Reverence: Dumonde Tech BCL

Reverence: Dumonde Tech BCL

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We met by chance, or so it seems. I suppose there really is no such thing as “chance”. I was ready for it, and it was there. I wasn’t really looking but, you see, it had been a while since I’d been happy.  I’d even strayed about some, trying a bit of this and a bit of that, but nothing really filled the void I felt within. But Love is a real thing and it can belong to each of us; we just have to be willing to see and we need the courage to grasp it while we can.

My chain and I share a tumultuous relationship. Mostly, we get along just fine, but my demands are high and it is but a simple thing. There are times when it simply doesn’t behave as I’d like. Not only do I expect it to shift properly and propel my bike without impeding my forward progress more than I already do myself, but I expect it to be absolutely silent, only allowing it a triumphant chirp when coaxed onto an adjacent cog.

In my quest to observe the Principle of Silence, I tune my drivetrain and bike more often than is reasonable, often when it requires neither tuning nor cleaning.  But I do it anyway, and it feels good. Few things delight me as much as hearing the hum of the back wheel as it spins on the stand, my left hand spinning the drive-side pedal while my right hand pushes the levers on the shifters while watching the chain skip flawlessly from one cog to the next. A daily ritual, I never – under any circumstances – throw my leg over a bike without first cleaning at least the chain.  I find it is unbecoming of a Velominatus to ride a soiled machine; we are not barbarians, after all.

You need to know all this in order to understand what I will say next. I have experimented with synthetic lubes and with waxes, and none are the equal of an oil-based product.  Sure, oil attracts more road grit, but for those of us who clean our chains every day, that hardly matters. More importantly, it’s lubricating qualities are far superior to the synthetics. As for providing a solid platform for the Principle of Silence, no product I’ve come across has managed to rival the noise-dampening qualities of Dumonde Tech BCL, made right here in Seattle, no less.  All it requires is a single drop on each link and chain noise virtually disappears.  If you are lucky enough to ride well-tuned Campagnolo mechs, you’ll find that the only sound you hear is the hiss of your wheels cutting through the breeze. And, in my case, that of belabored breathing.

When first we met, I was skeptical.  I’d been hurt in the past and I needed assurances that it wouldn’t happen again. The bottle caught my eye as it stood coyly on its shelf. I picked it up and discretely read the label which said all the right things – a bit about low friction and a bit re-applying only when chain noise becomes audible. I took the first step, and it has rewarded me with silence.

And, dare I say, it smells strangely pleasant.

// Reverence

  1. Roadslave :

    A ride after which I don’t clean my entire drive train, degreaser and relube is a ride incomplete…

    Ditto. I have a mason jar, and a gallon of paint thinner. A couple ounces, stir stir. Shake, shake, and five minutes later my chain is clean! I understand that petrochemicals can alter the metallurgic properties of a chain, but for as quiet as my SRAM drivetrain is; it is absolutely worth the risk. After I dry it off, and remove any left over stuff, I use Boeshield. This shit is grand.

    Of course when you clean your entire drivetrain after every ride, it typically doesn’t matter what you use…

  2. @wvcycling
    Ah, Boesheild. Another good Seattle product- Jim swears by it. I bought bottle on his authority. Jim got himself a free bottle of Beosheild out of the deal as it doesn’t compare to Dumond TECH. Especially given your ruthless approach to chain cleansing which I admire in it’s wholesale committal to the cratf, I suggest you try it out. I mean, you’re made for a genuine lube: obviously a fanatic and obviously gives fuck-all for the environment.

  3. O Velominati!

    Neglect the initial chain degreasing at thy peril! For failure to sufficiently clean the factory scum will thwart thy subsequent lubing rituals, and render null the Principle of Silence!

    PS Creak solved…

  4. @sgt
    Excellent point! My Merckx, this cannot be overstated! The only time to apply actual grease to a chain is when you are riding Flanders or Roubaix and it’s raining. And only then if you’ve already degreased the factory slime off, relubed with Dumonde TECH, and wish to keep the water and grit out (grease will form an impermeable barrier).

