Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Review: Rock ‘n’ Roll Extreme chain lube

Posted by Matt | January 9, 2012 | 9 comments so far

Rock 'n' Roll King of Lubes Extreme

The world of cycling is a strange one. On the one hand you have people investing thousands of pounds in the bike(s) of their choice, agonising over components choices and specs and generally working themselves into a lather. On the other hand, those same bikes can all too often be spoiled for the proverbial hap’worth of tar.

You won’t hear me criticising people’s bike choices round here (apart from those weird handlebars of Dave’s!) but with much of our Surrey Hills riding taking in very wet and muddy conditions there’s an easy way to ensure your bike runs sweeter for longer. Use some decent lube on your bike.

The problem of course always comes down to which lube do you use. For the dust of summer I reckon Squirt does a pretty decent job but as winter deepens it’s time to think of something a bit more robust. This is where Rock ‘n’ Roll lubes’ Extreme chain lube comes in.

I’ve used it for a long time now – getting it from C&N Cycles in Redhill – and it has certainly made a big difference during my month long Never Ending Bike Ride in December. It’s not super-cheap but it’s not super expensive at about £8-9 for a bottle at retail prices.

Basically it’s a petroleum based lube with wax particles in it which cleans the chain and coats it with a nice low-friction surface at the same time. The Extreme version is blue but there’s a lighter Gold grade for dryer months and an Absolute Dry chain lube for road bikes also available. In practice though I’ve found the blue Extreme version is fine on both MTBs and Road bike chains.

To apply you just squirt a generous quantity onto the chain at the cassette, making sure you get it onto each link, then cycle (as in rotate, not ride) the drivetrain a couple of times and wipe off as completely as possible. All the petroleum-ness cleans off the dirt and all the wax-ness gets into the links and lubricates them. You can ride straightaway but it works best if you apply a few hours before.

It’s quite amazing how much dirt comes off even a clean looking chain as you wipe it down. It’s best to apply when temps are above, say, 5°C as the excess wax-ness can congeal on the cogs – no big deal – but once on the chain it seems to last and last. I’ve been really happy with the way the drivetrain has worked and with the quietness from having a nice free running chain rather than a rusty rope of metal grinding over my gears.

So there’s my recommendation. I reckon (from about a year’s experience) this stuff works pretty well and a little goes a long way. It’s certainly a far better option than cheap bike lube and a bit of WD40 to ‘get the moisture off the chain’ after a winter bikewash.

Filed under Accessories, Reviews in January 2012


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 9 comments on ‘Review: Rock ‘n’ Roll Extreme chain lube’

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  1. StevenD says:

    Nice review Matt, I will consider using this when my current wet lube runs out.

  2. Dandy says:

    I started using this several years ago now, though I did switch to another oil based lubricant on the recommendation of my LBS mechanic for a while (perhaps because that’s what they sold), but that didn’t seem as effective.

    But when I was up at the Grizedale mtb centre in the Lake DIstrict in the summer, I had a good chat with their mechanic (who also races) about lube choices. I guess it’s a good job my family weren’t there for that particularly riveting conversation 😉

    He too swore by Rock ‘n Roll. Reckoned if you took a link apart you could see the waxy particles inside the chain, even if it looked drier than a nun’s chuff from the outside (had to throw that simile in for Kev).

    So ‘Rock (‘n Roll) on, guys’

  3. mike61 says:

    Hi Matt

    I’veexperimented with loads of lubes (ok, ok, that’ll do!). RnR extreme is pretty good stuff however I have a psychological battle wiping it off and then not seeing anything on the chain. I also highly rate Purple Extreme and probably favour this over RnR although its a close call.

    However …… I recently tried ‘Duck Oil’ a swarfega manufactured penetrating oil. In short its great, lasts ages and costs about £5-00 for a litre. I now use this during the winter months and it withstands the slop down here very well. Give it a go … you might like it!


  4. StevenD says:

    Last week I rotated my chains and used RNR Extreme for the first time. I was very worried about rubbing it all off after first application, especially as my first ride was at night on Weds and it was wet and muddy. Afterwards the chain was still perfect, then another ride today with a fair share of mud and I can still feel the wax in the links.

    Good point from Matt, the drivetrain is so quiet with this lube.

    I am really happy with my purchase and thanks for the recommendation.

  5. Related: How much do you spend on mountain biking? | Mutterings, Stuff & nonsense | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

  6. Russell says:

    What is the carrier in the Rock n Roll lubes? Is it unhealthy to get the lube on your skin? Should I wear gloves when putting it on my chain and wiping it off?

    • Matt says:

      Hi Russell, I don’t personally use anything to stop the product getting on my skin. In fact, in general, it doesn’t get on my skin anyway (it all depends on the size of the rag!).

      I can’t tell you the carrier but believe might be something petroleum-based – so you are right to consider gloves. It basically cleans out the sticky mess on your chain and replaces it with a wax deposit – you can’t see it, but it works well. I’m still using the product 6 years after writing this review and it’s still valid. I think they have a newer product called ‘Holy Cow’ but I’ve not tried it yet.

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