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Tungsten Disulfide can be coated onto machine and
parts as a durable treatment - does not require re-
over a year in many high load
applications. It's compatible with most lubricants but it's
on its own that additional oiling might not be needed for
bicycle. And if you *did* want to add lubricant, you
apply powdered WS2 (by itself or mixed with other
lubricants) at any time.
My idea is to sell pre-treated components as complete service
and rear sprockets, derailleur
pulleys, and chain) with a replacement plan. Order your
before the ones you're using are worn out, pay full price
partial credit on next purchase when you return the old
One company offering machine part treatments
with remarkable claims [kdf, Jun 23 2020]
Another company offering WS2 coating services
for the high-vacuum industry. Coating prevents galling (e.g. when the screw and threads are both stainless steel) and withstands cleaning with solvent. [sninctown, Jun 24 2020]
SILCA Super Secret Chain Lube
Guess the secret!, [kdf, Jun 24 2020]
Superhard material, slicker than teflon [kdf, Jun 25 2020]
||sp. "powdered"? Although powered WS2 might also have
interesting properties. I've no idea what they would be.
||Maybe someone already does offer this for bike
parts but I
havent found a supplier. I linked one company
who offers machine-parts treatment so you can
review their claims for the product.
||One of the claims is "The lubricant coating bonds instantly
to any metal or resin substrate" - which reminds me of the
old joke "If nothing sticks to teflon, how does it stick to the
||I once used a many-layered non-stick pan that was supposed to last a very long time. Over the course of two years I gradually cooked and cleaned my way through Teflon, copper, aluminum, steel, ceramic, and other less identifiable materials. There's absolutely no way this resulted in any personality quirks I may or may not have today.
||My experience with non-stick cookware is similar. I'll stick
with thick, hard-anodized aluminium for now. And I expect
no matter how good a surface treatment it is, WS2
eventually wear down to bare metal. That's why I suggested
a marketing model to make frequent replacement easier.
||My other pipe dream would be coating all the rolling and
sliding bits with aluminium magnesium boride (BAM) ....
a wonder material that I've read about for over twenty
years but never seen in any real commercial application ...-
bikes or otherwise.
||If the coating will/might wear off, the solution is simple:
make the whole part out of WS2. Not sure of it's physical
Ooh, it can become nanotubes! Therefore, it is the answer
to any and all problems...
||make the whole part out of WS2
No. As a lubricant powder Its only somewhat
harder than talc. WS2 nanotubes may be useful for
reinforcing other materials, but thats a big
||A brief read around of the subject suggests that
WS2 is better than, but largely similar to the near
universal molybdenum disulfide found in many of
the world's most couch-stainig greases.
Molybdenum disulfide is used widely in sealed
components and has been tried in bike products
before. WS2 is equally black, messy and stains like
hell. It's rejected because it leaves black, near
permanent steaks on everything and cycling is a
||//it leaves black, near permanent steaks on everything//
||... messy ... rejected because it leaves black,
near permanent streaks...
Not rejected by everybody... its the not so secret
ingredient in the silly-sounding SILCA Super Secret
Chain Lube (link). Thats the product
that got me interested in WS2 and thinking about
selling pre-treated components.
||Hopefully not so slippery as to cycle a slippery chain and just fall over without moving.
||//fall over without moving// that's when you start out lying down, right?
||//WS2 and thinking about selling pre-treated components//
||Maybe for some components, but I think the effect will be
minimal on the chain/chainrings/sprockets, where the most
wear happens. The problems there are multiple. The chain
needs to deflect and operate while deflected because of
the compromised derailleur system (and also introduce 4
additional bends around the tensioner jockey wheels). That
means you need sliding links rather than the sealed bearing
system of motorcycles. The deflection means you will
always have point loads, exposure to dirt means you're
always going to introduce abrasives that will chip off
||If you remove the need for a hysteria-inducing number of
gears, the problem goes away. My 1960's Raleigh 3 speed is
on it's original chain, chainring & sprocket. I oil it MAYBE
once every year. The hub gears need a drop or two of SAE
20W oil every 6 months, the genius there is that it very
slowly leaks out through the bearings carrying
contaminants. But if you want to use WS2 as a marketing
ploy, great. It will probably work. The cool looking
"Kashima" coating worked nicely for Fox, despite very
marginal differences. You don't see the gold-brown Kashima
coating on formula 1 damper shafts for example.
||bs0u0155, I avoid hysterical gearing. Fixie for most of my
riding, and my other bike has only mildly amused gears.
||I haven't used SILCA or anything similar on mine yet, but
friends who have insist it does make the drive train quieter.
Maybe they're just trying to convince themselves, but I might
try it on my next chain.
||I sent a generic inquiry to UC Components and got
back a very good reply. Short version - maybe good
for chain, but not other parts, and there are more
cost effective options. My impression is the
engineer who replied is also a cyclist.
||There are certain parts of a bicycle drive train
that might slightly benefit from treatment, most
notably the chain, due to the many moving
surfaces (rollers and pins). Some parts like rear
cassette cogs, are nickel plated and the impinging
process would not penetrate as well as it would
raw metal. Some chains parts are even TiN coated
(Titanium nitride) and again the impinging process
would not penetrate the hard surface.
||The same goes for front chainrings which are
typically anodized. With the many chain lubricants
available on the market and the availability of
ceramic bearings and larger derailleur pulleys I
think there may be better/ more cost effective
ways to cut down on frictional losses.
||Graphite/ Moly loaded chain lubricants work
really well on motorcycles but on bicycles, which
are typically kept much cleaner, the dark graphite
looks dirty as would the WS2. I have seen the WS2
spray lube available on Amazon. Chain lubes like
White Lightening, that contain PTFE in a
evaporative carrier work very well and look/stay
cleaner. In the old days we would soak chains in
||//My experience with non-stick cookware is similar. I'll stick with thick, hard-anodized aluminium for now.//
||Seasoned cast iron only... philistines.
||As a motorcycle maintainer myself, I was surprised
to discover that motorcycle chain "lube" isn't. The
rollers are bearings and sealed. The "lube" is for
corrosion prevention and continuous addition, e.g.
via Scottoiler/fastidious maintenance is only there
to carry off contaminants. When understanding that,
the priorities for the "lube" change somewhat, wax
storage, continuous oil for riding season.
||I'm not surprised there aren't many niches for WS2 in
the bicycle. I mean, can you pick a more mature
||bs0u0155 - yes, very mature technology, little
room for improvement. the only newish ideas that
appeal to me are things that reduce maintenance
or make it quieter- but even those are rare and at
best only tiny gains.
||Like, how can you get quieter and need less
maintenance than a fixie? Airless tyres and a belt
||Wouldn't the ultimate technology be formed materials that don't need lubricants?
||...materials that don't need lubricants?
Yup. See link for BAM.
||Not really BAM yet, a bit powdery. Probably will get geared up in the future though.
||probably in the future
Ive been waiting a very long time for the future.
||It's right next, after the present! Hang on, here it comes! And...
||It's nature's blinking trick.