SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MAY 30th
SQUIRT LONG LASTING DRY CHAIN LUBE
Squirt Chain Lube Long Lasting Dry Chain Lube is an emulsion type prep that runs very cleanly and lasts a good while. In keeping with similar formulas, it also requires a surgically pure chain and several hours curing. This might be a turn off for less disciplined commuters and tourists.
Pros: Eco-Friendly formula, low friction and clean. 500ml option.
Cons: Curing times won’t suit everyone.
Squirt has been around for a good few years now. Ours is the standard version but there’s Squirt Chain Lube Low Temp, specifically for cold conditions. We’re told it has “modified congealing point, allowing it to lube optimally in these temperatures, keeping your chain quiet and clean, with long lasting durability.”
There are no petrochemicals here, rather it’s a biodegradable emulsion wax (40%) employing a water-based carrier. This works to the same basic science as everyone else’s i.e. water traffics the wax to the chain’s most intimate regions, then cures leaving only lubricant behind.
As per this breed, it can be quite messy to apply and, a a creamy tell-tale “spatter trail” is almost inevitable. However, this won’t do anything nasty to plant and aquatic life.
Squirt does not play nicely with any pre-existing lubricant, regardless of type. So, ensure chain(s) cassette(s), mechs, rings etc are surgically clean, first. Especially if you’ve been running a stocky ceramic, such as Fenwicks’ Stealth, or Muc-Off Hydrodynamic Chain Lube . Next, grab some old, clean rag and give the Squirt a vigorous 30 second shake (to mix carrier and emulsion components).
Pop the cap and drizzle into every link. Two coats are required, ideally with curing time between. In practice I’ve been able to reapply within 30minutes, when the air temperature’s been around 11 degrees.
Mop up any spatter, from chainstays, workstand, flooring etc but resist such urges, when it comes to the chain. Bargain on four hours curing time, overnight is ideal. On par with TF2 Ultra Dry Wax , Pure Dry Chain Lube, and, indeed, Smoove Universal Chain Lube .
It cures clear. Much like Pure Dry and Rock n’ Roll Absolute Dry Chain Lube (whereas Weldtite TF2 Ultra Dry Wax has a celeste hue). Traditionally, waxy type formulas tended to work by collecting dirt in the waxy top layer, which fell away, leaving a thin lubricant layer behind. Squirt can be topped up, with no further cleaning required.
Spinning the cranks, chains feel well lubricated and friction free. What some folks call the “new bike” feel. Talking of which, it’s worth mentioning both test bikes have recently received new rings, cassette/sprocket and chains. I wasn’t surprised to discover shifts felt snappy and more responsive generally. This also lends itself to control cables, jockey wheels, and pivot points. In this respect, there was little discernible difference between Squirt and Weldtite TF2 Advanced Ceramic Chain Lube.
Once upon a time, waxy type lubes, especially those made from vegetable-based stocks, weren’t renown for staying prowess. Fine for TTs and other, shorter/fair weather contexts. However, they’ve become more durable.
Realistic options for everyday riding, during the milder months. Tested through a changeable (though relatively dry March and April), I’ve returned 250 mixed terrain and 300 miles, from a single (two layer) application. Mind you, by this point the lubricant was filmy, rather than waxy and that familiar, metal on metal tinkling was sneaking in.
As I’d hope, cleanliness is excellent and on par with competitor blends. On damper days, it developed a slightly gunky patina. This remained on the surface and as the miles racked up, slowly fell away, leaving that filmy layer behind.
Changing wheels and tackling the odd roadside mechanical, saw it transfer, like charcoal, to hands and long sleeve jerseys. I was surprised by its tenacity too, a couple of machine washes in, traces remain on this jersey. Luckily enough it hasn’t transferred to smart trousers, when I’ve been carrying the bike up a flight of stairs. Nonetheless, I’d be mindful; especially with lighter colours.
At £12.99 Squirt is at the upper end of this market, but by no means poor, when other factors, including longevity and cleanliness are considered. It faces stiff competition from the likes of Weldtite TF2 Ultra Dry Chain Wax (£7.99). Provided you’re happy with petrochemicals, its Advanced sibling returns a higher mileage than either of these. However, the gap between The Weldtite TF2 Ceramic narrows, when bottle size is also considered.
Squirt has been around a while, and I’d be interested in reviewing its cold weather counterpart. At the upper end of the price point, it’s still very competitive in terms of longevity and cleanliness.
Verdict: 3.75/5 Stoical, clean running emulsion chain lube.
PUBLISHED APRIL 2019
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH