Keep that chain lubedTuesday January 13, 2009
If you are a regular commuter throughout the winter here in Missoula then you are probably familiar with this sight.
Yes, it is painful to look at. You can almost hear the chain squeaking. Also you can see that the gear cluster is suffering from rusting. An unlubed chain will not only wear out faster but the rest of your drive train (chainrings, gear cluster, pulley wheels) will wear quicker as well. This is in addition to driving the rider crazy listening to the squeaking all the way home.
Keeping your chain clean and lubed throughout the winter here in Missoula is difficult at best. If you can keep some lube on your chain your bike will thank you for it. It may mean dripping lube on your chain every couple of days. A good winter lube will stay on you chain longer even if the conditions are particularly nasty. Around here we use Pedro's Syn Lube or Rock&Roll Blue Extreme.
Both lubes work very well in wet and snowy conditions. They are both very tenacious meaning they should keep you chain lubed through several wet rides at least. They do a great job bring your half dead chain back to life as you can see from the picture below. It is the same chain as in the earlier photo. Getting the chain to this condition from the original condition took less than 5 minutes.
It is certainly does not look like new but this time of year that once rusted chain looks pretty good. Also notice that the chain does not appear to be wet with lube. Even in the winter you should keep the chain relatively dry of excess lube. A little bit extra on the surface of the chain is o.k. but too much lube will attract dirt and other road grime and your chain willbe more difficult to clean next time.