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Verdict: 
It's a system that works, but it's very niche and expensive
Weight: 
127g

Flaer's Revo Via is an automatic chain-lubing system. It works. Unless you're a pro/elite road racer or a long-distance triathlete, it's hard to see how you'd be able to justify the £250 outlay given the very minor efficiency gains. As such, it's pretty difficult to recommend, although it does do what it's designed to do.

In essence this is a lubricant reservoir and battery-powered pump, a tube, and an applicator that dribbles the specific Via Fluid lubricant onto the chain via the jockey wheel. There are three levels of lubrication available via the press of a button on the reservoir. The system dispenses 0.03ml of lube at a time and it'll do so every 30, 90 or 150 seconds depending on the setting. The lubricant itself is designed to be washable and biodegradable, so the lubricant is continually replaced on the chain as you ride. The reservoir will last between 7.5 and 37.5 hours depending on which mode you're in.

> Find your nearest dealer here

Fitting the Revo Via system is easy enough. You need to replace the bolt holding your lower jockey wheel with one that Flaer supplies, then attach the lubricating nozzle and run the tube back to the reservoir. I fitted mine on a plate that sits underneath a bottle cage; you can see me doing so in this video.

Flaer Revo Via -3.jpg

Once you've got it all set up it's just a case of remembering to turn it on at the start of a ride, and making sure that the lubrication mode is right for the conditions: less if it's dry, more if it's wet. And off you go!

Flaer Revo Via -2.jpg

Does it work? Yes, it works. The pump sends the lube to the chain and the chain stays lubed. In the wet the lube washes off more easily than a sticky wet lube, but that means your chain is cleaner and if you're pumping enough fluid it'll still be running smoothly. If it's drier then you need to remember to set the application rate lower; if you're riding in the sun and the Revo Via is set to lube every 30 seconds then the chain can get swamped.

Flaer Revo Via -4.jpg

When you get back from a ride and hose your bike down and give the transmission a scrub it's noticeably easier to remove than standard lubes that are designed to be a bit more tenacious.

Flaer Revo Via -6.jpg

Is it worth it? Probably not. How much would you spend to save 12W of power? To me, £250 sounds like an awful lot. That 12W is the best that you'll see, according to Flaer; actually the graph on its website suggests maximum losses of a chain system at around 12W, with the Flaer keeping them hovering at around 5W, so according to its own graph it's a 7W gain, not 12W. We don't have the wherewithal here to do empirical testing to check. If those numbers are accurate, the saving at the start of a ride, with a properly lubricated chain, will be zero; if conditions are good they will probably hover around zero for the length of your ride.

If the weather's not so favourable then you'd expect the losses associated with friction to mount as the lube got washed off. But for the Flaer system to have any benefit you'll need to be riding long enough in bad conditions – several hours – without any option to stop. That more or less narrows the demographic down to professional/elite athletes (Orica-Scott are using the system) and long-distance triathletes. If you're on a long sportive, or an audax, or you're racing the Transcontinental, stopping is a part of the ride, and re-applying lube is simply a case of having some with you. At a sportive you might even get a little sample of lube in the goody bag.

> How to clean and lube your chain

Let's assume the average efficiency saving is 3.5W, zero at the start and 7W at the end. We've seen gloves that claim more than that, and certainly bike fitting, skinsuits, bongo hats, shoe covers and the like should be on your list ahead of the Revo Via. If you've exhausted all those options in your ruthless quest for efficiency and you really can't stop to re-lube then this is going to be worth a look. Otherwise, lube your chain well before you leave and lob a sample tube in your pocket if you think you might need it, and you'll not go far wrong.

Verdict

It's a system that works, but it's very niche and expensive

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Flaer Revo Via

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Flaer says: "Revo Via - A revolution in chain performance

"The world's first chain performance system will ensure your transmission operates at maximum efficiency from start to finish, no matter the conditions. The Revo Via applies a precise quantity of our specially developed fluid to the chain as you ride, giving maximum power transfer to the wheel, smoother gear shifts and a visibly cleaner transmission. The result - you get the most out of the effort you put in."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Flaer lists these features:

* Power Gains of up to 12 watts - a figure which increases the longer the duration of the ride

* Significantly Cleaner Transmission

* Automatic Activation

* Precise Delivery

* Easy Installation

* Adjustable frequency for conditions

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
6/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
6/10
Rate the product for value:
 
3/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It's doing a thing, and it does it pretty well, but it's a very, very niche thing.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

It does the thing it's designed to do.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

So niche, so expensive.

Did you enjoy using the product? In the end, not really.

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? I don't have any friends who are pro racers or long-distance triathletes, so no.

Use this box to explain your score

It's pretty hard to give this an overall score: it's designed to do a job and it does it pretty well, but the job it's designed to do is so niche that it's hard to recommend.

