PURE DRY LUBE
Pure Dry Lube is a plant derived blend that does a very convincing job of mimicking petrochemical waxes. Its surprisingly clean and less messy to apply than many I’ve used. However, the latest generation of dry waxes are more durable, especially when you throw the odd damp, showery ride into the mix.
Pros: Behaves like a traditional petrochemical wax, clean and temperature stable.
Cons: Best in very dry conditions, requires several hours curing.
Most waxes, petrochemical or otherwise work to the science of a very strong solvent carrier component and paraffin-type wax. The solvent ensures it will infiltrate every part of the chain, leaving only the waxy product behind when it cures.
Pure is Weldtite’s eco-friendly brand, so plant-based ethanol and lubricants are employed. Weldtite remained distinctly tight-lipped about the latter but it does seem genuinely different to Green Oil White, which I’ve also used, long-term. Plant based ethanol is every bit as flammable as the petrochemical type, so store and use carefully.
While its good practice to get all chains super-sterile before introducing a new lube, this is particularly true of waxes. Strip any trace of pre-existing lubricant and accumulated grime. Grab some old rag/kitchen towel. I’ve had no issues applying in the garage, or outbuildings with concrete floors but wouldn’t risk it in the kitchen.
Shake the bottle for thirty seconds to mix solvent and lubricant components evenly. Pop the spout and drizzle into the chain, rag hovering beneath. Its less watery than I’ve come to expect from dry/wax lubricants and excess is easily redistributed to cables, cleat and other mechanisms.
Its thick enough to tolerate two-coats applied within a few minutes of each other (which in my experiences reaps best results) and will cure in four hours, although overnight has been my default. It cures to a milky glaze.
Given the alchemy, I wasn’t surprised by that deeply lubed feel. Friction was also lower than I’d anticipated. Friction is comparable with emulsion types. Such as Squirt Long Lasting Chain Lube and The Juice Lubes Chain Juice Wax but again, shifting lacked the snappiness of more sophisticated ceramic types, such as Weldtite TF2 Advanced Ceramic Chain Wax. It’s also kept my fixed gear winter/trainer’s drivetrain serenely quiet and largely maintenance-free.
Given 125 miles or so, I noticed a soft and slightly grimy patina clinging to the side-plates and cassette but unlike Zefal Ultra Dry Wax was pleasantly surprised to find it scabbing off, as I rode, leaving only a protective layer of lubricant behind, much like the Juice Lubes Chain Juice Wax. Chain texture seems to play a small part too. Adhesion is best with satin finished nickel-plated models.
Leading on from this, the Pure also mimics more traditional petrochemical types in that it runs very clean and seems temperature stable. Any congealed dirt simply scabs off and falls away, before it gets chance to gnaw away at your bike’s drivetrain. That collected during some showery rides quickly fell away from the derailleur cage and jockey wheels, leaving a clean, filmy and relatively durable lubricant layer behind.
I initially thought it might melt and be reclaimed from the cassette and jockey wheels by the chain, as with Zefal Pro Dry Chain Wax and Smoove Universal Chain Lube. This hasn’t happened, even in temperatures of 27 degrees.
Transfer to hands and exposed calves hasn’t been an issue-I've also been able to touch the chain without any issues, in dry weather. I’d take a little more care, commuting in light coloured trousers and keep some examination gloves handy, in case the wax has patina clinging to it.
In predominantly dry conditions, with some showery rain and using the two-coat method, I’ve returned 225 miles Noticeably lower than the Weldtite TF2 Ultra Dry Chain Wax and Weldtite T2 Advanced Ceramic Chain Wax but quite a bit better than the last version of Green Oil Dry Lube I used, back in 2016.
Indeed, long, unexpectedly wet rides licked the plates and rollers bare in 65 miles. Poor, by some standards, yes but still comparable with The Juice Lubes Chain Juice Wax Chain Lube and again, better than the 2016 version of Green Oil Dry.
It also mimics those traditional petrochemical waxes in these conditions. Lacking an oily component means you’ll need to dry chains and reapply a light coat, before putting the bike away, following a very wet road, or exposure to waterlogged roads. Otherwise they will show signs of orange taint, the next morning.
This is where the gap narrows most, between the Pure Dry and its more expensive and in some instances, longer lasting counterparts. Squirt Long Lasting Chain Lube is £12.99 for 120ml and can also be bought in 500ml.
It’s a little more stoical and runs slightly cleaner, all told. In terms of petrochemicals, Juice Lubes Chain Juice Wax is £9.99 but you are getting 130ml. The Zefal Extra Dry Chain Wax is £8.50 for 120ml. Its returned marginally miles per application in the dry but the Pure proved better in the wet (allowing for the fact these lubes are designed for dry and/or dusty contexts).
Muc-Off Dry has proven very durable and returned 400 miles from a single application in arid, summer contexts. However, it does melt and consequently, transfers readily, which may be a deal-breaker for some.
The Pure Dry Lube is an eco-friendly wax lube that matches some traditional petrochemical blends when it comes to cleanliness and staying prowess. There are better waxes for showery conditions but taking everything into account, it’s proven a surprisingly good choice for dry and/or dusty contexts.