The Follies of Spring

Earlier this spring, before all the snow had fully melted, I found myself making a trial run out in the trails I usually ride in summer. When it’s dry. It was that time of year where I am always sick of riding in the slop where I used to ski cross country and knowing that I was likely to be met with slop in the good single-track. You never know until you try right?

So with hope springing in my breast I waited patiently for the train to pass. There is almost always a train dicking around at the only convenient access road. I tried to gauge how wet things might be by looking at my immediate surrounding as opposed to counting boxcars. It looked promising. I muttered a few particularly bad swears under my breath while glancing furtively around like a 5 year old who has just learned that there were some words best not said aloud in the hopes that the train might speed up. It didn’t work. I would have to suck it up and wait.

After suffering an additional 5 or 6 minutes waiting I had managed to work myself into a fine lather of excitement. First real ride of spring here I come! No more slogging the fatbike (Which I have affectionately  nicknamed ‘The Pig’) through slushy unpredictable, granular patches of snow which might or might not have ice underneath them. No more frozen waterbags… Summer was coming and spring was here. This is as close to giddy as I get by the way. Just in case any of you in the listening audience were curious.

The train gone I quickly made my way to my parking spot, yes I have my own spot. Unloaded ‘The Pig’, slopped some Nastylube on the chain and made ready to straighten the curves and flatten the hills as it were. It was warm enough that I deemed my overboots to be unrequired equipment and off I roared. I have to confess, I felt a little like superman what with it being spring and the very liberating feeling of each foot now being 5 lbs lighter due to lack of heavy (and waterproof) overboots.

I felt like a hippo that finally got it’s last stuck leg out of an alkali patch, I felt magical, I felt as though I had come home like some old grizzled old trapper stuck in a mountain pass eating bark and pine cones from what few trees were available the entire winter by a chance freak fall snowstorm. Things were working good, the trail had the odd spot of snow or slush but was by and large in absolute hero condition.

I steamed up hills like a man possessed, my cornering was impressive and without error. Even ‘The Pig’, who likes to sometimes abruptly change my plans especially after even the slightest amount of time in the air, was in full cooperation mode. I zigged, I zagged, I rolled through the warm up section of the trail like I was literally on fire.

But then the darkness came. Instead of staying on the more used and well packed portion of the trail I allowed my exuberance to guide me into the more shadowy and technical sections of the trail. I began to have to wrestle and grapple with ‘The Pig’.  No longer were we allies on the first ride of spring. We began to have one sided arguments about line choice. Most of which I lost. I began to sweat heavily with toil and frustration as the large tires had gotten balled up with clay from a particularly ugly spot that I walked through. I would have carried ‘The Pig’ so as not to get everything covered in clay but I was still feeling petty over the last disagreement we had over the best way to come off of that small drop.

After using a small sapling (Sorry sapling…) and some loud and well enunciated curse words to help me up the last steep and greasy portion of the trail I found myself near a paved bike path with a rather large puddle in the middle. All is not lost I thought to myself. There is still hope. The earlier optimism of the ride began to tentatively shine through the darkness that had rolled in. I’ll roll through this puddle a few times get the bulk of the clay off my tires and be able to once again sally forth!

As I approached the puddle I could see at the edges it was not really that deep. However once I had made my way forward another three or four feet it began to become much deeper and with an unnerving rapidity. Even though I knew I could have turned around I did not. It was like some strange force beyond my control was compelling me to continue forward like a moth to a flame. (I think it was ‘The Pig’)I watched as first my feet (How did it get so deep….) and then my knees got soaked. I continued to chug along sounding and looking I’m sure like some kind of strange washing machine until 10 or 15 feet further along I churned my way up the other side. All in right? Waterproof knee high overboots in the car right? Thankfully the car was not far.

Thus ended the first ride of spring.

Keep the lube on your chain!

The Many Faces of Evil.

