Keep everything slick and clean.
Cleaner basics Be sure to read and heed safety information; at the very least you should use eye protection and chemical-resistant gloves and work in an open area with good air exchange and no sources of ignition. This is true even for eco-friendly products such as Simple Green and citrus cleaners. I’m not a life-hack kind of person and prefer application-specific products. Yeah, you can wash your bike with Dawn dish soap but you know what’s a better choice? Bike wash, or car wash, solution. Specialty cleaners include waxes and polishes. Cleaners come in aerosol, pump, and bulk, the latter typically diluted with water. Waxes and polishes come in tubes or tins.

Lubes and cleaners

Bikes are hives of expensive moving parts. Keep them clean and lubed so they work better and last longer. But as long as you’re toiling away to keep things clean and slick, you might as well use the right products and procedures. Here are some of my best Tips for doing that.
Born2Roam.com
All content, including images, copyright R Ries Corporation unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
Words. Images. Information. Just for you!

Lube basics

Oil is a lubricant. Grease is 80+ percent oil combined with a stiffener, such as lithium soap, polyurea, or bentonite clay. Both have additives to give them specific properties such as high water resistance or the capacity to handle extreme pressure. Both are listed by thickness, which is viscosity for oil and NLGI (National Lubricating Grease Institute) consistency (aka grade) for grease. The thinnest of the nine grades is NLGI 000 (“triple aught”) which is like olive oil; the thickest is 6 which is like cheddar cheese. NLGI grade 1 works well on smaller bearings (headsets) and NLGI 2 is good for larger bearings (hubs). But I don’t know if I’ve ever seen viscosity or grade on the label of bike lubes. Most mention their components (such wax or PTFE - polytetrafluoroethylene - of which Teflon is the most recognizable brand name), intended use (chain lube, ceramic bearings), or applications (wet conditions). Oils typically come in aerosol or drip; greases in tubes, tubs, or aerosol.
Coming soon

Molykote for O-rings

Learn more by watching this video. You probably have dozens of O-rings you should be servicing. Why? Because they’re critical in keeping bad stuff out of sensitive areas. Because once the O-rings fails, the device will fail. Because finding replacement O-rings is nearly impossible; they come in an enormous range of sizes and chances are no one carries the size you need or, if they do, their minimum order is 1,000 pieces. So how do you get maximum service life out of O-rings? Keep them lubed so they don’t fail. O-rings have tons of failure modes, all catastrophic. You may recall that O-ring failure caused the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. But just as there are endless sizes of O-rings, there are endless compounds and if you don’t use the right lube for the compound of an O-ring you’re probably hastening its failure. Fortunately there’s one lube that works on virtually every O-ring, Dow Corning Molykote 111 Compound. A little goes a long way; I found a vendor on Amazon who sells half-ounce tins of Molykote 111, which is enough to treat hundreds of small O-rings. It’s even approved for use in food processing areas so I use it to lube the O-rings on my hydration pack reservoirs. I daub it on with my finger or a flux brush; one application lasts a long time. Easily one of the most useful, effective and economical products I’ve found.
© All content, including images, copyright R Ries Corporation unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.

Lubes and cleaners

Bikes are hives of expensive moving parts. Keep them clean and lubed so they work better and last longer. But as long as you’re toiling away to keep things clean and slick, you might as well use the right products and procedures. Here are some of my best Tips for doing that.
Lube basics Oil is a lubricant. Grease is 80+ percent oil combined with a stiffener, such as lithium soap, polyurea, or bentonite clay. Both have additives to give them specific properties such as high water resistance or the capacity to handle extreme pressure. Both are listed by thickness, which is viscosity for oil and NLGI (National Lubricating Grease Institute) consistency (aka grade) for grease. The thinnest of the nine grades is NLGI 000 (“triple aught”) which is like olive oil; the thickest is 6 which is like cheddar cheese. NLGI grade 1 works well on smaller bearings (headsets) and NLGI 2 is good for larger bearings (hubs). But I don’t know if I’ve ever seen viscosity or grade on the label of bike lubes. Most mention their components (such wax or PTFE - polytetrafluoroethylene - of which Teflon is the most recognizable brand name), intended use (chain lube, ceramic bearings), or applications (wet conditions). Oils typically come in aerosol or drip; greases in tubes, tubs, or aerosol.
Cleaner basics Be sure to read and heed safety information; at the very least you should use eye protection and chemical-resistant gloves and work in an open area with good air exchange and no sources of ignition. This is true even for eco-friendly products such as Simple Green and citrus cleaners. I’m not a life-hack kind of person and prefer application-specific products. Yeah, you can wash your bike with Dawn dish soap but you know what’s a better choice? Bike wash, or car wash, solution. Specialty cleaners include waxes and polishes. Cleaners come in aerosol, pump, and bulk, the latter typically diluted with water. Waxes and polishes come in tubes or tins.
Born2Roam.com
Words. Images. Research. Just for you!

Molykote for O-rings

Learn more by watching this video. You probably have dozens of O-rings you should be servicing. Why? Because they’re critical in keeping bad stuff out of sensitive areas. Because once the O- rings fails, the device will fail. Because finding replacement O-rings is nearly impossible; they come in an enormous range of sizes and chances are no one carries the size you need or, if they do, their minimum order is 1,000 pieces. So how do you get maximum service life out of O-rings? Keep them lubed so they don’t fail. O-rings have tons of failure modes, all catastrophic. You may recall that O-ring failure caused the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. But just as there are endless sizes of O-rings, there are endless compounds and if you don’t use the right lube for the compound of an O-ring you’re probably hastening its failure. Fortunately there’s one lube that works on virtually every O-ring, Dow Corning Molykote 111 Compound. A little goes a long way; I found a vendor on Amazon who sells half-ounce tins of Molykote 111, which is enough to treat hundreds of small O-rings. It’s even approved for use in food processing areas so I use it to lube the O-rings on my hydration pack reservoirs. I daub it on with my finger or a flux brush; one application lasts a long time. Easily one of the most useful, effective and economical products I’ve found.