Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Best Chain Lube of the Modern Era

Yes sports fans, the results are in!
After endless days and countless of hours of testing, it is time.
It is time to reveal the Best Chain Lube of the Modern Era(BCLMA)!
I've been a using Prolink since I started riding. I liked how easy it was to apply and the fact that you didn't really need to clean the chain to re-lube.
Well, my last cassette, using Prolink, only lasted like 2700 miles.
My ride is mostly on pavement, but I do ride near the beach so sand and grit tends to muck things up.
Well, it seemed like my cassette shouldn't have worn out so fast and it's not like I can afford to change those things out every 2500 miles, so I changed my lube to T9 Boeshield. It seems that a worn chain leads to a worn cassette.
Boeshield works great. It's made by Boeing and supposedly they use the stuff to protect aircraft parts or something. I also use the stuff on top of my table saw and it works great there too. It's a dry lube so it didn't attract too much dirt and dust.
The problem was that it just didn't last. I got maybe sixty miles(or less!) out of it before I had to reapply.
So, I looked for something else. What I wanted was something that wouldn't attract dirt and last around a hundred miles.
The contestants:
Dumonde Tech
Rock N Roll Extreme
Chain-l No.5
I chose them because like the Prolink and Boeshield, they all had great reviews on and I got a free sample of Chain-l from some vendor off evil eBay.

Dumonde Tech: Hated it! Okay, not really but it didn't last one week. Similar to the Rock N Roll and Boeshield in that you apply, let dry, then wipe off excess. Chain stayed clean, that was good. Started getting balky shifts right from the beginning. Not good. Gave the rest to my brother.

Rock N Roll Extreme: I believe this is a wax based lube. The good thing about this lube is that you don't have to clean the chain; you just keep adding the stuff on. Supposedly it's a cleaner also so keep applying and wiping off. Chain stays clean(so far) and shifts are normal. I have this on the Barn Door for a long term test. Reminds me of Prolink(just keep adding and wiping), so I'm not sure how great this stuff will be.

Chain-l No.5: Okay, this stuff looks and smells suspiciously like 90w gear oil. Except it's really sticky. You apply it link by link(not that difficult) and let it sit, then wipe off. And wipe off. And wipe off. Then you wipe it off again. After that, it runs like a champ. First time you use it, your chain and cassette will get all grimy, but that goes away after you use it again.

The Flat Tire Best Chain Lube of the Modern Era goes to: Chain-l No.5!

Rock N Roll is a close second but the Chain-l wins flavor of the month.
I liked it so much that I already bought a full sized bottle($12 shipped). My sample, which looked to be around an ounce or so, lasted for five applications, so if you get the full size, that should be good for around half a year(if you apply once a week). I don't know how long the application lasts for as I said, I clean and apply once a week, but it looks good to go even after four days of riding. That's a good thing for to tell you the truth, I get lazy and sometimes let the chain go for two weeks. Runs quiet and I don't know if it's the lube, but shifting has been spot on. That's more than I can say about any of the other lubes I tried. It can be somewhat messy, but if you wipe off the chain right after you let it soak in, meaning run it in while you wipe it, you should be okay. Make sure to wipe until the spider webs are gone; you'll know what I mean. Don't forget to wipe off the excess from the chainring and jockeys too. The directions say to apply only when needed so this stuff may last a while.
If you can't find Chain-l at your favorite shop, you can order direct here.
Flat Tire Approved and Tested!
Remember, as usual, your results may vary.


John Romeo Alpha said...

Which implies perhaps there was a Great Chain Lube of the Roman era? Olive oil of course. And of the Stone Age? Mastodon grease, certainly. Arizona has such harsh, dry, strange weather that what works here probably won't work in other places and vice versa.

limom said...

After reading all the reviews of the lubes above, everybody and their grandmother has their favorite.
Best thing is to just try them and see what works best for you.
It was interesting to see that not all chain lubes are created equal.