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Verdict: 
Very strong performing lube, but price and prep may put some off
Weight: 
60g
Contact: 

From the videos I've watched and the blurb I've read about Muc-Off's Team Sky Hydrodynamic Lube, it seems like it is the most high tech chain lubricant that has ever been created. And after using it, I'd say you'd struggle to find a better high end lube.

Muc-Off claim it's the most high performing chain lubricant on the market, buying into Team Sky's marginal gains philosophy (they helped develop the product). It seems to have had thousands of miles of testing, hundreds of hours of development and even 3D modelled predictions. But does it live up to expectation?

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The first thing you notice about the lube is that it has blue UV dye infused in it, meaning that when you apply it it's obvious where it has penetrated and where you might have missed a spot. Rather than a gimmick, this is actually very useful; as well as the clear marketing benefits of being able to put the Team Sky colours on your chain, it gives a clear indication of where you've lubed and where you haven't.

To help with this, it comes with a handy UV torch which, when you shine it on the chain, lets you see how well the lube has penetrated. The UV dye in the lube means that even the more hidden areas it's reached show up, rather than just that you've managed to run it along the chain. It works well, although it's not something I've needed before and probably isn't a must-have for future lube purchases.

Application is simple using the well designed, pipette style nozzle and I found the consistency to be much thicker initially, with even a liberal application not dropping through the chain or mechanisms. This means it is clean and easy to apply, something that's always useful if you are doing it in a rush. It is also petroleum free, which means that even if you did accidentally drop some on the lawn, it's far more eco friendly than most other lubes, so you needn't worry about destroying the environment, or your grass.

Mud-Off suggest applying this four hours prior to a ride, which makes sense as despite the lube initially being fairly thick, after a couple of hours it becomes far more viscous, allowing it to work its way between the rivets and through the mechanism more effectively. This might be a slight issue for some who want to simply apply before a race or ride then set off, rather than needing to plan it several hours in advance.

In use

Muc-Off claim that the lube performs to the highest standards in a variety of conditions, from hot and dusty to cold and wet. I managed to test in some fairly diverse conditions that included each of these and I would agree that it performs well. With terrible weather at the start of an 80km followed by heat, there was no clunking or shifting lag, even under load at the end.

It also doesn't pick up dirt, dust and debris, which is something I get particularly frustrated by with other lubes I have used. When you're on your way back in and you can feel the grittiness when you are pushing on the pedals, it's not good for your sanity or the health of your chainset.

In terms of the marginal gains of minimum friction this lube is claimed to give you, I don't currently have access to the Road.cc labs to test this out, but could believe it. I also noticed this is a long-lasting lube; where I would normally aim to re-lube after each long ride, with this I didn't feel the need.

The only real snagging point is the price; with an RRP of £16 for a 50ml bottle, this is at the highest end of lubricant prices. Although it's a very high quality product and there may well be marginal gains to be made from it, it's still a steep price. If you are in the market for a high priced but high performance lube, though, you certainly wouldn't be disappointed.

Overall, I was impressed. This lube combines longevity, multi-condition performance and easy application. The marginal gains that it's designed for are hard to gauge, but I would say for the other aspects such as easy application, clear signs of where it has penetrated and effectiveness in a variety of weather, it's a winner. It's expensive, but if you are in the market for a high end lube, you'd struggle to find any better.

Verdict

Very strong performing lube, but price and prep may put some off

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Muc-Off Team Sky Hydrodynamic Lube

Size tested: 50ml

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?

Accord to Muc-Off - "Team Sky Hydrodynamic Chain Lube is the Ultimate in bicycle chain lubricant technology. If you are looking for the most efficient chain lubricant formula for long distances and/or the harshest of weather conditions, look no further."

I agree with this, it certainly is a high performance lubricant that lasts for a long time, provides a really good level of lubrication and also performs well across all conditions I threw at it.

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

Mud-Off say:

Ideal for Road Cycling and Cyclocross

Provides the ultimate performance in both wet & damp or dry & dusty conditions

Petroleum free formula for eco protection

Synthetic polymers for long distance performance

Incredible durability

Pipette system for easy application

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

The idea of having a dyed lubricant is great, combined with a decent thick consistency that later becomes more viscous. It shows that real thought has gone into the makeup.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Performs very well, better than any I have used before. Provides good levels of lubrication combined with a long lasting effect.

