SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MAY 25th
PRO GOLD PRO LINK CHAIN LUBE
The Pro Gold Pro Link Chain Lube is a super thin bodied blend. One that, “Utilises metal friction reducer technology for smooth shifting and a quiet drive train”. Just now, we don’t have lab testing facilities to interrogate these and similar claims at a deeply scientific level. Nonetheless, several weeks, hundreds of miles in, I’ve been quite impressed.
Pros: Relatively clean, improved shifting, no curing time.
Cons: Best in dry-damp conditions, quite messy to apply.
I wasn’t surprised to discover Pro Gold were very coy about the exact composition. I can say it’s a petrochemical blend. One that doesn’t contain any solids e.g. Teflon, wax, moly, graphite, or plastic.
In keeping with others, including Zefal Pro Dry and Rock n’ Roll Absolute Dry Chain Lubricant it’s designed to run clean and thus collect minimal grit/grime and seems to employ a very strong solvent carrier. One that traffics the core product deep into the chain’s moving parts, before evaporating.
There’s a detailed safety sheet, so the usual rules apply. Use and store carefully - away from pets, children and sources of ignition.
This is no messier, or complex than similar runny chain lubes. Even though the solvent content is very strong, take chains through the chain bath first to remove pre-existing lube and ingrained grit/grot. Dry using an old, clean rag but keep it handy. Next, give the Pro-Gold a quick shake, pop the spout and drizzle it into the chain, holding that rag beneath. Now, I found the spout imprecise, requiring more care to deliver the lube accurately and without unnecessary wastage.
Oh, expect a little “fling” while giving the cranks those formative turns. Some tell-tale freckling along the chainstays but again, minimal and a moot point, once cured.
Provided you’re quick, the reclaimed lube can be redistributed, either within the chain, or derailleur/cleat mechanisms, pivot points, jockey wheels etc.
One helping should suffice (although I’ve experimented with two light coats to good effect. Either way, there’s no specific curing period and by the time you’ve popped the bottle back, you’re good to go. That’s been the case, regardless of temperature.
For most of us, there will be a few minutes while we don kit, lock up etc anyhow. Very convenient for group rides (which are, at the time of writing, banned due to COVID19), multi day events and shorter tours, too.
I’ve tested ours on my tubby tourer and fixed gear winter trainer, primarily as these are my daily drivers/mile munchers. The former had received a fresh chain, given I’d worn the predecessor out during the relentlessly wet winter. (A process accelerated by a heavy-duty wet lube, despite cleansing the side plates every 70 miles, or so).
Things are noticeably friskier than livelier, compared with a more traditional PTFE infused dry, such as Finish Line Dry. In common with the Zefal Pro Dry, turning the cranks and transmissions were stealthily silent and ultra-responsive. Predictably, this was most apparent on the tourer, to the point I was able to blast along the same sections in a taller gear than usual. Shifts up and down the bock, even under load were refreshingly snappy, ditto cleat entry/release.
Again, direct comparison with the Zefal Pro Dry is perhaps inevitable but without strict testing facilities any discussed performance differential is anecdotal (although I did alternate between them). Both lubes are excellent “while-I’m-here” options for cables, weathered lock mechanisms and SPD cleats. Specialist products, such as Rock N’ Roll Cable Magic and middleweight maintenance sprays, including Juice Lubes JL69 are more durable options for cables and locks, respectively.
Good but not great, or not quite in line with the marketing. Credit where its due, it doesn’t attract masses of grime. Expect to collect some dust, trace grit and similar (on damp rides) and unless I’ve been thundering through some bridle path/similar, there’s been no call to clean chains, when the lube’s become filmy. However, if you double up- i.e. add a second coat a couple of rides later, it will turn a little gunky around the side plates and jockey wheels. Like the Zefal, it also transfers quite readily to hands and light coloured clothing, so remember to pack those examination gloves in case of mid ride mechanical.
Definitely above average and given its performance in other respects, I wasn’t surprised to achieve similar mileages to the Zefal Pro Dry. 225 miles from a single application (although by this point, it had assumed a “barely there” patina/filmy state. I’ve found the Pro Gold performs best, all round when topped up (a light, rather than full coat) every 165 miles, or so.
Adding some intermittent, showery rain into the mix will see it dip to 170 miles per application and 80 or so, when more persistent rain/standing water was added to the mix. Rock n’ Roll Absolute Dry Chain Lubricant trumps this by some margin but this is tempered by longer curing times and low, rather than ultra-low friction. The same goes for some ceramic blends but these are a little dearer and different in their composition
Though that little bit friskier and seemingly, longer lasting than the Zefal, it’s a couple of quid more and if it came down to economics, I would probably go for the Zefal. That said; both have nozzles, which are less precise thus prone to pour, rather than drizzle. Both are what Id term, racers lubes and none the worse for it.
Rock n’ Roll Absolute Dry is arguably a superior option for more generic, three seasons riding. It’s also a bit cheaper but the long curing time might be a turn off. I’d be inclined to choose the Pro Gold Pro Link over Finish Line Dry Bike Lubricant , since shifting feels snappier and friction less.
Bottom line, I’ve really enjoyed testing the Pro Gold Pro Link Chain Lube generally lies up to its hype and has impressed me with its low friction. In this respect it’s a nose ahead of the Zefal Pro Dry although I’m not sure its necessarily £2 per bottle better. Nonetheless, for dry summers best /race bikes, there’s a lot to like.
Verdict: 3/5 Low friction fair weather lube but a redesigned spout would be welcomed.
PUBLISHED APRIL 2020
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH