Chain lube choice is one of cycling’s most hotly contested topics–especially on the internet. Googling “bicycle chain lube debate” will return more than 350,000 results, and that’s probably more than anyone ever wanted to know about such a seemingly simple topic. But everyone seems to have an opinion (and you know what they say about opinions), including yours truly. I’ve experimented with many different chain lubes over the last several years, and my favorite–by a longshot–is Dumonde Tech’s Bicycle Chain Lube (BCL).
My first exposure to Dumonde Tech’s lube was with their original formula. At the time, I was riding almost exclusively off-road, and I could barely get through a 15-mile ride without experiencing the chirping and chainsuck that were the tell-tale signs of an un(der)-lubed chain. Clean-, or dry-style lubes kept the chain looking showroom clean, but they just didn’t last. The wet-style lubes fared better, but had a tendency to fling off onto the rear wheel, hub, and brake rotor (all of which attracted lots of dirt). Like Goldilocks, I wanted something that was “just right.” I scoured the forums and message boards for recommendations, and found that Dumonde’s lube received near-universal praise. I decided to give it a try, and purchased a bottle. That bottle lead to a second (and third) bottle, which then lead to their Lite formula. Along the way, I experimented with a few next-big-thing lubes, but none of them held a candle to Dumonde’s family of products. On paved and un-paved roads, in rain, snow, and sub-freezing temperatures, the company’s chain lube has kept my bikes’ drivetrains running smooth and quiet.
No matter which type or brand of chain lube you happen to choose, do yourself a favor and resist the urge to apply the lube before a ride. If you lube your chain at the trailhead or in the parking lot, your freshly-lubed chain is going to attract a lot of excess dirt and grime. Instead, wipe down and lube your chain after your ride. That way the lube has time to penetrate the links, and any solvent or carrier can evaporate before your next ride.