SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MAY 30th
JUICE LUBES CERAMIC JUICE
130ml £10.99 3month Winter & Summer Test
Juice Lubes Ceramic Juice is apparently designed for dry to moist conditions, rather than winter's worst. Some extremely wet rides, involving flooded coastal roads and standing water licked the lion’s share.
Nonetheless, a tenacious film kept squeaks and corrosion at bay, and I’ve returned 180 mixed terrain miles, through a generally damp winter. Through a generally dry summer period, I’ve managed 400miles from a single helping. Not bad by genre standards and unlike some ceramics, roadside top-ups are a realistic proposition.
Pros: Easy to re/apply, low friction, good corrosion resistance, unaffected by temperature.
Cons: Attracts more contaminant than dry ceramics, less stoical than four seasons’ counterparts.
On paper at least, it's not dissimilar to other "wet" ceramics. It employs "high quality base oils" and hexagonal boron nitride. The latter is a widely used polymorph. One with good lubricant properties, that aren't affected by temperature variances. I first used the ceramic ten years back and I'm told they've boosted its resistance to salt, and other contaminants.
Ease of Application 3/5
Very straightforward. Strip recipient chains, using your chosen anti-lube (we're particularly fond of Green Oil Chain Degreaser Jelly and Crankalicious Gumchained Remedy ). I'm also warming to the latest version of their Dirt Juice Hero Drivetrain Degreaser. Once chains are gleaming, shake the ceramic bottle to mix everything, then drizzle sparingly into every link.
The relatively long spout cum cap allows very accurate delivery (although requires a more precise angle, than some). The milky white fluid also flows at moderate speed, so easy to regulate. Temperatures between +25 and -2 degrees haven't impaired flow, or had any impact on curing speed, for that matter.
Nonetheless, it's still runnier than a traditional wet lube, so have a clean rag hovering beneath. Especially if you can't resist applying in the kitchen!
Observe the 2-3-minute curing period religiously, unless you want rear wheel and chain stays peppered with spatter. Give side plates, derailleur jockey wheels, and cages a final cat-lick. THEN you're ready to go. Juice also recommend it for cables and mechanisms. I've applied a drop where cable inners and outers meet, along with cleat and locking mechanisms.
Rotate the cranks, and you can immediately feel thee refinement. There's more friction than Rock 'n' Roll Gold LV or its Extreme sibling but, on par with other, middleweight ceramics. Tenure to highly polished stainless and electroplated chains has been reassuringly good and the mixture's remained stable, at least between 25 and -2 degrees.
The hexagonal boron nitride lives up to its hype too offering slick shifts and reassuringly silent transmission. Dropping a few cogs under load- on a savage climb, or getting caught out at the lights, for example.
Similar story with cleat mechanisms. Something like Weldtite TF2 Extreme Wet Chain Lubricant is a better grease substitute for cleat hardware and other little bolts. That said; it has kept the latter mobile, despite November's biblical rains.
I managed 135 miles from the first application, during a relentlessly wet week. However, Juice Lubes warned it was prone to wash-off. The remaining film proved remarkably stubborn, keeping tinkling and taint at bay.
Things improved as December dried out and I returned 225 miles from the second helping. Adding bridle path, forest and dirt roads into the mix, saw a drop to 180.
Thankfully, quick curing times means roadside replenishment is straightforward (provided you've packed a Crankalicious K Wipe Chain Cleaner Sachet , to dismiss congealed crud).
On the one hand it's nothing to brag about. Especially compared with TF2 Performance All Weather Lubricant , which managed 400+, in similar conditions. However, not so shoddy, given the Ceramic is brewed for dry. As we've established, topping up's no hardship, just remember a K-wipe, or similar, to dismiss any ingrained drivetrain gobbling contaminant.
Summer performance was considerably better-predominantly dry conditions returned 400 miles and although, dry, dusty stuff (straw being a prime example) tended to settle in the surface, though not to the stage when I was reaching for a rag.
In a word, middling. Given 100 winter miles or so, I wasn't surprised to find the top layer peppered with grit, which had spread to the side plates and across my Univega's cassette.
Ditto the derailleur cage. Running the side plates through a clean rag dismissed the gunk, yet a tangible layer of tacky lube remained. It was 325-350 summer miles before this was necessary. A two-minute ritual that saves a lot of unnecessary component wear. Talking of which, though there's no call to deep-clean chains before applying fresh lube. Simply wipe them with a rag dipped in solvent, then top up.
Tacky to touch, it transfers quite readily to skin and, if you're unlucky enough, clothing. Given my earlier comments concerning durability, I was stunned by just how stubborn the ceramic was, having got some on my palm, following a wheels-out, deep clean. for these reasons, Latex examination gloves have become a wedge/saddlebag staple.
A tenner is the upper end of mid-point. However, in fairness, it's worth mentioning you’re getting 130mm. Ceramic juice has out-performed Smoove Universal Chain Lube in comparable conditions and by a reasonable margin. That said, those looking for more staying prowess in wetter weather may find Crankalicious Science Friction Ceramic Lube a better bet. Sure, there's less of it, but Steve's had 400+ from a single helping.
Juice ceramic Juice is a decent middleweight prep. One that does what it says in the blurb. In cold/damp conditions I've welcomed its lubrication, rapid curing times and relative stoicism. However, its easily dismissed by heavy rain and there are other (admittedly less sophisticated) middleweights offering similar qualities for less cash.
Verdict: 3.25/5 Versatile and likeable ceramic but for less challenging conditions.
PUBLISHED AUGUST 2020
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH