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HomeReviewsSmoove chain lube review: A clean running lubricant that can offer excellent performance

Smoove chain lube review: A clean running lubricant that can offer excellent performance


Smoove chain lube has been on the market for several years now and is a popular choice as a drip lubricant for many riders. Smoove is a wax based drip lube that dries very cleanly, and if applied properly can provide fantastic longevity and performance. Smoove is one of the chain lubricants featured in our best chain lube buyers guide and took home the best value award in our recent Cyclingnews awards .

Coming in a 125ml bottle it’s retail price is £16. 99 / $21. 43, which represents good value when compared to the length of time a bottle should last you (thousands of miles), and the performance and low drivetrain wear rates it should offer.

Smoove also makes a drivetrain degreaser to accompany the chain lubricant called Smoove prep which comes in a 250ml bottle, though you don’t have to use this exclusively with Smoove. A clean drivetrain paired with a good chain lubricant or wax can offer up some real gains on the bike as well as save you money. There will be at least a handful of watts between a dirty, oily mess of a chain, and a properly cleaned drivetrain which has been treated with a good chain lubricant.

We have also referenced and benefited from the help of Zero Friction cycling regarding our chain lubricant work, which carries out controlled, independent chain lubricant testing. Tech specs: Smoove chain lube Price (rrp) : £16. 99 / $21.

43 / €19. 83 Volume : 125ml Biodegradeable : Yes Chain cleaner / degreaser product: Yes Colour: Off white, dries clear $14. 95 View at Amazon $19.

99 View at Wiggle $22. 99 View at Walmart Design and specifications Remove the white screw top from the bottle (both fully recyclable, thankfully) to reveal a screw on applicator nozzle which uses two rubber-coated side plates to help guide it onto the chain. Smoove itself is off-white in colour and is a wax-based emulsion that is biodegradable and solvent free.

I don’t posses a safety data sheet or know the exact makeup, but it’s going to be a water based liquid containing wax and probably other additives or ingredients too. Smoove is fairly viscous and makes a good glug sound when you shake the bottle up before applying. This is Smooth on a KMC chain after a couple of weeks of riding.

Note the slight waxy build up on the teeth (Image credit: Future / Tom Wieckowski ) Performance I applied Smoove to a brand new KMC chain on a gravel bike I was testing. The chain in question being a 11speed KMC model. A brand new chain is a good starting point compared to trying to clean a dirty and contaminated chain if your making the switch to Smoove from another lubricant, especially if your chain already has a decent level of wear.

I stripped the factory lubricant from the chain using methylated spirits for a few rounds of cleaning, and once satisfied did a final clean with isopropyl alcohol (easily ordered from Amazon). Zero Friction testing shows Smoove to have some initial penetration issues, due in part to it being fairly viscous. This means a bit more effort is required during lubricant application to achieve the best possible performance and results from Smoove itself.

Summed up, tight and closely fitting chain parts can often make it difficult for a lubricant to penetrate deep into a chain and coat the inside surfaces and the pin. This can lead to high levels of wear straight off the bat if not addressed. Imagine a completely naked or clean chain and carefully dripping a tiny drop of a lubricant onto each link in the name of cleanliness.

This can result in minimal lubricant actually making its way into the chain link and the first few miles of riding can actually see high levels of wear as the un-lubricated metal surfaces and chain pin just articulate against each other. Summed up, it’s important to get enough Smoove into the depths of the chain to achieve the maximum benefit. I placed my bottle of Smoove in hot water for a few minutes to help aid penetration and applied it with the chain on the largest cassette sprocket to help open up the chain links that little bit more.

I made two healthy applications to the under and upper side of each link and wiped off any excess. I then left the chain overnight (12+ hours) for it to set before riding; Smoove recommends waiting at least an hour. If applied to a properly cleaned chain Smooth will ensure that your drivetrain, for the most part, stays looking like this (Image credit: Future / Tom Wieckowski ) Squirt is an off white colour, but dries clear.

You end up with an ever so slightly tacky, waxy finish to the chain, but that’s it. I rode my Smoove treated chain for several weeks on- and off-road in dry and dusty conditions as it was June. This was all on one application and I was nowhere near needing to reapply after a few weeks.

The British summer went downhill rapidly after this but that’s another story. One part of the application process I wasn’t blown away with was the performance of the updated applicator head, which changed around March this year. I just didn’t find it as accurate as a nice fine nozzle and did have to check if my bottle was blocked from storage / transit etc.

It wasn’t blocked, and I got it going after a bit of a fiddle, but for me the delivery of lubricant onto the chain just wasn’t as smooth (pun intended) compared to a nozzle. Smoove delivers on all the things you would want to hear regarding a clean, fast running lubricant. It dries clearly and runs very quietly.

My 1x Sram drivetrain really did run pretty silently on Smoove which was nice. If you’re starting with a clean drivetrain and chain, things are going to stay very clean for you. You get a slight waxy buildup on chainrings and jockey wheel teeth but overall the system stays very clean in the dry and doesn’t seem to hang onto much contamination or dust, in part I think owing to the ‘plastic’, non-wet dried nature of Smoove.

If you start noticing a real build up of of waxy lube, you’re probably over applying it. It’s one thing for me to say my chain ran quietly and stayed clean which is definitely a positive, but it’s good to know that Smoove has performed well in independent testing too. Zero Friction found that Smoove provided excellent contamination resistance in the dry and low wear rates.

The application instructions can and really need to be improved to avoid initial high wear from poor lubricant penetration. For the home user, it would be a good move to heat the lubricant up first, run your chain in the large chainring and largest sprocket and apply two to four applications of squirt on the inside and outside of the chain. Wipe off the excess and this should help achieve the best possible penetration.

Once applied pedal backwards for 10-20 revolutions as well, which will help. If you have one, you could also apply Smoove ultrasonically with an ultrasonic bath, but if you’re that into chain lubricant application you’ll probably be waxing your chain anyway. I’m conscious I haven’t mentioned wet conditions yet and they will naturally test any drip lubricant far more.

Bringing extra contamination into a chain, so Smoove, like a lot of other lubricants will require some maintenance and cleaning after wet rides to get the best out of it and to reset contamination. The new Luberetta applicator head appeared on bottles from March 23; personally, I think I’d prefer a regular narrow nozzle (Image credit: Future / Tom Wieckowski ) Verdict Smoove is a really good value wax emulsion drip lubricant that will last a heck of a long time per bottle, making it excellent value for money. It will keep your drivetrain very clean and quiet, whilst lengthening its lifespan.

You can also dive into the full Zero Friction testing results if you want to learn more about it, but it is safe to say that this is a lubricant that will look after your drivetrain and provide good wear resistance and performance. If you’re switching to Smoove, following the stock application instructions will certainly not be the end of the world, but if you’re looking to maximize your advantage then being a bit more thorough to begin with should give you better performance long term. Swipe to scroll horizontally Independant test results Some initial high wear ratings from factor application, far more impressive results after a more involved application 8/10 Green Credentials Solvent free and biodegradeable.

The bottle is also recyclable 9/10 Application Procedure Easy enough being a drip lube, but i’m not that keen on the applicator nozzle 6/10 Performance Clean and quiet with long periods between applications. In the wet you will need to clean the chain more as contination enters the chain 8/10 Value At £16. 99 Smoove is cheaper than a lot of other top end lubricants and lasts a long time 9/10 Overall Row 5 – Cell 1 80% Smoove also make a degreasing product that can accompany the lube, called Smoove prep.

It’s clear and comes in a 250ml bottle (Image credit: Future / Tom Wieckowski ).

From: cyclingnews
URL: https://www.cyclingnews.com/reviews/smoove-chain-lube-review-a-clean-running-lubricant-that-can-offer-excellent-performance/

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