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Never worry about lubing your chain again with the Flaer Revo Via automatic chain lubing device

Always forgetting to oil your chain before or after a ride? Take away the hassle with the Flaer Revo Via, an automatic lube dispensing system that oils your chain as you’re riding along and is claimed by the company to “significantly increase the power transmitted through the drivetrain to the rear wheel” by a heady 12 watts. 

The Revo Via sounds very similar to the Scottoiler Cycle S1 automatic chain lubrication device we reported on back in 2015, which was then looking for Kickstarter funding. The Revo Via, however, has launched to the market and has lined up UK distribution so it’ll soon be readily available in shops.

- How to clean and lube your bike's chain

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Like the Scottoiler, the Revo Via automatically applies small doses of lube to the chain at set time intervals as you ride. You’ll never have a squeaky chain again. Not only that, but the company makes a big claim for improved performance, but we always take such big claims with a pinch of salt here at road.cc. 

The company tells us it purchased a Chain Efficiency Tester that is apparently one of only three in the world and with this, it conducted its own extensive testing.

“It is impossible to achieve a 100% efficiency through a drive train, there will always be a discrepancy between what you put in at the cranks and what you get out at the rear hub,” says Flaer’s Andy Parker. “However, what we are able to do is keep these losses to a bare minimum, approx. 5 watts. This is where any chain that has been appropriately lubricated would be at the beginning of a ride. Where the Revo Via provides a performance advantage is, it can keep you at this 5 watt level for the duration of your ride.”

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“Dry Lubes, wet lubes, waxes will all start to deteriorate over time as they are either washed away, dried out, or they attract dirt, grit, etc to increase friction. These all result in a diminishing effect of the lubricant and an increase in watts lost,” he adds. 

It’s largely understood that lubing (oiling) a chain is a good thing. But does it make any impact on the performance? In a study of the efficiency of bicycle chain drives by James Spicer, it was argued at chain lubrication has a negligible effect on efficiency under laboratory conditions, and that friction can account for only a few percent of the overall losses in drivetrain efficiency. 

If it works as advertised, we can definitely see it being of interest to long-distance cyclists, adventure and bikepacking cyclist, on rides where the chain is likely to dry out after several days of riding through British weather.

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The Revo Via comprises a small control module and fluid reservoir that can be attached to the down tube of the bike, and a short hose then runs along the chainstay to the dispensing unit which is attached to the rear mech. The whole setup adds 121g before you add any fluid, with a maximum of 27ml of fluid in the system. Refill intervals range from 7.5 to 37.5-hours depending on the frequency, and this will depend on the riding conditions. The system is powered by a battery and run time is 150 hours. 

It obviously adds a bit of weight to the bike and it would be interesting to see how easy the installation process is. 

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How much is it? It costs £250. Not cheap, and certainly more expensive than manually lubing a chain from time to time. The company has recently confirmed UK distribution with Oxford Products so expect to see it in the shops soon. Interestingly, the company says it has been working closely with a UCI World Tour team and it aims to make an announcement soon. We've got a kit coming in for review soon and we'll be very interested in putting it through its paces.

http://flaer.com/revo-via/

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

25 comments

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turboprannet [253 posts] 7 months ago
10 likes

wow.

 

no.

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MikeOnABike [104 posts] 7 months ago
9 likes

£600 for a watch, £250 to lube your chain. I had to check the date...

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John Stevenson [289 posts] 7 months ago
8 likes

The late, great Jobst Brandt, whose professional expertise was in friction and lubrication, explained why this is a bad idea here: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/chain-care.html

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danthomascyclist [331 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

What a load of crap

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stenmeister [342 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

Forgetting to lube your chain is like forgetting your car keys if you want to go for a drive or your shoes if you are walking

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DaSy [746 posts] 7 months ago
7 likes

This appears to be the answer to my issue of how to get more batteries and cables attached to my erstwhile simple bicycle. Good work!

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beezus fufoon [669 posts] 7 months ago
1 like
stenmeister wrote:

Forgetting to lube your chain is like forgetting your car keys if you want to go for a drive or your shoes if you are walking

ah, but you can always call in to a cafe and get some butter or olive oil perhaps.

Avatar
gsavill90 [34 posts] 7 months ago
16 likes

They were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

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Sub4 [35 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes

No mention of the effect of constant lubing combined with absence of cleaning/removing. 

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Dicklexic [68 posts] 7 months ago
7 likes

So, as stated in the article, one of the reasons for reduced efficiency is build-up of grit and dirt. This device isn't going to prevent that at all. In fact it's just going to keep adding more lube to the sticky gritty/sandy mess covering the chain and surely make things worse. And anyone doing a long distance bike ride can just carry a small bottle of lube with them. Sorry but I'm out even before factoring in the frankly ridiculous price.

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CygnusX1 [452 posts] 7 months ago
6 likes

It's called snake oil y'all

It's been around for a long, long time

(Steve Earle)

 

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Yorkshire wallet [1173 posts] 7 months ago
5 likes

I'm pretty poor when it comes to cleaning my chain properly and tbh I think the amount of effort put in vs. the cost of a chain  isn't worth it. I'd like to see a properly analysis of how much shorter the life of dirty chain really is. I'll certainly never turn into one of those clean after every ride types.

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gthornton101 [143 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

£250!

I would have thought that anyone interested in the alleged gains would be put off by adding the whole contraption to their bike in the first place!

