Saturday, February 03, 2007

White Lightning

I was in Kozy’s looking to buy some chain lubricant and I decided to try a 4 ounce bottle of White Lightning (about $5). White Lightning is a wax based lubricant that claims to keep the chain and drive train much cleaner than oil based lubricants. I’d read about this product online and figured I’d give it a try. The only downside is the entire chain and gearing has to be degreased before White Lightning can be applied. But since I was planning to remove the chain in order to put on a SRAM power link and my cassette and crank were already pretty clean, degreasing everything wouldn’t be a major problem.

My bike needed a good cleaning from the last few weeks of accumulated grime and salt. Since the near zero temperatures froze the valve to my outdoor faucet, I had to dowse my bike with buckets of water in my garage. Once that was done, I brought the bike into my basement to give it a more thorough cleaning.

I spend about an hour really cleaning the chain, cassette, derailleurs, and chain rings. Goo Gone and a toothbrush got ride of the stubborn grease and grime. But then I had to clean everything again with a detergent to make sure there was no Goo Gone residue that would dissolve the White Lightning.

I was really pleased once I dribbled the White Lightning on the chain and the cassette. The drive train ran and shifted smoothly and I can handle the chain, gears and derailleurs without getting my hands grimey. The true test will be how it works and looks in a month or two.


Fritz said...

An old skool way to lube the chain was to dip the whole chain into a pot of molten paraffin. Nobody does that anymore, but I think White Lightning was created as an easier way to wax the chain.

White Lightning is supposed to be clean, but it actually seems to collect gunk a bit more efficiently than regular oil lube does. Wax lubes (including White Lightning) should never be used in the cold, BTW.

Steve said...

"Wax lubes (including White Lightning) should never be used in the cold, BTW."

JEEZ! I even asked the guy if it was good in this weather and he said I'd be fine. Oh well. Live and learn.