When you think of lasers what’s the first thing that comes to mind? X-wing fighters and lightsabers? Sharks? Chain lube? Well, the last one is now a reality, Cycle Star Nanotech in collaboration with North Carolina State University has released a chain lube infused with "laser-produced nano and micro carbon particles."
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Together Cycle Star and NC State have designed a new technology where lasers are used to form nano and micro carbon particles (microscopic ball bearings), which are claimed to reduce friction between metallic surfaces as they move across one another.
These carbon micro-particles are mixed into a lightweight synthetic oil and when applied to your chain Cycle Star says it will not only bond on a molecular level to the drivetrain's surface to fill in microscopic gaps, but will also create a "ball bearing effect between surfaces."
It sounds gimmicky no doubt, but Cycle Star’s parent company, Star Nanotech, has applied its technology to automotive oil already. According to a study at NC State University, it resulted in enhanced fuel efficiencies of up to 35 percent in four, six and eight-cylinder gas and diesel cars and trucks.
According to Star Nanotech: “The treatment repairs, smoothens and hardens internal surfaces of engines, greatly reducing friction and wear. The primary component of the additive is more effective in surface hardening and in reducing wear, whereas the second component is more effective in friction reduction by acting as a ball bearing and filling in gaps.”
Cycle Star has also attracted the attention of Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team, who has decided to partner with the brand after both riders and mechanics were impressed with its performance.
With no wax or Teflon components to the Cyclestar chain lube, the brand claims it will last for a minimum of 200–300 miles (320–480km), and will last much longer than that in 'ideal' conditions.
This isn’t the first time nanoparticles have been applied to chain lubes, though this seems to be the most science-intensive application, which translates into the price at an eye-watering $40 for a 10oz/30ml bottle. That said, Cycle Star says that only a small amount of lube is needed — less than half a pipette's worth — to properly lube a chain.