I’ve been given the opportunity to check out Finish Line’s Ceramic Wet Lube on my chain by my local bike shop. I’ve been a devotee of Boeshield T-9 ever since I started cycling and I’ve used that exclusively which puts me in a unique position to give the Finish Line product a good comparison. I’ve got over 9,000 miles on Boeshield and I haven’t strayed because I am so utterly pleased with its performance. While out on my Saturday ride I stopped into the bike shop to pick up a new bottle but they’d run out since the last time I was in and were expecting a new shipment shortly. To tide me over, my mechanic gave me a 1/4 used sample bottle of the ceramic wet lube to try out in exchange for feedback.
Saturday evening I completely cleaned and lubed up my 5200 so I would be able to really pay attention to any differences – and there were two… One good and one not so good. First, I applied the Finish Line in the same manner that I normally apply Boeshield. I double degrease the chain – I run it through a chain scrubber once, wipe it down and let it dry while I attend to cleaning the cassette, and then I run it through a fresh reservoir of degreaser again, then wipe it down and let it dry. After allowing at least six hours of dry time, I then apply one fair drop of the lubricant to each roller.
First, I can say without a doubt that the Finish Line product is noisier on the chain. Not by much, it’s barely perceptible, but it is just not as quiet as a fresh coating of Boeshield.
On the other hand, there’s less friction with the Ceramic Wet Lube – the ride itself is much smoother. Now, would a straight up noob notice the difference? Probably not, but I could absolutely feel the fact that the pedals really were easier to push around. In fact, on my Sunday ride (an easy recovery pace), with a fair wind that hurt as much as helped, I was able to maintain an easy 18.7 mph average without much effort at all. In fact, when the wind was helping I was pushing one gear harder than normal (for that condition) with no increased effort. My recognition of this is based solely on perceived effort, but I can tell you for certain, I’ve got enough miles on that bike to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the ride is indeed easier. It also helped into the wind – for the effort that I put out, I definitely would have normally been in a lower gear.
This is only a first ride analysis. I’ll have more in the following weeks on durability and any other issues that might pop up. I can say for certain, at least so far, my interest in the Finish Line Ceramic Wet Lube is piqued. I never would have expected the first ride results.