UK company Scottoiler has launched a pledge on Kickstarter for an automatic chain lubrication system for bicycles.
The electronic device, which is powered by two AA batteries, periodically sends lubricant from a frame mounted reservoir to a component that mounts to the lower jockey wheel of a drivetrain.
Once the system determines the chain it's fitted to needs lubricating, a continual spray of lube is applied onto the face of the jockey wheel. According to Scottoiler, centrifugal forces then work to spread the lubricant where it needs to be on the chain. Five preprogrammed settings determine how often the S1 does its business, the least frequent being every 150 seconds and the most being every 30 seconds of riding time.
The waterproof and shockproof Cycle S1 has already been tested on mountain bikes
The use of a triple-axis accelerometer means that the S1 only lubes a chain when the bike is being ridden. Scottoiler claims a battery life of 200 hours on the highest frequency setting and much longer on the lowest. Similarly, the fluid in the system's reservoir will need topping up every 10-52 hours depending on the setting used. The complete system weighs 178g dry or 210g once its 38ml reservoir is full, and it mounts either directly to a bike's seat tube or onto a bottle cage mount.
"Won't this just result in a gloopy and filthy drivetrain covered in excess lube," we hear you thinking? "Not when you use our specifically formulated lubricant," is Scottoiler's riposte. The firm goes as far to claim that using the Cycle S1 system will result in "a much cleaner chain and chain components".
Correctly lubricating a chain is something that a surprising amount of people have trouble with, but we can't imagine many of those people using a device like this.
However, Scottoiler has produced similar – successful – systems for motorcycles for many years so if anyone can make a go of it it'll probably be these guys.
The pledge currently has 48 days to go with the company aiming to raise £72,000 to get the S1 on the market.