I have a 11 speed bike and I am currently on my second chain. I regret using the current wet lube by finishline as the drivetrain feels really smooth compared to a dry lube. My second chain is almost worn now even though I still have some mileage left. What is a good dry lube you guys recommend? Also how big of a difference can the choice of lube have on chain wear?
Silca and squirt are the two I have used the most and think they’re great.
Silca hot melt wax and/or Silca SS drip wax lube.
“Back to Hot Melt – to reach the end of the ZFC 6000km torture test with only 27.4% total wear, again I can only state that this is an absolutely astounding result.”
Another vote for ‘squirt’ here. It lasts ages, it’s easy to reapply and remove the old bits that have picked up road dirt.
Smoove is killer. Need to apply generously and works best if you apply the night before you ride…
My favorite is rock and roll lube extreme. Super easy to get a fast chain, and it lasts if aplied rhe night before. Squirt was too much of a pain in the neck for me, clean the drive chain everthing with mineral spirits then clean that off with d natured alcohol. Rock and roll is great stuff. Use determines wear in a chains life, how often you shift and conditions. Ive also found that chains hit .05 wear pretty quickly, but stay at that point for a good while, months.
I finally but the bullet and started waxing my chain after reading and watching all the Silca, Molten Speed Wax, zero friction facts, and cyclingtips stuff. Seemed a little daunting at first and there is some upfront cost as well as labor time to make sure ever is cleaned properly before hand. But man, having a chain that stays clean to the touch is awesome. Not to mention the watts saved, quiet chain, and longer lifespan.
The Silca super Secret chain lube is a good way to get close to as good as waxed chain without as much work.
If you dig through some of the Marginal Gains podcast episodes Josh talks about how often you have to apply the different lube types and what you can expect for a total chain life span when using each
+1 for Squirt. It works well in all conditions. I’ve tried them all, this is by far my favorite.
How many miles do you get from a waxed chain? I’ve been thinking about trying it but was curious about durability.
It’s seems like having a few chains in rotation would make the upfront waxing hassle worth it.
I get about 15-30 hours between applications. Should probably do it more often though.
That’s significantly longer than me. I get about 10 hrs before my drivetrain starts to make noticeable noise on my gravel bike in the big cassette cog (Shimano 11 speed GRX). And only about 5 hours on my MTB in big cassette cog (SRAM 12 speed Eagle XX1).
For reference, I ride a lot in dry, dusty conditions. And spend a lot of time climbing in the bigger cassette cogs where the chain is at a more extreme angle, hence placing more demand on the lubricant.
I augment the Silca hot melt wax with Silca SS drip wax between lubes, so I’m doing an immersive wax only every 3-4 weeks or so.
What conditions are you riding in?
Road/trainer. Primarily dry. Obviously have to do some work if it gets wet.
You’re re-waxing way more often than I’ve heard from others anecdotally or studies would suggest is necessary, but not going to second guess since since I don’t have a ton of experience in immersion waxing myself.
To the OP, I’d been using wax based drip lubes (Squirt, Smoove) for a while before switching to immersion waxing (Silca SS melt) the start of this year. IMO immersion waxing is the way to go because most of the pain of the prep is something that you really should be doing anyway even if you are drip waxing. The hard part to me is getting a full strip of all the factory grease or old oil lube off the chain and you really need to be doing that to properly use a wax drip lube anyway. After that, dropping in a $20 amazon crockpot really isn’t any more difficult than properly applying wax drip and produces a tangibly better result.
Agree. I base my decision on drivetrain noise. I’ve always been diligent about keeping my drivetrain clean and noise free - so am pretty sensitive to any creaks or grinding. I’ve also only been waxing for three months, so maybe I’ll dial things in better as time goes on.
love me some gold after washing down the bike every week.
Man we’re talking the marginal of marginal of really damn marginal here…
It’s a debate over 1 maybe 3 watts.
That’s really irrelevant, so it’s about cost, ease of use and drivetrain life compared to this cost and ease of use.
My vote, ease of use, cost, Squirt lube wins for me. I’ve also tried many, both on road bike and MTB. Like many, I’ve come to the conclusion that for ease of application, cost of said lube and drivetrain life. Squirt is probably one of the best options, if not the best.
No, I’m not sponsored by them
Another vote for Rock and Roll here. I can’t be bothered with waxing my chain, ain’t nobody got time for dat. The Rock and Roll is one of the best non-hot-melt wax lubes according to Friction Facts. I think it is the best value from an effort to performance ratio. My chain has lasted over a year now, runs smooth and stays very clean.
I run 2 chains in rotation, and get about 300km/200 miles per application on my road bike. (Immersion waxing). If I do a wet and filthy ride, I normally put on a freshly waxed chain afterwards.
I now have about 5000 km/3000 miles on each chain, and the chain checker shows no measurable wear on either chain.
While stripping the factory lube off a brand new chain is indeed a hassle, this is a one-off and the ongoing re-waxing is dead easy.
4 bikes (don’t generally ride in wet weather)
1 pound of Gulf wax at Ace Hardware is like $6 USD - lasts me all year (or longer) - wax is dead nuts easy and is super clean.
I bought a used crock-pot at the Thrift store - sits on my workbench as a dedicated wax pot. I use Connex quick links and I do not rotate chains.
Chain wear is fantastic IMHO - Wax when it starts to make noise - squeak
I switched from Rock and Roll Gold 1/1/2019 and do not see ever going back to lube