Chain lube is something I’ve never paid much attention to. I’ve always just bought whatever the latest ‘fad’ was (e.g. Rock’n’Roll Gold, Triflow, etc.) without much thought. It never occurred to me that one chain lube would be significantly better than the rest, but that’s possibly because nothing really stood out, not even the ‘King of Lubes’ (Rock’n’Roll Gold).
Initially, I was quite skeptical about the claims NixFrixShun made about their chain lube, particularly how could you possibly get 10 000 miles out of a 2oz (60ml) bottle of lube? I’ve never gotten anywhere near that out of a (larger) bottle of Rock’n’Roll. Additionally, only applying 12 (small) drops to the chain was a foreign concept to me, I’ve always applied chain lube liberally.
Nonetheless, I decided to try NFS lube after moving to a wetter climate, I got sick of lubing my chain after every rainy ride (which could be every day if I was unlucky). I stumbled upon the website after a few searches and despite my above skepticisms, I ordered a bottle. As expected, the bottles were quite small compared to other brands. However my initial skepticisms were rejected after the first application, 12 small drops were enough for just under 1000km of smooth riding in wet conditions. Impressive would be understating it.
Usually after a wet ride I’d need to reapply more lube, but not with NFS. Of course, I still need to oil my chain more regularly in rainy periods, but it will at least last me a fortnight before I need to reapply, rather than after every (longish) wet ride. Previously I was quite vigilant with lubing my chain, ensuring to lube my chain before a long ride, but now with NFS there’s no real need, applying a small amount of lube now and then is plenty.
5000 wintery kilometres later, I’m still impressed by how durable and smooth NFS lube is. I’d be able to count on my fingers the number of times I’ve had to re-lube my chain, and that’s something I’ve never managed with mainstream lubes (even in summer months). From this experience, I’d agree with NixFrixShun’s claim that their lubes are mostly lube (rather than solvent).
I’ve found that the 12-12-12 method mentioned on their website performs well. I’ve tried applying more, but in my experience more lube just ‘clogs’ the chain and attracts dirt, and if you spend more time wiping then you just wipe of the ‘excess’ anyway. Applying less than 12 drops, but more than 6 (after the initial application) does work if there’s still a decent amount of lube remaining, but I’d rather wait a little longer and apply the full 12 when the chain is a little drier. As you might guess, I find anything less than 6 drops to be ineffective in lubing anything but an already well lubed chain.
The consistency of NFS is thicker than others, and has a slight sheen. Like most lubes It washes off easily with soap. It’s also not so thin that it’ll flick excess lube/grime onto you and your bike if you don’t wipe every drop off. I also haven’t noticed any decrease in performance when riding immediately after application.
The NFS solution appears to be quite hydrophobic, but also has quite a strong surface tension. This suggests to me that NFS is composed of medium/long chained hydrocarbons, or similar. Of course this is only a guess, but it would be in line with other lubricants. I would suggest that NFS performs better than other lubes because of its well formulated composition of ‘regular’ lubricants, rather than something drastically different.
NFS ultimate chain lube can be bought directly from the NixFrixShun speed shop. They also have a biodegradable formula, and other misc accessories. Fans of Silca may have noticed that Silca and NFS have collaborated to develop a Silca specific formula. I’m yet to test the performance of the biodegradable/Silca formula, but from my experiences of the Ultimate, NixFrixShun certainly have an idea or two about engineering efficient and durable lubes.
Pricing may be towards the more expensive side of the spectrum, but considering how effective and long lasting this lube is I would argue that it’s worth every cent.
Disclaimer: The author has no relation with NixFrixShun, and the lube was purchased at retail pricing.