SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MAY 25th
FINISH LINE DRY BIKE LUBRICANT
Finish Line's Dry Bike Lubricant is as old as the proverbial hills but, in keeping with their Cross Country Wet, remains very relevant. Convenient to apply (it’s also available in a wedge pack friendly 19.3ml), reasonably clean, and stays put, faced with a mix of dry and showery spring conditions.
That said, while deserving of its mid-point price tag, it’s starting to show its age in the miles per application stakes. Especially compared with some ceramic/synthetics with long curing times.
Pros: Relatively clean, easy to apply and long-lived for a dry lube.
Cons: Cleanliness not on par with the latest petrochemical types.
Finish Line Dry bike Lubricant is another petrochemical blend, containing Teflon. However, whereas cheap and generally cheerful store brands employ ISO/mineral oils, Finish line use a synthetic fluro-polymer. This component gores a long way to explaining why it flows easily but dries to a much drier state. However, apply carefully and away from waterways/aquatic life.
Having run recipient chains through the solvent bath, or something like Crankalicious K Wipes, if you’re out on the road/trails. Give the bottle a quick shake to mix the chemical components, then drizzle a little into every link.
Compared with the super runny types, such as Rock 'n’ Roll Absolute Dry that literally race everywhere; there’s relatively little mess/overspill. Nonetheless, hold a rag beneath to capture any residual fling.
Put a drop on cables, jockey wheels and cleat/similar mechanisms too, if you like. Curing times are in terms of minutes. Give the chain’s side-plates a quick cat-lick to keep dirt, dust and similar contaminant academic.
Now, you’re ready to go. It’s a filmy consistency, wetter than Weldtite TF2 Ultra Dry Chain Wax yet drier than Finish Line 1 Step Cleaner and Lubricant. Transfer to hands and clothing is minimal, although its worth carrying a baby wipe, or set of disposable gloves handy, if you’re topping up on the road, or tending a puncture/similar mechanical.
Spinning the cranks, friction is minimal and its immediately obvious that it penetrates all the moving parts. Cleat, cable and derailleur mechanisms are similarly slick. This is particularly apparent when changing gear on a derailleur transmission, noticeable when compared with a more basic ISO/mineral oil- based infusions. I was also impressed by how frisky the Holdsworth’s track chain felt, given a single helping.
In a pinch, it will just about do as an assembly paste for small fasteners, say if you’ve suddenly been hit by one of those annoying phantom squeaks mid-ride. but unlike old school wet, or PTFE types, it’s not a grease substitute, for pedals and other threaded components.
Finish line cite 100 miles as the absolute minimum. This doesn’t sound particularly impressive, given those bog-standard ISO/Teflon mixes, I was referring to usually return 200 or so. Thankfully, its stayed put for several, largely dry weeks, with wet roads, showery conditions and the odd sudsy bucket wash thrown into the mix.
The Holdsworth was my go-to, being a sunny days’ plaything/TT mount. 300 miles from a single application is only 30 miles shy of that returned from Weldtite TF2 ultra dry.
Nonetheless, even though the chain was thirsty, its Time Atac cleats were still sporting a reasonable filmy coating. This stayed put for another three weeks. On the plus side, when I did top up, the chain required virtually no prior cleaning - good news if you’re mid tour; Audax or similar endurance ride.
Off road puts a dent in staying prowess and it attracts marginally more grime than Tf2 extreme dry, or similar, wax type. At the other extreme, it lacks the staying prowess of modern ceramics.
In similarly dry, April/May conditions, I managed 125 miles from a single application before my Univega’s nickel-plated chain was licked clean by a mix of dry trail, damp, unmade roads and moderately overgrown bridle path.
My working fixed’s super slippery stainless-steel KMC chain , encourages lubes to migrate to from the rollers to outer links. I wasn’t surprised to find the tell-tale tinkling kicking in after 150 road miles, covered over a fortnight.
At this end of the market, Finish line dry faces stiff competition from modern ceramics and more sophisticated wax types. However, its cleanliness miles per application is still pretty good, in primarily dry conditions. The ability to top up and scoot off, with minimal preparation gives it another, very definite edge.
Verdict: 3.5/5 Old but still relevant dry lube, for spring and summer riding.
PUBLISHED MAY 2018
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH