I decided to try Smoove after reading reviews. Smoove is a wax lube in a bottle. No hot dip required but you do need to clean the chain to bare metal spotless for good results.
On my second go around with Smoove I properly cleaned the chain and all that. I did this in July and got several squeak free months out of the chain. I’ve reapplied Smoove to the dirty chain’s rollers a few times but I’m at the point where it needs a cleaning.
The directions say that you can clean the chain with citrus degreaser and a chain cleaning tool or by hand.
I’m wondering how well this works. I’d have to buy a chain cleaning contraption as I haven’t owned one in ages. Or, spray it with degreaser and scrub with an old towel and toothbrush? Frankly, it sounds like a big mess.
Also, regarding citrus degreaser. I had some Zep and it barely melted factory lube off the chain. Do I not have the good stuff? I’d rather not use gasoline or strong smelling solvents.
Or do I take the chain off the bike, clean it until it’s spotless and start over?
I will get lots of hate for this again, but I use squirt and just clean the chain with hot water and dish washing soap. I reckon the hot water liquifies the wax and the soap takes care of any grease thats gone in.
Make sure you dry the chain quickly and re-lube, because it will rust very fast once lube-free and wet.
Oh, I usually do this on the bike, but if it is really bad, take it off and give it a good scrub in a bucket of hot water.
Squirt user here. This is what I do (not saying it’s the right way though…):
Before first use the chain gets cleaned as prescribed for hot wax (mineral spirits & meth spirits baths in peanut butter jars).
Depending on the dirt level there are three possible options before reapplying squirt
- If the chain is still quite clean I just drop new lube on it.
- If the chain is a little bit dirty I use 1-2 baby wet wipes, press them against the chain and run the chain through it. I know this just cleans the chain superficial, but that all that I’m after in this case. Reapplying lube afterwards.
- If the chain is dirty I use the park tool chain cleaner (when I wash my bike anyways) with MucOff degreaser. At that stage I also use a dummy hub and clean the cassette separately. Plus a hard brush to clean the gunk / wax off the pulley wheels. Works pretty well for me. I dry the chain with an old towel, sometime I blowdry it. Wait until it’s prober dry and reapply.
Cheap Ultrasonic cleaner from Harbor Freight + good degreaser is pretty effective!
Same for me with ultrasonic when needed. Used to use paraffin but since trying squirt wont go back. It is just way easier.
This is how I use Squirt:
1)Degrease new chain thoroughly
2)Apply one drip of Squirt on each link
3)Leave to dry overnight
4)Repeat steps 2 and 3
6)Every 3-4 rides (±300km): superficially clean chain with dry towel and repeat steps 2 and 3
Works for me: always a clean and smooth running chain
Disclaimer: I don’t ride my bike in wet conditions.
Smoove user…the shop has an ultrasonic cleaner so each new chain goes in there first. I live in a very dry climate so after the initial cleaning I apply a healthy coat both top and bottom (inside/outside) of chain the night prior to a ride. Subsequent cleanings are basically what @splash does. The revelation for me was applying the stuff to both sides of the chain…
Soap and hot water is how I used to deal with my old school lube.
When I applied Smoove, I put a drop on every link and then put it into a plastic baggie over night. This seemed to really help it work in.
Anyone find that their chain is overly stiff after Smoove dries? Is this because it has wax additives and is it normal? A bit concerned that this may lead to inefficiency. Turning the pedals by hand is noticeably more difficult after letting Smoove dry overnight.
I’m a squirt user, and what I do to re-clean it (when needed) is the following:
- I have an old water bottle that I’ve cut the top off of, and I fill that with some degreaser and put that in the rear water bottle cage
- I then use a paint brush to paint the chain with the degreaser, and the chain rings as well
- I then use the same paint brush and degreaser on my cassette, and then lean the wheel against a wall with the cassette facing the ground so that the degreaser drops to the ground
- I then clean my bike if needed with soapy (dish soap) water
- In my soapy water bucket, I have two nail brushes which I use to scrub the chain - lesson from watching a GCN bike cleaning video. Clamp the nail brushes to the sides, then the top / bottom / repeat as necessary, and periodically re-dip them into the soapy water bucket. This seems to work really well to scrub the chain clean
- I then use a drivetrain only sponge in my soapy water bucket on the entire drive train
- I then scrub my cassette with a big brush that also lives in the soapy water bucket
- Clean the wheels with soapy water
- Rinse everything thoroughly, and then dry
- I immediately apply a coating of squirt
- I wait a day, and then re-apply squirt. Depending upon what my upcoming ride schedule looks like, I might re-apply another coating of squirt the next day
So all in, I apply 2 - 3 coatings of Squirt after a full cleaning, with 1 day between coatings