Monday, September 29, 2014

Finish Line Teflon Dry Lubricant: Lubrication Without the Gritty Aftertaste

Finish Line Teflon Plus Spray

Cycling enthusiasts are eternally happy to inform you that bicycles are the most efficient form of transportation, whether or not it's true (it probably is).  A modern bicycle maximizes the mechanical advantages inherent to simple machines, things like levers and pulleys, by reducing overall weight and keeping tolerances tight. Because of those tolerances, regular periodic maintenance and lubrication are some of the essentials to keeping your bicycle in top condition. A proper lubrication regimen means paying careful attention to all moving parts.

Over the years I've used dry lube on almost everything that moves on my bicycle, especially the moving parts of the front and rear derailleurs and the shifters. I also regularly lube shift and brake cables and brake cantilevers with a few drops dripped from a bottle of my favorite, Finish Line Dry Lube. More recently, I've expanded my lubricant arsenal to include aerosol cans of Finish Line Teflon Plus Spray. Except for added propellants, this formula is identical to what's in the original drip bottle.

I picked up on this stuff after the household’s aging Lemond road bike developed shifter problems and the mechanic at the local bike shop chided me for not lubing the shifter housings, those integral shifter/brake levers that are the standard on road bikes. Finish Line's aerosol can comes with a skinny red straw familiar to fans of WD-40. That straw gives me pinpoint precision needed to squirt lifesaving lube deep within the shifter housings before a ride. I also use the aerosol sans straw for a wide-angle shot at the cogset after washing the bikes. 

Finish Line's Teflon®-based lube claims to be the "original ‘dry' lubricant." There’s a quick-evaporating synthetic (non-petroleum) base, which contains microscopic polymers in suspension. The formula also contains rust inhibitors and a penetrant that lets it reach the smallest nooks and crannies. When the base liquid evaporates, it leaves a waxy coating that doesn't attract grit and grime as much as oil-based lubricants can. The waxy coating serves as both lubricant and protectant. It’s formulated to withstand high pressure and temperature, and resist water - at least temporarily, though the wise cyclist re-lubes after a rainy ride or giving the bike a bath. 

I've used this product and others from Finish Line family on my road and hybrid bikes for almost twenty years, and my old Trek 1400, now a backup bike for occasional rides, rolls almost like new with over 10,000 miles on it (especially after a tune-up).  My bikes and I swear by Finish Line. 

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