Caught waxing my chain ... again

… so…another one of the many amazing things to come out of The Great Pandemic for me was…

waxing my chain

yep…just like it sounds/reads

i tend to wabbit hole things…in the 90s it was cigars…when i drank it was whiskey, tequila, port and the associated misadventures of the stoopid kind…these days its coffee…restored WW2 survival training films … the sorted lives of “where are they buried now” rock stars such as Black Sabbath, UFO, Bad Co. MGS, Motorhead, the Mighty Zep, ect

more interestingly and more productively…i spiral out of orbit on bike tires, bike tubes, bike lube…bike chains! all courtesy of youtube…my great wasteland

at some point in my (current) aging future ill look back at it all and say

“…OH MY!!!.. how i did squander my seed and youth on youtube…”

eh…whatever…deal with that conversation later when im old

a couple of years ago, during “The Great Sit At Home And Watch The World Implode” sessions on CNN (Covid New Network), i discovered this fine fella Josh Portner of Silca…you know how music can save the lives of those in despair? … well … josh saved me from the almost certain Covid related insanity back in 2020-22, and thats something!

ultimately josh helped save my chains, gears and a few watts

i tally the hours, days, weeks, years and hundreds of youtube videos wasted, and i end up here, with andrew at friction facts…(notice a pattern?)

its been (and continues to be) and incredible journey of useless knowledge and the acquisition of petty wisdom… regardless…my drive train is now quiet, and fast, day in and day out

i have a pretty good grasp on my chain waxing regimen … i rotate 3 chains every 300kms or so, this way im never short on quiet, fast, super smooth shifting, freshly waxed chain…so now, every riding morning i awake, lubed up and ready to go … how about you?

who else is waxing their chain?

is anyone interested in waxing their chain?

anyone “alt-lube curious”???

terry - chain waxer

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I’m not, but probably will be after reading this! I always was put off by the work you have to put in initially, but seems like it pays off long term! Thanks for sharing.

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yeah…thats what kept me from jumping all in with buying an ultrasonic cleaner, the wax, the alcohol (cant purchase denatured alcohol in california), the mineral spirits, the containers to clean … (i use 4 … two baths of mineral spirits, 2 baths of alcohol)

a little time shift/back tracking…

the the chain waxing seed was initally planted by this goofy, wonderful fella several years ago…

but i didnt invest in the bits and pieces then…the journey was just beginning, i was exploring, seeing and wanting to experience a waxed chain without the overhead…i was

“waxing curious”

i did a little cruising the inno netz and and ordered a prewaxed chain from here…(josh from silca, andrew from friction facts were not up on youtube yet)

at that time what i was ONLY looking for a quiet drivetrain…that was it…it was only later would i learn of all the other benifits of a waxed chain

the factory wend wax chain became noisy (200-300km)…i said…

“well…this sucks”

…at this point i learned that i needed to reapply wax … i still hadn’t invested in the infrastructure of ultrasonic cleaner, jars for cleaning, the chemicals, ect…nor did i really know that redipping is the proper way to do it…so i bought some of wend wax “roll on” sticks and pretty little tubs of colored wax (which it looks like they don’t carry anymore) to reapply on the surface of the chain…

this came with a wet wax and the roll on…

turns out all this does nothing to get into the pins and rollers where the action really happens… but the pink wax in the little tub (fit in kit micely) matched my Giro pink bike and giro pink kit getup which i threw together for our two week trip to italy in 2018? for the Giro (my first Giro)

those two weeks in early may in italy, was cold, wet and snowy…i would end up reapplying the surface wax way too often, I said

“there has got to be a better way”

And there was … it was more education, more discovery finding out more about the beauty of waxing

For several months I tread water with the wend wax factory wax chains and surface rewax process… But I knew this was not correct, not sustainable and there had to be a better way … then I hit upon these guys…they put together a waxing package and off I went…

over the months and last couple of years i fiddled around with the process…

“…if i put my chain in a low temp oven after initial stripping and cleaning of factory grease, that would dry it off nicely…and it would preheat the chain nicely for waxing and helping wick the wax into the rollers and pins…”

so i did that…then … i thought …

“…strip all old wax off in oven, reclean with mineral spirits/alcohol, prime in oven, rewax…”

…in just playing around i began complicating things…such is the nature of being me

i totally forgot about the wend wax, molten speed wax journey…wow

i think when i burn through these current chains im going to start with a prepped and waxed chain from andrew (friction facts) or josh (silca)…to compair and cut out the prep with the chemicals…ill just do my easy rewax regimn

all this to say…for someone starting out waxing, if you are “wax curious”…order a prewaxed chain…skip the cleaning/stripping (unless we have another pandemic and you are bored)…just get straight to the chain maintence waxing phase

hope this boring, long, wordy reply helps

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Great info, thanks Terry!!

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I am very much of a nerdy bent. My particular fetish is aero testing. On chains………. well let’s just say I am wax curious.

At the moment, I strip new chains in unleaded, wash, acetone wash, then apply a water based wax. Makes a huge difference vs. What I was doing before, even if not optimal. At the moment I don’t have time for more even if I have the ultrasound bath from cleaning classic car parts.

