Squirt Wax Lube drivetrain gunk

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Jian81
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:29 pm

by Jian81

Hi guys,

Ive been using Squirt Wax Dry Lube for the past couple of weeks for my drivetrain. Wanted to test it out to see it if was any better than using regular lube in terms of cleanliness and smoothness. First thing i noticed is that the drive train performed a tad bit quiter and smoother. However, after a few rides, i started to notice huge black gunk building up all along my drive train especially on my rear D pulley and chainrings which i have to scrape off. I do notice however that the black gunk does not leave hard to remove black residue on your fingers like regular lube does, requiring only a tissue paper to rub off. I have been riding in very dry conditions with no wet riding. Just want to know if this is normal for a wax lube?

by Weenie


zefs
Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:40 pm

by zefs

It's normal for the Squirt wax, I think you will notice less gunk on dry seasons. The Molten speed wax does not have that issue based on a youtuber.

Wookski
Posts: 882
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:51 am

by Wookski

I use squirt exclusively. Firstly, make sure your chain, pulley wheels and rear cassette have been throughly cleaned and decreased. Once applying the squirt wipe the chain, crank and pulleys down with a clean cloth and leave to dry. Then wipe down once with a clean dry cloth after every ride. Your drivetrain should remain relatively clean- relube every 3 rides and repeat the degreasing process every fortnight.

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 2084
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

Squirt will do that if you apply it as instructed. It results in an excessive amount on the exterior of the chain where it's not doing much other than providing some rust protection.

My suggestion is to apply Squirt in a more precise/deliberate fashion. Put your drivetrain in the big ring and smallest cog. Backpedal so your quicklink is on the bottom. Apply one drop to each roller, starting from the quicklink and ending at the lower pulley. Now pinch each roller between your thumb and index finger, and wiggle the two adjacent links. Backpedal and do the same thing to the next section of chain until you reach the quicklink again. You could do what Wookski suggests and wipe down after application, but Squirt is so viscous that it doesn't really flow readily into the gap between pins and rollers without help. I've heard of some people microwaving their Squirt bottles for 10-15 seconds just to make it a bit thinner temporarily.

It's slightly laborious process, but you won't much gunk build-up at all. The wax bits that fling off will be much smaller and more manageable.

^ This is also how I applied Smoove, which I liked better than Squirt for longevity, but it was slightly gunkier.

I get about 60-70mi of "optimal" performance with Squirt. After that the drivetrain gets raspy from the exterior of the chain being dry. I can stretch it another 100mi or so before the lube has really been worked out from the pins/rollers. For me that's less than a week for one application of lube, which isn't great. I've switched to paraffin+teflon+molybdenum disfulfide recently and that lasts roughly twice as long...and also doesn't ever get "gunky."

r4nd0mv4r14bl3
Posts: 71
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:26 am

by r4nd0mv4r14bl3

Perhaps you applied too much of it. For me it is noticeable only after several reapplications.

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jever98
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:02 pm

by jever98

Hi,

Sounds to me as if the chain wasn't completely clean when you started using the wax lube. Basically, if it isn't clean before you start you'll get this kind of gunk.

Cheers
----
No longer in the industry

jever98
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:02 pm

by jever98

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:20 am
I've switched to paraffin+teflon+molybdenum disfulfide recently and that lasts roughly twice as long...and also doesn't ever get "gunky."
Is that a commercially available product? If so, could you share?

Thx
----
No longer in the industry

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 2084
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

jever98 wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:49 am
Hi,

Sounds to me as if the chain wasn't completely clean when you started using the wax lube. Basically, if it isn't clean before you start you'll get this kind of gunk.

Cheers

I thought this was the case, but I still use Squirt on my spare bike (attached to a trainer 24/7.) After months and several dunks in OMS and diluted Zep citrus degreaser, it still gets gunky if you use too much.

Squirt never fully solidifies so it tends to cling. It also clings onto dirt and road grime from motor traffic so the gunk tends to get black. The tiny flakes from paraffin waxed chains are light gray because it fully solidifies and grit/grime doesn't cling.

jever98 wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:50 am

Is that a commercially available product? If so, could you share?

Thx

You can get it premixed as Molten Speed Wax, but it's not a drip lube. It's dry wax that needs to be melted in a slow cooker, then you immerse your chains in it.
Last edited by TobinHatesYou on Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jian81
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:29 pm

by Jian81

jever98 wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:49 am
Hi,

Sounds to me as if the chain wasn't completely clean when you started using the wax lube. Basically, if it isn't clean before you start you'll get this kind of gunk.

