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review

CeramicSpeed UFO Drip - New Formula

5
£36.95

VERDICT:

5
10
Keeps drivetrains very clean, but doesn't last particularly well and works out expensive
Keeps the chain very clean
Cheaper than pre-waxed chains
Claimed life is unrealistic
Needs a spotless drivetrain to work its best
Weight: 
194g

The new formula UFO Drip chain lube from CeramicSpeed is a very clean lubricant than claims to offer improved efficiency – though not to levels I could ever measure. The price might have dropped, but it's still expensive and we didn't find that it lasts anywhere near as long as claimed, particularly off road.

The original UFO Drip formula cost £65 and, while Stu rated the performance, the huge price was a sticking point. Roll on a year and this new formula is 43% cheaper while claiming to be 15% faster and 50% longer-lasting. All quite bold claims.

Correct application is absolutely vital, and needs all previous lube to be removed before starting. I first tested UFO Drip on a brand-new drivetrain, having removed the factory lube in an ultrasonic cleaner.

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Curiously, since first receiving UFO Drip, the application procedure has changed. Initially CeramicSpeed recommended one drip on each roller, left to dry for at least eight hours but ideally overnight. It was easily done, and the matt grey lube stands out so you can see what you're doing.

New method

Now, however, CeramicSpeed's instructions are: 'Apply UFO Drip directly to the chain rollers over the cassette, rotating the chain slowly backwards to coat the entire length of the chain twice. Next, apply UFO Drip to the inside of the chain, along the rollers on the bottom span over the chain and coat the entire length of the chain twice.'

This is simpler and quicker, but uses much more lube. Following the updated guidelines I measured the amount per application to be 10g, or approximately 10ml, giving around 18 applications per bottle (as opposed to around 35 the original way).

At £36.95 a bottle, this works out at around £2.05 per application.

Longevity

CeramicSpeed claims the new formula lasts for 300km each time – not even 'up to 300km' but 300km – and makes no mention of any conditions affecting that. In my experience the UFO Drip lasts just over 100km in typical British winter, at which point the screeching from the chain was a bit of a giveaway. Given how clean the chain stays, noise is the easiest way I found to tell.

CeramicSpeed claims UFO Drip will still be coating the inner links for 300km even if you can't see it, but the noisy, slightly rusty chain that followed if I just let the bike dry out suggests otherwise.

Gravel use

When used off-road and in really poor British weather and trail conditions, its lifetime drops as low as 30km. That's on par with other lubricants – including other waxed-based drips – but then, most of those don't claim a lifespan, let alone 300km of it.

The big positive is how clean the drivetrain stays, regardless of the weather. The chain stays almost spotless and there's no sticky residue to deal with afterwards. It stays clean even after repeated applications, too.

Rust protection

Wet rides can be a problem, or more specifically, the rust the lube can allow afterwards. After a wet ride I found that extra care and time were needed to fully dry the chain, as you are not reapplying anything.

You could of course simply top up after each ride, but that will mean using the bottle even faster.

> 8 best bicycle chain lubes — but should you get wet or dry lube?

No claimed wattage improvements are given and, in real world use, I can't say I noticed any benefits. That isn't to say they're not there, but that even if they are, they're simply too small to discern.

CeramicSpeed claims this new formula is 15% faster than the original UFO Drip, which itself was apparently 20% better than the next best lube in pre-ride friction tests. In terms of Watts that will be very small; at best averaging in low single figures over the course of a ride.

Value

While the price has been reduced for the new formula, £36.95 for 180ml is still expensive, and while it looks a bargain against AbsoluteBlack GraphenLube (£114.99 for 155g), so does silver (it's currently 10p per gram cheaper).

There are much cheaper wax-based rivals such as Smoove Universal Chain Lube at £13.99 for 141g and Squirt Lube at £11.99 (2021 price) for 120ml, but while they're pretty clean they're still not as good at staying grime-free as UFO Drip.

The new formula UFO Drip keeps the drivetrain incredibly clean, whatever the weather or road conditions. If that's your thing, above all other considerations, this lube is for you.

However, it doesn't last any longer than the average wax lube, can let wet chains rust between rides, and it's expensive.

Verdict

Keeps drivetrains very clean, but doesn't last particularly well and works out expensive

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Ceramic Speed UFO Drip - New Formula

Size tested: 180ml

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?

CeramicSpeed says: "This new and improved formula of the CeramicSpeed UFO Drip Chain Coating is even faster and longer lasting than the first formula. The chain coating is developed to support all disciplines and is based on a non-toxic, non-flammable and bio-degradable formula."

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

180ml / 6oz bottle contents

300 km. per coating

Up to 35 coatings per bottle

Over 15% faster than previous formula

Increased temperature stability - apply between 5-35oC / 41-95oF

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

Keeps the chain very clean.

Rate the product for durability:
 
6/10

Lasts acceptably for chain lube in general, but CeramicSpeed claims 300km and that's well off the figured achieved.

Rate the product for value:
 
3/10

£2.22 per application is quite expensive.

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

Keeps the drivetrain very clean regardless of weather, but falls well below the 300km range claimed per application.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

How clean the drivetrain stays.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Never got close to the claimed 300km performance.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Expensive compared to most, including the well-regarded wax based chain lubricants Smoove and Squirt. It's significantly cheaper than AbsoluteBlack GraphenLube at least, which is £114.99 per bottle.

Did you enjoy using the product? Sort of

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your overall score

While the price has dropped and claimed efficiency is higher, the New Formula falls well short of the 300km claimed range for each application. The updated application process also means using a fair amount each time, which pushes the value down again.

Overall rating: 5/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 168  Weight: 62

I usually ride:   My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding

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