Chain Waxing. Is it Value It?


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

I used to be so very mistaken.

Wait now, What?

So when an area 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 Scorching Soften Wax, my ears pricked up. “Grasp on Shane, What number of kilometres…”

So I figured I’d give it a go. There are loads of on-line movies and guides to chain waxing, comply with the broadly beneficial course of as I did, you may’t go mistaken. 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 previous lube or oily gunk.

Chain bathing in Mineral Turpentine

Thr Course of

Earlier than moving 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 one more night time. This could have eliminated the manufacturing unit 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 is no such thing as a movie left on the chain. Alternatively, Silca chain stripper & wax prep (under) 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 sluggish cooker. (At this level it’s in all probability price contemplating that the sluggish cooker won’t be used for non-waxy-tasting meals ever once more. You could have to be inventive, clarify to the household that the sluggish cooker was stolen or recalled by the producer). I used a piece of wire coat hanger to string the chain by way of in order that it was simpler to deal with and transfer round within the scorching 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 the very 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 end in bits of extra wax falling off the chain.

Simply Cease Oiling

After rides, clear the bike as normal, however while you would normally degrease the chain and re-lubricate, simply wipe the chain with a humid (water) material – discover there is no such thing as a oil… That’s all you could do!

Wax on, Wax off…

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

Identical to new…


So sure, I obtained influenced by an influencer, however up to now, 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 swap to waxing, the previous few years have seen my gravel rides getting by way of 3 chains and 1.5 cassettes per 12 months and round 10,000 kilometres of gravel.

So after 4000 kilometres how’s it wanting?

With out eager to sound like a type of folks on a TV purchasing 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 won’t follow it. The chain and cassette has stayed very quiet and appears as recent because it did when it was fitted. Driving 1X on my normal route solely makes use of 3 or 4 sprockets, so I’ll swap the entrance chainring to unfold out put on somewhat extra. At this stage I believe 10,000 kilometres is wanting very probably.

Experience Situations

My normal trip situations are dry on compacted gravel. If it was moist and muddy for many rides, on-line chain waxing guru’s advocate an intensive rinse with water to take away the filth off after every trip.

Value It?

Whereas it’d look like loads of effort, I reckon as soon as it’s arrange, it’s really simpler than fixed cleansing, degreasing and lubrication. For me, up to now, it appears effectively 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 in all probability saves a number of watts. Nevertheless, being a good Yorkshireman, i’m totally hooked in for the financial savings, how lengthy can this cassette and chain final…