Sometimes readers write in with questions and I do my best to answer them. Here’s my most recent answer to a reader question.
Q: Dear Jack,
I’ve heard that they make bike chain lubes with Teflon now. That sounds pretty cool. Should I switch to Teflon lube for my bike? I live in Jacksonville and ride out 50 miles per week.
Teflon or No Telfon?
A: Teflon — the same stuff that’s in the non-stick coatings that keep your fried eggs from sticking to the pan — can help your bike chain last a lot longer. That’s right — Teflon’s not just for cookie sheets any more. There are a wide variety of spray-on bike chain lubricants that contain Teflon. Dry Lubricant from Finish Line is one example. Dry Lubricant is great if you’re biking on dirty, dusty roads and ‘moderately’ wet conditions. That sort of lube might be better for places like Arizona or Utah. More desert-y kinda places.
In Jacksonville, because we’re by the coast and we get plenty of rain every year, you’ll need something that won’t wash off as easily. Wet Lubricant from Finish Line may not have any fancy Teflon in it — just some unspecified ‘water repelling polymers’ — but it will help keep your drivetrain running, even on those days in September when we get 7 inches of rain.
So, reader, here’s my advice: before you decide what kind of lube to get, take a look at your rain gauge. I know that Teflon lube sounds great, and it is, but it’s not necessarily right for you.