Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ernesto Bike Lube

What a cyclist uses for chain lubrication is one topic that can lead to lively debate. You'll find folks who swear by (or swear at) White Lightning, Boeshield, ProLink, TriFlow, Pedro's, etc. Ultra-distance legend Lon Haldeman is more casual about such things, lubing his bike's chain with whatever leftover oil he finds in discarded gas station oil cans. My own preference is for a lube that holds up well in the wet, isn't excessively messy and ideally isn't adding to Exxon's morbidly obese bottom line.

A couple of months ago I noticed that some guy called Ernesto is sponsoring nice guy Dave Nice. Ernesto and a couple of his buddies have a little company that makes chain lube from soybeans. I needed some lube, so I took a chance and ordered a four ounce bottle of the stuff.

It works. I've been using the stuff for the past couple of months (about 2,000 miles) of commuting and other on-road and off-road adventures in the Pacific Northwest. I've used less than an ounce of the lube in those two months. I use just enough lube to keep the squeaks away and wipe off the excess with a rag. That seems to be the recipe for keeping things reasonably clean and reasonably quiet.

And I like supporting Ernesto and his buddies instead of the guys whose business is built on sucking the remains of dead dinosaurs from the every corner of the globe. It makes me feel like I'm doing my bit to live up to the slogan on my t-shirt.

8 comments:

zman said...

Kent
I love ya, but who cares what Exxon makes? It's no different than not liking content on TV/Radio-simply turn the dial or shut it off. Likewise, if you find it impossible to live with what E/M makes then simply don't buy the stuff. Come on, bro, it's a free country.

Dan Gurney, Mr. Kindergarten said...

Kent, thanks for the recommendation. Next time I buy lube, it'll be Ernesto's. I'm totally with you on the "No Wars for Bike Lube" bandwagon. I love your blog!

nollij said...

I've been using the Ernesto lube for a few months myself, and it seems to be working out as well as my prolink does. I took a chance with it, as it seemed it wouldn't hold up like the ProLink I've been so in love with, but I've had good results in much drier conditions that Kent normally has. Ernesto was also very very good about getting back to me on my questioning emails: good customer service, which is more that I can say for a lot of products.

fixedgear said...

Great shirt!

louis said...

Hmmm.. so will they come out with grease that makes my hands smell like onion rings instead of that Phil grease smell ? If so, I'm in!

Harry said...

Bike chains are small consumers of chain lube. Logging operations with chain saws are something else again, and the environmental pollution from dino-lube so great that laws in some places forbid its use. So, yes, there are soy-based chain-saw lubricants.

DemostiX

Anonymous said...

This is a bit like the recumbent/sit up bike debate. I prefer to use old dinosaur remains in my car, on my bike, or wherever appropriate, because I would rather use those things than cut into the food supply needlessly by using food based products to grease my bike and power my car, raising the price of food needlessly.

I don't care how much Exxon makes. They operate on a much smaller profit margin than a government who produces nothing yet makes more money on a gallon of gasoline than Exxon does.

Anonymous said...

Dude, we're talking about using a few ounces a year, not a few gallons an hour. Most of the oil is recovered wastage that wouldn't enter the food market anyway; and the soybean pulp left after pressing is used to make TVP; low fat, high protein - food!