- “Dry” Lube. If it’s “dry” it’s NOT lube!!!
- “Self Cleaning” lube. See #1 above. It’s not lube!”
- “Easy” Application. Again, no such thing.
- High mileage claims. Not a good idea.
- “No Mess” Lube. Uh…Right!
- Stays on even when it’s wet. NOT!
- Will Make Your Bike Shift Better. Well…maybe!
- Reduces Friction. Did you clean the chain?
- Motor Oil is Good Enough. What?
- I only need one kind of lube! No! No! No!
This is a list I came up with for a previous maintenance classes I was doing at the bike shop. I thought I would flesh it out a little bit here…
1. These lubes are always based on wax, or a wax equivalent. I ask you, would you put wax in the crankcase of your car, in your wheel bearings, or your bottom bracket bearings? No? Neither would I. Also, consider that unless you clean off old lube and residue COMPLETELY before each application, you are actually doing more harm than good. Waxy build up likes to attract grit, which in turn, grinds your drive train parts to a worn out status faster than you can blink an eye. Look, wax is not lube, okay?
2. Pretty self explanatory after reading the above point.
3. Once again, no lube is going to do much good unless you fully prepare your chain, cassette, and chain rings for it. That means cleaning. That means work. Whoops! There went the “easy application”!
4. Well, this almost always becomes an invitation to overlook maintenance. NOT a good idea, if you want the longest lifespan from your components. Regularly scheduled maintenance is always best. The more you ride, the more often you need to do it. Once a week is a good idea for most regularly ridden bikes.
5. There really is no such thing. “Real” lube always contains some sort of oil, and oil gets messy, so…….
6. I’ve never met a lube that doesn’t get diluted, or washed off in rain or snow. Well, at least one that’s good on a bicycle chain!
7. Lube will help only if your drive train parts are within spec, your cables operate properly, and the derailleur is in alignment. If not, then lube won’t make a difference.
8. Obvious one there. Add in jockey wheels to that, as well.
9. Motor oil is not designed to work outside the confines of an internal combustion engine. Got one of those on your bike? Didn’t think so.
10. Ahh! Here is a commonly held belief. I almost always use a Teflon based lube for cables, and a thicker oil type lube for chains. Teflon for derailleur pivot points and jockey wheels, too. Of course, heavier grease goes into the wheel bearings, headset, and bottom bracket.