Lifeline Wet Lube is online retail giant Wiggle's in-house stay-put blend, and to say I've been pleasantly surprised is something of an understatement. Cheap as chips, some 10w/40, 5w/40 motor oils might just eclipse it in terms of economy, but several weeks' general riding suggests cleanliness equal to, if not better than, some space age ceramics with equally lofty price tags.
Wiggle tells me the formula comprises fully synthetic oils for lubrication and water-repelling polymers to keep it there. Ours was the tour-friendly 50ml size, but I'd be inclined to go for the 100ml version – it's only a quid or so more.
Assuming you've run chain(s) through the solvent bath, just pop the spout and drop into each link. It's a really high viscosity formula, meaning it pours really slowly and chains can be loaded from the comfort of one's kitchen; although carpeted areas is pushing your luck!
Get it right and there's no call to wipe any excess. Turn the cranks a few revolutions, rejoice in the slick serenity, and ride off.
A little goes a very long way – my Univega was literally fed a trace and I have been astonished at just how clean it remained, without any intervention despite two weeks, washes, and 250 mixed terrain miles in all weathers.
Wet lubes tend to necessitate weekly cat-licks to jockey wheels, rings and derailleur cages, but aside from cursory inspection there's been little call for this kind of housekeeping.
Long, steady night rides traversing waterlogged lanes, battered by torrential rains made some inroads and, predictably, it's readily transferred to hands and clothing. It's no worse than other gooey types, but mildly inconvenient when tackling roadside mechanicals.
Three hundred miles in, the links demanded a quick PTFE maintenance spray flush through, to dislodge embedded grit, silt and similar drivetrain-gobbling grot, while priming the chain for another sparing top up.
Winter's cold, salty, slushy landscape may reveal some weaknesses, but on the basis of testing so far, I'd recommend Lifeline Wet Lube to anyone wanting a durable, inexpensive and relatively low-maintenance formula.
Super stay-put lube that seems cleaner than most wet types – highly recommended
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Make and model: LifeLine Wet Lube
Size tested: 50ml
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?
Wiggle says: "LifeLine Wet lube 50ml is the perfect lubricant for the toughest conditions. The long lasting, water resistant formula lubricates your drivetrain while protecting it from the elements".
It would appear to do just that, although we're yet to see how it stands up to the salt monster.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Synthetic oils with polymer fixing agent that prevents it being washed away.
A little goes a very long way and attracts little grit/contaminant by wet lube standards so long as it's applied sparingly.
A 50ml bottle is perfect for carrying in wedge packs or panniers.
Incredibly straightforward to use. Minimal mess, minimal clear up, no hanging round for it to cure – simply drizzle on and scoot off.
The 100ml represents better value, but either way, it's an absolute bargain.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
While most of this genre genuinely stay put, Lifeline's formula is one of the cleaner types – so long as it's applied sparingly. Waterlogged September roads and mixed terrain exploits suggest the chemists have got it right.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Stocky but doesn't leave transmissions feeling gloopy and much cleaner than I was expecting.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, given the design brief.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? As a workshop/winter staple, definitely.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Without hesitation.
Use this box to explain your score
Overall an excellent lubricant that also doubles as a very effective grease substitute on fasteners. However, salt strewn winter roads will determine whether it's very good, or genuinely exceptional.
About the tester
Age: 41 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega 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)