Yes boys and girls in the listening audience, today’s sermon is going to to center around evil. Not the sort of evil that destroys anything and anyone in it’s path without pity or remorse like a Terminator. Not the sort of evil that swallows entire worlds like some biblical many faced demon, but a more insidious evil. An everyday evil. A subtle, sneaky, shifty, salacious evil. Probably salacious doesn’t fit there that well, but it was the only other S word that came to mind almost immediately.

I captured a picture of the evil just this morning to share with you all before I wrestled with it. I would like to say that I battled with it, was triumphant,  and then threw the vanquished evil down unto the earth from whence it came. I was afraid to do so however, even after it lay bested and beaten before me.

You see, some things are so inherently evil they are even more dangerous in defeat. While this sounds bad on an almost horrific sort of level what is even worse about this particular evil is that it has been designed for children. Yes, you heard me right, our children.

It was my loving wife who first exposed me to this evil, not out of  any kind of twisted or maligned sort of  urge for revenge. At least that’s what I tell myself. Rather I like to think that she did it out of listening to a fond remembrance that I shared with her from when I was but a wee lad.

A lot of my fond remembrances center around food. I like food.  A lot. In this instance it was canned peaches. Ma would cut them up and put them in the jars whereupon they would hide in the root cellar for what seemed an interminable length of time. Once they were deemed fit for consumption I’d eat them and drink their juice and put them on ice cream and eat them and eat them and eat them and drink their, well you get the picture. I actually had to swallow a mouthful of drool there or it might have leaked out of my mouth a little, kind of like what happens to a very hungry dog sometimes.

As you may have deduced by now the this ordinary everyday evil came in my lunchpail, slipped inside by my wonderful (and hot) missus. Those among you in the listening audience who are particularly astute, will also have surmised that the evil has something to do with peaches. It is not the peaches, or the juice that comprise this atrocity, this barefaced villianousness. (That was good, lots of s s s’s) It is the container.

Some of you may have already seen the picture of the evil, by cheating and scrolling down. In fact I am not sure how I will make this work on the Facebook because it always wants to put the picture first. We’ll deal with that when we get there.

Here it is, looking all innocent, sweet and delicious. Like an egg that doesn’t peel properly,  now you can see why I was so afraid to throw it down upon the earth once I had outclassed it’s devilish lid:

For the last three mornings I have hungrily fought this evil and each time though I defeated it I could not do so without either winding up with a sticky spot on my desk all day that just seemed to stay sticky no matter how much I licked it. Or after today’s onslaught I came out looking looking like the village idiot who sometimes pisses himself:

All this for three tiny spoonfuls of peaches and a half a mouthful of juice. I’m going to try my luck with a juicebox next. Yes my pants are still sticky.

Keep the lube on your chain!

A Dirty Tumble

A Dirty Tumble, was a phrase I first heard uttered from my Pappy last summer while we were out banging around in an old gravel pit near the very small town I grew up in. I don’t know if he can claim credit or responsibility  for the term himself or if was overhead somewhere in his youth.  I’ll have to ask him I guess.

Pappy in his natural habitat:

Anyways,  as he demonstrated the  art of taking a dirty tumble for me, I noticed right off the bat that you had to start it out with a loss of control. Perhaps not big loss but enough for you to get say, like a good slow mo death wobble happening. About mid way through, or at least a split second before you know for certain that you are going to go down, you need to cry out. I have also through much research discovered that everyone is different in this respect. Some people let loose primitive, guttural cries of dismay. Some just repeat curse words,  but generally just the same one over and over quite rapidly until the end. For this particular demonstration Pappy had decided to go with a rather quiet and more reserved : ‘oooOOOOooooohhhhh NooooOOooooooo’.  It is this sort of thing, I think, that turns a simple everyday crash into ‘A Dirty Tumble’.

You see, you have to know it’s coming to have one. You almost have to decide if you want one. If you go down like an old woman carrying a bag of groceries on an icy sidewalk with no time to even spit out a single syllable expletive, it’s not a dirty tumble. If the only thing that you hear is the meaty thump of your body smacking into the frozen ground and the chuff of your breath leaving your lungs, it’s not a dirty tumble.

