When you think chainlube, company founder Joshua Simonds hopes you think NixFrixShun. I wrote about the “ultimate bicycle chainlube” for last year’s Philly Bike Expo “Exhibitor Stories”, but I had yet to settle into the interview format. With this Q&A, I dug deeper into what makes NixFrixShun tick, or should I say, glide.
PBE What education/training/experience prepared you for this business?
JS My family talked a lot about science. Mom was a biochemist and I’ve always taken a keen interest how things work. I’m a decent chemist; however, my real strength is figuring out how to make things work well, then finding how to accomplish this in a real world using excellent science. You could legitimately say that through the course of preparing for and riding four fast TransContinentals and two Paris Brest Paris my experience with the downfalls of bicycle chainlube were huge! In the long rider community, our “holy grail” chainlube would work without compromise for at least 600K in the rain. We never found “the one”. Instead, we overapplied lube, made a mess and ruined equipment. I never stopped thinking about why other chainlubes were inadequate and how to solve the puzzle. One day it came to me!
PBE Why is NFS better?
JS I never speak badly about other chainlubes. What I will say, is that too often chainlubes are designed or rather over designed without considering the consequences of the ingredients. What do I mean by that? For instance, suppose you have a chainlube that uses a solvent to deliver the “active” component(s). In this case there are a couple problems. First, I am opposed to solvents in open air applications when there are better methods to apply the product. Second, you are essentially buying a bottle of solvent or carrier fluid and paying for that plus a small amount of active ingredient. NFS is 100% active ingredient, there are no carriers or solvents or anything to evaporate. This is why NFS can last for 10,000+ miles of regular use in all conditions. Last, but not least, some makers create lubes that are designed to have the lowest friction numbers. That is fine and well, except these lubes are never durable unless you are using them for race day applications. NFS beats most of these special low friction lubes and it lasts for a long time.
PBE What did you do before starting NixFrixShun?
JS I did Geology for the Government for a few years, then found the IT department and began there by repairing computers. This evolved into all sorts of network support, management and other boring stuff. My other side jobs were my real interest. I have been a massage therapist for more than 25 years. Also, I was a professional bicycle coach and bicycle camp organizer.
PBE What is your favorite part of your business?
JS Talking to people, seeing their success and hearing great stories about their adventures. Everything is about people.
PBE What inspires you?
JS Kindness, Integrity, courage not in that order.
PBE What’s your favorite ride?
JS You mean route? I’m not telling. Did you mean bicycle? That’s easy, I obsess over all the bicycles made for me by masters of the craft. When I throw a leg over my: Spectrum/Vanilla/Goodrich/Seven/CoMotion/DeSalvo I’m incredibly happy and will usually use that bike until something breaks or needs a refresh. Handmade bikes elevate and guide me to a better way of life.