Latest Zero Friction Cycling News – Project Work Updates and Groovy Podcast!
Latest News 40 – Project work update & Latest Groovy podcast + Latest testing updates!
Let’s start with latest podcast – I was as always honored to be invited onto a very groovy show – “That Triathlon Show” with Mikael Eriksson. Don’t worry if you are not a triathlete, we cover many groovy low friction things suitable for all.
I have been getting some lovely feedback on this one so hopefully the practice I have had over time with other shows I am finally getting less worse at messaging and info. Hopefully….
For previous podcasts head to the media room tab on Zero Friction Cycling website – there was another recent podcast with Endurance innovations where we chat on some much broader topics vs chains & lubricants which was fun.
Project weeks absolutely FLY by, no matter how hard I plough into them, I only get fraction of the hoped for to do list completed!
Despite closing officially by mid day Friday the week before, there is nowadays still a fair carryover of retail stuff that needs to be completed before I am offline for a week that uses up now pretty much all of Monday.
Tuesday to Thursday was spent mostly hammering out a pretty big document, even by my standards.
After now over 300,000km of control testing – the Key Learnings from Lubricant testing needed a mega update as much more has been learnt since V1, and many new products have been released & tested – some of which are extremely good.
I found that this document was not one I could rip through. Really the key learnings from the last 5+ years of testing work, and thus the main takeaways anyone looking to save friction and wear for their type of riding – this is pretty much the core of why ZFC exists – it is about providing clear, detailed & supported, and FACTUAL information in an area of cycling that is a minefield of overhyped marketing, miss information from some major media due to sponsored content, and flat out voodoo spouted by too many others.
So I took time and care to do my best to ensure each key learning I am covering that hopefully any reader is going to believe the information coming out of ZFC as they understand the findings, and then be better armed to spot poor / miss-information when they are presented with it in future.
What this means for you is a bit of Novella 😊
The best way to approach this document is to read one section at a time when you are having a cuppa break, or just any section you feel is most relevant to you.
This will also be covered on a podcast interview soon with Cycling Tips so look out for that one in about 2 weeks to a month depending on which nerd alert it lands on.
I will also cover in an upcoming you tube episode but that will be further down the track.
There will be a 10th Key Learning – but I ran out of time.
Testing & Detail Review Updates
WOLF TOOTH WT-1
Wrapping up testing on that shortly, it has not gone well. Very average re initial wear rate, and really poor result in dry contamination block.
All wet lubricants struggle in the world of dirt and dust (honestly you are nuts to use a wet lubricant offroad except in very rare use cases – refer key learnings doc).
But even for a wet lubricant, WT-1 went very poorly indeed. Considering the target demographic is seemingly Mtb riders – this is not good. It just means more people paying a lot more money for high drivetrain wear rates.
I will be re-testing adding over factory grease as it claims cleaning agent to deal with factory grease so you can be super lazy re not cleaning that off first. We may see an improved result overall on this test, and if so, that will not be because WT-1 is acting as claimed, it will be simply that factory grease was higher performing than WT-1, and the longer the factory grease was working – the better. We shall see.
WT-1’s claims of cleaning as it lubricates are, in my opinion, rubbish – you cannot effectively clean as you lubricate whilst concurrently attracting a huge amount of contamination. Having a bit of “detergent” in the lubricant for this is again just a marketing angle. A re lube with this lube is about a 3ml application. Across over 100 links of your chain. So 0.03ml per link. A small portion of which is apparently detergent. And that will keep your chain clean. Whilst being a wet lubricant and having every particle of dust that comes into contact with chain sticking on contact.
It is probably time I started using some harsher wording when discussing such claims, I likely will in the detail review after first discussing – if they discuss with me, the findings and above concerns.
In short, it is a flawed approach – vastly better is not to attract much contamination to begin with, and a token amount of some cleaning agent is completely useless. If I give you a sponge the size of your thumb and ask you to clean yourself whilst also shoveling dirt onto you, you probably wont get that clean.
Despite the obviously flawed approach, I was still surprised how bad the test went for WT-1. It is apparently a re-branding of SCC Slick which has really strong reputation amongst the market, but…. Again considering just how bad overall the market still is at assessing what is a good or bad lubricant (which is why so many horrendous products have such strong sales despite rapidly eating drivetrains) – it is not unusual for a product to be fairly highly thought of, when it definitely should not be.
It is also worth pointing out that the EXTREME wear durability of sram’s x01 / xx1 level chains and cassettes is masking the performance of some very bad products. Many mtb riders have moved to eagle x01/ xx1 – tried x lubricant, attained much greater lifespans than ever before, and attributed that to the lubricant, and not the hugely improved wear resistance of the x01 / xx1 chains and cassettes.
Again, hence why control testing is so important for objective data.
Anyhoo – in summary – WT-1 is a pretty big fail. It would have been a very average performer if I tested 5 years ago. Nowadays with the bar lifted so much by many brilliant product releases, it is way, way down on where it needs to be. There are just so many proven vastly better choices.
And it is not a clean lubricant either. If you like a really dirty abrasive drivetrain, this is a strong candidate for you.
Rex Black Diamond is coming!!
