Cycling, Gear & Technology, Podcast

Chain lubrication (save watts and money) with Adam Kerin | EP#323

 January 31, 2022

By  Bernardo Gonçalves

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HERE:

Adam Kerin - That Triathlon Show

Adam Kerin is the founder of Zero Friction Cycling. At ZFC he does independent testing of chain lubricants, and he also provides services (to individuals and businesses) and retails products related to reducing friction in the drive train, which ultimately helps you save watts and save money.

In this Episode you'll learn about:

  • Performance consequences of low- and high-friction drivetrains.
  • Wear and tear, and financial consequences of low- and high-friction drivetrains.
  • Different methods and tools for chain lubrication, and pros and cons of each.
  • How to get started with waxing your chain, and why you should consider it.
  • Race chains, training chains, and smart chain rotation.

Sponsored by:

Precision Fuel & Hydration
Optimise and individualise your fueling and hydration strategy using the free online Sweat Test and Quick Carb Calculator on precisionfuelandhydration.com. Book a free one-on-one consultation to chat with the team and refine your fueling and hydration even further. Listeners of That Triathlon Show get 15% off their first order of fueling and hydration products. If you didn't catch the discount code in the episode, email Andy and the team at hello@precicionhydration.com and they will be happy to help. 

ROKA

ROKA
Exceptional quality triathlon wetsuits, trisuits, swimskins, goggles, performance sunglasses as well as prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses.  Online vision test for prescription updates and home try-on options available for eyeglasses. Ships from  the US, UK and EU. Trusted by world-leading athletes such as  Lucy Charles-Barclay, Javier Gómez Noya, Flora Duffy, Morgan Pearson, Summer Rappaport and others in triathlon, cycling, speed skating, and many more. Visit roka.com/tts for 20% off your order.

Shownotes

Adam's Background

03:46 -

  • I am Adam Keirin from Zero Friction Cycling. I started Zero Friction Cycling five years ago.
  • The aim was to pick up the work left from Friction Facts. (Jason Smith's work)
  • He was the first to evaluate bicycle lubricant efficiency and provide accurate testing.
  • He expanded it to the bottom bracket and pulley bearings, as well as to pedals.
  • Ceramic Speed took him on board, but I felt there was much to do in this space.
  • His testing was accurate. However, the essential information for cyclists is what happens to our chains when we ride for extended periods.
  • Jason's tests were short. (five minutes in clean labs)
  • I took it a bit further by evaluating the lubricant efficiency over time. So, we started testing different solutions for all cycling modalities. (road, MTB, cyclocross)
  • Therefore, we took on the work from Friction Facts and started implementing it to provide more real-world information.

Chain Cleaning and lubrification

Chain Cleaning

06:21 -

  • This topic is a proper place to start. One point I want to pass is to remove the factory grease from our chain.
  • There is much information stating factory grease is excellent. Often, that comes from chain manufacturers that sponsor the media outlets. (you should have more chains for that reason)
  • It might be excellent to maintain inside a package for a long time and ride in a clean lab.
  • However, factory grease is terrible if you ride outside. Every particle of dust will stick to it.
  • They start fast but will slow you down and wear the chain out quickly.
  • Therefore, step one is to remove that grease. (it is easier to do it if you do it when brand new)
  • Once you ride with that chain without taking the grease, you will need more degreaser and more time to take it out.
  • You want to clean the chain off the bike. (safest way to remove factory grease)
  • You take it out and put it on a recipient with a solvent. In Australia, we recommend mineral turpentine. (organic solvent)
  • It does not have any risks regarding hydrogen embrittlement. Some degreasers have components that corrode the chain. 
  • But you do not have that problem using mineral turpentine.
  • Once you have done the first solvent soup, you only have to bathe the chain a couple of times.
  • The final step is methylated spirits. (pure alcohol)
  • It will make sure there is no film left behind.
  • To clean the chain is a two-step project.
  • First, you clean the factory degrease. And second, it is making sure no film is left behind. 
  • Many of the top lubricants (immersive wax; drip chain lubricants) work better when they bond to a clean chain.
  • It is happening more efficiently if there is no film left behind. 
  • Some people clean their chains using petrol or diesel, or only a degreaser. And these will leave a heavy film. Therefore, what you apply after will not be as effective as it could be.
  • I have all the instructions on my website. If you cannot find mineral turpentine or methylated spirits, you can buy equivalents at a random hardware store.
  • Most stores will have the same (with a different name) or something similar.
  • You can use cycling degreasers. The only problem is that they cost you much more.
  • You can also do the cleaning process on the bike. (if you are not confident about taking the chain off)
  • In this situation, my recommendation is to use UFO clean. 
  • It is a high-quality solvent to remove any films and improve waxing adherence. Of course, it is much more expensive.
  • I am still a proponent of off-the-bike clean because you will do a perfect job every time.

