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review

NZero Bike Wet Lube 100ml

8
£11.49

VERDICT:

8
10
Eco-friendly chain lube capable of giving wet petrochemical blends a good run for their money
Slick
Durable
Resists wash off and corrosion
No petrochemicals
Will attract dirt
Relatively long curing times
Weight: 
112g

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NZero Wet Lube is a plant-based formula promising to do everything you'd expect of a wet lube but without any nasty chemicals or harm to the environment. It's not only done exactly what it promised, but to a decent standard, and in terms of durability will give some middleweight petrochemical staples a run for their money.

Check out our guide to the best bike lubes for more options.

Eco-friendly

NZero is biodegradable and doesn't contain 'forever' chemicals – stuff that's unkind to organic or aquatic life. It also has EU Ecolabel certification – the only bike lube that does, I'm told – which demands high levels of sustainability, including a minimum 25% organic components. NZero says its Wet Lube already goes way beyond this, with over 85% measured organic (bio) content.

Application

In common with wet lubes generally, it's a high-viscosity (slow-pouring) blend and flows very predictably, so the lion's share won't be adorning your rear wheel.

Before you get to that stage, though, strip your chain, chainrings and cassette or sprockets of any existing lube first.

Give the bottle a quick shake, turn the spout, and apply very sparingly to each link, catching any overspill with a clean rag. Rotate the cranks a few times and wipe the side plates for good measure, then leave to cure, ideally overnight.

Performance

I've used and remain generally very fond of some plant-based wet lubes, which have been slick and broadly on a par with basic mineral oil/PTFE blends in terms of durability and characteristics. NZero Wet, though, is much closer to a middleweight petrochemical such as Finish Line Wet. Shifts on my rough stuff tourer were slick and silent but not overly syrupy.

Even the 1/18in track chain on my fixed gear bike was serenely quiet and well lubricated, although I'd been less precise in my delivery, and flooded roads and lanes didn't change this, with no hint of creak when powering up sharp climbs, out of the saddle.

Both bikes run nickel-plated chains, whose pins will turn orange when subjected to wet, salty roads for a week or two. I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of taint and the continued silence.

Tackling deeper puddles at speed, along a twisty forest trail or farmland, did see the lube forced towards the outer pins and some 'fling' along the chainstay, but a resilient layer of lube remained. This is no criticism of NZero – heavy-duty petrochemical types, like Zefal Extra Wet, behave identically in these contexts.

2024 Nzero Bike Wet Lube 100ml wet roads.JPG

Two hundred miles and plenty of flooded, waterlogged miles later, the chain looked dry, but touching the rollers revealed a filmy layer. This held on in the same riding conditions for a further 80 miles before the familiar metal-on-metal tinkling struck.

Taking the tourer along unmade roads and bridleways – generally more taxing conditions – meant I needed to clean the drivetrain and reapply the lube at 180 miles, but again, credit where it's due, a faint lubricant layer was keeping the faint metal tinkling at bay.

In a pinch, I could have just given the side plates, derailleur cages and jockey wheels a once-over with a rag, but a fair bit of congealed gunge, complete with gritty contaminant, clung to the chainrings. The bike was also needing a good bath by this point, so I went for a deeper clean.

Observing the overnight curing period gets the best from this lube. In a jam, it's possible to drizzle some into a parched chain and head off again, but doing so means it won't last. I've done so 25 miles from home and made it back with silence and serenity, but there was a lot of fling adorning the chainstay. Back home, I wiped residual gunk from the outer links and added a little more, and left it curing for seven hours.

With some you can just reapply mid-ride and head off, such as Green Oil Wet, though it's less durable.

Talking of cleanliness, this is what I've come to expect from traditional wet lubes. More sophisticated wet petrochemical blends will attract less grot and require less frequent purging of side plates, jockey wheels, derailleur cages, and rings. On successive wet, gritty road rides, I've needed to give the side plates a weekly once-over when conditions have been more moderate. Curiously, it's behaved more like a traditional wax formula on fixed and single-speed chains, the contaminant seemingly falling away once it reached a certain point, leaving the lubricant behind.

Off-road and in wet weather, I've been having to wipe off contaminant roughly every third ride, but I've not needed to replenish the lube at this point.

With this in mind, pack a pair of disposable/mechanics' gloves in case you flat or experience a mid-ride mechanical since NZero Wet transfers very readily to hands and is reassuringly stubborn to shift. I've had the odd oily chain ring stamp on my calve when dismounting – another consideration if you do shorter commutes or utility runs in smart trousers.

Other uses

NZero has also proved a decent grease substitute on cantilever posts and quick-release skewers. And you can add a drop to recessed fasteners – stem bolts, rack and mudguard fixtures, cleat hardware, old-school freewheel mechanisms and so on, and a trace to cables (where they enter the guides) if you like – no more, though, or they'll gum up.

Value

NZero Wet Lube is available in 100ml (£11.49) and 500ml (£30.95) versions, catering for home and workshop contexts.

Its closest comparator is probably Green Oil Wet Lube, mentioned above. That's now £8.99 for 120ml and, in my experience, a good contender. It's returned the claimed 125 miles per application, even in harsh weather, and has an edge over NZero Wet in terms of outright convenience – the ability to top up and ride off without hanging around or durability taking a hit is a definite plus.

However, while Green Oil is cheaper on paper, NZero Wet delivered 280 miles from a single application – more than twice that of the Green Oil.

