By Ed Sanchez
Products tested – Dumonde Tech Lite and Original BCL
Duration tested – 1 year
As a mechanic at a busy bike shop you get exposed to a huge variety of products. Some are major innovations; exciting products that improved upon the ones that came before. Some stuff we get in stock seems redundant. Being the retro-grouch that I am, I am of the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” mind set. Too many of these “innovations” are just a re-hash of some gizmo or concept that someone else tried and failed at. All too often, I will take a sample of said product, and actually use it the way they say it’s meant to be used, and falls short of the expectations. Which leads us to question, what’s up with all the hype? That said, when I do come across a truly well made product, I let people know how great it really is. Dumonde Tech Lube is one of those products.
Chain lube is one of those things most never think about until something goes wrong . “What could go wrong” you ask? FORGETTING TO PUT IT ON! Or worse yet, applying an amount so excessive you get rookie tattoos. This is a non-issue with DumondeBCL. As with all my testing, I like to begin from ground zero, starting with a completely degreased and dry drive train. I applied 1 drop per link of the BCL lite and back pedaled to work it into the chain. I rode the bike for 1 week before having to re-apply. At this time, I followed the same application procedure.
I began this test in March of 2003, and in over a year of training and racing, +/-500 dirt miles I have only gone thru 2 ounces, and the chain runs smooth and quiet. It is just now showing signs of beginning to wear. What was also interesting is that it almost has a dry lube feel to the touch. It’s tacky, but leaves little tattoo effect. I have also found this product to be a great cable lube as well, especially on today’s full suspension bikes with complex over/under cable routing.
What is it about this lube that makes it so durable? It is polymer-based, as opposed to a oil or paraffin(wax) base lube. But what exactly does that mean? Unlike a wax based lube, a polymer will bond at the molecular level, becoming part of the metal. Oil and wax float on top, and thus washing or wearing off. Some products are designed to do this so efficiently that they will not last 10 miles on a dusty ride! I was a White Lightning fan for years, but as I liked to call it, bike heroin, because once you began using it, you were constantly using tons of it! With the BCL, the chain requires reapplication much less frequently. At the beginning of the race season I tested a purple product which contained calcium carbonate, which is used on oil drilling bits. It was expensive, and a very thin based product. In my experience with it, it was crap. I knew this in one ride, but the second convinced me. Taking the same bike, with BCL applied rode like a dream.
Dumonde offers three different lubes. A heavy one, called Liquid Grease, a medium, Original BCL, and a light/thin one, BCL Lite. I use the grease for bolt assembly work, the Original as a MTB or wet weather lube, and the Lite for road or summer trail riding. It sells for 7.99/2oz . Check it out, even a retro-grouch can learn new tricks. Sometimes.
*Editor’s note: This stuff is worth the loot. I’ve had similar experiences with chain lubes, and to date this is the best lube we stock at the bike shop. Having tested them all, it’s the one we use, and whole heartedly recommend. The shop favorite. And Edward is totally a retro-grouch, but a new school retro-grouch, in that he rides bikes that have front and rear suspension with disc brakes and indexed shifters, but he still thinks a bike with five inches of travel is a freeride bike.
If you’re still in doubt about what lube to buy when you are out, I challenge you to do a google search on “Dumonde tech lube.” It quite simply is the shit.