Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Guitar Ted Lube Off: Smooth Operator Lube Update

Much better when used sparingly.
The last "Lube Off" update, back in February, was all about the wet weather performance of the lubes and techniques I was testing out. (Check it out HERE) I had just tried out the new Smooth Operator lubricant on my Ti Mukluk, but it was a bit on the messy side. I offered that perhaps I used it too liberally on the Muk's chain, and that I tried it on the BMC with a restrained hand.

Well, this is after a couple of hundred miles of gravel and a few commutes. You can read the chain side plates quite clearly. Using this lube sparingly seems to be the ticket to success with it. The chain now is dry-ish, but if I roll the rollers of the chain, I get some wetness out of there still. There is s wee bit of build up inside the links and on the jockey wheels, so this isn't on the same level as DuMonde Tech, or even the Rock & Roll Gold I used last Summer, but it is close.

Conditions have been a mixed bag of wet, damp, and very dry in the weeks following the last update. The Smooth Operator lube has earned a pass on to the next phase of testing here, so I will re-up on an application to the chain on the BMC and continue onward.

So, I will move on to dry weather testing again and I am planning on adding a couple of new lubes to the mix. I finally found my sample of ChainL Lube, and I also am going to give Squirt lubricant a try in the future.


Jason said...

I was wondering if you were going to add Chain-L to the lube-off. I've been using it for a while and I'm interested to see what you think about it.

Jeff Johansen said...

I have been using Chain L for a few years now, and have learned that it works best for me if I apply one drop on each link (which is more time consuming than simply squirting it on as I turn the cranks). I try to let it set for a few minutes before wiping off the excess by wrapping a rag around the bottom section of the chain and turning it backwards for several revolutions. This lets the lube get down into the pins where it is needed most, but removes it from the outside of the chain where it will attract dirt and grime. It stays very clean and lasts a long time this way. A bottle will last a LONG time if you put one drop on each link. If I put too much on and/or don't wipe off the excess, it will become an oily mess on the chain, chainrings, cassette, and derailleurs. . . . . so I don't do that :~)

Guitar Ted said...

@Jeff Johansen: Thanks for the tips on ChainL. I'll not slather it on then and we will see how it goes.