Low Friction News 24!

Wet lubricants vs Immersive waxing and chain coating lubricants + Project updates + GRAX & what the Fudge testing + You tube is really coming for realz.

Well, the last project week absolutely zoomed by – I lost a day and half to things that came up on the home front (new car – Tesla woohoo!) and so despite ploughing on hard I only managed to get though half my planned review work.

You will now find up on lubricant test page the NON detail review for absoluteBlack Graphene Lubricant – due to that test being locked up under NDA I cannot cover the test results block by block in detail or quote any figures etc – however as I receive A LOT of enquires re graphene lubricant a broad strokes review that does not breach NDA was needed.

And it gave me the chance to cover what you should do post wet rides with your chain, as many do not realise that if you do a solid wet ride – you really really should do something about all the contamination brought deep into chain by water passing through it.

This was very topical for graphene lubricant and so I covered this in depth in that review in lieu of having full detail review to cover – so if you want to really be in the know on what you should do, or are just curious re the worlds most expensive lubricant overall – head here and read the review:


Short version for those not wanting to read much – if you do a proper wet ride – even if you are running the worlds best know chain coating type lubricants such as Graphene lube, Silca Hot melt, Mspeedwax, Silca ss drip, UFO drip, Tru-Tension Tungsten all weather etc – your chain is not water proof. Water is a great transport medium to bring abrasive contamination deep into chain, whereupon it will be pressed into set coating by your peddling load.

From there, it is effectively land locked. Unless you remove it, it isn’t going anywhere, it will merrily keep abrading away wearing your chains pins, inner plate bore, roller bore etc – and not be low friction.

What you need to do to re-set contamination post wet ride varies a lot depending on what lubricant you run. Wet lubricants – you need solvent. Top wax lubricants like hot melt & mspeedwax, silca ss drip – just boil up the kettle for a really good overall clean. Perfect clean kettle plus UFO Clean. UFO drip and graphene wax – definitely some UFO clean + kettle.

For lubricants like Smoove / Squirt – they are a tougher clean so definitely some UFO clean soaking and mineral turps + metho (boiling water doesn’t really work on their wax base).

However you need to take into account what is involved post clean as well. Immersive waxing – pop into pot and turn pot on, come back later whenever melted and swish around and hang to set. Silca ss / UFO apply as per instructions – very easy. Ab graphene – immersive application that will I kid you not cost you around $40. Smoove / squirt – really they should be immersive too – but you can faff around with heating chain and lube and help penetration issues to some degree, but not completely negate. Wet lubes, easy re-application.

In short – if you ride a lot in the wet, be prepared that you need to be paying attention to what you do post wet ride. Just adding more lubricant over the top of the abrasive paste that is now your lubricant doesn’t really do a great job of moving things back to low friction. Again remember it is an EXTREME challenge to keep an external part working so hard low friction when exposed to such conditions. Imagine throwing a whole bunch of grit in your bearings, and think ah, I will just add a touch more grease and she’ll be right.

She wont.

So if you want to know more – head to the graphene lube review where I cover this in much better detail, and you will know what you should do + some easy top hints and tips.

Silca Hot Melt Review

Ok this one took me a fair bit longer than expected, basically a day to do the review and a day to edit it, but I created a whole bunch of new graphs as would you believe it, there was another hot topic issue I needed to tackle and get straightened out.

Recently there has been on a number of top podcasts – the advice has been for those who frequently ride in the wet, that immersive waxing / chain coating type lubricants are not suitable and you should use a wet lubricant.

Well, I can tell you from a huge amount of testing and customer data – this information & advice is just flat out wrong. Way, way wrong. The wear rates for the top immersive waxes / chain coating type lubricants is in the order of 1/10th that of the top wet lubricants in the wet contamination test block.

Yes you can just park your bike post wet ride with a wet lube and your rollers wont rust, but just remember what you have is a lapping compound masquerading as your chain lubricant. Again, contamination just sticks on contact, and unless you do something about it, it doesn’t go anywhere.

So for the Hot melt review, I duplicated all my lovely new graphs for the detail review format to show results for the top wet lubricants vs top chain coating type lubricants.

