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Muc-Off to optimise Ganna’s Hour Record chain

Muc-Off, the global leaders in bicycle care and maintenance, have shared details of their involvement in the Filippo Ganna Hour Record attempt, following their support of Dan Bigham in last month’s Hour Record success.

The details come following the announcement from INEOS Grenadiers that the attempt will take place in Grenchen, Switzerland on October 8. The Italian track and road cyclist, and current UCI WorldTeam rider will attempt to exceed the 55.548km target set by INEOS Grenadiers performance engineer Dan Bigham in August.

Bigham’s record, an incredible achievement in its own right, also acted as a vital piece of development work ahead of Ganna’s attempt. Bigham extended the record distance set in 2019 by Belgium’s Victor Campenaerts by almost half a kilometre, success which is testament to the meticulous data-led preparations undertaken in the build-up. Back in October 2021, Bigham took the title of British Hour Record holder from Sir Bradley Wiggins, whose successful attempt was powered by Muc-Off’s £6000 NTOC chain. In the hunt for more power and greater efficiency, Bigham turned to Muc-Off calling on the same drivetrain expertise that helped power Wiggins to the 2015 Hour Record.

“In my role as Performance Engineer at INEOS Grenadiers, I’m used to working closely with the team at Muc-Off and have first-hand experience of the gains their products and processes deliver for the team. Their attention to detail on this record was incredible: Machining their own bespoke test componentry, painstakingly completing round after round of optimisation, even labelling everything up clearly ready for the attempt, they took complete care of the drivetrain, leaving me to focus solely on getting the job done out on the track,” said Dan Bigham, Performance Engineer at INEOS Grenadiers.

Muc-Off wattshop

Muc-Off teamed up with Bigham in order to finalise and optimise the key drivetrain components over a two-month period earlier this year. Starting with the analysis of hardware combinations and creation of bespoke test components, the resulting drivetrain data was entered into a matrix which allowed for recommendations based on efficiency levels for each combination. This data was incorporated into Dan’s aero testing data to ultimately determine the final hardware selection. Following this provisional round of testing, which included on-track and Muc-Off in-house efficiency tests, the chosen Izumi Kai ½” track chain was coated in Muc-Off’s high performance race lubricant – Ludicrous AF.

“Muc-Off is focussed on being the world’s leading, science-based experts in drivetrain efficiency. Our equipment, experience, and expertise give us a highly technical understanding of performance teamed with a fast development process, which ultimately leads to more targeted performance gains. To still be supporting these record-breaking rides seven years on from the Wiggins record in 2015 is testament to the fact that our processes and our products stand up to ultimate performance tests time and time again. We’re super excited to be involved with the project and can’t wait to see Filippo smash the record, just like Dan and Bradley did before him!” said Alex Trimnell, CEO, Muc-Off.

To perform consistently at the pinnacle of performance, Muc-Off will again utilise their Ultrasonic Chain Optimisation process, to unlock the chain’s full potential for maximum benefit. The process involves heating lube in an Ultrasonic Tank to the precise temperature required to create an optimum viscosity, enabling penetration deep into all contact points within the chain links. This ‘all-over’ coating dramatically reduces friction inside the chain when compared to hand application, and less friction means more speed. It’s this combination of lube formulation and ultrasonic application which reduces friction and increases the number of watts making it through the drivetrain to the rear wheel.

For the ultimate drivetrain efficiency results, which Bigham’s record attempt demanded, both the final race chain and the back-up chain underwent Muc-Off’s full eleven-step optimisation process seven times. The result of this compound treatment approach is enhanced by Ludicrous AF’s unique chemistry and yields greater and greater levels of efficiency with every application, which is demonstrated by this graph:

Muc-Off graph Hour Record

Muc-Off were able to achieve a massive 15% saving of watts lost through the drivetrain, which, combined with Muc-Off’s hardware selections, added a total of 87m to the final record distance; a huge advantage for a record famous for being so tightly contested.

The total optimisation process of each chain and ring supplied for the record took around seventeen hours to complete. The Muc-Off team are now back in action searching for even greater efficiencies as they gear up to help put this highly coveted record further out of reach than ever before.

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