Lube up and ride on: Tips from a bike lube geek

The author at a Thursday Night Ride in 2016.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Hi! My name is Maria Schur and I work as the national sales representative for HGNR, which is the Portland-based, U.S. distributor of Dumonde Tech bicycle lubrication products.

If you’ve heard of me around town as Bicycle Kitty, recall my Forest Park commute back in 2012, or read my articles here on BikePortland, you know I’m not new to being a bike geek. My journey through the bike industry has included roles like managing a bicycle tire outlet store, planning and leading rides, hosting flat repair clinics, maintaining e-commerce sites, fitting and training children on bicycles, and now, chain lube!

After sharing our products with some of BikePortland’s subscribers, Jonathan offered me this platform to share more about the wonderful world of bicycle lube. (Note from Jonathan: “It’s true. Since taking Maria’s lube advice and using Dumonde, my drivetrains are super clean and quiet. Everyone should know about this stuff!”)


The science behind Dumonde Tech is pretty interesting. It’s a liquid polymer that, when exposed to air and the heat caused by friction, creates a plating effect where the liquid turns into a micro-solid plastic shield, effectively creating a coating inside the chain. Dumonde Tech chain lube makes for better shifting, and a longer-lasting, quieter drivetrain.

Chain lubes are probably one of the most underrated components on a bicycle. You won’t see it included in most bicycle diagrams; but without chain lube your drivetrain be unbearably loud, your shifting wouldn’t be smooth or easy, and your drivetrain components would pay the price by wearing out prematurely. It’s especially important here in Portland where we see so much rain and grit, and enjoy so much beautiful off-road cycling where gravel bits and grime play stowaway on your chain.

Now that you know you need good lube, here are simple tips to help you apply it correctly…

The thing with lube is that application methods can vary greatly between products. In the case of Dumonde Tech, we encourage folks to start with as clean a chain as possible and apply only one tiny droplet per link. (I even thread a rubber band around one of the pins so I can mark my starting spot.) After applying that one drip on the inside of the chain (the part that touches your cassette and chainrings), I wipe off any excess with a clean, dry rag.

You’re going to like this next step: Go ride! We encourage cyclists to ride right after applying Dumonde Tech chain lubricant because riding helps accelerate the plating process. When you get home from those first couple of rides, go ahead and wipe the chain with a dry rag again. After the first couple of applications, the plating process should be complete. You won’t need to apply any more lube until your chain asks you to (either by squeaking or rattling a little).

Your local bike shop should already carry Dumonde Tech products. If they don’t, simply let me know by commenting below and I’ll give them a friendly call to get them set up. To learn more about our lube, check out our website.

Thanks for listening and hope to see you out riding soon — with a clean, squeak-free chain!

— Maria Schur, Dumonde Tech
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