How much can friction be reduced by changing the stock lubricant? More than you might think.
  • dypeterc

    Free power is free power. But it seems like a lot of work.

    • jules

      agreed. there are more reliable ways improving power (to weight). the Singaporean team Singha Infinite are doing innovative stuff with this right now

    • The triathletes absolutely love this stuff and will go to any lengths for that free power!

      • Dave

        Especially if it gives them an excuse to spend up big on gear!

  • jules

    the problem with these results are that they are based on best-case scenarios. the reason you put thicker or greater quantities of lube into your bearings is to protect against the impacts of foreign objects entering into the bearings, or the lube being washed out.

    the moment that happens, a test will find that there is a lot of power to be ‘gained’ by using great quantities of and thicker lube that doesn’t give you 0.3w under ideal conditions.

    • James Huang

      “However, those friction reductions will reduce long-term durability, especially in harsher weather conditions. Even with the seals in place — which Smith recommends, based on his data — replacing thicker factory-applied grease with lower quantities of a lower-viscosity alternative will decrease the bearings’ ability to resist water infiltration. In addition, none of the high-performance lubricants tested are designed to be used for extensive periods of time. CeramicSpeed, for example, recommends that its TT bearing grease be reapplied after just 1000-2000km.”

      • jules

        yes, I did read that and it’s what I was referring to. but I’d go further than saying it affects durability – you could easily find yourself down 10-20+w (at a guess). there’s no guarantee that re-applying the grease every 1000km will prevent that. it’s a high risk strategy. I’m basically agreeing with you (not that you were waiting for me to do that) :)

        • Sean Doyle

          Id counter that by saying for such specifically prepared components you would do a tear down and reapply from scratch before every event. Race prep is so much different from everyday ride preo when you go this far. Having seals on the outside would be enough to stop ingress in a single event.

  • velocite

    All very interesting, of course, but IMHO the take home conclusion is you should make sure you’re lubed up for longevity, because the resistance gains are negligible – unless you’re going for the hour record. My perspective is to tyre rolling resistance – you can easily lose/save 10 watts or more at 30 kph depending on your choice of tyre, and your tyre pressure. The same goes for the earlier friction facts reports on chain lubes.

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