Following the huge success of its Super Secret Chain Lube and Super Secret Chain Blend, it became clear to SLICA that the vast majority of cyclists were still interested in using oil based wet lubricants for both ease of use and reduced time commitment to get started. While hot melt wax and drip wax may ultimately be slightly more efficient and cleaner running, the requirement of starting with a perfectly clean, dry chain, and the 300 mile re-application intervals are not for everybody.
So SILCA set out to develop the world’s fastest, quietest, longest lasting oil based chain lube utilizing the nano scale tungsten disulfide to reduce surface wear and friction within the chain. What the company did not know when it started this project, was that WS2 has a unique and not fully understood synergistic effect with a well established anti-wear additive commonly used in race car engine lubrication known as ZDDP. This truly turns out to be a case of 1+1=10 as each additive showed the ability to reduce wear and friction by 10-15%, but when combined, friction was nearly reduced by half and wear fell by 95%.
The secret is a phenomenon known as a durable tribofilm, which is formed under pressure causing the WS2 and other additive to form a highly lubricious solid on the surface of the metal which acts not only as a lubricating surface, but also as a wear surface.
The pins below are made from E52100 bearing steel and were subject to wear against a spinning ring per ASTM G77 test protocols. Testing found SILCA NFS (a Type V base oil), the previous best oil based lubricant according to Zero Friction Cycling testing, to reduced wear 25% compared to an advanced (Type IV-PAO base oil) oil. Further testing of additives showed the ability to reduce wear by an additional 10-15%, however, the combination of WS2 and ZDDP proved to reduce wear by more than 95% compared to the Type IV base oil.
In the end, the SILCA Synergetic oil tested internally to be the fastest and quietest oil based lubricant ever tested, losing only 4.9 watts on 250 input (98.1% efficiency), however, it really begins to shine when focusing on longevity and durability of the chain and mating components. Best of all, because the lubricant forms a durable tribofilm at the metal surface, and is strongly attracted to itself, the lube proves to be exceptionally waterproof, remaining inside the chain even in testing under full water submersion, the lubricant is not displaced.
The Synergetic oil sells for $25.00, which can be purchased directly for SILCA here.
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