The official dirty tumble is usually one of those crashes that would have worked out better for you if you just went down. Right away. Like you were supposed to. To just cowboy up and take your medicine like a man instead of hopping down that steep downhill section of the trail on one leg with your other leg snarled up somehow in a chainring while trying to not bang your tender bits or face (never forget your face) on your bike or any other unforgiving obstacles (rocks come to mind) that may be along the trail…

There are a number of reasons to avoid the dirty tumble. The primary one I’m finding as I get older is it seems that I do more damage to myself  and my immediate surroundings as I depart from the trail and wind up leaving a small destructive path of broken branches,  plowed over saplings and scorched earth as I try to not crash. As soon as you think to yourself:  ‘I can save this.’ You are knee deep in dirty tumble territory.

The thing I like about a dirty tumble is it can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone, doing…. Well, anything really.  So try to remember the next time that you slip in the kitchen, just go down on your ass so you don’t smack you head into the stove.

Keep the lube on your chain!

 

Zen and the Art of Wrecking Shit.

Is there anyone else out there who is always breaking stuff? Stuff is also so damn expensive nowadays to boot.

I just seem to be real hard on stuff – It doesn’t matter what kind of stuff, I’m hard on it. Drivetrain stuff and wheels/tires stuff especially. It’s seldom I can go for 3 rides in a row without *something* failing and sometimes in a spectacular fashion.

It used to be that I’d take a sort of grim glee, or pleasure if you will, in the ruining of the parts. Then I would suffer the buyers remorse in the purchasing of the new soon to be ruined parts. All of these conflicting emotions were of course followed by the need to remove and replace the old completely ruined parts. Also, as a sort of side note, let me assure you these parts were ruined. Utterly, completely and beyond the point of any sort of usefulness. I think it’s because I need to get my moneys worth. I need to extract my pound of flesh. I would then enjoy the time I spent fixing and complain, but not too loudly, about the cost of the parts.

Usually buying new parts was always a cool thing. You’d be able to wangle something more better than what you had by telling yourself that it would hold up longer in addition to being lighter and cooler as some kind of strange junkie justification that lighter and more expensive really means sturdier and longer lasting.

It seems though, as the years go on I’m seeing an odd thing happen. I don’t want things to break. I don’t want to spend the bulk of a Friday afternoon trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear because while fixing one thing I discover another. I just want to ride.

For instance just this last Friday I noticed my rear wheel was once again out of true. it was a new wheel that I had just built with maybe 3 or 400 km on it. It had been a while since I built a wheel and the rim I used was not by any great stretch of the imagination what you would call top shelf. I just assumed that the combination of those two factors were to blame and another good truing or two would seat those bad old spoke nipples and more or less see things through.

After one or two quick turns with my nipple wrench,  I know it sounds bad, I found myself listening to the sound of escaping air. You know, like when a tire is going flat. While my mind was trying to figure out why this was happening… I mean it’s not like I just jammed a knife into the sidewall or anything… I also got to hear some loud snapping noises. None of this was computing. I felt bewildered, how could tightening a loose spoke cause this sort of mayhem?

It was my budget rim. Cracked clean through a large number of nipple holes. I was instantly sour. The sort of sour you feel when a barking  neighbors dog wakes you early when you are trying to sleep in on a Saturday. I cursed the budget rim loudly and at great length with several choice and usually (carefully) reserved words and phrases taking pause only momentarily when I ran out of breath. It was in fact such a rare lather I had worked myself into that my wife actually looked up from the tv and said “What’s the matter?”. Usually when I’m ‘fixing’ she just ignores any foul language.

Now I would have to put the old, less than desirable rear wheel back on which was on it’s last leg when I replaced it,  but not before I had to spend an afternoon piddling with it so I could get in a few more rides while I built the new one.

While I was changing the wheels around I could not help but notice the missing teeth on the largest and second largest sprocket of the cassette, and the fact that the rotor and rear shoes were pretty much toast as well.

How can a 15 minute wheel truing turn into $400.00 worth of parts and two or three afternoons of fixing when you could be riding?

Easily.

Keep the lube on your chain!

How to step outside of your box.

