A great chain lube for almost everything
Lower drivetrain resistance
Lasts longer than many oil based lubes
Easy to apply
Can’t be applied to a dirty chain
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If you follow pro cycling closely, you’ll have seen that on key stages of important races riders on teams like Ineos and EF will roll up to the neutral zone with chains that look nothing like the spotless sheen we are accustomed to on pro bikes. These chains are coated in a special wax, which reduces drivetrain resistance enough to make a difference at the pointy end of the sport, even if it looks rubbish.
For mere mortals, a new chain for a big day seems a bit wasteful. But you might want to consider changing your chain lube in order to gain a few essentially free watts. I have always been a fan of whatever chain lube I can get for free, but after getting a bottle of wax-based Squirt Lube in the post for review recently, I was really impressed with just how much I preferred it to anything else I tried.
Will swapping your chain lube make you faster?
I don’t really care about drivetrain resistance these days, but I do care about my bike working well with minimum effort on my part. I found that Squirt, when applied to a clean dry chain, lasts much longer than other lubricants and stands up well to most of the dusty and muddy summer gravel rides I have done this summer.
Unlike a conventional chain lube, Squirt doesn’t need to be wiped off, but you really do need to leave it to dry before you ride. I tend to lube my chain at night and then wipe it in the morning before I ride, with Squirt I just skipped the morning step and gained valuable seconds to better match my socks to my gloves before each ride.
One area where Squirt doesn’t excel is on long bikepacking trips. You can’t really apply wax lube to a dirty chain, it’ll just turn into a sticky mess. I did take a small tube of Squirt on a recent trip to Mexico (pre pandemic), but only because I knew I would be able to clean my bike at a farm. If I’m at all unusure of conditions I stick to a more standard oil based lube for bikepacking.
For almost everything else, from road races to days at the bike park, I use Squirt. It lasts longer, takes less effort to use, and might even make me a tiny bit faster.
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