Wednesday, March 16, 2016

This Post Has Been Treated With An Ultra-High Performance Lubricant

Hey, I totally forgot to mention that you can go to Goodreads and enter to win a pre-publication galley of the new book I have coming out in May:
And of course if you want to pre-order the actual book, or you just want to find out more about it, here's everything you need to know:


By the way, somebody pointed out in the commentating section south of this blog that the front fender on the cover bike is somewhat untenable, because leave it to bike dorks to pick apart stylized diagrams:


Somehow I missed that, but what do you want from me?  After all, I'm the guy who busted a digit thanks to haphazard fender curation.

Anyway, it's merely in keeping with the tradition that began on the cover of my first book (go ahead, buy yourself another copy, you deserve it), specifically the somewhat improbable left-hand drivetrain:


I didn't notice that either until legions of smug dorks who were way too pleased with themselves gleefully pointed it out to me.

But hey, if I didn't give you nits to pick then what fun would any of this be?

Speaking of stuff I learn from reading the comments, remember how we were talking about boutique chain lube treatments and the Freds who are apparently delusional enough to pay for them?


Well obviously paying $200 for a hand-lubed chain is stupid, but one commenter citied a study that proves exactly how stupid it is:


Basically, chains are highly efficient regardless of what you squirt on them, though there are some other factors involved:

The researchers found two factors that seemed to affect the bicycle chain drive's efficiency. Surprisingly, lubrication was not one of them.

"The first factor was sprocket size," Spicer says. "The larger the sprocket, the higher the efficiency we recorded." The sprocket is the circular plate whose teeth catch the chain links and move them along. Between the front and rear sprockets, the chain links line up straight. But when the links reach the sprocket, they bend slightly as they curl around the gear. "When the sprocket is larger, the links bend at a smaller angle," Spicer explains. "There's less frictional work, and as a result, less energy is lost."

What's that, larger sprockets are more efficient?

Duly noted:

Now that I've upgraded to the 300-tooth chainring I'm roughly a million times more efficient, though I do keep getting chainring tattoos on my inner thigh.

Anyway, higher chain tension is apparently more efficient too:

The second factor that affected efficiency was tension in the chain. The higher the chain tension, Spicer says, the higher the efficiency score. "This is actually not in the direction you'd expect, based simply on friction," he says. "It's not clear to us at this time why this occurs."

Go figure.  I guess those dweebs over at Fixedgeargallery with their over-tensioned chains were onto something after all:


Though if you run your chain too tight you can collapse the front end of the bicycle, as above.

As for which lube you use, according to the eggheads at Johns Hopkins that doesn't mean shit:

The Johns Hopkins engineers made another interesting discovery when they looked at the role of lubricants. The team purchased three popular products used to "grease" a bicycle chain: a wax-based lubricant, a synthetic oil and a "dry" lithium-based spray lubricant. In lab tests comparing the three products, there was no significant difference in energy efficiency. "Then we removed any lubricant from the chain and ran the test again," Spicer recalls. "We were surprised to find that the efficiency was essentially the same as when it was lubricated."

So there it is.

Meanwhile, in other go-fast bike parts news, Campagnolo is launching a new component group:


Well for all lovers of parity and equality, worry no more, because Campagnolo’s new Potenza 11 Speed groupset is aiming to strike a direct hit on Ultegra, seemingly shuffling Athena out of the way in the process. Meaning power, intensity and strength in Italian, Campagnolo describes Potenza as an Ultegra rival (no SRAM pun intended), but with more soul. The Italians think they suffer a little in the marketplace from having too many groupsets (five mechanical options).

Campagnolo certainly makes some excellent bikey parts, and I imagine this group is no exception, but if you believe it somehow has more "soul" than its competitors then you might also be interested in a $200 chain lubrication upgrade to go along with it.

As for the name, which means "power, intensity and strength in Italian," Mario "Il Potente" Cipollini will surely have something to say about that:


Indeed, Cipollini will unveil his own self-lubricating fully hydraulic group at next year's Eurobike, and that's the name he was planning to use.  In fact you'd already have heard about it if only it wasn't for that misunderstanding about the media embargo:


("No embargo!  I say secrete, not secret. You write article now please.")

