I’ve posted a bit here and there about various lubes and what seems to be working for me and what’s not. I have a toolbox in the garage dedicated just to lubes and it’s nearly overflowing with a number of very common chain lubes on the market these days.
A number of years ago, I had at the time, the best chain cleaning/lube process that involved a rag, a small amount of degreaser and a wax based lube from a company that’s no longer in business. It was my go to chain treatment. At that time I was working for a bike shop in town and would apply the cleaning and lube to various customers bikes, knowing that at some point in time, I’d receive feedback regarding the service their bike was in the shop for. 8 out of 10 would not only comment back on how well their bike worked, but would also mention something about their chain. They often times asked me if I’d replaced it and not charged them. To me, that was the validation I needed. My cleaning and lube process was everything I made it out to be.
Since that company when out of business, I’ve been dipping over the past 10 years or more, into various chain lubes. Often times, I’d just grab what ever was convenient, splash it on my chain and go. Then, one day, in a race packet was a bottle of something new. A waxed based lube! Sort-of funny that I didn’t gravitate back to my old ways and test out the tried and true method. Instead, I tossed it in the toolbox with the rest. A few months went by and I had the brilliant idea to give this new lube a chance. It finally clicked and I grabbed a rag, some degreaser and the new bottle of lube. Low and behold… it worked. Just like the old days! I was as excited as one could get about chain lube… actually, probably a bit more excited until I realized I was running low and I couldn’t find any more around. (Since then, both Bikers Edge and Bountiful Bike, keep it stocked on the shelf.)
Squirt was the magical lube that brought back those shop memories of clean, smooth fast running chains. I decided to look into them a bit more and after some research, a little one on one time with them at Sea Otter, I discovered they’re lube and nearly every other on the market, has been through some serious testing that validates my thoughts even more than a the 8 out of 10 customers.
Velo News decided to put 25 different lubes of all types, to the test. A very serious test. Check it out here. The results were simply put, that a few wax based lubes did quite well as they keep the chain fairly clean. Most of us know that. But the guts of this test were based on what lube is the fastest. What lube takes the least amount of watts and is the most efficient lube on the market. Less friction = speed, speed = awesome. Simple math right there.
Squirt came out, pretty much on top. It was actually second in line to Molten Speed Wax, claimed to be the best all-round option for lube choices. Now, I could have told you this based on my own personal testing and use, but the article by Velo News pretty much seals the deal.
My cleaning and lube process:
After a soapy wash using products like Simple Green or BIO BIKE, you may not need to use a heavy degreaser on your chain. But in most cases, it does help. Either way, I typically pour a little degreaser into a rag, wrap the rag around the chain, just in front of the bottom derailleur pulley, and with my right hand, spin the cranks backwards. Adjust your hand pressure from time to time and make sure to get all sides of the cain. Once it’s fully clean, apply your Squirt lube to the chain by allowing the bottle to drip across the chain while you spin the cranks backwards. Be sure to get the entire chain and feel free to freewheel the cranks a bit slower than this time around.
Once the chain is lubed, I like to run the bike through all the gears to make sure it’s shifting correctly and allow the lube to work it’s way into the pins on the chain. Depending on how much lube you used, you may need to lightly wipe any excess off, in the same format you used to degrease the chain.
Some more notable products coming form Squirt, that I’ve had the opportunity to use and also really enjoy
Bio-Bike is a concentrated & biodegradable bike cleaner. The concentrate can be diluted to 1:25 and still produce a heavy-duty cleaning solution. It is water based and does not contain any organic solvents.
SQUIRT BARRIER BALM
Squirt Barrier Balm is a protective balm that forms an invisible microfilm on skin.
• repels moisture
• protects against chafing and chemical irritation
• helps prevent fissures
• anti-fungal and anti-bacterial
• long lasting