I’m not a social creature. Some people love other people. Meeting new people. Talking to new people. Listening to other people’s views on religion and politics. You know, the kind of stuff that people who like people enjoy. I’ve always been more of a social… Hm… More of a social leave me alone butterfly. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t like people, let’s just say that I would rather do without. That sounds better.

You can imagine my horror when someone (You know who you are.) suggested to me that in order to promote my chain lube I should just talk casually to other people I meet on the trail about it. Maybe keep a bottle or two in my shiny new glovebox to give away for free as a kindness for stopping and listening to me. I know how I feel when someone I don’t know wants to talk to me about things I don’t want to hear especially when I’m trying to ride. There have actually been occasions where afterwards I had considered learning sign language or something along those lines so I could pretend I was deaf so as to avoid having to ever again make polite chit chat. I’m not a chit chat sort of fellow.

The sensible part of me could hear the wisdom in what they were saying: ‘You would be foolish not to try some of my chain lube for free.’ The creative part of me even began constructing some good opening lines: ‘Say what sort of lube do you use?’ The rest of me said: ‘These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.’ while I made a small flourish with my hand like I thought I was a Jedi or something.

So I put a shiny new bottle of lube in my glovebox and mostly because I seldom run into anyone other than the odd dog walker, I made myself a solemn oath that the very first rider I ran into I would somehow pull them over and draw them into conversation on some fake pretext. I would then gradually and artfully steer that conversation towards chain lube, at which point I could say something like: ‘Say, I just happen to make chain lube would you like a promotional bottle?’

I know, I know, who would have thought that such a socially clumsy and inept fellow like myself could come up with such a devious and clever plan? Well it’s not actually my plan it’s probably more like a variation of someone else’s plan but what’s important is that I’m making this article and they aren’t.

Off I went, heavily laden with lube and my plan. Full of nervous enthusiasm. (Not really but it fit in well there I thought.) On the prowl as it were for unsuspecting rubes to test my fledgling social skills upon. (I did some practicing in front of the mirror) Alas, for days I met no one at all. I had actually almost forgotten about my precious cargo and plan until one fateful evening about two weeks ago. It was a warmer night maybe only about -10 or so when I first saw them. Indistinct flashes of erratic and blindingly bright light from some distance ahead of me. It could mean only one thing. Another rider.

Suddenly I was unsure, what if the lube had fallen from my glove box during one of my many crashes, what If pulled this poor guy (or girl) over and everything went well until I went to give them their promised bottle and I didn’t have it? Great hairy gods! So many things could go wrong… I should have thought this through more carefully!

My resolve, even though it had taken a rather large initial hit, was still steadfast enough that I blurted out a ‘Say, do you use chainlube?’ as I got to the top of the hill where the other rider had considerately pulled over to let me climb.  Yes, boys and girls in the listening audience, that was the best I could do.

The rest of the conversation was kind of awkward and I hope I did not make the poor unsuspecting fellow too uncomfortable. He went away with a bottle of lube and I’m sure a halfway smile. Me? Well I stepped outside my box and have placed another bottle of lube, this one with the label on straight, in my glovebox. Ready for the next socially awkward trailside encounter.

Keep the lube on your chain!

The Love of a good Woman…

I recently suffered a birthday and being at my rapidly advancing age means that there are few things that I lust want and need for like a child of 6. It also means that in order for me to get something that I am actually going to appreciate or use, it pretty much has to be something I want and not just a pail full of lego.

This is where the love of a good woman can come into play. You see most women, when their man comes back from doing his thing (Whatever that thing might be, things vary) might ask how it went… Or if it was fun, but not really listen. I liken it to saying something polite so it looks like you are kind of interested and then tuning out what follows unless it includes something like ‘We should go out for dinner’ .

My significant other seems to actually listen though. Well at least some of time anyways… This fall, after discovering just how much the price of the framebag/glovebox I wanted for my bike was, I used some rapid prototype technology and good old fashioned elbow grease to build one:

Yes, I know it’s not pretty. That it looks to be made from cardboard,  with gorilla tape, was likely held on with zipstraps, and held shut with a small piece of velcro.  Other than it getting too cold for the adhesive the velcro came with to stick on some nights leaving the velcro stuck to nothing but itself, and the fact that the rear tire would sometimes try and fill it with snow it worked great!