    I’m guessing at this stage that after the race you will also want to chuck the chain, but thats no matter provided you just put your arms in the air in the Velodrome.

  5. @Nate,

    The hub runs on bearings, the casette body (not the cogs) run on bearings that turn when you are coasting – or the bearings that the casette body runs on when the bike is stationary and you are backpedaling.

    Boeshield will STINK your house up. At least it used to about 15 years ago. Use it in the garage and for Christ’s sake, don’t ever use it inside the car. You will never get rid of the smell.

  6. michael :

    @Nate,

    Boeshield will STINK your house up.

    I don’t do bike stuff in my house, I have a separate place appropriated for such rituals, but hey, I love the smell of Boeshield… The drip kind, not the spray kind.

    And don’t even dare say I’m some kind of lube huffing velo-junkie.

  7. @Steampunk
    I wish I could say it was intentional.

    @michael
    Thanks got it.

  8. The factory grease is best left on until it needs to be cleaned, it’s good stuff.

    @frank
    no I don’t ride hemp chairs, I make my own chairs out of pieces of wood I salvage from skips and punctured inner-tubes…

    Let us know how the eco-lube goes

  9. @frank
    I definitely cut a corner, hoping a quick rub with degreaser on a rag and a lube would do it when I put the chain on last week. My full maintenance was running long, and my runner wife (who disdains any pre-exercise regimen more time consuming than tying one’s shoes) was standing by tapping her dainty foot… Today I went full bore with the Park chain cleaner and full concentrate Eco-satanic degreaser, followed by a rinse, dry, and full lube, and then verified PoS compliance with a couple of big ring hill repeats (in flip flops, then Sidi’s to ensure the shoes weren’t creaking), followed by a full bike cleaning and relube. Success!

    PS I find it slightly disturbing that a thread about proper lubing can generate 67 posts, but I’m figuring out that we’re a sick bunch…

  10. ProLink ProGold – there is no other lube for clean and quiet drivetrains that shift as the maker intended. It does require frequent reapplication, but the only cleaning you’ll ever need to do is quickly wiping it down every now and then. I’ve used it on MTBs at Worlds and road bikes in tours and World Cups and in all climactic conditions and I swear by it…

  11. I’ve tried that Chain-L Lube that What’s his name sent me, but I have yet to review it due to lack of positive things to say about it. Only condition I could imagine using it is when there is snow on the ground. On both of my road bikes, after applying and wiping off excess, I still had all of these stringy lines of sticky lube on my rims, chain/seat stays, and seat post. Yes, it sounds like I put too much, but I swear I removed the excess before riding. The lube is like chainsaw oil :o

  12. The value of a clean chain was driven home yesterday as I crossed the street. My chain jammed in the derailleur and promptly snapped, sending me flying into the road. Fortunately the nearest car was distant and stopped in time.

    Lessons learned: always wear gloves, even on a short roll to coffee. Don’t leave a metal wallet in your pocket. Run a thorough safety check before each ride (and learn more about bike maintenance).

    Strangely, I had a full drivetrain cleaning done by the LBS two weeks ago.

  13. @Oli Brooke-White
    Yep, have been a fan for a long time. In fact, I had a Reverence piece ready to run on it, but I guess another blurb about chain lube isn’t needed now!

    I first saw Pro Link in Tasmania on a road tour, the local shop swore by it and I was amazed how it actually cleaned my chain as I applied and wiped it off. Maybe a little bit underpowered for really wet MTB conditions, but amazing for the road bike. Have been trying Pedros ChainJ on the MTB, and it’s very good too. But the Chorus will be getting the Pro Link love…

  14. I give the Pro Link a huge thumbs up as well. Apply and wipe every ride and you are set.

    For the absolute best and least expensive degreaser….. diesel. Buy it by the gallon for less than three bucks. Hundreds of pro mechanics can’t be wrong.

