MUC-OFF HYDRO DYNAMIC CHAIN LUBE
50ml 57g UV torch 8g £15.99
Muc-off Hydro Dynamic Chain Lube is designed in conjunction with Team Sky and reckoned to be the last word in lubes. Dressed in the maillot jaune livery for a short time before reverting to Sky's traditional black and blue. and costing the lion’s share of £16, I was expecting something special.
Now, the boffins at Muc-Off were unsurprisingly tight-lipped about their Hydro Dynamic Chain Lube when I touched on the subject of ingredients. However, we do know ingestion, or contact with eyes is best avoided and for these reasons, wash hands thoroughly after use. Or wear latex type examination gloves if you have sensitive skin. That said; this hand-blended potion isn’t petrochemical based, so shouldn’t do nasty things to flower beds, or prized lawns.
The cost of marginal gains will spark intense debate and doubtless, howls of derision in some quarters. Theory goes that it will ensure your chain will run clean, yet fully lubricated, regardless of conditions. Bike shop shelves are heaving under the weight of lubes making similar claims, so we kept and open mind and racked up the miles.
As with most lubes, its best to take chains through the solvent bath and give the transmission a general cat-lick while you’re there. From here, you can, technically drizzle on and scoot off. However, Muc-off recommends a four-hour curing period to experience the best performance.
Force of habit saw me poised with a rag beneath the links to capture any overspill. Thanks to a decent spout and predictable flow, this proved redundant. Penetrating with remarkable ease, the UV torch might sound an unnecessary gimmick. However, it genuinely ensured even coverage and avoids wastage. It also allowed me to make quick visual checks after every few rides in different conditions.
Muc-Off cite 400 miles per application as being a conservative return. This divided opinion among the team. Some were decidedly unimpressed, rightly pointing out that a basic, shop branded mineral oil/PTFE blend costing £3-4 will usually return 200 moderate road miles per helping. I’ve run up 225, mixed terrain summer miles to date, with no hint of a second helping on the horizon.
From the outset, my chain has felt incredibly slick and serene, shifts that bit crisper. Wherever possible, I’ve made a point of tackling dung strewn, water-logged lanes to see if these had any impact. To date and despite my best efforts, links, rings and cassette remain grot and dust free. Even full-blown ford crossings failed to shift it, let alone induce that intrusive metal-on-metal tinkling.
I’ll be churning along through autumn and will return with a full and unabridged view once the gritting lorries have been cruising the streets for a few weeks. However, so far I’m warming to its charms.
I’ve seen it discounted online but £16 isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Good, serviceable chains can be had for this kind of money. Aside from professional and amateur racers, Audax and some munching tourists will probably have most to gain. Commuters, even those racking up big miles are probably better off spending their money on chains and middleweight dry/wet lubes.