Friday, November 14, 2008

Grievances: Chain Lube Delivery Systems

Reading Freeewheel's latest post about some wanker spewing the same old crap has got my chamois all in a bunch. To blow off some steam I am going to focus some of my freshly percolated aggression towards a subject that has vexed me for as long as I have been riding.

Chain Lube Containers:
Over the years I have sampled dozens of different brands of chain lube and have found that most of them have something in common, trouble keeping the product inside the container after use. An all too familiar slimy mess when I go for the bottle o' chain lube.

The first few uses of a new bottle are fine, no mess. After a short while the container gets covered in a thin layer of lube. Lube that soaks into the label and becomes a shiny slimy mess. I have adapted to this problem but wrapping a paper towel around the bottle and affixing it with rubber bands to create a safe zone where I can come in contact with the bottle and not come away slimed.

Sometimes I think, maybe I'm just a slob who lacks the basic motor skills required to unscrew a cap, apply lube, and replace the cap without spilling. On many occasions this is true. But there is some oozing and seepage going on when the bottle is at rest. I know this because my current lube of choice, (Pedros, which happens all enviro-happy) leaves a puddle whenever it has been sitting for a long period of time. So why is it so hard to keep the lube in the bottle? If anyone has had experience with a product that doesn't do this, please let me know.

Perhaps the worst offender of chain lube packaging deficiency is Rock "N" Roll. Not only is there an oozing factor but the plastic bottle is so thin that if dropped from less than 3 feet it breaks making the ultimate chain lube mess. I know this because it has happened to me twice, once in my workspace and again on my newly refinished hardwood floor. Yes I am clumsy, but this product is made for cyclists, to be used in basements, garages, workshops, the side of the trail/rode, back of the pickup etc. One (I) would expect a little structural fortitude out of a container aimed at a market known for product punishment. This bums me out because the lube seems to work pretty well.

Whew! Well I feel better.

Have a great weekend.


Unknown said...

Hey I know this is an old post, but I have an iDea. Pick a lube, let's say rock'n roll. BUY a container that doesn't leak. PUT the lube in it. then you can reuse the container each time you buy new lube. Just make sure you always shake it well so the ratio of waxy crap to lube crap stays relatively close to the same. Learned that from a carpenter who bought all his glue in bulk and kept it in ketchup bottles. (hint; glue should flow like ketchup as lube should flow like hot sauce... clean out an old hot sauce bottle. Too drippy? Try a Visine bottle.)

Cycle Jerk said...

So simple. I love it.
Thanks Owen