Finish Line No-Drip Chain Luber

Finish Line No-Drip Chain Luber

I don’t recall the last time I felt a need to write about chain lube. There are a billion of them and all of them will improve any chain in need of lubricating, but if you’re sufficiently introverted or simply possess too damn much free time (or perhaps a doctorate in tribology), you can talk about this stuff ad nauseum. I try not to be one of those guys.

When I lived in places that received high amounts of rain, locales where I was occasionally forced to ride in monsoon-like conditions, I went for thick, wet lubes. They worked well. Today, I live two miles from the beach and wet lubes pick up sand like wool pants pick up cat hair—might as well be magnetic. So I use dry lubes. My preferred one is ProLink, but I really try not to get too worked up about it. I just want a lube that doesn’t leave behind much residue so that when I do ride through sand, the chain doesn’t start looking like sedimentary rock.

But because I run dry lubes and I ride in dry conditions, I have to lube my chain pretty frequently. I have to lube the chain on my mountain bike at least once a week. And the chains need a pretty thorough soaking. The upshot of which is that it’s not uncommon to end up with a few drips of lube on the rear wheel, unless I’m ultra-careful. Sometimes even then.

So the Finish Line No-Drip Chain Luber is just a container with a spout that sends lube into what looks to be a ScotchBrite pad. I really love that Finish Line so thoroughly believes in this gizmo that they sell it empty so that you can add your favorite lube. When was the last time you encountered an agnostic product? Squeeze and spin the chain. I’ve used it on three bikes and in each case the chain was more consistently and quickly lubed—with no drops on the rear wheel or the garage floor—than with any other device I’ve ever used. This $8.99 doodad is seriously the best improvement in chain care I’ve encountered in at least 10 years, maybe longer.

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  1. Tom in Albany

    I really like this idea as I’m constantly dripping the stuff all over the place. One question for you, Padraig:

    Is that pad replaceable? I can see it getting awfully dirty depending on your riding environment.

    Thanks for the review. I’ve gotta go get me one!

    1. Author

      Tom: I left out of my review the fact that the chain luber comes with a replacement pad. I figure they must be easy enough to clean, as well.

    1. Author

      Dustin: I can’t claim that the way this thing works is intuitive, but it’s such a massive improvement over how I’ve lubed chains in the past, without taking an hour to execute, that the surprise has yet to wear off.

  2. Les.B.

    I use a needle oiler to spot oil right on the joints of the chain. Never a drip, and the bottle of lube lasts forever. Takes about 10 minutes, and I have to put on my reading glasses to do it.
    Usually that’s what I do.
    Right now my chain is on paraffin, which of course requires an entirely different method of application.

  3. Thom

    Drop per roller right next to the inner plate and then a quick wipe of the links with a rag does the trick without a mess . The trick is to do it AFTER your ride or at least the night before so that the evaporative carrier has a chance to get the actual lube inside the chain and then dry up and go away. If you put it on right before your ride, the lube gets flung onto the outside of the chain attracting dirt and not lubing the inside of the rollers. You wind up with a dirty and dry chain that needs to be lubed more often. It also make the chain and cassette wear faster. “Dry” lube can be the worst for this as it uses more of an evaporative carrier in relation to the actual lube. I use Motorex wet and because the majority of the lube is inside the rollers, my chain stays lubed and clean even in very dusty conditions. Motorcycles use o-ring chains to keep the lube inside where it needs to be. Bikes don’t have that luxury do to our limited horsepower and smaller and more precise chain dimensions that need to shift. The pro mechanics use a smear of grease on the rollers to replicate what o-rings do in really wet races. It’s not there for lubrication, but to keep the lube inside the chain. Of course that’s a really messy and one time use situation. Those chains are getting tossed after that race or the stage. That’s why a heavier lube, used sparingly in the right area, and allowed to set up before use is the most effective.

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