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by Mark Zalewski
January 26, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Boonen wins with disc in San Juan; Name, dates, and host cities announced for inaugural Colorado Classic UCI stage race; Atapuma crashes hard in San Juan, loses consciousness; Van Aert camp responds to Twitter posts by Pauwels, van der Poel; Stephen Hyde calls for new US pro CX series; Possible British cyclocross World Cup event in the works; New Irish pro track team forming; CyclingTips podcast, Episode 23: Watts up with mechanical friction and chain lube?; London cyclists most affected by current high air pollution levels; Research study on ‘race weight’ seeking participants; Vuelta a San Juan, stage 2 – highlights; Documentary: Length of Sweden.
There are four main obstacles to forward motion when you ride a bike: aerodynamic drag, gravity, rolling resistance, and mechanical friction. Of those, mechanical friction — created by the chain, bottom bracket bearings, hub bearings, pedal bearings, and rear derailleur pulley bearings — is the smallest value by far, and certainly much less significant than aerodynamic drag.
Nevertheless, that figure isn’t zero.
Luckily, it turns out that chains are not only the greatest contributors to friction, but also the easiest and cheapest area to improve.
This week’s CyclingTips podcast features two guest speakers: Jason Smith, the chief technology officer for CeramicSpeed and founder of Friction Facts, and Kyle McBride, an associate formulator for an industrial lubricant manufacturer.
Together with U.S. technical editor James Huang, we’ll take a (very) deep dive into mechanical friction, chains, and chain lube, and discuss why it’s time to start thinking about your bike the next time you do your laundry.