• Posted Feb 26, 2002

Lube... your bike won't work for long without it, but it could very well be the most taken for granted product on the market. Most of the folks I ride with don't give the viscous fluid a second thought as they apply it to the drivetrain of their precious $5000 bikes. In this neck of the woods, lube choice is much less critical than the hot dusty terrain of SoCal, or wet, slimy soup of the shore. That doesn't make me any less picky about what I run on my babies.

Let's face it, there is no lack of choice in the lube department. Every manufacturer seems to be touting their product's technological merits and benefits. When Harry at White Lightning sent over a box full of their product, I read their brochures with no small amount of scepticism. Their line covers the bike care gamut and includes a dry lube (Original), wet lube (Race Day), bike polish (Metal Brite) and cleaner (Clean Streak). Seeing as I have quite a bit of experience with their "Original" lube and temps in December and January rarely get above 0C (32F) I decided to start with the Race Day formula. To give Race Day a fair shake, it only made sense to clean the old lube off my chain. I followed the directions on the Clean Streak can which promised to not only clean but also promote adhesion of any new lube. It did a great job of cleaning the old waxy layers of lube and evaporated quickly with little smell or mess. Race Day application, like most chain lubes, was straight forward and I diligently applied the recommended amount link by link. I wiped off any excess and it was off for the commute to work in the snow, slush and salt. To be totally honest, I didn't notice a whole lot. The chain was quiet, shifted consistently and hadn't rusted by the time I got to the office. To really test the stuff, I decided to run that first application of lube until my chain started to rust, squeek, or miss shifts. It was a good week and a half of commuting in December's inclement conditions before I had to reapply the lube. Good stuff, that Race Day. After a full season of DH abuse, shuttle runs, and winter's salt and snow, the rear triangle of my Foes DHS had lost it's lustre. The formerly bright, polished metal was now covered with a dull oxidization. WhiteLightning's Metal Brite worked well at removing the oxidization, but did require a lot of elbow grease. It is once again sparkling brightly, but I can see why polished frames are a cost upgrade from the factory. To tell the truth, I have not tested the "Original" dry lube since Harry sent me the care package. Rest assured I have used White Lightning since I first started riding and swear by the stuff. No other lube I have used keeps the chain as clean or squeek free in normal riding conditions. It definitely does not excel in wet weather though, and I would recommend the Race Day formula for those of you from the UK, North Shore or North Eastern US. I have also found the White Lightning Original tends to clog in the bottle if not used regularly. If you have a few bottles luing around the house, use one until it's finished before starting on another bottle. Overall, you really can't go wrong with the White Lightning lineup. While the Clean Streak may not be as environmentally friendly as some citrus cleaners, it is certainly easy to use and very effective. One of their lube formulas should cover whatever riding conditions you may find yourself in, and I highly recommend using Metal Brite more than once a year if you like that good as new sparkle without having to work at it for hours at a time. Visit for more information, or call (631)206-1675.

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