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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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 I admit it, I’m outdated.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 That outdated.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 quicker’, ‘last more’ sort claims for all kinds 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 buddy 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. “Dangle on Shane, What number of kilometres…”

So I figured I might give it a go. There are a whole lot of on-line movies and guides to chain waxing, comply with the broadly really useful course of as I did, you’ll be able to’t go mistaken. I used a brand new (YBN) chain and (Shimano Ultegra) cassette, earlier than getting began I totally cleaned the chainring and jockey wheels to take away any hint of outdated lube or oily gunk.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 stepping 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 contemporary 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 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 may not be used for non-waxy-tasting meals ever once more. You might have to be artistic, 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 one of the best bit, it is vitally 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 traditional, however once 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 should do!

Wax on, Wax off…

After you may have waxed your chain, in case you depart the cooled, stable 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 outdated wax and any grime, dry it, place the chain again on the wire swisher device 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.

Similar to new…


So sure, I obtained influenced by an influencer, however thus far, 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 couple of years have seen my gravel rides getting by way of 3 chains and 1.5 cassettes per yr and round 10,000 kilometres of gravel.

So after 4000 kilometres how’s it trying?

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

Experience Circumstances

My traditional journey circumstances are dry on compacted gravel. If it was moist and muddy for many rides, on-line chain waxing guru’s suggest an intensive rinse with water to take away the grime off after every journey.

Value It?

Whereas it’d seem to be a whole lot of effort, I reckon as soon as it’s arrange, it’s truly simpler than fixed cleansing, degreasing and lubrication. For me, thus far, 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 just a few watts. Nonetheless, being a good Yorkshireman, i’m absolutely hooked in for the financial savings, how lengthy can this cassette and chain final…

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