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Chain waxing?

  • 30-08-2022 9:07pm
    Registered Users Posts: 7,146 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    Are many people waxing their chains? I was on a group ride a few weeks ago and was shocked when this came up and it seemed that more than half were on waxed chains.

    It sounds like a lot of faff to me, particularly in stripping the factory lube off first, and in needing to reapply the wax so often. I also thought that quick links were not reusable so in theory you'd need to change one each time? But they all spoke about how great it was for shifting and especially how clean it was.

    Anyone tried it?



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,388 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    have always intended trying. how often do they strip and reapply?

    i've seen wax lubes for sale in shops which state you must deep clean and reapply every 600km - which is more than i do with normal lube!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,740 ✭✭✭brownian

    I may be doing it wrong - I just cleaned the old lube off with a chain cleaner, then dribbled on the Squirt. Chain looks clean, runs fine; cassette looks nice and silvery. I do get waxy buiildup on the jockey wheels, which I take off with an old wooden spoon or similar, about once every month or so (when re-waxing). Maybe I'm killing my transmission...but it looks nice and clean, and is less messy on clothes, legs and hands than TF2 or (god forbid) 3in1.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,862 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    I do it, once the first run is done well and you don't leave it to long till the next it's quite easy. Reused a Shimano quick link several times without issue, and several brands say they are reusable (not Shimano). A boardsie showed me that boiling water to clean before rewaxing and then just going straight to wax was really quick.

    I often forget to rewax on time but I've it down to a fine art in regards stripping and cleaning that I won't be going back to drip lube.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,445 ✭✭✭✭dahat

    Watched a few videos on this most recently Victor Campanaerts who thinks he’d get 1000km per wax less in wet weather. This would seem a lot of faff in Autumn/Winter for me as it would be a new wax every two weeks once new training restarts.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,388 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    i'd be curious as to whether CantGetNoSleep's club mates were buying over the counter wax lube, or were doing it the old fashioned way.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,969 ✭✭✭68 lost souls

    1:47 into the following podcast is an interesting discussion on it and a guide through how to do it best. Supersecret sauce seems to be a good option for waxing a chain, once the initial faff is done boiling water and then reapply, no need to break the chain again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 328 ✭✭RunDMC

    I went over to wax earlier this year and I can't see me going back. I used paraffin wax from a hardware store and mixed 10% by weight of 1.6 micron PTFE powder from Aliexpress, just cos. It was a faff cleaning the factory grease off the new chain for the first round of waxing, but since then it has been a breeze. I have noticed that no matter how much I clean the chain before re-waxing, some dirt does come out and contaminate the melted wax but not too badly. After about 400km I rinse the chain in boiling water, dry it off and soak in molten was mixture for 5 minutes. I've found that if I wipe off the excess was with a paper towel before it hardens I get much less wax build-up on the chainring and pulleys. Clean, shiny and silent and it takes about 30 minutes.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,388 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    once every 400km sounds like a lot - is that during dry weather too?

    i thought one of the main benefits of waxing was to reduce faff - during the summer i'd be doing 400km roughly every fortnight, having to do that every two weeks seems like a lot.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,445 ✭✭✭✭dahat

    Have any of the “waxers” gone through a winters training using this process?

    Has it increased chain life?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,146 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    That is exactly what I was thinking too - but they insist that the first time is the only hassle and reapplying is simple. Most were using proper wax, one guy was using the squirt wax

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,862 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    I have no idea about chain life to be honest, not a metric I ever looked at in the past and probably won't in the future. When I notice its worn, it is worn. It's been about 6 months of commuting and racing, so probably not far off 6000km and the chain wear checker hasn't hit 0.75. Switching over to the winter bike after this week so hard to give you anymore info than that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,969 ✭✭✭68 lost souls

    I need to replace the chain on my gravel bike and was tempted to do this but not sure if it would be a massive benefit and how much more frequently it would need to be done? It does seem to be worth it on a road bike

  • Registered Users Posts: 916 ✭✭✭harmless

    Not really a good option for winter. Every 400 km or if it rains even once then the wax has to be reapplied.

    I did it over the summer and really liked how clean the bike was. Ideally you want 2 or 3 chains and then rotate them so you don't have to wax too frequently.

    Yes getting the chain really clean for first application is annoying but after that the only inconvenience is waiting for the wax to melt. In a slow cooker it takes about 1 hr for the wax to melt, once that is done it takes very little time to wax the chain and it dries fast too.

    For a reusable chain link I used a KMC missing link. Works perfectly on shimano chains too.

    I guess one thing to watch out for is a freshly waxed chain might not shift gears correctly for the first 10 km or so, don't re-index gears as it will come right as you cycle.

    In the coming months I'll see how long I can continue to get away with waxing. In the winter I usually spend a lot of time cleaning the whole drive train over and over, so I will try to figure out which of the two is less time consuming.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,036 ✭✭✭secman

    Any anti waxers out there ? Interested on hearing your views.

    On a club spin last weekend one of the lads drivechain definitely looked waxed...super shine on chain and block. But he said it wasn't wax but plain old fashion oil lube. Said he cleans chain and block after every ride but spends no more than 5 min doing it 😃

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,096 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    I hadn't really considered it, as what I'd heard (on podcasts) it was a very marginal watt gain. I wasn't paying that much attention but it was discussed a few years ago on the TrainerRoad podcast - iirc they were using an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner to clean the chain.

    Seems a lot of faff to me, given I normally clean the bike post ride anyway, but maybe I'll reconsider for next year!

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,669 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    Plebs, the lot of you. Just buy a new chain after each cycle.

    Looks at old probably well worn chain

  • Registered Users Posts: 527 ✭✭✭Mr. Cats

  • I heard sugaring is even better 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,128 ✭✭✭07Lapierre

    Picked this up the other day…looking forward to giving it a try….

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,388 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    seems to be for dry conditions - the selling point for wax was its water shedding properties, i thought?

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,128 ✭✭✭07Lapierre

    No i always assumed chain wax was more efficient (less friction/saved watts) than chain lube. it also helps keep you chain cleaner by not attracting dirt.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,862 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    Only benefit for me is it doesn't attract as much dirt. A randomer on the train complemented how clean my drivetrain was. This was enough to validate my choices.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,046 ✭✭✭Bambaata

    Just bringing this back up, anybody change process/product etc? Just looking at Zero Friction Cycling youtube channel the last few days and considering the plunge to a hot wax treatment with reapplication of the wax lube jobs

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,146 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    Oddly I remembered this thread the other day. I'm actually just waiting for the wife to finish a big jar of dried peppers in the fridge to start the process of cleaning a new chain to get ready. My plan is to do two or three new chains at the same time

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,862 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    I have two new chains that I am going to strip and wax tomorrow after work. I had planned not too and just go back to my old ways but the racing season is started and I have been struck by a need to do anything to make up for the extra kilos of blubber and the zero hours of training When I have them done I am going to strip my current chains in Xylene and then wax them for my commuter.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,046 ✭✭✭Bambaata

    Sure while you're at it throw in 2 for me :P

    I am probably going to go this route considering my main goal this year is a TT and every gain there is worth it!

    How'd the winter go for those riding it through wet weather etc?

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,862 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    It was grand for me but then I got lazy as I do it after work in the lab and so I just started topping off with squirt lube.

  • Registered Users Posts: 201 ✭✭vintcerf

    do you know if squirt can be sourced locally in ireland/dublin?

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,862 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    I bought a half litre from either bike components or bike discount a few years ago. Never seen it in a LBS.