Latest Zero Friction Cycling News – Mostly Rex launch, other quick bites!
Latest News 41 – Mostly Rex launch, other quick bites!
- On project week this week trying to catch up on as much mega backlog work as I can. Apologies for enquiries received / orders – will be attacking hard starting Monday 7th March
- Website will be down for a bit today / tomorrow for some much needed back end updates
- Muc-Off Ludicrous AF detail review done, but I finally have a locked in call with the team in the test & R&D lab next week and will see if any light can be shed on oh so many things. At the moment a bunch of pretty worrisome concerns are typed out, but I finally get to ask a lot of hard questions, and if I get good answers – who knows I may be re typing a bunch. So benefit of the doubt before I release, will hope to do asap after inbox catch up.
- Next ZFC you tube vids will be a bit of a delay, I haven’t had time to think about next vids at the moment but will plan a film day for project week at end of this month to cover recent key learnings update, and if I can will look at lubricant review vid, as well as chain tensile testing, and a no muss no fuss chain waxing vid to just rip through prep, wax / rewax so its all boom there its is, and further detail can be delved into on previous vids on waxing if needed.
- I have recently had the honour of being on a fun chat with Cycle systems podcast, and Cycling Tips Nerd alert podcast – both should be released soon, will post links when I can after release – I think / hope both chats come across fun and with some groovy low friction knowledge.
- Testing is BOOKED. I am fairly run of my feet with testing already for 2022, there are some exciting products booked in, and I hope that I get to publicly release (typically allowed to if test goes well, not so much if it doesn’t…). I had kinda hoped that I would be able to keep one machine free for own curiosity / reader requested tests, I will try in second half of 2022. It is hard to knock back private tests as this is manufacturers willing to spend some big bucks (testing is expensive due to very large time resources to run test / data/ summary / lots of discussion etc) to get their product put through the world’s most difficult to pass controlled test. It is very far from quick clean lab efficiency tests! Mfg willing to press go with ZFC testing to date have been very passionate about the product they have created, the development R&D has been big and genuine, and so ZFC gets excited to test as well. And here we are, 3 machines very booked for the upcoming months. I will update with providing cleared to do so!
REX BLACK DIAMOND / Black Diamond + Race Day Spray (liquid)– mini review and launch.
Alrighty – its been a minute since first released some very positive info re testing for REX.
It will still be awhile until I can look to do the detail review for Black Diamond, as I need to re test. I have initial data up from first test, but as I will explain below, the first test showed an issue not of Rex Black Diamonds fault, and so I need to run it again asap.
I will be updating new data as it comes in during test, and then once completed, get cracking on the detail review. I normally like to have detail reviews done before pressing go on stocking a product, but this one has all been a bit fun.
The testing shenanigans.
Testing for Black Diamond started with just the Single Application Longevity test protocols.
For dry road conditions, Black Diamond set a frankly enormous new record benchmark, smashing anything tested previously including the very expensive Graphenlube.
A treatment just lasts so long and with extremely little wear, already I was looking at stocking as this will simply suite some riders.
Also unique to Rex & Black Diamond, they have a RACE DAY SPRAY. This induces a chemical change in Black Diamond, and changes it from a wet lubricant to a dry chain coating. This reduces its single application longevity vs just Black Diamond, however it dramatically increases its dry contamination resistance.
Hopefully as you are all aware by now, I do not endorse ANY wet lubricant for offroad use. Wet lubricants and the world of dirt and dust is just the wrong choice, period, and the test wear rates confirm very clearly what one would think is happening. The top 5 chain coating lubricants tested show and average wear rate 10 times less vs the top 5 wet lubricants tested to date. So that’s like, not close. If you are riding offroad and using a wet lube, it is time to have a rethink and save a ton of money.
So with BD + Race Day Spray turning BD to a coating type lubricant with basically same dry dust contamination resistance as the top waxes / chain coating lubricants, but with all conquering treatment lifespan – again this is something unique, and something that may really suit certain riders or for certain events (multi stage / 24hr mtb / bike packing etc).
Now there are some ins and outs of using Race Day Spray / Drip.
It is a ONE TIME deal per Black diamond treatment.
You can apply another BD treatment over your BD + RDS treatment when that has worn off if you are just going to be riding road, but apply the race day spray / liquid a second time will not induce change to a coating anywhere near as effectively. If you need that super long lasting and dust contamination resistance treatment, you will need to fully clean chain and start afresh.
So it will be a specific use case, but definitely very handy for those whose use case it will suite.
It was the data from the Single Application Longevity testing that highlighted we had an issue with the data from the main test.
The main test protocol has all key variables controlled. Load. Interval time before re-lube. Contamination type, amount, and when introduced.
Due to Black Diamonds extreme treatment longevity, the standard re-lube intervals simply had the chain way over lubed by the time we reached block 2. The Race Day spray had a bit of trouble turning all that lube to a coating, and from there, the over lube situation just really fudged the ball game and had BD attracting a lot more contamination than it should have.
