SMOOVE is a universal chain lube that well and truly lives up to expectations. It sticks about in a range of conditions and lasts for an impressively long time. It’s reasonably priced too considering how far just a little goes but you’ll need a little foresight when using it.
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It’s said that SMOOVE takes the best bits of a wax-based lube and combines them with the best bits of an oil-based lube without the negatives of either.
It comes with a handful of bold claims to boot. Through mixed conditions, it’ll stick around for 300-600 miles while through the British winter slop, it’s promised to keep your chain smooth for 150-250 miles, apparently. During these miles, it’s claimed to keep clean and the big one, it’ll extend the life of your chain by 124%.
During my time with SMOOVE, it’s seen all kinds of conditions, though mixed for the most part.
Applying SMOOVE is a little bit different from normal lubes. Firstly, as always, start off with a clean chain, then apply the lube while backpedaling until you see it spanning the chain’s pins between every other link.
With the lube applied, give the cranks a bunch more backpedals to work the lube in good and proper then leave it to dry overnight. There’s no need to wipe the chain afterward.
Of course, if you lube your chain directly before a ride, this probably isn’t the ideal lube for you but if you whip the lube out after a wash then you’ll already be used to this way of working.
As mentioned before I’ve run with SMOOVE over the past few months through some properly mixed conditions and straight away, it’s not missed a beat.
The real test was when racing the Ex Enduro, which featured 110km of riding, it was also my first taste of soggy trails after the summer so this event was a prime opportunity to see what SMOOVE is capable of.
Without beating around the bush, I had absolutely no problems. It shrugged off stream crossings and all of the loamy crud that was thrown up. I did reapply before the last 30km as a safeguard because my bike started to get creaky but I reckon it would have been perfectly fine without the second application.
In all conditions, the SMOOVE keeps the drivetrain well… Smooth and it hasn’t washed off mid-ride whenever the conditions took a turn.
Something that’s often glossed over with lubes is the bottle but I reckon that SMOOVE's deserves a special mention. It’s all about the nozzle here, and it’s super narrow. This helps keep the application mess-free but it stops you from going crazy and pouring gallons of the stuff onto your chain, meaning you’ll actually use very little of it per application.
It’s very reasonably priced too, especially considering how much you’ll actually get through per application. £15 for a bottle of lube is a little more than usual but when it lasts this long, in all conditions it’s worth every penny. If you’re not one to wash your chain after each ride, the bottle will last for ages.
A clear competitor is Squirt that sits at £7. It’s 100% biodegradable which is a great thing and it cleans your chain as you go but Jim says that after three hours, you’ll notice your chain suffering. That’s something that’s simply not the case with SMOOVE.
To throw another contender into the mix, Juice Lubes Viking Lube will set you back £10. It’s a great lube that keeps your drivetrain smooth in a range of conditions but it needs two applications on a totally clean and dry chain. It’s pretty thin too, so you’ll lose a few drops due to its sheer viscosity.
Because of SMOOVE’s excellent performance in all conditions and its massive staying power, it makes for an excellent lube if you’re one for marathon rides. It’s equally as great if you just want an all-weather lube for your usual weekend blasts because it’ll stay put regardless of what you put your chain through. It's just a bit pricier than some other lubes out there and you'll need to remember to let it dry.
I've used squirt for the last 1.5k to 2k km mostly on 5 hr plus rides up to 200km+ . Not sure what "chain suffering after 3 hours" is but I haven't noticed anything.
Fair warning ZeroFrictionCycling say both Smoove and Squirt are excellent for chain lubrication but only moderate for reducing chain wear as they dont penetrate along the pins under the rollers.