Bicycle lube is a funny thing. For a lot of people, it’s just an unglamorous maintenance necessity. But for some, it transcends the utilitarian function of keeping moving parts happy and becomes somewhat of a sophistication yardstick, like the bike maintenance equivalent of wine. And just as there are connoisseurs of fine wine, there are bike lube snobs as well. And just as with wine, quality is arguably preferable to quantity. With a few high quality, long lasting lubes, you can keep your bike humming.
There really are two categories of “cleaning and lubing” your chain. There’s the degreaser-and-rag method done by soaking a rag with degreaser, grasping your chain with it and back pedaling while letting the chain move through your closed fist, depositing all the grime onto the rag. And then there’s the remove-chain-and-have-your-shop-run-it-through-a-parts-washer method (the home version: buy a pie pan, soak the chain in degreaser and then go to town with a toothbrush). Depending on your method of choice, here are some lube recommendations:
Parts washer/toothbrush method: Dumonde Tech Bicycle Chain Lube (Original for mountain bikes, Lite for road bikes). Starting with an absolutely clean chain (if the chain is fresh out of the package, clean it thoroughly to remove the factory coating) follow the same application instructions mentioned above, wiping off the excess.