Just over a month ago, Danish bike bearings brand CeramicSpeed acquired Boulder, Colorado-based Friction Facts. Now, the two plan to create ‘the world’s most comprehensive cycling industry Lubrication Development Lab’.
As part of CeramicSpeed’s R&D arm, Friction Facts’ founder and former owner Jason Smith will work in collaboration with the Danish bearing manufacturer to challenge claims made by chain lube brands as to their efficiency and lifetime.
Smith has become a renowned expert of drivetrain efficiency, and according to CeramicSpeed will be using his understanding of lubricant formulas, fluid dynamics and engineering to develop ‘cutting-edge premium products’.
Know for its astronomically expensive bearings chains and jockey wheels, we’re interested to see what comes of this new lab James Huang / Immediate Media
Building on a report commissioned by VeloNews in 2013 where Smith looked into which chain lube was the fastest, CeramicSpeed will investigate how lubricants can improve the efficiency and durability of different drivetrain components. The Danish outfit also says all lab results will be backed up by road testing under a variety of riding conditions and testing protocols.
“The Lubrication Development Lab is a research portal designed to further explore the opportunities of maximum drivetrain efficiency,” said Smith. “Finding a way to minimise drag and boost performance thanks to a super-fast lubricant formula starts here. And no matter what the results, we will learn more and more.”
Smith will be collaborating with Dr Lina Soebjerg, who works in CeramicSpeed’s Danish lab, where she and her team will corroborate Smith’s findings and develop practical applications for the data he gathers.
As CeramicSpeed is best known for its bearings, oversized jockey wheels, UFO race chains and the price tag that comes along with these products, we shudder to think how expensive a bottle of CeramicSpeed lube will cost.
Beyond developing its own products, we’re interested to see what other chain lube myths and claims may be proven or dispelled. In the meantime, why not check out this series of features based on Friction Facts test data: