Introducing the Gain Chain
Today Kogel introduced the newest leg to our ever growing portfolio of products: wax optimized chains to compliment your ceramic bottom brackets and oversized pulleys. If a component is providing free speed and is more durable than whatever came stock on your bike, it is a contender to become part of our lineup.
Gains Made In E-Racing
In the last few years Kogel has been working closely with the NeXT eSport team to optimize their drivetrains for Zwift racing. Since many of the skills we use for outdoor riding are either not there or replaced by algorithms on these platforms. For this reason, elite e racing teams are hyper focused on things they can control. Like drivetrain friction. Less watts wasted in the drivetrain means more watts to the power meter in the Kickr, equals more speed on the screen.
After numerous conversations with the team about bottom brackets and oversized pulleys, wax optimized chains kept coming up as a solution that is far superior to using chain lube. Waxed chains run with lower friction, run cleaner and require less maintenance than chains using oil based lubricants. What is not to like?
Status: It’s Complicated
There is some bad news though: waxing a fresh out of the packaging Sram or Shimano chain is complicated. Paraffin wax and oil based factory lubricants do not like each other. In order for a brand new chain to receive the wax where it matters most, inside the rollers and in between the plates, the entire chain needs to be stripped clean of any factory grease and other debris. The chain needs to be surgically clean before the wax can be applied. Any residue of the factory grease will simply mean the worst of both worlds: the factory lube is contaminated with the wax and the wax is not sticking to the metal components to create a thin film of friction reducing slipperyness.
To clean the chain to the required level takes a multi step process that requires harsh chemicals which you have to return to your city’s recycling plant after you are done with them. After that the waxing process is relatively easy and can be done in a crock pot. Future treatments are also pretty straightforward: once you need to reapply the wax coating, the old wax comes off with hot water. You can rinse the chain and simply dip it in the favorite hot wax of your choice. You can add friction modifiers to your mix or afterwards to your treated chain to make it extra fast for race day if you choose to do so.
Looking at the above two paragraphs, Kogel has done the hard work up front to set you up for success: the prep is the complicated part. The maintenance can be done by any rider with thirty minutes to spare every few weeks.