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Tru-Tension Bananaslip Tungsten All Weather Lube is essentially a wax type lube that stays put and doesn't take an age to cure. It also seems less susceptible to high temperatures than a traditional wax formula, not to mention less messy to apply.
Wax or emulsion type lubes are usually a blend of water/solvent carrier and wax: the runny carrier traffics it deep into the chain's pins and rollers before curing, leaving the waxy, lubricant quality behind. No deviations from the script here.
According to the blurb, Bananaslip Tungsten All Weather Lube is 'a high-tech blend of water and waxes, which provide a silky-smooth and clean running ride like no other'.
Tru-Tension says it's resistant to water and dirt ingress, and apparently it's completely biodegradable, so theoretically kind to rider and environment alike.
Though drivetrains should always be cleaned thoroughly before introducing a new lube – and that includes the factory dressings if you're going the new chain route – this is particularly true of waxes.
Experience suggests a 30-second shake of the bottle is all you need before popping the spout and drizzling a little into each link of your chain.
It's less runny than I was expecting, but nonetheless I'd advise having a clean rag handy to prevent spatter, especially when you turn the cranks a few revolutions to complete penetration.
Most traditional wax lubes require several hours to cure properly, so I was surprised to read Tru-Tension's claim that Bananaslip cures in a matter of minutes, but it's true. Leave for 5-10 minutes and it will turn to a clear, tacky glaze and you can scoot off. This makes it a realistic proposition for café stop relubes, or when a mate drops round for an unannounced, socially distanced ride.
I was reassured to discover, upon tending to an arthritic link, that it's tacky to touch but doesn't transfer to skin or clothing, which is welcome should you flat by the roadside or ride to work in smart trousers.
Some wax lubes can be sensitive to temperature and become fluid and quite messy in hot weather, but the Tru-Tension is seemingly unaffected by hot weather: no melting sticky mess.
There's more friction here than with a dry lube, but tempo and changes felt much friskier than with most wax types I've used, including Smoove, Juice Lubes Chain Wax and Zefal Extra Dry.
For the most part, I've only noticed the smooth, snappy tempo and shifting.
Some minor overspill I reclaimed and applied to cable inners, cleat mechanisms and the like, and it's kept them slick and clean.
The test period has been predominantly dry, with showery intervals, and I've cruised past 300 miles on a single application (to around 325). That's good compared with cheaper emulsion types, which it technically is closer to in nature than a wet or ceramic blend, and helps make the £10 for 50ml price more acceptable.
That said, it's hardly astounding given the all-conditions premise. For example, Weldtite TF2 Performance All Weather Lubricant (£3.99 for 100ml), slightly dirtier and closer to a wet lube, has returned 1,100 miles from a single application in a similarly dry context.
SKS Lube Your Chain, around £12 for a 75ml aerosol, is probably the most stoical wax type lube I've ever used. It's a wetter wax that employs PTFE, and managed 400 miles through the snowy spring of 2018.
The main downside of the SKS and Rock 'n' Roll is that curing time is in hours, not minutes.
All told, there's a lot to like here if you're looking for a clean-running and stoical wax lube. You need less of it compared with other wax blends, it cures in minutes not hours, is temperature stable and, thus far, has resisted wash-off.
Very impressive for a wax type formula, especially if it proves durable in foul weather
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Tru-Tension Bananaslip Tungsten All Weather Lube
Size tested: 50 ml
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?
Tru-Tension says: "Tungsten blended with our hi-tech water based All Weather Lube provides a silky-smooth and fast running ride like no other. Once applied it penetrates all parts of the chain before setting to a completely dry lubricating layer which is resistant to water and dirt ingress. As the lubricant is totally dry, it completely stops dirt building up into a grinding paste unlike all other conventional lubricants."
It's a quick-curing, low-friction and very clean-running lube. Rates as one of the best waxes I've used, but I'm not sure the "all weather" tag should be taken too literally.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Tru-Tension's site:
The first Tungsten infused lubricant, bringing space grade lubrication to the cycling industry! All weather durability, silky smooth running, no noise and extensive endurance.
Tungsten as a friction modifier is superior to Ceramics, Teflon and PTFE, making it super fast while also significantly reducing wear. Our patent pending formulation is wax based, water resistant, completely dry and 100% biodegradable.
Independently proven to reduce wear more than any other standard drip apply lube on the market.
Super fast – Perfect for any riding conditions
Dual viscosity – thin when applied for pin penetration
Sets within 5-10 mins for instant riding
Keeps your chain exceptionally clean
Completely dry – dirt doesn't stick
Repels moisture for wet riding
Easy to clean
Perfect for Road, MTB & E-Bikes
Surprisingly good, across the board. Fast-curing, very clean and surprisingly stoical, especially when compared with most wax formulas I've used – ceramics, emulsion and paraffin-based.
Long-lasting, especially for a wax formula. I've cruised past the 300-mile marker on a single application and in a mix of relatively wet and dry conditions.
Seems pricey for 50ml but this levels out when miles per application and convenience are factored into the equation.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, I've been impressed. You need less of it compared with other wax blends, it cures in minutes not hours, is temperature stable and, thus far, has resisted wash-off.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Curing times, low friction, tenacity and cleanliness.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A little pricey.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's a bit pricey, but curing times are quick and it lasts longer than some.
At £15 for 125ml, Smoove works out cheaper; it is quite good as a summer lube, less impressive in winter. It requires several coatings and several hours' curing time and it attracts more dirt, in my experience.
Zefal Extra Dry Chain Wax is £8.50 for 120ml; it's good for 220 road miles, 150 mixed terrain miles in primarily dry conditions, but washed away within 45 wet weather miles.
Cheaper and longer-lasting options include Weldtite TF2 Performance All Weather Lubricant, £3.99 for 100ml; Rock 'n' Roll Gold LV, £8.95 for 4oz; and SKS Lube Your Chain, around £12 for a 75ml aerosol.
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
Probably the most practical wax lube I've come across, all told, though it's too early to say how it will cope with winter's wet and chill, and it is a little pricey.
About the tester
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)