Latest Zero Friction Cycling News 18th September!!
Lots of it! Again been awhile, not enough hours in the day!
First – testing of silca drip, nearing completion for first test, and things have been going very well. As per last update it is the first wax emulsion lube tested that does not have initial penetration issues.
However, silca do have an immersive tub for those who a) want to really ensure 100% penetration pre race (as the latest everesting record holder Ronan McLaughlin did). Also, an immersive tub re-lube will simply beat a drip lube application. Its kind of the halfway house between immersive waxing, skipping the need for melting wax.
A question that comes up all the time ( I will have this covered in a document somewhere soon, I cut and paste answer multiple times a day) is should I still look to immersive wax with say mspeedwax vs the latest gen drip lubes like Tru-Tension tungsten, Silca Super secret, ab graphene etc.
The answer is for 99%+ of riders / racers – the day in day out low friction and wear rates of immersive waxing vs drip lubes is still unbeatable, and here is why;
Your chain operates externally completely exposed to airborne dust and contamination. Contamination is inevitable, and what gets in is pressed into set lube.
When you re-lube with a wax emulsion lube like Tru tension / Silca / AB – a typical re-lube for these types of lubes is 3ml to 5ml – 5ml is a pretty hefty application.
5ml across typical chain lengths of circa 108 links = less than 0.05ml per link.
Half of this (over half actually) is carrier -so in terms of how much fresh lubrication you are adding, its around 0.02ml per link. The contamination that has already penetrated and pressed into previous set coating is land locked in there, it isn’t going anywhere – you are simply improving the ratio of lubricant to contamination.
Over time and X number of re-lubes, obviously this ratio continues to degrade. Especially so if riding gravel / mtb / cx, or any wet ride – your chain isn’t water proof so wet rides a large amount / huge amount of contamination is trucked deep inside chain where it is pressed into set lube – hence a full clean and re-set is needed post any wet ride NO MATTER WHAT DRIP LUBE you run.
With immersive waxing, each re-lube you are popping chain into 400 to 500ml of 100% lubricant. The old wax coating with any contamination melts off into wax pot, and chain is re-coated with a fresh coating of wax. Over many re-waxes obviously the wax in pot will be less amazing vs new fresh wax, but you can do the math on how long it would take to get a pot of 400ml + of wax as contaminated as the lube on your chain when you are adding 0.02ml per link each re-lube which has zero flush cleaning.
Just in case you hadn’t read this previously, any lube that claims it cleans as it lubes is lying. Once one manufacturer claimed and there was no one testing to check this before ZFC, everyone claimed it cos it sounds great. They don’t.
So – hopefully the above helps explain that yes – many of the latest gen lubes are a) brilliant drip lubes and b) can perform exceptionally well for a particular event and c) resist dry contamination impressively for a decent stretch as they set to a chain coating vs wet lubes where every particle sticks on contact – obviously day in day out, riding and re-lubing – the friction and wear will increase.
If you think you will have the same level of low friction chain after 2000km of riding as what you had when it was minty fresh – you will not. Periodic maintenance is still required to fully solvent flush clean and re-set. Remember not only does a higher friction chain cost you watts of power to back wheel, the watts increase is also going into eating through your chain and drive train components faster.
This is where the silca immersive tub is the middle ground if hot melt waxing isn’t for you – you can pop chain off just like waxing, pop into a tub of 360ml of lube – let it soak for 5 or so mins, shake vigorously, remove, thoroughly wipe excess off outside of chain, hang or pop back on bike to set overnight (or at least a few hours).
Next test will be the silca immersive tub re-lube application every re-lube to see how this compares to drip and also vs hot melt – logic dictates it will be in the middle, but maybe it will get pretty close to hot melt waxing – we shall see – but the math for just forever dripping on a drip lube and retaining a day in day out ultra low friction chain matches what we see in the real world and what has been seen in ZFC’s worlds most exhaustive testing. Logic, physics and testing are 3 little ducks all lining up in a row.
Hence why over 90% of my tru tension and silca drip sales accompany a bag of msw / hot melt – most understand that it’s an accompaniment to immersive waxing, and that to keep a chain in the ultra low friction zone day in day out – one needs to immerse their chain and re-coat vs add a little lube over existing worn contaminated coating.
K – todays low friction, parts wear saving lesson over (and helping you understand what is the right product choice / way to go for you & your riding), the main super cool news updates are……..
- I have the silca immersive tubs in stock
- I have silca hot melt and immersive tub bundle packs up and running
- absoluteBlack Graphene – to date the small 14ml bottle has not been made available to Australia. This has made it a bit tricky – as the cost for a pre prepped absoluteBlack graphene chain is fairly high (sorry, its just really expensive to do), and their current diy system with plastic zip lock back is not amazing, making it intimidating for users worried about losing a lot of their $240 bottle of lubricant.
- ZFC has managed to secure a special order of the small 14ml bottles, they will be in stock within approx. 2weeks, they are up on website, you can back order now.
- I will be making ab bundle packs shortly, but can advise that…… drum roll………. If you choose absoluteBlack Graphene prep with your chain purchase, it will now include the 14ml bottle (rrp $29.95) as part of that prep sale so you have the lube to top up when the original prep treatment needs a re-lube in about 2000km time. Updating website to reflect this shortly.
- Did I mention ZFC is the only place in Aus you will be able to get the 14ml bottle for the foreseeable future? 😊
- Zfc is the only place in the world you can get chains pre ultrasonic cleaned and prepped with either mspeedwax, silca hot melt, or absoluteBlack graphene lube.
- SALE!!! UFO Drip! – I managed to get a big case of UFO at a special price recently and so am having a fire sale to make some room – You can purchase at a super special price of $49.90 vs $89.90. Again website being updated imminently!