Latest News 29 – Post Project Week Updates – 2 Detail Reviews, Current Testing, Testing Confusion Update, Retail Supreme Leader, YouTube

Another project week zoomed by!

Finally managed to finish and upload Silca Synergetic Detail review, absoluteBlack Graphene Wax detail review – both way overdue, more overdue reviews to be tackled next project week.

Quick summaries – Silca Synergetic is currently leading wet lubricant tested to date by a significant margin overall, it MAY have a contender (testing now). Graphene Wax test went very badly which was a big surprise due to the outstanding performance of Graphene Lube, and discussions with AB have led to no clarity on the results – I feel they will simply discredit the test for graphene wax.



Testing results overall are under NDA at this time, however I can confirm that have been spending many of the last months completing a lot of testing for Revo Lubes, REX and mspeedwax’new formula.

Revolubes is likely to give green light to detail review, just need to test a modified formula, but the original formula especially for road riding (which really is the brief for wet lubricants, if you have been following zfc for any amount of time you will know my view on wet lubricants in the world of dust), and for such riding it is OUTSTANDING – will see where we end up after latest tweak to new formula which removes some of the very involved prep with original formula, but it going to be a hot contender for Synergetic

Rex have been testing suite of lubes from domestique to Black diamond to Black diamond with Race day spray. REX have already greenlighted detail review/s for when I can fit them in, still testing BD +RDS at this time so need to wrap up the full suite of testing first and full data wrap, then need to find spot in queue for detail review – but – hint – mfg do not greenlight detail reviews if testing goes poorly. Domestique is their budget lube and even that was very impressive overall, and Black diamond testing is still ongoing, but looking the business.

What does it say about manufacturers who commission expensive 3rd party independent testing?

It means they are 100% genuine re the product they have developed. Not all tests go well (I have done a lot of testing for automotive companies who’s bicycle specific hopes have not gone well as bicycle chain demands are very different, and very difficult in many ways) – and when they don’t NDS stays in place and no detail review of mention of company. It is always exciting when products test very well indeed, remembering of course as well that in the last couple of years, the bar has really been lifted up many rungs with the release of a number of outstanding lubricants.

Mspeedwax – the O.G of saving your drivetrain and the very first product ZFC stocked, and having day in day out super low friction, wear and cleanliness, finally finally had been put under pressure with Silca hot melt – a day they knew was coming, and had been working very hard for years on the next generation formula. On test now, and vs Hot melt it is going to be close.

Stay tuned – running 3 tests / test machines is a Shipton of work, ploughing through as fast as I can (and then there is all the data wrap and summaries back to mfg before then putting in queue to detail review- of which im a bit behind – but big plans re catching up!



Last update (I think) I covered of re tacking a number of the concerns with Allied test white paper and results re their new GRAX. 

A lot of communication with Allied and the tribology company they used to develop test the lubricant has then ensued, and alas as was the danger – talks have ceased in a not great place after reaching a number of impasses re the test procedure used and the results obtained.

There will be a proper wrap of this coming as its very important on many many fronts, but main highlights are that it appears, IN MY OPINION – not stating as fact, that a) Allied themselves are a very genuine company who very genuinely wanted to bring the best gravel specific lubricant to market – not having phd chemists on staff, outsourced this development to experts who hopefully could,  b) The experts who developed appear to be the same company then testing and proving it is the best, leading – in my opinion, to a very large conflict of interest, c) A number of big mistakes have been made in the test protocol (again – I must stress in my opinion and not as fact), including but not limited to – Testing for long duration under Full Tension Test conditions, applying lubricants under load (which hinders penetration) and not allowing mfg specified set time – which in case of UFO would have simply resulted in metal on metal – hence 25w loss result, and they tested old version, not new version, testing at 11.5 cadence (who rides at that cadence?, using electrical losses (easy feedback loops) vs torque sensors,  and more.

This leads into next part which again I need to cover properly in both a separate document + podcast + you tube – the URGENT need for an approved protocol for lubricant testing which includes test load, cadence, ring size, cog size, the actual machine design and componentry and test protocol itself to be executed (ie not long periods under Full Tension Test conditions – for further reading on FTT vs FLT testing refer to manufacturer testing document -instructions tab), following mfg application instructions and more.

Currently we have an ever increasing number of MFG having a crack at efficiency testing, and when different protocols are just brought into being, different results for the same lubricants keep getting pumped out, which is very confusing for all. More so if apparently very large errors are made. And if there is a conflict of interest.