The only thing Cipollini turns faster than the pedals is your stomach.

Lastly, New York City-area Freds and Fredericas will surely recognize this stretch of road, and they'll also be all too familiar with admonishments from motorists about riding single-file:



Though this one is especially pathetic as, judging from the user's profile pic, it appears to come from some king of self-hating Super-Fred:


(Is he showing off his light bike or his wanking strength?)

Indeed, the very idea of a Fred driving around and castigating other Freds is beyond pathetic.  It's Fredness doubled over on itself.  It's a self-fellating Möbius strip of Fred-tastic weeniedom.

Anyway, the admonishment occurs on 9W just by the entrance to the Palisades Parkway.  When you're riding north on this stretch the southbound motorists do their best to kill you by turning right into your path in order to enter the parkway.  But when you're heading south as well, like these riders are doing, the drivers are usually content to yell stuff at you because they have to turn their steering wheels ever so slightly:



"Single file, you know that!," says Super-Fred.

"Yes we do," the other Freds reply in an incredible display of tactful restraint.

I'd have gone with "File this, asshole," but that's just me.

74 comments:

Schisthead said...

Fill this?

Fill what?

Anonymous said...

First time in forever I have read Bike Snob and seen no comments. This can't be right!

Anonymous said...

Je suis dans le premier dix.

Anonymous said...

One more lap?

N/A said...

Campagnolo is soul-doping their "grouppos". Or, as the idjits call 'em, "the spinny 'round toothy parts on yer biek."

dnk said...

Top of the pops?

Twisted said...

Yay! another lube-job!

dancesonpedals said...

Pedro's Syn lube. It's blue.

le Correcteur said...


Top ten; partially read.

Anonymous said...

Where's Ted?

Anonymous said...

The fixie rider with the 2 foot drop to the handlebars and therefore zero visual awareness as to where they are going at times, has a very appropriate name for their ride: DED.

McFly said...

I'm glad you put a comma between this and asshole.

ken e. said...

what!?!

Bryan said...

Snob - nvm you went and fixed it. Silly drivign Fred. I thumbed down that video on his youtube. Do you have to ride single file in New York? Two abreast is perfectly legal here in Americas sweaty crotch.

Grump said...

I would have yelled.."Get that P.O.S. off MY road, dickwad", to the driver of the car.

crosspalms said...

A world that has survived people putting their helmets on backwards will probably survive an artist's fender rendering. I'd like to see the thing put on completely backward, so the mud flap acts as a cow-catcher, like on an old locomotive. Maybe for the next tweed ride, along with a big carbide lamp on the bars.

Anonymous said...

Is one's efficiency with or without lube when masturbating essentially the same as well?

A case for further study.

grog said...

Spacely Sprockets.

dcee604 said...

Whoah, no Ted today!

streepo said...

File this scranus, asshole!

A Little Dab Will Do Ya said...

Tried Brylcream on the chain this morning, didn't seem to make me go any faster. Tomorrow I'll try Pam Spray or Olive Oil, which according to "Men's Health" magazine is a great lubricant for adult recreational activities.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Coconut oil.

dancesonpedals said...

I guess it makes shifting smoother and quieter? (Just asking for a friend)

Very Slim Pickins said...

Frilly Chick might want to marry Cipo considering how ripped he is, if for no other reason than perhaps he has an enormous schwanzstucker too. A word used in Young Frankenstein by Teri Garr's character Inga: Dr. Frankenstein "For the experiment to be a success, all of the body parts must be enlarged." Inga "In other vords: his veins, his feet, his hands, his organs vould all have to be increased in size." Dr. Frankenstein "Exactly" Inga "He vould have an enormous schwanzstucker."

Hee Haw the Barista said...

FILE LUBE

Self-Fellating Super Fred said...

I wasn't yelling at those cyclists because I wanted them to ride single file, I was hoping to get them to pull over to the side of the road so that I could impress them with my skills.

N/A said...

FNDR RNDR

Seesred said...

I have your first book and I didn't notice the left hand drive! But don't say it is improbable...merely a whole new avenue for Fred to explore.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel said...

"I guess it makes shifting smoother and quieter? (Just asking for a friend)"

Oil/lubrication increases the life of the chain, by reducing wear between the moving parts and keeping water way from the steel to prevent rust.

