This Silkolene Wet Lube gives good drivetrain protection in poor conditions and quiet running, but it picks up loads of dirt and costs more than its competitors.
- Pros: Good protection from the rain
- Cons: Attracts a lot of muck; more expensive and harder to get hold of than rivals
It's no secret that a wet lube will pick up more muck than a dry lube. Part of that is because of the conditions, but it's mostly the result of the thicker, more water-resistant consistency needed to protect the drivetrain. However, that muck can cause premature wear to components, so finding a wet lube that protects well and stays reasonably clean will extend your component life. I know that some riders like to let the dirt build on their winter steed. To me, that's just shortening the life of the components which cost more to replace than a decent wet lube.
After applying the lube to a stripped drivetrain, I wiped off the excess and tested with a 2-hour ride in persistent rain. While out on the bike, I really noticed the silence of the chain. Even when climbing and shifting under load, the chain was silent.
I left the lube on for a week for both dry and wet rides. It protected the drivetrain well, with no visible corrosion. The lube did form a really bad black paste on the chain, though. It took two cleans with strong degreaser to remove, which will make winter maintenance a pain. Even with the best of intentions, my winter cleaning is fortnightly at best, so having something that stays relatively clean is really useful. It means less component wear and less time cleaning in the cold.
Silkolene's bottle design is, just like the Dry and Everyday lubes, rather poorly designed and lube will just pour over the rear wheel if you're not careful. Once you get the screw top in the right place, the oil does coat the chain's rollers well, giving good coverage. There was also very little splatter on the frame, suggesting that it's rather sticky.
The real sticking point for me is that its rivals offer similar or better performance for less money. They're also more readily available, and can be found heavily discounted. Morgan Blue's Syn Lube can be bought for £4.99/125ml (rrp £7.95) and Muc-Off's Wet Lube for £2.99/50ml (rrp £4.94). While they both turn black, they're not as quick as the Silkolene to gunk up. The cleanest wet lube I've used is Finish Line Ceramic Wet, which has an rrp of £8.49 for 120ml, but can be bought for £5.92 online. There are cleaner, but this doesn't cost much and it's easy to get hold of.
If you're fine with a lot of gunk build-up, then the Silkolene Wet lube will protect your chain from the elements pretty well. You'll also get a quiet drivetrain, with no squeaks. The price, poor cap design and heavy gunk build-up mean that I wouldn't recommend it over others, though.
Good protection and runs quietly, but heavy gunk buildup and the price are drawbacks
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Silkolene Wet 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?
Silkolene says: "Specially formulated for extreme, wet, and/or long distance road use. Provides superior, long-lasting protection for all moving parts and drivetrain components - ensuring smooth, low friction performance in all conditions. Perfect for use on mountain-bike/downhill and long distance riding."
It lasts well in the rain and gives a quiet drivetrain.
The cap is poorly designed, letting too much oil out at once.
It lasts well in the rain but collects loads of muck, making it hard to clean. That muck can also cause your (more expensive) components to wear more quickly.
If you don't care about cleanliness, then you'll like the staying power of this lube. It doesn't disappear easily.
Similar price to rivals at rrp, but the more common brands that you can get in a huge range on bike shops and online are cheaper.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Protects well but collects too much muck. It's okay.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
People who favour a silent drivetrain to a clean one will probably like the performance.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The amount of dirt that this collects is really high. It's also very difficult to remove.
Did you enjoy using the product? While out on the road, yes. When it came to cleaning time, no.
Would you consider buying the product? No, I prefer a cleaner lube.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your overall score
This scores points for protecting well in the rain and giving a silent drivetrain, but it loses them for the amount of gunk buildup that is difficult to remove, and the cap design.
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.