Sometimes upon getting back from doing my thing, I would complain about my homemade glovebox.  I would complain and then talk about how I thought it might be nice to have the real one on day, but that it was too expensive, never really thinking that anything would actually come of it.

Then, on my birthday, she gave me just what I had been longing for. In addition to this it was in a size that would fit. what are the odds? I mean first of all she got the correct frame bag, but second of all, and this is really the important one, she got the correct size. I don’t even remember mentioning the size to her… That’s how good a listener she is!

I felt like I was 6 years old again, with a big pail of lego. May your woman be as good a listener as mine, and may the lube never fall from your chain.

Even Puppies Love Nasty Lube

My wife loves animals and is making an effort to make a difference in the number of animals that are less fortunate by fostering dogs. As a direct result of this we now have a puppy in our house, last night in an effort to play him out we took him for his first big adventure in the real world.

We started off by trying to get into the car, which was pretty scary, so my wife picked him up and put him in the car like a recalcitrant child of two. This was followed by a fairly short drive filled with a large amount of serious and hard done by whining. Upon arrival at our adventurous locale and were afraid to get out of the car. Using my best dog whisperer voice I assured the puppy that no harm would befall him should he leave the car. In spite of my reassurances and further sugarcoating of it, he made his disbelief more evident with much quivering and had to be bodily removed. At least he didn’t piddle.

Once everyone was on the ground, so to speak, I outfitted my wife with my spare toque and headlight and off they went while I put my bike together and made ready to ride. At this point the puppy looked like this

At some point however, even though he was not in close proximity to my well lubed chain he somehow managed to come out of the car (Not of his own accord) looking like this. Now if the lure of the lube is such that he managed to do this to himself undetected whilst under close observation, imagine what he might look like after a few minutes alone and unsupervised where he could properly have his way with it…

There you have it, it’s puppy approved.

Keep the lube on your chain!

The Warm Weather Cometh, and The Warm Weather Taketh Away.

I just hate it when it’s cold, it just makes everything so much harder to do. Harder to get motivated. Harder to keep warm. Harder to find good spots to hang things to dry. Harder to get ready to just go out and do it. You get the picture, It’s not as convenient. (Ha!)

What I hate even more though is when it gets warm after a week or two of bitter cold, and somehow, for some reason or reasons you find yourself unable to get out and make things happen. I’m not talking about just making excuses here, I’m talking about real things. Things like fixing some crap around the house. That tire with the slow leak that you should have fixed the last time you didn’t go out but sat on the couch instead telling yourself it was the valve stem. Various and sundry social engagements that you have to partake in lest you be considered an ass. Those sorts of real life things.

Here’s to hoping I can get out at least once before it get’s cold again, and you as well, if you are suffering from the same malady as I.

Keep the lube on your chain!

What Kind of Rider Are You?

Last night I managed to get out for a ride.  While I was out trying to keep both my phone and waterbag from freezing, I was also trying to keep an eye out for inspirational sort of pictures or at least a spot to try and take a good one. The last few nights of riding yielded many a good spot, but with it being so cold I found myself less than enthusiastic to see if my warm and sweaty fingers would freeze to the metal back of my phone while I waited to see if it would start. I keep it my overboot now. It seems happy there. It rubs on my ankle but yeah, it seems happy there.

On to our picture! It’s the sort of picture that sums a lot of things up nicely, things like why slippery roots get removed from the tops of steep climbs, or why a lot of trail obstacles that can really make a mediocre trail or especially a long and boring climb more interesting seem to get removed. It is these obstacles that make us better.

So tell me… What sort of rider are you….?

two-rocks-2-chain-lube

Keep the lube on your chain!

