Despite my initial cynicism, Finish Line’s 1 step cleaner and lubricant quickly won me over with its convenience, low friction and surprising tenacity. Marketed at commuters, the mixture is also perfect for post race clean-ups of cross and mountain bike transmissions, slotted cables and even spd cleat mechanisms. However, it demands an abundance of clean rag, weekly reapplication in wetter weather and those with sensitive skins should apply wearing latex examination gloves.
The solution works to the same principle as the old-fashioned petrol/diesel mix with a thin solvent invading every link, purging congealed lube, mud, grease and grime. This evaporates leaving behind an extremely sophisticated low-friction lubricant. Finish line stresses the lack of carcinogenic and other harmful ingredients but said mixture has quite a kick, so use in a well ventilated area and store away from children, pets and sources of ignition.
To use shake the contents vigorously for a minute, plug in the applicator straw and spray in short bursts over the chain/cassette. Leave the solution a further minute or so to work its magic and hunt down some clean, lint free rag.
Run the chain through the rag a few complete turns before wiping overspill from the rear wheel. Apply another coat, forgoing the wiping ritual for optimum protection or preparing a bike for winter storage. Slipping a section of card beneath control cables and giving them a quick shot reaps surprising reward, enhancing a slick inner environment that doesn't gum up over time.
The first few pedal strokes left the Univega’s drivetrain feeling brand new and super efficient. While none of the components are remotely worn, coming from a diet of ceramic type wet-lubes it felt notably friskier across the block.
Mild to moist conditions have made little impression upon the blend, although a couple of prolonged rides in bad weather demanded a quick top up. As a yardstick, we’re on our third application in three weeks and 240 miles but I can see this becoming a weekly job come winter.
Versatile and surprisingly tenacious cleaner/lube for riders short on time
road.cc test report
Make and model: Finish Line 1-Step cleaner and lubricant
Size tested: 200ml
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb 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, mtb,
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)