Latest News 31 – So much low friction news! 😊

Well who would have thought that just this little sphere of focus would always have so much cool stuff going on – here we go!

Awesome new Podcast – Endurance innovations

Recently I had the honour of being invited onto the endurance innovations podcast with Michael Liberzon and Andrew Buckrell.

If you hadn’t seen them yet then definitely check out this podcast, they cover some most excellent topics for cycling / athletes in general and have been able to secure many absolute top experts in their fields for their interviews – I believe they have Dan Bigham of aerodynamics genius fame coming up on an episode soon – as always I feel very honoured to get an invite onto such great podcasts.

This was one of my absolute most fun podcast chats yet as Michael and Andrew really wanted to talk nerdy – so was able to chat to a better depth re whats happening to cause friction in a chain, why does it increase so quickly / easily when outside the lab, and a much deeper dive than previous discussing race chains, optimization and ultrasonic cleaning – so if you have been interested in obtaining a better understanding race chain prep and how to properly use ultrasonics – it was great to get the chance to have a deep level chat on this topic.

So add this to your list for your next commute / round of vacuuming / housework (its amazing how much more I enjoy vacuuming and mopping the house since podcasts and quality headphones became available 😊), have a listen to what you will hopefully find a fun full nerd chat smack bang in little ZFC’s niche focus. If you are following ZFC news, you will have a great time with this podcast.

Also add endurance innovations to your subscribe list – brilliant topics covered so far I have been greatly enjoying catching up on their previous episodes and learning a lot (I just learned how incorrectly I have been doing heat stress training..)  along with Cycling Tips Nerd Alert (don’t always agree re lubes but overall CT do brilliant independent unbiased investigative reporting) and Marginal Gains with Josh Poertner.

Retail Supreme Leader take 1 fail.

Bugger. As per last update I did put on, train up and start handing over retail side of ZFC to a new retail manager as ZFC has outgrown my capacity a bit, and steadily growing all the time woohoo! And I am getting too far behind staying on top of getting testing done which is very time resource intensive – not just running 3 test machines, but the prep, re-setting machines and all the data crunching, modelling and summary work after as well as detail reviews , and very far behind document updates and other project work.

Alas – take 1 didn’t work with the selected person deciding they weren’t 100% sure the business split model was right for them after all, so that side has been handed back and I’ve had a bit of a dumpster fire of a time catching up post project week due to the hand over, the fail, the hand back over along with a weeks backlog – but getting there. Funny you will see the retail leader in next two video releases, alas – the candled burned bright and short!

Once a bit rested from take 1 will assess a take 2 in the future – in the interim apologies as always re the length of time for some review, data and document updates – things are just pumping on all sides of little ZFC.

You can help by pls checking the resources on ZFC site before sending enquiry – I genuinely do enjoy a good chat with customers (I don’t do myself any favours with the length of my enquiry replies hahahahahaha ) but as ZFC is more and more known around the world the number of enquiries especially on immersive waxing from around the world is literally exceeding my capacity to answer and 99% of them are covered  in the instructions & also now ZFC you tube channel vids.

Always here to help, anyone who has conversed with me knows I love to help – im just physically running out of hours in the day and having to choose whether orders get out or enquiries answered on some days – so if you can pls check online resources first, but if ever stuck – zing through enquiry and I will answer as soon as I can but it may be circa 48hrs now vs within the day.

Latest video’s

A new ZFC you tube video is landing basically every two weeks on a Thursday so subscribe and see latest vid either covering topical info and demonstrating in video form vs reading a long document. The next round of video’s coming out now will start to delve  deeper and into more fun topics (after next two covering Chain prep basics and waxing FAQ’s).

Hold onto you hats for the waxing FAQ’s as im not kidding that video is circa 1.5 hours long hahahaha – and that is honestly the FREQUENTLY asked questions, there were a lot I left out.

Immersive waxing is amazing in that it is OH SO EASY – pop chain off, pop onto pot, turn pot onto low, swish when melted, hang to set, break waxing link bond and re-install before next ride – as per ZFC episode 4 part 2 on you tube channel.

