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SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE
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First of all, huge thanks to everybody who has been using and sending me stories about SSCL.. it's been an awesome product for us and I'm thrilled to hear of your experiences!

We are just a few days out from Adam at ZeroFrictionCycling posting his report on the stuff, and wanted to update everybody on some things we learned during his testing. First of all, lowest wear EVER for a drip lube... and of course, first drip wax to fully penetrate as he has previously reported. We are lowest wearing drip by far in blocks 1-3 including dusty-sandy conditions. However, we got some interesting wet results, which were still good, but not as good as we hoped, though looks like we will still rank as the lowest cost per KM lube, best dry performance, etc.. I'll let Adam explain in his update, but it seems that our initial stated cure time was just not enough to allow the lube inside the chain to fully harden, which was good enough to be the best drip lube in ever in dry conditions, but in wet, it was allowing the water to penetrate and dilute the lube somewhat, making it only the 2nd or 3rd best ever ;-) A subsequent study here showed that we were just underestimating the drying time based on lab testing in ideal conditions and that in the real world of the garage, it is taking 12-24 hours to fully cure/dry and not the 2-8 hours we saw in the lab.

Anyway, we've updated our use guidance to include a minimum 12 hour cure in dry/warm conditions and 24 hour cure in cool or wet conditions. So if you are one of the people in cold wet climate who were experiencing spotty results, this is THE solution!! We now know that for the ZeroFriction testing we were only achieving about 75-80% cure and will be re-testing with Adam to see how much better we can be at full cure!

Cure data and other updates can be found here: https://silca.cc/...er-secret-chain-lube

Huge thanks for all of your support!! Please let me know if you have any questions.
Josh

http://www.SILCA.cc
Check out my podcast, inside stories from more than 20 years of product and tech innovation from inside the Pro Peloton and Pro Triathlon worlds!
http://www.marginalgainspodcast.cc
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [joshatsilca] [ In reply to ]
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Any pointers on off the bike chain cleaning? You have on the bike cleaning but I like my ultrasonic clearer method as per molten speed wax.
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [joshatsilca] [ In reply to ]
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totally off topic... but as an M3 owner (previous and current cars pictured below), i absolutely love your new face masks. You guys are killing it with product design.

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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [slower] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for asking.. here is my (and most pro mechanics) 'shake bottle method':

Here is info on ultrasonic cleaners and solutions to use in them, we are finishing a video on more details here but my video producer is on maternity leave, so happy to wait a few more weeks!:

http://www.SILCA.cc
Check out my podcast, inside stories from more than 20 years of product and tech innovation from inside the Pro Peloton and Pro Triathlon worlds!
http://www.marginalgainspodcast.cc
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [joshatsilca] [ In reply to ]
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Interesting note Josh, this weekend I used some of the SSSL drip wax on an already paraffin waxed chain and I noted that the surface tension of the wet lube was enough for it to sit on the surface and bubble between links of the chain. I then tried using a small artists paint brush (Don't tell my wife) and that did the trick to ensure that the lube was where I wanted it on and around the links. For curing, I like using a hair drier, is this been something you have tried? because I noted that using (not excessive) heat that I could see the original wax soften and the new liquid creep into the wax or at least that is what it looked like to the naked eye. I also do a run with a hair drier after I hot wax the clean chain, my theory is that under load the warmed wax will soften and squish out into the spaces on the inside of the roller and be better distributed. I have never heard my chain start to make noise even after a few 100 km when I do this sort of "cure" method. I would be very interested in hearing feedback on thoughts around this method to quick cure the wax or the liquid wax lube.
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [s5100e] [ In reply to ]
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Rob Bell, thanks for the kind words, glad somebody noticed and if you like what we're doing, you'll love some of the stuff that's coming!!

s5100e, we are experimenting with heat but will likely not issue any official guidance as it is just very hard to put a process to that will be easy to understand and repeatable for people around the world. You are correct that in skilled hands, it is a very effective tool at both curing the wax and will certainly speed the penetration of drip wax applied over top of existing wax.. The best general advice is to do it indoors and let it sit for 24 hours before initial use. We have found that the chain will be completely dry all the way to the core in 1 hours at 100F and 10% humidity, which is great if you live in the desert, we've built a box with small heating element and dehumidifier to do the testing below which represents different humidities at 'room temperature' and are now creating additional cure plots with varied temperature at fixed humidity.



