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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
350 miles from the first helping and still going strong.
Straightforward to use and relatively little mess/wastage for a super-thin brew.
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.
About the tester
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)