A ludicrous claim, perhaps. How can Muc-Off possibly know that Ludicrous AF is the World’s Fastest Race Lube? After all, there must be more drivetrain lubricants out there than there are stars in the sky. OK, maybe not that many, but you get the point. The answer is that, after investing a 7 figure sum in their in-house R&D facilities, and bench marking their product against competitors’ lubes, Muc-Off are pretty confident in their claim.
Muc-Off Ludicrous AF
Muc-Off Ludicrous AF is a pure, stripped-back race lube. It’s not an eye-catching neon presentation of their favorite color of the rainbow, nor does it smell like your morning coffee. It also doesn’t contain additional corrosion inhibitors, claiming the sustainability accolade, too. “Just a unique blend of environmentally friendly raw ingredients designed to minimize chain friction and wear” – Muc-Off. It is non-toxic and readily biodegradable, lacking PTFE and other environmentally harmful ingredients.
About that 7 figure investment…
Muc-Off now have a very expensive R&D facility set up at their HQ in Poole, Dorset. It is home to state-of-the-art machinery, chief among which is a tribometer. A what now? It’s basically a machine used to perform tests and simulations of wear, friction and lubrication. Muc-Off say that it replicates friction-inducing motion in a way that is infinitely controllable. The metal-to-metal wear that happens on a bicycle drivetrain can be reproduced exactly, to keep conditions consistent while testing hundreds of different formulas.
So what other lubes has it been tested against? To name but a few, absoluteBlack’s GRAPHENlube, Silca’s Synergetic lube, and CeramicSpeed’s UFO Drip. Here is the data Muc-Off are backing up their claims with…
Without any numbers on the y axis, we just have to take Muc-Off’s word for it as to exactly how much extra power is required from the rider when they use one of their competitor’s lubes over Ludicrous AF. In the case of CeramicSpeed UFO Drip, quite a lot it would seem. That’s data from a 2 hour test on fresh new chains.
The Muc-Off team performed another 2 hour test at 300 Watts after the chain had been in use for 6 hours. That again showed that Ludicrous AF came out on top. But, it depends what time frame you’re looking at. Over the first 30 minutes of testing, AbsoluteBlack’s lube demonstrated the least loss of power, whereas Ludicrous AF demonstrated the most. As time went on however, AbsoluteBlack’s performance deteriorated while Ludicrous AF’s performance improved, actually demonstrating less chain power loss at 2 hours than it did at the beginning of the test.
How is that possible?
Another piece of kit Muc-Off have is a contour white light interferometer. This is said to allow the team to study how the lube beds-in to the chain on a molecular level. When applied to a chain, Muc-Off say it penetrates chain link scars to create a sheer plane. The PR mentions all sorts including the “charging up” of molecules, something we’re not sure we quite understand, but they do go on to say that the list of proprietary additives include synthetic polymers designed for long-distance performance.
Ultimately, the formula is said to reduce wear on chain components, making it super-fast and super-durable. Muc-Off say it provides unbeatable performance in both wet and damp or dry and dusty conditions at a range of temperatures.
Beyond the ultra-clean environment of the R&D test facility, Ludicrous AF has been tested extensively out on the road. On the quiet, Ludicrous AF claimed 6 gold medals in Tokyo and and an overall win at the 2021 Giro d’Italia under Egan Bernal of the INEOS Grenadiers.
Muc-Off are actually pre-treating chains with Ludicrous AF for the INEOS Grenadiers and the EF Education-NIPPO riders. The teams send in chains to be cleaned ultrasonically, dried and optimised on Muc-Off’s dyno. They then give them a thorough coating of Ludicrous AF before sending them back. Word is that Muc-Off will soon be making this service available to everyone, not just the pro riders.
Pricing & Availability
Muc-Off Ludicrous AF retails at £49.99 / €64.99 / $64.99 USD for a 50ml bottle and is available now from Muc-Off dealers and direct from Muc-Off.com.