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Quick Spins: Bikinventions Squirt chain lubricant, July 2, 2008

The best wax lube yet

Bikinventions' Squirt chain lubricant
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)
Squirt uses a water-based carrier
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

Not long ago, wax-based chain lubricants were hailed as the be-all-end-all, promising cleaner drivetrains, quiet operation and good longevity. After years of searching, Cyclingnews technical editor James Huang finally comes across one that actually lives up to its billing.

Bikinventions' whimsically-named Squirt comes off as just yet another wax-based chain lubricant but quickly proves itself to be different from the norm. It's far more viscous than other wax lubes, it doesn't stink and it doesn't settle much over time.

According to Bikinventions' Dewet Marais, this is because Squirt uses a water-based carrier instead of a more volatile organic solvent. This allows for a far higher-than-normal 40 percent wax-to-solvent ratio, a true wax-water emulsion that requires little shaking (if at all) and the slower-evaporating water lets the wax seep further into the chain, too.

As with other wax lubes, Bikinventions still recommends that you start with a squeaky-clean chain completely devoid of other lubricants or degreasers before the first application. Indeed, we got the best results using this procedure but were still surprised with Squirt's performance just by slathering it on.

In short, Squirt is easily the best dry-conditions wax-based lubricant we've used to date and the only one we've encountered that can last more than a single ride out in the impossibly fine dust of Moab, Utah and Fruita, Colorado. Chains stayed quieter and smoother for longer periods of time, and even remarkably clean over our six-month test period. Moreover, Squirt's impressive longevity also means you don't have to use as much of it so the bottle lasts longer.

As usual, though, wet conditions are Squirt's Achilles' heel. While its durability was still far better than other wax lubes we've used (enough to justify its use over messier wet lubes in some cases), true wet lubricants are still the way to go when the rain starts coming down. Also, since the water-based carrier evaporates more slowly, you have to allow more time after application before you head out lest you fling all the lube on to ground.

Even so, Bikinventions' Squirt has singlehandedly turned our opinion around for wax-based chain lubricants. This one actually does what it says and does it well, and it's now the first bottle we reach for when heading out in dry conditions. Bravo!

Price: US$10.00 (4oz bottle)
Pros: Superb performance in dry conditions that finally lives up to wax-based billing, surprisingly long lasting, drivetrains stay cleaner and quieter longer
Cons: Still not the best choice for wet conditions but far better than other waxes
Cyclingnews rating: Click for key to ratings
More info: www.squirtlube.com

Photography

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Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com