Lacks real weight
Nice slippery feel
We are a very tactile bunch us cyclists. What with tyres, saddles and bar tape we all have our own preferences. I don’t think it is any different with chain lubes so I have been testing two back to back. A good chain lube is asked to do a lot in terms of the performance of a chain. It has to reduce friction, stop rust, be clean, have good ease of application and most of all provide a good mileage count between applications.
ProLink Chain Lube 4oz SRP £4.99
The Lube has recently undergone a packaging makeover. Gone is the familiar yellow label, to be replaced by a stealthy black one capped with goldish bands top and bottom. The lube itself feels very thin and has strong paraffin like smell, but it is environmentally friendly!
Following the directions on the back I saturated the chain with Prolink. The chain had only been recently fitted and I was slightly horrified by the amount of dirty lube that came off from what I thought was a clean chain. (Do not do this indoors unless you happen to have laminate floors; I fear you’d never get it out of a carpet.) This is the cleaning part of the lube as mentioned on the front of the bottle. It basically removes all unwanted substances leaving it molecularly bonded with the MFR technology. What on earth is MFR technology you may ask? Well, it’s Progold’s answer to reducing metal-to-metal friction. This is probably the biggest nemesis to conquer as anyone can produce a lube that makes the chain slippery (Eh? Ed.) but reducing friction and so increasing chain life is like searching for the Holy Grail.
After first application the chain was left looking workshop new and any noise had been reduced from the chain. Upon application the lube is clean and light on the chain. Possibly due to the lightness of the lube it suffered a little in heavy rainstorms, but I do mean heavy, and light rain never presented a problem to the performance. A bit like a wax lube, I found that it didn’t last as long as I expected. Every couple of hundred miles the chain would need some attention. Over longer rides the chain would pick up a lot of dirt, so requiring the black substance to be removed. Unlike wax lube which are designed to fall off when dirty I never experienced the cleaning element of the lube. As there are no solid particles in the lube such as molys, wax or Teflon, it lacked any real weight, which could have hampered the longevity of the lube. I originally put some of this down to user error. So I degreased the chain and re-applied but I came back with the same results.
I never felt while riding that the MFR technology was reducing friction. As I have no fancy scientific devices for measuring this I am basing it on feel. In use it felt similar to a good Teflon lube, which is no bad thing as they work very well, but I think I was expecting a revolution.
Finish Line Pro Road 2oz SRP £3.99
The use of ceramics in bearings has been around for a few years now with companies like FSA and Campagnolo using them in key areas to reduce friction. Finish Line is the first company to incorporate this technology into a lubricant. This will be the lube of choice for T-Mobile this season.
This is the first new lube from Finish Line in 10 years. A decade ago they brought out a new cutting edge lube called Krytec. This wax-based lubricant required a little longer set up time than their already popular Teflon Lube(or Dry Lube as it’s known now). Lots of people don’t like wax lubes as they require more set up time as in some cases you need to allow it to dry for at least a hour; Pro Road is a ‘lube and go’ product like XC and Dry.
Yet again following the instruction on the back I applied the lube. The white liquid was very easy to apply and has a nice slippery feel under finger. Its thickness lies somewhere between Teflon and a wet lube. It clings to the links of the chain under application leaving no mess on the floor. You only need to apply the smallest amount to the link as it disperses over the link in the warm temperature. It recommends that you reapply after 1-2 days, this I did but I found that I was left with a chain that was over-oiled. I removed all excess lube to reveal a clean chain underneath, This time I did not reapply but found that there was more than enough lube in the pins and on the inner link plates of the chain to insure a well lubed functioning chain. Even after washing the bike, but not degreasing the chain, there was a film left on the chain, which is reassuring if you let the bike air dry and forget to lube it.
I have never used a lube like this that has left my drive chain feeling so smooth. You can physically feel the reduction in drag on the metal parts. Since using this I have lubed cables and have experienced similar reduced friction in this area also. The Pro Road lube is a big leap in what is currently available for road bikes. I hope that the cleanliness improves on the lube as I think this is the only down side I can attribute to it.
Having used this lube in nearly all weather conditions I am blown away by how good this lube is. In the dry it has provided a noise free, easy rolling feeling to the chain. In wet weather it has resisted the rain better than any other road-specific lube I have used.
The lube has deep penetration properties that allow it to go deep into the pins of the chain. These areas are normally filled with grease when assembled to prevent wash out. Due to degreasers being very effective sometimes this can remove that deep unseen protection. Pro Road fills up these areas and lubricates from within.
Reducing friction has always been at the heart of the Finish Line ethos and this may be their finest example yet!