Cleaning an existing chain

12:43 -

  • The clean of these chains will depend on the goal after cleaning.
  • If it is a maintenance clean, the level of cleaning will depend on you. If you want to do immersive waxing, you should take the chain off and do a solvent bath.
  • If you want to put only some lube after, you might need only to use degreaser spray. You can reduce the amount of contamination a bit.
  • However, the clean is not perfect. 

Types of lubrificants

14:03 -

  • The primary ones are wet lubricant and dry type lubricants (finish dry lube, Muc-off C3 Ceramic Dry).
  • I do not recommend dry lubricants at all.
  • They are popular because they are cleaner on the outside.
  • They work as carriers that evaporate, leaving some lubrication inside the chain. They look clean but leave little lubrication left. Thus, they have high wear rates.
  • People can wear out their chains and drivetrains on short periods with those lubricants.
  • You have your wax emulsion products. These are a blend of wax types on a water-based carrier.
  • Most of the water evaporates overnight. (the wax is what remains on the chain)
  • Most lubricants are good despite having some issues to work around when using them.
  • Finally, you have chain coating type lubricants. These are often wax-based as well. (UFO Drip, Silca Super Secret)
  • They are a distinct wax type. These want to replicate the results of waxing in a bottle. It is a highly refined wax.
  • They have some special modifiers as well. 
  • These lubricants tend to be set on a solid chain coating. The other wax types will not set on something more of a "paste". 
  • This lube type is the most recent, and it tends to cost more per bottle. However, coating type lubes are fast and have low wear rates.
  • Immersive waxing is now in the spotlight these days. People have shown more appreciation for these products. (Immersive melting wax pot) It is the number one recommendation for those people.
  • People use it regularly. (not only for race day)
  • They deliver the lowest friction from a lubricant. (If you can handle taking the chain out and putting it into a pot)

Wet Lubricants

18:08 -

  • In this category, we have many sub-categories. I have never tested aerosol wet lubes. However, I do not recommend them at this stage.
  • An aerosol is thin, and it is tricky to get the lube deep in the chain.

Is immersive waxing the best option for Adam?

