Home
Verdict: 
Surprisingly tenacious, clean running lube with a competitive price tag
Weight: 
66g

Carbon Pro Medium Density Lube is a super clean middleweight formula designed for dry to moderate conditions and it's rather good too. However, you'll get best results if you ensure your chain is spotless before you apply it.

As usual, the ingredients are Coca Cola secret but I can tell you they are derived from "high oleic natural compounds" - in other words, vegetable extracts that apparently prevent and actively attack corrosion while remaining in a dry, dirt repelling, low friction state. Furthermore, it tempers heat generation and therefore displacement, while still remaining kind to animals and aquatic life.

I found I needed to start by giving the chain a really deep cleanse; the faintest traces of any mineral based lube reacted, creating a localised 'fatty' lump reminiscent of the sort found in instant gravies.

Dry thoroughly, give the bottle a quick shake and dribble sparingly into every link. It's not as runny as some super thin petrochemical lubes, but it's still pretty lively, so use it outdoors and don't forget a rag.

Performance characteristics seem markedly similar to Teflon lubes. Shifts are light and transmissions responsive with a discernible cushioning barrier. Several consecutive hours spent chasing along rural roads characterised by spilt grain, dust, dung and similar detritus left minimal impression. Trace elements just sat on the top of the layer of lube before floating harmlessly away.

Escaping the maddening crowd on my crosser, I was equally impressed by the lube's staying prowess through long grass and similar overgrown foliage but concluded it was best suited to chains. Two drops to SPD bindings didn't gum them up, just made entry/release more remote.

Deep puddles had relatively little effect and soft mud largely clumps away, suggesting this is a viable option for less boggy cross or MTB meets. We've reached a very respectable 190 miles before the lubricant barrier became film like, nearer 400 on autumn roads.

Ultimately it's proven unique and very competent. That said; while the non-toxic formula is of real worth away from the asphalt, riders wanting maximum miles per application on their winter or training bikes may find PTFE-fortified potions better.

Verdict

Surprisingly tenacious, clean running lube with a competitive price tag

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Carbon Pro Medium Density Lube

Size tested: 2 oz

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?

"CarbonPro Sports Medium Dry Lube Its perfect for daily application to protect the chain and metal components from debris, grime and corrosion. it applies dry, perfect for long rides as it withstands high friction.

Biodegradable and Eco-Friendly".

No quibble thus far.

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

'high oleic natural compounds'-vegetable extracts that apparently prevent and actively attack corrosion while remaining in a dry, dirt repelling; low friction state.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
7/10

Easy and pleasant to use.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

A little goes a long way, compensating for modest bottle size.

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

Overall, Carbon Pro Medium Density Lubricant is a superbly tenacious, yet clean running chain formula designed for less extreme conditions. Performance comparable to PTFE fortified types but without the environmental impact. However, it's better suited to chains and I'm curious to see how well it copes through a changeable winter.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Clean, responsive and its a nice weight for general riding.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Not particularly suited to cleats/mechanisms.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? For the most part and as a chain specific lube, yes

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10
Impressive to date but winter roads may sing a different tune.
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 40  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)

7 comments

Avatar
Peowpeowpeowlasers [518 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

£6 for 56ml of oil. Six pounds. Meanwhile, I can buy 5 litres of Mobil 1 0W-40 (a much more expensive oil) from Costco for £30.

Sorry but you're being sold snake oil.

Avatar
OnTheRopes [175 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

My chin is always spotless whether applying oil or otherwise  3

With respect peow, every lube has a purpose and 10w-40 does not have the same characteristics. I usually use a dry lube which does not turn into a sludge and is not runny on the chain after applying. I use it all year round.
Not everybody buys for cheapness, I have about 30 litres of 10-40 in the garage but I won't be using it on the bike, nothing wrong with doing so I just don't like it.

Avatar
glynr36 [637 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

£6 for 56ml of oil. Six pounds. Meanwhile, I can buy 5 litres of Mobil 1 0W-40 (a much more expensive oil) from Costco for £30.

Sorry but you're being sold snake oil.

Different oil for a different purpose.
Stick some of that on your bike and see how it goes...

Avatar
massspike [139 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Motor oil is an "old school" chain lube. You just need to mix it with "Varsol" (1:1) to get it to penetrate the chain's pins/bushings. I used to soak my cleaned chains overnight in a jar of this mixture and they came out perfect albeit quite messy. The problem is it doesn't last -- 200kms was typical for me -- so I was redoing it every week. A bottle of this type of lube will last for a couple of years (assuming 20 applications) so it became pretty obvious to me this wasn't an area to save a few dollars.

Avatar
Peowpeowpeowlasers [518 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
glynr36 wrote:
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

£6 for 56ml of oil. Six pounds. Meanwhile, I can buy 5 litres of Mobil 1 0W-40 (a much more expensive oil) from Costco for £30.

Sorry but you're being sold snake oil.

Different oil for a different purpose.
Stick some of that on your bike and see how it goes...

Very well actually, since most of the job an oil does is to keep things wet. If a fully synthetic oil can survive for 15,000 miles in the confines of a very cold or very hot engine, I think it will keep a simple little chain lubricated without issue.

There is absolutely no way on earth that the reviewed oil is so different to other, cheaper oils, that it deserves such a ridiculous price tag.

The people who make this crap fill their labels with all kinds of claims. They probably work for the shampoo and makeup companies.

Avatar
Quince [381 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
Road.cc wrote:

However, you'll get best results if you ensure your chin is spotless before you apply it.

Right, chin spotless. This whole 'bike lube as aftershave' theory better have something to it...

Avatar
John Stevenson [299 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Chin typo fixed, you sarcy buggers!  1