We know this because it achieved MUCH better wear results at the 1000km mark in the Single Application Longevity test than it did in the main test in same block when it was re lubed.
This has not been seen previously. Whilst other long lasting lubricants have definitely not needed to be re-lubed as per the intervals in the test protocol, and in some cases like with say synergetic, it is likely it may have negatively affected the result in the dry contamination block – it is a maybe that if re tested ensuring definitely not over lubed that the wear rate would be lower.
With BD, it was not a maybe, it was very clear.
In the protocol, as standard the chains are re lubed – depending on the gearing for the interval, every 10 to 12 hours.
For the re-test of BD, it will be re-lubed only at the end of each 1000km block, which is basically every 34 hours.
Based on the extremely low wear rates over that period in the S.A.L testing, I am very confident the results for the retest will move it up the leaderboard a lot vs current data.
There have been tests in the past where I have needed to INCREASE the re lubrication intervals as the existing intervals were greater than the treatment lifespan, this is the first case where a clear detrimental impact was seen due to over lube by staying with the standard re lube intervals.
WET conditions performance
When we moved into wet contamination testing, a large drop in performance was seen with wear rates climbing significantly versus its dry conditions performance.
This does not have it as a bad wet lubricant, simply not at the my goodness that is amazing like what we saw come through with the dry S.A.L testing.
For BD & road, getting hit with some wet will not be a concern, just follow the information in Key learnings document re wet weather riding and contamination resetting.
Whilst BD is not a cheap lubricant, and it is as small bottle, the application amount is very small, and in normal conditions, so long lasting – that lubricant usage cost is very small.
IF you always ride in wet conditions though and are resetting chain / re lubing chain accordingly, then a cheaper option may be worth considering (again options in key learnings document, instructions tab on website).
For riding in wet conditions offroad with the Race Day Spray / Drip – again its performance was not bad per se, just not in the ballpark of its amazing dry conditions performance. Due to the very high cost of Race day spray / drip – ZFC would recommend other options for wet offroad event vs BD + RDS / RDD.
Quick product wrap
Rex Black diamond is an extremely long lasting drip lubricant in dry conditions with very low wear rate, and very low product usage amount.
For most cyclists they will get at least 1000km of dry road riding per treatment with very low wear, many may find they are getting around 1500km.
This will suit some cyclists who just don’t like to apply their lubricant very often, it is as close to a set and forget for a long time lubricant tested to date.
It will also suit cyclists who like a very low drivetrain wear rate, and just really like to stick with a wet lubricant vs a wax / chain coating lubricant.
For dedicated ergo bikes this may just be the lubricant you were looking for. Many cyclists could probably go their entire year of ergo training on a treatment, or for most at least multiple months except for the most avid zwifters.
Black diamond’s extreme treatment longevity in dry conditions whilst demonstrating extremely low wear rate makes it a product worth of being stocked and recommended by ZFC.
More specific detailed product information for both Black Diamond and Race Day Drip will be up soon on the product pages on website (remember website will be down a bit today / tomorrow for updates).
First stock order has arrived, and once website back end work done, products will be up on online store for purchase. Previous to ZFC stocking it was very hard, and very expensive to purchase Black Diamond from Europe / USA.
Race Day spray would have been impossible.
I am stocking the liquid version not the spray version as the aerosol can is Dangerous goods for air freight. It was already very expensive, DG air shipping to Aus would have landed cost through the roof.
Race Day Drip is still very expensive, but, at least the option will be available for those who want it and can afford it!
(again see full product info on product page on when it is updated – likely by weekend / Monday)
Each month around 95% of chains sold via ZFC the customer chooses a pre prep option. To save people faffing around with solvents and trying to ensure they do a perfect prep, ZFC will be offering pre prep for almost all chains stocked in both Black Diamond and Black Diamond + Race day liquid (I have a special bottle big bottle of Race day liquid that cost me the best part of grand for pre prep!).
Cost of pre prep is relatively high as there is a bit of labour involved in ultrasonic application of BD post the US cleaning rounds, and then a fair bit of excess removal after an ultrasonic application. But such an application will GO LONG indeed. For RDD, aside from the very high cost of the product, again it is labour, chain will need to be installed on to race chain prep machine for RDD application (it cannot be done immersive without BD on the chain contaminating a lot of extremely expensive liquid!).
Whilst ZFC is proud to be the ONLY other company in the world authorized by Mspeedwax to offer pre prep of their product, and same for Silca with Hot Melt, as they have 100% confidence that every chain is prepped perfectly to showcase their products – ZFC will be the first (and I imagine only for a long time) to offer Rex BD / BD + RDD pre prep chains.
REX themselves to date do not offer chains Pre Prepped (it takes quite some resources to offer pre prep, that’s not their wheelhouse just at the moment), so they are excited (like me) to have ZFC offer BD prepped chains.
The pre prep option variations should be loaded to all applicable chains by early next week.
Lastly, it is always exciting to add another product to ZFC line up after months of the worlds toughest control testing. It is a very, very select line up of only the best in class on the ZFC website.