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purple extreme chain lube

After experimenting with many different chain lubricants, I decided ProLink was the best choice for most situations. Then Dumonde Tech Lube came out, and after testing it, I realized it was freaking awesome.

All the while, I had a sample bottle of Purple Extreme chain lube that I had received in a goody bag at a mountain bike race. I just never felt like using it, considering how well the others worked for me.

But in 2009, I picked up a brand new road bike, so I figured, “why not test out this Purple Extreme?”

I mean, they claim it is the “world’s most advanced bike chain lubricant” with a life of 400 miles on road bike applications. Plus it is supposed to perform in wet, dry, or dirty conditions, protect against corrosion, resist washing off with water, and be clean running and dry to the touch.

Considering the price ($13.49 for a 4oz bottle,) I sure hope it lives up to the hype. ProLink is usually only $6-9 for 4oz, and Dumonde at $8-10 for 2oz.

Applying Purple Extreme

The instructions are pretty straightforward, and Purple Extreme is applied the same way I would apply ProLink.

You clean the chain, then apply one or two drops of lube to each roller while rotating the cranks backward. Then spin the cranks a few times to work the lube in, wipe off the excess, let it sit overnight, wipe off once again, and ride.

Purple Extreme comes out of the bottle easily since it has a fairly thin consistency, much like ProLink. It is a little thicker than ProLink, but a little thinner than Dumonde Tech Lite. The bright purple color is pretty cool.

Once it’s on the chain for a while, it’s not sticky, but it is not as clean and dry as ProLink. I think that’s the main trade off – Purple Extreme is not quite as clean and dry as ProLink, but it lasts a bit longer between applications.

The Purple Extreme Test

To be fair, I started my Purple Extreme test on a brand new drivetrain (on my new road bike.) As usual, I cleaned off all that ‘new chain gunk’ so I had a clean slate.

I then applied the lube as stated in the directions, and things went like this:

3/4/09 morning: Degreased and dried brand new chain.
3/4/09 afternoon: Applied Purple Extreme, using one large drop per link.
3/5/09: Wiped off excess lube. Recorded a current odometer reading of 1,030 miles.
6/16/09: The chain looked pretty good still, after mostly indoor riding (only four outdoor rides on dry days.)
7/14/09: The chain still looked good, but it was running slightly rougher than before. That gave me a gut feeling to relube. Recorded a current odometer reading of 1,481 miles.

That means I went 451 miles on one lubing. That might be a record for me! It would have been better to relube at the 430 mile mark, but still, that’s good mileage.

Of course, keep in mind that this test was mainly indoor rides, and the outdoor rides were in perfect weather (no dusty roads, no wet roads, etc.)

In real-world conditions, I’d always end up relubing the chain before the 400 mile mark. Therein lies the big problem with Purple Extreme – the fact that you probably won’t get the greatest value from it. If you only ride indoors, sure, Purple Extreme would work well. But if a wet ride every so often necessitates that you clean and relube the chain every 250 miles, why bother using a lube that’s good for 400+ miles?

So in real world riding conditions, I’d still choose ProLink since it’s cheaper and easier to find.

Note: Due to my small sample size of Purple Extreme, I didn’t get a chance to test it out in wet conditions. However, even if it worked great in wet conditions, that wouldn’t really factor in to my final verdict. (Wet, dirty rides usually mean a chain cleaning no matter what lube you’re using.)

From the lube’s appearance, I’d guess it does work better in the wet than ProLink… but I doubt it works as well as Dumonde Tech. Unfortunately, this lube falls into “no mans land” in such a way that I just don’t have a use for it.

My final verdict is…

So far it looks like Purple Extreme is on par with ProLink, possibly even better, except it’s more expensive. Both of those lubes are good, no question, but neither is quite as good as Dumonde Tech lube (in my experiece). So…

If you’re a road biker, you could try Purple Extreme, but I’d still suggest Dumonde Tech Lite over it. If you’re a mountain biker, definitely go with Dumonde Tech.

Official website: www.PurpleExtreme.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Purple Extreme
Product: Purple Extreme Chain Lube
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2010-04-03
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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  1. If you are interested in a lubricant that is better than either of the two mentioned and possibly as good or better than the Purple stuff and at a cost of $9.50 for a full four and a half ounces per bottle. Let me know. I make a lube called A.T.B.* which stands for Absolutely The Best. Have a fairly big following of satisfied customers. I will send a sample if you want.

  2. I’ve used Purple Extreme for about 10 years and will continue to use it mountain biking in the dusty desert and monsoon mud. Best I have found.

  3. Rock-n-Roll Gold and Smoove, not to mention hot waxing your chain is FAR better than Prolink, which scored 28 out of 30 on a recently published and scientifically derived test of chain lubes.

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