stands for water displacement. Sounds like what you'd want to displace out of your chain, but does it keep water and moisture at bay in the first place, and does it work as a chain lube? Well, my Black Mountain Cycles rig is running WD-40 as chain lube now after I nixed the Rock & Roll Gold as a wet weather choice. I've gotten several muddy, wet runs on it so far, and you can see the chain in the image to the upper left here and see what you think. One thing is for sure, the chain is pretty clean and still shows signs of having residual WD-40 left on the chain. By the way, do not mistake this for the bicycle chain lube which is branded "WD-40". This isn't that stuff. This is the original WD-40 formula.

Stay tuned on how this goes......

Euro sauce here.....
The other chain here is using an old school Euro mechanic's trick. I was running Tri-Flow on this chain until I got caught out in a heavy rain about a week and a half ago. That wiped out all the lube, so I cleaned it up and tried this trick. What is it?

Well, during the Spring Classics in Europe, Pro mechanics will lube chains and then seal in the lube with a light coating of grease. They believe the grease seals the lube in and the grease protects the chain from having the lube washed out by rain or standing water puddles the riders may go through. I figured that the technique may have merit, so I should give it a go.

I used ProGold lube and after I thoroughly soaked the chain in that, I ran a light bead of Tr-Flow red grease on the chain, then rubbed that in with a rag pedaling the chain backward and holding the rag over the chain. Since then I haven't touched the chain, and I've ridden it back and forth to work a few times. I can't say I have hit much water with the bike since then, but obviously the chain isn't coated in dirt, as I feared it might be. You can check out this chain to the left in the image here.

So far this chain still has a greasy feel to it and shows no dirt clumps or coating of grime anywhere. Actually, it looks cleaner than the WD-40 chain!

So, those two techniques will be continued since both show some actual merit. Other lubes, ( ie: conventional ones), will also be employed here, so stay tuned.

1 comment:

Robert Jones said...

Year-round I'm using Dupont Teflon Silicone spray as the lube and Dumonde Liquid Grease as the cover. Protects well, sheds gravel grit, mud and salt spray. Doesn't wash off with a good hosing. Spins freely at -10F.