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“aero-fetish”…all things aero…that’s a big brain topic for my small brain, therefore im relegated to the category of “aero-curious” :sweat_smile::crazy_face:

josh is the big brain on this and i let him tackle the heavy lifting, with me getting a aero contact high on youtube…

my aero threshold is wheels…josh does a really good job of speaking to Rule 105 here…

what i CAN wrap my head around is aero SOCKS!!!..

I bought 3 pairs of them this time last year, but unfortunately my foot is size 12 coupled with a freakishly long ankle to calf ratio so their aero socks don’t fit me very well, they are little more than ankle socks…and fall short of my calf :roll_eyes:

so much fuzzy science, so little money to spend on it! :sweat_smile::+1:t2:

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If you want to get freaky, start Chung testing. No money spent, just time and you go faster!

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oh…do you mean this fella???

never heard of it/him…thanks alot!! (he says as he disappears down another wabbit hole) :crazy_face::sweat_smile:

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@Terry I’ve been waxing a similar time as you and funnily enough encountered all the same Youtube resources (can’t remember if you mentioned Zerofricition). I didn’t bother getting an ultrasonic bath but like you I did try a pre waxed chain from Ceramic Speed.

I bought a £15 small slow cooker from Amazon (other suppliers are available) and got myself a bag of Molten Speed Wax. I quickly became a convert and did all my chains, cleaning them off using several rinses of White Spirit (Mineral Spirit), then two of Methylated Spirit to get the residue of white spirit off. Thread the chain onto a suitably bent coat hanger, put on top of solid wax in slow cooker, turn slow cooker on “low” setting. Go away and do something else. (Usually) Several hours later, come back, give it a bit of shake to get out any air bubbles remove from wax. Wait a few mins for it to cool down. I then loop it over a bit of 2" plastic plumbing pipe that I have suspended horizontally and move it to and fro to make sure the links are “broken” and the chain doesn’t dry solid (you know what I mean once you’ve experienced it).

I run 2 chains and my d2d routine is pretty much as prescribed by Josh:

  1. Immersive wax the chain
  2. Ride
  3. After every ride, run chain through a microfibre cloth. Some black will come off on the cloth. This isn’t grease it’s dirt that has attached to wax and would in the fulness of time fall off (unlike with oil based lube helps to form a lovely grinding paste that wears your drivetrain out).
  4. Drip on some Silca “Super Secret Chain Lube” to coat all links and then run chain through fingers to help push it in.
  5. Ride

Repeat steps 2-5 until about 300-500km, swap chain, or go back to 1.

There’s all sorts of other nonsense I’ve tried. Eg don’t bother as some Youtube experts suggest to leave the chain in the slow cooker until its at the precise temperature that a skin has formed on the surface of the wax so that you’ve given it the best chance to dry / stick to the internal workings of the chain (they claim that the wax is viscous enough to “run out”).

It’s really quite simple and the thing I love about it is how clean it is. No mess in the car, no danger of “twat stamps” if you’re that way inclined (or a noob).

Very happy to answer any questions.


ps I wanted a 2nd pot for the slow cooker to run 2 baths of wax, ultra clean for race / event chains and another for training chains. It ended up being almost 2x the price for the pot alone than a 2nd slow cooker, so that’s what I now have and end up rotating them, demoting the race pot to training once the training pot is too yucky.

I don’t put the training chains through the whole white spirit / meths cycle each time I immerse wax, but I do my good chains if that makes sense. So my training wax pot does get a bit dirty.

If you want to clean any parts that have been waxed or in contact with wax (eg cassette), then just put it in hot water and the wax melts away like magic!!!


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Very insightful Andy. How much time do you spend on chain prep a month for how many km’s ridden?

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Robert Chung on The Marginal Gains podcast was great. Josh on that one too.

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Probably less than 5 mins a month and doing about 1000km a month. Hope that helps


So Andy, the effort is really in getting set up and figuring it all out not in the going usage. Did I understand it right?

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Andy, Terry, having watched some Josh, I have taken the plunge. Everything ordered. First chain will be on the bike for the Tour od Flanders. Fingers crossed.


good call!!!


if you are riding more than a one day event in flanders, and if its wet/muddy you might consider bringing 2 waxed chains and/or some of the silca dripon wax (or similar) so you can top off your waxed chain…this way you have a fresh(ish) chain to work with on your next days ride.

personally i would opt for 2 chains (i bring 2-3 wax chains when i travel) as not to fiddle about with the hot water rinse, and reapply wax while on the road…i just swap out for a fresh wax chain if need be…this works for me as i already rotate 3 chains here at home

Happy Flandering

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Yup. It’s really not that labour intensive and I’d say arguably less than oil based lube as you don’t need to clean grinding paste off cassette, jockey wheels, chain rings, socks, face, calf’s (you get the jist).

I’ve just done a “1st principles” clean off both the chains I used last year on my summer bike. Ie rinsed twice in boiling water, 2 pots of white spirit , 2 pots of methylated spirits, immersion wax. Little production run. Took 3 mins every half day

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In the process of my first hot wax chain treatment. Cleaning was fine. I followed some torch’s from Josh’s how to clean your chain videos. I’m using Silca’s sous vide bag which means I can do everything on the stove. 3 chains in today’s batch should keep me happy for a while.


That’s really cool. I had no idea they kits to do this on the stove.


Yes, second @cyclemadman’s comment, I had no idea on this.

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The kit is a relatively new thing. Ran my first chain on the trainer today and SILENT!

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