SMOOVE LUBE

Australian Mountain Bike - - Tested - WORDS AND PHOTOS: AMB TEST CREW

Aus­tralian rid­ing con­di­tions are quite dif­fer­ent com­pared to where much of the bike in­dus­try is based in both Europe and North Amer­ica. But thank­fully, due west of us, South Africa is moun­tain bike mad and they churn out some prod­ucts per­fect for our con­di­tions. Smoove Lube might just be the next one. Find­ing the right chain lube in­volves un­der­stand­ing the de­mands of your rid­ing, the trail con­di­tions, and how com­mit­ted you are to driv­e­train main­te­nance. Smoove claims to be long-last­ing in wet or dry con­di­tions, im­prov­ing shift­ing per­for­mance and in­creas­ing driv­e­train life – all things most rid­ers would jump at. We chose to test Smoove at the re­cent Croc­o­dile Tro­phy moun­tain bike race, putting it through eight days and over 30 hours of dry, wet, dusty, sandy and gritty rid­ing. Smoove rec­om­mends lub­ing the driv­e­train in­side the chain and let­ting it set overnight, which we did daily. The shift­ing was great, the driv­e­train ran qui­etly, and it was pretty easy to clean up day-to-day, with a quick wipe that left lube on the rollers and the outer plates clean. We did find though on long, wet days with river cross­ings or when left out in a heavy dew, the chain lube didn’t quite have the tenac­ity of an oil­based lu­bri­cant. It isn’t un­com­mon for a chain to run dry in these con­di­tions, but we did feel a wet lube might have lasted longer. The trade off would be more clean­ing of the driv­e­train. Like most wax­ier lubes, Smoove did build up on the jockey wheels, in­side the cas­sette and on chain­rings. Wip­ing the pul­leys and ring post ap­pli­ca­tion (but not the chain) should re­duce that. If your rid­ing doesn’t nor­mally top five hours of de­mand­ing pedal push­ing in wet con­di­tions, chances are you’ll love this lube. Smoove Lube is no mir­a­cle cure for find­ing the right chain lube but it’s pretty close to per­fect for Aus­tralian con­di­tions.

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