Rate the product for durability:
 
10/10

Worked across anything I threw at it, didn't pick up excess and was still present after several wet hours of riding.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

It is hard to say that it is poor value as it performs at a really high level. That said, £16 for a 50ml bottle is a lot to pay. It will last longer than cheaper options, though, so may be worth the extra money.

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

Very well, kept chain and all mechanisms well lubricated and running smoothly in a variety of conditions. Lasts for considerably longer than others I have used. Not sure if I can effectively quantify any marginal gains through reduced friction, but as far as lubricants go it is the best I have used.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The longevity and durability. Being able to come back from a long, wet ride without ending up with a dry, dirty chain is great.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The preparation time before; would be good to be able to just apply and ride.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

A really good lubricant. Some will certainly baulk at the price, but Muc-Off have certainly put together a really strong product.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 27  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed

 

George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc. 

When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.  

24 comments

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ronin [279 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

So it's actually almost four times as expensive than most other lubes, given most are around 100ml and around £5-10. I've had muc-off C-3 lube with the little torch, (I hope it's nothing like that) the bottle is still full given its ability to disappear from your chain mid ride...

What I really want to know is just how black the chain becomes and after how many miles, and how often you have reapply (in other words when does the chain start sounding rough). I do like my chain to be quiet and I'll keep the chain clean to achive that.

I've just tried KMC chain lube and it's quite good, it can get a little gunky but lasts well, after an application the chain is real quiet though.

Just about to try Pedros Ice Wax 2.0...just waiting for my next ride  4

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crikey [1251 posts] 3 years ago
1 like

1 pint is 568 mls.
This is £16 per 50 mls, or £181:76 per pint.
A pint in my local is £3:00 (that's for the expensive beer...)
I could have sixty pints of beer for the cost of a pint of this.

I go to the pub 3 days a week and drink 2 pints at each visit, so this would represent 10 weeks drinking were it sold in pint measures.

There are 8 pints per gallon.
A gallon of this would therefore cost £1454:08.
That's about the same as a gallon of donated blood.

I leave you to think about the value this represents.

Avatar
nowasps [523 posts] 3 years ago
1 like
crikey wrote:

1 pint is 568 mls.
This is £16 per 50 mls, or £181:76 per pint.
A pint in my local is £3:00 (that's for the expensive beer...)
I could have sixty pints of beer for the cost of a pint of this.

I go to the pub 3 days a week and drink 2 pints at each visit, so this would represent 10 weeks drinking were it sold in pint measures.

There are 8 pints per gallon.
A gallon of this would therefore cost £1454:08.
That's about the same as a gallon of donated blood.

I leave you to think about the value this represents.

Ah, but does the landlord give you a little torch to shine down your throat, so you can see where the beer's gone?

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crikey [1251 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

No, she doesn't. I think you've got me there...

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jacobsmithfilm [8 posts] 3 years ago
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...

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Walo [47 posts] 3 years ago
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Having tried oil based and waxed based lubricants for the past 20years with a kind of obsession to find the right one I developed my own requirements. A lube should be long lasting, should not pick up dirt and stay clean, should not create micro splashes of oil on rims and socks (each and every oil based lube does and that sucks the most). My long and expensive search ended with finding a polymer based lube (Dry-Fluid) which I successfully used over the past three years now. And now comes sexy hydro dynamic lube and damn sure I will try it out!

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StraelGuy [1679 posts] 3 years ago
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I have to agree Walo, I'm a sucker for the 'latest and greatest' chain lube. This is tempting but I've just ordered a bottle of Purple Extreme to try next. Might give this a try sometime in the future...

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geargrinderbeard [97 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Guys you (and Muc-Off) are overlooking the bonus feature that you get a spooge-checking device your next trip to a budget hotel chain!

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PhillBrown [228 posts] 3 years ago
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geargrinderbeard wrote:

Guys you (and Muc-Off) are overlooking...

crikey wrote:

A pint in my local is £3:00 (that's for the expensive beer...)

What I think we are all overlooking is that crikey can buy a pint for £3.00! I can't remember when I last paid below £4.50 for a pint!

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farrell [1946 posts] 3 years ago
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PhillBrown wrote:

What I think we are all overlooking is that crikey can buy a pint for £3.00! I can't remember when I last paid below £4.50 for a pint!

My local is £4:08 for two pints; and that's for the fancy lager. There is also a cheaper option on the lager front and the bitter and mild is even cheaper still.

