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Doc on a bike. NHS, Leicester Med School, Cycling Plus Magazine. LFCC Cyclocross Champion (old gits category). Riding's the best medicine. Follow me on twitter @awkwardcyclist

Friday, May 11, 2012

Chain-L Bike Oil Review



Perhaps the greatest compliment I can give this bike oil that I actually don’t notice it. I applied it to my chain about 6 weeks ago, rode my bike through the horrible weather that we’ve been experiencing recently and errr… that’s it. No squeaking of said chain, no signs of rust forming on the links after I’ve lazily stuck my dripping wet bike in the garage, nothing at all. Completely and utterly boring – long may it remain so!

Developed by a small company in New York, Chain-L was spotted by Rich from Urban Hunter in the bike shops he visited. Having tried some, he loved it and decided to bring it to the UK. You probably only think about your bike chain when it starts to give you trouble – squeaks and creaks, missing gears, clattering on the sprockets. Failing to look after your chain can wreak expensive havoc with your chainrings and cassette, but cleaning and lubing a chain properly is a fairly major task. Chain-L promises to make it a less frequent chore.

The Chain-L oil claims to last for 1000 miles. It is best applied to a new chain to avoid trapping dirt in the moving parts – if applied to an existing chain it will need a thorough clean first. Applying the lube is a bit time consuming – it’s very thick and it is necessary to warm it up by putting the bottle in some hot water before using it.  If it is a new chain, it is best to apply the Chain-L before fitting it to the bike. I didn’t, and even taking it slowly found I couldn’t help applying a bit too much and got a fair bit on the frame and chainset. This continued to drip out over a day or two, so my oily rag got some heavy use to begin with. After the first week or so, this had settled down and the chain no longer felt sticky – feeling more like a dry-lubed chain. And that’s how it has remained. After 6 weeks of riding in terrible conditions, it looks and feels exactly as it did after that first week.

Marks – 4.5/5

For:        Very durable, apply and forget!

                Excellent value - £8 for a small bottle and I only used 10% on one full application

Against: Difficult to apply

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