NixFrixShun (aka, NFS) is the brainchild of BallersRide, a collective of enthusiasts and framebuilders that includes luminaries such as Richard “e-RITCHIE” Sachs. Unlike some of the more well-known lubes, the makers of NixFrixShun don’t claim that NFS will clean your bike’s drivetrain, double as furniture polish, or make you breakfast. No, the lube is designed to do one thing, and that’s to keep your chain running smoothly and quietly, and last a long time while doing so.
At first glance, NFS doesn’t look that much different than the typical bicycle lubes found at your local shop. Viscosity-wise, NixFrixShun is thicker than your average dry lube, but not as heavy as Chain-L or Phil Wood’s Tenacious Oil. BallersRide recommends applying NFS sparingly to a clean chain, and wiping the chain down the side plates after every ride. Using NixFrixShun for the first time, I noticed that the lube had a subtle, but distinct industrial odor. I was pleasantly surprised to find that–even in freezing temperatures–the lube flowed easily without being runny (I applied a single drop per-link/pin).
One of the first things you notice about NFS-treated chains is how quiet and smooth they are. Even chains that are approaching the end of their useful lifespan feel rejuvenated after being treated with NixFrixShun. That new-chain-feel doesn’t go away after one or two rides, either. At the end of the first week, my commuter’s chain was still operating smoothly and quietly. I’ll admit that I was less-than-diligent about wiping down the side plates, but the drivetrain was still reasonably clean despite the dusty local conditions.
My NFS ah-ha moment came after a particularly nasty off-road, winter ride. The trails were punctuated with patches of snow and mud, and much of the slop ended up on me and my mountain bike. Despite those conditions, however, I never experienced any chain-suck or missed shifts with the NixFrixShun-lubed drivetrain. Afterwards, the bike cleaned up easily, and required only a touch-up application of NFS lube.
If NixFrixShun has an Achilles heel, it’s the fact that you probably won’t find it in your local shop. As of early 2014, NFS is only available from the BallersRide website, and select dealers in the Washington DC area. Don’t let that stop you from trying the lube, though. Despite the $15 price tag, NixFrixShun will probably outlast and outperform your current chain lube.
Disclosure: BallersRide provided product samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.