Muc-Off and a couple other brands have pushed drivetrain efficiency to new heights, both in terms of claimed friction reduction and prices. Their Nano Tube Optimized Chain debuted to the masses last year at a price of ~$200.
Now, they’re offering a (slightly) more affordable version called, simply, Nano Tube Chain. Notice the word “optimized” missing here, and that’s the key difference. The chain is still ultrasonically cleaned and coated in their nano tube solution, but it’s not put on their in-house run-in machine to fully mash the tubes into place. This video helps explain:
Basically, after a short run in time, the nano tubes are “optimized” because they’ve settled into the nooks and crannies of your metal chain’s granular structure. Meaning, the chain gets better after some use, and their Optimized version comes already better. By removing that time-intensive step at the factory, they can move production along much more quickly and pass those savings along to you…to the tune of $50 off. Which means your NTC chain comes in at $150 n(€130 / £109) and will actually improve after you’ve ridden it a bit.
From Muc-Off: “Each Shimano Dura-Ace chain is sonic cleaned and handtreated with an innovative carbon nanotube formulation, which penetrates each chain link to create a super smooth and highly durable friction-reducing layer. Rigorous testing on Muc-Off’s in-house C.L.O.D (Chain Lube Optimisation Dynometer) has proven that, in performance terms, the NTC can knock up to 3 miles off a 112-mile Ironman stage! This is calculated using the average time of 6 hours and 25 minutes when compared to using the leading wax-based optimised chain on the market over the same distance.”
Then, they sell the NTC chain lube ($65 / €60 / £50) with those same carbon/graphene nano tubes in it so you can reapply as needed. They say it puts the chain back to within one or two watts of the original coating’s efficiency. This isn’t the first nano-tech chain lube we’ve seen, and if you clean your chain really well first, you can use this on any chain. For now, the NTC chains will only come in Shimano Dura-Ace/XTR trim.
Also new are mechanics gloves, a grease gun kit and brake fluid. The gloves are super stretchy and super thin, with seamless rubberized finger tips that make grabbing small bits very easy. The BioGrease is an earth friendly option for lubing moving parts like suspension joints, etc. The DOT 5.1-compatible brake fluid has a 320°C boiling point, meaning you’re much less likely to experience severe brake failure during extended descents.
When it comes time to pamper yourself, their Athlete Performance line includes a moisturizing sunscreen, warming endurance lotion, shaving cream, massage oil and a chamois cream, among others.