When conditions are harsh you need a tough lube. Finish Line Cross Country is just that. Made from a blend of biodegradable synthetic oils, polymers and friction modifiers, this lube is a versatile old school lubricant for demanding conditions – as the name suggests it's aimed primarily at off roaders, (Finish Line also produce a road lube, we've got a test on that coming soon), but when the Winter is at its worst this will certainly do a job on your commuting or training bike. To use, give the chain a good clean in a chain-bath and dry thoroughly before applying sparingly to each link and removing any excess.
A little goes a very long way and given the viscosity, regular wiping of the outer plates and jockey wheels is recommended to prevent it morphing into a frighteningly efficient grinding paste. Unlike some, it is well suited to other applications, doubling as an effective grease substitute on pedal threads, carrier fixings, seat binder bolts, bottle mounts whilst a few drops down lock and freewheel mechanisms keeps them turning smoothly. However, its constitution has a greater tendency to gum-up derailleur pivot points and control cables.
Through a changeable January, I managed 190 miles between applications-more on fixed, single-speed and hub transmissions where it ensures smooth, silent running and excellent defence against wet, salt strewn roads. There are more sophisticated brews on the market for racing in muddy or arid environments but as a stout, tenacious mixture with scope beyond chains it’s very hard to beat.
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)