Juice Lubes Chain Juice Wax is another super-clean-running brew reckoned to cope really well in hot, dusty conditions, without scarpering at the first hint of wet roads. Autumn testing has certainly proven itself soggy enough to challenge these claims...
Like most lubes these days, it doesn't play nicely with others, so you need to get your chains and cassettes spotlessly clean first. A less than meticulous solvent cleaning saw ours clash with some pre-existing ISO oil/PTFE lube, which prevented the wax penetrating. If in doubt, leave them marinating an extra few minutes in your chosen lube stripper.
Otherwise, it's a question of parking the bike(s) outside, drizzling a little into every link, rag hovering beneath to catch the milky overspill.
Consistency is similar to other brands and a healthy dollop tainted my patio for several days, despite rains of biblical proportion.
Juice recommends a single helping, left for five minutes or so before scooting off. That may be fine in mid-summer but during a damp and sometimes cold autumnal start, doubling up doesn't go amiss. In any case, my Holdsworth's stainless track variant is a notoriously slippery customer – lubes of all consistencies have a tendency to migrate beyond the rollers.
Once cured, friction is minimal, even compared with some of the sophisticated polymer types.
After 170 dry miles it had all but scabbed away, though enough remained to keep things sweet for another 20 miles or so. Light showery rain and damp roads have meant top-ups every 100, which is broadly in keeping with my initial expectations.
Dirt-repelling properties saw similar performance when it was applied to my cyclo-cross bike and subjected to dry, dusty fire roads and farm tracks, although deep puddles and spray from passing vehicles licked the links clean in 50 miles.
On the one hand, topping up doesn't require any preparation, save for drying the chain, but on the other, some emulsion types run just as cleanly and last longer – even when the gritting lorries are out.
Overall, the chain wax seems quite good in primarily dry and dusty contexts – summer mountain biking, or just enjoying sunny days – but once moderately wet weather strikes, its staying power is decidedly average.
Very clean with similar staying prowess to other wax formulas, but expensive and can be messy to apply
road.cc test report
Make and model: Juice Lubes Chain Juice Wax
Size tested: 130ml
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Juice Lubes says: "The final piece in the chain lube puzzle is our Chain Juice Wax. It is particularly well suited to hot and dry conditions where it is cleaner, quieter and longer lasting than our Chain Juice Dry product, but it will also operate effectively in the wet. In the past wax lubes have had a bit of a reputation for not being hard wearing but our clever guys in white coats are confident they have got round this issue with our latest blend."
Not a bad effort but not obviously better than competitors.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Low viscosity, super-runny wax formula requiring sterile chains but cures quickly, so can be reapplied with minimal fuss.
Very clean, very slick but average staying prowess.
What I've come to expect from the wax types. Those with a consistency closer to emulsion and requiring several hours curing seem vastly superior.
Quite messy to apply – a minor point at home but can be inconvenient by the road or trailside.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, I liked the cleanliness and low friction. Longevity isn't bad when compared with others of this genre but it's not markedly better in damp to wet riding contexts.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very clean and low friction; staying power is quite good in dry conditions too.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Needs very careful application to avoid wastage.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? On balance, no, I'd suggest one of the self-cleansing emulsion types.
Use this box to explain your score
By no means a bad lube when compared with other wax formulas. However, it's rather expensive and eclipsed by emulsion types costing considerably less money.
About the tester
Age: 41 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)