Social media sites these days are littered with everything under the sun, and cycling is no different. Postings and videos on, such topics as, proper air pressure for your tires, what to eat for breakfast, how to be a better climber, losing weight to go faster; you name it and you can find it.
The presenting personalities are almost mind-numbing. Who cares if one wheel is two grams lighter than another and the facts behind it? But they make it seem so exciting and important. And don't even get me started about one dude on YouTube known as the Vegan Cyclist; every other word exiting his mouth is the informal noun "Bro" no matter what he's talking about. Go ahead and watch him, and I guarantee he will drive you crazy too.
Hopefully, I won't run out of interesting stuff to write about and be forced to become "one of those people." But, from time to time, I will dip my cycling shoes into what I believe are meaningful subjects that will benefit you readers. If I stray too far, just throw a stick into my spokes.
Mind the chain
We often get asked at the bike shop what we prefer for chain lube and how to apply it. An easy and simple task, but vital for maintaining a well-running bicycle. Our top choice — and the one I've used for the last couple of years on all my bikes — is Rock "N" Roll Gold.
I like it because it's clean, dry, and attracts very little dirt from road surfaces. Without getting technical into the whys and how comes, here's how you can clean your chain:
* Position the chain on the smallest gear on the cassette and largest chainring (in other words, everything to the outside).
* Put some WD-40 on a rag — preferably microfiber — and run the chain through it to degrease the surface.
* Apply Rock "N" Roll Gold on the chain at the cassette end while cranking the pedal with your hand (don't be afraid to use too much).
* I know this probably doesn't make any sense, but after a couple of minutes use a rag to remove as much lube as possible (to the point that almost none shows up on the rag).
* All you want to do is lube the little rollers within the chain, not so much the chain itself.
* It is recommended — and I do this — that you wipe off the chain after every ride with a rag (it removes any debris and helps keep the chain clean longer).
* And that's it. I usually clean my chain every 200 miles or so, or if it starts getting noisy.
There's a phrase in cycling known as "no chain." Basically, it refers to those moments when a cyclist is just flying down the road, almost effortlessly. While using Rock "N" Roll lube might not make you faster or have you thinking it's a "no chain" kind of day, your chain will be happier, last longer, and make shifting gears as smooth as silk. Be safe!