Monday, August 4, 2014

Location: Missoula MT Chain Non-Lube Mystery Solved Miles = 40, Ave MPH = 9.7 Cum. Miles = 1052

Saturday August 2

Quote of the Day:  "Just listen to the chain".

The mileage listed is an accumulation of mile running around Missoula doing errands etc.

So I apologise that I have taken so long to get to explaining why I am not using traditional petroleum lube on my drivetrain. I needed to get a photo to better explain it and now I have it.

One of the problems with petroleum based chain lubes is that they are magnets for road dirt and then once the dirt accumulates they form a glue type adhesion that makes cleaning quite difficult and messy. Plus if you use a hose to flush the chain and cassette it is environmentally unfriendly and leaves a mess in your driveway/yard.

This is what I use as a substitute. It is a citrus based cleaner that cleans when applied and leaves a citrus oil behind. (Another alternative is a product called Orange Blast.) So as not to carry the full 32 ounces the silver bottle is a light weight aluminum applicator that I fill and then donate the balance to the host that I am staying with.

I just finished my first silver bottle in over 1000 miles.

Application is very simple ....

I merely apply it liberally to the chain just prior to riding while rotating the crank in reverse. I do not wipe the chain off. If I do a high mileage day I give it another shot at about 50 miles.  I just listen to the chain to know when to apply more.

I  wash the chain and cassette about once per week or every 400 miles by simply applying the Citrus Cleaner and washing the drivetrain down with a hose. The dirt comes off very easily without any wiping and this produces shiny and very clean components. After drying with a rag I apply more product for the lube affect.

To me the lack of accumulation of road grime and the ease of cleaning by simply washing with a hose, as well as the environmental advantages are what make this this method preferable. I think it extends the chain life as well.

Try it - you'll like it.

I stopped at the Bicycle Hanger today in Missoula. I had run into Raphael, one of the mechanics at the shop, on the street as I first came into town. Raphael went over the bike for me and made some adjustments to the brakes and shifter at a very very reasonable price. It is now shifting as smooth as silk - I highly recommend the Bicycle Hanger!

BTW Raphael said the chain was in great condition especially with respect to having carried such a heavy load through the mountains. I'm hoping to make Charleston without a chain replacement.

Now back to my IT issues and Best Buy. The Apple employee at Best Buy figured out the issue with the iPhone so then the Samsung rep could tutor me on the best way to upload the photos to the blog by using a combo of iCloud and an app called Smart Switch on the tablet. It works great.

I am so impressed with the helpfulness of the Samsung reps both here (Adam and Trevor) and back at the Summerville SC store (Darcey Patterson). Adams says Samsung has the best training program and management philosophy and he loves working for this company. I think in addition to this that their employee hiring selection process must be very good as well.  

Thank you Adam your skills and desire to assist were outstanding:

On to Hamilton MT tomorrow and then Yellowstone in a few days more.

The Usual Disclaimer: 
And finally please remember the cause -  I will go into this in more detail and perhaps some level of haranguing later on, but for now here is the link .... and an additional link for donation   SoldiersBestFriend - Donate Please :):)  As you donate please enter my name in the appropriate spot so the folks at SBF can tally the results to encourage me and let me know WE are getting something done TOGETHER. Oh and I would be a lot more comfortable if you use the "honorarium" option vs the "memoriam" option - you'll understand when you click on the link:):).     I will be inserting this call-to-action in all of my blogs so I hope you don't mind.


  1. Thank you for explaining the chain lube! I will have to try some citrus cleaner now... Synthetic oil (specifically formulated for bikes) has been my go-to. However, I have just started using an all natural version...I still have to see how it performs after some real mileage.

  2. What a timely read - I was just getting ready to clean my bike after a big storm came through and added another layer of dust to my existing mess. Heading to the hardware store now....