|(L-R) aMTBRer Products "Smoothe Lube 1.2, Lilly Lube, and WPL Wet Chain Lube|
Readers will remember last Fall when I pitted three lubes against each other and found the Champ, DuMonde Tech, to be the winner by a hair over the excellent Muc-Off C3 Ceramic Dry Lube.
By the way, can we just go ahead and say that "chain lube" and a short company name is all we need? I mean, good golly! Some of these lubes are a fair jaw-cracker.
Anyway, here are the next three lubricants I have to pit against each other. One was supposed to have been in the last round, but came too late to be included. I am adding it to this round along with two new-comers. Note- I did not pay for any of these lubricants. I have not been bribed, nor have I been paid to make these posts. These lubricants were either free samples or sent in specifically to be tested and reviewed by me. I will strive to give my honest thoughts and views throughout.
First up we have an independently made and developed lubricant from SoCal, the aMTBer Products Smoothe Lube 1.2. Here's the blurb from their site:
- Our premium chain lube for Gravel and XC MTB. Designed for silent performance on higher cadence efforts from a wax drivetrain system and still stay incredibly clean and fast. Can be used solely on a fresh clean chain, or as a supplement for your wax-dipped chains, and can be used with Original Smoothe Lube as the maintenance coat between rides.
Next we have the Lilly Lube Premium Bicycle Chain Lubricant, also an independently developed product out of SoCal. On to the marketing blurb.....
• EP (Extreme Pressure) additives for superior film strength
• Contains proprietary additives that reduce friction
• Cleans every time you use it
• Petroleum based lubricant
• No added scents or dyes
• Made in the USA
Notes: The site says this one is good as a wet and a dry lube. NOT a wax based lube, but claims to have "minimal attraction" to dirt and grit. Strictly instructs user to apply 8 hours ahead of a ride. Also, and very interestingly, the application process doubles as a chain cleaning process. Kind of reminiscent of Pro Gold lube in that way. No hints given as to when to re-apply Lilly Lube are given on their site. Hmmm.....
Next up we have WPL Wet Chain Lube from Canada. This one is neither wax based, nor petroleum based, but is made from a combination of oleochemicals (animal and plant based), antioxidants, and seed oils. It is certified biodegradable. Okay, now onto the marketing blurb:
- Premium bio-based formula made with natural ingredients
- EmulsifiteTM technology provides dynamic cleaning abilities and prevents black goop build-up
- Long-lasting formula improves pedal efficiency by reducing chain wear and friction
- For use on bicycle chains, shifters, derailleurs and cables
- Biodegradable, non-toxic, PTFE-free formula is environmentally friendly
- Made in Canada
|The Fargo refreshed for 2020 duty, now going on 12 years old!|
The other two lubes give no particular time limitations, nor do they call out for "time specific" re-applications as you use the lube, only really saying that you might re-apply when the chain gets dirty. We'll see how long that takes. Either way, the six hour time period is the test protocol here.
I will also be using the "Touch Test" to ascertain how much black goop I gather on these chains as the test progresses. This is a simple wipe of the chain with my index finger across about two inches of the chain's inner run. Whatever comes off, I photograph that and show you. The more gunk/black stuff, the lower down the rung the lube goes on the ratings.
Okay, I think it will be good to briefly go over the champion DuMonde Tech's characteristics here. It is a lube that remains uncannily clean, always out-performing the contenders on the Touch Test and in terms of longevity when it comes to use. Reapplications are few and far between. There is a strict first application protocol, but if it is followed, yeah.... Nothing comes close except the Muc-Off Ceramic C3 Dry, which is very similar in performance results for me.
So, low maintenance, dry, clean looking chains that feel slippery to the touch, and quiet, smooth shifts are the benchmarks. Also- I am taking the perspective of a gravel road rider, primarily. So resistance to grit and dust build up is a big plus in my eyes. Of course, your basic lubrication attributes must be maintained as well, or what's the point, right? As a side note- I readied the Fargo Gen I for this test yesterday.
Let's see what these contenders bring to the table. Stay tuned........