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?
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.
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.
Very strong performing lube, but price and prep may put some off
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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?
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
Pipette system for easy application
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.
Performs very well, better than any I have used before. Provides good levels of lubrication combined with a long lasting effect.
Worked across anything I threw at it, didn't pick up excess and was still present after several wet hours of riding.
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.
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.