CRANKALICIOUS SCIENCE FRICTION CERAMIC LUBE
Crankalicious Science Friction Chain lube is the Essex based brand's take, on long lasting, ceramic chain lube. By Steve Dyster's reckoning, it’s a very clean, yet long lasting formula that gives some established brand's a seriously good run for your hard earned.
Science and Friction
In common with most ceramics, it’s a petrochemical blend. Crankalicious tell us, "Base oil with a ceramic addition is probably as much to share - so you can see the principle; the lubrication and penetration of a base oil, and the friction reducing, metal separating protection of the ceramic additive.” However, it’s also a bit runnier than some we’ve tested. On the plus side, this means the lube can really penetrate, deep within the rollers. That said, there’s a knack to delivering it straight from the bottle … Traditionally, ceramics are very long lasting, some wet, others dry.
This one is somewhere in between, closer to Fenwick’s stealth by Michael’s reckoning. However, unusually, for a ceramic, there’s no curing time, which is a real boon, whether you’re topping up mid tour, or bleary eyed and running late on a Monday morning.
We all know the drill and it’s particularly relevant with these, since they can react badly with any pre-existing lube. Run your chain(s) through the solvent bath, give the cassette a good basting too, if it’s sporting residue, or generally looking a bit scuzzy. Once these are gleaming. Unscrew the Science friction’s spout, remove the internal stopper.
Refit the spout and give the bottle a quick shake a good shake to mix the chemicals properly. Now squeeze the bottle very gently, drizzling a little of the milky white potion into each lick, while turning the cranks backwards and with an old clean rag hovering beneath to collect any overspill. Otherwise, your rear wheel and flooring may be sporting the lion’s share.
Michael’s fond of decanting this genre into aftermarket dropper type bottles, for cleanliness and economy.
He would’ve been mortified and doubtless moralising, at the state of one badly neglected chain, which had been purged with a combination of Green Oil Degreaser Jelly followed by a few drops of Crankalicious Lime Velo Degreaser. However, I was stunned to discover the Science Friction had completely rejuvenated its crusty links, within a few revolutions. Even though we always double check manufacturer’s claims, whether its longevity, or curing times, our default is to leave lubes curing overnight. Doing so may have paid dividends, but we need more mileage following a pour-and-go application to make a proper comparison.
The next morning, from the first few pedal strokes, I was impressed by just how slick and silent my chains were. Given fifty miles or so’s towpath action, the lube began cultivating a dirty patina but this seemed locked in its top layer and was easily dismissed with a quick, clean rag cat-lick. Shifting remained slick, silent and friction felt minimal.
Spring had plenty of slushy, icy stuff, with some intermittent sunshine. Perfect for testing the science friction’s tenacity. I bargained on 300 miles per application but, even with a few fords and generally soggy conditions. In reality, it cruised past the 400 mark and is only just hinting at topping up.
With this in mind, I’m expecting a much higher return when spring and summer come on board and with a predominantly road-centric mileage
There’s competition in the market, but a tenner seems not unreasonable and is by no means unusual for this kind of product. Gravel fans, tourers and those doing bigger mileage will enjoy longevity. Others may appreciate cleanliness. For me, it would be money well spent.