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winter chain lube

Oct. 13, 2021, 8:20 p.m.
Posts: 425
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

I was finding squirt got into the inside parts of my chain well but the outside would get rusty and it just couldn't seem to get the outside covered well without making a mess. Operator error I'm sure. 

Anyways I'm using wolftooth wt-1 which is a rebrand of some other lube whose name escapes me. 

Seems good.

Oct. 14, 2021, 7:56 a.m.
Posts: 96
Joined: Feb. 13, 2018

Posted by: Kenny

I was finding squirt got into the inside parts of my chain well but the outside would get rusty and it just couldn't seem to get the outside covered well without making a mess. Operator error I'm sure. 

Anyways I'm using wolftooth wt-1 which is a rebrand of some other lube whose name escapes me. 

Seems good.

WT-1 is the same as this stuff: https://scctech.bike

It’s good. Clean, quiet and long lasting.

Oct. 14, 2021, 9:05 a.m.
Posts: 425
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

Yeah that's the one. Anyways I like it. Andrew M reviewed it and my experience is similar, especially the first couple applications it pushes a lot of junk out of your chain.

Dont apply immediately before riding, apply and backpedal the chain a bunch then let it site, and then give the chain a quick wipe prior to riding and after riding. Reapplied about every 6 or 8 rides in the summer and looks like I'll do it every 3 or 4 in the winter.

But the big key I'm finding is to keep up on wiping the crap off the chain.


 Last edited by: Kenny on Oct. 14, 2021, 9:06 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Oct. 14, 2021, 10:08 a.m.
Posts: 52
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

I've tried a bunch of lubes, and I'm 100% behind Squirt. Works great, my drivetrain, frame and workshop are so, so much cleaner. Just apply the night before riding to let it dry. Pedro's chain brush and wipe with dry rag to clean. Easy.

I gave the molten wax thing a go, which I LOVE on my urban/commuter/road whip. It's OK on MTB in summer, but washes off quickly when wet, so not worth the effort. Squirt is just easier, though I do thoroughly clean and hot wax new chains to get all the factory grit attractor (oops, I mean lube) out and start out with the insides all waxed up. I read that wax lubes like Squirt really only penetrate properly on a fully degreased chain. Chains are lasting impressively long now, so appears they weren't blowing smoke on that.

Oct. 16, 2021, 2:10 p.m.
Posts: 15157
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

I think some people put squirt on before they ride instead of after they ride, but becuz Squirt is wax in a water solution Squirt will get washed off in the rain so you must put it on after riding .

I left a bottle in the shed at -20 so when it froze the consistnacey was altered and it didnt penetrate the chain very well note that the bottle sez DO NOT FREEZE! So i e-mailed Squirt and they told me to cut it with a little water which worked fine.

if you want to get a chain super clean to use wax or Squirt put the chain in a jar and cover with a few"  of naptha or white gas overnight,

The chain will come out degreased/ super clean and the naptha will evap really fast

Oct. 16, 2021, 2:47 p.m.
Posts: 1069
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: XXX_er

I think some people put squirt on before they ride instead of after they ride, but becuz Squirt is wax in a water solution Squirt will get washed off in the rain so you must put it on after riding .

I left a bottle in the shed at -20 so when it froze the consistnacey was altered and it didnt penetrate the chain very well note that the bottle sez DO NOT FREEZE! So i e-mailed Squirt and they told me to cut it with a little water which worked fine.

if you want to get a chain super clean to use wax or Squirt put the chain in a jar and cover with a few"  of naptha or white gas overnight,

The chain will come out degreased/ super clean and the naptha will evap really fast

Thanks for the tips. I was wondering also what people use in their ultrasonic cleaner? I'm looking for something cheap, effective and something that won't take the anodizing off my parts or ruin anything. I heard of people having issues with simple green or purple? I just want something inexpensive and effective. I'm sick of paying a fortune for a bike company to repackage cleaning products and sell them to me.

Oct. 17, 2021, 1:01 p.m.
Posts: 377
Joined: April 15, 2017

I used engine degreaser from LordCo sprayed into a coffee can and left my chain in there for 3 days. Naptha/white gas would do the same - I just had it laying around. Pulled it out, cleaned off with ispropyl and left to dry. Then put the squirt on a day at a time - one side a day then wiped off the dried wax excess and put it on. This was for the intial application as was described in another thread.

It's been about 8 months or so, riding through all environments and I've never had a cleaner drivetrain and lasting chain.

It does entail a little more work, for instance I'm going to re-apply it which will be my bike out of action for a day but I can either put a spare chain on or go clear out some drains. So instead of a spray and wipe before or after, it's just a remove+wipe+reapply+dry.