Cheers
No way, i took off the chain and soaked it in degreaser. Brushed every single link until any sign of gunk was gone. Other parts of the drivetrain were also properly degreased before application. Waited for drivetrain to be completely dry before application. I applied wax to every chain link, waited 5mins until it dried, repeated twice.

I may have over applied but im not sure. 3 runs of wax during initial application doesnt seem like alot to me.

Also curious, after a complete drivetrain clean, do your simply just apply wax to the chain? Do your apply regular lube to the cassette? Or do your just let the wax run over the entire drivetrain and thats it.

For me after ensuring drivetrain is completely dry, i simply apply wax to the chain only.

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 2084
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

Jian81 wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:05 am

Also curious, after a complete drivetrain clean, do your simply just apply wax to the chain? Do your apply regular lube to the cassette? Or do your just let the wax run over the entire drivetrain and thats it.

You definitely do not want to mix lubes by applying something else to the cassette. When I apply Squirt I do nothing else. I mash it into the pins/rollers like I mentioned earlier and leave it to dry overnight. I do not change gears in order to coat the cassette with Squirt from the chain. I want to disturb the chain as little as possible and allow the Squirt to dry. Some Squirt will naturally end up on the cogs as you ride anyway since it never fully solidifies. It also doesn't really have any effect on rear shift quality...rear shifts are not taxing on your drivetrain unless you are really grinding at ultra low cadence.

Squirt takes way longer than 5 minutes to fully dry. It should be left to dry for several hours ideally. Also 3 applications using the official method without a wipedown is definitely way too much.

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Conza
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:28 am
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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by Conza

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:20 am
I've switched to paraffin+teflon+molybdenum disfulfide recently and that lasts roughly twice as long...and also doesn't ever get "gunky."
What would that be? :o
It's all about the adventure :o .

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 2084
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

Conza wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:16 pm
TobinHatesYou wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:20 am
I've switched to paraffin+teflon+molybdenum disfulfide recently and that lasts roughly twice as long...and also doesn't ever get "gunky."
What would that be? :o

I bought the paraffin at a craft store, PTFE powder from an online piano supply/repair shop and molydenum-disulfide from Amazon. I use an old slow cooker to melt the wax and submerse the chain (which is hooked onto a "swisher tool" made out of wire clothes hanger.)

https://moltenspeedwax.com/pages/waxing-your-chain

^ It's a DIY recipe of this.

jever98
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:02 pm

by jever98

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:58 am
I thought this was the case, but I still use Squirt on my spare bike (attached to a trainer 24/7.) After months and several dunks in OMS and diluted Zep citrus degreaser, it still gets gunky if you use too much.

Squirt never fully solidifies so it tends to cling. It also clings onto dirt and road grime from motor traffic so the gunk tends to get black. The tiny flakes from paraffin waxed chains are light gray because it fully solidifies and grit/grime doesn't cling.

You can get it premixed as Molten Speed Wax, but it's not a drip lube. It's dry wax that needs to be melted in a slow cooker, then you immerse your chains in it.
Weird, I had relatively good results in the summer at least.

Re Speed Wax - interesting approach. Do you get the 400 miles out of it that they advertise? Seems like a bit of a hassle to have to open the chain and close it again. What way do you go? New pin each time or a new Powerlock?

Thanks for tips, maybe I'll try it out one day.
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No longer in the industry

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 2084
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

jever98 wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:28 pm
.

Re Speed Wax - interesting approach. Do you get the 400 miles out of it that they advertise? Seems like a bit of a hassle to have to open the chain and close it again. What way do you go? New pin each time or a new Powerlock?

Thanks for tips, maybe I'll try it out one day.
I swap in a freshly waxed chain around the 300mi mark, but that typically includes 30000ft of climbing. The chains start getting raspy at 120-140mi or so, but you can keep going a long distance after that.

As for replacing the chains. I reuse quicklinks many times without issue. I wax 4 chains in batches, use them up over a couple months, then wax them again.

by Weenie


MikeD
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:55 pm

by MikeD

One thing about Squirt, it's thick and doesn't penetrate the chain very well. I warm up the bottle to thin it out and allow it to flow better.

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