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No more dry or squeaky chains for Orica-BikeExchange next year

We told you about the new Flaer Revo Via  automatic chain lubing device a few weeks ago, and today the company has revealed the Orica-BikeExchange professional cycling team will use it through the 2017 season.

The Australian team will be using the Flaer Revo Via at all races next year, starting with the Santos Tour Down Under in January 2017.

The Flaer Revo Via is a small contraption that fixes to the frame and dispenses micro-doses of Flaer’s specially developed Via Fluid to the chain while riding, or racing in this case. We've just started testing one, and you can watch our installation video right below.

The company boldly claims the device reduces transmission losses and can provide a heady gain of 12 watts at the wheel, though that’s a figure which we take with a big pinch of salt, but it’s likely one that has clearly interested the team.

“We are really excited to be working with Orica-BikeExchange,” said Flaér’s Sales Director Nick Muddle. “As a team that is continually looking for the next level in performance, we have found a perfect partner. We are working closely with OBE to help maximise their performance and through the use of our new Revo Via chain performance system, there are significant gains to be had. It’s great to be official technical partners with a team that has such a commitment to innovative new ideas.”

Orica-BikeExchange’s General Manager, Shayne Bannan added: “We’re really excited about this partnership and we look forward to using this new technology. Flaér has made a very innovative approach to our setup and it will be interesting to see the various advantages they offer”.

The Flaer 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. 

What to know more about chain lubing? There’s a good article from the late, great Jobst Brandt, whose professional expertise was in friction and lubrication, as well as this research paper on the effects of frictional loss on bicycle chain efficiency by James B. Spicer. 

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.

18 comments

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danthomascyclist [318 posts] 3 months ago
6 likes

I wonder how much money they've thrown at Orica-BikeExchange. This crap won't be around in two years time

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chrismayoh [39 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

It doesn't use a motor to pump the lube, does it . . . . . . . . . ?

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Yorkshire wallet [819 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Maybe you can hide a battery in there. Maybe.

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ktache [441 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

BikesnobNYC "loved" this one 

http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/this-post-is-self-lubricating....

Also features a very retro Kenny G and and an oiled up Mario.

Unfortunately the fine bike fighting of Jackie Chan in "Project A" is not viewable, though just to remind you of it, a low res, badly dubbed version can be watched here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kroi5o2cupw

 

 

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SuperPython59 [1358 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

They'll be employing Halfords bike 'mechanics' for the pro teams soon enough when you have stuff like this thrown on the bikes, is it for specific courses/days only because surely even on very wet days if the mechanic has done his job then creaking etc won't happen.

12 watts gain, just lol. what compared to a rusting chain that has been left unserviced day after day after day in the worst weather?

Next it'll be self repairing/self inflating tyre systems, the tech is there already, microcapsules that release resins, self healing polymers have been around a while already,  at least that might mean fewer motors on the road if punctures become a thing of the past.

If you can control how much pressure in each tyre you can change it for optimised riding on any given part of a course, racing on a mix of cobbles/flat tarmac could benefit hugely with the ability to change tyre pressures on the go and not suffer as many/if any punctures.

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MoutonDeMontagne [49 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

Well they have to add weight somehow... 

Makes me think back to the old F1 days of 'brake cooling', as they ware allowed to top up coolents, oils and other fluids except petrol before the end of race scruitineering weight checks. Thus on the first lap, a reservoir of coolent was expelled, in the general direction of the brakes, thus allowing said car to run underweight until the end, where the coolent was topped up legally prior to weighing. 

Be interesting to see if this device can dump the entire load within 200m of the start line.. 

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Carton [338 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Good use of the word "contraption".

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ktache [441 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

SuperPython59, a while back I saw a tyre pressure changing hub, on singletrack, where it really would make a difference, huge it was.  And very, very ugly.

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gthornton101 [139 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

are dry and squeaky chains an issue for pro teams?

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Rapha Nadal [406 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
gthornton101 wrote:

are dry and squeaky chains an issue for pro teams?

I also wondered this.  Would a pro mechanic really allow this to occur?

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Jimmy Ray Will [591 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

In theory, this could have legs in a professional setting. 

When races are 6 hours long... and its wet and shitty, I can't imagine there are many lubes that will survive that. 

Now, there is an argument that a team mechanic can always lube a chain from the car, however the option of a well lubed chain throughout with no effort is kind of appealing. 

And... having a few extra watts at the sharp end of a race, will be gratefully received. 

However, on a personal level, it all looks a bit ugly for me. 

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andrewball [12 posts] 3 months ago
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I struggle to understand where the need for this has come from, and the claims of a reclamation of 12 watts seems a little ambitious as you rarely see anyone on the peleton suffering from a loss of these valuable lumps of power in the current races.

Personally I would rather see Fausto Oppici hanging out of the rear window of the team car sqirting  his bottle of lube in the direction of the rear mech whilst doing >30mph, jostling with the reamining riders all queuing up for their mid raceonce over.

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ktache [441 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

I remember a tour a while back, lead rider zooming down the valley to the finish, maybe a Norwegian? transponder flapping on the chainstay, mechanic risking his fingers trying to sort it.  Heroic and magnificent open window mechaniching.

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UrbanBushman [33 posts] 3 months ago
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I remember seeing a giro where it was so wet the some teams were having to lube up mid race (leaning out of the car and squrting onto the chain an the cassette). Also seen a simaler system on motorbikes although that was a bottle of the lub mounted onto the bars which you squeezed to apply the lub down a tube to the end of a zip tie onto the chain. Its nothing new.

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Giles Pargiter [70 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

I do love technology, I've got a computer- I even ride these new fangled safety bicycles, They even have gears on the back AND the front!

Auto lube on a bicycle???  If they can carry a litre of oil to dump on the road in the first few yards WOW!  They will gain fractions of a second on climbs- lose half a fraction of seconds on descents. Marginal gains, Marginal gains . . . It's all tech doping dont you know - laughing out loud . . .

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Cyclespeed Tours [37 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

Ridiculous claims like 12 watts for this, are what is responsible for the majority of the cycling public being highly suspicious of any 'watt'claim that comes out, to the point that claims that may be true are ignored.

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urbane [76 posts] 3 months ago
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I tried the Scottoiler, a similar system, and was not impressed, especially with the waste from leaks and other failures.

A decent wax lube easily beats more expensive junk like this because it stays on a long time, including in rain, and blocks/sheds grit too.  When I need to wash the chain (not stupidly use internal grease stripping degreaser!) I also get rid of the crud stuck to the gears and derailers, something which a necessary too light lube fluid will probably not reduce the need for.

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levermonkey [683 posts] 3 months ago
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Autolubing of a motorcycle chain is a superb idea and the Scottoiler is still the best on the market by a long way; but lets look at the motorcyclist who is going to fit a Scottoiler

  • High mileage
  • All year
  • All weather
  • Functionality and reliability over aesthetics

And lets not overlook the awkwardness of cleaning and lubing a motorcycle chain as opposed to a bicycle chain. I honestly can not see the necessity for this product.

Some days it pisses down on my way to work and for these occasions I carry a little bottle of lube in my underseat bag - strictly speaking it's little bottle that used to contain a hotels complimentary portion of shampoo. I also have a can of degreaser and a larger bottle of lube in my locker at work.

In conclusion. Unless you commute is 100miles plus then what is the point?