Sub Zero Alaska Sub Zero Alaska


The challenge – below zero temps, cold soak, ice and snow – nearly 7 days on the Iditarod Trail is a test for man and machine alike. I used specific low-temp lubes for the hubs, headset and BB to reduce rolling resistance, however I wasn’t happy with the current chain lube offerings. Ride Mechanic had a solution – Bike Cream.

When I was about 12, I used to boil my chain in paraffin wax and vaseline. Mum hated that I’d wrecked her good cookpot, but I was on a science mission – to find the best chain lube for my riding, around the country backroads of Fernvale.

Nothings changed in the 30 odd years since (except mums forgotten about that cookpot) – I still search for the best chain lube for the application – I had an upcoming race that was like no other I’d done before – deep in an Alaskan winter.

A lube that has ‘wet film’ characteristics, proven solid lubricant performance AND a pleasant scent that you could wear as a cologne? Believe it. Even at -28C the lube applied and performed as if it was +28C. It didn’t wash out, and the chain remained sparklingly clean.

I lube my chain pretty much the same way as the video, but I don’t wait overnight (like Bike Milk), it’s ready to ride.

Application: Wipe chain down (backpedal with cupped rag); Apply lube, work through with a few backpedal rotations; Wipe off excess, backpedal with cupped rag.

Chain is bright and shiny. There seemed to be no change in viscosity of the fluid in the bottle at low temps, the fluid also flowed onto the chain and into the links just as it would at 20C. I recall a few years back, I tried rock n roll onto a cold chain, it solidified immediately on contact – suspended wax content. Bike cream did nothing like this, it just penetrated and flowed easily. I could saturate the chain, it just flushed out the waste.

The grey waxy paste that came out of the chain was just the waste after hours of riding. The lube didn’t solidify due to the temps. Those pics you see of the drivetrain were after a day or so of riding and since relube – the chain had not been wiped down since re-lubing, so that’s the true amount of buildup in that cassette closeup.

I’m a pragmatic person and ONLY back products that prove themselves in the field. Bike Milk has proven itself as my premium, ultimate dry lube for my beach riding. Now I have a chain lube that has proven itself in harsh winter climes – Bike Cream.

Ride Mechanic products helped me become the first Aussie to complete the Iditarod Trail Invitational, with Bike Cream on the chain, Bike Butter for the zippers and gear cables, and Downunder cream for…downunder. All locally made too – Aussie pride!

Troy Szczurkowski