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