The Cold Wind That Freezes Your Waterbag

back-of-suv-chain-lube

As I get older it seems to get a lot easier for me to try things in my head and decide that I’m not going to like them. You know you’ve done the same thing. I think everyone does. You know, things like that funny desert that someone brought to the potluck that looks like jello with bits of kitty litter in it. Things like backpacks full of water. Elevated chainstays… Well, you get the idea.

I have also found that it gets a lot harder to get to liking something after you’ve decided that you aren’t going to. When I used to ski cross country in the winter I never really had any trouble with staying hydrated, you’d put your stuff in a wine skin and off you’d go, not a worry in the world. It’s awful hard to take a sip from a wine skin that’s all tucked away under a layer or two without stopping when you are riding though, and water bottles tend to freeze up pretty quick when it’s cold. After suffering from frozen water bottle syndrome for a few years I thought it was time to try and get to liking a bag of water in a pack pack.  You all know what I’m talking about, they’ve been around for ages, here is a link in case you are uncertain of what I mean.

Dragging the waterbag I’d bought for my significant other out of the cupboard (No she didn’t really ever use it) I eyed it critically, thinking about how sweaty it was going to make my back, how dorky I’d look without my fanny pack, how I’d have to reorganize all my stuff to try and fit in there with it’s big floppy sack. Arg, change, arg the humanity!  I’ll keep it under my outermost shell and blow back through the hose after I have a drink, that should keep it from freezing up I thought to myself after I got some of my stuff jammed in there with the bladder, and this seemed to be working really good until last night when I was out.

Now in the waterbags defense, it was cold, so cold that my poor phone froze as well, which did nothing to help my already arid mood as not only could I not partake of the gallon of water I was carrying around on my back (Well not without maybe some warranty voiding) I was  also unable to take any pictures for the website as I had been instructed. Tonight we try again, but with some different hose routing.

I will triumph eventually, and if not, well I guess it’s not really any worse than having frozen water bottles…

Keep the lube on your chain.

Someone’s been eating MY porridge!

cross-bike-chain-lube

Robbed of riding the good singletrack last night on my way home by a fricking train that was in park mode, I resorted to using the Nasty Lube top secret test track, which is pretty much private once the sun goes down. Once you get 4 or 5 km from the staging area you don’t usually see much for people tracks until there is enough snow for them to set track for skiing. Last night however I was in for a rude shock. Someone had been out there before me! I felt strange, almost angered by these tracks! How dare someone ride out here with the beavers and the porcupines but me? To top everything off the track was funny, skinny like a roadbike would make and sunk right through what snow there was. What happened to all of this mid, fat half fat, baby fat, kind of fat tire bike talk when they started to diddle with fatbike tire sizes? Did they just jump right to skinny fat? Was it one of them newfangled cross bike things?

I hope he was using the right chain lube!

When it starts getting colder…

Climbing in the snow

Have you ever secretly hoped that the downhill section of the trail you are on would end because your brake levers are so cold that they are burning your fingers through the expensive winter gloves you just bought?

Have you ever looked forward to the ugly uphill section because you know you might not make it and if you have to get off and push it will help your frozen toes warm up because your feet will be moving more than when you are just grinding away on the pedals?

Have you ever cursed the runtime of your overly expensive but very bright lights because the low battery indicator came on only an hour and half into your ride?

Have you ever watched a hungry owl slowly glide along out in front of the halo of your headlight while they hope you might scare up supper for them?

Have you ever listened to a pack of coyotes howling out somewhere in front of you, and then heard the pack behind you answer?

You are part of the lucky few, the lucky few who somehow find the motivation to not be a fair weather rider.

Put some lube on your chain and ride!

What is Nasty Lube really?

I thought perhaps a quick explanation of how and when our lube should be used could be in order. We have two kinds, one called Sultry and the other called Siberian. Sultry is designed and blended primarily for warmer riding conditions, the heat of summer where sweat drips freely from your brow. It’s quite thick and sticky and a little goes a very long way. Siberian is the very same blend as sultry but it is thinned to make it more friendly to applications in cold weather where your breath freezes in your mustache. Because of this extra thinning agent even if it’s brutally cold, say -25 or -30 (or lower if you are truly hardcore) you can still get some oil that will work and last on your chain. Using this lube in a warm indoor climate, say a heated carshed, will make it quite runny so you may wind up with some drippage if you are not careful! As with the summer lube, a little will go a long way.

snowy-bike-paring-lot-chain-lube

On lube and labels.

