Words by David Rome at Bike Radar
A consistently protected, low friction, yet clean chain is the Holy Grail for many cyclists. The Australian-made Bike Milk from Ride Mechanic claims to offer a self-cleaning, lasting lube that doesn’t attract dirt. Could this be the chain solution we've been looking for?
On a clean chain, Bike Milk is smooth as silk and very quiet. It made a noticeable reduction in friction compared to oil-based lubes we were previously using, all while remaining impressively clean.
The first thing you’ll notice though, are the unpleasant fumes while the lube is wet. We’ve worked around many workshop chemicals, and this is definitely one for a well-ventilated area; if you have especially sensitive skin, use gloves or keep away.
The first application is intensive and applying Bike Milk over the top of an existing lube will lead to disappointment. Be prepared to get your drivetrain as clean as new before using this product.
Shaking the lube is vital to distribute the friction fighting solids with the carrier solvent. After a few hours, the solvent dries away, leaving a dry protective coat. Method of application is key with this lube and the more coats applied, the greater the durability.
Durability is decent, but not ground breaking. After 50km of dusty mountain biking we found it had lost the silky feel and that the chain could have used another coat. That said, while this may not be the best all-day marathon lube (under simple application), we never experienced the dreaded squeaky chain.
Bike Milk claims to be a cleaner and lube in one. It’s definitely a better lube than it is a cleaner and a full degrease is needed if moving to Bike Milk from another product. We tested its cleaning properties, and we would have needed the entire bottle before our filthy chain was free of previous contamination.
For future applications (after an initial full clean), the cleaning properties are easily enough to handle the little dirt that gets attracted to the chain.
While the initial fumes may be enough to put off the most discerning cyclists, Bike Milk does what it claims. The drivetrain remains clean and silky smooth between applications, as long as you put the effort in on the first application.