19:27 -

  • When I started, I did not know much about these topics.
  • I thought I was using a decent wet lube. 
  • People get complacency about what is usual. It is common for people to apply the lube, and things go black after 3000-5000 km.
  • The chain passed the recommended changing mark. Therefore, they have to buy a new chain and a new cassette.
  • Friction Facts made a collaboration with Velonews. It was when I heard about molten wax for the first time.
  • As soon as I saw it, I understood that would be much better.
  • We tend to find three people categories: people like me (cat. A). people that understand it but need time to process it (cat. B). And people that refuse the technology. (Cat. C)
  • Cat. "A" people see the improvements and accept them from the start. (they are the early adopters)
  • Cat. "B" people understand the results but need more time to change.
  • Cat. "C" people say that is crazy. "Taking the chain out to stick it into a pot of molten wax. Are you kidding me?"
  • Your chain does not have protection against the elements. Therefore, it is an extreme lubricant challenge.
  • Few things need to work as hard as a bike chain with those levels of exposure. And regularly, we do not give it the thoughts and attention it deserves.
  • For example, if you exposed the wheel bearings. Do you think they would be smooth after 1000 km? Or would they feel worn out?
  • It is that challenge we have for the chain. And it works much harder than the bearings.
  • As you cycle and apply lube on the top of the old coating, the ratio of coating contamination worsens.
  • Tiny changes will add up quickly for a component that is working hard.
  • With immersive waxing, we run a solid on our chains. "Solid" chain coating has the highest contamination resistance you can get.
  • If we have contamination on the chain, it will go away when reapplying the wax coating. The chain will be in a pot, and the old coat will melt off. Therefore, the chain is recoated and reset to the initial point.
  • There is no chain maintenance and cleaning process you have to do. You only need to rewax the chain and resets to "brand-new".
  • You can go for a ride with a smooth slick chain every single time when doing this. 
  • And Chains/drivetrains last two to three times longer than regular.
  • Some of the best waxes are paraffin waxes. Paraffin melts at about 60 ºC. 
  • If you go out to ride in the wet, you will need to use a lot of chain lubricant with regular procedures.
  • You might not do anything (just lube), and you will have high friction and wear.
  • Water runs through the chain and brings a lot of grit and contamination. That becomes part of the lubricant, and you have an abrasive coating.
  • After a wet ride, you have to reset the contamination. (if you want to go back to a low friction/wear chain.
  • If you ride in the sun again without doing it, it will feel like you are riding in those harsh conditions.
  • With immersive waxing, you rewax. And contamination resets.
  • As you ride more on the wet, you will contaminate the wax pot faster. (if you do not do something to reduce that)
  • With boiling water, you can remove dirt from the wax before rewaxing.
  • Thus, your wax pot stays perfect for longer, and the chain gets a better coating.
  • If you run a wax drip lube chain, you will apply 5mL of wax lubricant over the chain.
  • Your chain has more than 100 links. Thus, you are applying 0.05 mL to each link over the top of the old coating. (which is contaminated and abrasive)
  • You do not get a good result. So, you have to do this work of resetting the chain by yourself. You can do it on the bike and do an average job. Or you pop the chain and stick it into a pot, and melted wax will take of the things for you.
  • Many people think immersive waxing will take more time. They have to take the chain off and rewax. However, it takes less time than you would need to do conventionally.

Performance benefits of immersive wax

30:28 -

  • Chain optimisation is in a class of its own. (full race chain)
  • The top immersive wax on a good chain will be around the 4 W mark. (low friction chain)
  • Adding lubricant can result in 5-7 W, even on clean chains.
  • Some of the worst lube tested had 8-9 W losses.
  • Even if you have cleaned the chain perfectly, there will be a 3 W difference between the best and worst lubricants.
  • Once you start riding, things can change quickly.
  • A good bicycle lube can stay low friction for long. The only way to maintain low friction is to avoid absorbing the contamination from the exterior.
  • It will depend on where you ride. On cyclocross and MTB, equipment selection is crucial. (running a wet lubricant off-road is just a bad idea)
  • Every particle of dust will get stuck in the lube. My testing blocks have cleaned blocks with no contamination and dry contamination. Wet lubricants always struggle compared to top waxes and chain coat type lubricants.
  • Therefore, you should ride with an emulsive/immersive wax.
  • On the road, there is more contamination than people think.
  • If you think that is not the case, you should see how much it takes for your chain to turn black.
  • Some lubricants will absorb more dust and become part of the coat. Therefore, they will get abrasive.
  • Depending on when you are running, an immersive wax beats everything else.
  • Even the UFO and Silca Super Secret products take a long time to accumulate efficiency losses. The emulsive waxes tend to be good at resisting contamination.
  • Top wet lubricants (e.g., Silca synergetic, Rex black Diamond) can also stay low friction for long. The method is we need so little to apply to the chain that they stay cleaner for longer.
  • You apply these tiny amounts of lubricants to the chain. You clean the chain thoroughly. (remove all the excess lube from outside the chain)
  • If you have wet lube on the outside of the chain, every particle of dust will get stuck into it.
  • The cleaner the outside of the chain is, the longer it will stay at low friction.
  • The top wet lubricants are a good choice for many cyclists. All of them have a long treatment span.
  • Therefore, the maintenance is lower than standard wet lubricants that collect dust. (too much black mess to workaround)