I would not recommend using heat to break your hot wax chain free as you do not want the wax squishing about or extruding out from inside the links if possible, I'm sure that there is some perfect amount of heat that would be fine here, but would worry about the risk of getting even a bit to much on it to allow the wax to begin to push out of the spaces where you really want it to stay.

The optimal state is to have the link and roller be at 100% fill of hard wax (which it should be when it comes out of the bath and dries) that is then compacted under load and burnished by the chain itself. I use a piece of PVC pipe that I run the chain over to break the links free one by one before install, and for our ProTour chains, we run them in mechanically before waxing, and then burnish the wax on a chain dyno where we can watch the chain get faster and faster for a few kilometers before being fully optimized.

http://www.SILCA.cc
Check out my podcast, inside stories from more than 20 years of product and tech innovation from inside the Pro Peloton and Pro Triathlon worlds!
http://www.marginalgainspodcast.cc
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [joshatsilca] [ In reply to ]
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I've always wondered about something that Jobst Brandt said back in the day:

"Paraffin (canning wax), although clean, works poorly because it is not mobile and cannot replenish the bearing surfaces once it has been displaced"

"Wax does not work and no
one, but those who believe in the unbelievable, wax chains. Wax is not
mobile and cannot return to a location from which it has been removed by
rotation of one part on another. It has little film strength and
as most adherents of this method admit, it falls flat with moisture
This exposes its absence from the friction surfaces."

Was he incorrect? Have new wax formulations overcome this issue?

----------------------------------
"i disagree with your analysis [or judgment], nevertheless you have the responsibility of moderating this board so i honor your authority to make the moderating decisions."
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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Or maybe he doesn't understand what happening (and NOT happening) inside the chain, particularly how the pins / rollers / plates move in relation to each other ??
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [BobAjobb] [ In reply to ]
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BobAjobb wrote:
Or maybe he doesn't understand what happening (and NOT happening) inside the chain, particularly how the pins / rollers / plates move in relation to each other ??

I'm guessing that Jobst Brandt (he died in 2015) knew pretty well what was going on. He worked in tribology (at Porsche and at HP (disk drives)).

----------------------------------
"i disagree with your analysis [or judgment], nevertheless you have the responsibility of moderating this board so i honor your authority to make the moderating decisions."
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [joshatsilca] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the thoughts Josh. I currently use a hair drier not a heat gun so I can be mild in the amount of heat applied. I have an infrared thermometer but have not quite gotten the nerdy yet but it is coming. To me you just want to get close to the melting point of the wax, ie around 60 deg C but not over that point you want it to soften in my thinking so that the pressure from the rollers and metal to metal surfaces allow it to smooth out faster than cold pressing.

I am curious if you have ever tried brushing the drip lube on instead of dripping, to me the drip mode was messy and wasteful but the brush was far more precise.

Again on the newly waxed chain I only use a hair drier to just get enough heat to soften the wax, not to melt it, so that the wax distributes more evenly in the chain, otherwise you are using the pressure you need to apply as the means of smoothing the wax and breaking the cohesion. Again if the wax is slippery then when you break the cohesion (which I suspect is greater to itself than to metal), could you possibly be moving the wax off of the metallic surface and exposing metal when cold? Whereas if warm (not hot) you make the wax psuedo plastic and instead of breaking/ cracking it draws out and apart like soft gum? Just thoughts, so far I have no way to prove anything except how well my chain stays clean and quiet.

I really enjoy the discussion and the engagement you have with your customers Josh. As an addicted listener to the Marginal Gains podcast (my addiction is partially due to having had Josh answer a few of my questions on the podcast) keep up the good work and great products.
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [rob_bell] [ In reply to ]
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on this part of the thread I have always loved the BMW 2002 tee shirts, as an owner of two 2002's, 1973 one past, 1975 one (unfortunately) presently in partial rebuild state, I love those cars and so does my son.
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [s5100e] [ In reply to ]
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s5100e wrote:
on this part of the thread I have always loved the BMW 2002 tee shirts, as an owner of two 2002's, 1973 one past, 1975 one (unfortunately) presently in partial rebuild state, I love those cars and so does my son.

