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White Lightning Chain Lubricant is a wax-based lubricant made specifically for bicycle chains and manufactured by the talented lubrication engineers at the White Lightning Company in Bay Shore, New York. It was invented in 1994 by Paul Maples, a research chemist and cyclist.

There are three basic groups of bicycle chain lubricants: Dry (lithium or PTFE based), Synthetic Oil, and Wax-based. Apparently, no wax-based lubes for bicycles existed prior to 1994. White Lightning is wax-based, which gives it superb dust resistance and "self-cleaning" attributes. The self cleaning thing basically means that the wax bonds to any dust or dirt particles that stick to the chain, encapsulating them. These encapsulated particles are then shed from the chain by the mechanical action of the drivetrain.

The literature suggests that it works best in dry, dusty environments - exactly the places that synthetic oil lubes get munged up. This has certainly been my experience in summertime North Carolina and sunny Southern California. Some of my cold-weather biking friends have told me that it leaves something to be desired in a cold/wet situation. WLC makes a cold/wet product called "Race Day" but I have no idea how well it does or doesn't work. I can tell you that the "original formulation" works like black magic - hot liquid bike sex in a plastic bottle.

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