I have to admit as a seasoned sort of nerdy guy who would rather ride than type that I never for a moment even conceived that making a label with a front set of text for the front to attract your attention, and a back set of text for the back to make sure you only put it on your chain would be the toughest part of trying to sell chain lube for your riding pleasure. Personally I figured it would be getting the labels on the bottles square so it didn’t look I took them down to the local preschool for free labor. Then there’s this blogging. In a fit of inspiration, telling him he could be famous, I tried to trick Pappy into some short story writing once a week, but I don’t think he’s falling for it. Not one bit.

Ah well. Time will tell.

I’m going for a ride tonight in the good singletrack. Be envious, I have overboots.

Lets Talk About Nano Technology and Chain Lube.

nano-tube-chain-lube

This has got to be the largest load of bullshit I've seen in my entire life (I've tastefully smudged the name of the company a little so you won't know who they are). $95 and that's American money, for 2 ounces of miracle lube.

I have in fact now decided to construct the chain testing machine of doom. I will invite any manufacturer of chain lube to send me their products as well as their ludicrous claims and we will see how they hold up in the real world. I have not yet fully decided on the plans for the ultimate chain lube tester, but it will involve a full drivetrain, and a special 'trough' which the chain can be run through. The trough will have the ability to hold liquid and this liquid will have the ability to suspend any number of abrasive solutions, especially those you might encounter in the real world.

This is not going to be a how many theoretical watts of power can the lube save you sort of machine. There are lots of those around. This is going to be a run it until it can't shift or makes so much noise it hurts your ears sort of test machine.

Here is a link to a fellow who tests lube and watts of drag kind of thing independently.

Lets Talk About Chain Lube and Bones.

Picture of old bones fond with good lube!

Chain lube is a pretty sacred to some people, and just one more thing to forget for others. I'm sure there are a lot of people who kind of fall in between as well. It's just the nature of the world.

Ideally you'd just be able to go ride until it was wore out, flat, or broken, like say a tire or that crankset that you never really liked but it came on the bike so you use it but hope it becomes 'broken'.

You can't really do that with parts like bearings and chains though, well you can, if you can stand the noise, expense, crappy shifting and that feeling as you pedal. That feeling that you just know it's going to skip and fart around back there the second you put any real power down.

The problem is that your chain unlike the bearings in your bottom bracket or hubs with their cute little rubber seals is exposed to everything. That's a tough environment for exposed moving parts to operate in let alone perform well without adequate lubrication.

But why the skeletal picture you ask? What possible bearing could this grim photo have when we're talking about drivetrains? I'm glad you asked, we came upon it last Sunday when we were out doing some pasture touring and it was cool, so I figured I'd share it with you. It's way more exciting than a worn out chain!

The First Blog

I'm not going to shine anyone on here about how this chain lube was developed in secret by NASA and Aliens from the powder of some rare asteroid with me overseeing the entire process to ensure it was done correctly. The truth of it is you can mix this very same stuff up yourself if you want to, out of readily available off the shelf ingredients.

I will tell you what prompted me to try and sell it though. I strayed from the path. I ran out of my special (Let's call it artisan, that sounds better than homemade right?) lube. I was lazy and near a bike shop. I got some name brand store bought chain lube claiming to be for wet conditions that cost 15.00 for 2 ounces. Although it was pink, smelled kind of not really like oil and claimed to be loaded with ceramic it was a fail. An epic fail that included an hours worth of continual persistent drive train noise on my usual 2 hour evening ride.

Nasty Lube is for people who ride long hours in the dark. Who ride when the days grow short and cold. It's for riders who are riding in slop at the beginning of their ride but by the end it has started to freeze up, sometimes along with the sprockets in their rear derailleur.

You can even use it on your fat bike.