Performance loss by not cleaning the chain after a wet ride

38:17 -

  • It will depend on the lube. If you do not clean the bike, you will see power increases, even for the best lubricants.
  • There is no method to avoid the water going through your chain and leaving particles. 
  • Consistent riding in wet conditions without cleaning procedures will see substantial increases in drivetrain wear.
  • Let's say it increases by 3 W over some wet rides. It is a 3 W loss in every pedal stroke. (power going to wear your chain and drivetrain components, and making it last less time)
  • It will add up to a substantial expense. And this is where complacency comes.
  • Many people accept the chain and drivetrain lifespan they have experienced for a while.
  • With little effort, you can get so much more of your drivetrain. If people do not obtain an increase by two or three times of the lifespan, I would be surprised. (by selecting a top wax product)
  • If you are running high-cost drivetrain components, this cost adds up substantially.
  • If you are running 105, it might not be as problematic. (if you do not have concerns about power losses)
  • If you are running SRAM/Dura-Ace components, it is different.
  • If you do 5000-10000 km/year and use a regular wet lube, the cost could be as high as buying a new helmet/kit/shoes.
  • You could buy all of them instead of drivetrain components in many cases.

Examples of cost to run drivetrains

42:19 -

  • The tests I do are more realistic (with contaminated chains running over 1000s of km). 
  • Based on the wear I get on Zero Friction drivetrain tests (including costs of lubricant and all different components) we can extrapolate how much it would cost to run 10000 km.
  • We can compare lubricants between each other: for example, drivetrain in dry road conditions with Ultegra 11s-groupset. The cost to run 10000 km with the molten speed wax is 101.60 $. It factors the cost of lubricant and parts wear. 
  • If I look at average lubricant choices: Squirt products come at 369 $/10000 km. At the bottom, Muc-off Nano (costly lube) returns high wear rates. (1200 $/10000 km)
  • Therefore, I have an 1100 $ difference between the best and the worst lubricant option for Ultegra.
  • If we move to a more expensive groupset, wear rates become more crucial. For Dura-Ace, Molten Speed Wax is at 240 $/ 10000 km. 
  • The worst is still Muc-off Nano at 3750 $/ 10000km.
  • We have a 3500 $ difference between the best and worst options.
  • There are many options in the 1200 $ range. But, even with that, there is still a 1000 $ difference.
  • It would be even worse if I modelled it to SRM Axis Road. (700 € cassettes and expensive chainrings)
  • "Muc-off" is an intriguing company. They make their lubricants visible in UV light to confirm the whole chain has to lube.
  • However, doing it for a wet lube on the outside of the chain is a recipe for disaster.
  • You will end up with a black abrasive paste for a chain.
  • You want good lubricant inside your chain and take the excess from outside. (attract as little contamination as possible)
  • Therefore, using the UV light to confirm the chain has a wet lube coat on the exterior ends badly. (do not do it)
  • Many media outlets supported that UV light idea, and I do not know why.