Testing continues for Rex – and whilst I don’t yet have clean main test data set for Black diamond as have been focusing on other testing for them, I do have plenty of data that has Black diamond as by far the longest lasting lubricant and dry road / dry offroad conditions ever tested.
I need to get to doing an update just on Rex (will get to asap), as the testing has been pretty involved and has some pretty exciting results.
The extreme longevity per treatment is going to be just what some cyclists are looking for, and so the first shipment of Rex Black Diamond and Race day liquid is en route, and I will be also looking to add this as a pre-prep option as this does work best when prepped onto perfectly clean chain vs starting with a wax prepped chain.
Stay tuned for Black Diamond update shortly – there are a couple of ins and outs of testing to go over. But if you like re-lubing about every 1500km, this could be your lube. Especially for those with a dedicated ergo bike – for some it would be a re apply once a year type lube depending on ergo volumes!
I also plan to talk further with Revolubes re stocking Revolubes as well as that is also a brilliant wet lubricant – just been a tad time pressed.
Back to Muc-Off
Friday I spent starting work on the Muc-Off Ludicrous AF review, that I will try to keep chipping away at, worst case will be completed next project week.
I am still trying to have that call with the R&D lab at Muc-Off, as I still have really no idea what is going on there.
In case you missed it, Ludicrous AF came out as the 3rd worst lubricant ever tested by ZFC.
2nd worst lubricant ever tested was Muc-Off Hydrodynamic (supposedly developed with and used by team sky. I rate the odds of Team Sky have used similar to the earth being flat afterall).
Worst lubricant ever tested was Muc-Off Nano chain lube – their previous top, very expensive – race lubricant, before being just superseded by Ludicrous AF.
So Muc-Off have the worst trifecta you can get from ZFC perspective. I just cannot believe how abrasive the lubricants are. Nothing eats through the test chains like the above 3 lubricants.
And, factoring in that some of their lubricants cost $90 for a 50ml bottle, of liquid sandpaper – cost to run on said products is unbelievably high.
Aside from the above, there are some EXTREME concerns re the integrity of test data, and other marketing claims in general such as having a UV Light to ensure all of the OUTSIDE of your chain is coated in a wet lubricant – which is a frankly horrendous idea, and you know who would know that is a horrendous idea for a bicycle chain operating completely exposed to the elements? The PHD staff in the R&D lab. So why is it on the market?
And that is just a snapshot of the concerns to be discussed.
ZFC places the strongest possible “Do NOT Buy” rating at this time on Muc-Off lubricants. And if you share concerns re what is behind some of the marketing activity – I leave it to you if you want to support such behavior by purchasing anything Muc-Off.
PS – does anyone know where the heck Muc-Off Lops is?
Released in 2020, again with huge marketing hype (it is still up on muc-off website). To my knowledge these never actually went to market. If you know of anyone who bought a set, pls let me know, my belief is they released a product that doesn’t exist.
Note – when major industry players release new products like the above, with many (not all) media, big articles are run as “News” – and so it is free marketing. Sometimes vaporware is launched for such purposes.
All concerns will be covered in full in the Ludicrous AF review.
A lot of testing still booked for Rex – I need to re-test Black diamond in main test as in take one, due to its extreme longevity – following the standard re lube intervals had the chain way over lubed which had a negative impact on results (attracts more contamination). The wear rate results were notably worse with re lube intervals vs just single application after 1000km marks etc. This has come up in minor fashion before for other lubricants, but not a starkly as for BD as without over lube, the wear results were just so low for so long, the increase was much easier to see. The re test BD will be re lubed only every 1000km.
And testing a currently secret new product under development, hopefully will be able to release details if /when goes to market.
I need to do the second test for WT-1 to cover base re cleaning off factory grease with its token detergent
Silca Synerg-E is on test at the moment – there are a few ins and outs to this test too which I won’t have the typing space to go into today, just know it is going through a battery of testing. Whilst Silca have released 3 brilliant lubricants to market to date, and I have hopes for Synerg-E to be a fourth, please take note of my stance (with quite some data to back it) regarding wet lubricants and offroad riding. No matter the film strength, if dust becomes part of the mix, dust will be abrading against chain metal. No film strength can prevent this as pressures are too high. And if riding a wet lubricant offroad, dust starts to become part of the lubricant from km zero. I think this could be a top product for e-road, but I will need to be convinced a wet lubricant is a great option for offroad vs other vastly lower wear rate options.
Again – refer to this section in key learnings document – the data is pretty darn clear, and it won’t be improving when latest wet lubricant test data is added.
I am likely to have a machine booked after the above for testing of a particular product that one of the top world tour teams are wanting to assess (a product they have been using) – I have offered testing free IF the testing results can be open vs private.
It is time to test a couple of aerosol lubricants to test my belief that they are a poor option, so I have a couple of the supposed top options to be lined up when I can (ie Boeshield T9) when a machine becomes free.
You will note I am of course very far behind on detail reviews – it is just holy batman busy these days, which is great! But – yes stay tuned to latest news for main points from tests, and then detail reviews up when I can.
K that better do!
Stay safe out there, and stay low friction!!