The chain that powers your bike is crucial to performance – anyone who has suffered a sticky link will know this to be true. Most of us keep our chains running smoothly by regularly cleaning them and adding a thin layer of lube, but now bike cleaning and performance magicians Muc-Off are able to offer you the fastest set of links yet.
Muc-Off have developed a unique Speed Film Lubrication – called ‘NanoTube Chain Optimisation’ – and they can treat any Shimano, Campagnolo or SRAM chain with the substance. The system was developed for Bradley Wiggins’ hour record attempt, and Bridie O’Donnell was kitted out with a treated chain for her record-breaking effort too.
After the attempt, her sports scientist Ken Ballhause applauded the invention, saying: “Consistency is key and reducing driveline resistance is vital, when keeping the variability in cadence and power to an absolute minimum. Muc-Off’s chain treatment process was a vital link in achieving the Hour Record".
Up until now, the chains were being tested and developed, but they’re finally ready for people to use on and off the road – Muc-Off say: “This new, state of the art formula and treatment process pushes the boundaries of chain lube innovation and is designed specifically to keep friction to an absolute bare minimum. A highly advanced new military grade additive has been implemented along with cutting edge extreme pressure additives, to create an incredibly fast and durable chain lube treatment."
The treated chain is put straight on to the bike, and no more lubricant will need to be applied for the next 400 miles in dry conditions, or 250 miles in the wet. Muc-Off estimate this innovative development could save an athlete six watts – not huge for most of us, but massive for a competitive record breaker.
Eventually the chain will need cleaning, but after this Muc-Off say it will be almost returned to its initial glory, maybe losing just 1-2 watts on the initial performance.
The catch? A treated chain costs between £135 and £140 – a pretty steep climb from the £20 you might spend on a new Shimano 105 set of metal. However, the treatment is individually applied and rather painstakingly so. Not only that, we expect in the next couple of years to see trickle down technology, making chains that need weekly maintenance a thing of the past (we hope!)
Check out this video Muc-Off made to share the news of their new innovation...
Interested, if only out of curiosity? Check out the product page here.
You don't have to spend quite so much to have a smooth, well running bike - check out these posts for advice: