Cycling in Sydney Australia
After being a little nonplussed by traditional oil chain lubes out there, and being intrigued by stories of paraffin wax based lubes, I bought a bottle of Smoove Chain Lube and last night did the conversion - I cleaned and degreased by drivetrain, cleaned and degreased a brand new chain and Smooved them!
Smoove is South African and the favourite of SA Enduro MTBers who swear by it. Road bike applications should be way easier than MTB, hence my interest .... Smoove seems to be the winner in wax lube tests, claimed to last up to 900km between applications and possibly doubling chain life.
I soaked my new KMC chain in brake cleaner and shook it around for quite a time to get all the oil out of it, then scrubbed it down in truck cleaner and warm water to get the last traces of oil and grease out of it. Then in the warm oven to fully dry out.
Cassette and chain rings and jockey wheels all copped similar treatment to remove all traces of old style lube and dirt.
It is quite watery and squirts on easily - into the middle of the chain while back pedalling. After a few moments it crept right through the chain and was visible between the side plates and leaking out around the pins. Then run up and down all the gears to spread it around, and big ring, little ring.
I had a look this morning and it's all dried out, clear and a little sticky.
First ride tomorrow!
I will keep you up to date with developments :-)
I took the chain off this morning and cleaned it to have a look.
In my experience, the quicklink normally shows signs of wear fairly quickly.
So here, after almost 800kms, everything looks pretty fantastic - the sides of the chain still look new and unused. The insides of the quicklink are a bit dull, but the chrome is still all there. I've seen much faster and deeper wear with oil in the past.
So it looks like time to reapply the Smoove and maybe ignore some of the chain noise and just ride :-)
I was going to give up, but based on the inspection last week, I'm sticking with it.
Wear is very low.
Noise is not good, but maybe I'm expecting too much.
Acid-test question time: When your Smoove bottle is empty will you re-order another with no reservations? Or will you consider sampling Bike Syrup or others?
Give me more time ;-)
The reduction in wear looks super good, but I am applying more than I thought I would.
I was over applying - worried about wear due to the noise.
The worry seems unfounded.
Stretching out the reapplications will be the quest for the next months.
I also thought maybe my new chain was still a bit oil contaminated when I did the first Smoove treatment - so when I cleaned the chain for the inspection piccy above, I cleaned with brake cleaner, then boiled it on the stove in water and detergent, then rinsed and boiled again etc etc .
more attention than mine get during their entire life (usually long) and I don't really notice much noise either. But my (bike's) speed / rings transplant is being done as I type so I will see how I go with all new (3x9 speed replacing 2x10) bits. As 9 speed is more robust I will probably lavish even less attention on it.
Google shows a lot of people saying that the life of 10 speed chains is the worst, even significantly worse than 11 sp.
I wonder why?
I'd just like to be able to stop cleaning and stop lubing.
Good luck on the transplant! I hope you don't have any rejection problems ;-)
Since the big clean above, I reapplied the Smoove and have done 350kms - without reapplying again, without wiping or cleaning or anything. It seems to be working. They warned about problems with over application which I may have been guilty of ..... And yes, it's a little noisy at the back when cross-chaining, but shifting is great. No dramas at all!
Could be getting used to this - no more oiling every week. No more taking off the chain and degreasing. No more wiping, No more chainring tattoos! Maybe buying only half as many chains in the future!
Yes, I'm converted. I just reapplied Smoove for the first time in 700kms - did a chain clean and had a good look for wear - Looking great.
The best thing seems to be that you can just forget about it for quite a long time and nothing goes bad!
I've cleaned and reapplied twice since 26th Oct and not touched/wiped/worried about the chain in between.
Average 100 - 150kms a week.
I suppose I had better give it a try.