Finish Line Dry Bike Lubricant review
A good summer lube, but starting to feel its age
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A longterm stalwart of the bike shop counter, Finish Line Dry Bike Lubricant lasts well in the conditions it was designed for, and it's good value. However, there are other lubes which manage to perform well in both wet and dry weather - which could be more convenient, and the addition of Teflon isn't particularly in keeping with a focus on sustainability.
Sheds dirt efficiently
Lasts well in dry weather
Doesn't match the longevity of a wet lube if it rains
Applications means it's easy to accidentally use too much
Contains Teflon, which doesn't biodegradable
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Finish Line Dry Bike Lubricant seems to have been around forever. In fact, the words "The Original" are proudly displayed on the packaging.
Being long-lived makes the Finish Line Dry Bike Lubricant something of a known quantity – if you haven't used it yourself, you probably know somebody who has. But time doesn't stand still. Up against sophisticated ceramic lubes and clever wax-based formulations, can Finish Line Dry chain lube still cut it?
Perhaps characterising this lube as old-fashioned is a little unfair, as it does have some tech in its corner. The lubricant contains a Teflon fluoropolymer, which is said to attract less grime. It's not the nicest stuff for the environment, although we're talking pretty small quantities here. Even so, if you want to avoid Teflon and other PTFE chemicals, as well as moving away from petrochemicals altogether, you might want to consider a lube from the Green Oil range instead.
Finish Line Dry Lube: application and use
With one proviso, Finish Line Dry is simple to apply. The instructions are short and to the point. "Shake well. For best results, apply to a clean chain. Wipe excess." That's all there is to it. The only minor niggle is that the bottle opening is quite wide and lets the liquid flow freely, so it's easy to slap on too much of the stuff if you're not really careful. You can wipe away any surplus, but it's a shame to waste it, even if a 60ml bottle costs just £3.99.
Out on the road Finish Line Dry lives up to its reputation as a solid option for dry weather riding, especially if you'd rather spend any spare cash at the coffee stop rather than splash out on a high-tech lubricant with claims that are hard to quantify in everyday riding.
Teflon really does seem to work just as well on bike chains as non-stick frying pans. After several rides, the chain on my road bike still looked clean. The dirt-resistant quality of Finish Line Dry makes it a good choice for summer MTB and gravel bike rides, as dust and grit seem to drop away from the chain rather than forming an abrasive paste.
If you're happy to apply the lube regularly, it just about passes muster as an year-round lube, too. Just don't expect to go huge mileages between applications. Even Finish Line itself only claims the lube lasts "up to 100 miles".
We'd say that's about right in the dry. Throw some rainy rides into the mix and you'll need more frequent applications. The long dark of the British winter is better faced with something more durable and rain-resistant. That's not a criticism necessarily, more a sign that in typical UK riding conditions Finish Line Dry is better suited to summer use.
Value and conclusions
We tested the Finish Line Dry lube against four other options (pictured). So, does "The Original" still have what it takes? Well, there are superior lubes if you don't mind spending a little more money. Fenwicks All Conditions Chain Lube costs £7.99 for 100ml. Even without Teflon, it doesn't attract dirt but it copes better with rain.
Finish Line Dry is still a decent chain lube, but you can buy better.
Which is the best chain lube? Scores on the doors
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David Motton is a freelance journalist and presenter specialising in motoring and cycling. David's cycling reviews, features and news stories have been published in Cycling Plus, Pro Cycling, Bikeradar.com and in mainstream newspapers such as The Sunday Times and The Telegraph. As a motoring journalist, he has contributed to Autocar, WhatCar?, Practical Caravan and more.
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