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Most of us won’t even think of going riding when we know we’re going to get drenched. However, we’ve all driven hours to an event in sunny conditions and upon arrival it starts pouring cats and dogs. I have to admit, I’ve DNS’d some of those races but there’s many more that I’ve reluctantly started. In wet conditions, lubing your chain properly and keeping your drivetrain running smoothly will leave you with one less thing to worry about during the race.
There are two common types of lube – wet and dry. Dry lube tends to suit most conditions. It contain compounds (like Teflon) that are suspended in a carrier fluid that penetrates between the links thus reducing friction. Once it’s applied to the chain, wipe off the excess and the Teflon will be left inside the links. Wet lube is more like a traditional oil. It will last longer in wet conditions but will attract more dirt and road grime.
On the days you know you’ll be riding in the rain, greasing your chain will keep your drivetrain working smoothly even in the worst downpour. Oil your chain as normal (with WET lube), but instead of wiping off the excess, seal it in with a layer of grease. This is a job better done with a rubber glove than your bare hand.
This will keep your drivetrain running and shifting smoothly in the worst of wet conditions.