Every time I'm on the Silca website I tell myself to order one of the 2002 shirts. I had one for a number of years and loved that car. It was so much fun on the track even though it was relatively slow.
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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While Jobst is often viewed as something of a god.. and he was truly beyond smart.. he wasn't infallible and also he was going off of a mental model which probably wasn't 100% accurate.. plus he had no access to the testing and data we have now.

His replenishment argument is true.. the wax is only working when it is where it needs to be and once it's pushed out, the effects are lost. With our formula, the WS2 is sized to match the surface roughness of the metal, so even once the wax is nearly totally gone, you still have a film of WS2 on/in the metal which serves as both a lubricant and anti-wear material until it too is gone. Unfortunately, the replenishment nature of oil is also a big part of the problem as the oil at the surface gets dirty and then that dirty oil gets pulled into the inside of the chain where it leads to increased friction and increased wear.

If you want to lube a chain and have it more or less be quiet for 1000 miles, oil is the way to go.. but we now know that modified waxes are both lower friction and lower wear, but they also require more frequent maintenance. For me, the key benefits to wax are the cleanliness and the silence, followed by the shifting feel.. a freshly waxed chain just shifts so much quicker and smoother due to the decreased lateral play in the links and also the much lower side plate friction experienced as the chain is climbing from one cog to the other. The increased speed and reduced wear are also nice, but I'm not racing, nor putting in a lot of miles.. I just want to make sure that the riding I do get to do is as enjoyable as possible!

http://www.SILCA.cc
Check out my podcast, inside stories from more than 20 years of product and tech innovation from inside the Pro Peloton and Pro Triathlon worlds!
http://www.marginalgainspodcast.cc
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [svennn] [ In reply to ]
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Yes the 2002 was a fun car to drive, my son has picked up a ti engine because mine was a normally aspirated and only 4 speed. I always felt it needed that 5th gear when whizzing through the gears... so much to love about those cars. That is why I feel so bad it is sitting in parts right now but always hopeful that it gets put back together.
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [s5100e] [ In reply to ]
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s5100e wrote:
Yes the 2002 was a fun car to drive, my son has picked up a ti engine because mine was a normally aspirated and only 4 speed. I always felt it needed that 5th gear when whizzing through the gears... so much to love about those cars. That is why I feel so bad it is sitting in parts right now but always hopeful that it gets put back together.

Mine had a 5sp from a 320i and side draft Weber DCOE carbs among other trick parts. I miss that car.

Of course, I now have a 1989 E30 M3. That's scratches the itch.
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [joshatsilca] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the update. I cleaned and waxed my chain by immersing it in the 16 jar of your chain lube. I was extremely satisfied with its performance. On the trainer, the drivetrain was virtually silent, and I did not get any residue on the floor under the chainline which was a frequent occurence when using other wax based lubes.

After a few hundred miles of riding I decided to apply your drip lube without cleaning the chain first. Looking at the bottom of the bottle I noticed that it appeared that the additives seemed to have settled in the bottle. I shook the bottle vigorously before applying the drip lube. After approximately 24 hours, I did another trainer ride. Again, the drivetrain was virtually silent, but this time there was a noticeable amount of gray particulate on floor. I cleaned it off the floor. The residue did not return on subsequent rides.

Is that expected or should I have done something different?

Thanks,
Brian
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [bpe] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks Brian and no, you are all good with your methodology!

The WS2 will settle to the bottom of the bottle in time (it is tungsten based and heavy AF after all!) but shaking will redisperse those wax structures within the emulsion. The flakes and mess after the drip wax is from the wax that did not penetrate the chain. Adam at Zero Friction has great details here, but more or less likes to point out that a 'top-off' or 're-lube' with SSCL might be on the order of 5mL for the 114 links of chain which will be ~0.05mL per link, but maybe half or 2/3 of that makes it into the roller.. so there will invariably be residual lube to flake off after that, it's unavoidable. The hot melt method will nearly eliminate this as the hot melt is both a solvent for the existing lube and a new lube all in one, but has it's own limitations as well in terms of time and investment to get started.

Sounds to me like you are in a good spot, just wipe up the wax flakes and you will be fine.
Enjoy your quiet trainer rides and super fast shifting!
J

http://www.SILCA.cc
Check out my podcast, inside stories from more than 20 years of product and tech innovation from inside the Pro Peloton and Pro Triathlon worlds!
http://www.marginalgainspodcast.cc
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [joshatsilca] [ In reply to ]
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For those of you waiting for the ZeroFriction results, they are now live: https://zerofrictioncycling.com.au/lubetesting/

accompanied by his longest ever review at more than 40 pages!!

