SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MAY 30th
Motoverde PTFE Chain Lube
Motoverde PTFE Chain Lube is an interesting formula that pours like chainsaw oil but cures to a very clean, almost waxy state. Originally designed for motocross use and tested in Europe’s deepest sand tracks, its reckoned to deliver in temperatures between -50 and 180 degrees. It also doubles as a very useful grease substitute for fasteners and some other threaded components.
Pros: Frugal to apply, durable and versatile.
Cons: Pricier than some, long curing times.
As I suggested in my opening paragraph, Motoverde Chain Lube is a multi-purpose blend designed primarily for motocross chains, gears, and bearings. It’s designed to penetrate deeply, resist water, fling, reduce friction and extend the life of drivetrain components. Motoverde were understandably coy about precise alchemy, describing it as a “Thick dewatering non-toxic lubricant containing PTFE”.
The latter is somewhat ubiquitous with super slippery properties, so an obvious choice for keeping metal on metal surfaces lubricated and happy. Though delivered straight from the bottle, it works to the same principle as baking chains in paraffin-penetrating links, pins and rollers and assuming a clean, clear, waxy state once cured. Lubricant is locked in; wax type properties keep the elements out.
Application/Curing times 2.75/5
In keeping with most lubes these days, ensure host chains are surgically clean and dry before you get any ideas of shaking
the bottle, twisting the spout and delivering lube into each link.
In cold weather it emerges as a syrupy consistency, reminiscent of chainsaw oil. This is handy for controlled delivery to fasteners and other threaded components but keep some rag, or kitchen towel handy to collect overspill and remove excess. Either way, apply very sparingly.
Motoverde recommends leaving it standing in warm water for a few minutes, to improve its mobility in temperatures of 1 degree, I’ve not needed to take this route, but the warm water marinade makes delivery easier and more efficient.
In common with chainsaw oils CHEAP AS CHIPS CHAIN LUBES? and some super syrupy wet blends, such as Weldtite TF2 Extreme Wet Chain Lubricant keep some clean rag hovering beneath the links to collect any overspill as you rotate the cranks and remember to give the side plates a thorough wipe too. Now leave it: 12 hours. Once cured it assumes a clear, slightly glazed state, reminiscent of some dry and wax lubes.
Now, you’re ready to ride ...Talking of which, Motoverde recommend stripping any existing lube and then reapplying, rather than attempting to top-up. Another potential downside compared with more traditional lubes, say on an extended tour. However, assuming you could handle the curing times- a couple of decorators wipes, or Crankalicious K-Wipes could solve this.
Our bottle arrived during a very chill and slightly wintry march, so conditions that should give good insight into its staying prowess. Given this backdrop, Ursula and my fixed gear winter/trainer were the obvious candidates. Both received a single, carefully delivered helping to the chain. I had stripped UIrsula’s Hollowtech II crankset to inspect and ultimately test Motoverde’s drivetrain cleaner, so applied some chain lube to the crankset's bolts during reassembly.
I’d worn through a set of cleats during this phase, so put a drop on the threaded screws. Same routine with both bike’s stem bolts since I was there. Given the viscosity, especially with the mercury struggling into single figures, I was a little 50/50 about delivering to cables but calling Motoverde’s bluff, I carefully added a faint touch to Ursula’s inner wires where they entered the ferrules. No issues with gumming up-just slick, long-lasting lubrication.
Once cured, spinning the cranks, drivetrains thoroughly lubricated. Reminiscent of a middleweight wet lube, and this panned out on the road. Shifts felt light and crisp, albeit lacking the outright snappiness of some dry lubes, including Zefal Pro Dry Lube . The lubricant property was particularly obvious on the fixed gear’s KMC Z1 chain, which moved with a serene swoosh, without feeling stodgy, as it can with some hell n’ high water wet blends.
Same story with fasteners and cables, too, which remain very mobile-bodes well for long, steady winter miles, or indeed mtb/cyclo cross. There’s been no hint of superficial taint, let alone corrosion during this period. The first couple of weeks were spent navigating waterlogged, greasy lanes and later, mixed terrain fun on Ursula.
Given these contexts, I wasn’t surprised by some accumulated contaminant. However, no gungy build up around the derailleur’s jockey wheels, chain rings, side plates etc, which is promising for winter. That said, I’ve discovered it will react badly with traces of other lubes, so be super pedantic when purging any pre-existing lubricant. Ring, sprocket(s), cages, and jockey wheels all need deep cleaning, first.
I’d also stick to maintenance sprays, such as Motorex Jokker 440 (review to follow) when it comes to cleat mechanisms, pivots and of course, elastomer/rubberised suspension components.
Though not a wax, it seems mildly affected by temperature variance. I’ve ridden both machines in conditions ranging between –3 and 20 plus degrees. Warmer weather has seen it assume an oilier state and in turn, transfer to hands and fingers more readily. Though moderate, I’d pack some examination/mechanics gloves but that’s my stance with most lubes, especially if you’re commuting in smart clothes.
I was expecting a good mileage per application and its certainly delivered. I’ve exceeded 800 mixed terrain miles from a single helping on Ursula-we're talking asphalt, green lanes, singletrack and bridlepath. By that point, the lubricant layer had become filmy, but no hint of that familiar metal on metal tinkling. Come time to strip the residual, it required a liberal helping of Motoverde Drivetrain Cleaner and some stiff brush agitation before it was ready for fresh/different lube.
On the fixed, 900 road miles and still going strong.
In common with some wet and wax lubes, the chain will reclaim remnants from the cassette, as you shift up and down the block. If you do want/need to strip it, a powerful degreaser’s called for, but strong solvents, such as white spirit will also do the job.
There’s a lot of choice when it comes to lubes and prices to boot. £16.99 for 125ml is cheaper than some, dearer than some old favourites. Peaty’s Link Lube Premium All Weather is £15.99 for 120ml and impressed Steve with its staying power. Chain L High Mileage Formula Chain Oil is less than half the price and similarly long-lasting.
However, good chain maintenance is a must, since it also attracts a fair bit of drivetrain gobbling grit and grime. Rock N’ Roll Extreme LV Lube is a good deal cheaper at £7.95 and cures within 4 hours, rather than 12. However, the Motoverde has returned a much higher mileage from a single application. Weldtite TF2 Performance All Weather Lube is seriously cheap at £3.99 for 100ml and is durable - 400 miles from a single helping, in my experience However, it also attracts more contaminant.
A harsh winter may reveal some weaknesses. However, Motoverde PTFE chain lube has impressed with its durability, frugality and relative cleanliness. That said; curing times won’t be to everyone’s taste.
Verdict 3.75/5 Versatile and durable lube for general riding contexts but long curing times may be a deal-breaker.
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PUBLISHED MAY 2022
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