Summer PressCamp 2016, Part II

Summer PressCamp 2016, Part II

White Lightning, the maker of lubes, degreasers and regreasers—okay, just grease—has freshened up its look with new packaging. The goal is to tie the various products together better and make selection of the right product for your need easier. The little demonstration with sand was a great way to illustrate how White Lightning Clean Ride—a wax-based lube—won’t hold sand and other grime; the chain covered in sand was lubed using a traditional wet lube, something that isn’t White Lightning.


It was in being walked through the product line for the first time in a while that I learned that the Epic Ride lube would be a more appropriate solution for the longer rides  and races I’ve been doing. And for all the coffee obsessives out there who use burr grinders that need to be greased, White Lightning’s Crystal grease carries a food-grade rating, meaning there’s nothing in it to poison you, so if it finds its way into your coffee grounds, no harm, even less foul. Might be why they call it Crystal, as in clear.


The folks from Vancouver at Sugoi have embraced a bunch of new opportunities for visibility. It’s refreshing to see a brand go for more visibility, rather than less. Sure, a red jacket is easier to see than a black one, but just you wait—


Pow! This uses Sugoi’s new Zap technology for improved reflectivity. This is so bright and reflective I got pops off the jacket just from the room lights if I stood at the right angle. This is the RS Zap Jacket, which goes for $160.


I found the RS Century bibs and shorts to be particularly interesting for their ability to allow you to take the pack mule approach to support on rides. The bibs feature elasticized pockets on the legs that will allow you to carry a couple of gels. In addition to the three pockets in back, the middle of which is larger than usual, the jersey includes two zippered pockets along the side, one of which you can see zipped open here. The jersey goes for $120 while the bibs are $180. Stay tuned on these.


The RSE bibs have gotten some updating and much of the bibs are cut from a knit polyester as opposed to a traditional weave. The upshot is that these bibs wick better, are lighter and based on what I’ve seen from other knits, are more abrasion resistant. They go for $240.


Fabric, best known as a saddle manufacturer, showed off some new lights, like this tiny, yet blindingly bright, tail light. A $40 unit that can mount in a variety of ways.


Mini-tools are also a new addition from Fabric. They are making a few different flavors, with six, eight and 16 tools.


Where Fabric continues to distinguish itself is with innovative design and construction of saddles. This is the ALM (Additional Layer Manufacturing) which is arguably the cleanest-looking saddle I’ve seen, and this one is completely white. Not a saddle for spring, perhaps, but oh my.


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  1. Nik

    I used to use White Lightning “Clean Ride” and “Epic Ride” for years, because the thought of dirt not sticking to the chain clean appealed to me. Unfortunately, neither of them lubricates well. Usually, the chain starts squeaking and chirping after about 60 miles. So I have to re-apply after every ride. On bike tours where I ride more than 60 miles per day, I have to re-apply during the ride. This gets to be quite tedious.

    It seems that these White Lightning products have very poor lubricating properties. You might as well lightly rub a candle on your chain, or pour some water on it. Those also don’t attract dirt, and they also don’t lubricate well.

  2. Mark Beaver

    Agreed with Nik. I use Clean Ride on my various classic/vintage bikes (Holdsworth/Raleigh Pro/Mariposa/Roberts/etc) which get short sunny Sunday rides. My regular bikes get various traditional lubes like Finish Line Wet or ProLink that lasts longer. I sell lots of White Lightning Clean Ride in my shop to recreational riders, especially those who frequent crusher-dust railtrails, for whom 100km would be four or five rides. Perfect for them.

  3. Les.B.

    For what it’s worth, the White Lightning Epic Ride lube came in dead last of the 30 lubes tested in the Velolab/Friction Facts drivetrain efficiency tests

    1. Lyford

      I just started using Squirt(one of the better tested wax-based lubes) on one of my bikes. Not enough experience yet to say anything about performance, but it does stay clean.

  4. Andrew Joseph

    i used W/L Epic for years on my mtb, great in summer/dry rides. had to go to a wet lube for winter. then i realised i was going through chains really quickly compared to friends.

    have now changed to shimano ptfe lube and it’s the best I’ve tried so far.

  5. Paul Thober

    Weird. I’ve used White Lightening Clean ride for years. I lube my chain at about 500 mile intervals and get around 3000 miles out of SRAM 1130 chains which is before they show any appreciable wear. My chain does not squeak. Maybe it’s my lubricating tecnique. Let me share. I apply lots of lube, to the point that some is dripping off the chain. I then spin the rear wheel backwards for a couple of minutes to allow the lubricant to work its way in. Then I crank the pedals backwards while allowing the chain to run through a rag held in my other hand for a couple of minutes. I also wipe off any excess from the jockey wheels and chain wheels. Works for me.

  6. Bikelink

    +1 about Squirt can’t say enough about it. Huge drivetrain longevity for me, tested and shown to be best lubricant short of melting parafin, clean drivetrain if you degrease first (recommended), and last long enough (close to 2 weeks in dry condition, less in wet, but one little bottle lasted me a year of riding in mixed conditions).

  7. Pat O'Brien

    I used to use White Lighting on all my bikes. It didn’t last very long. Then I switched to DuMonde Tech Lite for the road bikes only. Then I switched the mountain bikes to DuMonde Tech Lite as well. It repels dust and dirt well if applied according to the directions. It lasts a long time. I also use it to lube derailleurs and other pivot points on the bike.

  8. naisan

    After reading the friction facts tests, I bought a Crock-Pot from goodwill, some cubes of parrafin from the supermarket, and for good measure a little moly powder. I get about 2000 miles on the road before squeaks, and the chain doesn’t attract dirt. I did have to degrease the chain the first time. It’s faster n cleaner to relube than anything else I’ve used and per friction facts about the fastest…and cheap too…

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