Overall rating: 4/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

13 comments

Avatar
joules1975 [610 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Surely it's not just about the reported power saving. Isn't drivetrain durability and lifetime improved through such a device, and thus the cost of the item will likely be made back by not having to replace chains etc as often.

That's how these things are marketed for motorbikes, and they do seem to work pretty well.

One big issue here though is the very 'add-on' appearance that it has. On a motobike, it's not really an issue as you can hide things away more easily.

If they could improve the apperance, integrate it better so as to hide it a bit (why not design a bottle cage add on so it sits neatly under a bottle?) and not require the zip-ties, oh and drop the price quite a bit, they could be onto something. Tick those boxes and I'd be interested.

By comparison an electronic Scottoiler motorcycle lube system can be had for £200 or less.

Avatar
hawkinspeter [4227 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

I don't get why it's so expensive - it's got a little battery and a pump and reservoir. The price would make more sense if it somehow sensed the chain condition and cleaned/lubed as necessary, but it doesn't do that.

Also, as your chain/drivetrain pick up dust and grit from the road, doesn't this just use lubricant to ensure that the grit gets carried right into the chain? I always thought that you should never lubricate a dirty chain, but clean it first to avoid the grinding paste issue.

Avatar
sammutd88 [127 posts] 2 years ago
1 like
hawkinspeter wrote:

I don't get why it's so expensive - it's got a little battery and a pump and reservoir. The price would make more sense if it somehow sensed the chain condition and cleaned/lubed as necessary, but it doesn't do that.

Also, as your chain/drivetrain pick up dust and grit from the road, doesn't this just use lubricant to ensure that the grit gets carried right into the chain? I always thought that you should never lubricate a dirty chain, but clean it first to avoid the grinding paste issue.

 

Yep. Can't see how this doesn't just carry more grit into the rollers and destroy the chain at a faster rate than without this system. Absolute rubbish. Even if it did make chains last slightly longer, a new chain is like $40-$50 for a high end 11 speed shimano chain. It'd take a long time to re-coup the cash for the system, especially buying their lube which is also probably over priced. 

Avatar
Chris Hayes [464 posts] 2 years ago
3 likes

An AUTOMATIC CHAIN LUBING SYSTEM (!!!!) weighing in at 127g.  LMAO.  Before buying please calculate how much you pay to reduce the weight on your bike by 127g only to add it back because you can't be arsed to oil your chain  1  Was this crowd-funded or idiot funded? 

Avatar
kevvjj [483 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

"A fool and his/her money are easily parted"

 

This pointless product will succeed...

Avatar
DaveE128 [1010 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

Also, as your chain/drivetrain pick up dust and grit from the road, doesn't this just use lubricant to ensure that the grit gets carried right into the chain? I always thought that you should never lubricate a dirty chain, but clean it first to avoid the grinding paste issue.

That was my first thought too. In my experience, when I have ignored this advice and lubed a dirty chain, rapid measurable wear has resulted. The most worn chains I've seen are on bikes belonging to people who lube but never clean their chain.

What also puzzles me is how the lube actually gets onto the right part of the chain. The image of the jockey wheel attachment looks as though the right hand side of the chain gets oiled - the place that needs it least! Maybe it gets squirted onto the jockey wheel tho?

I can see that riding in pouring rain on cleanish roads, this might offer a marginal gain for pro teams. Can't see any other use though. I imagine a much simpler and lighter gravity-fed system could be devised though.

Avatar
StraelGuy [1746 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

If that device is constantly drizzling out oil, doesn't some of it end up on road waiting to do a Wile E Coyote on other unsuspecting cyclists?!

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danthomascyclist [351 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I'd like to see a proper review of this with a little science applied;

 

Ride the bike with two power meters: a crank power meter and a hub power meter. Analyse the differences between readings from both power meters on a long ride.

 

Now do the same with this piece of shit chain lubricator installed. Then we'll see what utter bullshit this is because there won't be 12 watts difference by the end of the ride

Avatar
Trekpro [144 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Or just bung on a manual MX one and save a massive wedge of dosh.

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TypeVertigo [429 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Good criticism on the potential use cases. I was thinking this would be useful in an audax, but yes you do stop on those rides for rest or food or to use the loo, so that's that use case out the window.

The idea is sound but real-life use perhaps isn't there for most of us.

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ktache [2218 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

bikesnobnyc was particularly scathing about this product.

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reliablemeatloaf [107 posts] 2 years ago
2 likes

Wax.

Best thing I've ever done to my chains.

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StraelGuy [1746 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Me too 'loaf. Done 65 miles on my first waxed chain. Smooth, silent and you can grab your chain and your hand remains clean and dry.