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TECH NEWS

Muc-Off launches ‘pro-level chain optimisation service’ using new Ultrasonic Tanks

For £49.99 with Ludicrous AF lube or £24.99 with Hydrodynamic, your chain is placed in a tank that emits high-frequency sound waves that pulse through cleaning liquid to remove dirt

Muc-off has announced it is providing a new “pro-level chain optimisation service” that utilises new ultrasonic clean and lube tanks, making drivetrain efficiency accessible to all riders - well, as long as you can get to one of the select dealers offering the “World Tour-level” performance service. 

2021 Muc-Off Ultrasonic Tanks - 6

> Grounded in innovation: A Q+A with Muc-Off for our Built in Britain project

Using Muc-Off’s Ultrasonic Tanks, the chain goes through an intense cleaning and lubing treatment that’s claimed to 'level up' drivetrain performance. It's targetted at those looking to fully optimise for events.

As well as the tank hardware, Muc-Off’s High-Performance Ultrasonic Chain Cleaner, High-Pressure Quick Drying Degreaser and Ludicrous AF or Hydrodynamic lube make up the process.

2021 Muc-Off Ultrasonic Tanks - 1

> Review: Muc-Off Team Sky Hydrodynamic Lube

Muc-Off just recently released Ludicrous AF lube, which it claims is “the world’s fastest lube”, offering 18% less power consumption than the nearest competitor according to Muc-Off.

How does it work?

2021 Muc-Off Ultrasonic Tanks - 10

“The chain is placed into the tank, which emits high-frequency sound waves that pulse through the cleaning liquid,” Muc-Off explains. “This agitates, lifts and removes any dirt out from within the chain links, which, after a blast from the High-Pressure Quick Drying Degreaser, leaves squeaky-clean surfaces for the lube to adhere to.”

2021 Muc-Off Ultrasonic Tanks - 11

Then comes the lubrication process. Muc-Off says that the Ludicrous AF or Hydrodynamic lube (the latter is the cheaper option) are gently heated to the precise temperature required to create the “optimum viscosity for the lube to penetrate deep into all contact points within the chain links." 

“The lubricants themselves contain organic friction modifiers, which with their polarised heads and non-polarised tails, attach themselves to either side of the base oil’s surface to form a low-friction shear plane,” Muc-Off explains.

“It’s this combination of formulation and application which results in reduced friction, increasing the amount of watts making it through the drivetrain, and therefore the rear wheel.”

> Muc-Off oversized pulley wheel system debut in 2020 Tour de France time trial

Real-world testing and development was carried out with an elite triathlete from the BMC Pro-Triathlon team. By swapping out the existing chain for a new, optimised one, Muc-Off claims its process delivered a 50% reduction in power loss, which powered the triathlete to a 2nd place finish at an Ironman event according to Muc-Off. We're going to bet that there were multiple reasons why this triathlete performed well in their race, but an optimised chain can't have hurt. 

The chain was then returned and re-optimised, causing the coefficient of friction to be reduced by a further 10%, says Muc-Off... and whaddaya know, our pro triathlete went one better and won their next Ironman. Afterwards, another 5% improvement was claimed to have been squeezed out of the chain, “as the compound effect of the optimisation process means the chain simply keeps getting faster each time,” Muc-Off claims. 

2021 Muc-Off Ultrasonic Tanks - 13

To get your chain ultrasonically cleaned and lubed, you’ll have to head to a select dealer. This service is currently available in over 20 bike shops across the UK; and to make sure no triathletes lose their spot on the podium because they might not live in a convenient location, Muc-Off says a further 300 stores in over 15 countries will also be rolling it out from next month.

You can find your closest authorised chain optimisation dealer over here.

Muc-Off’s new Ultrasonic Optimisation Service is priced at £49.99 for application with Ludicrous AF, and £24.99 with Hydrodynamic Lube.

www.muc-off.com 

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14 comments

Avatar
Sriracha | 2 years ago
2 likes

I could just about see a subscription service where you basically "rent" two chains with full maintenance. One will be in the post, getting spruced and waxed. When it drops through your letter box you swap the chains and return the dirty one. When a chain is worn to the limit, it is automatically replaced, a new one turns up in its place seamlessly, ready waxed.

I'd call the service "ChainMail".

Avatar
espressodan | 2 years ago
2 likes

Ultrasonic cleaning fine, but honestly I'd just get a new chain and get rid of the factory 'lube'. "Heated to the precise temperature required to create the optimum viscosity for the lube to penetrate deep into all contact points within the chain links" for £25 reeks of BS to me. OK, warm lube is thinner lube. This feels more like an exercise in getting Muc-Off into dealers by offering them as much sweet, sweet margin and up-sell as possible to keep them spruiking MucOff rather than actually being useful.

