A superb wet lube offering long-term protection

Chain L is a rich, old school wet lube aimed at elite riders churning away marathon mileages and it's as close to fit and forget chain oil as you’re likely to find.

Virgin chains with the factory lick of water displacer are ready primed but take used ones to the chain bath to make sure you don't make a distressingly efficient grinding paste from the grit on your chain. Given the viscosity, I'd recommend sitting the 4oz bottle in warm water for a few minutes prior to application. You only need the lightest drizzle to each link.

Rotate the cranks for a few minutes afterward to ensure thorough penetration before wiping side plates and jockey wheels. True to form, the syrup like consistency attracts a little dust in the first few days but so long as you don’t repeat applications and pat dry using paper towels or clean rag it doesn’t worsen.

Terms like 'unique proprietary formula' smack of marketing speak and little substance but from the first few pedal strokes, I couldn’t believe how silent my geared transmission became-nigh on as quiet as a fixed and this hasn’t deteriorated despite 750 varied miles (through mud, heavy downpour and coastal climate) and 1,000 miles between applications certainly isn’t out of the question.

Weekly wiping of the side plates and jockey wheels keeps the transmission happy and prevents grit accumulating. It's fine for everything up to river crossings and similar antics, mile munching audax, winter and commuter mounts will benefit most. Given the longevity £7.50 for 4 fl ounces seems very, very reasonable.


Without doubt the finest wet lube I've come across

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Chain-L High Mileage Formula Chain Lube

Size tested: n/a

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?

Chain-L is a wet lube aimed at high milage all weather riders and claims 1,000 plus miles between application - a claim I can well believe on the strength of this test.

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

"proprietary formula" Petroleum based oil.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:

Surprisingly clean for a wet lube.

Rate the product for durability:

Claims you might need to re-lube after heavy downpour but this hasn't been required even after a river crossing.

Rate the product for value:

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

Racers might want something a bit lighter but for anything else it's superb.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Smooth, silent transmission.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product


Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Unreservedly

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb 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, mtb,

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)


FBinNY [5 posts] 10 years ago

Thanks for the great review of our product. I just want to clarify a few details.

1- check our site - www.chain-L.com - we don't use BS words like "proprietary formula" anywhere. It's contrary to our nature.

2- and this is the real point of this note. I strongly advise those who wash their chains to be sure to thoroughly dry them before applying Chain-L or any other lube. Otherwise water still within the gaps keep the new stuff from penetrating. I suggest that newly washed chains be dried with a hair dryer on high for at least 10-20 minutes until the chain is hot to the touch, so as to drive any trapped water out before re-lubing. Drying the outside with a rag simply doesn't cut it.

3- just curious, you gave us 8/10 for construction, how could improve construction?

Tony Farrelly [2989 posts] 10 years ago

hmm… good question, I think it may be because the way our testing system work won't forces the reviewer to check every box, but I could be wrong because i haven't reviewed anything that didn't require a mark for every box.

Or maybe Shaun thought it flowed well or summat.

Barry Fry-up [188 posts] 10 years ago

3- just curious, you gave us 8/10 for construction, how could improve construction?

maybe serve it up in a bottle that doesn't look like a shampoo sample?

now a glass perfume bottle, *that* would be worth 10/10...

PS you you say on your site it has 'unique properties'. what are they? lubrication?

 4 4 4

FBinNY [5 posts] 10 years ago
Barry Fry-up wrote:

3- just curious, you gave us 8/10 for construction, how could improve construction?

maybe serve it up in a bottle that doesn't look like a shampoo sample?

now a glass perfume bottle, *that* would be worth 10/10...

PS you you say on your site it has 'unique properties'. what are they? lubrication?  4 4 4

FBinNY --------
Thanks for pointing that out. I really wished I could have put it in a square glass bottle, for the cool factor alone. B) B) Unfortunately, you can't get it out of a glass bottle, yes we tried.  2

As to the unique properties (don't all manufactures say their products are unique, why should I be different).  3

Obviously, lubrication is paramount (something that some bike chain lube makers seem to have forgotten) so we put in "extreme pressure (EP) additives to boost the film strength and improve lubrication under high chain tension. An other unique property, is high adhesion which keeps the lube from weeping back out of the chain, and helps it resist getting washed off in the rain. Most high quality lubes are not designed for exposure to the elements the way Chain-L is.