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review

Bat Chain Lube

8
£8.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Very good clean-running and surprisingly durable wax lube
Clean running
Not as messy as some to apply
Longer lasting than typical waxes
Relatively long curing times
Drivetrains must be surgically clean before applying
Weight: 
133g

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Bat Chain Lube, in common with most waxes I've used over the years, requires a surgically clean transmission and several hours' curing time. However, the flow rate is more predictable than most, so the lion's share goes on the chain not the garage floor, and durability and cleanliness are better than I've come to expect.

> To find your nearest stockist email: ingo [at] rushsportscycling.com (subject: Bat%20chain%20lube%20stockist)

Bat Chain Lube is a synthetic wax, and employs a water-based carrier to traffic the wax component into the chain rollers. It's designed to remain flexible yet durable, and to run clean, rather than scab off once impregnated with crud like traditional types – though this can happen if you're anything less than meticulous with your prep.

Application

Getting your drivetrain gleaming first is particularly important with wax formulas. If I've been running a wet lube for a few weeks, I'll strip the chain and rings and degrease before relubing.

To apply Bat Chain Lube, give the bottle a vigorous shake to mix everything, then drizzle into the links, nudging any overspill back into the rollers.

I've used and tested waxes year-round, and have found those using a water-based carrier tend to be super runny, and consequently messy. The Bat lube's flow rate is surprisingly controllable, almost like a standard middleweight ISO/PTFE lube. I initially attributed this to a very chilly start to spring, but this remained consistent when temperatures hit the mid-teens.

After application, pop the bike away and leave the lube curing for at least four hours or, better still, overnight.

Lubrication

After the lube had cured, the chain on my rough stuff tourer felt slick, with minimal friction from the first few turns of the cranks. I have been replacing and updating the bike's drivetrain components, which undoubtedly helps, but shifting up and down the block was crisp and snappy, even under load.

While the Bat lube hasn't quite rivalled some ceramic waxes, I've been pleasantly surprised by how smooth and silent it's kept the chain on my fixed-gear bike too, these past few weeks.

Conditions have been changeable, ranging from bright and sunny through to snowy and drizzly. Through the wetter stuff, the protectant layer has remained (even when the wax went flaky on the fixed), fending off any superficial freckling. At this point, I've been inclined to top up with a thin layer rather than get to work with a chain bath.

It hasn't rivalled Smoove Universal Chain Lube in terms of staying power, but has been impressive by wax standards. I've cruised past the 250-mile marker before the lubricant became filmy; adding another light coat, it returned another 50.

To date, I've not subjected it to monsoon rains (few would opt for a wax, with that kind of forecast), but the Bat lube has fared better than others in fair to changeable conditions, such as Juice Lubes Chain Juice Wax.

Value

It's possible to brew your own wax lube very cheaply, but £8.99 for 125ml is very reasonable when compared with other wax types, especially when factoring miles per application/overall performance into the equation.

The Juice Lubes mentioned above is £11.99 for 130ml, and Pedros Ice Wax 2.0 Chain Lube is £10.99 for 100ml.

Tru Tension Bananaslip All Weather Lube doesn't require a lengthy curing period and has similar characteristics to a wax (cleanliness, low friction), but £10 for 50ml may turn some off.

Smoove Universal Chain Lube is £15 for 125ml, but would still be my choice for year-round use. Being a petrochemical formula, it leaves an oily component even when the lube is almost gone, protecting the chain from rust, which many traditional wax types don't.

Conclusion

Overall, I've found Bat Chain Lube to be a grade above most traditional blends when it comes to performance and longevity. Curing times won't suit everyone, and those after a year-round wax option are probably better served by Smoove, but Bat lube is a very good option for fair to changeable conditions.

Verdict

Very good clean-running and surprisingly durable wax lube

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road.cc test report

Make and model: BAT Chain Lube

Size tested: 125ml

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?

It's a wax-based lubricant designed for low friction and cleanliness, and is definitely a notch above the more generic wax types I've used.

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

Employs a water-based carrier and synthetic wax particles.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

It's well blended, and definitely less messy than waxes usually are. Its steady flow rate and viscosity mean application is much less messy and subsequently less wasteful. However, as with other wax formulas, it needs to be applied to a surgically clean drivetrain.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Very good, particularly for a water-based formula.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Smoove Universal Chain Lube has greater staying power, perhaps, but this is still durable and unaffected by temperature.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

£8.99 is very reasonable when compared with other wax types, especially when miles per application/overall performance is factored into the equation.

Juice Lubes Chain Juice Wax is £11.99 for 130ml, and Pedros Ice Wax 2.0 Chain Lube is £10.99 for 100ml.

Tru Tension Bananaslip All Weather Lube doesn't require a lengthy curing period and has similar characteristics to a wax (cleanliness, low friction), but £10 for 50ml may turn some off.

Smoove Universal Chain Lube is £15 for 125ml – but would still be my choice for year-round use.

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

Overall, Bat Chain Lube has proved a solid performer in changeable conditions. Shifts felt crisp and slick and I've returned 250 miles from a single helping. Bear in mind it is imperative to get recipient drivetrains spotless (including the factory preserves), otherwise the water-based/synthetic hybrid won't adhere to the chain properly.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Very little mess/wastage when applying.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing, though the curing times and need for a surgically clean transmission may be a turn-off for some.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's a very good clean-running and durable wax for good to fair weather conditions.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 47  Height: 1m 81cm  Weight: 70kg

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)

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