Scottoiler On-demand Chain Lubrication System for Bicycles
I fitted a Scottoiler to my 1999.5 Cannondale F900 to see if it really was as good as the Scottoiler website reckoned. Here’s my personal review of the product after 7 months of testing.
The system consists of a water-soluble lubricant and an on-demand dispenser made up of a reservoir, a hand operated pump (called a ‘squid’ in Scottoiler-speak), a modified lower jockey wheel and interconnecting tubing. The comprehensive kit includes everything conceivable required to fit the Scottoiler – right down to a tube of superglue, zip ties and pvc tape!
After reading the supplied instructions, the suggested locations for the ‘squid’ were ignored, and it was fitted under the saddle to keep plumbing to a minimum. The reservoir was attached behind the seatpost with big ‘O’ rings, and the correct jockey wheel/bush combination selected to maintain existing cage spacing.
The individual parts were plumbed together with the micro-bore tubing and the tube neatly routed down the right-hand seat stay to the rear mech.
The fairly new chain on the bike was degreased, dried and cleaned with the supplied Scottoiler Fluid as recommended. Stretch was measured at 0.25% with a Park Chain Checker. The reservoir was filled with the Scottoiler water-soluble lube and the ‘squid’ pumped to prime the system and apply lube to the jockey wheel and the chain.
Now to start riding! Since fitting the system the bike has done 1016.4 miles in all weathers and conditions including:-
Pitmedden, Fife – Very dry and dusty.
Innerleithen/Traquair – Red XC Route.
Ae Forest – Red Route.
Aberfoyle – Very muddy.
Corrieairack Challenge – 45.6 miles in heavy rain.
Holiday in Fort William – Riding the Witches Trail for 2 weeks solid. Rained for much of the 2nd week.
5/7 of the Great Glen Cycle Route, Fort William to Urquart Castle – 3055ft of climbing in dry dusty conditions.
Merida 100Km Marathon, Selkirk – 7400ft of climbing in total. Conditions varied from mist to scorching sunshine and from tarmac to bog and dusty singletrack.
Drumlanrig – Another mudbath!
and several Scottish Cyclo Cross Races and lots of off/on-road riding in between.
Application of the Scottoiler fluid seems to work well at the rate of around 1 squirt every 15 – 20 miles, more often in poor conditions. Throughout the whole test I only used about 300ml of fluid which works out pretty cheap! After riding as above, the chain has been periodically checked for wear, and currently shows 1% stretch and is due for replacement very soon. Comparing this information with previous records suggests that there has been approximatley a 40% increase in chain life.
The other claim made by the Scottoiler website is the ease of chain cleaning. I must confess to being very sceptical of claims like these. So once I got the chain nice and dirty (it never gets as dirty as a chain lubed with more conventional lubes) I wiped it across a white tee shirt and got chain dirt all over my hand too. The hand did indeed wash off with just plain water, and the tee shirt came up stain free too. I’ve since demonstrated this amazing feature to many others riders astonishment. It really does ‘do what it says on the tin’! The wear data is obviously a bit subjective and based on a number of assumptions. Unfortunately I have no means of accelerated testing for chains (yet!) and have to rely on actually riding a real bike – which takes time.
Summary (my opinion only) – A Scottoiler makes a useful addition to a hard working bike, minimises drivetrain maintenance, and should pay for itself over a couple of seasons. It might be even more beneficial to cycle commuters, tourists and Audax riders who munch lots of miles. It’s also perfect for riders who wish to spend more time riding and less time maintaining their drive train.