ROCK 'N' ROLL ABSOLUTE DRY CHAIN LUBRICANT
117ml £6.99 Twelve month test
Rock 'n’ Roll Absolute Dry Chain lube has been one really pleasant surprise. Intended for drier, dusty conditions, it has outlasted some traditional middleweight PTFE formulas and run a whole heap cleaner, too. That said; it wouldn’t be the only lube on my workshop shelf.
It’s a very unusual formula and not oil in the commonly accepted sense. Rather, the absolute dry is designed to be used as part of a four season’s system with its extreme and gold counterparts.
The advantage over other lubes is that the Rock n’ Roll family will consume its siblings on contact - no need to clean chains in solvents first. However, this is a must with any other/pre-existing lubricant. They are similar to wax types in that contaminant is locked within the lubricant and channelled to the surface. However, rather than flaking away, it accumulates and can be wiped away with a clean rag.
Composition is a trade secret but I can tell you it’s a highly potent petrochemical mix. Not the sort you’d want to introduce indoors, near sources of ignition, waterways or plant/animal life. Thankfully, the flow rate is pretty sensible. Give it a shake and now dribble into chains at the cassette, not into every link.
Rotate the cranks a few times, dab chain and jockey wheels, then leave curing. Technically, you can pour and scoot off but for best results, leave it curing the full four hours. Overnight is probably the most practical option but either way, it seems unaffected by temperature or precipitation.
From then on, friction is extremely low. I’ve tended to run something just a little stockier on my fixed gear winter/ trainer, pure bred cross and mountain bikes but maintenance to mileage balance has been pretty hard to beat.
It’s been my go-to lube for the Univega, which serves year round - hell and high water. I’m halfway through the bottle.
Miles per application has been 170 odd from January to March. During summer I’ve hit 500 miles before the familiar, faint metal tinkling signals top-up, averaging 350 through this relatively mild and moderately wet autumn/early winter. Stripping, say when testing another lube has required a good two helpings of high octane aerosol strippers, three if we’re talking baste-on degreasers.
Though less versatile than some PTFE types, the super-runny nature and compact bottle lend it well to touring/endurance riding. Sure, it’s no good for cleat mechanisms; or as a grease substitute on fasteners for example but a drop or two has perked up plain Jane control cables.
Contamination is superficial. Even through winter’s slimy filth, I’ve never needed to wipe the side-plates, derailleur cages and jockey wheels in between replenishments. It might cultivate a few specks but these don’t seem to penetrate the top layer.
Transfer, to hands and trousers is also minimal, albeit lacking the outright trouser friendliness of some wax formulas which might be an issue for some commuters. Nonetheless, it’s a lot more convenient following a rear wheel puncture/similar roadside mechanical.