MUC-OFF E-BIKE WET WEATHER CERAMIC CHAIN LUBE
50ml £10.99 Mid-term (5month) test
The Muc-Off E-Bike Wet Weather Ceramic Lube is formulated with the higher torque loads of-e bikes in mind. Primarily used on my fixed gear winter trainer and rough stuff tourer, I’ve been impressed with its blend of low-friction and general durability. However, to my surprise, it has less tenacious than some ceramic wet formulas in more challenging conditions, such as these (1) Facebook
Pros: Low friction, relatively clean and durable.
Cons: Curing times, less tenacious than some cheaper ceramics in extreme conditions.
Muc-Off describe this as “a proprietary ceramic, ester-based lubricant” for low friction in wet and otherwise harsh conditions. It contains a second “high performance extreme pressure additive, in addition to that (shared with their C3 Wet) to handle the higher torque generated by E.Bike drivetrains.
Ceramic coatings continue this theme and theoretically create a lube that stays put, while repelling water and mucky stuff. Marketed at road and mountain bike audiences, its supposedly bio-degradable and features an integral UV tracer dye, for optimal, even coverage. Aside from chains, Muc-Off also recommend it for cables, derailleurs, shifters and pedals.
Get your drivetrain dinner plate clean using your preferred anti-lube. Give the bottle a quick shake, pop the spout and deliver a drop into each link, rotating the cranks for even penetration. Precision freaks can always check this with a UV torch. Leave it curing for four hours, whereupon it assumes an almost clear state. I’ve found overnight is ideal, especially in winter, when the temperature’s tanking. Talking of which, unlike some, topping up is possible-no need to deep clean but remove the residual stuff with clean rag, first.
Either way, the flow rate is quicker than I’d expect from this type of lube and combined with the long spout ensures easy penetration. Provided you’ve applied sparingly and observed curing times, there’s relatively little “fling” but I wouldn’t be applying it indoors, on the best carpet.
I was immediately struck by how slick and serenely quiet, fixed and derailleur setups were, from the first few pedal strokes. I commenced testing in the height of summer and as the months wore-on, it’s seems genuinely stable, unaffected by temperature variance. Its less syrupy than a more traditional wet lube, so shifts still feel relatively crisp and snappy and even cheaper track/single speed chains piped down.
While I default to maintenance sprays for cleat mechanisms and cables, the E-Bike Wet is a good bet for protecting cleat/hardware and just runny enough for old school freewheel mechanisms etc. It also doubles as a passable “in a pinch” grease substitute for cleats, mudguard/carrier and bottle mounts. That said, you’ll still need to observe the four-hour curing times.
During the late, changeable summer, I’ve returned 490 miles from a single application, which loosely what I’d expect from a premium grade wet ceramic. This took a dip as autumn turned wetter, but I was still returning 400 from a single helping. Torrential rains and waterlogged roads tended to dilute the lube, resulting in oily tide marks/spatter along the chain stays.
Flooded sections and freezing temperatures made more serious impressions-licking it to a filmy state within 130miles and the faint metal on metal tinkling crept in at 170. In the same contexts, it took 180miles to reduce the Zefal Extra Wet Ceramic Chain Lube to a similarly filmy state and that stayed put for another 20. Credit where its due, the red, filmy taint hasn’t struck.
The Zefal only takes a few minutes to cure, so you can top up and be on your way. While the Muc-Off has a relatively long curing period, this isn’t outlandish, and you can simply top up and scoot off. Great as a “get you home” but accept you will need to reapply and observe the 4 hour curing time.
First applied, it looks very clean but in common with other stay-put wet types, it tends to attract a fair bit of dirt and grit. This was most apparent on mixed terrain outings and waterlogged lanes carpeted in dung and similar organic grot. Given a week, the chain’s side plates were a gooey, gritty mess, especially on the fixed.
Therefore, run the sides through a clean rag every week, to prevent this chomping through expensive components. Surprisingly enough, transfer to hands is moderate but unless is got to the filmy state discussed. I’d definitely want examination/mechanics gloves when tackling a flat/similar.
£10.99 for 50ml is relatively pricey. However, as we’ve established, it’s durable and goes a decent distance. Rock 'n’ Roll Gold Extreme LV is £7.95 for a 4oz (117ml) bottle, returns similar mileages on a traditional, non E-assist bike. It also attracts much less contaminant but requires similar curing periods and can be a little messier to re/apply.
Crankalicious Science Friction Chain Lube is also very tenacious and 100ml for £10.
Finish Line E.Bike Chain Lube costs £9.99 for 120ml but is a semi-dry, rather than a wet formula.
Given the increased torque and pressures associated with contemporary e-bikes, we’d be expecting something to really excel on traditional drivetrains. There is no doubt it is durable, but not streets ahead some standard (and cheaper) wet ceramics in comparable conditions, nor is it obviously cleaner.
Verdict: 3.25/5 Decent wet lube but less durable than expected in very harsh conditions.
PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 2021