Do you even lube?

While it makes sense to most of us that we need to lube up, it is probably one of the least understood parts of the regular maintenance that we need to do for our bikes and many cyclists randomly slap on loads of lube because, come on, more has to be better. Or maybe not so much.

So over and above the lube you use, application of the lubricant is almost as important as the lubricant itself. The basics you should be looking for in a lubricant is one that enhances the intricate workings of the chain but reduces the amount of dirt that is held in the lubed chain. Additionally, the lubricant should not act as a solvent to any lubrication that might be inherent from the production process.

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Smoove sailing

The Smoove packaging is attractive - the size of the bottle is convenient for application and 125ml will cost around R120. I applied the lube as directed onto a used (approx 1600km old) 10spd XT clean dry chain and left over night, application was easy and the consistency of the lube was just thick enough that it didn’t drip from the chain.

I purposely chose a very sandy route that has a few water crossings to ride the following day, the shifting throughout the ride was seamless, there was no sound from the chain and cluster even when purposely cross-chaining as much as possible. The chain was covered in a light layer of sand post ride but wiped off easily.

The chain was hosed down and I didn’t apply more lube, it was left for 2 days, I rode the same route again and was pleased with the performance. I left the shifting on short steep ascents a little late to see how the chain handled under stress, there was no chain noise and shifting was swift and crisp.

I took a closer look after the ride, removed the chain and tried each link and all of them moved freely. I have since replaced the chain and have been using Smoove as instructed with consistent results.

The bottle says:

Smoove- Universal Chain Lube

Is a long lasting lubricant formulated to withstand even the most demanding conditions. Whether in wet or dry conditions, SMOOVE is extremely durable and one application last a whole ride, effectively protecting your mechanical drive train components from wear and tear. SMOOVE also reduces friction, enabling you to unlock optimal performances. SMOOVE is self-cleansing, 100% biodegradable and solvent free.

I say:

A great product that is value for money and has worked for me on my MTB and I’m sure will work just as well on a road bike and, will probably last an incredibly long time on a road chain. It is labeled as a universal lubricant and as such should handle most conditions and the biodegradable tag is a big thumbs up.