Silkolene Dry Lube provides a light protection for your drivetrain and doesn't pick up too much dirt, but a couple of dry rides (totalling about eight hours) are its effective range, and I found the applicator a poor design.
- Pros: Thin coating, soaks into the rollers well, easy to wipe off excess
- Cons: Only lasts a couple of rides, poor applicator design
A dry lube can be identified by a few key factors. It should be light, attract very little dirt, and be easy to wash off and reapply. Its best use, therefore, is on a summer bike that you're prepared to maintain regularly.
The lube contains P.T.F.E. so a good shake is required before application. Using this for the first time highlighted a flaw in the applicator: in the open position, way too much lubricant is released and most ended up on my wheel rim. The screw-top needs to be almost closed for drip application.
This dry lube is very thin and was quick to coat the rollers. I applied it to a chain that was fully stripped of oil, then wiped off the excess and allowed it to dry overnight. The lubricant dries to leave a thin coating, and when out on the road everything ran quietly.
The lube doesn't pick up too much dirt, but it's not the cleanest I've used; Morgan Blue's Race Oil Aerosol and Squirt Lube's Absolute Dry run cleaner. After a good weekend of riding totalling eight hours, the Silkolene Dry had turned black so it was time for a clean.
The lube is easy to strip off the chain and there was very little grit build-up on the inside of the link plates. This regularity of cleaning will mean that, as intended, this lube will be best used on a summer bike, though it could also be suitable for cyclo-cross racing – where you want as little build-up of dirt as possible, and you're washing your bike after each race anyway.
At £8.99 for 100ml, it's a little pricier than some. Muc-Off's version comes in at £7.99 (120ml) although it's more readily available in local bike shops, and only £3.99 on Wiggle. I'd still choose Morgan Blue's Race Oil in the aerosol can for £10.95 (400ml). It's cheaper per 100ml, easier to apply and cleaner. For the cleanest chain, I'd go for Squirt Lube Dry at £12 (120ml). It's a bit of a faff to do it properly, but it gives you an incredibly clean chain.
In conclusion, this dry lube works pretty well for dry summer riding, but it's not as clean or easy to apply as cheaper and more readily available options.
Does an okay job but not as clean as cheaper alternatives, and the drip applicator is badly designed
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Silkolene Dry Lube
Size tested: 100ml
Tell us what the product is for
From Silkolene: "Specially formulated, fast drying lube. This highly penetrating, maximum performance lube containing PTFE, offers low friction and superior protection to prolong chain life and leave your chain free of dirt and grit. Our dry lube is perfect for use on road racing and/or dry conditions and is suitable for use on chains, derailleurs and drive trains."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Silkolene only states that it contains P.T.F.E. It doesn't say any more.
The lube consistency is fine, but the bottle is poorly designed. You never need that much oil at once. A better drip applicator is needed.
It performed okay; lubrication was good, providing a quiet drivetrain and smooth shifts. It picked up dirt quicker than others I've used, though not much.
Dry lubes aren't designed to last ages, but some – Squirt Lube Wax, for example – can last for a good week to 10 days. It washes off easily, so you'll need to wash and re-apply after rain.
There are better options that are cheaper.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a dry lube, it worked okay. It picked up more dirt than its rivals but not a massive amount, and was easy to clean off, making the required maintenance pretty easy.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It penetrates well, coating the chain evenly.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The price is too high for the given performance.
Did you enjoy using the product? It was okay.
Would you consider buying the product? No, I'll be sticking to Morgan Blue's Race Oil.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No, there are better alternatives.
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's not too bad, but other cheaper lubes are cleaner and last longer.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.