Again I take the opportunity to cover in depth a bunch of stuff in this review to really hammer home how to easily ensure you have a low friction low wear drive train. If you get to it, hope you enjoy the new detail review format, and I will try to promise the next one will be shorter and I will try not to tackle a topical issue so much.

But overall I think its my best detail review work yet, and also the short version is Silca Hot melt sits as the current new king of low friction goodness – Mspeedwax do have a new formula and in discussions now re testing – so the gap may not be as big as the data shows – time will tell!


Allied Cycleworks GRAX – Gravel specific lubricant and test data WTF.

Ah man. Already this lil nerd is B#lls to the wall trying to combat the depressing amount of rubbish pumped out on you-tube and forums / articles etc – and already we have had quite some fun trying to clarity the ridiculous (in my opinion….) test results by muc-off and wheel energy, and now we have Allied stepping into the space with for the launch of their new Grax gravel specific lubricant.

I wont go into detail here or this update will be mega – but I will likely cover soon in a separate latest news on testing overall as the landscape keeps getting worse.

The short version is, in my opinion, which will likely soon be your opinion, a bunch of the usual traps (such as extended runs on FTT machine) were fallen into and the data is beyond flawed. So if you read the white paper and the test data, I will run through where things appear – obviously – well, wrong.

On the plus side, since they went to market with some rather outlandish data, I have them on my priority test list to test on my own volition – so I will get to that ASAP – hopefully 2021 – holy batman me and my 3 machines are going hard.

Other reviews TBA

Apologies I didn’t make it to Graphene Wax and Synergetic detail review – they will be on the hot list for next project week, however the test result data for those lubricants is up on lubricant test page on website, and also covered a bit in the Hot melt review. Short version again is synergetic is number 1 Wet lubricant at this time – (Nix Frix Shun Blue devil is on test soon, that will be super interesting), Graphene wax result very concerning and recommendation at the moment is perhaps STRONGLY consider hot melt or msw instead as wear rates for graphene wax were very high from the gun – even clean block 1. Miles away from the super high performance of Graphene lube.

YOU TUBE – I’ve been promising – its truly ruly happening!

I have known for a long time that trying to communicate all the low friction knowledge goodies via my Leo Tolstoy style documents is a losing battle vs the super quick and easy way to access mostly terrible information on you tube – and I apologise I have just been far to slow to get my silly looking face on there to sort things out much more effectively.

I did have plans to just start faffing with it and work it out / improve as I go, but things are just so crazy busy on all fronts now it was never going to happen. So I finally clicked a logic switch into place on this front and have booked a corporate video company to come up for a shoot day next project week where will aim to get 5 to 7 video’s done, then start releasing one every couple of weeks, do another shoot day every couple of months etc and away we go.

Finally I will be able to cover in proper depth and demonstration key low friction goodies, combat the common rubbish that keeps coming up, and after the first round start answering viewer questions etc.

All going well first video I hope to up in mid June, then a release every couple of weeks from there.

(next dedicated project week is from week of Monday 31st May – so get orders / enquires in by Mid Day Friday 28th May to be processed that day, otherwise will start tacking mega inbox backlog starting 4am Monday 7th June).

As always thanks to my always growing and always super loyal customer base – you make the worlds most exhaustive and truly independent testing possible, and by sharing the knowledge we are chipping away at saving more and more drivetrains the world over from an early death by abrasion, combating rubbish info pumped out by some channels who should know better, as well as making solid inroads into greatly reducing / eliminating solvent use to maintain drivetrains ending up goodness knows where.
As the saying goes nothing truly worthwhile is easy or quick so this is going to be quite a journey still, but I am extremely motivated to keep chipping away at improving drivetrain lifespans and reducing / eliminating solvent use for as many cyclists the world over as we can, and you are all supporting ZFC in this mission.

Lastly – apologies in advance for my face on you tube. Im really not a spotlight kinda guy, and really my face is best kept behind documents or podcasts – but, dagnabbit – given the choice of 20 page doc or a 5 min vid – 99.99999% will go the vid, so your eyes will just have to put up with it. Wonder if I can get them to pixelate my face like i’m undercover……..