Oct. 19, 2021, 8:26 a.m.
Posts: 15157
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

So you take the chain off to re-apply after the intitial clean & apply ? I only took the chain off to soak in naptha ( had it laying around ) the once to get the shipping grease off on 2 brand new bikes, then drip Squirt on the chain and leave over night for the water carrier to evap. Squirt dripped on the floor drys in maybe a couple hrs going from white liquid to clear and mostly hard/ dry so it doesnt need a whole 12 hrs or anything like that. I used Squirt indoors on a trainer and it would flake off the chain in small chunks on the hardwood floor so it does come off and a piece of cardboard to put under the drive train caught it all. A heat gun will melt off accumulations on the chain but otherwise i never clean the chain


 Last edited by: XXX_er on Oct. 19, 2021, 8:28 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Oct. 19, 2021, 10:41 p.m.
Posts: 377
Joined: April 15, 2017

The degreaser soak was only to get the factory crap off at the start, but I generally take it off once or so a month for some R&R and waxy love.

I think the supply issues and expense of a quality 12spd chain have made me a little more caring for the chain than I used to be.

Oct. 20, 2021, 7:50 p.m.
Posts: 15157
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

I try and leave the chain on the bike,

I found out there are E-bike specific chains so i am definatley looking into those cuz an E-bike puts out 4 time as much torque and  mine shifts with a real clunk so i am trying to do at least some shifts by rolling off the power

Nov. 1, 2021, 10:21 p.m.
Posts: 1069
Joined: May 11, 2018

I have to say, squirt is blowing my mind! I've switched all my bikes over this summer, stripped off the old oil and waxed them all up in July. I have been overjoyed with the performance all summer but had some trepidation about running wax based lube for the wet coast winter.

I had one bike left to switch over. I was running the old drive train into the ground as the alum cog on the cassette was worn to nubs and I was just holding on until the chain started to skip before replacing the whole thing. Put on the new drivetrain yesterday and took it out for the wettest, muddiest ride you could imagine for an hour and a half. It was pouring rain, deep mud puddles, grit and grime the whole way.

1stly, everything ran perfectly smooth throughout the ride.

2ndly, I am a believer in the saved watts of a clean chain with high end lube - the difference between the old chain and this one was clearly evident when pedalling. It was like i had an extra rest day.

3rdly, just look how clean the whole thing looks. this picture was taken immediately post ride prior to wiping down the chain and putting on some fresh lube.

Nov. 2, 2021, 7:27 a.m.
Posts: 19
Joined: May 5, 2012

I started with Squirt then moved on to Silca's wax bath & bottle for refresh.  My current XTR drive train has 2300 miles on it.

Cheers,

Mike

Nov. 2, 2021, 9:11 p.m.
Posts: 1069
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: Mbcracken

I started with Squirt then moved on to Silca's wax bath & bottle for refresh.  My current XTR drive train has 2300 miles on it.

Cheers,

Mike

Hmmm. I am already assuming I need to dry and then re-apply after each winter ride with squirt. Do you do the same? How often do you need to do a melt application of the wax in winter? Do you have a crock pot dedicated to this? 

Squirt seems pretty great although I saw that it loses a fair bit of efficiency when it gets filthy. Squirt is definitely easy, what makes the melting thing worthwhile for you? Longevity?

Nov. 3, 2021, 6:44 a.m.
Posts: 19
Joined: May 5, 2012

Posted by: RAHrider

Posted by: Mbcracken

I started with Squirt then moved on to Silca's wax bath & bottle for refresh.  My current XTR drive train has 2300 miles on it.

Cheers,

Mike

Hmmm. I am already assuming I need to dry and then re-apply after each winter ride with squirt. Do you do the same? How often do you need to do a melt application of the wax in winter? Do you have a crock pot dedicated to this? 

Squirt seems pretty great although I saw that it loses a fair bit of efficiency when it gets filthy. Squirt is definitely easy, what makes the melting thing worthwhile for you? Longevity?

I only do the crockpot waxing session 1-2 times a year but let the chain tell me when to do. My gravel bike chain deep waxing is more often but it sees twice the miles as my MTBs. I'll also ride the gravel bike in more rain times too. I mainly go by sound on that one.  I only reapply after a big ride (+3 hours) or after 2-3 shorter rides.  Sometimes, all I need to do is wipe the chain down with a cloth rag to dry or get final bits cleaned.

The melting wax bit is far more important as a starting point with a brand new drivetrain.  This helps get all the wax/lubricants into the roller bearings of a super super clean chain.  IMO, this getting wax into those roller bearings is what helps keep crud from getting in during rides.  The less crud getting into roller bearings is what I think helps it in the longevity of the chain.  

This puts an emphasis on drivetrain cleaning after every ride.  Then all my pre-ride checks are just PSI related.

Cheers,

Mike

Nov. 3, 2021, 1:12 p.m.
Posts: 15157
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

After the initial degreasing of a new chain I apply squirt twice to a brand new chain then after each ride a couple more  times by then I know the wax is in the chain,  so normaly  every 3-4 rides after that. 

I'm not really very sure what  chain cleaner is going to strip wax, in any case I don't bother

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