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WET or DRY, which is best for you?

WET lubricants have been around for a long time. As the name suggests, they are a liquid lubricant that is designed to fully penetrate all rollers of the chain and to continue in a fluid format for as long as possible. As such they typically generate the lowest levels of chain rolling resistance and maximise pedalling efficiency. In our trials a good WET lube such as NZERO, can produce up-to 3Km/h of speed difference for the same power (wattage) input at the pedals. That will mean that you need less pedalling effort for the same amount of speed. A WET lube also generates a maximised ‘run-off’ for water when it rains, or when pedalling through streams. This means that it lasts longer when it rains, and even when it’s not raining, a good WET will last longer on the chain, and typically protect better against corrosion. However, as it is more fluid, a downside to a WET lubricant can be the amount of dirt that it attracts to both chain and transmission components.

 In comparison DRY lubricants, often called DRY waxes, are designed to convert to a thin layer of wax between the rollers and moving surfaces of your transmission. These types of lubricants, maximise dirt rejection as a thin layer of wax is better at avoiding dirt and dust penetration, and also generates less surface area for it to happen in the first place. 

So a DRY wax is better for you chain and your transmission as it avoids dust, dirt and a grimy paste that will wear down you chain. Correct? …Unfortunately not, things are not so simple as this. 

The wear rate of your chain and transmission is primarily affected by the performance of your lubricant between the rollers inside the chain. A DRY wax usually struggles to penetrate fully, and then once there it cannot reduce friction and wear as efficiently as a good WET lube. This is because a wax does not generate the same pressure resistance between surfaces. DRY waxes also need to be reapplied more often between rides as they wear away at a faster rate.

So which should you use? This depends on the environment that you are riding in, the pedalling efficiency that you desire and the length of your ride.

We recommend that if you are going to ride in dry and dusty conditions off-road (mountain biking and some gravel rides), over short to mid distances (up to 60Km), that cleanliness of your transmission at all times is a priority for you, and that you will clean and re-lube after your ride. Then a DRY lube is a good choice.

If maximised pedalling efficiency, increased time between cleaning and re-lubricating is important to you, then a WET lube is a good choice.

Whichever you choose, NZERO has the solution for you. We have high performance WET lube and DRY wax. Both are fully organic (plant-based) and have been carefully designed in our labs to maximise all performance requirements.

So, which NZERO bottle are you going to grab for your bike? Green WET, or Orange DRY ? 

Contact us if you have any questions, happy to hear from you!