Race optimised chain

47:46 -

  • Instead of cleaning the factory grease and applying the top lubricant, a fully-optimised chain starts with a control braking.
  • The braking varies a bit by the chain. Some chains come in a well-broken state.
  • Other chains present more normal tolerance. (YBM chains, KMC)
  • SRAM tends to present tight tolerances between the roller and the inner plate shoulders.
  • Shimano chains regularly need a shorter length braking. Standard chains have medium braking, and SRAM tends to have lengthy braking.
  • Doing braking with the factory grease is step one. It is a controlled "braking". (it helps if done in a clean environment)
  • If you do it at home, do it on the turbo trainer. (do not do it outside)
  • After braking, professionally, it will go through ultra-sonic cleaning rounds.
  • Then, it goes into the wax. (e.g. Molten Speed Wax)
  • The "Wax" is ultra-sonically applied. It is fresh for each chain. 
  • We break the wax. Depending on the wax, we can powder it.
  • It takes some labour time to do all this. (main cost)
  • The benefits are not on the surface. You might get a chain that is 1 W faster. (compared to wax procedure for a training chain)
  • It might not sound much on the first view. 
  • We are taking 1 W from a world-class prepared chain. And one good thing is that it will stay 1 W quicker throughout the lifespan.
  • It is non-sense to use on the same chain to train and race.
  • Despite the best lubricants and maintenance, there will always be some losses. The chain has too many moving parts. 
  • The first thing going out will be the low friction coating and has some wear appears, it will lose efficiency.
  • The losses will not be massive.
  • If it is a drip lube chain, it might be 2-3 W.
  • No national-level cyclists will appear in a race on an old chain.
  • A dedicated race chain will be faster than a training chain. And the maintenance of the race chain is much easier. (you only use once in a while)
  • Sooner or later, everyone will need a training chain. When your training chain gets to the 5 % changing mark, your dedicated chain can be a training chain, and you can buy a new race chain.
  • It does not cost more. (unless you are paying to have an optimised race chain)
  • People think buying a race chain is a significant expense. However, you can maintain it "super fast" for the other events.

Time to do the initial break

55:10 -

  • In the ballpark, I would say 20-60 minutes. I have seen some youtube channels recommending a 400 km initial break.
  • If you go out and ride 400 km on factory grease, you will probably hinder your race chain.
  • The break-in is shorter than what people think. It is only to get tiny particles from manufacturers absorbed by factory grease.
  • Therefore, when you clean the factory, everything comes out of it.
  • The break-in is also about conditioning the chain surface. You can improve it slightly. 
  • The ultra-sonic cleanings confirm that all the particles come out after the break-in. (as opposed to an agitated bath)
  • These marginal things lead to that difference in chain performance.

Using multiple chains for training

57:01 -

  • This strategy is for high volume athletes. And also for those that are doing the immersive waxing consistently.
  • It is also helpful for people that ride in wet conditions often. (it is easier than trying to maintain only one chain)
  • We have many racers here doing the immersive waxing. The protocol they use is the following:
  • They do 400-500 km/week. The goal is to have two cleans a week. Most have jobs, so it is hard to do more than that.
  • If you have two training chains, you might use one during the week. You would use the other one at the weekend.
  • Then, you clean them both on Monday.
  • It is time-efficient to wax multiple chains once.
  • A chain suffers a treatment every 200-300 km. It is a good practice for chain longevity.
  • During the five years, I have been doing this, my two chains did not get to the 5 % replacement mark. (before I bought a new bike)
  • Most racers change bikes every 1-2 years. So, they do 20000-30000 km before buying a new bike.
  • They can do it, and they only use two chains.
  • In the old drip lube days, they could average 5000 km/"chain". They would have gone through six chains, and 3-6 cassettes, depending on how good they were.
  • It is a significant difference between the costs you have between the two options.
  • It is not feasible for some to ride in the wet and do a wax treatment every day.
  • There is a misconception that immersive waxing is not the best option for riding in the wet. (you should use a heavy wet lube instead)
  • But it does not matter what lube you use. The lube will get contaminated, and it will get abrasive.
  • The primary goal is resetting the contamination after each ride. 
  • And we can achieve that with immersive waxing.
  • If you ride on wet, you have to dry the chain and pop it off. It will protect the chain from getting rust.
  • The chain will not have problems, wrapped up in a cloth. (for a few days)
  •  Then you pop your next chain on and do the same. Some people might even have a third training chain for harsh weather conditions.
  • Once the third chain has its training, they perform a wax treatment on them.
  • And waxing multiple chains is not more time demanding than waxing one chain.
  • If you do this, you get much more chain longevity. All you have to do is to pre-buy 1-2 chains.
  • You do not spend more money when riding more mileage. You will need a new chain anyway. (Especially when using only one chain)
  • So, you can ride all the time on a smooth drivetrain.
  • Is this protocol of multiple chains handy for those not doing immersive waxing?
  • I would say yes. If you train for many hours, having two chains will be better. (only if you do a proper treatment to both of them)
  • When you take the chain off, you have an opportunity to clean it properly.
  • Having two chains for training means two chains go through your drivetrain.
  • The primary danger of running only one chain is passing the replacement mark. (before athletes realise it)
  • Passing the replacement mark means the chain elongates.
  • It will lead to the chain hitting the top of the chainring teeth and sliding down the face.
  • The second part is the chain will sit higher on those teeth, causing a lot of wear in the cassette.
  • You can do the same wear in 1000 km with the chain elongated, as you would with 5000 km with a regular chain.
  • Chain wear is not linear with drip lubricants. Initially, the lube will not be dirty. (first half of its life) As it gets more contaminated, the wear will increase. Therefore, some of the coating protection will disappear.
  • People can check their chain after 2500 km and think the chain can last the same period. After 2000 km, it is already past the replacement mark.
  • Now, the new chain does not fit into the old cassette. (another investment for the cyclist)
  • With wax treatment, the wear remains steady. 
  • Using two chains means your cassette will last at least two times more.
  • You will also slow down the wear on the chain. 

