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Beware. C.L.O.D sits quietly humming in a secret lab, using secret materials, hell-bent on world domination. Want to fight back? It’s too late: C.L.O.D. has already won!
C.L.O.D. stands for Chain Lube Optimization Dynamometer, and Muc-Off, better known for cleaning supplies and lubricants, spent £60,000 developing it and its offspring, the Nanotube Optimized Muc-Off Chain. Originally a project designed to provide the lowest-friction chain possible to Sir Bradley Wiggins for his world hour record attempt, it was picked up by British Cycling for the Rio Olympics. And that world domination? Hour record? Check. Olympic gold? Yup, six of those and 12 total medals. C.L.O.D. is currently whirring away with an eye on new developments for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
Just how fast is this chain? According to Muc-Off, it saves up to 6 watts. Those watts are saved any time you pedal, whether you stick in your aero position or not and no matter what speed you ride. Those are 6 watts we can all use—and now we can. Muc-Off has made them available for your own form of domination: club ride, Strava KOM or otherwise.
First, the factory chain is speed graded and then spun under load to ensure it is running optimally. After that, it goes through multiple steps of sonic cleaning before being sonically agitated with a nanotube lubrication formula. Once out of the bath, it is hand-coated with nanotube powder and then re-analyzed to ensure it is saving enough watts to earn the Nanotube Optimized Chain designation. Each tube is individually prepared and a hand-signed card in the box lets you know who gave you those 6 watts.
But be warned. The chains appear to be dirty, and a gray film will cover your hands (wear gloves!) and components after you install it. This is not dirt—it is nanotube powder. Do not clean that off the chain. The chain will provide these wattage savings for some 400 miles in the dry and more than 250 miles in wet and muddy terrain—twice as far as a dry-wax treatment. When it comes time to re-lube, use Muc-Off Nanotube Speed Film Lube and you’ll get back to within a watt or two of the chain’s original performance.
$202 (SRAM Red), $207 (Campagnolo Record), $200 (Shimano Dura-Ace); muc-off.com