Seasonal Ambiguity and Cleaning: White Lightning Products Dec 14, 2010


Seasonal ambiguity is really messing with me right now. My typical behavior this time of year is hang the road bike up, put knobbies on the Bruiser and wait for a dry day to crank out the miles. I typically don’t really clean my bikes a whole lot, leaving that for spring time. This recent move to Austin has made me actually want to clean my bikes in the middle of winter. Now, this review is from the heart. I went out and bought these products because they’re legit and I’ve been using them for a while now. White Lightning makes some solid lubricants and cleaners and today I put some to work!

Check out some more photos below.


I picked up a bottle of Park Grease (only because they didn’t have Phil Wood at the shop I went to), a can of Clean Streak and a bottle of Clean Ride.


My poor Merckx MX-Leader was a mess. I hadn’t touched it since March and I slacked off after the first few times I used Clean Ride, putting Triflow over my nicely sealed drivetrain (more on why that’s bad later).


My chainrings were caked, as was my chain and cassette.


First thing’s first: degrease! While it’s recommended that you remove your rings, cassette and wash them in degreaser, then run your derailleurs and chain through a cleaner, I’m far too lazy to do that. The nice thing about Clean Streak is you really don’t have to do anything but spray and wait.


Just spray the shit out of everything. The pulleys in your derailleur, the chain, cassette and chainrings. I also zapped my brakes to get rid of some of the accumulated brake dust and the downtube and bottom bracket to get the road grime off.


After that’s done, take the Clean Ride and link by link, add a drop of it to the chain. Run it through the drivetain and wait for 15 minutes. Do this three times and your chain and drive will have a nice waxy coating on it. As White Lighting points out:

“Clean Ride is a unique, wax-based lubricant, so it is important to start with a clean chain. For optimum ‘self-cleaning’ performance, do not mix Clean Ride with oil based lubricants.”

Never, ever mix lubes. Huh huh.


Let it dry and maybe apply one more round. Usually, when it’s all dry, you can run your finger down the chain and it won’t be dirty. Pretty cool. Every few weeks, hit it with another application.


Now my bike is all ready to hit the road tomorrow. Next order of business: track down my missing dustcap. Even if the Cannibal didn’t ride them, I still do.

White Lightning makes some great products and NO, they didn’t contact me to do this. I did it out of my own love for their lubricants and cleaners. Support your LBS and buy local!

  • M

    I can see myself stealing that…and not feeling bad about it.

  • Hmmm, NEVER liked white lightening. Still have a bottle they sent me for free when I worked in a shop in 1995. Left my chain squeeking by the end of my first century ride on it. White Lightening = Fail

  • DUDE! You crazy! Tons of shops use this shit. You must have not been using it right! :-P

    Been using it for years! I used it on my ride from NYC to Philly and will use it when I tour this summer!

  • Cleaned it in the solvent tank, applied, reapplied, etc. So stoked, headed out for 100 miles in 90+ dregrees with my homeys, got to the 1/2 way point and started sqeakin like 3 blind mice. Never used that gunk again. All flaked off in 50ish miles. I use T9 at the shop, like it, it is simple to use and works well. I have tried Chain-L No.5 on a few bikes, seems to work well but is messy.

  • matt Churchill

    I’m with fuzzy on this one. Every shop I’ve worked in has used T9 and if we’re out of that, whatever Pedros Dry we had lying around. Boeshield T9 was made for airplanes, it’s safe to say it works just great on a bike. I’ve never been a big fan of White Lightning, but I know a lot of people who swear by it. Everybody rides and maintains differently, so it’s good to try out various lubricants to see what works best for you.

    Also, if you learn to clean and lube your chain properly, your bike mechanic will be a happier person.

  • John

    +1 more for T9. I like that it cleans nicely too.

    Clean Streak works great, though you want to put on a mask if you spray it that much indoors.

  • James

    Lube is a matter of choice, i personally hate white lightning, wears out too quick. rock n roll gold is where it’s at… & pedro’s syn lube for shyte weather.

  • clean streak is tha shit son

  • jordan

    tried white lightning as my first ever lube choice and like others said it didn’t last and i was forced to apply it about every three days.
    rock n roll miracle red degreaser and chain L lube are my “must use” now
    chain L is a bit messy but works fantastic.

  • dontcoast

    not a fan either. doesnt last long enough.r