Immersive waxing process

1:05:20 -

  • It is a simple process. You need to run a master link on your chain. (connective link, as opposed to a pin)
  • You have the master link tool and open the master link.
  • You remove the chain from your bike.
  • Then, you put the chain through a swisher tool. (a wire in a U shape)
  • You thread it onto that wire.
  • You pop your chain into the wax in the pot and turn it into low.
  • Once you have done it several times, this will take you 60 seconds.
  • Then, you go away and do some fun things. 
  • You come back lack when the wax has melted.
  • You swish the chain in the pot for 15-20 seconds. 
  • You remove the chain from the pot and leave the excess wax to come out.
  • Then, hang it somewhere to sit. (bonus points for those that put the chain over the pot. The excess wax will return to the wax pot)
  • These steps should take you one minute.
  • The wax sets hard on the chain. (you can hold the chain straight without the links bending)
  • Therefore, you need to break the wax bond on the links. You can do it one by one with your thumb.
  • On my Youtube channel, I have a video demonstrating the simplicity of the process. I break the bonds over the first links and roll the chain around something cylindrical.
  •  It should take around 30 seconds.
  • Finally, you reinstall the chain back on your bike and reconnect the master link. (maybe 1min30s for this part)
  • Therefore, in total, we have four minutes of labour time.
  • It is three minutes more than dripping lube and wiping the chain
  • However, you do not have the back end maintenance time.
  • With this process, you keep everything low friction.
  • And it is super clean.
  • There is also the environmental side of not using solvents.
  • We do not think of where these solvents end up. 
  • However, we should think millions of people use degreasers and solvents in their homes. (where does all this stuff end up?)
  • I believe we can do better than this.
  • It is another reason we recommend the top wax. They do not need solvents.

Tools for waxing

1:09:45 -

  • You only need the master link and the master link tool, a swisher tool (a U wire)
  • You also require a slow cooker. (instant/crockpot - something where you can do multiple processes)
  • They heat the wax evenly. You cannot use a rice cooker. 
  • Rice cookers blast the heat quickly. (the heating process is too fast for the wax)
  • It breaks down the paraffin molecules and kills their lubricity. 
  • Moreover, once they get to a specific temperature, they switch to warm. (60 ºC)
  • It is on wax set point.
  • If you go away and then return, you remove the chain at that temperature with an extensive amount of excess wax. (too much for what you need)
  • Do not use your stove, barbecue, microwave or oven.
  • You have poor temperature control. (easy to overheat the wax and ruin the process)
  • Paraffin is flammable. (it can ignite at higher temperatures)
  • Therefore, stoves or barbecues to heat it is not the best option. 
  • In these cases, waxing is dangerous. 
  • If you do the process with a slow cooker, it is safe.

