We’ve seen automatic chain lubing systems for bikes before, but the idea seems to be gaining traction: pro racing team Orica-Scott will use the Revo Via system on the 2017 UCI WorldTour.
Revo Via is powered by two LR1 batteries, and periodically sends lubricant from a frame mounted reservoir to a component that mounts to the lower jockey wheel of a drivetrain. Flaér, the company behind it, claims that this reduces transmission losses to the “absolute minimum” and provides power gains of up to 12 watts at the wheel.
How the Revo Via chain performance system works
We’ve been sent a Revo Via system of our own to try out, and will report back once it’s been ridden hard Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
The specially-formulated oil it uses is much thinner than the regular goop you put on your chain, and Flaér says this means the chain is kept much cleaner too. The system micro-doses the chain with 0.03ml of fluid at a time.
The fluid it uses is said to contain no tack additives or sticky surfactants, and is claimed to have “one of the lowest” friction coefficients on the market. What’s more, it’s also biodegradable and water washable, meaning that any fling or contaminants are easily dispersed and do not affect the environment.
So what happens if the excess fluid flings onto a braking surface? We asked that very question, and got the following reply: “Due to the washable element it does not affect braking surfaces. The heat applied to these surfaces burns the fluid off extremely quickly and does not affect performance or contaminate braking pads.”
The Revo Via system includes a triple-axis accelerometer to ensure that the chain only gets lubed when the bike is actually being ridden, and there are three settings: low, medium and high.
Battery life is said to range from 7.5hrs in the highest setting, which delivers a 0.03ml micro-dose every 30secs, through 22.5hrs on the medium setting (every 90secs), up to 37.5hrs on the lowest setting (every 150secs). The system is claimed to weigh 121g, without fluid inside.
Orica-Scott’s partnership with Flaér
Orica-Scott will be riding these new bikes in 2017 Courtesy
“We look forward to using this new technology,” says Orica-Scott’s general manager, Shayne Bannan. “Flaér has made a very innovative approach to our setup and it will be interesting to see the various advantages they offer”.
The Tour Down Under will be the official WorldTour debut of the Revo Via system, and Orica-Scott will also be using other bike performance products in the Flaér range, including a bike protector spray called Guard, and a bike cleaner called Revive.
Flaér is actually a trading name of Scottoiler Sport Solutions, which makes similar products for motorbikes, so the company definitely has experience of making these kinds of products.
They ran a Kickstarter campaign for a version called the S1 last year, aiming to raise £72,000. While that campaign didn’t reach its target, Flaér says that this new product is smaller, lighter and uses an improved fluid.
They’re doubling down on the idea, too: a mountain bike-specific version will be coming out in 2017.