Employed on Team GB’s many medal-winning bicycles, Muc-Off’s ultrasonic chain optimisation system ensures the lowest friction by heating and vibrating your chain to ensure it’s perfectly cleaned and lubricated. Also used by Team Ineos, the system comprises temperature-controlled ultrasonic tanks that warm both cleaners and lubes to an optimum temperature. Once the chain is dunked, these allow both solvents and lubricants to achieve optimum penetration of the chain’s individual components.The ultrasonic part of the name relates to the high-frequency sound waves that are then pulsed through the liquids. The same system used to return jewellery to sparkling condition without damaging it; this both helps dislodge dirt and allows optimum penetration of the solvent into the chain. Once transferred to the lubricant bath, the sparking chain will be ready to accept either Muc-Off’s Ludicrous AF or Hydrodynamic lubes via the same process.According to Muc-Off, “the lubricants themselves contain organic friction modifiers, which attach themselves to either side of the base oil’s surface to form a low-friction shear plane”. Apparently, it’s this combination that reduces friction and increases the number of watts making it through your drivetrain and to your rear wheel. Having been responsible for optimising chains, including the one used on Bradley Wiggin’s hour record bike, Muc-Off has been offering the service for around a decade. More recently, many pro teams have also added the process to their service courses.
Already producing what it claims is the world’s fastest chain lube in the form of its Ludicrous AF product, Muc-Off also reckons that repeated cleaning and treatment can actually make a chain faster as it continues through its lifespan.
Also having the neat extra benefit of saving you having to deal with a gunky chain, the system is now also being rolled out to selected bike shops. Targeting racers looking to benefit from a reduction in friction and an increase in chain performance and lifespan, it launched at Rouleur Live, where visitors could get a look at the tanks themselves. At the same time, the system was also being installed in over 20 bike shops around the UK. With a further 300 stores in over 15 countries rolling out from next month, amateurs will be able to join the riders of Canyon-Sram, Ineos Grenadiers, and EF Education-Nippo, to see whether they might also put a few extra watts to good use.