One might ask why their £50/$100 bottle of lube wasn't formulated with a viscosity that fully penetrates the chain.

Avatar
IanEdward replied to espressodan | 2 years ago
1 like

I think the idea is that at room temperature the lube is solid, so they can't sell it at the 'optimum viscosity' as it won't stay put between the rollers as well onc.? Is the same premise as Putoline/Silca/Absolute Black Graphene.

In my experience immersing a chain in melted wax and allowing to dry produces amazing results. I'm still on the fence as to whether I can be bothered with the slight faff and sometimes unpredictable results, but I don't doubt that a Putolined or otherwise chain is the fastest feeling chain I've ever ridden, and can withstand a lot of abuse before needing re-treated.

Avatar
espressodan replied to IanEdward | 2 years ago
2 likes
IanEdward wrote:

I think the idea is that at room temperature the lube is solid, so they can't sell it at the 'optimum viscosity' .

Muc-Off's own marketing copy (interesting repeated verbatim in many 'reviews') says "With an ultra-viscous formula that makes its way into every contact point of your chain, smoothness and silence is guaranteed.". So apparently Muc-Off are spruiking both "ultra-viscous that makes it's way into every contact point" and "needs a dealer to heat it to optimum viscosity" to consumers at the same time. Hence I remain even more convinced that Muc-Off have crossed the bridge from 'maybe useful innovation' to 'my marketing Dept is bigger than my R&D Dept, give me your money".

Probably a harder 'no' from me than before. No substance to the claims when you play consumers on both sides of the fence

Avatar
wycombewheeler replied to espressodan | 2 years ago
0 likes
espressodan wrote:
IanEdward wrote:

I think the idea is that at room temperature the lube is solid, so they can't sell it at the 'optimum viscosity' .

Muc-Off's own marketing copy (interesting repeated verbatim in many 'reviews') says "With an ultra-viscous formula that makes its way into every contact point of your chain, smoothness and silence is guaranteed.". So apparently Muc-Off are spruiking both "ultra-viscous that makes it's way into every contact point" and "needs a dealer to heat it to optimum viscosity" to consumers at the same time. Hence I remain even more convinced that Muc-Off have crossed the bridge from 'maybe useful innovation' to 'my marketing Dept is bigger than my R&D Dept, give me your money". Probably a harder 'no' from me than before. No substance to the claims when you play consumers on both sides of the fence

I thought it was ideal for the lube to easily get into the chain when being applied, and then stay in place during use and not get washed away.

Hence why the factory lube is better than anything you can apply at home, (without heating equipment). Why some people are in a rush to remove this lube is a mystery to me.

Avatar
Rapha Nadal | 2 years ago
0 likes

"Ludicrous AF".

Nail, meet head.

Avatar
Hirsute | 2 years ago
0 likes

Isn't it easier to wipe your chain down after a ride ?

Avatar
mdavidford replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
4 likes

Isn't it cheaper to buy a new chain?

Avatar
carlosdsanchez | 2 years ago
0 likes

Hmmm... I've been using patio cleaner in an ultrasonic bath to clean my chain for about 10 years now smiley

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to carlosdsanchez | 2 years ago
17 likes
carlosdsanchez wrote:

Hmmm... I've been using patio cleaner in an ultrasonic bath to clean my chain for about 10 years now smiley

It should be clean after a couple of minutes

Avatar
festina | 2 years ago
0 likes

£50! I take it you get the chain included in that :0

Avatar
Gd29 | 2 years ago
8 likes

Nice muc-off label on the generic 2l digital ultrasonic cleaner (Ebay et al. 2021, £29.99).

But it's a good idea for bike shops to be able to upsell and earn a few extra £ from those that are interested and don't want or can't do it for themselves.

Avatar
Gkam84 replied to Gd29 | 2 years ago
2 likes

Much like their rebadged pressure washer than...

I've been doing this for about 15 years though with an ultrasonic and then a second with a waxy lube in it. Used to charge £10 to do it, but the demand isn't there these days. It was mainly track chains and specialist TT's.

Avatar
IanEdward replied to Gd29 | 2 years ago
0 likes

Hmm... how hot can that generic ultrasonic cleaner go? If it could melt Putoline then it could be a winner! 

 

Edit: booooooo, only heats to 80C. Guess you could melt the Putoline in a deep fat fryer then gently pour the 180C molten wax into the ultrasonic cleaner, what could possibly go wrong! smiley

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