What your Service Manager doesn’t want you to know: “Chem and Lube”

Articles How To's/Tech Tips Main Mountain Biking

Here’s another “service” that Service Managers have come up with. But all it is taking money out of your wallet.

“Chem and lube.” This is a stupid service where they use fancy words like, “degrease, lubricate, moving parts,” and my favorite, “bicycle specific chemicals.” They may charge anywhere from $7.00-$15.00 to get this service done.

But what you don’t know is, once they take your bike to the back where you don’t see what they’re doing….all they really do is spray some degreaser on your cassette, chain, derailleur and chain rings. Wipe it down, drop some lube in the nooks and crannies and then spray some sort of bike wash or polish once they’re done.

Anyone can do this themselves in their own garage or under a tree while sipping some lemonade. Ghost Rider shows you how you can easily do all that jazz yourself…with pictures too!

So rather than paying someone to do this one time “service” for you, just use that money, get some degreaser, lube and bike wash and you can do this through out the whole year. To me it makes more sense to have the capability to do this chem and lube thing when ever you want because in reality, the cost of the chemicals you buy should last you about a year.

RL Policar

RL Policar is an avid mountain biker and the Editor In-Chief of MtnBikeRiders.com and BikeCommuters.com. Between the two sites, he's published well over 4,000 articles (and growing).


6 thoughts on “What your Service Manager doesn’t want you to know: “Chem and Lube”

  1. our local LBS (our only LBS) charges $30 for a tune up. however he changes your cables (both shifter and brake) trues your wheels, and does an actual shifter tune up, lubes everything and makes sure everything is still tight. i don’t think he cleans anything though.

  2. Wow for $30 you get all that! That’s pretty impressive. Neil, why don’t you post the name of your shop to let everyone know that it’s a legit shop.


  3. It’s Adventures Bike Shop. They’re in Bluefield, West Virginia and Wytheville Virginia. I’d post the website, but they don’t have one. right now it’s a 3 man crew, the owner he’s in Bluefield, his manager, he runs the Wytheville store and my wife, she works when they need her.

  4. I pretty much do this after most of my rides to keep the bike running tip top. takes about twenty minutes so well worth the effort, especially the next day when the first turn off road you hit a big ass mud puddle… the pain:)

  5. As an ex shop manager I would say that time is money. $15 relates to 15 minutes.. if it takes the 15 minutes to degrease your drive train and regrease that’s how much they should charge.

    Saying that – it is an easy task that you should learn if you ride often.

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