A road cyclist, riding first-tier equipment, will typically wear a chain out in as little as 50 hours of use (riding 1,000 miles at 20mph), often destroying the cassette or chainrings in the process. On a high-end bike, drivetrain wear is the most expensive maintenance cost per mile.
Chain-L is specifically formulated for bicycle chains and is the result of thousands of miles of road testing by a pool of over 100 test riders. It was designed with the same exacting requirements used by automotive, aircraft and industrial companies.
Chain-L is a blend of extreme pressure (EP) lubricants in a high film-strength mineral oil base, formulated to provide the maximum possible lubrication to the tiny bearings that make up a chain. Chain-L also contains rust inhibitors and other additives to improve its longevity and wet-weather performance.
With mineral oil as its base, Chain-L’s rather high viscosity and stringy, sticky consistency, is better able to stay put inside the chain’s rollers where it belongs. The result, according to Bike Radar, is “an eerily quiet-running and smooth-feeling drivetrain.”
Since, from a wear point of view, all chains are the same, Chain-L can be used on all your bike chains. All chains wear internally as they flex onto and off of the sprockets and this is independent of what happens on the outside. Chain-L was originally targeted at the high-mileage road cyclist or triathlete and our instructions are based on their needs. Mountain bikers will also benefit from Chain-L, though they might adjust application by leaving excess oil on the outside for extremely wet or muddy conditions where it’s going to be messy anyway, or wiping the outside as dry as possible for dusty conditions.
Almost all chain lubes are applied the same way — apply, soak in, wipe off excess — and Chain-L is no exception. Chain-L soaks into chains using the same capillary action as thinner lubes; it just takes longer. We think its superior performance is worth waiting for.
Made in small batches, like a nano brew or fine bourbon, Chain-L is the most tenacious, least-inclined-to-get-dirty bicycle chain lube made. High viscosity, it sinks deeper into a chain’s rollers than other lubes. That’s why the Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team swears by it, and during the spring rains of this year’s Tour of California, pro-mechanics and riders alike were doing whatever they could to get their hands on it. It makes loud drivetrains quiet, and quiet drivetrains “black ninja of death silent,” according to one fan.
Most chain lubes you need to reapply every ride. This one lasts around 1000 miles on a road bike. And in bad conditions, it holds up. Heads up snowbikers—this stuff is for you too. Chain-L works well down to -40°F. Swing by a Chain-L dealer for a free dose, or trust us and just buy a bottle at a shop or online.
Chain-L and other brands of bicycle chain lubricant are available at Higher Gear.
For more on Chain-L and bicycle maintenance, check out:
- Read Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Outside Magazine.
- Learn about Chain-L bicycle chain oil.
- Check out Bike Radar‘s full review of Chain-L
- Not sure what to do with your chain oil? Meet your inner mechanic.