Last year we released a video about lubricants and which one was best . The interest in the topic was very high, on the other hand the topic lends itself to a thousand interpretations, also depending on where one pedals, temperature, local soil makeup, how much maintenance one does to the bike, etc.
It was no coincidence that the test was done with a machine that Alberto di Effetto Mariposa had recently purchased. In fact, shortly after, Effetto Mariposa presented their lubricant based on natural waxes, the Flowerpower Max . I can’t deny that I started using it on my bikes, creating a kind of ritual: when a new bike arrives, also to be tested, the first thing I do is disassemble the chain, clean off the factory lube thoroughly, and then douse it with the Flowerpower.
Beyond the lubricating properties, which obviously convinced me, I like the fact that I keep the chain clean, thanks to the properties of the wax, so I can return the bikes to the companies, at the end of the test, with a drivetrain doesn’t look annihilated. I’m not the only one in the editorial staff to have succumbed to the charm of wax, in fact even Stefano Udeschini, famous for his green thumb, uses it on his bikes .
Today, Effetto Mariposa passed on the results of an independent test carried out by an external laboratory, Zero Friction Cycling , located in Australia. Here’s what popped up…
[Press Release] – Last year, when we launched Flowerpower Wax, our chain lubricant based on natural waxes and without dangerous additives, we knew we had developed an innovative eco-friendly product which was also highly reliable, given the good reports in the field.
To have objective and measurable values, though, an instrumental test by an external laboratory was necessary. For this reason we turned to Zero Friction Cycling in Australia, the absolute authority in the evaluation of bicycle chain lubricants, and we submitted Flowerpower Wax to their long and severe testing.
The verdict is as follows:
Flowerpower Wax is the best DRIP chain lubricant!
- it guarantees the MINIMUM CHAIN WEAR of all the drip lubricants tested;
- it is among the few lubricants to exceed 6000 km of test, without even complete wear of the chain;
- it offers the MINIMUM COST of use of all the drip lubricants tested;
- it guarantees HIGH mileage with a single application.
Zero Friction Cycling: where the “best” lubricants go to die
The tests at Zero Friction Cycling (ZFC) are aimed at measuring:
- if the lubricant properly penetrates inside the chain links;
- the resistance of the lubricant to dry (dust, sand) or wet (mud) contamination;
- the ability of the lubricant to dispose of the various contaminations through self-cleaning;
- the performance of the lubricant in case of extreme contamination (abundant mud).
The full evaluation takes several months and follows a strict protocol of six blocks of 1000 km each, a real torture for chains that allows to simulate in a repeatable and controlled way the wear rate of chains in real conditions.
The elongation of the chain is monitored during the test, with an accuracy of 0.01 mm. As soon as the chain reaches a total elongation of 0.50 mm compared to the initial measurement, this is considered “100% of consumption” and the test is stopped (with this value of elongation the chain has to be replaced, as it becomes harmful to chainrings and sprockets).
The test machine is a home-trainer modified for the need, where a motor applies a constant power of 250 Watts at 100 pedal revolutions per minute.
Over the six blocks of test, the ability of the sealant to reduce the wear rate of the chain is checked in the following conditions:
- no contamination (block 1, 1000 km);
- dry contamination, which involves 5 grams of sand applied dry on the chain (block 2, 1000 km);
- self-cleaning capacity of the lubricant after dry contamination, no additional contamination added (block 3, 1000 km);
- wet contamination, with 500 ml of water sprayed on the chain during the test, together with 5 grams of sand (block 4, 1000 km);
- self-cleaning capacity of the lubricant after wet contamination, no additional contamination added (block 5, 1000 km);
- extreme contamination: the chain is first cleaned perfectly, then subjected to 1000 ml of water and 10 grams of sand, simulating pedaling in extreme mud. Few lubricants get to this point, as the chain often reaches 100% wear during the previous blocks (block 6, 1000 km).
How did Flowerpower Wax do?
In two words: very well.
In block 1, with only 2.3% of elongation, Flowerpower Wax immediately placed itself at the top of the ranking, on a par with the best products.
Starting with block 2 (dry contamination), Flowerpower Wax left everyone behind.
Not only did it pass all six blocks, but it finished block 6 with an overall elongation of 80%, without the chain being completely worn.
Find more data and detailed explanations here:
How many kilometers can you travel with a single application?
The reduced elongation in this severe test results in low wear and consequent long chain life. We decided to have also the single application longevity evaluated.
Once again Flowerpower Wax proved to be at the top. By reporting the laboratory values to the kilometers that can be traveled in real life use, we have:
Dry / road conditions: up to 650 km with a single application of Flowerpower Wax.
Dry / off-road conditions: up to 450 km with a single application of Flowerpower Wax.
Extreme conditions / mud: up to 100 km with a single application of Flowerpower Wax.
We leave this evaluation for last, because it contains some aspects that are not very intuitive, albeit basically elementary. The relationship between the chain wear rate and the purchase price of the lubricant is an important variable, which directly affects the cyclist’s cost of using the bicycle.
Assuming a certain mileage, the number of chains and drivetrain parts that need to be replaced is highly dependent on the effectiveness of the lubricant.
A lubricant that reduces the consumption of the chain allows you to travel more kilometers before replacing it.
Furthermore, a lubricant that remains effective for many kilometers in a single application, offers a better yield per quantity used.
Combining these two aspects, even a very expensive lubricant that guarantees many kilometers with a single application and extends the life of the chain, could prove to be more convenient than an inexpensive lubricant which must be applied often to avoid premature chain wear.
ZFC also offers an evaluation in these terms, distinguishing between road conditions (mixed dry and wet), dry off-road conditions (with dry contamination, i.e. sand) and wet off-road conditions (with wet contamination, basically abrasive mud).
In the cost for 10,000 km, Flowerpower Wax is the first among the drip lubricants tested, in the three applications, offering the best ratio between price and drivetrain lifespan. This, thanks to the optimal balance between high mileage per single application, effectiveness to reduce chain wear and relative cost.
Flowerpower Wax is available in 100 ml and 500 ml formats.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments!