ROCK 'N' ROLL SUPER SLICK GREASE
4oz £7.95 (six months test)
Rock ‘n’ Roll’s innovative range of lubes and greases is justly popular with many riders in different disciplines. Whilst old-timers may get misty-eyed for the days when grease was grease, the bicycle has moved on, and so have the range of applications for what was once a humble all-purpose necessity has brought specialisation. So, Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Super Slick is a specialist grease. Maybe best described as a grease for components with seals or that slide, it performs admirably in a number of contexts.
Pros: effective and friendly to sealed components.
Cons: specific of purpose.
OK, quite reasonably, Rock ‘n’ Roll and their UK distributor aren’t madly keen to spill the beans on Super Slick’s formula. They are clear, however about what it is and is not for. It is a lighter grease than old-folk like me used to plaster around the place, and lighter than their Super Web Grease, too, for example.
Malcolm Borg, boss of Velo Distribution, described R ‘n’ R’s grease range to us; “Super Coat is suitable for pivot bearing and other places where you don’t want grease to leave. Super Web is a persistent bearing grease. Red Devil is for static parts, threads and sleeves, for example. Super Slick should be used parts with seals. It’s not suitable as a bearing grease, but is ideal for sliding parts. It does not degrade seals. For me. It’s a favourite of mine for freehubs, for example.”
Following dis-assembly, give everything a good clean with a degreaser, such as Crankalicious Limon Velo Degreaser. The Slick Grease operates equally well from a grease gun or with a gentle squeeze of the tube. Given that it washes off more easily than heavier greases, I’ve tended to work it into seals and recesses, or smooth to a film, with my fingers. Like any
grease, it will transfer to anything it comes into contact with; but you do not need too much of it.
So, Slick Grease is aimed at parts with seals and those that slide – say, suspension forks, pumps, quill stems - and, as Malcolm suggests freehubs, for example. And why not cables? Well the latter can get right royally gummed up by heavier greases, especially if you are sensitive to spongey brakes or clunky gear changes. Even so, we gave them a go, too.
Squeeze the tube and out creeps a dark substance. As with most greases a little goes a long way. However, remember we are in slick territory, rather than packing out. We don’t want a grot magnet, do we? Any excess easily wipes away. On another front, it has tolerated temperatures form sub-zero to low thirties centigrade with, seemingly, no ill effects.
With axle removed, a wipe round with a paper towel removed incumbent grot from press-fitted seals, with the same procedure applied to the freehub mechanism with the body removed. Adding a good dab of R ‘n’ R Slick Grease with finger-tip or grease gun, before reassembly. It’s well worth checking bearings and races at the same time, but go for a sturdier grease for them. Although maybe not absolutely necessary, I also coated the freehub body before remounting the cassette.
Checking out a freehub need not be frequent. I tend to service once a year for more heavily used bikes and every couple of years for the less frequently used, or low mileage machines. However, for the sake of this test, I went back to look again some 1000 miles later. Still there and little sign of contamination.
The same impact was evident on the quill stems in the mini-museum that is my fleet. OK. You have to be more sensitive than I am to notice any great difference when adjusting the stem, but 500 miles on it seems to be showing some staying power.
Serious MTBing is generally outside our parameters at Seven Day Cyclist, so servicing suspension forks is not a particular expertise. Those in the know seem to be split, between those who suggest it is ideal and those who use it on the seals and use a different lube for the pistons. R ‘n’ R point out that, as a light grease, their Slick is not especially intrusive, tending to stay where you put it.
And so, to cables. Well, Rock ‘n’ Roll Cable Magic is a remarkable potion, but may be of greatest interest to the seriously sensitive cyclist. On the other hand, folk like me, who once used stodgy general-purpose greases, only to find that cables jammed up with grot, will be pleasantly surprised by the Slick Grease’s relative cleanliness.
There are a number of greases available around this price
point. White Lightning Crystal Grease, for example, is a real all-rounder, and performed very well when Seven Day Cyclist tested it out. R ‘n’ R’s Slick Grease may perform its target tasks better, but is not meant to be a do-all.
Value here may well depend on how specific you want to be. It is a very good grease, indeed, and for seven pounds will not break the bank.
Slick Grease has impressed me. It is much cleaner than some others, for a start. Use carefully and you’ll get many years out of it if you stick to servicing your freehub every year or so and putting a bead on cables. As a moderately enthusiastic fettler of road-orientated bikes, I’ve been very happy with it. Those who seek perfection or like to service their own suspension forks, will find it even more attractive.