ROCK 'N' ROLL GOLD LV CHAIN LUBE
The Rock 'n' Roll Gold LV Chain Lube is available in a choice of 4or 16oz bottles and is probably best described as their everyday blend. I've returned 400 miles from a single application, during a changeable period and haven't needed to clean chains, once.
Pros: Clean, durable lube for everyday riding.
Cons: Curing times may not suit everyone.
This is a petrochemical blend, which work a little differently to more traditional chain lubes. I was surprised to discover Gold contains PTFE, not that it’s a bad thing, only I was expecting something a little more space age. A strong solvent component acts a primer/carrier, locking a "wet" membrane within the chain's inner sanctum.
Previous incarnations were decidedly rich, solvent-wise, which meant you couldn't pop it on a plane, or in the conventional post. So, Rock 'n' Roll chemists did a bit of tweaking and devised the Low Vapour (allegedly non-flammable) variant we have here. That said, the usual precautions around usage and storage apply.
Another interesting feature of the Rock 'n' Roll family, is that they are fully compatible, and can be introduced atop the other (i.e. you can switch from Gold to Extreme, without needing to go the chain bath route, first). This cuts down on the faff but don't try this with other brand's lubes.
Having done the usual cleansing and prepping, mix the Gold LV by giving the bottle a good shake. Now, don't go into auto-pilot. On a derailleur transmission, pop the chain to the middle of the cassette and deliver at the cassette end, turning the cranks backwards.
With a fixed/single speed, or hub set up, simply pour into the chain, at the sprocket. Apply more than you usually would, then rotate the cranks a final time, to encourage even penetration. Though fast flowing, its more predictable and less messy than some. Nonetheless, best applied outside. Works well on derailleur jockey wheels, cleat mechanisms and similar metal on metal surfaces.
The solvent component will also float any residual grime to the surface, so give side plates, rings, jockey wheels etc., a clean rag cat-lick. You can scoot off, within a few minutes. However, for best, lasting results, bargain on between 2 and 4 hours curing time.
I've tended to leave ours overnight, although this has generally been serendipitous, and coincided with some post ride fettling. Some folks suggest it should be topped up every 100 miles, or so. However, I've found this unnecessary and, counterproductive.
Fully cured, from the first few pedal strokes, it doesn't have the friction busting prowess of Muc-Off Dry Chain Lube, or Zefal Pro Dry Chain lube. Nor will it necessarily make a drive train feel packet fresh. However, surfaces feel slick, shifts were crisp and the gold did a good job of adhering to slippery Inox chains, such as this KMC, fitted to my TT bike.
Having racked up impressive mileages with an older version of their Absolute Dry Chain lubricant, I was expecting something similarly impressive and it hasn't disappointed. While we've had some stormy interludes, there hasn't been any prolonged wet spells.
Nonetheless, to date, I've returned 400 (Photograph taken at 390 miles) miles from a single application, on my fixed gear winter/trainer, which has also been subjected to a few sudsy bucket washes. 200 mixed terrain and coastal miles later, my Univega's chain has plenty of lubricant remaining.
The 4oz bottle is small enough for bike packing/touring luggage, so the ability to replenish (or indeed, switch to its siblings), without deep cleaning, is another definite plus.
For the most part, it runs very clean. Much closer to a traditional dry, than middleweight PTFE infused blends. Over time, it has cultivated a thin, grimy patina, similar to that of Zefal Pro Dry. In common with SKS Lube Your Chain , and indeed, several other blends, it's safely quarantined within the top layer. Suffice to say I've not felt the need to wipe. Touch the chain's rollers and you'll notice some very minor tackiness.
A pair of disposable gloves (in case of roadside mechanical) is always prudent. but transfer to hands, thighs and clothing is minimal. Much better than Finish Line 1 Step Cleaner & Lubricant , let alone some otherwise likeable wax/emulsion formulas, during the summer months. A definite plus, especially if you're commuting to work/doing utility runs in smart trews.
£8.50 is pretty much mid-range when it comes to chain lubes. Fenwick's Stealth Chain Lube comes in at £9.99 and is another personal favourite, which has returned high mileages, without attracting dirt. Anecdotally, it seems to trump the Gold, in the friction stakes but I wouldn't start a fight over it. Crankalicious Science Friction is wheel suckingly close, in some respects. Indeed, it might have the edge, for riders seeking a four seasons' staple Silkolene Everyday Lube comes in at a quid cheaper, but doesn't match the Rock n' Roll Gold LV.
Ultimately, there's a danger that general lubes can be jack of all trades but masters of none. Rock 'n' Roll Gold manages to cover most bases very well. Staying prowess and cleanliness being definite draws. Inter brand compatibility means effortless switching to its Absolute dry and Extreme siblings, should something more specific call.