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Chain coating claimed to improve drivetrain efficiency and last 200km between applications

CeramicSpeed has set its stall on producing drivetrain products that can improve efficiency and decrease friction to help you go faster, and its latest product is UFO Drip Chain Coating, which it claims “initiates a drivetrain efficiency revolution”.

ceramicspeed ufo chain drip coating4.jpg

It’s not calling this new product a chain lube or oil, but a chain coating, which it reckons is an entirely new category of product. The UFO Drip Chain Coating is applied as a liquid form which then hardens to a 100% dry coating, which does sound very much like a regular dry lube to us. The product has been through 4,000 hours of lab and field testing and the result is a product that the company claims generate less friction than any other lube on the market.

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The idea for the bottle chain coating came off the back of the UFO Racing Chain, developed by Jason Smith of Friction Facts (an independent friction lab acquired by CeramicSpeed in 2016). This was a chain with a factory-applied coating that was claimed to be the fastest bicycle chain in the world. 

UFO Drip Chain Coating is that factory process bottled. It offers the convenience of a drip application with a completely dry chain coating. CeramicSpeed claims it lasts a minimum of 200km between application which is highly impressive. But it's the claims for reduced friction and efficiency that are the most impressive. 

In its own pre-ride lab tests, CeramicSpeed says the UFO Chain Drip Coating produces an efficiency of 3.78W. That compared to the next best of 4.51W with Squirt lube, 6.05W for Finish Line Ceramic Wet and 6.25W for Muc-Off Hydrodynamic.

Interestingly, CeramicSpeed claims a chain with this new coating actually gets more efficient after 90 minutes of riding, dropping to 3.62W compared to friction increases from the other chain products it tested.

It also adds that it offers 46% decreased drivetrain wear compared to wet lubes because since it’s a dry lube it won’t attract dirt and grime. The formula consists of 10 ingredients and goes on easily as a liquid before drying to leave a completely dry coating.

“UFO Drip Chain Coating is a breakthrough product. It began as a project with very specific goals, which at its core, share the same DNA that defines the rest of CeramicSpeed’s exceptional product line: visionary ambition, research-based precision testing, and premium quality,’ says Jason Smith, Chief Technology Officer at CeramicSpeed.

“CeramicSpeed HQ is in Denmark so we ride a lot in the winter,” says Martin Banke. “Mainly cyclocross, and in all sorts of conditions, including clay and mud. It was really special to see how UFO Chain Drip Coating performed in the Danish winter. None of the nasty stuff stock and the chain continued to look as if it was almost out of the box.”

That there sounds like the holy grail for cyclists determined to ride and race through the winter in all conditions, and while the claims do indeed sound very lofty, we’ll look forward to seeing how it fares once we get our hands on a test sample. Of course, such high tech developments don’t come cheap, and a 180ml bottle will cost £70. More at www.ceramicspeed.com

- Wet or dry chain lube: what’s the difference and which should you use?

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.

15 comments

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cyclisto [331 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

A lubricant for nearly 400 quid ped litre?

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simonmb [565 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

I'm a sucker for spending money on sexy and expensive ways to help me believe I'm enjoying my riding more - and it's anyone's choice to do so - but how big is the market for something like this??

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RobD [539 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

Ok, sounds great, possibly something that would be a bit special to use on the best bike, until I got to the price, I was expecting it to be £25-£30 for a bottle, but £70?! that's nearly 40p per ml, you'd be able to count out the tens of pence with each drip, let alone the stuff that might drop on to the floor.

When I get fit enough to make a decent stab at sir Wiggo's hour record (as if) then maybe I'll treat myself to some.

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DaveE128 [955 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

So if they say this isn't a lubricant but a coating, are you meant to also use a lubricant with it? Does it have to be reapplied at intervals? If the answers are no and yes, I'd argue it's just an expensive lubricant.

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Scoob_84 [435 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

If you bought a brand new chain, do you have to remove all of the factory greese and lube before coating it with this stuff?

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ChrisB200SX [565 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
Scoob_84 wrote:

If you bought a brand new chain, do you have to remove all of the factory greese and lube before coating it with this stuff?

Sounds like it. Although, they probably sell chains with it applied to start with.
I'd consider it, my chain gets a fair bit of abuse and I really don't clean it regularly enough, this sounds like it makes up for many of my inadequacies in the chain care department, not a lot of money compared to what most spend on bikes... but a lot compared to what I currently spend on chains and lube.

Probably best used on indoor track bikes?

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Sven Van Anders [43 posts] 3 months ago
12 likes

I use this (along with UFO chain and CC jockey wheels) on my Pro-commuter. Between the fore-mentioned products I save 28 seconds on my thrash to work.
Sadly I can only set my alarm clock to full minutes, and as the time is set by radio control I am unable to set a 28 second error into the time display. Until alarm clock tech catches up, I will be unable to capitalise on my performance gains.

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Yorkshire wallet [1574 posts] 3 months ago
5 likes

Isn't a completely dry chain supposedly 98%+ efficient anyway?

Chain oil - snake oil.

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Mungecrundle [866 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes

What next? Super slippery shoe polish scientifically proven to reduce drag by application of nano structured coatings.

I appreciate that lubricants are vastly more technical than anyone outside the industry can possibly imagine, but we are talking bicycle chains at exceedingly modest speeds and loadings. I'd defy anyone to be able to tell the difference between this and basic chain lube in a blind test.

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matthewn5 [1084 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
Yorkshire wallet wrote:

Isn't a completely dry chain supposedly 98%+ efficient anyway? Chain oil - snake oil.

Exactly.

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antonio [1168 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Obviously manufactured by 'Midas' turning oil into black gold.

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john1967 [39 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

Melt a candle and dunk your chain in it. Cheap and mega effective. Don't be a sucker.

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hsiaolc [367 posts] 3 months ago
8 likes

At that price you can just buy three new Shimano ultegra chains.  Why bother to lube it. 

I think I will save that money for a new cassette and a new chain. 

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Another David [29 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

"Of course, such high tech developments don’t come cheap". What snake oil salesmen have been saying for years. My old bike, I upgraded it constantly for 3 years, and when checking the times against a time trial route I ride once/twice a week I noticed no meaningful difference in my time (Ok, on a couple of occasions I was 15 seconds faster over a 30 minute ride, but that was probably the weather, specificaly wind direction and strength). Don't have that bike now, bought a brand new mid-spec bike: guess what? same time over my TT route. 

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BarryBianchi [419 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

£70?  Yeah but it makes your chain 63.847% stiffer.  Oh hang on, that's not actualy good is it?  Oh F...