i know that you will laugh at me for this, but if any of you ever repeat it in public, i'll deny ever having said so. there were days when rather than attempting to emulate sven nys, jeremy powers or robert millar, i was the intrepid explorer, going where no man (other than calmac staff, citylink bus drivers and thousands of visitors) had gone before. with a young daughter to consider, when time came to make a visit to scotland, mrs washingmachinepost would head off with child in tow via the accepted form of public transport. i, on the other hand, would load up the muddy fox courier with all manner of stuff for which i would find little use along the way.
though i hadn't remembered this up till now, my obsession with clean shiny bicycle chains must have lurked in the background for longer than i'd thought. during the pre-departure maintenance stage i found it necessary to clean the chain prior to the lubrication part of the equation; there really is little point in adding lube to ground-in dirt. except, over and above the usual laugh-a-minute degrease and clean, i decided that i'd impose the 'don't leave home until i can see my face in it' state of affairs.
i'm well aware that the coatings placed on chain links vary according not only to brand, but to the amount of money initially spent, so my choice to use dura-glit to polish it within an inch of its sprockets was one fraught with danger. there was every possibility that my chainlinks would be simply a brighter shade of matt. however, in the case under discussion, the little swabs of polish infused wadding fulfilled every millimetre of promise, resulting in 110 links of mirror-like surface.
i'm happy to accept just such an accusation, for there really is no imaginable defence for carefully polishing every single chain link with a bona-fide metal polish, before dripping it carefully with three-in-one oil. such eccentricity was further enhanced on discovering that, by the time i'd reached the morning ferry, the chain had managed to re-acquire much of the dirt i had painstakingly removed less than 24 hours earlier. still, perhaps one of the best bits about riding a bicycle is that it's not too easy to view those shiny sideplates from the saddle.
there are, of course, several simpler means of degreasing, cleaning and lubricating a bicycle chain. the current method, at least up till this point, has been to spray some wd40 or gt85 onto an old black t-shirt that usually lies just inside the bike shed door, and give the chain a good scrubbing. once that's over and done with (preferably on a workstand to alleviate any potential back pain), a drop of pedros syn-lube on each link seals the deal, as they say on the street.
but now, obviously released to satisfy the clamorous demands of peppa pig admirers everywhere, comes the pedros chain pig. cutely designed to resemble the profile of a cartoon pig, its pink tinted transparency reveals a heath-robinson affair of brush wheels and a thick wad of sponge with a v-shaped chain-width channel.
the device is manufactured in two distinct pink parts; the lower half is placed under the chain and the upper section clipped over the top, a metal hook sliding alongside the lower jockey wheel to hold the agglomeration of parts in place. inside the box is a small bottle of pedros chain degreaser a remarkably small amount of which can be squirted in through a hole over the big brushy thing. it's then a simple case of running the pedals backwards several times (the box advises 25 times) until you can see your face in the sideplates.
i previously owned a similar device when dinosaurs roamed the planet, and attempting that which i have just detailed above resulted in several broken bits of grey plastic and a couple of tiny round brushes that refused to return from whence they came. the pedros chain pig has totally banished thoughts of yet another chain-cleaning disaster. easy to fit, easy to use and easy to store afterwards means it's not looking too promising for that oily black t-shirt.
pedros products are distributed in the uk by 2pure. the chain pig retails for a highly recommended £24.99.
tuesday 10 march 2015..........................................................................................................................................................................................................