- Scottoiler Active Fluid System
- 0141 955 1100
Deep down, we all know that keeping your chain regularly lubed is a good idea. A well-lubed chain runs quieter, lasts longer and generally behaves in a trouble-free manner. But that knowledge doesn’t stop us from allowing basic idleness to get in the way. Sure, a few seconds dribbling lube over a chain before a ride is no big deal, but it’s one extra, easily-forgotten thing to do.
What would be splendid is some gizmo that means you don’t have to remember. And that’s pretty much what the Scottoiler system does. It’s originally a motorbike thing, scaled down and lightened up for bicycle use.
The system is in three parts. The most cunning bit is the replacement jockey wheel with a pipe sticking out the side and oil channels running out between the teeth. Then there’s a reservoir that sits on your seat tube up near the seat cluster and finally the “squid”. The squid is a squeezy rubber bladder thing with a couple of pipes sticking out. You attach this somewhere handy, like under the top tube where you can reach it. Then join the whole lot together with the supplied pipes and you’re ready to go.
Fitting is a little bit fiddly, and there are a lot of bits of sticky-backed plastic and cable ties to deal with. But once in place it’s all pretty solid, if a little Heath Robinson looking. In use the Scottoiler is simplicity itself – just give the squid a couple of squeezes and oil is sucked out of the reservoir, through the squid and down the pipes to the special jockey wheel, from which it dribbles out directly on to the inside of the chain links. Magic.
There’s no denying that the Scottoiler works. Don’t try it out in your hallway, though – if you’re not actually pedalling the oil just dribbles out on to the floor, which is likely to prove unpopular. Drawbacks? Well, it adds a fair bit of clutter to the bike what with all the pipes and things. And the lubing action can’t really cope with significant quantities of mud and is a bit awkward to clean the bike around.
This one found its way on to a commuting bike, and worked a treat there. Commuters are generally neglected beasts, suffering from infrequent cleaning and even less frequent relubing. Chains often run dry and get covered in road grime. The Scottoiler made keeping it lubed up a snap and even seemed to keep it cleaner. We could also see an application for it on road tourers – they’ve usually got all sorts of racks and mudguards and other assorted paraphernalia attached, so a couple of extra pipes is no big deal.
We’re not convinced about the Scottoiler’s suitability for off-road riding, though. It’s nice to be able to squelch a couple of gobs of lube on after a stream crossing, but MTBs tend to get short bursts of intensive use and get sufficiently grubby that you pretty much have to clean and relube them anyway, as opposed to the commuter’s exposure to continuous low-grade griminess that tends to go untreated.
Verdict: It’s a neat idea, and it does work. Not really terribly at home on off-road bikes and a bit pricey, but a useful transmission-prolonging gizmo for the oft-neglected utility bike.