SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MAY 30th
MUC OFF DRY CHAIN LUBE
Muc Off Dry Chain lube, is; according to the blurb, "A durable, deep penetrating Chain Lubricant and oil that’s formulated to hold up in extreme conditions that would destroy ordinary chain lubes". I've been impressed by its staying prowess, and minimal friction. However, its closer to an emulsion, than a dry formula, and long curing times might be a turn off, for some.
Pros: Long lasting, low friction.
Cons: Long curing times, less eco-friendly than some, traditional dry lubes are cleaner.
Several years back, this used to be infused with PTFE. However, Muc-Off's chemists have apparently substituted this, for more planet friendly alternatives. Muc-Off confirm the contents are fully biodegradable, thus safe for finishes, users and the environment.
That said; these aren't as kind as some, and the usual precautions apply. Keep away from children, pets, sources of ignition. Do not ingest, avoid contact with eyes, and those with sensitive skin, should wear gloves, when applying.
Having purged recipient chains, jockey wheels etc, of any pre-existing lube, pop bike(s) outside. Fetch some rag, give the bottle a quick, 20 second shake to mix everything nicely. Now, dribble into the links, holding the rag beneath to capture (and redistribute) the overspill.
Thanks to the dropper design, delivery is less messy (although I certainly wouldn't risk applying indoors). You can always treat cables, jockey wheels and cleat mechanisms, while you're there.
The slightly yellowy hue and subtle "banana ice cream" odour makes coverage obvious.
Now leave curing for at least four hours. During the recent heatwave (28-30 degrees) this has been more than adequate. I've left it overnight, in cooler contexts. By this point, it assumes a milky glaze.
Despite the relatively high viscosity, I was stunned by just how thoroughly it had penetrated the chain, and other metal-on-metal surfaces. Bearing in mind, I'd just come from Zefal Pro Dry Chain Lube, friction was lower than the proverbial snake's testicles.
My fixed's transmission felt even friskier, encouraging an ever-quicker tempo. Cruising at 23mph, descending at 35. Cleat and other mechanisms also released/engaged with equal finesse, and there was a discernible boost to mid-range brake cables, too.
Though most of us will opt for something like GT85 for locks, a drop of the dry lube will keep things happy. That said, Zefal Pro Dry Chain Lube will work faster, (and on slightly weathered fasteners). This experience was amplified on derailleur transmissions. My Univega's shifts felt slicker, a notch faster to boot.
This was again, a pleasant surprise. Dry lubes are intended for primarily dry-weather but in the UK, at least, we're bound to encounter unexpected showers and more challenging conditions during Spring, Summer and early Autumn. Despite some short, but fierce downpours, I cruised past 250 miles, on a single application.
By this point, the mercury had been consistently in the mid-high 20s, turning the emulsion to an almost liquid state, redistributing it around the chain, and other surfaces, including crank arms, and subsequently, shoes. Ultimately, I returned 400 miles, from a single application, spread over four weeks.
Impressive for this genre of lubricant, even in relatively arid contexts. By comparison, I have managed 325, from the Zefal Extra Dry Wax lube during the same period. However, Rock N' Roll Absolute Dry has trumped these. Both in terms of staying prowess, and cleanliness, Oh, and it rivals the Muc-Off, on the friction stakes.
It took 120 miles (road) 85 (mixed terrain) service before the otherwise creamy emulsion began cultivating a grimy patina. Good news is, this doesn't impair performance and contaminant appears locked within the emulsion's top-layer, thus I've only given jockey wheels a cursory cat-lick, after 200 miles.
When temperatures cool, it assumes a slightly waxy "self-cleansing" emulsion consistency, shedding accumulated grime. Grot rises to the surface, then falls away, leaving a clean emulsion-like layer of lubricant behind.
One more substantial than the film I’ve come to expect from waxy genres. However, in its relatively fluid form, transfer to digits and clothes, is all too easy. So, pack some disposable gloves, in case of roadside mechanical.
£7.99 is pretty competitive, relative to similar products, and quite a bit cheaper than the otherwise excellent Squirt Long Lasting Dry Chain Lube. Ceramics, such as Weldtite TF2 Advanced Ceramic Chain Wax run cleaner, and will achieve similar miles per application, but are a good bit more expensive.
If you literally wanted a dry lube, then our old favourite, Rock n' Roll Absolute Dry will give it a good run, for your hard earned.
Ultimately, I've been pleasantly surprised by the Muc-Off Dry Lube. Relatively long curing times are rivalled by decent MPA (miles per application). As middleweight "dry" formulas go, it’s a good choice for road, gravel and trail duties, although commuters might be better served by cleaner blends. Similarly, though water soluble, and supposedly biodegradable, I would be inclined to avoid rivers and other hosts of aquatic life.
Verdict: 3.5/5 Durable dry lube for general riding but transfers readily to hands and clothing.
PUBLISHED AUGUST 2019
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH