Thursday, November 07, 2019

Guitar Ted Lube-Off: Final Results And Commentary

NOTE: Large doses of "my opinion" will be handed out in gloppy dollops today. You've been forewarned.....

Okay, the final results, as determined by me, Guitar Ted, have been rendered in this round of the "Lube-Off". First, for reference:

Note: For the Introduction to the contenders and procedures used in this test, please see THIS POST. Also please note that the possibility of a fourth contender never materialized, so this test is just between the three lubes mentioned in the introduction. 

 The first update on the Muc-Off lube can be read here. The Squirt Lube post can be read here.The "Final Update" concerning DuMonde Tech can be found HERE.

It was tough this time to determine a winner. Usually, that hasn't been the case in the past with DuMonde Tech simply blowing away the other challengers. I think all three lubes I tested this time are worthy choices, so let's get that out of the way first thing. I could live the rest of my days using any one of them and not have a lot of nits with any of the trio. That said, there is a "best, "better", and a "good" choice here. I'll start off by telling you right up front that DuMonde Tech is still the best of the lot, so if you want to skip the rest of this post, go ahead.

The rest of you- read on.......

 "Good"- Squirt Lube:

Squirt did well. It stayed slick until the six hour mark and then it was definitely done. To be fair, the label suggests reapplication after six hours of use. (Thus the six hour limit used for the Muc-Off and the six more hours on an already used DuMonde Tech set up)

The thing is, you have to re-up at least every six hours of riding, if not more often. This means cleaning up the chain first, drying, then reapplication of Squirt- that is if you want to do this "right". But however you see that going down or not, the fact is that you are going to go through a lot more lube than with the other two choices here. That means more overall expenses. (You'll need to replace the lube at a quicker rate, besides any cleaning or what have you.)

The other nit I had with Squirt lube was that it attracted a fine coating of dust on everything the Squirt lube touched. Dust means accelerated wear. It wouldn't be terrible, as Squirt didn't seem to "gunk-up" like other wax based lubricants have that have gone through the Lube-Off in the past. Squirt is BY FAR the best wax based lubricant with the LEAST amount of fuss to apply it. It is biodegradable. It uses water as a lubricant carrier. So, there is a lot here to like. But the other lubes did not coat the drive train bits in a fine dust, so while it isn't a major deal, it knocks this choice down a notch for me.

"Better" - Muc-Off C3 Ceramic Dry Lube:

Now here is where it got tough. The Muc-Off C3 Ceramic Dry Lube was fantastic and really gave DuMonde Tech a run for its money here.

After six hours the Muc-Off lube was still rockin' and it had a ton of life left in it. The "Touch Test" revealed a nice, slippery feel and the chain looked pretty good after a six hour stint that even included some wet mud and water spray. The lube actually hung on pretty well, despite that more severe test, and it shows me that a little abuse is okay with Muc-Off. That's a great trait. I was thinking Muc-Off might actually topple DuMonde Tech off the pinnacle of lube dominance here at Guitar Ted Productions. But for one minor nit- it would have. 

Muc-Off C3 Ceramic Dry Lube had just a hint of gunky build up. DuMonde Tech- if used properly and applied correctly- doesn't do this. Again. I could take Muc-Off C3 and live happily ever after. I recommend it as a good lube for gravel, but DuMonde Tech is jussssst a little bit better....... 

And The Winner: DuMonde Tech:

Yep. Use this stuff correctly and you will have a chain and cassette that simply sparkles throughout miles and miles of gravel travel with zero gunky build up and you should experience a long chain life. But you HAVE to apply it according to label instructions. If you do not- it sucks, plain and simple. The magic here is in the preparation. And actually- that is true with all lubes. Most folks do not take the time necessary to "do things right" and there is no "easy button" when it comes to exposed chain and gear derailleur drive trains. You simply must do due diligence or your results will suffer.  

That said, IF you do use DuMonde Tech correctly, it is one of the easiest lubes to "live with". As shown by this run of the "Lube-Off", chain maintenance is minimized with this lube, whereas lubes like Squirt are actually pretty high maintenance. Also, DuMonde Tech runs really clean, and is a bit cleaner than the Muc-Off C3, but not by much. Again- I'll continue to use the Muc-Off product going forward as well. I want to see a longer term use of the lube, like I have seen with this DuMonde Tech, and then compare results.

Thanks for checking out this edition of the "Guitar Ted Lube-Off". Please note that I was not paid, nor bribed for this review of these three lubricants. I always strive to give my honest thoughts and opinions throughout. My results may not reflect others experiences and any results I have shown are simply my own and may not necessarily mean anyone else will experience these products similarly.


bostonbybike said...

I've been using DuMondeTech lube for years and yes, it's excellent in dry, dusty conditions. It runs clean and lasts reasonably long. However, the two minor issues I have with this lube are: (1) it washes off very easily in rain, (2) it has a disgusting smell, so I learned to apply the lube outdoors.

DT said...

Mark - is the is Original (green) or Lite (yellow) Dumonde Tech?

txroadie said...

Can you share the link to the story where you described the best way to care for/clean your drivetrain? It involved letting mud dry, brushing it off, and using WD-40, prior to lubricant. I love that procedure, but I can't find it again.


Scott Atkins

Al said...

Mark, im sure you mentioned it before but what is your degreaser of choice for cleaning the drivetrain before application of lube?

Guitar Ted said...

@bostonbybike- Try the Cafe' DuMonde Tech. It smells like fresh coffee!

Guitar Ted said...

@DT- Either works the same, but I believe I used the standard formula here. It's been several months ago though!

Guitar Ted said...

@txroadie: Here ya go!

Guitar Ted said...

@Al- I've used WD-40 to great effect, but the new Muc-Off Bio-Chain Degreaser I just reviewed on Riding Gravel is really good as well. That's what I used for the Lube-Off this time.