Tuesday, May 17, 2011

From the Parts Bin: Lube and Shine...

For me, the choice of which chain lube and cleaner has never been a matter of preference - whatever my local bike shop carries is what I use. That said, I do keep two difference kinds on the workbench, the clean kind, and the dirty kind. Yes, that is how I categorize them, simplicity at its finest. I have used White Lightning (clean category) ever since they were a team supplier in the mid-90s. Its big advantage, of course, is that your drivetrain stays a lot cleaner. Of the dirty kind, Finish Line and Tri-flow are my age old standards, and most recently, I have discovered ProLink. These are quiet and long lasting, but do attract dirt and grit, and require more frequent cleaning. 

It's funny, I don't really have a strategy for choosing to use one over the other. I tend to use the dirty stuff most of the time, until things get gunked up and need to be cleaned. Then I will switch to White Lightning until I get tired of applying it before each ride, at which time I revert back again. 

As for cleaning, I have really only ever used the two products shown. The White Lightning Clean Streak just sprays on and immediately takes the gunk off, an old toothbrush may help for stubborn areas. Unfortunately, since it is a spray-on it tends to get used up pretty quickly. Pedro's Orange Peel, with a rag and a toothbrush does the job and I will use it most of the time, saving the White Lightning for when I am in a hurry.

The Phil Wood Waterproof Grease and the Cycle Pro White Lithium Grease don't get as much use as they used to, but where-ever there are threads, and bearings that are accessible, these are what I use. I do have a strategy here - Phil Wood for threads, and the white lithium for bearings. If that tube of Phil Wood looks old, you are correct; it probably dates to 1989 or so. It lasts. Which brings me to those last two little packets of Pedro's Synlube. They carry the Coors Light Racing label on them so you know they are pretty old too; they were probably being given away at one race or another,  and quite frankly, I doubt I will ever use them. They can be added to the archives.

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