This is one of the key reasons why ZFC has not yet gone down the path of outright efficiency testing, and why I went down the wear correlation path. Without a governing majority agreed protocol, I would be just another lab providing yet another set of conflicting data results. Whereas wear correlation is extremely robust and whilst it cannot provide an nice efficiency loss figure – you can see from the detail reviews – we learn all we need to know about the lubricant, and we learn much more vs a clean lab efficiency loss figure. It will be great one day to be able to provide such testing (and test to provide the loss numbers at end of each test block etc), but there is no point investing 20k and a huge amount of time to build an efficiency loss test machine until such time as a machine can be built to an approved standard, with an accompanying calibration and testing protocol standard.

In this area the horse must lead the cart, at the moment we are seeing more and more players have a crack, in my view completely stuff it up, and all we get is more and more data for lubricants that matches no one else.

A lot of work (currently all high level) is being done on the above front – I feel strongly the world needs a truly independent and accurate efficiency loss test lab, and I would very much like to provide that, but some critical pieces need to be secured in place first.

In the interim – as you will read in the graphene wax review – there is simply no escaping the wear rate correlation of the existing test protocol by ZFC. It just flat out takes friction to wear through hardened steel at a prodigious rate, and mfg claims are well backed re low friction if there is very very low wear over many thousands of km’s including contamination – hence why ZFC is super mega booked re testing and also used by mfg’s like Ceramic Speed and Silca who already have very fancy test labs of their own as a back check to their own results and claims (and in Mspeedwax case they work with various very clever 3rd parties re ongoing development and testing, then use ZFC so no conflict of interest having the party who developed lube proving what they developed for them is the best…..)

Summary – Allied are a genuine company, they took a bunch of very genuine steps to bring a top product to market – just a whole stack of issues re the 3rd party employed and their testing – so my personal advice at this time until proven otherwise would be to pls place very little (as in zero) stock in the testing white paper on Allied website for Grax. I hope we can resume discussions – a bunch of hard questions remain not answered – but I do not think they will be answered, as I think I already know the only answers they can give, and so silence suits them better.

Lastly on this, I have tested grax in amongst all my other testing bookings which was a stretch to do but felt it had to be done in light of all the investigation into the white paper – will try to get data up next project week – in short – its not a bad lubricant, but fell short of Smoove / Squirt, and outright efficiency testing by CS Denmark lab results after my testing also had GRAX behind both Smoove and Squirt.  It had SIGNFICANT initial penetration issues, just like Smoove & squirt but a little bit worse,  IT IS VERY THICK at even 20dg Celsius and I had issues with lubricant often clogging nozzle requiring heating to unclog for it to be liquid enough to get out of nozzle – will be interesting over time how user reviews go.



The next stage in ZFC begins, with for some time now I have been failing spectacularly at being able to manage both the retail and testing side of business, falling very very far behind on testing data / detail reviews, keeping documents updated with latest information (ie race chain / ultrasonic guides) taking into account new product releases like UFO clean that provide options not currently covered in such guides etc – oh so much to do!

So I now have a hand picked awesome man who will start training this week on taking over the retail side of zfc. This will be a long ish transition (probs 1 month) and certain enquiries I will still need to attend to, but over time and experience with such enquiries the retail supreme leader will be able to take over more and more of handling enquiries from all around the world and processing orders, and I can hopefully get to a place where 10% of my time is enquiries I need to handle, 20ish % of my time is chain prep (that will always be done by me) and the other 70% of my time I can focus on testing, projects and better you tube content.



Next film day will be coming soon and will start to go into deeper fun topics and deeper hints & tips and FAQ’s – but again in the interim what I need is for the channel to slowly keep gaining traction so people looking for proper information on how to have an amazing drivetrain with super low wear and therefore super low running costs, saving solvent use etc – vs the unfortunately typically completely incorrect information which leads to people doing things like leaving factory grease on or trying to set a new record in the worst DIY waxing attempts. Such channels currently get tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of reviews, leading to many destroyed drivetrains and enquires to ZFC about how to not destroy next drivetrain. It will be great if we can save these drivetrains from the start, from truly independent information gained from the worlds most exhaustive independent testing.

So share, like ,subscribe all those things for the ZFC you tube channel, and over time lets make a dent in the number of drivetrains meeting an early death by abrasion.



Ok I have a very exciting looking inbox from last weeks project week, I will be attacking hard soon as well as starting training on with the Retail Supreme Leader, I should be caught up on inbox by end of this week, business as usual after that until next project week!

As always thanks to my many many extremely loyal customers and all my every increasing number of new customers into the low friction fold who have made the hoped for evolution plan of ZFC possible. Grand low friction times ahead for all!!!

Please excuse many typos as this was typed flat out before starting tackling inbox!