Tag Archive: drivetrain

Chain maintenance – Lube it… in practice

This morning I put into practice some basic chain maintenance. I wiped down my chain. Too many rides through wet and grimy roads and then a few miles on crushed limestone path this past weekend had left too much grit accumulating on my chain.

Per Mike Kaelon’s advice in “Lube it or Lose it,” I followed the advice to “first wipe the chain down, and get it as clean as possible just using a rag.” I know I need to do better in my daily – post-ride – maintenance of my bikes. Unfortunately I usually allow too much time to pass between such maintenance and my chains often end up gunky and worn out more quickly than they should be.

I’m currently using SpinPower Superior Chain Lube and have yet to test the White Lightning “The Trigger” Clean Streak Chain Cleaner. We’ll see how ambitious I feel in pursuing my in-home mechanical skills or if my bikes just end up in the shop.

All the grit that came off my chain just from wiping it down this morning:
chain grit

A bit cleaner:

I still think my whole drivetrain could benefit from a thorough cleaning:
rear derailleur
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Grit still in the cassette:

Last week I took my commuter to the shop to get looked at since I couldn’t shift. The rear derailleur was so gunked up — just from my lack of regular wipe downs:

It’s time to get tuned up for summer riding! (hopefully this season will be less messy all around)

Purple Extreme Lubricant — First Impression

RL picked up a few sample bottles of Purple Extreme bicycle lubricant at Interbike this year, and he sent me a couple to try…I’ve always wanted to try this lube, but was still nursing a bottle of White Lightning along.

Purple Extreme

This is intriguing stuff — the Purple Extreme website claims that the “secret ingredient” is a lubricant made for the harsh conditions of mining operations and offshore oil rigs, where there is a lot of potential for corrosion and dirt contamination.

I took one of the 1 oz. sample bottles and slapped it onto my singlespeed’s chain. A word about the singlespeed drivetrain I’m running: I mixed a 1/8″ BMX chain with a 3/32″ freewheel, a 3/32″ chainring and a 1/8″ fixed cog…mixing the two sizes often creates a lot of noise, and my bike’s drivetrain was noisy as hell! As soon as the chain was well-soaked in Purple Extreme and it was allowed to set for a few minutes, the drivetrain was absolutely silent! Hmmm…this stuff might just work!

The lube itself is a very thin purple liquid. It feels slippery, but is so thin that I was skeptical about its power to do the job — I’m used to thick, goopy liquids like the White Lightning I’ve been using for years (which actually starts off pretty thin, but thickens up as it cures). Well, after about 100 miles, with a couple of rainstorms thrown in for good measure, my drivetrain is still smooth and silent! Skeptic no more, I say!

RL tried some on his mountain bike, and reported that he had to reapply it every 20 miles or so. Apparently, his experience indicates that it doesn’t do quite so well in dirty, dusty conditions. I haven’t been able to try this lube in the dirt, but I can say that at least it doesn’t attract dirt like other lubes I’ve used in the past.

We’ll keep you posted on how this stuff performs over the long haul. So far, though, I’m pretty impressed!