Pros: Excellent lubrication without attracting dirt. Easy to apply.
Cons: More expensive than conventional chain oils.
I have always been a fanatic about keeping my bicycles clean and well tuned. From BMX to road, to mountain bikes, the key to enjoyment on two wheels is to make sure that the bike is properly maintained. Chain lubrication presents somewhat of a challenge (especially for bikes used off road or in harsh elements. Too little lube and you introduce friction and possibly corrosion, too much lube and dirt attaches itself to the chain and/or the lubricant flies all over the place making the bike a grimy mess. White Lightning is a wax-based chain lube that attempts to address this issue. It lubricates and protects the chain but also adheres well, without attracting dirt buildup. White Lightning is available in liquid or spray bottles. It also comes in a "Race Day" version. My experience is limited to the original formula in the bottle.
Wax has been used for chain lubrication for some time. Some early wax chain lubes required the user to melt the wax and then dip the chain into the melted wax. It worked well but the application was time consuming and wasteful. White Lightning (and now other wax lubes) simplifies the process by immersing the wax in a solution for simple application. After application, the liquid "carrier" evaporates leaving a thin coat of wax behind. The remaining wax works well as a chain lubricant but attracts far less dirt and grime than lubricants that leave oily residues on the chain.
Prior to applying White Lightning, it is important to clean the chain well. This is true for new and old chains alike. Most bike shops sell citrus-based cleaners that work well for this purpose. "On bike" cleaning systems are also available. An alternative way to clean a chain thoroughly is to put several ounces of cleaner in an old (2) liter plastic soda bottle and then drop the chain into the bottle. With the lid screwed tightly, the chain can then be cleaned by shaking the bottle. Repeat the process more than once if the chain is extremely dirty. After cleaning, allow the chain to dry completely.
Once the chain is dry, the White Lightning is simply dribbled on to the chain. After the application, a rag or paper towel can be used to wipe excess lubricant from the chain. Because White Lighting does not attract dirt like many chain lubes, it is not usually necessary to clean the chain before every subsequent application of White Lightning. Though it is still a good idea to periodically clean the chain.
I have been using White Lightning for several years and really like the way it performs and especially like the way that it sheds dirt and debris. Though it was originally designed for off-road applications, I have used it on all of my bikes. Another review stated that White Lightning is difficult to remove but I have not found this to be a major problem. In fact, because White Lightning attracts less dirt than "oily" lubes, I generally find that I spend less time cleaning the bike and drive train. Citrus cleaner can be used for cleaning heavy buildup from the bike and drive train but, in most cases, I simply wipe excess White Lighting away with an old cotton rag. That said, it is difficult to apply White Lightning without excess lubricant dribbling onto the floor. It is a little more difficult to remove White Lightning from porous surfaces -- it will leave white spots on a driveway. Since it is wax, it will eventually wash away in weather but I generally throw down some newspaper to catch the drips.
Chain lubrication is not a real exciting topic but it is critical for optimum performance of a bicycle. In my experience, White Lightning is on par with many of the oil and Teflon based chain lubricants but it seems to attract far less dirt and grime. And for that reason, I give it high marks.