Will there ever be one lube to rule them all? (Spoiler Alert: yes) When it comes to chain lube, I’ve pretty much seen it all – White Lightening (the good ‘ol days), wax lubes, dry lubes, wet lubes, custom mixtures (my father swears by 1/3 Pedros + 2/3 Pro Link), motor oil, white lithium grease, WD-40, and even no lube at all. To newbies chain lube is a confusing proposition that often results in gobs of black gunk covering drivetrains.
When planning for the 2013 Tour Divide cross-country MTB race, Sean and I were faced with the difficult decision of choosing a chain lube to last throughout the grueling race. Most people lube their chains before every mountain bike ride or roughly every 20 miles or so, right? When you’re doing 120+ miles per day for 3 weeks straight that regimen becomes nearly impossible, not to mention the weight of carrying gallons of lube. That’s when we ran across Dumonde Tech.
Now Dumonde has done something that I don’t think anyone has done with a chain lube – they’ve somehow managed to acquire a cult-like following. So we got our hands on both the Lite formula and the Original formula and began testing. We used the Lite for everyday road riding and the Original for mountain biking and bikepacking. I’ll be honest, at first I wasn’t 100% sold. I typically use Pro Link and lube my chain before each ride, then wipe it down after each ride to keep the drivetrain clean. That’s what I started doing with the Dumonde and sure it lasted longer and ran quieter than Pro Link, but it wasn’t anything mind-blowing. After talking with the folks over at Dumonde (amazing customer service btw) I found out that the lube plates the chain and builds a layer of protection after several applications. They said it tends to last longer as you use it longer.
So I crafted an experiment: I lubed the chain on my road bike before one Saturday ride and then didn’t touch it for a few rides. A few rides turned into several rides and I ended up not touching the chain for another 225 miles! It was absolutely 100% silent that entire time until around 215 miles when it started to make a tiny bit of noise. Keep in mind, it wasn’t terribly noisy, it just wasn’t silent like I had grown used to. I’m sure I could keep riding for another 100 miles with no problems. After this, I’m a believer! The chain was a bit more dirty than I typically keep it, but if it’s silent and the lube lasts that long, who cares? I’ll wipe the excess off now and re-lube, then see how long I can go this next round.
As for the Original formula, I was equally impressed. I used it on a few bikepacking trips and regularly got 110 – 125 miles out of one lubing before it started making noise. This is in dry, dusty San Diego riding a 50 lb bike. Needless to say, I was impressed. On another occasion I did a fun Sunday mtb ride up in the mountains near San Diego with a few buddies that turned into an extremely dry, dusty ride. By 25 miles in both of my buddies were complaining about their drivetrains not only being noisy, but not shifting well and being really grindy. I, on the other hand, hadn’t thought about my chain the entire ride and it was still perfectly silent. And both of these guys are mechanics at our local shop, so they’re not new to this stuff.
As you can tell, I’m 100% sold that this is quite possibly the best lube on the market. I recommend trying it yourself, Jensen seems to have the best deals and they sell multiple sizes. Pick up the Lite formula here or the Original formula here and let us know what you think. I recommend getting the 2 oz bottles. They’re only $7.49 and you’ll be amazed when one bottle lasts you 6 months or more.
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