If you ever want to spark a lively conversation among cyclists, just ask them what lube they prefer and then be sure to add “for you bike chain”. It must be hard to be a bike lube salesman, because folks tend to be pretty damn loyal, when it comes to what they slather on their chain. Your Uncle Gomez is no different. I’ve been using the same lube for the better part of the last two decades. So I have no intention of selling you anything…..well, maybe a t-shirt or a patch here and there, but only if you really want one…..but not lube. Today I’m just going to share with you a story of why I changed my fat-bike lube over the last six months and you can all make up your minds, which lube will make your partner happy.
I’ve written articles about what beach riding does to drive trains and given pause to study how many chains and cassettes my old Moonlander, Thparkle, consumed over the first 8 months of riding. All of this took place, while I used Pro-Link Gold wet lube, just like I’ve done, on all of my bikes since some time in the 90’s. Wet lubes work well in my climate for road, gravel and trail, but the beach is a different animal. I noticed that, after beach rides, my drivetrain was a horrible mess. The sand combined with the lube, to form an abrasive batter, that stubbornly clung to my chain. Normal cleaning, with more lube and a rag, removed most of the sand on the outside surfaces of the chain, but the parts that interface with the chainring and cassette tooth surfaces remained sandy. I guess I could buy one of those chain cleaning gizmos, but I’m way too lazy in my bike maintenance, and it would just gather dust after the first few cleanings. I thought there had to be a better solution.
So I started asking the most experienced beach riders, that I know, what they used on their chains. Dry lubes seemed to dominate the beach ride set and the most popular brand was Squirt. In the interest of testing, I purchased two bottles of dry lube. I tried Squirt and Finish Line. The Finish Line Ceramic wax lube turned into a solid during this winter’s cold temperatures and after thawing it out (once), I gave up on it and switched to the Squirt. The Squirt Lube stayed liquid to a much colder temperature, but at around zero, even it turned solid. I’ve continued using only Squirt on my fat-bike’s chain and have noticed a big difference from when I was using Pro-Link. No longer is my chain covered with a sand and lube coating after beach rides. The squirt keeps the bike shifting smoothly and I don’t have to apply the lube every single ride. I’m still using the original drive train after 7 months of use and abuse with no shifting issues to report. I just ran out of the first bottle of Squirt that I purchased and I’ve just ordered another bottle. If you ride in sandy conditions, don’t be afraid to try a wax based, dry lube. I’ll never put wet lube on my fat-bike again ( if I can help it).
For more information on Squirt long lasting dry lube visit – www.squirtlube.com
Same thing for Finish Line Lubes – www.finishlineusa.com
And while we’re at it, why not Pro-Link? – http://bikes.progoldmfr.com
I too used to be a ProLink fanboy, then I tried Rock n Roll. Both were humbled by the performance of Squirt on the trail (or road), so now it’s all I use. I still keep a bottle of RnR gold for derailleur pivots and cables, but on my chain, Squirt is the best, hands down.
Yes, everyone likes a certain chain lube. But, in my 21 years in the bike business, there are a few products that one asks, “WTF did they come out with that?” One was the URT suspension design, the other, Squirt lube. Next to White Lightning, in our experience, Squirt has to be the most deplorable lube ever devised. The buildup on the drivetrain of that stuff is bad, requiring us to charge a customer more for a drivetrain clean to get that crap off. Every ride requires reapplication as well as using multiple tools to attempt to clean off the excess. I could come up with a better lube using old suspension fork fluid. Yes, we do live near sand, the dry Highline Canal, that is 70 miles plus of bottomless sand to ride your fat bike in, in the Denver area. I don’t know what lube out there that would not collect sand granules. Yes, we own and ride multiple fat bikes.
Make sure you get the right Squirt – sounds like Arapahoe unfortunately got to test counterfeit product. Read about it on BRAIN – former American distributor getting sued for manufacturing fake Squirt. The real stuff is still the best. Look for the bottle with blue cap, not white.
I’ve been using Squirt for 2yrs now, except winter, and find that it works better than anything else. There was some phony Squirt sold by a since fired distributor. It can be identified by having a white cap on the bottle and being very sticky, not good, when rubbed between your fingers. This Jackhole was making rounds west of the divide and probably would have targeted denver metro, maybe you got some at the shop?
We learned from the owners of Squirt that there is counterfeit bottles out there as previously stated above by Dean and Steve. The bottle that I tested was the real Squirt according to the owners.
I knew that an article about lube would generate differing opinions, but seriously?
Counterfeit Lube – made and distributed by the parent company’s former US Distributor? I never would have guessed that in a million years.
Here is a message from the owner of Squirt Lube about how to indentify and return any counterfeit Squirt Lube.
We want to get this behind us and move on to more constructive work in the US. Here is the link to the article in Bicycle Retailer. There is a photo of the genuine and fake bottle:
Consumers who have fake lube can contact the new US distributor (John Davis, address in article and copied above) or me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org . I have been handling all these enquiries personally so we can have a consistent message going out.
Used Squirt lube for beachriding on my fatbikes for 6 years now, Nothing else has come close to how clean this stuff keeps your drive chain.
For best results use a nickle plated chain like a Shimano XTR or Sram 911 for dry lubes and totally degrease a new chain from the lube it comes packed in from the factory,