How to lubricate your bike chain for the playa


The Black Rock Desert playa is a harsh environment for bike chains.  At Burning Man you will need to lubricate your chain for your bicycle to function properly.

For riding in the desert we recommend using a “wax based lube” or “dry lube” that you can purchase from a bike shop. This type of lube needs to be applied more frequently than oil based lubes.  Depending on how much you ride the chain should be lubricated every day or two.  Luckily it is easy and quick to do.

A couple of examples are:

Clean Ride sets up as a dry wax film. There is no oily film to attract abrasive contaminants, so your chain and gears will perform better and last 2 to 3 times longer.

DRY Lube is especially recommended for riding on or off-road in dry, dirty, dusty environments, yet it holds up well in moderately wet conditions

Finally you’ll need some “shop rags” or make your own rags from an old towel or t-shirt.

Shop rags

Important: Please make sure that you have something under your chain while you are lubing it to catch any excess lube from landing on the playa. Another shop rag or some cardboard works well for this. The Bike Gods have a dedicated “Lube Station” with a cardboard floor if you need a place to lube your chain.

A short 1:27 video about how to properly lubricate your chain.