Writing about products for the drivetrain is perhaps a bit dry. In my twenty+ years of bike riding as an adult, I have probably tried every product to clean and lubricate the chain. I have used the Pedros and Park chain cleaning tools. Tried dry lubes, wet lubes, wax, and don’t even get me started on paraffin. Been there done that…
These three products have been through over a year of year-around commuting and excelled at their respective tasks. The products are:
In the past, I have been an obsessive chain cleaner and luber. It was very likely a weekly Sunday task. Clean the chain and then lube it. If it rained, I would do it more often. Now, the process is
- Order new Connex chain
- Lay the chain out, stretched out and making sure I get every link, lube it with Chain-L.
- Install it which is unbelievably easy. I am serious. I used to use SRAM chains where you use a pair of pliers to pop the ‘break’ link. What a major pain in the ass. I can install the Connex with my hands with very little effort. I type for a living so it is not like I have one of those death grips. Just saying, this is amazingly easy.
- Ride for 3–4 months without lubing. Now, I only ride on the road but I have a friend who rides off-road, and who also can go 3-4 months without lubing. He loves this stuff also.
- Remove the chain and put it into a water bottle with El Duke degreaser. Shake the shit out of it for five minutes, and let it sit overnight. Having the lid on helps quite a bit here.
- Remove a spotless chain in the morning.
- Relube the chain as in step 2.
- Reattach the chain. Replace the chain every other year depending on your mileage. You can probably go 2,000 before getting a new chain.
- Connex chain versus the competition test — this is not for the faint hearted.
- Road Bike Rider review of Chain-l (original behind a firewall)
- Time saved!
- Absolutely quiet drivetrain.
- Ease in removing the chain to clean. Since it is easy, you do it.
- Supporting small guys (in two of the three cases at least) with good ideas.
- Did I mention time?
- For people who like puns.\, Chain-L No. 5 is pretty original. You have to give them style points for that one.
- Chain-L is a bit messy
- Can’t get any of this shit at your local bike store unless they are cool…
(editor’s note: District Hardware in DC carries Chain-L and the staff will be very impressed if you come in and ask for it. Don’t know where else you can find it locally.)