ROCK 'N' ROLL EXTREME LV LUBE
The Rock ‘N' Roll Extreme LV is available in 4 or 16oz bottles and aimed primarily at mountain bikers. However, its blend of stoicism and relative cleanliness means it’s become my go-to for general riding. How stoical? Well, a close friend was so impressed, he's been using it on his trials motorcycle.
Pros: Durable, lower friction that most hell n' high water wet blends, relatively clean.
Cons: Less versatile and longer curing times than some wet lubes.
Rock N' Roll are extremely protective of their formula, so would reveal next to nothing about precise alchemy. That said, I can tell you that it’s another petrochemical blend. One designed to work harmoniously with its other, condition-specific siblings.
While the mixture has been tweaked, so it can be carried by post and air, it employs a strong solvent carrier. Like other solvent products, this is designed to strip, prime and traffic the lubricant membrane, where it’s needed.
Despite the thin, runny nature it's less messy than some other, low viscosity blends. Strip any other existing lube with a solvent/ stripper, such as Crankalicious Gumchained Remedy High Performance Chain Cleaner . Skip straight to the pouring, if you're switching from Rock n' Roll Gold, or Absolute Dry LV. Well, not quite literally. Give the bottle a quick shake to mix the contents, first.
On a derailleur setup, shift the chain midway (or thereabouts)
across the cassette and apply in short, liberal streams. Leave it 30 seconds to penetrate, then rotate the cranks backwards for five seconds. The friction generated, will release any ingrained dirt, which you then wipe away using a clean rag.
Now pop the bike away and leave the chain curing for 4 hours, or so. Technically, you can hop on and scoot off, given a few minutes. Sticking to the prescribed time, or leaving it overnight, works best.
As you'd expect, it engulfs the chain's moving parts, which is immediately apparent, given the first few pedal strokes, especially on fixed gear setups using galvanised, or heavy-duty nickel-plated fare. Save for some ultra-sophisticated ceramics, low friction and wet lubes don't usually go together in the same sentence.
True, its stodgier than Rock 'n' Roll Absolute Dry , or Muc-Off Dry Chain Lube , or Zefal Pro-Dry Lube . Nonetheless, the Univega's chain skipped smartly across the block and in over 400 miles, I've been hard pressed to tell the difference with its Gold sibling. It’s also proved very effective on sticky locks and cleat mechanisms.
Though it hasn't matched Chain L 1000mile Chain Lube for outright staying prowess, I've managed 425miles from a single application. That's exposed to waterlogged, silty and increasingly dung strewn lanes, coastal roads, torrential downpours and bridle paths, as appropriate. Then of course, there's the sudsy bucket washes and garden hose rinses in-between. Even then, there remained a thin, tangible film of lubricant clinging to the rollers. No problems with motorcycle chains either, which turn at much higher revs.
Compared with traditional oils of similar weight, I'd almost say 4. However, all told, there's a bit more gunk embedded in the top layer, which is where it stays. In common with the gold, its faintly tacky to touch, something that remains unchanged, pretty much until its spent. There is modest transfer to fingers, if you are tweaking a rear mech, refitting a wheel/similar but no issues with branded thighs, trouser legs, or bar tape. So, with religious observation of curing times, a practical option for commuting and other bike-as-car utility riding.
There's a lot of competition when it comes to wet lubes and much will depend upon individual preferences/need. However, the Extreme holds its own. Silkolene Premium Cycle Lube Wet comes in at £8.99 for 100ml, then of course, there's Weldtite TF2 Extreme Wet Chain Lubricant for a few quid less, not forgetting Chain L High Mileage Formula Chain Oil . All these, though long lived are comparatively messy. Crankalicious Science Friction Ceramic is a bit dearer. Cleanliness doesn't rival Rock N' Roll Extreme either but then, drizzle 'n' go convenience might win some hearts, and wallets.
Raise the subject of best lube and you'll get a very involved, diverse and often heated discussion. However, Rock 'n' Roll Extreme has proven itself a versatile and extremely practical stay-put solution. Good enough for cross country mountain biking and four season's workhorses, its clean enough for winter bikes, tourers, and commuters too.