Though some sites poo-poo it, I’ve been a fan of wax (paraffin) chain lubrication for years. This image (p 13) illustrates a double boiler like the one I used, but I opted for a large frying pan and a pie tin in which I placed the chain and one four-ounce stick of wax (1/4 the recommended amount). One stick will suffice for a standard road/racing chain and a 9″ pie tin. After the boiling water melted the wax I removed the tin pie pan and gave it a few twisting shakes (which lets all of the accumulated chain gunk seep out into the hot wax bath). When it’s cool, the sticky wax takes all the dirt and leaves a like-new chain. I’ve never experienced drivetrain/shifting problems using this technique and, after a short time, the chain accepts liquid lubricants normally (e.g. tri-flow). A couple of tips: place the tightly curled chain squarely in the middle of the tin with the extracted pin pointing up. Place the tin on a hard surface and push the paraffin onto the extracted pin (which holds it in place as it melts and keeps the whole contraption flat). Fold the edges of the pie tin upwards to keep water out.
My pal Eddie went with me to check out a “too good to be true” deal on a used Brompton the other night. Everything checked out, so I’m the proud owner of a 1998 (?) folder. As far as I can tell it’s the “R3” model (a three-speed with a rack). The seat is awful, but I’ll probably upgrade to a Brooks soon. I’ve taken it on the subway a couple of times and ridden it across the Brooklyn Bridge. So far so good.
I did the 5-boro bike tour today. The ride starts in Manhattan, touches the Bronx, winds through Queens, and then drops into Brooklyn across the Varrazano and into Staten Island (I didn’t do that last part). The planning seemed a little off this year since we had to wait nearly an hour between 51st and 57th where traffic was halted into the park.