God bless Sam Smith - The brewer that is, not the wannabe hipster version of Sloth from the goonies who's mam bought him a pop career.

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andyp [1600 posts] 3 years ago
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'My local is £4:08 for two pints; and that's for the fancy lager. There is also a cheaper option on the lager front and the bitter and mild is even cheaper still.'

No idea what the lager costs, but I can get a pint at my local for £1.25. Hurrah for the North.

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crikey [1251 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm amazed that my maths appears to be in any way accurate!

I bought 2 pints in Manchester Picadilly station last week ; 9 pounds.

£9 for two pints! I had to have a sit down...

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farrell [1946 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
crikey wrote:

I'm amazed that my maths appears to be in any way accurate!

I bought 2 pints in Manchester Picadilly station last week ; 9 pounds.

£9 for two pints! I had to have a sit down...

Was that in the mock French place?

You should have gone to the Mayfield and got a jug for a tenner. It's supposed to be 4 pints but if you're nice to the barstaff they'll usually fill it to the top giving you an extra pint and a bit. Also, the Mayfield has it's own toilets so you don't have to worry about spending 30p every time you want to spend a penny.

Also, unless it's changed recently Carluccio's knocks out decent take away coffee for a quid a go.

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andyp [1600 posts] 3 years ago
1 like

Actually...

£1.25 for a pint of beer.

I've not looked for many months, but what's petrol these days, about that price for a *litre*?

One involves putting some barley and hops into water, and leaving it for a while. The other involves huge surveys, massive input from chemists and geologists, a horrible manky expensive extraction process, a horrible manky refinement process... and is around half the price of the first.

ergo, beer is too expensive even at my local's prices.

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crikey [1251 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Dropping son off before he went to a much less civilised part of the world, so it was a quick pint rather than a dedicated mission.

I'd like to think it was the price of the beer that caused my emotional turmoil...

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tom_w [233 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
Quote:

It also doesn't pick up dirt, dust and debris

Is this really true? Does the chain really not go black with this lube?

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nortonpdj [225 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

the kings new clothes

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nortonpdj [225 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

the kings new clothes

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crikey [1251 posts] 3 years ago
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Did you mean the Emperors new clothes?

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bohrhead [82 posts] 3 years ago
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I got this when I got my new bike a couple of weeks ago. I did a 45 and a 110 mile ride in the lake district at the weekend. It rained for much of the second ride. By the end of it the chain was completely black.

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ronin [279 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
bohrhead wrote:

I got this when I got my new bike a couple of weeks ago. I did a 45 and a 110 mile ride in the lake district at the weekend. It rained for much of the second ride. By the end of it the chain was completely black.

Then a new quest for the holy Grail has begun...(I had a feeling it wasn't gonna be this, especially with a name like muc-off, nothing holy about that, apart from their claims that is  4 )

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ronin [279 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
guyrwood wrote:

I have to agree Walo, I'm a sucker for the 'latest and greatest' chain lube. This is tempting but I've just ordered a bottle of Purple Extreme to try next. Might give this a try sometime in the future...

I found Purple extreme was OK, but the KMC lube was better...what we need is a road.cc chain lube super test, instead of testing these lubes in isolation.

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mike the bike [1194 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I'm with Walo on this crucial question. The important thing is not how long your chain lasts, or indeed how crisp is your shifting, no sir, the important point is how dirty are your socks. And sometimes your legs too.
Nothing looks more amateur than oily calves or greasy socks, especially the white variety. That's the socks not the calves.

Which is why I use wax lube all year round. I soon learned to appreciate the squeaky clean socks and the transmission that remains shiny for many, many months. I absolutely love the fact that chain cleaning now takes twenty seconds with a dry cloth instead of a half-hour battle with a chain bath full of toxic gunk.

And, it must be confessed, I even got used to re-lubing every couple of days or after every downpour. It was a pain, but it's now part of my routine and I don't notice it any more.

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JonoB [54 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
ronin wrote:
guyrwood wrote:

I have to agree Walo, I'm a sucker for the 'latest and greatest' chain lube. This is tempting but I've just ordered a bottle of Purple Extreme to try next. Might give this a try sometime in the future...

I found Purple extreme was OK, but the KMC lube was better...what we need is a road.cc chain lube super test, instead of testing these lubes in isolation.

Second that....