Thursday, September 03, 2009



Chain-L Belated Follow up Review

I first started using Chain-L lubricant on my chain about three months ago. The first test was a resounding success with impressive results. Not impressive results as in I did well in the race, but impressive in the sense that the bike took some serious wet-weather abuse and this stuff worked beyond expectations. I actually received a call from the owner/creator of Chain L after that review. He gave me a serious earful about chain lube. He thinks about chain lubrication as much as I think about gear ratios and beer. Per his more detailed instructions, this time around I took a new Sram 991 chain (the only chain I use) out of the box, ran it through the aqeous parts washer, laid it on a bench, TOOK A BLOWTORCH TO IT, applied Chain-L, let it soak in for ten minutes or so, lightly wiped it, and installed it on the bike. Then rode it for weeks without thinking about it.

The blowtorch insures that all moisture is removed from the chain prior to lubrication (a less dramatic hair dryer or oven can be used as well). Due to capillary action there is no way to eliminate all the water molecules clinging to the innards of the chain without heat. A hot chain also causes the lubricant to soak in more easily.

I've been using it ever since and like all things that are working really, really well I hardly think about it. It took another ridiculous test of the product to get me to think about it at all, The Norcross race was that test. We were racing in near hurricane conditions, an absolute monsoon. While I didn't have the car on the roof in the driving rain on the way there, the bike and its components definitely got a lot wetter on course this time around. We were all so covered in mud that all you could see were eyes and teeth, but the rain was coming down so hard, when you rode out into and open area it just about washed you clean. We were out there for two and a half hours in that craziness and my chain stayed squeak free and smooth the whole time.

After the race I sat with my bike in a pond, splashing it clean. When I got home I didn't lubricate the chain, as a test. It has not begun to rust and I could go ride it with no trouble right now. The performance of this lube is off the charts compared to anything else I've tried, I highly recommend it.

Sorry I've got to go, I'm divorcing Miriam and marrying a bottle of Chain-L.

-t

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Man, I liked you better before you sold out.

Big Bikes said...

That's OK, I liked you better before you became a massive douche.

the original big ring said...

learned something new . . . that means something was pushed out of my head.

pfffftt . . . hairdryer - I'm getting a blow torch.

cheers

mikejoos said...

wow a blowtorch!.. that’s hardcore chain lubrication.

I noticed my shifting was surprisingly smooth during the norcross race too… I think it might have been the rain washing things clean… not that the chain-L and blowtorch doesn’t help too.

RMM said...

I have access to Chain L and could use it free of charge in the same manner that you outline. But I have chosen not to.

While I am sure that the lube works well, what happens when you have to relube? How hard is this stuff to get off of the chain?

My understanding is that this lube makes for a particularly grimy chain.

Can you comment on these two things?

Also, Anon since when is stating your genuine enjoyment of a product on the internet selling out?

Big Bikes said...

I suppose you could also douse it with gasoline, throw a match at it, and run like hell.

RMM, to address your concerns-
admittedly, I am a single speeder so the griminess of my drivetrain isn't a huge issue but...it really does stay rather clean.

As far as cleaning, I haven't had to clean my chain, I basically ride it until it hints at being dry or squeaky, then re-lube. I wear through chains at a rate which means just a few lubrications between replacement.I'm betting you could easily wear through a chain on the road before you needed to re-lube at all.

Chain-L's philosophy is function over cleanliness.

At Saturday's race I was thinking about the Euro-Mechanics who smear Shimano grease all over the rider's chains during a rainy race like the last stage of this year's Tour of Ireland. I was contemplating doing something like that but all I had on hand was Phil Wood Grease. Man that would have been a nightmare of a mess if I had gone that route! Those guys must simply throw those chains away at the end of the day. Chain-L probably works about as well (definitely allowing for better shifting) and you don't have to chuck your chain after use.

-t

solobreak said...

Do you put a little dab behind each ear before you go out on a date? Oh wait, you're married now. Never mind.

Miriam K said...

Divorced? Thomas Parsons, you are in big trouble! See, I actually do read your blog. Now will you marry me again?

Anonymous said...

You can also put it the oven for 10 minutes at @110 degrees to get all the moisture out.