It also may keep dirt from getting in between the moving parts, and moves small metal particles that do wear off of the chain away from the moving parts of the chain, although these last 2 point are much debated among bicycle "experts."

More than you ever wanted to know:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/chain-care.html

http://yarchive.net/bike/chain_lubricant.html

http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/316/chains-drives-lubricants

http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/316/chains-drives-lubricants

http://www.renoldjeffrey.com/nmsruntime/saveasdialog.asp?lID=956&sID=2701

https://www.senqcia.com/products/chain/use/roller/rc_lub.html

http://machinedesign.com/mechanical-drives/getting-more-life-roller-chain



cat6life said...

But, marginal gains! I'd pay $3000 if it gave me an extra watt so I could beat my buddy to the town line.

Anonymous said...

It looks like that fender is just floating there, too. No fender-stays to flip you over the bars!

Teri Garr said...

Hey, Very Slim Pickens: Let me say my own lines

Serial Retrogrouch said...

Now that the boutique chain lubers have been called out on their scam they will probably go into boutique wank lube business.

Anonymous said...

Boy-yoy-yoy-yoy-yoy-yoy-yoy-yoy-yoy-yoy-yoy-yoing!

Anonymous said...

I have calculated the probability of digit damage when riding a bicycle with no fender stays as one in ten to the power of 42. Where can I purchase fenders as illustrated, I love my digital digits?

I do find a bicycle with only a backpedal braking system does cancel out the safety factor of stayless fenders...

Kryten

Andrew Yackira said...

What pressure you running on the book cover bike?

Fred Fruitloops said...

I, too, missed the left side drive train AND the well-over-the-top fender. Oh well, next time - I can't see a thing these days after getting my $300 chain ointment in my eyes by mistake.

P. Bateman said...

on Amazon it says i can buy the book in Flexibound?

i demand a vertically stiff version!!

i read hard and don't want to waste a single ounce of energy.


you can FILE your flexible version under P for pussy or stack them near the triple chain rings.

Lee Mcgough said...

Someone should probably go round to Ted's place, and make sure he's ok. Not that I'm offering, or anything.

Anonymous said...

Whoah you are no Ted anyday!

1904 Cadardi said...

Bigger cogs and chainrings are more efficient and lube doesn't matter? That means cross chaining is a good thing and lubricating by rubbing an avocado pit across the chain is okay.

NHcycler said...

Anonymous 1904 Cadardi typed...

"...lube doesn't matter?"

From the study:

"The researcher speculates that a bicycle lubricant does not play a critical role under clean lab conditions, using a brand new chain. But it may contribute to energy efficiency in the rugged outdoors."

NHcycler said...

How did that Anonymous get in there?

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Every now and then, we all have to treat our post with an ultra high performance lube.

Giggity !!


vsk

1904 Cadardi said...

NHcycler,

Yes, right "it may contribute to energy efficiency in the rugged outdoors." So cross chain AND bring an avocado pit when mountain bike cycling. Got it.

wle said...

the efficiency study was measuring HEAT?

why not 'input power vs output power'?

or was that not complicated enough?

i don;t even see what measuring temperature does, since the rate of heat flow back to air is not known..


wle

wle said...

johns hopkins study was from 1999

things are probably all different now....

right?

wle

bad boy of the north said...

perhaps florida can be renamed schwanzstucker.no offense to the residents of said state that visit snobland.

Roille Figners said...

They're probably taking heat as a proxy for energy lost to friction. They could be measuring it wrong, or in the wrong place (not the air), or without sufficient precision. They also don't seem to be measuring sound, which is another place energy goes. And they admit they didn't duplicate real-world conditions. A study is just a study and only studies what it studies.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel said...

"the efficiency study was measuring HEAT?
why not 'input power vs output power'?


Other studies have measured input vs. output, a few are here. (No i don't remember exactly what studies are in which issue.)

But the measuring devices use some power themselves, generally a few dozen Watts. When trying to measuring the efficiency of a 500 Watt refrigerator motor or a 100,000 Watt car engine these measuring losses are small enough to be ignored. When trying to measure a bicycle drive train transmitting 50 to 300 Watts, the measuring loss is of the same magnitude as the friction losses you are running the experiment to find.

