Squirt Lube - what am I doing wrong?

Hi All

Following recommendations on this forum I bought some Squirt lube. I did my first ride after applying it this morning on the turbo / trainer. OMG - I have never heard such a noisy drivetrain. It sounded like a nest of mice in the garage. So squeaky I could hear it above my headphones! Am I doing something wrong?

Here’s what I did…I thoroughly cleaned the drivetrain using muc off degreaser (yellow liquid). I apply using a paintbrush and a wiry tootbrush sized brush. After rinsing I did a second clean using a Park Tools chain cleaner. I then washed the bike using car shampoo and ran the chain through a soapy sponge. After rinsing again I left the bike to dry in the sun for several hours. I then ran the chain through a clean rag and paper towel to confirm chain was clean and dry. Chain and cassette looked like brand new. I then followed the instructions in this youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8pLqcm36xQ

(i.e.) I applied a drop of Squirt to each roller pin and left overnight. I repeated process and left overnight again. I did not wipe off the chain.

Before my TR ride the chain looked clean but if felt dry. I could see the wax on the chain. Is it meant to feel dry? I usually use Muc off dry lube and you can really feel the lubrication on the chain. Did I do something wrong? I know the chain must be clean before applying Squirt but I don’t think I could have got it cleaner without taking the chain off which I don’t want to do.

My next step would be to wipe chain with clean cloth and reapply another layer of Squirt to see if building up the wax layer will help.

Any advice as to whether I’ve made a mistake in the preparation or where I should go from here? I’m not very technical (but pretty proficiemt at bike cleaning or so I thought). However, I really don’t want to go down the route of taking off the chain and leaving in petrol etc! Grateful for any thoughts!

I just add until it seems to be coming put of the rollers, run it for a couple of minutes on stand, then let it dry. You probably just need more of it. I usually apply it to a hot waxed chain to top up the amount to extend the time between waxing though

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Seems you did everything right. Probably you need just a bit more. I apply a thin film almost before every ride (outside at least, indoors not so much) and thoroughly clean the chain with soapy water and a brush every now and then. Buttery smooth shifting and quiet. The effect wears away rather fast though, thus the frequent reapplication.

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I had a similar experience with Squirt - to the point I was going to just give the bottle away to anyone. I went back to traditional Rock and Roll Gold until I tried the paraffin waxing method. Waxing I love, Squirt alone I hate (now I am keeping the bottle to backup the wax in a pinch), otherwise I would stick with Rock and Roll Gold. With the amount of work to prep the chain for Squirt, I recommend waxing about 1000X over actually using Squirt by itself.

Mike

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I hate Squirt and gave away my bottle. I don’t understand the love for this product as I’ve found it horrible for MTB.

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Use more, I usually give a new, clean chain two layers (let dry overnight in between). Very quiet and clean drivetrain, and yes, dry to the touch.

My biggest problem with squirt is that on our wet, dirty UK roads, it lasts about 60 miles, which is too short for me. And when it fails, it fails fast. So now only my off-road bikes get it, because they tend to get washed and re-lubed every few hours of riding. Also, need to remember to squirt a wet chain without lube very very soon (half an hour) or it will rust.

I also never bother doing the whole long cleaning thing. Just run a new chain, until a muddy ride or race has got rid of all the grease on it, then squirt it. Works fine. Yeah I know I might get another 10 miles out of it if I’d clean it properly before squirting, but that’s still too short for the road, and way more hassle.

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That sound like what I do and I never have it noisy until it’s overdue for new application.

Not to be insulting but have you double checked that you routed the chain properly through the derailleur pulleys?

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I’ve done this. No shame

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I researched this a while back and choose Smoove. The concept is similar - wax lube in a bottle. All I have to say is that my drive train is as quit as it’s every been and the lube seems to last forever and hasn’t gotten dirty yet. I applied it first about 8 weeks ago and about 6 weeks ago I put a tiny bit more on the chain. I haven’t touched it since.

I was a long time Rock N Roll user but Smoove is my new favorite. The only downside is having to completely clean the chain and strip it of the factory lube.

Forgive the silly question @Sundance, but are you shaking the bottle before applying? Worth asking because it’ll make a big difference with Squirt.

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Dunno… Here is how I roll. Degrease chain off the bike, in either autoglum engine cleaner (dirt cheap and works wonders) or your degreaser of choice, rinse with hot water, dry. Throw chain in ziplock, squirt some squirt, shake and leave for 5 minutes. Remove from ziplock and put on paper towel to let excess drip off. Clean outside thoroughly with dry rag. Install. I found squirt goes on easier if diluted tbh. 1/3 plain water to 2/3 squirt. I do two passes of 1 drop per roller, and then spin and clean up with microfiber. Lasts easily 100-200 km.

I second the other voices saying that you probably just need to apply a bit more. The first time with Squirt I hated it on the first ride, then applied more and loved it, and over time it’s really been fantastic. For a newly degreased chain, it does take a couple of coats to really work properly, but once you’ve done that you can just reapply once each time as needed.

Just use more. I really like the stuff, it’s clean, stays in the chain and is quiet. After using wet lubes for years this stuff is much cleaner, stays in place and keeps it quiet.

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No offence taken @Harrisoncj13! I didn’t take the chain off when I degreased it so shouldn’t be any chain routing issues?

Yes, I shook the bottle which meant that there were some air bubbles in the wax occasionally whwn applying to the roller pins. Is it correct to shake the bottle?

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Thanks for all the replies. I applied another coat last night (3rd coat) and went for a ride this afternoon. Still really squeaky. Lots of waxy debris on chain after the ride although comes off fairly easily with a rag. It’s difficult to run the rag through the chain I find as there is zero glide and rag kind of sticks!

So, still no wiser as to why Squirt is not working for me. Do you think it’s related to the fact that I did not remove the chain from the bike as part of the cleaning process. As I said I did degrease the chain twice (one using paintbrush and tootbrush followed by a second clean in a chain cleaner tool). If there was hidden contamination though could that be why Squirt performance is so poor?

Will give another coat and if no improvement I may give up! If I wasn’t riding solo roday (due to social distancing) I would have been a tad embarrassed!

My only other thought is whether I have caused another squeak ( crank, BB) by overzealously degreasing?

I think your chain still has grease on it. That industry grease that comes with a new chain can really stick. It needs to be totally free of grease. Take it off and leave over night in diesel or something similar degreaser. Then you need to remove the degreaser before applying Squirt.

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you also want the derailleur pulleies, cassette and chainrings to be completely grease free i imagine, otherwise every turn of the pedals is just getting old contaminants onto your chain

FYI dont use squirt, but this also applies to waxed chains

You still have grease on it. Waxed chains (with squirt or hot wax) are not sticky at all. Factory grease and some other lubes are sticky.

Degreasing it when it’s on the bike doesn’t work that well, and you can also get degreaser into the bearings and strip them too. Just take the chain off, dump it into degreaser for a bit. let it dry, and use squirt again

had the same bad experience with squirt, too.

Tried it twice, second time I bought a new already primed squirt kmc chain. Noise of the drivetrain was horrible and when I put the bike on the trainer I had black little rubbery pieces of gunk all over.

drivetrain etc. was cleaned before