NASTY LUBE SIBERIAN CHAIN LUBE
4oz (100ml) $15 (Canadian) £8.97
The Nasty Lube Siberian Chain Lube is, according to the blurb “the best lube you can buy for adverse conditions and long rides, the sort of rides you do when conditions are not ideal”.
I’ve lost count of the number of lubes I’ve tested making similar claims. Some live up to them, others don’t. However, given Canada’s riding climate, I was expecting something stoical and generally speaking, Nasty Lube's Siberian Chain Lube has delivered.
Pros: Impressive lubrication, pour ’n’ go simplicity and stays put in really harsh conditions.
Cons: Requires careful application, won’t double as a grease substitute on fasteners.
Alongside the Siberian, there is a “Sultry” companion, which, I’m told is for the warmer months. Higher viscosity lubes tend to have a slower flow rate, which makes things very predictable, if a little pedestrian when the mercury dips closer to freezing. The Siberian is quicker, but stops short of being runny.
Some riders dismissed the Siberian as repackaged chainsaw oil. The nasty lube team confirmed it was “Similar in composition to chainsaw bar oil but thinner, so easier to apply and works better when it’s cold”.
Run your chain through the chain bath, or clean rag soaked in your favourite stripper and give cassettes and jockey wheels (as appropriate) a quick cat-lick while you’re about it. From there, pop the spout and drizzle a tiny drop into each link.
Spin the cranks backwards - if you’ve pebbled dashed the chainstay in oily spatter (As I did first time round) then you’ve been too generous.
Nasty lube say they’re redesigning the spout to improve this experience. That done, you can literally scoot off, no standing around waiting for it to cure. Cleats and jockey wheels literally need a drop-no more.
Perfect for winter riding when you’re in a rush to get to work, or a riding buddy’s dropped by, inviting you out to play. I’ve been testing ours in predominantly icy, snowy conditions where the mercury has slipped between minus 2 and plus 5 Celsius.
The nasty lube genuinely seems more invasive, penetrating faster than either chainsaw oil, or bike specific winter blends, regardless of air temperature. From the first few pedal strokes, everything’s slick, although shifting still feels crisp, which isn’t always the case with stocky synthetics. As for corrosion, not even a hint of freckly auburn tarnish-at least on mid-range nickel plated chains.
Given the slushy, silty conditions, I was surprised by how long my fixed gear winter/trainer’s chain took before cultivating that familiar gungy beard. Provided you’ve kept this in check, topping up is simply a question of running the chain through a clean rag (or long grass) to strip any imbedded contaminant first. Not that I’ve needed to reapply mid-ride.
The first three rides (90 miles) saw it cultivating a faint patina, yet it was another five (200miles al told) before this needed stripping). The Univega’s 9 speed derailleur setup enjoys a fair bit of forest and trail action, so I was more disciplined with the wipe-downs.
In this context we’re talking five rides (100miles) before side plates and jockey wheels turned scuzzy. What I’ve come to expect from heavy duty wet blends. Marginally cleaner than Finish Line cross country wet but on par with Weldtite TF2 extreme wet.
There is some minor fling but otherwise, staying prowess is generally very good, all told.
Snow, ice and subsequently, waterlogged lanes, more or less polished the first helping after 300miles, although a thin filmy layer of lubricant kept the metal on metal tinkling at bay.
Nonetheless, this is almost double that of Weldtite’s very capable TF2 extreme wet, in broadly similar conditions. Subsequent reapplications, weather alternating between freeze and thaw has returned 400 road and 250 mixed terrain miles, respectively.
Though I’ve deliberately left chains, cassettes and fixed sprockets to evaluate cleanliness. Bikes have been regularly washed, preventing caustic slimy stuff nibbling at polished, plated and painted surfaces.
We’re pleased to report even more tenacious, sudsy concentrates failed to shift the lube (although dismissed organic contaminant, lodged within the links).
$15 can (£8.87) for 4 ounces (100ml) is somewhere around the mid-price point. Crucially, a little has gone a very long way. Over the past six weeks and 700 harsh miles plus I’m only on the second helping, per bike and there’s loads of Siberian still sloshing around in our bottle.
Thicker blends, including Finish Line Cross Country wet, or Weldtite TF2 extreme are less prone to fling and double as decent grease substitutes on fasteners. (Racks, carriers, bottle mounts and stem hardware being the most likely candidates).
These might prove better options for those looking for a single go-to lube. However, the Siberian rivals them in terms of cleanliness and judging by this test period, has a definite edge in really harsh weather.