In my first post on Squirt lube, I told you about the main claims it makes: self cleaning and long lasting. I’ve put over 250 miles on it so far in a variety of conditions and feel like I’ve found it’s strengths and weaknesses and have reached a verdict. But before we get to that, let’s go over how to properly use this chain lube.
Like all wax-based lubes, Squirt works best when applied to a squeaky clean and dry chain. This means you need to thoroughly clean your chain to strip it down to bare metal; if theres anything else on the chain (especially oil-based lubes) Squirt will have a hard time sticking.
I used a citrus degreaser (diluted with water) and an old tooth brush to clean my chain. Its a pain, it’s messy, and takes some time, but its worth the effort. Youll only need to do this once, so do it right the first time! For best results go ahead and clean your chainrings, cassette, and derailleur pulleys while youre at it.
That’s the same chain, before and after a good cleaning.
Once the chain is clean and dry youll apply Squirt like any other lube: one drop on each pin/roller. Spin the cranks for a little while so it can work its way deep into the rollers. Do not wipe any excess off – itll come off on its own. Let the lube dry, then apply one more coat, and again, dont wipe away the excess. Let it dry, then youre ready to ride.
Squirt makes good on its self-cleaning claims. My chain never got very dirty, whether riding in mud or on dry, dusty trails and my chain always looked cleaner than the rest of my bike. This was really nice when I needed to work on my bike, like when I swapped my usual 18T cog out for a 22T for the 2nd Snake Creek Gap Time Trial. When I swap the cog I also have to add a link to the chain, so I’m handling the chain a lot,yet my hands had zero black oil on them, a big improvement over the heavy duty wet lube I used previously.
Squirt does a really good job of keeping your chain nice and quiet. Since it doesn’t attract dirt and grit like a wet lube I never got that annoying grinding noise from the drivetrain. Even after goingthrough muddy sections of trail, or creek crossings with sandy banks on either side it was always just smooth and quiet.
When you want tore-lube it’s best to clean the chain first, and with Squirt that’s a very simple job. No messy and time consuming degreasing like with wet lubes. Simply brush the chain off, and apply one coat of Squirt. That’s it. Takes about a minute and a half.
As messy as my old lube was, it does last longer than Squirt, especially in the conditions I’ve been riding in lately. On three separate occasions since switching to Squirt I’ve found myself pedaling through creeks over a foot deep. The first time was at the Snake, and by the end of the ride my chain was really squeaky, even though I had put fresh lube on before the ride since I knew it would be a rough day on the bike. Now, to be fair, that creek was very fast moving, and not only did it wash most of the Squirt away, but it also killed my Shimano XT bottom bracket. Even the Wet Ride lube would have had a tough time there.
The longest I went before needing to re-lube was about 85 miles and the chain was just starting to make a little noise at that point. That was mostly dry conditions, but did include the other two deep creek crossings. The water in those creeks was much slower flowing than the creek at the Snake and it didn’t really wash the lube away. I was impressed with how little it seemed to affect the drivetrain. In totally dry conditions I think you could easily go 100+ miles before needing to reapply.
Squirt is my new lube of choice. It works really well, doesn’t attract dirt, and is very quiet. I can reapply whenever I need to without spending half an hour with a can of degreaser and a toothbrush and it makes working on the bike much more pleasant. I wish it lasted longer before needing to reapply, but the re-lubing process is so simple and fast it’s not that big of a deal.