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unconstituted [2351 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

Not sure if serious. 

 

 

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The goat [43 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes

Solution looking for a problem

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HLaB [87 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

So have I got this right you pay £250 to save 5watts but lose 5 watts in loss of areodynamics, etc and the loss of pride is priceless!

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userfriendly [610 posts] 7 months ago
6 likes
Dicklexic wrote:

So, as stated in the article, one of the reasons for reduced efficiency is build-up of grit and dirt. This device isn't going to prevent that at all.

Aha, but their next device is going to solve that: the Flaer Revo Via automatic chain cleaning device, which mounts right behind the front derailleur and degreases and brushes and airdries the chain before feeding it into the Flaer Revo Via automatic chain lubing device. Genius!

Yeah, I know, I'm with you. Fuck all of that.

Avatar
quiff [32 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

Scottoiler have been making automatic oilers for motorbike chains for years and seem still to be in business, so there is a market.

I'm curious - is there a reason that they are a good idea for motorbikes, but not for pedal bikes (e.g. different size of chain link, dirt accumulation not being an issue on a moto)? Or are they an equally bad idea for motorbikes for the same reason (i.e. just layering lube on dirt).

Incidentally, on Scottoiler's site there is a section for 'Cycle', which redirects to the Flaer website, so appears they are connected but they don't want to put their name to the cycle version (or perhaps someone else called Scott doesn't want them to).     

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Goldfever4 [233 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes

Hello, motorcyclist & roadie here.

The Scottoiler enables bikers to go around without cleaning and lubricating the chain so often, yes. It is handy but also significantly cheaper than this product (I think the standard Scottoiler is about £85).

However, it does cause a lot of chain fling - where the constantly wet chain grease is flicked up onto the underside of the bike, and there can be a lot of build up around the front sprocket. Not what you want when you're cycling! Generally this grease is very black and very sticky and not good for smart shaved legs or lycra shorts. Or the next man back in the chaingang.

Another thing to consider is that the benefit of reduced maintenance is possibly greater for motorcyclists - the chains are much more heavy duty (as you'd imagine) and can take a lot more work to clean than a bicycle chain - cleaning and lubing can take as much as 20 minutes.

Hope that helps explain why some bikers use a Scottoiler and why I think it's an ill-conceived concept for cycling.

Cheers

 

quiff wrote:

Scottoiler have been making automatic oilers for motorbike chains for years and seem still to be in business, so there is a market.

I'm curious - is there a reason that they are a good idea for motorbikes, but not for pedal bikes (e.g. different size of chain link, dirt accumulation not being an issue on a moto)? Or are they an equally bad idea for motorbikes for the same reason (i.e. just layering lube on dirt).

Incidentally, on Scottoiler's site there is a section for 'Cycle', which redirects to the Flaer website, so appears they are connected but they don't want to put their name to the cycle version (or perhaps someone else called Scott doesn't want them to).     

Avatar
Simon E [3040 posts] 7 months ago
1 like
quiff wrote:

Scottoiler have been making automatic oilers for motorbike chains for years and seem still to be in business, so there is a market.

I'm curious - is there a reason that they are a good idea for motorbikes, but not for pedal bikes (e.g. different size of chain link, dirt accumulation not being an issue on a moto)? Or are they an equally bad idea for motorbikes for the same reason (i.e. just layering lube on dirt).

When I was riding motorbikes a Scottoiler was usually fitted by touring types and people who clocked up big mileages in all weathers. Adjusting chain tension could be fiddly, particularly if the threads had got caked or rusty unless you had a model with a single-sided swingarm and eccentric rear hub. smiley

The Scottoilers I remember cost far less than £250, more like £40 IIRC. Chains were considerably more expensive than bicycle chains but they are much better shielded from road muck (and your trouser leg) than on a bicycle.

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Beecho [113 posts] 7 months ago
7 likes

I've invented the Brick Gun (TM). That's right, a gun that fires actual bricks. A must-have for all jewellery thieves and lazy hod carriers. Now,  give me your money.

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Duncann [1018 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes
beezus fufoon wrote:
stenmeister wrote:

Forgetting to lube your chain is like forgetting your car keys if you want to go for a drive or your shoes if you are walking

ah, but you can always call in to a cafe and get some butter or olive oil perhaps.

Will that start your car?

Avatar
beezus fufoon [669 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes
Duncann wrote:
beezus fufoon wrote:
stenmeister wrote:

Forgetting to lube your chain is like forgetting your car keys if you want to go for a drive or your shoes if you are walking

ah, but you can always call in to a cafe and get some butter or olive oil perhaps.

Will that start your car?

no, but it might float my boat!

Avatar
harragan [198 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes

Perhaps I'm in the minority, but actually enjoy cleaning and lubing my chain *tries not to snigger*

It takes very little time if you at least wipe it down after every ride and apply lube.  Another quick wipe over before the next ride and you're done.  This cuts down the effort needed when you clean your bike.  And you can stand back and admire a shining drive chain.  Lovely!

Just me then...

Avatar
PaulBox [656 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes
Duncann wrote:
beezus fufoon wrote:
stenmeister wrote:

Forgetting to lube your chain is like forgetting your car keys if you want to go for a drive or your shoes if you are walking

ah, but you can always call in to a cafe and get some butter or olive oil perhaps.

Will that start your car?

Might sooth your sore feet...