Effects of chain selection on performance and longevity

1:14:10 -

  • There is a difference between chains. (more than what people think)
  • The fastest chains are on the 3 W mark.
  • Then, you have good chains on the 4 W mark.
  • The slowest chains tend to be from SRAM, which never tested fast.
  • For example, SRAM has like 6.5 W losses. (even for top tier chains)
  • We do not have data for lower spectrum chains.
  • There is not a perfect correlation between chain losses and longevity.
  • My tests stated that KMC did not go well in longevity terms, but they are fast.
  • Other chains are not as fast as the Dura-ace but have more longevity.
  • SRAM chains are slower but tend to be more durable. But it would be good if they had a fast chain. (like a TT chain)
  • The other groupsets present options of what chains you want to run. (they all have 11x1 chains)
  • You can run different chains from different companies on your bike.
  • With Axis Road, you have to run that specific chain. The standards are different. (they are much thinner, and have oversize rolls)
  • You cannot run another 12-speed chain on the Axis Road groupset. (the drivetrain would not fit)

General questions

1:19:32 -

Can you give three pieces of advice to athletes to take from this interview?

  • First, you have to clean factory grease off your chain. Do not believe what you might read elsewhere. 
  • Second, immersive waxing is not a complicated process at all. It saves people much time. It will protect you from much friction and wear. Moreover, it will keep you from using solvents as part of your cleaning process. 
  • Third, if immersive waxing is not for you, your best lubricant will be one that is stable, clean and low-friction. The best are coating chain type lubricants. (UFO Drip, Silca Super Secret) They have these features.
  • Fourth, if those options are not for you, there are some wet lubricant options out there. There could be more than the ones I tested so far. (my testing protocols take a long time to complete) Examples are Silca Synergetic or Rex Black Diamond. (you will like them more compared to the random choice you have at the moment)

You could have double the lifespan of your drivetrain with them, and maintenance will be less complex. (they remain cleaner for longer)

I apologise to any manufacturers that produce quality wet lubricants. As we do more testing, we will update our recommendation list.

What is next for Zero Friction Cycling?

At the moment, things are flat out on all fronts. Therefore, it is exciting. The only concern is that I have many detailed reviews to create. The retail side continues to grow from the information and testing side of the business. This situation also put me without much time to focus on anything else.

My goal for the future is to sort out the projects I will do. (to maintain me in control of everything related to the company)

I did not plan to make a living from this. It has exceeded that intention a bit.

I should put a staff member to run the retail side of the business. With this, I could focus on testing and the project side.

But I do not want to have staff at the moment. So, the next step is to have a better balance of the workload.

For the future, I think Zero Friction Cycling will outgrow the initial plans. Thus, I might have to hire staff or split the business.

I am reflecting on this situation at the moment. Sometimes, I think I can do it. But other, I feel it is overwhelming for me.

It is a pleasant problem. And I feel fortunate for the support that some people gave to the company.

It is not only about race performance but also about reducing the use of lubricants and solvents. (we do not know where these end up)

We inform people about the best lubricant choices based on their personal preferences.  

We also bring some accountability. There is so much marketing that it is complex to sort out the truthness of some claims.

Unfortunately, the product does not get close to the claims manufacturers make. (many products with emphatic claims turn out to be the worst sometimes)

Rapid fire questions

1:27:37 -

What is your favourite book, blog or resource?

Faster: The Obsession, Science and Luck Behind the World's Fastest Cyclists by Michael Hutchinson.

What is an important habit that benefited athletically, professionally or personally?

Athletically, I would say sleep (at least eight hours in bed). Personally, balance the time between training, work and family. Professionally, make something you believe has a positive contribution.

Who is someone you have looked up to or who has inspired you?

Elon Musk is one of the most intelligent people and doing many things in different areas. However, I do not tend to look up to many celebrities. Elon works all the time, and I do not look to him in this regard.
I get inspired by the people I talk to and work with daily.

LINKS AND RESOURCES:


Bernardo Gonçalves

Bernardo is a Portuguese elite cyclist and PhD student in the field of aerodynamics at the University of Coimbra. He writes the shownotes for That Triathlon Show, and also produces social media content for each new episode.

ReCENT EPISODES:
  • Hello,
    congratulation for this post, very good articule.
    Is it possible to melt paraffin in the ultrasonic cleaning machine? Will this machine with the ultrasonic effect help to better ingrain the wax in the links?

    Thanks

    Regards

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Explore our products and services

    >