The 1999 Johns Hopkins study used a infra red sensor to measure the temperature of the chain and sprockets themselves. Usually, the air temperature in the lab is adjusted so it matches (as closely as possible) the temperature the infra red is saying the chain/sprockets are running at, so there is very little heat exchange between the air and the moving metal parts.

Assuming the chain/sprockets are not making much noise, the raise in chain/sprocket temperature is directly proportional to the power lost by the drive system.

P. Bateman said...

the ratio of science to titties today is a bit concerning.

DB said...

Babs AND Ted K. MIA today.
Just sayin'.

Ted K. said...

Dear Snob, Dear Readers,

I've temporarily locked myself out of my blogger account. More importantly and perhaps consequentially, I'm experiencing a moment of clarity. It may end at any moment, but before it does, let me say this:

I apologise for all the shit I've posted, and will post, on here. Consider it unshat and unposted even when appearance suggests otherwise.

Thank you and keep it lubed

Ted


wishiwasmerckx said...

Can I take credit for Ted K's absence today? After all, I beat him to the coveted first posting yesterday, so he is no doubt licking his wounds.

How did I do it, you ask?

Well, I saw that the new post was up, urgently scrolled to the bottom, saw 0 comments, then typed like a motherfucker and hoped for the best.

Take that, Mr. Unabomber!

Matt said...

Love that bike w/ the 300t chainring! I'd think it would be so efficient it would GIVE you power...who needs a motor in the frame, just ride w/ those rings!

And when you're not riding you can take it to a sawmill and turn it upside down and cut wood with it! It's a true dual purpose bike! (btw, what type of lube do they use at a sawmill? Wouldn't want to cross pollinate the logging industry w/ Cipo lube).

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Hey Super Dork Fred,
Is that a camera on your helmet or are you a colossal DICK head? Why would you videotape yourself driving along Rte 9? What a Fuck o.

Frickus Rungus said...

I wish you could see the super dork fred's speedometer, so you could see how far over the speed limit he was driving after he chastised the riders and sped away.

jodphoto said...

Over-tension this, asshole.

Anonymous said...

EW, family and I will be in the city next Thursday. We want to challenge your family to smugness flotilla race. Six o'clock, you name the bridge.

Anonymous said...

As I warned before, Trump will kill all the big handed bike bloggers first. Flee to PEI while you can.

Chris said...

Seems the left hand side drive thing is another thing you've started. I note the bike in the Slate Bicycle company Ad on your blog also has a left hand side drive chain on your site!

BamaPhred said...

Cleaning your chain yesterday, now lubing the old post, eh? Having that opposable thumb broken on the hand you "work out" with is stressful, or I miss my guess.

Pedalling Backwards said...

You can increase your efficiency by using a right hand drive chain on a left hand drive bike.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I'll buy another of your first book, since I already bought a 2nd after leaving my first in the pocket of an airplane seat. That in turn prevented me from buying your 2nd book, since I have to pay the bank for a car they own a bit longer

Unknown said...

If they want to be next to each other so they can chat while the go down the road a better choice would be Greyhound.

Dave said...

Crassus: Good news, slaves. We've decided to spare your lives, and not nail you up, on the condition that you identify the body, or the living person, of the slave called Ted K.

Slaves: I'm not Ted K. Neither am I. I heard Ted K locked himself out of his blog and is still wandering somewhere in a vast desert of old broken AOL links.

Crassus: OK, fine. Crucify the lot of them.

bad boy of the north said...

top o'the scranus to you!happy st.paddy's day to all.

janinedm said...

I don't cross chain generally, but I don't put any energy in avoiding it. I mean, who cares? "It'll wear the crank, chain, and/or cassette more quickly!" I'll just replace them; monthly metro cards are $1400 a year and I'm still way ahead.

Also, I'm not sure if the age of the study invalidates it. If chains were super efficient in 1999, would they become less efficient or are we saying we've found a way to capture that last 2% of power. Again, who cares?

Spartacus said...

I am Ted K!

Anonymous said...

@ Frickus Rungus
You don't need to see the speedometer. You can see the lines on the street. Find out how far apart they are and how fast they disappear under the hood. Easy-peasy, you've got his speed!

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