The ICED process was developed based on extensive lab and field testing. The workhorse in the lab is the chain tension test device capable of simulating rider input of 1200 watts, 120 RPMS and with accuracy of +/- 0.04 watts. The test machine is monitored by a data acquisition system that records all the critical information. This device, with excellent precision, provides a measure of the chains efficiency, measured in watts.
Using the chain tension test device a rider output of 250 watts at 95 RPM was utilized to measure drivetrain efficiency. Out of the box most chains have friction levels of over 10 watts. Following the ICE process chains record friction levels are typically below 4.5 watts. Testing has shown that the ICED chains maintain there low friction level, providing excellent lubrication and repelling road and trail grit. The ICE Friction field test provides a comparison between ICE process chains and typical lubrication methods (see our report here [PDF]).
Typical lubrication methods start with the manufacturing coating that comes on the chain when it is new. The key point is that this is a manufacturing coating, it aids in the assembly of the chain, but it is not a good lubricant for the road or the trail. Out of the box the manufacturing coating contributes significantly to the chains high friction level. A key step in the ICE process is to completely remove this coating. If the coating is not removed, it will attract and trap road and trail grit on the chain leading to increased friction. Standard methods of lubricating the chain and cleaning the chain between rides does not fully remove trapped particles that get worked into the chain links and key pivot points during use. The embedded lubrication and grit mixture overtime becomes more of grinding paste than a lubricant. Testing of 20 chains following a mixture of triathlon and road races demonstrates this point. All 20 chains were cared for using typical cleaning and lubrication methods. First the manufacturing coating was not stripped. Between rides the chain was wiped clean with a rag and chain lubricant was carefully applied to each link.
Excess lubrication was wiped off the chain. The friction level of the 20
chains, removed from bikes following races and tested using our standard protocol averaged 11.7 watts. A savings of over 6 watts would have been realized in these races had the bikes been equipped with ICED chains!