Chains, Lubes and Rock “N” Roll

DSC05302On the advice of a local independent bike shop I recently purchased a new brand of chain lubrication. Previously I have been using the wax based CleanRide or WetRide from White Lightning.

Right off the bat the product was a little bit different from what I’d been used to formerly. My normal method was to clean the chain using a chain cleaning tool such as the Park Tool Cyclone Chain Scrubber. This process would get most of the grime off, but also most of the lubrication. That would be followed up with a reapplication of lube.

Rock “N” Roll intends to remove the first step.

The lube itself is composed of a petroleum based solvent, in which the actual lubrication is suspended. By applying Rock “N” Roll liberally to the chain, the solvent carries into the inner bearings of the chain, while simultaneously dissolving the grime and past lubrication that has built up there.

What’s going on is this: The formulation goes deep down into
the chain and traps any dirt. Then, with the energy of the chain freewheeling backwards, the dirt and grit floats to the surface so you can wipe it all off, leaving a new and clean application of lube inside the chain, where it’s needed.

— http://www.rocklube.com/

I’ve been using this on both my road and cargo bikes for the last 4 or 5 months and I’ve been extremely pleased with the results. While that is not yet long enough to really gauge its impact on chain wear, I’ve definitely noticed a huge reduction in chain noise that last far longer than the previous lubes I was using. In addition, the chain is easily maintained between lubes by simply freewheeling with a rag around the chain. Chain marks on my pant legs have become a thing of the past.

While probably not obsolete, you may not need this as much as you did previously.
While probably not obsolete, you may not need this as much as you did previously.

Rock “N” Roll comes in three varieties. Extreme is targeted towards mountain bikes, Absolute Dry is targeted towards road bikes, and Gold is somewhere in the middle. Given that my road bike is also a primary commuter bike, and is subject to various riding conditions (both dry and wet) I opted for Gold.

You’ll want to be sure to shake it good before applying – you can see the white lubrication settle to the bottom of the solvent. That’s the stuff that will protect your chain. The rest does the cleaning.

The manufacture has these recommendations for application and usage:

  • Put the chain on the big ring in the front, and the small cog on the back.
  • Apply the lube on the chain, over the top of the cog. Let a nice flow of lube go onto the chain (don’t be cheap). Remember you’re going to clean and lube the chain in one step.
  • Freewheel the chain backwards, and wipe off all of the dirt and grit that comes up to the surface of the chain. Keep in mind, you can’t wipe off the chain too much, so make that chain shine!
  • Shift the chain off the big ring, so you can wipe off the chain ring, to clean up the little bit of residue left behind.
  • For best results, allow your chain to sit a few hours or lube the night before. However, if right after lubing, you have to ride, you have to ride, so go for it. Giving the lube a chance to set gives the lube a bit more life by allowing the protective membrane to fully set-up. Remember, to wipe off you chain after riding regardless if you’re going to re-lube or not. This keeps the chain clean and looking great!

All can be ordered direct from the manufacturer. A 4oz bottle of Gold, at $7.99, is slightly more expensive than the other lubes ($6.49) but, as mentioned, is intended to cover a much wider range of usage.

Note: At the time of this writing, the menu links on their website all mistakenly linked to the contact page and not to the actual product page. The links above are to specific product pages and will help you work around this problem. Maybe they should have hosted their site on VeloReviews instead, eh?  <wink>