Thursday, April 29, 2021

Guitar Ted Lube-Off: Update

One of the two test bikes for the next round of "Lube-Off" craziness.
 Your voices were heard! Thank you so much for all the comments last Monday concerning which lubricants I should look at for the next round of the "Guitar Ted Lube-Off" tests. I got some great responses and suggestions. Kudos to those who included links in their comments. That was super helpful! A couple of notes I wanted to touch on before I continued though....

- There was a suggestion made for a couple of lubes I had already tested. Rock & Roll Gold and Lilly Lube. Both pretty 'good' but no cigar when pitted against DuMonde Tech. 

- Secondly, there were a lot of suggestions for a Silca lubricant called "Synergetic". However; maybe many of you had not noted that this lube is listed as a WET lube. Typically those don't fare well at all in dusty crushed rock environments. I usually am looking for a DRY lubricant for gravel road uses. Silca did have a wax based lube on their site which maybe would be the ticket for gravel travel, but none of you folks mentioned that. So, I passed on the Silca lubricants based on those factors. 

So, what did get ordered up

One of you mentioned a new NFS formula for gravel that is called Blue Devil Chain Lube. It is specifically aimed at gravel road use, and to my knowledge, it is the only chain lubricant that claims this distinction. Many of you called for the original NixFrixShun formula to be included in the test, but I thought this new formula, (claimed to be better than the original, by the way) would be of more interest since it has the "Gravel®" tag. 

Next I noted some calls for the SCC Slick drive train lubricant to be included into the test. I read up on this lube and found that the claims of self-cleaning and ease of application sounded- well, too good to be true! But I am listening to you folks and if you've had some good results, I'm willing to give this a try. It claims to keep the drive train really clean, and that is the goal here. I am sure gravel road usage will give it a difficult testing, so we will see how it goes. 

Now some of you mentioned "Smoove Lube" and I did look at that, but it wasn't as compelling to me as these other two. That's not to say I will never look at that lube. It just isn't going to be in this round of the "Lube-Off". I've done three lubes at once and frankly, it is just too much to do in one round. So, I am sticking to two lubes this time. But Smoove Lube is now on my radar. Thanks for the suggestion! 

Okay! Both samples of lubricant have been bought and paid for with my own damn money and are on the way. Neither of these companies knows what I am up to, as far as I know, and I have nothing to gain from featuring these products here. This is simply a test for my own satisfaction and maybe we will all learn something from it. Simple as that. 

So, stay tuned for the kick-off of the next round of the "Lube-Off" as soon as these orders arrive at the G-Ted Productions headquarters. 


Blain said...

Isn't NFS a wet lubricant? I've only tried the original NFS formula, but I would 100% characterize it as wet. I live in a dusty environment and found it really picked up a lot of dirt.

Guitar Ted said...

@Blain - It doesn’t specifically say Blue Devil is for “wet” conditions but it does say it works in all conditions including “the most severe”.

I also noted that the instructions call for a minuscule amount of lubricant be applied. I would imagine getting too much on the chain would indeed cause problems.

10-12 drops for an entire chain isn’t much!

Blain said...

@Guitar Ted - Gotcha. My interpretation of 'wet' was 'it stays liquid,' which NFS does as opposed to something like RnR Gold or the drip-wax lubes that have a solvent that cooks off.

When things get 'moon-dust'-y here in the CO summer it doesn't matter how sparing you are with the lube, it's gonna pick up dust. That's one of the reasons I've stuck with RnR or hot-waxing chains despite trying a few of the other miracle lubes.

A lot of people love NFS, so I'm curious what your experience will be.

Guitar Ted said...

@Blain- Understood. Thanks for the detailed comment. I’ll certainly be looking to see if it picks up dust as that is the number one issue here.

baric said...

I really like the Du Monde Tech. It seems to last a good long while even though it picks up a little bit of grime over time. The last couple of years during the dry seasons I've been using Liquid Wrench Dry Lube with cerflon, a ceramic base spray lube. I usually apply it right before a ride when checking tire pressures whenever I feel it's needed and slip a cardboard between the tire, the chain and the ground to catch any overspray or drips during application. Easy. It's super slippery, seems to penetrate really well, dries clear very quickly and the chain and sprockets stay pretty much pristine clean without attracting any dirt. I apply it a little more often than you would a dedicated chain lube because I'm not sure of it's longevity but the chain wear seems negligible and seems to be lasting. All that being said, if you're on a really long ride or race, you may or may not want to try something else. Tried PB Blaster Dry lube with Teflon also but it dries white and is a little bit messier to clean up.

MG said...

I'll be interested to see how that SCC Slick lube works… They make some heady claims.

Josh at SILCA said...

Josh at SILCA here, and I'll mention SuperSecret! Here is what ZeroFrictionCycling said about it in addition to saying that it may be the best dry/dusty gravel lube ever.

Synergetic is like Dumonde Tech or NFS but better.. you can also find it's testing on ZeroFriction as the only wet lube to ever post 0% wear in a 1000km block of testing. It significantly beats RnR Gold and all others in ZFC testing.

Last point is that hot melt is really the best of the best for pretty much everthing if you're willing to invest the bit of time to do it. And in ZFC testing the all time leader for low wear is SILCA hot wax posting 1/4 the wear over 6000km of Molten Speed wax.

About SuperSecret, ZFC says:
The second critical point for Silca SS drip lube - Its block 2 – dry contamination wear rate was the lowest tested at time of testing (just beaten
by updated test of Tru-Tension tungsten race lube, but that lubricant was re-applied at double the rate / twice as often – whereas silca was
applied at the standard 300km re-lube intervals). At just 4.6% for this block, it really proves that it sets to a chain coating type lubricant, bugger all
dust is penetrating into chain, and we can see that confirmed by the block 3 wear rate which was 0%, that really nothing of note got in there,
the lubricant had managed to “layer up” to an effective degree, and the chain is highly protected against wear.
And, (and I really need to start taking photos part way through tests vs 1000km mark and at end) – Silca SS was VERY clean for the first 3000km
of test. I simply always ensured I thoroughly wiped all excess after working in (you need lube inside chain not outside- lube outside just gathers
So we have quite the highlight to shout about re this test, in that at the end of the first 3000km of testing, Silca Super Secret was sitting at a
cumulative wear of just 7.5% of the 0.5% wear allowance.
The average wear for all lubricants tested to this point is 64%. Silca SS drip is now the clubhouse leader for lowest wear rate at end of first 3
blocks, and as mentioned above at this point in the test the chain was still exceptionally clean. If you get a different result, you are either a)
over applying or b) not taking care of excess properly post lube and work in.
So, if you only ride in the dry, this drip lube is really, really something. If we compare the what were previously thought of as good wax
emulsion lubes, Squirt was at 61% end of block 3, Smoove 38.6%, NFS at 54.3, RnR Gold at 57.9.
There is simply no way to beat around the bush here – SuperSecret is in a different league altogether. Tru-Tension Tungsten All weather is going to be the only
wax emulsion lube in the vicinity but that is also another lube that really needs to be applied either immersive or with some really thorough
work (heating chain, lube, super thorough work in etc – I will be discussing immersive tub with Tru-Tension soon as that is still up there and bit
ahead for wet conditions) – Tru tension was hurt a little with a 14% block 1 wear rate so re-testing with an initial immersive application is on
the cards, and Tru Tension also remains very very clean so has been popular, but…. With Silca SS now on the scene with those super low wear
rates, TT AW is going to need to release and immersive tub as a minimum to try to keep up.