SMOOVE UNIVERSAL CHAIN LUBE: SUMMER TEST
Long-term test part two: Summer
Michael continues his long-term test. Here’s a summer update following the winter take on Smoove’s Universal.
The Smoove Universal Chain Lube has proven far more impressive in moderate to dry conditions, returning 650miles from a single application. This is almost twice, what I’ve come to expect from contemporary dry/wax formulas, including Finish Line Dry Bike Lube .
Pros: Clean and durable wax formula well suited to three seasons' riding
Cons: Less durable than some space age ceramics in foul weather.
This time round, temperatures have ranged from 16-28 degrees, which seemed to have a positive effect, upon delivery and curing times. In warmer conditions, it assumes a lower viscosity. Flooring won’t look like an explosion in the paint isle of your local Bodge n’ Quit, however, you’ll still want that clean rag hovering beneath, to catch any spatter.
When the mercury’s hovering around 23 degrees, proper curing completed in around three hours. You can scoot off, given an hour, provided you can accept some trade off, in terms of longevity. In my experience, bargain on 280 miles.
An acceptable trade-off, for commuting, or if you’ve been invited out for a dusk ‘till dawn night ride. Just remember to give the side-plates, rings, cages etc a good wipe afterwards. Otherwise, any overspill, will form a thin, yet stubborn skin, given a few rides.
As you’ll probably gather, it adheres better to the chain and there’s been less wastage, compared with the bracing winter it was initially pitted against. Although it’s still, slightly different to really dry formulas, such as Finish Line Dry Bike Lube and Weldtite TF2 Ultra Dry Chain Wax .
The cured consistency, is less emulsion-like than others. This is immediately obvious, upon touching the chain, although, as I’ve said previously, its’ worth giving everything a quick wipe-down, after the first outing. In other respects, the slick, serene narrative is, as before.
This is immediately obvious, upon touching the chain, although, as I’ve said previously, its’ worth giving everything a quick wipe-down, after the first outing. In other respects, the slick, serene narrative is, as before.
Some pundits suggested a lube of this price point/sophistication is wasted on a fixed. I’m inclined to agree, on a lowest common denominator, pricing perspective. Either way, it has stayed put, attracting minimal contaminant for 600 miles (and counting). Its characteristics were easier to appreciate on derailleur transmissions.
Shifts were, crisp and any residual lubricant that collected across the cassette, reclaimed, in due course. Weeks spent, speeding along dry, dusty, straw littered lanes, saw little accumulated contaminant. True, it collected more grime than Finish Line Dry Bike Lube and Weldtite TF2 Ultra Dry Chain Wax. However, this simply fell away, in due course.
On mixed terrain outings on my Univega, this song remained unchanged and long grass give it more to contend with. However, I’ve still nudged 480 miles, from a single and admittedly, generous application.
Marketing anything as universal, is begging for contradiction and indeed, heated debate. Nonetheless, there is a lot to be said in favour of Smoove, if you are seeking a stouter, three season wax type formula.
Harsh winters will require more frequent, possibly intensive application, and though it transitions well to cleat and similar mechanisms, riders seeking a single, 365 day lube, are arguably better served, by ultra-sophisticated, similarly priced ceramic types.
Verdict 3.5/5 Durable and clean middleweight wax lube. Some ceramics are better choices if you need one lube, year round.
PUBLISHED JULY 2018