Reader's Digest version:

First and only wax based drip lube to fully penetrate in on-bike application (all others require removal of chain and immersion)
Lowest wear ever recorded in dry, sandy, loamy conditions.
3rd best in wet/dirty conditions (but we now know the lube was not fully cured for any of this testing so soon to retest)
Even with only partial cure, lowest cost per 10,000km of any drip lube ever tested
One of only 5 lubes to make it to Block6 of the test



http://www.SILCA.cc
Check out my podcast, inside stories from more than 20 years of product and tech innovation from inside the Pro Peloton and Pro Triathlon worlds!
http://www.marginalgainspodcast.cc
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [joshatsilca] [ In reply to ]
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joshatsilca wrote:
accompanied by his longest ever review at more than 40 pages!!

Reader's Digest version:

First and only wax based drip lube to fully penetrate in on-bike application (all others require removal of chain and immersion)
Lowest wear ever recorded in dry, sandy, loamy conditions.
3rd best in wet/dirty conditions (but we now know the lube was not fully cured for any of this testing so soon to retest)
Even with only partial cure, lowest cost per 10,000km of any drip lube ever tested
One of only 5 lubes to make it to Block6 of the test
someone needs to make a cribs version of all of Adam's reviews. Testing regime 10/10. Succinctness: 2/10

Is he going to be on the podcast any time?
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [MattyK] [ In reply to ]
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HA! You should see his emails.. I actually copy them into word to do a count and then I tease him about it!!

Yes, we recorded a video and audio podcast with him a few weeks back, before he was even done testing, but we've been slow to get them out as my marketing ace who handles the editing has been on maternity leave. I hope to have them up on marginal gains and youtube in the next week. Funny enough, I tease him a bit about his lack of brevity and he picks on himself a bit as well! Lots of good stuff in this one!

http://www.SILCA.cc
Check out my podcast, inside stories from more than 20 years of product and tech innovation from inside the Pro Peloton and Pro Triathlon worlds!
http://www.marginalgainspodcast.cc
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [joshatsilca] [ In reply to ]
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Congrats on the awesome results. Also, love the podcast.

Matt
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [joshatsilca] [ In reply to ]
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Hi Josh,
Is it normal for the SSCL to be so fluid / have low viscosity or did I get a weird batch? I seem to be wasting a ton when applying because it just drips off the chain. I used Squirt for a while and it was a lot stickier... Is SSCL supposed to be similar in consistency?

Thanks!

What's your CdA?
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [G. Belson] [ In reply to ]
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G. Belson wrote:
Hi Josh,
Is it normal for the SSCL to be so fluid / have low viscosity or did I get a weird batch? I seem to be wasting a ton when applying because it just drips off the chain. I used Squirt for a while and it was a lot stickier... Is SSCL supposed to be similar in consistency?

Thanks!

Read between the lines of Adam Kerin’s now completed review, and you’ll see that yep, this happens. With the drip lube, I switched to doing a thin drizzle several times, rather than trying to put one discrete drop on each roller. I am actually now on the molten wax, but I may keep using the drip lube on the gravel bike in winter.
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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klehner wrote:
I've always wondered about something that Jobst Brandt said back in the day:

"Paraffin (canning wax), although clean, works poorly because it is not mobile and cannot replenish the bearing surfaces once it has been displaced"

"Wax does not work and no
one, but those who believe in the unbelievable, wax chains. Wax is not
mobile and cannot return to a location from which it has been removed by
rotation of one part on another. It has little film strength and
as most adherents of this method admit, it falls flat with moisture
This exposes its absence from the friction surfaces."

Was he incorrect? Have new wax formulations overcome this issue?

The action of going through the derailleur pulleys is what replenishes and redistributes the wax.
This was well documented by Jason at Friction Facts.
His testing regime allowed for this by running the chain for long term testing through a derailleur but then putting it onto a direct track type setup for friction testing.
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Re: SILCA Secret Chain Lube Instruction UPDATE [joshatsilca] [ In reply to ]
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Hey Josh!

Thanks for putting this all together. I bought all the items your recommended in the YouTube videos and have cleaned my chains. I have some molten speed wax hanging around still. Am I suppose to wax the chains and then use your super secret lube or just the lube?
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