Ask Josh Anything #16

Ask Josh Anything #16

We may be at the point where it's time to admit we have a chain & lube obsession, but we're not even going to try to pull back from it. In this Ask Josh Anything episode, we talk about what chains are preferred and why, where and how often to lube if you're using a wet lube, whether wax lubing needs to be more frequent for off-road riding, and even whether you need to swap cassettes if / when you swap chains that you've set up for different kinds of lube. And that's not even all. We also ask Josh about:

  • Ineos' Giro TT marginal gains
  • Whether frame damping is a thing
  • Wrinkled clothing and marginal gains
  • Where to spend your money to get the most gains for your bucks

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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11 comments


  • Jo

    Hey guys, When 2 tire have the same pattern and the same compound, what effect has the thickness of the tread on the rolling resistance ? You see that at the Continental tubular where the differnce between the podium tt and the competion is the thickness of the tread. So when the rolling resistance is slightly better, for how long does this count when the thicker tire can longer hold the tread ?


  • Wilson Tran

    It’s fairly well known that chains that have been ‘broken in’ have lower friction than one that’s otherwise brand new out of the packaging. However, the recommendation is always to do that with the factory grease before cleaning it off and waxing. If I were to take a chain out from the packaging, get straight to degreasing it, and then giving it an immersive wax, could I expect that the friction would improve after a few hundred km’s of riding, and then a rewax? Or is the opportunity for that initial break-in already lost? Further to this, it’s mentioned that additional applications of silca super secret drip with tungsten disulfide could see some layering of the tungsten disulfide, leading to improved performance. Have you been able to verify this with a machine test?


  • Matthew A.

    Hi guys!

    In the beginning, I have to say, I truly love your podcast. So many useful information based on true science and experience, I can’t praise you enough! I’ve got two questions for you on different subjects.

    1. I’ve been wondering about aero disc rotors in road bikes. I’m sure you’ve seen so many pro’s went with XTR rotors in TDF instead of Dura Ace. Some said it was due to lighter weight, others that it was due to XTR ones being stronger. As for the weight savings, those are whopping 17g on a 160/140m set. I’m not sure this can be even counted as a „marginal” gain, when thinking of 70-80kg whole bike+rider system. Assuming they actually did it for the weight savings, they simultanously ditched the aero benefits of Dura Ace rotors. I’ve been wondering, whether they did the right thing, or maybe more aero rotors don’t actually matter that much because of their small size? There are also some other rotors in the market, like Galfer CL road rotors, which save around 40g on a set compared to Dura Ace. It doesn’t seem like much, yet it makes a tiny bit more sense as it saves around 20% of the part. So, my question is, would you consider trumping the aero gains of aero rotors for such weight savings, lets say for a mountain stage?

    2. I’ve been waxing my chains for a few months. It’s great on the outside bikes, but I’m kind of tired of wax flakes on my indoor trainer matt and trainer itself. I’ve been thinking about buying the synergetic lube for the trainer. There would be no external contamination, except for the metal particles from drivetrain wear, so the re-lubing intervals should be very rare. How many indoor training hours would you expect of Synergetic? Would you do that switch?

    Thanks a lot! Matthew


  • Nick

    How should we be lubing jockey wheels with bushings rather than bearings? Is there a case for waxing them?


  • Matthew A.

    Hi guys!

    In the beginning, I have to say, I truly love your podcast. So many useful information based on true science and experience, I can’t praise you enough!

    I’ve got two questions for you on different subjects.

    1. I’ve been wondering about aero disc rotors in road bikes. I’m sure you’ve seen so many pro’s went with XTR rotors in TDF instead of Dura Ace. Some said it was due to lighter weight, others that it was due to XTR ones being stronger. As for the weight savings, those are whopping 17g on a 160/140m set. I’m not sure this can be even counted as a „marginal” gain, when thinking of 70-80kg whole bike+rider system. Assuming they actually did it for the weight savings, they simultanously ditched the aero benefits of Dura Ace rotors. I’ve been wondering, whether they did the right thing, or maybe more aero rotors don’t actually matter that much because of their small size? There are also some other rotors in the market, like Galfer CL road rotors, which save around 40g on a set compared to Dura Ace. It doesn’t seem like much, yet it makes a tiny bit more sense as it saves around 20% of the part. So, my question is, would you consider trumping the aero gains of aero rotors for such weight savings, lets say for a mountain stage?

    2. I’ve been waxing my chains for a few months. It’s great on the outside bikes, but I’m kind of tired of wax flakes on my indoor trainer matt and trainer itself. I’ve been thinking about buying the synergetic lube for the trainer. There would be no external contamination, except for the metal particles from drivetrain wear, so the re-lubing intervals should be very rare. How many indoor training hours would you expect of Synergetic? Would you do that switch?


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