One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. -Annie Dillard

Yep, that used to be my blogging policy until life caught up with me. Again, this is weekend warriorship we’re talking about. None of this "I went for a nine-hour ride before getting a massage and eating a meal prepared by my in-house cook." Although, I’m sure my wife feels like that sometimes.

So instead, you get stories like these:

About two weeks ago, I was headed out on a mountain bike ride when I realized I needed to slap on the new SRAM chain I’d bought. My drivetrain was trashed at the time, so I needed to get the gunk off my cassette before I put on the chain. Unfortunately, I’d already spent my entire can of T9, and I had no idea where to purchase more. Looking around in desperation, I found a bottle of 10W30 motor oil.

"What the heck," I thought. "It’s good enough to grease my motor."

If you’ve ever tried this, you already know where I’m going. I went out on my mountain bike ride, and the drive train was ticking over smoothly. The trails were dusty and dry, and we got pretty dirty. Still, it’s my favorite season to ride.

When I got back, my bike was pretty dusty, but, I assumed, so was my partner’s. So no big deal.

The next week, same two guys, same bikes, no changes or maintenance, back on the trails. It wasn’t until I took a look at the other person’s bike that I realized, "Hey, my drive train is caked in dirt." And I mean CAKED.

Motor oil, unlike bike grease, has no protective element, so it absorbs crud. There’s no wax, no teflon, and nothing else to keep it unsticky. Who knew?

Fortunately, I discovered Sears sells T9 (only in large cans accompanied by some kind of rust-remover manufactured by the same company). So last night, I T9-ed my drive trains (both road and mountain), and probably used half of the can to just clean the crud from my mountain bike chain. Looking at the resulting puddle of mud as I left for work this morning, I couldn’t help but laugh at my folly. Dumb.

So that’s my revelation today: don’t use motor oil on your bike.



2 thoughts on “Revelations

  1. Boz

     I\’ve gone to a wax based chain lube (Finish Line) since it has been so dry here lately, and I love it. I does\’t seem to pick up dirt at all. I run a shiny silver SRAM cassette which stays shiny all the time. I cleaned verything first w/ Castro degreaser first – that seemed to be the key. I still lubed the pivots w/ Triflow, but the cables and chains w/ the wax. Made for quiet shifts and low maintainence.

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