Sometimes you just need a little certainty in life - we've been testing Squirt Lube for the past season to see how it stands up to the tests of our NZ MTB Tours
Riding our 12 day NZ MTB Tours is hard on the body. Equally it's hard on the bike - riding anything up to 450km on every trail style possible, and potentially any condition possible takes it's tole. A key focus for our MTB tour guides is routine maintenance (or making sure the moving parts move correctly) of the group's bikes. Under maintained bikes tend to break and that's fun for no-one halfway round a 65km wilderness ride.
One area that's always been a bit contentious is chains & lubricant. There's always someone who has a differing opinion on types of chain lube, how often it should be applied and chain cleaning timelines. For the past year our guides have been using Squirt Lube on our multi day NZ MTB tours. And boy has it been a hit! We've shared the bottle around our tour groups and must have banked roughly 100 days of combined "rider experience" across our mountain bike tours last year.
What we love about Squirt Lube
Through testing it's been found wax based lubricants don't attract dust the same way that oil variations do, even oil based dry ones. The more dust and grime attracted to your chain, the worse it performs, so it's refreshing to find a lubricant that drastically minimises this and keeps our drivetrains running smooth. Yes our chains still look dusty after riding, but we're never deafened by the high pitched squeal as the chain is reduced to metal filings from running dry.
It's 100% bio-degradeable and free from harmful solvents. Consider this - every time you wash your wash your MTB or cross a stream mid ride, you're removing harmful and toxic substances, i.e. chain lube. That may not worry you but now multiply that by how many bikes there are in your local area. Kind of worrying what that could do to our wildlife. We're more than happy to ride with a clean conscience and leave the stunning landscapes and ecosystems of NZ non toxic.
Squirt seems to last well in comparison to other lubes we've used. Even after an epic overnight bike packing ride of 85km through dust and the odd shallow stream our chains were still running smooth and relatively grime free.
We've tried and tested different methods of application with varying results. Our NZ MTB guide's best results came from an initial degrease, and then good coating of Squirt once the chain is clean & dry before working it into each roller and wiping the excess. Doing this the night before riding yielded the best results and seemed to let the lubricant get to where it needed to go. Post ride a quick brush down was the only thing needed before re-lubing for the next day.
Over the last year, Squirt Lube has been every bit as good as it promised to be. We've ridden thousands of kilometres on our NZ MTB tours and had very little to complain about. It does tend to wash off easier than some other lubes after a river crossing, but we're happy to sacrifice this to maintain a clean and almost dirt free chain the other 99.9% of the time we're riding. Plus we feel we're making the world a less toxic place!