SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MAY 30th
JUICE LUBES JL69 BIKE MAINTENANCE SPRAY
The Juice Lubes JL69 Bike Maintenance Spray is, according to the blurb, "Your crowbar wielding mechanic in a can … and now with a brand-new biodegradable formula and super-accurate easy-spray nozzle." Yes, bike shop shelves heave under the weight of similar "Do all workshop essentials". However, JL69 seems a heavier duty, longer lasting formula that does most things, pretty well.
Pros: Lasting lubricant properties, kinder to seals/rubberised components, convenient, no PTFE.
Cons: Lightweight maintenance sprays better for post wash bike blow overs, or flushing water from LED lights etc.
Rob, Juice Lubes MD was quick to get in touch but suitably coy when it came to revealing chemical composition. Nonetheless, he would say its PTFE free and biodegradable. He said a bit more than that, to be fair. Apparently, it’s been blended with greater emphasis upon lubrication, so it clings to the host, rather than sliding off, or being readily dismissed by rain, spray etc. It works to the same principle as other aerosols, so usual cautions regarding storage and use apply.
Again, standard MO. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds to blend solvent and product, flick the straw, and spray. A gentler, sustained press of the nozzle is great for filling recessed, Allen bolts, cleats, cleat mechanisms, cables etc.
Avoids wastage too. I've often kept a piece of card to mask frame, tyres and disc rotors when giving cables, pivot points etc a quick squirt. Give the solvent 30 seconds or so to traffic lube and then evaporate. Wipe off any excess and redistribute elsewhere, as required. There's no PTFE and it is therefore, theoretically, kinder to seals and similar.
JL69 is at the middleweight end of spray lubes, so I wasn't surprised to find the above feeling slick and refined. Its proven superior to heavy duty PTFE blends on my folding work stands' quick release clamps and jaw mechanisms.
These can turn a bit arthritic, given they're doused in warm sudsy water, mud and similar grot several times a week, especially during winter.
While there's no substitute for stripping and regressing cantilever posts, a quick squirt will keep a sticky/binding brake happy until you've chance for stripping and greasing. Similar story with seat-posts, quill stems, cleat and mudguard hardware, trailer hitches.
In terms of happy mechanisms, it's actually a bit better than Green Oil's very likeable Eco Spray Lube . It has shown no signs of congealing, so things remain slick, without requiring periodic wiping, to prevent sticky releases.
Single speed/old school freewheel mechanisms also seemed happier, given a moderate helping. That said, heavier weight chain lubes, such as our old favourite, Weldtite TF2 Extreme Wet Chain Lube, seem better bets, longer term. Talking of chains, though a decent primer, say post muddy race, cyclo-cross and mountain bikes, or bikes entering seasonal storage, it’s just that bit too light, to pass as a makeshift chain lubricant.
Loosening Stubborn Parts 3.5/5
Most maintenance sprays promise to do this, and they will, to an extent. I've been able to release some stubborn posts, stems but right royally seized calls for a release product, such as Plus Gas.
Good technique is key. Wrapping an old bubble wrap lined envelope around the post/stem, funnel-fashion, and then delivering. First to the post, and then around the bubble wrap. this will cascade down slowly but surely, creating a steady saturation. Check every twenty minutes, tap firmly with a mallet, then repeat.
Despite them being subjected to flooded and often muddy lanes for extended periods.,I was pleased to discover it has kept mudguard bolts, especially the chainstay bridge mount mobile.
Water Displacing/Protectant Properties 3.5/5
Though a little "messier" Green Oil Eco Spray seems a more durable masking agent, say for electroplated frame ends, paint chips and tooling. It also doubles as a lightweight internal preserve, for metal frames.
Mind you, the JL69 has proven a very effective interim measure, or, continuing the DIY theme, as a "chaser" (for trafficking some motor oil/similar around a steel frame's inner sanctum). GT85 WD40, or Muc-Off Bike Spray are much better options for resuscitating corroded switches, battery contacts.
Besides a useful filmy barrier, the JL69 doesn't seem prone to collecting grime. Unwanted excess can be wiped away, while still leaving some trace lubricant behind. The solvent component can dilute chain lubes, transferring them to hands, which can be more problematic. Oily fingerprints on light switches. door handles anyone?
£5.99 is very competitive, in every respect. On price alone, it sneaks ahead of some old favourites, including GT85 (rrp £5.99 for 400ml). Let alone dedicated Bike Sprays, such as Muc Off Bike Spray. More to the point, JL69 lingers longer and has a richer lubricant property. At the other extreme, though Green Oil Eco Spray is twice the price, it's a heavier and very durable lube. One that having used long term, justifying the asking price.
Like most maintenance sprays, it will do most things and, in this instance, capably. However, they are not magic bullets. JL69 is a great middleweight option, where light but lasting lubrication is required. It will also loosen corroded parts and keep them mobile. However, GT85 and WD40 and their imitators are lighter and what's needed, for invasive flushing duties.
Verdict 3.75/5 Versatile and lasting middleweight maintenance spray.
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 2019
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH