Tag Archives | winter riding

The Cold, Hard Facts: Temperature and Friction

Since our initial visit with Jason Smith of Friction Facts, we’ve amassed a laundry list of questions about how we could make our drivetrains more efficient – or unintentionally make them slower. Friction Facts will be answering many of these questions with lab testing for us, but given the current season, we started with this one: How does temperature affect chain lubricants and friction?

Fluid viscosity increases as temperature decreases, meaning that many chain lubricants essentially turn into molasses in very cold conditions. One might think  thicker and goopier oils would produce more chain friction — in fact that is what Smith thought would happen — but his preliminary test suggests the opposite. Continue Reading →