If you ride a bike with a dry chain, it can be an unpleasant experience. Cyclists, whether professional or amateur, understand this well and often use various types of lubricants. But not all lubricants are created equal!
While most lubricants are greasy, some are wax-based and offer unique benefits. Squirt lube is one such lubricant.
Developed by mountain bikers, Squirt lube promises optimal pedaling and longer-lasting efficiency. It enhances the pleasure of cycling while reducing the mess associated with greasy lubricants.
However, is Squirt lube truly the best bicycle chain lubricant on the market? Let’s examine its use, operation, advantages, and disadvantages together.
Squirt lube is a water and wax-based chain lubricant that offers superior lubrication and longer-lasting effects. This lubricant protects metal parts from moisture, preventing rust, and its wax-based composition prevents the build-up of dirt and dust. Its water base also makes it easy to apply.
When applied to the chain, the product appears whitish and dries transparent. It comes in 500ml or 120ml bottles for multiple uses, as well as 15ml bottles for four applications.
Squirt lube is effective in both wet and dry conditions, making it suitable for use in all weather conditions, including rain and sunshine. There are even specialized models designed for low temperatures, allowing you to cycle in deep snow or very cold conditions.
If you live in the northern part of the country, planning ahead for cold weather cycling with Squirt lube is a smart choice.
Squirt Lube is a water and wax-based chain lubricant that provides superior lubrication and lasting durability for your bike chain. Its wax-based composition prevents the accumulation of dirt and dust, while the water base makes it easy to apply.
For optimal efficiency, there are a few rules you need to follow when using Squirt Lube:
Make sure your chain is clean by removing any grease or dirt before applying the product. You can use a brush and a biodegradable chain degreaser, such as Muc-Off, to dissolve the old lubricant and clean the chain thoroughly.
Before applying the lubricant, ensure that the chain is completely dry, and there are no traces of water or other liquids. You can dry the chain in the sun or wipe it with a cloth.
Shake the bottle well before use to ensure that the wax is evenly mixed with the water. Apply the lubricant gently to your chain while rotating the crankset to ensure excellent penetration into the links. Be sure to apply the oil to the top of the chain and distribute it to all levels, including the chainrings, pinions, and different parts of the gear group (derailleurs, rollers, etc.). If there is excess oil, wipe it lightly with a cloth. Do not use too much, or else you will get wax balls all over the transmission.
Allow the lubricant to dry for a few hours before applying a second coat for more efficiency. Once dry, the lubricant becomes transparent.
To benefit from more drying time, lubricate your chain the day before an outing. You can also apply a light coat of wax before a ride “to be sure,” but be careful not to use too much.
By following these steps, you can effectively use Squirt Lube on your bike chain and enjoy a smoother and quieter ride.
As mentioned earlier, there are various sizes of lubricants available – 15ml, 120ml, and 500ml. The 15ml bottle is perfect for carrying in your bag during long rides while the 120ml and 500ml bottles are ideal for use in a workshop or garage.
For complete maintenance of your transmission, you will need a 120ml or 500ml bottle. If you plan ahead, it’s a good idea to have a mini-bottle of 15ml in your repair kit for emergency situations.
It’s worth noting that the 500ml lubricant is primarily reserved for professional mechanics or garages.
The choice of your wax lubricant can also depend on the temperature you will be riding in. The manufacturer has developed versions that are suitable for normal temperatures, as well as ones specially designed for low temperatures. The latter is ideal for snowy and cold weather conditions.
Using Squirt Lube offers several advantages for bike maintenance and performance.
Firstly, it helps prevent dirt build-up on the chain, resulting in a smoother and quieter drivetrain. With Squirt Lube, you can ride for several kilometers without the need to re-lubricate, and gear changes become frictionless, making pedaling a more enjoyable experience.
In addition, Squirt Lube is resistant to the various aggressions that cyclists may face when cycling in rainy weather. It remains effective even when exposed to water, but it’s essential to apply it indoors and allow enough time for it to dry.
Squirt Lube is especially effective for mountain biking as it can withstand shocks and vibrations. Moreover, it’s a 100% biodegradable product, which makes it eco-friendly.
When using Squirt Lube, you don’t need to lubricate the chain frequently, typically every 400 kilometers. This results in less regular maintenance and longer lifespan of the transmission components, such as the derailleurs, chainrings, chain, pinion, crown tooth, etc. Moreover, when the chain gets dirty, it’s easy to clean it with just a few wipes since the wax allows for easy cleaning.
Compared to conventional oil lubrication, which attracts dust and dirt and requires frequent cleaning, Squirt Lube offers a cleaner and more efficient alternative.
While there are several advantages to using Squirt lube, it’s important to note that there are also some potential downsides. This product is not a miracle worker, and it’s crucial to follow the recommended guidelines for use. Failure to do so can result in wax buildup on your chain and clothes.
If you have a bad experience with this product, it’s usually related to the condition of your chain. If there is old lubricant on the chain, using Squirt lube is unlikely to go well. It’s also possible for the wax film to unexpectedly disappear, particularly in rainy conditions. The longevity of the lubrication depends on how well you applied it, the weather, and the conditions your chain is exposed to.
In my personal experience, I found that not applying enough layers was a common issue.
To summarize, to use Squirt lube effectively, ensure that your chain is dry and thoroughly cleaned before applying the lubricant. Apply the lubricant without leaving any excess, spin the transmission, and wait a few minutes before reapplying. If you’re going on a multi-day bike trip, carrying a 15ml bottle of Squirt lube with you is a great idea. This way, you can reapply the lubricant as needed and keep your chain in top condition.
In conclusion, proper use of Squirt lube requires a certain level of organization and following the precautions mentioned earlier. To avoid any surprises, it is advisable to apply the lubricant a day before your ride and then apply a layer again on the day of the ride. With proper use, Squirt lube can provide a smooth and quiet drivetrain, prevent dirt buildup, and reduce the need for frequent maintenance. However, it is important to note that the product may have some disadvantages if not used correctly, such as leaving wax on your outfit and losing lubrication in humid conditions. By keeping your chain dry and perfectly cleaned, applying the lubricant without excess, spinning the transmission, and waiting a few minutes before reapplying, you can enjoy a great cycling experience with Squirt lube.