QUESTION: My brand of chain lube comes in either a spray can or a drip bottle. Which way of applying lube is better? — Chris D.
RBR REPLIES: Both spraying and dripping work fine. But spraying is an advantage if the chain has residue you’d like to loosen and remove.
When you spray, direct a thin mist at the chain where it goes over the cassette cog. Rotate the crank slowly backward as you spray. If you use light pressure with your finger, you’ll avoid getting lube all over the wheel or frame. Just in case, put a rag on the rim and tire under the cassette and another around the chainstay.
Once the chain is wet, continue turning the crank for a minute to help the lube work in. Then hold a clean rag around the chain to wipe off the external gunk loosened by the lube. Remember, lube belongs inside the links, not on the outside where it acts like a dirt magnet.
If you use a drip bottle, squeeze a drop across each roller, one at a time, as you turn the crank backward. Again, put a rag underneath. Dripping is more time-consuming than spraying, but it’s the most economical method. Look at it as an exercise in Zen meditation.