MUC-OFF WET LUBE
Muc-Off Wet Lube is, as you’d expect, aimed at the wet riding conditions on and off-road. Although I’ve been testing it in August in the UK, the 2020 season has been mighty wet enough to give any lube a run for its money. Whilst I’ll be interested to see how it does when things turn cold as well as wet, I’ve been very impressed by its performance. Even so, this is a highly competitive field, so differences can be marginal.
Pros: clean running and tenacious.
Cons: pricier than some workshop staples.
Vegetable oil based, this is a biodegradable wet lube that is lighter than some with similar eco-credentials. Muc-Off tell us that there are some high-pressure additives that encourage it to stick to the chain. Beyond that, they, quite understandably, don’t go.
Needless to say, it is important to give the chain a thorough clean before applying the new lube. Ok, you may manage a top up with the same lube, but given the gunge wet lubes can accumulate, even if refreshing the first dose, I’d go for a good wipe, at least.
Long, narrow dropper nozzle makes for accurate application. Muc-Off suggest aiming for the inside plate of each link. That’s surprisingly easy. I went for three rotations of the of the chain.
Consistency is nicely viscose. With a light blue tint, the lube holds nicely in place. Frankly, I can’t think of many lubes which pour as nicely as this – at least, at the 15-20C mark
when I first used it. Just to say, whilst wet lubes are often associated with winter riding, testing in the UK summer does not preclude trying out wet lubes! Back to the main point, there was no waste to clean up.
Mu-Off do not suggest a curing time. Initially, I left things overnight. Applying to a dry chain on a second bike and leaving for just fifteen minutes did not, unsurprisingly, work quite so silently to start with, but things settled down a few minutes of pedalling.
The ever useful Muc-Off YouTube channel suggest 100 miles of mud or 150 on wet roads. This does not seem to tally with the “ultra-durable” on the website. On the other hand, much would depend upon just how extreme your wet weather riding is – especially off-road.
Seventy mixed – weather and terrain – miles in and things looked distinctly grimy coating. However, this proved to be superficial, as was proved by a quick wipe with a rag at the end of a particularly wet fifteen miles (rain, ford, major puddles). There was still plenty of lube left where it mattered, and no sign of discolouration next day.
Lumpy grot seems to have been flung off very efficiently, leaving a dark, relatively light film. Whilst this can transfer to fingers and clothes, it’s certainly lighter than some of the real mile-munching heavy-weights. I don’t just mean that titan of winter chain protection, Chain L No 5, because there are other hefty culprits. They are great for all-weather mile-munching and when cleanliness is a very distant second to godliness.
On the way to work, speedy road excursions where rapid repair is key, or where you just like to keep greasy deposits away from your nice new bib-tights, and lighter wet lubes come into their own.
OK, summer may not be the obvious time for wet lube testing. However, I am in the UK, and whilst things are warm, they are far from dry. Muc-Off say to expect 100 miles of wet off-roading or 150 miles of wet road riding per application. I’d suggest that they’re erring significantly on the conservative side. These figures may be spot on for very long day-rides in bad weather, or for off-road Enduros in the rainy season. For more modest riders, such as I, I’ve gone to three hundred and fifty miles for mixed surface riding – including downpours, mud, and fording rivers – but also long, dusty spells.
This doesn’t match Michael’s experience with Muc-Off’s -50 Chain Lube, but is pretty good, and comparable to many others. Equally, you’d get even more from some other brands. Despite this, this Muc-Off’s Wet Lube stands up pretty well in the durability stakes. By the way, Muc-Off suggest using a “moderate amount” per application – open to interpretation.
Well, I’ve notice none – except for a short while with the lube just applied. Provided things are given a good clean to start with, changing gear and pedalling are spot on. When things start to look dry, just add another rotation-worth to top it up.
Gear changes have been very slick. There’s a touch of refinement about this wet lube. I’ve come to expect that when paying that little extra for Muc-Off lubes. I’m a big fan of their their Hydrodynamic lube – many miles and perfect shifting that are almost totally unnecessary for a trundling tourer such as I.
General performance 3.75/5
Drive train and jockey wheels can all benefit from a drop of this. Although it is a bit on the light side, its general cleanliness suggests a mere drop on squeaky cleats won’t go amiss. However, threaded items need proper grease, or, at least a heavier lube. On the other hand, it seems to have done a decent enough job on control cables jockey wheels etc.
Muc-Off’s Hydrodynamic Lube went double the distance for me, although in generally drier conditions. It also offered super-slick changing and felt pretty much frictionless. Of course, it costs more.
Silkolene’s Premium Wet, in my opinion, is less clean, but edges it on durability – though much can depend on the weather. Muc-Off Wet, is a little pricier, but cyclists with ‘green’ credentials may decide that the additional – minor - cost is well-worth it. On the eco-front, a better comparison is Green Oil’s Wet Chain Lube: coming in rather cheaper it is a touch on the heavier side and not quite so good on cable inners and derailleur springs.
Then there’s our old fave from Weldtite TF2 Extreme Wet Lube. A hard act to beat, but a little less subtle than Muc-Off Wet.
This is a refined – ignore the pun – lube. Big mile-munchers will look for a heavier option. Whilst leisure and commuter riders will not complain about the cleanliness and durability, it may well be of most interest to those seeking that little extra in the way of technical gain – say all-year TT, Enduro, and other competitive riders, or hard all-weather trainers.