Adam Kerin - Zero Friction Cycling

This interview with Adam Kerin serves as the perfect follow up to our previous episode on chains and lubrication. Adam's Zero Friction cycling is hyper-focused on this key piece of drive train and the ways to make it more efficient and last longer. ZFC is the sole, independent voice of chain and lube testing and a marginal gainer at heart. Josh and Adam go deep on how proper chain care can repay the rider in so many ways.

Got a question you’d like to ask? Text or leave a voicemail at the Marginal Gains Hotline: +1-317-343-4506 or just leave a comment in this post!

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  • Steven Down


    UK based rider (i.e. underwater!) asks: is wax really the way to go in wet wet wet conditions. Both Road and MTB.

    Also how can one measure cassette wear? Is there a reason to do it?

    Finally can you say something about the protocol of rotating chains to minimise drive train wear e.g. how many chains to the cassette, assuming all are steel? Which quicklink to use?

  • Sbr2win

    My mates and I have an on going discussion about where the best place to burn your matches is. Is it better to spend effort going up hill while wind resistance is less and therefor more of your energy goes into moving the bike forward, or while going down hill (or flat) where you will go faster, but more of your effort is going to be spent fighting air resistance? Obviously, the answer is it depends, but can you give us some guiding principles to help us determine when to go hard, and when to stay with the pack given you only have so many matches to burn.

  • Lars Van Coppenolle


    I have one other question.

    I was wondering how much of a marginal gain Di2 is compared to a mechanical group set.

    What is the magnitude of the potential saving of having one little Di2 wire instead of 2 bigger mechanical shifter cables if you are riding 45km/h solo.



  • Lars Van Coppenolle


    I love the chain lube episodes, but I still have some questions I liked to be answered. 

    Bear in mind that I’m not using Silca’s wax (see question 3). But now I’m using another formula: 400g paraffin wax, 5g PTFE, 1g MoS. Before waxing, I’ve cleaned my chains more or less like your suggested method.

    1) When I’m riding in the winter with my MTB in muddy Flemish fields, or on the nice windy beaches, I found that my chain is making loud noises after already ± 50 km. This surprises me, as testing from ZFC told in block 5 waxes like MSW was in third place after UFO en tru-tungsten all weather. I don’t think they reapply every 50 km? As told before, noise is not good, so I rewax the chain after every ride. I find this too frequently.

    - Am I missing something so my chain can go longer on the bike than 50 km? 

    2) Rewaxing after each ride is too time-consuming for me. I use a water bath to heat the wax pot and this needs time (I can let it alone for a bit, but I need to be nearby). So I use multiple chain rotations. To prevent rusting after a dirty ride I wipe my chains dry and put them in fiber cloth. But still sometimes I found rust spots on my chain.

    - Can I use wax solutions or something like acetone to wipe the chain completely?

    3) I really want to try out the secret chain blend wax (for racing) and the synergetic wet lube (for muddy MTB), but I’m finding it difficult to have access to these products in Europe (with reasonable pricing).

    - Are there dealers in Europe that I miss? Do you have plans for setting op a dealer point in Europe?

    Thanks by advance, great fan.

    Lars Van Coppenolle

    Lars Van Coppenolle

  • Dave M

    I switched to wax (molten speed wax) for my CX chains and it works well even in extremely wet and muddy races. I quickly learned, however, that chain corrosion will occur in pretty short order on a waxed chain after a wet, muddy race. I would always plan to clean and re-wax after such a race, but that can’t practically be done the same day, particularly if there is travel involved. What Is the best practice immediately post race that would be effective in mitigating corrosion when a cleaning and immersion re-wax can’t be done immediately but could be done within perhaps a day or two post event? I was thinking maybe spray with WD-40 immediately post race, or apply a drip wax post race, and then remove the chain and get it soaking in mineral spirits when I get home. Better options?

    I also use wax on my TT bike and plan to switch the road race bike to wax, but am concerned about post wet- race corrosion, again particularly when travel is involved or at a multi-day event where cleaning and immersion re-waxing isn’t an option.

    So, what about post race in a multi-day event where a immersion re-wax isn’t an option? Wipe down and “top up” with drip wax?

    As an aside, I heard in a race commentary of a euro-pro CX race that the pros don’t use ANY chain lube in a mud race and just toss the chain post-race. True? Didn’t seem to make sense from a performance standpoint, but claim was that was how they avoided mud and grit sticking to the chain.

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