Oxford Mint Wet Lube is 50p more than NZero Wet, £11.99, but that's for 250ml (though you can still find 75ml bottles online). It impressed Ashley in 2022 with its durability and ease of application, but it's a petrochemical-based formula and tends to attract dirt and dust.

Muc-Off Wet Weather Lube is slightly more – £12 for 120ml – and employs a vegetable oil base. In common with the other bio formulas and, indeed, wet lubes per se, it does tend to attract dirt, but it stays put and is easy to re-apply as the need arises.

Finish Line Cross Country Wet is as old as the hills (and not so kind to them) but in my experience it's tenacious and makes a very good grease substitute for threaded stuff. It's £10.99 for 120ml.

Rock 'n' Roll Extreme is £9.95 for 120ml (well, 117ml), very tenacious and uncharacteristically clean by wet lube standards. However, it contains PTFE, curing times are long, it requires a surgically clean drivetrain first time around and can be messy to apply.

Conclusion

Overall, I've been pleasantly surprised by NZero's Wet Lube. A little goes a long way and durability is close to traditional petrochemical formulas but without the environmental impact. Curing times may alienate some, and it does attract dirt, but no worse than many others. So long as you're diligent and wipe the excess at least weekly during grotty spells, it shouldn't gobble chains and other drivetrain components.

Verdict

Eco-friendly chain lube capable of giving wet petrochemical blends a good run for their money

road.cc test report

Make and model: Nzero Bike Wet Lube 100ml

Size tested: 100ml

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?

NZero says: "Finally, a wet lube for your bike that is totally plant-based. Petrochemical-free, 100% biodegradeable, and free from all unnatural additives and nano-particles.

NZero wet lube matches or exceeds the performance of leading competitors, whilst containing none of the nastiness of oil and PTFE-based products.

Lab-tested and patented formula that is weatherproof, long-lasting and proven to promote drivetrain efficiency.

Repels rain and water, with advanced natural components that stop corrosion. Fully protects metal parts, extending their durability and useable life.

EU Ecolabel Certified - independently verified as a truly green product.

It's time to ditch oil-based, toxic products and look after the planet. There is another way.

* 100% organic and biodegradable plant-based formula

* Free from PTFE, PFOA, Ceramic, Paraffin and Silicon

* Ensures silky smooth gear shifts and ultimate drivetrain efficiency

* Repels water and inhibits corrosion

* Ultra durable, long lasting

* Suitable for all-conditions riding, especially good in the wet"

My feelings are it's impressive in some very wet conditions and closes the gap between petrochemical and eco-friendly blends. However, while durable, it needs several hours to cure.

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

From Nzero:

* 100% organic and biodegradable plant-based formula

* Free from PTFE, PFOA, Ceramic, Paraffin, and Silicon

* Ensures silky smooth gear shifts and ultimate drivetrain efficiency

* Repels water and inhibits corrosion

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Consistency mimics that of a heavy-duty petrochemical lube and a little goes a long way.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Very good in some very challenging conditions. In common with other wet lubes it will attract dirt and contaminant. Nonetheless, it stays put and fends off corrosion very effectively.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

280 miles of waterlogged roads on a single application impressed me and rivalled a ceramic wet blend with PTFE in the same conditions.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Competitive alongside other eco-friendly blends, but in my experience more durable so better value. Its characteristics and durability more closely resemble, and indeed rival, some petrochemical blends.

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

Overall performance has been impressive. In some very challenging conditions it has stayed put and kept corrosion firmly at bay. Shifts were slick but not syrupy, it's kept chains serenely quiet, and durability has rivalled some petrochemical blends when constantly exposed to waterlogged roads and lanes. However, it's less convenient to top up than something like Green Oil Wet. In common with wet formulas generally, it attracts grime and contaminants, but no big deal – simply wipe side plates, jockey wheels, cages and so on weekly or as required.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Low friction, durable, and mimics petrochemical wet lubes in the positive respects.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Long curing times can be inconvenient, but this is more a consideration than a specific dislike.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Its rrp of £11.49 is favourable. Probably the closest comparator is Green Oil Wet, £8.99 for 120ml and in my experience, a good contender, but NZero Wet lasts twice as long.

Oxford Mint Wet Lube is 50p more than NZero, £11.99, but that's for 250ml; it's a petrochemical-based formula though.

Muc-Off Wet Lube is slightly more – £12 for 120ml – and employs a vegetable oil base. In common with the other bio formulas and wet lubes it does tend to attract dirt, but it stays put and is easy to re-apply as the need arises.

Finish Line Cross Country Wet is as old as the hills (and not so kind to them) but in my experience it's tenacious and makes a very good grease substitute for threaded stuff. It's £10.99 for 120ml.

Rock 'n' Roll Extreme is £9.95 for 120ml (well, 117ml), very tenacious and uncharacteristically clean by wet lube standards. However, it contains PTFE, curing times are long, it requires a surgically clean drivetrain first time around, and can be messy to apply.

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

Impressive wet lube that narrows the gap between eco-friendly and petrochemical blends, though its long curing times may be impractical in some contexts.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 50  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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1 comments

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Simon E | 2 months ago
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£115 per litre sounds expensive, though if an application lasts twice as long as Green Oil then that is worthwhile (in practical terms as well as the cost per mile).

A long time Green Oil user, I'm currently trying Kingud chain lube, another plant-based product made in the UK by the North Wales-based brand and sold via Alpkit and elsewhere. The chain lube is a bit runny and doesn't seem to last very long but otherwise it seems a decent product.

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