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Zefal Pro Dry Lube is a wax-based lubricant that's intended for dry and dusty conditions. On such days it does a good job of providing a layer of protection against wear, rust, and oxidation, but if things turn damp it doesn't have as much staying power as some competitors.
As with all lubes, it's important to start with a thoroughly clean chain. Happily, however, I didn't find the Pro Dry Lube to be quite as sensitive to contaminants as other lubes and, in particular, fully wax-based alternatives.
A 10-minute curing time means this can be added not long before heading out the door, and I'd agree with Zefal's claim that one 'moderate' coat will do the trick.
The Pro Dry has a particularly runny consistency, and although that means it gets into every nook and cranny, it also makes it potentially messy to apply. Even with a rag underneath, you'd be braver than me if you chose to apply this indoors.
To make the process even messier, the childproof 'drip reduction' safety cap and nozzle broke after just a week of use; the cap pulled the nozzle off, ensuring that not only my chain was lubricated but the rest of my bike and the pavement as well.
While still attached, the nozzle worked well, enabling a controllable flow rate for accurate application. The lubricant itself is clear and it was easy to get thorough and even coverage of the chain. By having such a low viscosity (really runny) it's also ideal to use for quick lubrication of cleats and other metal-on-metal surfaces in an emergency, although I wouldn't recommend using it as a grease substitute.
Post-application, the cranks did indeed spin freely and silently without the syrupy feel that thicker lubricants can contribute towards. Out on the road, it's near-impossible to tell how much friction there is, or if indeed any hard-earned watts are being lost; it certainly didn't seem that way, and a silent drivetrain is usually a good sign that no effort has been squandered.
After a solid day in the saddle you'll be left with a fairly all-over grubby film covering the chain, but any lube is going to pick up dirt and I was reasonably impressed with only a thin layer of grime; certainly nothing that would be detrimental to performance.
Out on a dry road, I was happily getting 200 miles in between top-ups, but in more changeable conditions this dropped dramatically. After a damp ride you'd be looking for the bottle before heading out again.
Value-wise, its rrp of £5.99 for 120ml is competitive, but if you want a lube that can cope with typical UK weather it might be worth paying extra.
One of my favourites, Rock n Roll Absolute Dry, costs £7.95 for 100ml, but has more staying power when the going gets moist.
Fenwick's is even more expensive, over twice the price at £11.99 for 100ml, but again does a great job on dry days and copes better in changeable weather.
When used off-road, the Pro Dry seemed a little out of its depth, the sound of metal-on-metal appearing before arriving home. To be fair, most barely-there dry lubes would struggle in off-road conditions as, apart from in the height of summer, there's always likely to be some moisture lurking in the woods. If it's dry and dusty then I'd recommend the Pro Dry, but unfortunately here in the UK those days are scarce.
Overall, the Pro Dry is a clean-running, lightweight formula that does its job well when used in the dry conditions it's designed for. When the weather's set fair, it's a strong contender as an everyday summer lube, although personally I'd spend more on one with more staying power for typical UK conditions. The nozzle breaking was disappointing, though that could of course have been a one-off.
Clean-running lightweight formula for dry days only
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Zefal Pro Dry Lube (120ml)
Size tested: 120ml
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?
Zefal says, 'The chain stays clean, over time reducing friction and drivetrain noise. This dry lubricant is perfectly suited for cycling in dry or dusty conditions.'
I found that it performed well in the dry, but struggled more than other dry lubes on any off-road rides or in changeable weather.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Dust and grime do not adhere to the chain
Reduces Friction for a quieter ride and more fluid pedaling
Protection against wear, rust & oxidation
"Drip-regulation" safety cap
4* performance 3* durability 4* cleanliness
Made in France
It's good, as long things stay dry.
Good mileage count in the dry; not great off-road or on damp roads.
It compares well against competitors on price, but some rivals are more versatile.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's good in the dry, which is what it's designed for, but I'd like even a dry lube to resist a few puddles and this wasn't as good at this as its competitors.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Cleanliness, low friction, and versatility.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The nozzle breaking.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's cheaper than many – similar to but less than Rock n Roll Absolute Dry, and half the price of Fenwick's ceramic lube.
Did you enjoy using the product? Most of the time.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably not.
Use this box to explain your overall score
The lubricant itself performs well in the dry but lacks the versatility of others; the bottle/cap issue might have been a one-off but was disappointing.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Jamie has been riding bikes since a tender age but really caught the bug for racing and reviewing whilst studying towards a master's in Mechanical engineering at Swansea University. Having graduated, he decided he really quite liked working with bikes and is now a full-time addition to the road.cc team. When not writing about tech news or working on the Youtube channel, you can still find him racing local crits trying to cling on to his cat 2 licence...and missing every break going...