Muc-Off has released details of the preparation of the chain used by Bradley Wiggins to break the Hour Record.

Breaking the Hour Record calls for attention to every detail and this included the chain used on Bradley Wiggins’s bike, with lubricant manufacturer Muc-Off claiming that the total cost amounted to £6000.

>>> The tech behind Wiggins’ Hour Record

Muc-Off has developed a machine to quantify the efficiency and durability of its chain lubricant formulations. Called the CLOD (which stands for Chain Lubricant Optimisation Dynamometer), this machine measures the friction generated in running the chain. There’s a video of the machine in use below.

Muc-Off tested over 30 Shimano Dura-Ace chains to select the most efficient, before deep cleaning them in a sonic bath. Muc-Off’s team then applied a specially formulated lubricant treatment with military grade high pressure additives to reduce friction.

>>> Muc-Off’s Team Sky lubricant

Muc-Off proved that the new formulation showed limited performance degradation over an hour of running and has published a graph showing its performance over the hour relative to its other formulations. This shows that friction losses in the chain started off as low as other formulations and remained low throughout an hour of use, whereas other tested formulations generated increased friction losses over the course of an hour.

Graph shows the friction generated in Wiggins' chain over the course of an hour's testing

Graph shows the friction generated in Wiggins’ chain over the course of an hour’s testing

The chainring which Wiggins used was also run in by Muc-Off in advance of the record attempt, to ensure that it was optimally prepared.

Bradley Wiggins’s time trial minute man

  • To be truly as friction free as possible requires cryogenic annealing of all rotating assemblies and then a re-temper of the parts. Hard durable and dimensionally stable.
    Low wear and reduced friction by a huge margin. NASCAR knows..they do it to their engines

  • Duncan Wood

    Chain, rings and sprockets done with wax furniture polish. silent and free running!

  • Bob

    id take my chain of my racing iron at the end of the year, poke the gunge out of each link with a matchstick & finish it off rubbing it on a bit of old bed sheet before smearing a smidge of oil on it and putting it away till about march when the hardriders hilly events started – properly looked after like this a chain can last for years

  • John Barson

    I have a similar process. I strip the chain with brake cleaner then I bake the entire drive train with a patent-pending, friction reduction coating, chain, chain ring, rear cassette, and hubs. Any metal parts in the drive train. Reduces metal-on-metal friction approximately 26%. You then apply a smidgen of our patent-pending lube and voila…now if only I could actually find a team that is willing to test it. I am sure they will get the same results I do. What I don’t know is how long the coating process will stand up over a long stage. And by the way Sector 9 tested our lube for 3 weeks on high speed longboards in California and found our lube killed any bearing lube they had ever used and is now selling a version of the formula as Sector 9 Bearing Butter. Cost for my process is only a $20 hotplate from Walmart, a good stainless steel pot, a thermometer to hit the right temp, and a quart of my product (which you can use over and over again). You can then take the $5,920 you save on the above process and spend it on something else. Any takers?

  • Bob

    £6k – sounds ridiculous to me, its just advertising

  • Joel

    Why was it a Shimano chain? He was running SRAM.

  • Anthony Bowles

    Looks like dura ace need to look at their production when sixty chains have to looked at to find the best one!

  • Gary Jogela

    Think I’ll try that