  15. @Oli Brooke-White, @Brett, @pakrat
    Gents, take from the guy who switched from ProLink: Dumonde Tech is a world apart. I used the ProLink as well, and Saul at SpeedyReedy swears by it – good enough for me, right! Well, as described, I stumbled onto Dumonde Tech and it’s way quieter and runs smoother. Try it. For you Aussies & Kiwis, I’ll happily ship a bottle or two out to you to try out.

  16. @Geoffrey Grosenbach
    That sounds awful. A snapped chain – that is about as bad as it gets. Absolutely, always check all critical items before a ride. A well-maintained bike can be checked in less than 5 minutes; brakes, headset, bars, saddle/post, wheel skewers, etc. Scary stuff, that.

  17. @various

    Thanks for the tips. I implemented them last night and am pleased to report that on today’s ride I had near-perfect compliance with the principal of silence.

  18. Gonna give this goop a try. My LBS doesn’t stock this, but I found it on Ebay for $6.95 w/free shipping.

  19. Wow, cleaning your chain before every ride. That is dedication. Most days I’m too eager to get out and ride to do anything but pull a bike off the hook and head out.

    I usually clean and relube on Saturdays or Sundays, whichever day I do less riding. I rotate a few bikes so this means there aren’t too many miles on any one non-pristine chain.

  20. I use finish line ceramic wet lube and have been very happy with it.

  21. Could not agree more. I use it myself and we also use it here at Branford Bike. Thumbs up to the regular chain cleaning!!

  22. 1600Km per change? That’ll be about a month and a half between changes…

  23. just wanted to second the dumonde tech lube. gave it a try after running into this article a while back. works great and smells fantastic! i’m going to try the green variant once this bottle is out. my chain maintenance seems to be the same as described, by the way: wipe down gently between rides (preferably a couple hours later, after dinner and with beer in hand) and re-lube once the chain starts to make noise any louder than the blissful song of it humming through the rear derailleur, echo-ing off of parked cars, mailboxes and concrete barriers.

    also, regarding creaks… i recently developed an annoying creak coming from the BB area. specifically at the 5-6 o’clock position on my drive side crank when climbing. i’d recently gotten new bottle cages and heard they could cause this; riding without for a few minutes ruled that out. moving on, i removed, greased and tightened the chain ring bolts; no joy. pedals had been changed out recently as well; these were removed, re-lubed and re-tightened yet the problem persisted. finally, i tried the obvious solution i’d feared: pull the crank set and re-grease the BB area. with BB30, this was actually incredibly easy and required no more than a 10mm hex key, a gentle tap from a rubber mallet, grease and about ten minutes of my time. the creak is absolutely gone. guessing some damp winter rides on bike #1 washed some of the grease away. anyway lesson is: pulling a BB30 crank is easy and i should have tried this first.

  24. @Roadslave525A ride after which I don’t clean my entire drive train, degreaser and relube is a ride incomplete… It leaves me unsatisfied, irritable, wretched. Sitting there with my pint of post-ride recovery carbs in my V-chalice, cleaning each cog on my rear mech with an old tea towel and degreaser, degreasing the chain, then reassembling is a pleasure of which I’ll never tire… I’ve recently switched from finish line wet to dry… But I shall now try and source some dumonde… Is it available in the UK?Frank, agree on Campag… Shimano components wear out… Campag ones wear in… A timeless classic, as true as The Principle of Silence. There it is.Is it available in UK? Google doesn’t find much.

  25. @meursault

    Nice to hear that you’re looking after your bike however degreasing the chain after each ride is not very smart.Clean chain looks wonderful I know but chain degreased often will not last for long.Rub the outside plates of the chain in the clean rag and re-lube.Wipe off excess.When the chain gets a bit more dirty and it’s time for a bigger cleaning overlube it slightly and go for a ride.While riding all the dirt from inside the rollers will surface on top and then when you get home again rub the chain into a clean cloth/rag.This way what stays inside between the rollers is a lube/oil rather than degreaser.Once you learn this method cleaning the chain will be easier and your chain will last long.

    You can find dumonde on ebay,some shops will ship to uk so search ebay.

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