Chain Waxing. Is it Value It?

Firstly, I’ll put my hand up. I admit it, I’m outdated. I rode my first bike race earlier than ‘Again to the Future’ was out on the Cinema. That outdated. Over this time I’ve heard of plenty of ‘go sooner’, ‘last more’ kind claims for all types of stuff associated to bikes. I used to be sceptical about chain waxing.

I used to be so very incorrect.

Wait now, What?

So when a neighborhood bike rider pal and YouTube bike-tech good-guy, Shane Miller talked about over a espresso cease that his gravel bike chain confirmed no put on after 10,000 kilometres utilizing Silca Sizzling Soften Wax, my ears pricked up. “Grasp on Shane, What number of kilometres…”

So I figured I’d give it a go. There are a number of on-line movies and guides to chain waxing, comply with the broadly beneficial course of as I did, you may’t go incorrect. I used a brand new (YBN) chain and (Shimano Ultegra) cassette, earlier than getting began I completely cleaned the chainring and jockey wheels to take away any hint of outdated lube or oily gunk.

Chain bathing in Mineral Turpentine

Thr Course of

Earlier than entering into the waxing there’s a two half course of to get the chain prepared for the wax. Eradicating the producers coating off the chain is a little bit of a course of in its self. I used Mineral Turpentine swishing the chain round in a sealed container for 10 minutes or so, and left it in a single day (Above photograph). I gave it one other shake and tipped out the mineral turps earlier than refilling with recent mineral turpentine and left for an additional night time. This could have eliminated the manufacturing facility coating. Subsequent I put the chain in a container of Methylated Spirit, swishing the chain round and left in a single day to make sure there isn’t a movie left on the chain. Alternatively, Silca chain stripper & wax prep (beneath) might be simpler and faster.

Blow Dry & Wax

As soon as out of the Methylated Spirit, I dried the chain off with a hair drier. I then melted the wax in a gradual cooker. (At this level it’s most likely price contemplating that the gradual cooker may not be used for non-waxy-tasting meals ever once more. You might must be inventive, clarify to the household that the gradual cooker was stolen or recalled by the producer). I used a bit of wire coat hanger to string the chain by in order that it was simpler to deal with and transfer round within the sizzling wax.

Don’t splash the wax! It actually hurts.

No splashing now…

The Greatest Bit

As soon as the chain has cooled, it turns right into a inflexible block of chain, so every hyperlink wants snapping by wiggling between fingers. That is one of the best bit, it is rather satisfying. As soon as every hyperlink is free it’s time to match the chain onto your immaculately clear drivetrain. Pedalling the chain round ought to lead to bits of extra wax falling off the chain.

Simply Cease Oiling

After rides, clear the bike as standard, however once you would normally degrease the chain and re-lubricate, simply wipe the chain with a moist (water) material – discover there isn’t a oil… That’s all you’ll want to do!

Wax on, Wax off…

After you will have waxed your chain, in the event you depart the cooled, strong wax within the gradual cooker, re-waxing after 600 – 800 kilometres is fairly fast and simple. Simply reheat the gradual cooker, give the chain a soak in sizzling water to soften off the outdated wax and any filth, dry it, place the chain again on the wire swisher device and provides it one other soak and swish round within the sizzling wax. When it’s cool, snap every hyperlink free once more and re-fit on you super-clean drivetrain.

Similar to new…


So sure, I received influenced by an influencer, however to this point, I’m massively impressed. It’s very quiet (silent), ridiculously clear and appears to roll across the cassette and chainring fairly simply. Up till my change to waxing, the previous few years have seen my gravel rides getting by 3 chains and 1.5 cassettes per 12 months and round 10,000 kilometres of gravel.

So after 4000 kilometres how’s it trying?

With out eager to sound like a kind of individuals on a TV buying channel….To be sincere it’s fairly superb.. It’s clear! – Gravel mud used to show a clear chain with recent lube into grinding paste fairly shortly. The waxed chain, nonetheless, is barely exhibiting any indicators of wear and tear, gravel mud simply is not going to follow it. The chain and cassette has stayed very quiet and appears as recent because it did when it was fitted. Using 1X on my standard route solely makes use of 3 or 4 sprockets, so I’ll swap the entrance chainring to unfold out put on just a little extra. At this stage I believe 10,000 kilometres is trying very probably.

Experience Circumstances

My standard journey circumstances are dry on compacted gravel. If it was moist and muddy for many rides, on-line chain waxing guru’s advocate a radical rinse with water to take away the filth off after every journey.

Value It?

Whereas it would look like a number of effort, I reckon as soon as it’s arrange, it’s truly simpler than fixed cleansing, degreasing and lubrication. For me, to this point, it appears properly price it, if just for the additional life from chains and cassettes. There are different advantages too, it’s oh so quiet, super-clean and it most likely saves a number of watts. Nevertheless, being a decent Yorkshireman, i’m absolutely hooked in for the financial savings, how lengthy can this cassette and chain final…

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