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Verdict: 
Very clever lube that goes a very long way and remains surprisingly clean – if you can justify the initial asking price
Weight: 
107g
Rock ’n’ Roll Extreme Chain Lubricant
8 10

Rock 'n' Roll's Extreme chain lube is described as being 'for the nastiest, gnarliest, wettest and muckiest conditions' and the 16oz bottle is reckoned to last several seasons (it's out of stock at the moment, but 4oz bottles are available). Another space age wonder lube, I hear you groan. However, it's really rather good, and several weeks spent bombing along waterlogged B roads suggests there's substance to the hype.

Talking of substance, it's a clever petrochemical formula that employs a gel membrane suspended within the potent-smelling solvent fluid. This carries it deep within the chain's moving components, keeping them mobile and richly lubricated without attracting dirt.

> Buy this online here

The entire series is very different from other lubricants in several respects. Rock 'n' Roll suggests there's no need to clean chains of existing lube since the rich solvent component will strip them pretty much on contact.

In practice, this varies – it's true of some, including light to middleweight wax and PTFE based variants, but those chains fed syrupy wet lubes (especially with embedded contaminant) are best treated to a thorough degreasing first.

With bikes outside (or in a well ventilated outbuilding) and rag to hand, shake the Extreme and drizzle it atop the links while rotating the cranks. Give it a few seconds, then wipe the excess from outer plates, ring(s), derailleur cages and jockey wheels.

Failure to stick to this will result in residual gunge clinging on and attracting other contaminants after a matter of 20 miles or so – I called its bluff and lost.

Unlike the super-runny types, there's relatively little waste, and in common with Fenwick's Stealth, you can ride off in a matter of minutes, but for best results, leave it curing overnight.

From the outset, friction is minimal, comparable with the barely-there preps but with the staying prowess of a wet formula.

Long nocturnal rides on my fixer confirmed a serene, silent swoosh that remained squeak-free despite very wet B roads carpeted with a cocktail of dung, silt, twigs and often road salt. I've clocked up 350 miles in these contexts without a hint of orange taint, tinkling or the need to reapply to date.

Speaking of which, Rock n' Roll suggests leaving top-ups until absolutely necessary. Results have been similarly pleasing when applied to my 'cross bike which has enjoyed a comparable diet with boggy, bridle path, green lane and salty coastal causeways for good measure.

A slightly grimy patina has developed over this period; on par with Fenwick's Stealth and not enough to justify wiping the links.

> Don't know the best way to clean and lube your chain? Follow our step-by-step guide

Ultimately, I'm very impressed, and this would be my first choice for mountain biking, cyclo-cross and general winter riding.

However, while its longevity and cleanliness aren't in question, the ticket price will put some off. True, it's competitive, cheaper than some of this genre and relatively inexpensive in the long run, but many riders will consider more basic formulas and replacement chains better economics.

Verdict

Very clever lube that goes a very long way and remains surprisingly clean – if you can justify the initial asking price

road.cc test report

Make and model: Rock 'n' Roll Extreme Chain Lubricant

Size tested: 4 oz

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?

Rock N Roll says: "EXTREME CHAIN LUBE

A very clean chain lube that works, lasts and never lets you down. When the going gets tough, this is the stuff.

Available in 4 or 16 oz."

Another sophisticated and pricey lubricant but delivering to date.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Exact composition is a trade secret, although I can confirm it's a very flammable petrochemical blend.

Application Instructions:

o Shake well and apply a stream of lube to the chain at the cassette.

o Do not drip the lube on like you would oil. This is not oil!

o Get the chain really wet, this stuff cleans and lubes all in one.

o Freewheel the chain backwards for about 5 seconds...no less.

o Wipe off all the excess lube...

all of it, wipe the chain as clean as it will get.

o That's it go ride..."

Very true, although for best results, leave it curing for several hours, and if you haven't been running Rock 'n' Roll siblings, take recipient chains through the solvent bath first.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

350 miles from the first helping and still going strong.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
7/10

Straightforward to use and relatively little mess/wastage for a super-thin brew.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Would appear to work out very cheap in the long term but many will baulk at the ticket price.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Overall, I've been impressed by the cleanliness, serenity and staying prowess of the extreme formula. My fixer is still on the first helping, seems silent, slick and relatively free of grime despite a diet of road salt, flooded coastal roads and dirty lanes.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Cleanliness, serenity and staying prowess.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Full RRP is quite steep, and relatively long curing times.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Possibly

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if they wanted a really tenacious, clean running lubricant and weren't on a budget.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 1m 81cm  Weight: 70kg

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)

7 comments

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festina [58 posts] 1 year ago
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I've been using this stuff for a couple of years and it is very good.
Don't understand the 'high ticket price' comment though. I don't understand people who pay thousands for bikes and parts and then skimp on cleaning and maintenance products or riding kit. Everything comes down to the weakest link. No pun on chain cleaners intended.

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bechdan [127 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

bought a bottle of this for a 9 day mtb tour in NZ recently, quite handy stuff to have, just lube and wipe with some tissues. Not sure how well it lubricates though compared to my usual dry lube but it certainly cleaned well.
I dont think Id buy it for normal use though but when space is limited then yes id buy it again

Avatar
ridein [175 posts] 1 year ago
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I've used the R-n-R mountain lube ( blue ) on my road bike with great success. Most of my rides are in a humid environment and this usually lasts for hundreds of miles. On a few occasions it lasted over 1000 miles. A little goes a long way, so I've been using needle tip bottle to apply it sparingly at each rivet. 

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finbar [128 posts] 1 year ago
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No mention of the environmental impact? Bit disappointing given Road.cc's previous positive comments about Green Oil lube.

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mikeakelly [9 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Best thing ever. Flawless for heavy duty mountain bike and road use.

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bechdan [127 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
finbar wrote:

No mention of the environmental impact? Bit disappointing given Road.cc's previous positive comments about Green Oil lube.

what impact?

Avatar
Westy [14 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

After reading this review I decided to give this stuff a try - after all I've tried just about every other chain lube over the past 40 years of cycling  3

Have to say I'm very impressed. The big surprise is how clean it keeps the bike - not just the chain, because its the chain mess that spreads all over the frame and wheel at  the back. Even in horrible UK winter conditions, a hose down then wipe to dry has kept my bike looking perfectly clean. And I agree with the other comment - while the cost might seem high, its not much against the cost of my bike and kit, and it does save a great deal of cleaning time.

The one thing I haven't fathomed is how often to use it. I do it about every other ride, so every 80-120 miles, which may be too much. But again, it works really well, and because of how clean it keeps the bike, I'm delighted with it.