Various Lubrication Techniques

chain_good.jpg For those of us that ride in the rain, the pouring rain, we’ve all got our lube techniques. Some clean and lube after every ride or wait until the chain squeaks. There are wet or dry lubes, paraffin-based, and new miracle lubes that may last about 1/2 a ride. There’s no better test case than a wet, grimy ride.

As I wrote about earlier this year, I use Lubriplate Chain and Cable Fluid. Cleaning up the rain bike for this weekend, I didn’t bother relubing from last year. It’s still gooey and smelly. I just wiped it down.

So what are your lubrication techniques? What works and doesn’t work?


Once a week soak the drivetrain with Simple Green and blow it clean with compressed air (being careful not to blow stuff into bearings). Let dry. Tri-flow on the chain rollers. Done. Usually lasts all week in the winter.

Chaincases work. Forget lube and trouser straps too.

On naked-chain bikes, Boeshield T-9 is my winter lube of choice because it sticks. Prolink is summer lube. In both cases full-coverage fenders with front mudflap extending to within 2 inches of the ground is essential to keeping road grit off the chain to start with.

Ah yes, the Tri-flow method and a good one. I use Dumond-Tech with one drip per roller for my racing bike.

Thanks Todd . . . do you have photos of said chaincases?

Simple Green is bad stuff.  I just go with a Citris based degreaser, then hit it with the air-compressor (careful - that stuff flecks off ALL OVER so don’t wear white), then ProLink Gold.  I’m one more of a 2x a month schedule with a lube-only application and wipe-down in between.

I like the citrus based cleaners as well but they could be considered “bad stuff” too.  d-limonene is a component in many, if not all, of the citrus based cleaners.  It is less toxic than the Simple Green’s butoxy ethanol , but in Washington state a waste with 10% d-limonene or more is considered hazardous.  Looking at a handful of material safety data sheets for citrus based cleaners, I found ranges from 5% to 91%.  I could not find any MSDSs for Pedro’s or Finishline products.

Also d-limonene has a recommended exposure limit of 30ppm, not far from the 25ppm for Simple Green’s component.

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