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Fenwick's Stealth Road Bike lube is a phenomenally clean-running, long-lasting synthetic lubricant and probably my favourite of all the many space age preps I've tested to date. At £9.99 it's highly recommended, and gives comparably sophisticated chain lubes a seriously good run for our hard earned, although methodical preparation/curing times won't suit everyone.
Fenwick's gives little away in terms of composition, talking in terms of heightened lubricity, cushioning additives and other wondrous friction-reducing compounds. These supposedly maximise efficiency while minimising wear.
Synthetic blends can turn bashful in cold storage and Stealth is no exception – easily cured by popping the container in a bowl of warm water for a minute or so. This version has shunned the pipette dispenser in favour of the twist spout, which makes application that little bit simpler.
Get recipient chains surgically clean, shake the bottle and then apply the metallic grey fluid to every link, holding some rag beneath to catch any overspill.
Curing times vary. Fenwick's says it can be used wet but this puts a dent in staying prowess, so it's worth following instructions to the letter. Having used previous versions in the long term, I'm inclined to suggest an hour's curing time is right for spring/summer, but bargain for three to four during the dark, colder months.
Once dry, it's virtually invisible, so don't be tempted to add a subsequent coat or it will turn into a gungy mess within the first 60 miles or so. Ensure every link is fed, mind; my Univega's heavy duty chain showed signs of the dreaded red freckling around its inner plates after being subjected to 150 miles commuting along waterlogged roads.
Otherwise, even subjected to these harsh, slimy contexts, chains, cassettes, derailleurs and rings remain remarkably clean and to the tune of approximately 300 miles per application – 500-plus during temperate and relatively dry autumn months.
Sure, some stout wet lubes will give Stealth stiff competition in this respect but they tend to demand weekly purges of grit and other ruinous contaminants. Like these, Stealth also works well on cleat mechanisms and doubles as a nifty grease substitute for fasteners.
Responsiveness is comparable with other high tech ceramics and seems less inclined to migrate to the outer links on highly polished electroplated and stainless steel chains.
For riders seeking a really clean, long-lasting lubricant, Stealth should be high on the list.
Clean-running and durable low-friction lube – recommended
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Fenwick's Stealth Road Bike Chain Lube
Size tested: 100ml
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?
Fenwick's says: "Ideal for all day and everyday use.
"Since its innovative creation in 2012 from many years of research, Stealth lube is revolutionising chain maintenance and durability, not only does Stealth lube last longer, runs smoother it also protects the chain from wear and tear, giving you a better ride and longer lasting components.
"Our Stealth lube has been adopted by many professional athletes, from World Champions in mountain biking and triathlon to Olympians. We were and still are, very proud to find out that, the Elite GB Triathlon and Elite GB Paratriathlon teams run on Stealth Road Lube.
"Our highly rated Fenwicks Stealth Road Bike Chain Lube is exceptionally quite, clean and long lasting. It offers silk-smooth lubrication by deep penetration of chain and linkage components."
Clean and long-lasting.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
How to use Fenwicks Stealth Road Lube
The heightened lubricity reduces fatigue, heat generation and stretch. Aided by specific cushioning additives, the chain delivers an extremely quiet ride. Corrosion protection is incorporated into the unique air-drying formula.
Shake well. For best results apply to a clean chain.
Step 1: Using pipette apply a drop of lube to each link.
Step 2: Rotate chain for 20 sec.
Step 3: If required, wipe off excess with a clean dry cloth.
Step 4: For best results allow 3 - 4 hrs to cure, can also be used whilst still wet (although the lube won't last as long)
Straightforward and not overly messy to apply.
Very good for a lube so clean-running and long-lived.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I have been mightily impressed by Stealth. So long as directions are religiously adhered to, it runs incredibly smoothly, cleanly and stays put.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Cleanliness and staying prowess.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing given the design brief.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, over and above a host of similar space age formulas.
Use this box to explain your score
Durable and clean lubricant with lots in its favour. Faster curing times would nudge my overall score very close to 9.
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)