Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Guitar Ted Lube-Off: Long Term Blue Devil vs. SCC Tech

 Last Summer I ran another round of the "Guitar Ted Lube-Off". This is a 'contest' of which lube works best for gravel road riding in dry conditions. It's maybe a bit more technical than that, but that is the gist of it. So, I declared that SCC Tech Lube was superior to the NixFrixShun Blue Devil lube in this post. However; what I did not tell you all was that I decided to just roll with those two lubricants long term and then see what the results might be. 

Before I get to the nitty-gritty, I want to point out that each lubricant was re-applied at least once since the end of this test. Both - I know - were re-applied at least one time, but I may have re-upped the SCC Tech Lube twice. (Bad me! I did not write this stuff down!) I do know that I re-applied the Blue Devil lube right before Gravel Worlds and the SCC Tech Lube shortly after that. There may have been one other SCC Tech Lube application in there, which I vaguely recall being this past Fall. Anyway....

Following are some images and commentary on each lubricant.....

The SCC Tech Lube has been a good performer for me.

Yes, there is a bit of grime, but....
SCC Tech Lube:

The SCC Tech Lube provided me with spotless shifting performance and nearly a spotless chain throughout the Fall and into Winter. Keeping in mind that this was the bike I used on my Tour of Black Hawk County, which was a super-dusty affair, and that speaks volumes for me, anyway. 

Shortly after that ride I did have to re-apply lubrication though, as the chain was starting to make a bit of noise. Fall continued on and the dust never got any better. I put a lot of ride time into this bike due to review items which I had on it. So, again, I may have re-applied lubrication once more on this bike. I'm pretty sure I did. 

This lube won the initial "Lube-Off" between these two lubricants and after a long period of usage in severe dust conditions I think it is fair to say that this still is a top-shelf lubricant for a gravel bike. Now, add in moisture and things could go quite differently, but as for what I saw, this stuff is pretty good stuff.

And you don't need to use a ton of it to get these good results. In fact, that is pretty much true of any of the better lubricants I've tried. Less is 'more' when it comes to chain lube in dry conditions. So, keep that in mind when you are lubing your own chain up. 

The 'Blue Devil' lube is the new stuff from NixFrixShun meant for gravel travel.

This was a big surprise. Much cleaner than I expected.

Blue Devil:

This lube is a new-ish lube from NixFrixShun that was developed for gravel riding. I was duly impressed, but it really wasn't just up to the same level as the SCC Tech lube at the time I did the summer test. 

However; it was kept running here on the MCD and right before I went to Gravel Worlds in mid-August I decided it would be best to re-lube, even though it didn't necessarily need it. Since then, I know I have not re-lubed this chain. In fact, I'm not sure where my bottle of this lube is! 

The chain has maybe a touch more gunk on it from dust accumulation, but the touch-test showed very little residue off it. I was, quite frankly, a bit shocked by that. Shifting performance and noise have been non-issues. I really have a hard time faulting this lube for anything beyond the slight gunkiness. (If that is a word!)

Conclusions: So, in terms of the longer view, I would elevate Blue Devil lube to be equal to the SCC Tech. In fact, I have seen no reason to use more Blue Devil, and the SCC Tech lube has had to be applied one time more. But, I haven't looked at mileage so that may be a wash. Either way, I'd highly recommend either of these lubricants for dry, long mileage use. 

Not that either of these is as good as DuMonde Tech, or the Muc-Off C3 Ceramic Dry, but these two are closer to the Muc-Off lube's performance than the DuMonde Tech. I would recommend any of them, honestly. Now for wet? Hmm..... That's a different story. DuMonde Tech holds up pretty well there, but I don't know about these others. So, I plan on using the SCC Tech and Blue Devil throughout the Winter as they are dual purpose lubes. 

So, in the future look for another update on these lubes. Next year when things get warm again I will introduce a couple more lubes to the series. 

I bought the SCC Tech Lube and the NixFrixShun Blue Devil lubricants for this round of the Lube-Off. I was not paid nor bribed for these posts and I try to give you my honest thoughts and opinions throughout.


dan h said...

Thanks for the followup. I was wondering if you ever waxed chains and how the 3 compare. I'm trying to decide on which way to go for next season.



Guitar Ted said...

@dan h - I actually have never waxed a chain. That decision is for a couple of reasons. First- it is a very time intensive, tedious method for lubrication of a bicycle chain. Secondly- It requires some sort of appliance to heat/melt the wax. Third: It requires the use of other chemicals which no one ever stops to discuss the cost/enviro elements of in reviews of chain wax.

When I can get the results I get? Without all of the above? Yeah..... The advantages of waxed chains would have to be pretty huge to swing me to having any desire to mess with the process.

And to be completely fair to waxed chain fans- it is the very process of waxing a chain that they regard as 'worth it' and maybe even enjoyable. I just am not even close to feeling any of that in regard to waxing chains.

Maybe I'm a bad person to ask about this, but waxing a chain seems about as good as tubular tires in terms of "costs" versus benefit". Do either work, save watts, and are either desirable in any sort of way? YES! Totally. But when the "process" and what it takes to get there to realize those benefits is far greater than alternatives to tubulars and waxed chains which approximate the benefits?

And I was even sent a free bag of chain wax to try out, so it isn't as though I haven't had the opportunity to try wax. I just cannot be arsed to go through the motions to try it.

DT said...

I actually think you'll like the NFS lube even better in wet conditions (which is almost exclusively why I use it)