While lacking the outright hell 'n' high water tenacity of its Extreme, tested last month, Rock 'n' Roll's Gold Chain Lubricant will give traditional wet/ceramic lubes a seriously good run for your hard earned while attracting considerably less gunk en route.
It's claimed to be suitable for road, track, BMX and mountain biking (cyclo-cross). It's designed to leave a wet, protective membrane that keeps moving components slick and serene for a very long time.
Talking of dirt, the blurb suggests this can be applied straight to the chain without needing to strip existing lube on account of the potent solvent. Very true, although that would only seem to be when alternating between Rock 'n' Roll's lubricants; otherwise, run the intended recipients through the chain bath and dry thoroughly first.
Despite its runny viscosity, the Gold pours from the spout reasonably predictably, although you drizzle it on at the cassette end, rather than into every link, which feels a bit weird to start with.
Rather like an aerosol, the solvent component keeps it liquid, cleaning and priming before evaporating and leaving the membrane behind. In common with Fenwick's Stealth and a few other space age brews, it can be scooted off after a few minutes, but leaving it curing overnight seems the best idea.
Even freshly applied, it doesn't pepper the rear wheel with oily splodges at the first pedal stroke.
Wipe the side plates, rollers and jockey wheels surgically clean before curing, otherwise it'll develop a gungy, grimy patina – much less than wet types in the same contexts, but it still defeats the object.
So does it leave transmissions box fresh? Well, not literally, but my Univega's sturdy KMC, LX, STC and Tiagra combo certainly seemed at their very best.
While consistency and hue are completely different, there are many similarities with Fenwick's Stealth. Neither should be used to top up like a wet lube; only when the familiar tinkling of parched links pipes up should you introduce some fresh.
Fully cured, friction is very low, giving a more lively feel. A drop also does wonders for cleat mechanisms, though it's not a good choice for pivot points or cables – it's a little too heavy and would probably cause them to gum up. Cleanliness is excellent judging from how it's coped with persistent exposure to silty, waterlogged backroads, although the wet membrane does collect small particles.
Curiously enough, these seem suspended atop the surface in the same way that occurred with Motorex Dry. That said, it does react quite badly with other lubricants – even small traces (as shown in the pic below).
Staying prowess is rivalling that of competitor brands, and in my experience has exceeded that of Muc-Off Hydrodynamic in the same conditions. I'm cruising past the 290-mile mark on the first helping with no call for replenishment in sight.
Very clever most-conditions lube that goes a very long way and remains surprisingly clean
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Rock 'n' Roll Gold Chain Lubricant
Size tested: 4oz
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?
Rock 'n' roll says:
"GOLD CHAIN LUBE
This chain lube moved the 21st century closer to the 22nd century. Drive-trains look like they just came out of the box. The well known smoothness and quietness that Rock "N" Roll Lubes are known all over the world for, just went to a new level.
Available in 4 or 16 oz."
Certainly slick, clean and durable, but perhaps not quite as miraculous as the blurb would imply.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Very runny (not to mention flammable!) petrochemical based lubricant that is applied rather differently to more traditional formulas.
o Shake well and apply a stream of lube to the chain at the cassette.
o Do not drip the lube on like you would oil. This is not oil!
o Get the chain really wet, this stuff cleans and lubes all in one.
o Freewheel the chain backwards for about 5 seconds...no less.
o Wipe off all the excess lube...
all of it, wipe the chain as clean as it will get.
o That's it go ride...
Smooth, quiet, durable and generally very clean.
In keeping with others in this family, seems very long-lived with no call for replenishment despite several weeks' exposure to wet, gritty conditions.
The Rock 'n' Roll range is much less messy than other runny types and the flow rate means it doesn't race out, coating rims, tyre and floor.
In terms of miles per application, excellent.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, Rock 'n' Roll's Gold version is extremely clean and long-lived. However, getting the best from it requires a patient, methodical approach and cleaning recipient drivetrains thoroughly first. Anything residual will react, turning gungy around the jockey wheels and derailleur cages.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Hard to find fault to date, given the design brief.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pricey (but have seen it discounted online).
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Generally speaking, yes.
Use this box to explain your score
It does its job very well, at a very good price.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike 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, mountain biking
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)