However – Immersive waxing is simply very different vs what most have been used to with drip lubes – and there are lots of different specific use cases to cover – so as immersive waxing has become ever more mainstream (because logically it cannot be beaten for day in day low friction and wear) – it simply generates a holy batman level of questions. So the FAQ document has been updated to cover many of the frequent questions coming in from around the world not on the old doc, and yep – wait for that one to land in two weeks time. 1.5 hours answering FREQUENTLY asked questions. You will understand what see in my inbox from all around the world every morning 😊

Updated Race chain and ultrasonic guide

Finally managed to update this as old guide was very clunky. Tis still a bit clunky, but its my best revision yet. Been a bit tricker than I thought as need to cover Ultrasonic cleaning for general / training chains across different lubricant types, and then also the same for race chains which has some extra levels, and then also race chains sans ultrasonic – I’ve just never managed to cover this off in a well structured format as have just not had the time to sit down with a clear noodle and crack it properly – but this revision is definitely a big improvement on previous document, and it is also being covered on you tube vid release I think next one after the next one 😊

Mspeedwax testing and updated formula

For a long time the data up for mspeedwax vs Silca hot melt has been out of date as the test for msw was on the OG formula. For a long time (over 12 months) they have rolled out on the quiet a new formula, updating with tungsten disulphide & moly, changes to the base, and removing PTFE.

Their race powder also no longer contains PTFE but is an ultra fine mix of moly and tungsten disulphide.

The rollout has been on the quiet as it has taken a long time to get a slot for testing. Main test has been completed and things are EXTREMELY close in my wear rate correlation test between msw and hot melt. I hope to get updated data and cost to run modelling up on website today (Wednesdays are data / testing / document / admin day). Single application longevity testing is still ongoing, however again already  from running sheet it is significantly longer than O.G formula.

It is worth noting that tungsten disulphide costs a lot more than moly or ptfe, so the updates to the formula which they have been working on for years (and pulled trigger on final revision when they finally had a competitor) – yet they have maintained the pricing for both the wax and race powder – no price increase. This is impressive by them to say the least – the level of performance and ultra low wear you get from a $44.90 bag of wax that will last circa 10,000km’s has MSw now firmly at the top of leaderboard re overall cost to run.

Factory Grease

My god this is like some miss-information zombie that just cannot be killed. I can’t believe that after nearly 10 years of proven information from multiple independent test facilities proving tangibly and categorically that factory grease a) cannot remotely compete with top lubricant choices re outright efficiency and b) being a grease it attracts and absorbs contamination at a frightening rate and then eats your chain and drivetrain.

But – STILL this is being actively pushed by recently Nick Murdock – head chain tech guy at shimano – as DO NOT remove factory grease – that is a common mistake that he is actively combating.

This update is long enough but stay tuned there will be more next update covering this properly – in the interim if you see a lube article / forum etc where this is being pushed, pls respectfully correct that information and refer them to check ZFC.

I need to up the priority level on getting the factory grease test and review out, and I somehow need to have a chat with Nick Murdock – I cant believe anyone working in this space with an IQ greater than 68 would actually believe that factory grease is best left on, so I imagine he is a smart guy stuck towing the company line – so it could be a tricky conversation where he cant admit as much and needs to keep promoting shimano’s factory grease – but I need to try and nail him down for a good chat nonetheless as this factory grease miss-information is driving me a little nuts as it just kills drivetrains vs the magnificent long life they could enjoy if better information followed. When one works hard every day to try to help reduce drivetrain wear, it is maddening to have someone carrying as much weight as the shimano head chain tech guy actively spreading horse manure all over mine and others hard work. Shimano does a lot of great things, but also a lot of questionable corporate behavior sometimes (product launches instantly devaluing stock on LBS floors yet its circa 12 to 18 months from launch to being able to actually buy the launched product, cancelling LBS orders or part filling (ie receive 25% of order with no notification) – secret squirrel on crank failures and I could go on and on. Not anti shimano, im more a shimano guy overall as the other OEM’s do some wonky stuff too – just a quick example they do not always do things perfectly, and having the head chain tech guy who will carry a lot of weight with readers informing them to do something that will drastically shorted drivetrain lifespan vs proven top options – somehow I need to get that sorted out & myself and Mr M need a beer and a zoom call.

Again I’m just one nerdy little guy with one teeny tiny company of one. I need the low friction community to help me out! Don’t let it pass without comment if you see it, the more pushback publications get for publishing wrong content, the more likely they are to fact check better before publishing.

Here’s the latest example and like the recent bike rumour best lubricant article, there is so much incorrect / assumed based on zero tangible evidence recommndations that both of these need I need to cover in their own separate update and vid which is on the list. In the interim – PLEASE do not follow any advice re factory grease or those dry lubes which are frankly – so far from top lubricant performance we are not even on the same planet let alone ballpark.

K that better do for now pls excuse typo’s and grammar typed in a big hurry as always!

Stay low friction and please keep doing the great job of spreading the word where cyclists can obtain proper tested & independent information to save their drivetrain.