Over the winter, I did a lot of reading/YouTube watching about the benefits of chain waxing. I decided to bite the bullet and do it! I’ve since acquired the necessary items to clean/prepare chains. And I bought a cheap slow-cooker and some paraffin to soak/wax the chain. So far so good! I like the feel. It will keep everything cleaner and it’s supposed to make the drive train last a lot longer! If anyone’s interested, let me know, and I’ll share what I’ve learned!
Hey Steve, I’ve been waxing for a year now. Love how clean it is on the drivetrain compared to oils.
It would be great to hear more about what you have done
My biggest struggle is the initial chain cleaning because I don’t have a hydrosonic cleaner.
I agree - the initial cleaning is the biggest pain. I started with 2 brand new chains so it wasn’t too bad. But I’ve since cleaned/waxed a couple of other chains that have been used for quite a while and they’re a mess even thought they “looked” reasonably clean.
I use mineral spirits for several soak/swish cycles until the liquid remains reasonably clear. On my partner’s bike, I’m currently on bath 3 and it’s still pretty black. Once I’m convinced it’s clean, I’ll do a final rinse/soak in Acetone, which is supposed to remove the degreasing liquid. Then I use the crock pot for melting the wax and soaking the chain.
On my adventure gravel bike, I rode the first chain about 300 km and re-waxed. I did one round of cleaning before the waxing (after a soak in hot water to melt the old wax off). Since I keep 2 chains rotating for my gravel bike, I don’t have any down time. I imagine the road bike chain will last longer - I’m hoping more like 500km.
I’m interested as well, but the initial cleaning has always been the barrier to me trying. That, and I’m addicted to the smell of Muc-off.
Anyone tried waxed chains in the rain?
I find mineral spirits expensive for repeated baths. My 4 step cleaning, new, or used is first petrol, soak over night, shake container. Then simple green for a soak and shake, get the petrol off. Then mineral spirts, most case then not, it stays clear, I haven’t changed it in 3 cleanings now. Finally acetone as denatured alcohol is hard to come by. Only down side i have found to wax chains, is wet conditions. it typically needs a waxing after a wet/muddy ride.
Continuing the discussion from Chain waxing:
Thanks for your valuable informations on waxing.
I am going to try to wax my chains from now on.
I am waiting for my bag of PTFE powder 1.6 micron.
I look forward to ride with newly waxed chain.
Hey Sammy - where did you get PTFE? I am avoiding it for now because of its toxicity. Although the fumes from mineral spirits and acetone can’t be good for me!
It will last me for more than 10,000km of riding.
Try Petrol(gasoline) to get rid of oil and grease from your chain to be ready for initial setup.
Just applying paraffin is not sufficient to do the job.
By the way, try not to soak in the hot water to get rid of all waxes from the chain.
Just boil the water to boiling point and pour over the chain. Mostly, dirts are on the surfaces of the chain.
Clear odourless mineral spirits, then denatured alcohol.
If you haven’t seen it yet, this is a valuable resource for the entire process: https://moltenspeedwax.com
MSW says no to ultrasonic for initial clean (you can’t use those fluids in the typical ultrasonic anyway). (Personally I don’t ever put chains in the ultrasonic… but I know there are many who don’t see the problem )
Note the ordinary Simple Green is not safe for chains - it is corrosive and attacks the finish. There is a flavour of Simple Green that is safe, but I’ve not seen it for sale in normal stores.
My chain is always a s*#t show. I’m tempted to try this whole waxing business, but it sounds like a bunch of extra work and I’d rather be riding
Oh yeah Tom! Always choose riding! I’m terrible with maintaining my drive train so now that I’m set up, waxing is pretty easy. And I can be lazy with cleaning again!
The initial cleaning (on a new chain) is the work. You want it clean clean. It is a hurdle. I find subsequent waxing almost fun
When time is more valuable than money, you can also buy pre-waxed chains.
Should also mention that a little care is required with the heat: if you get the wax too hot things can get undesirably exciting. You can use a candy thermometer to make sure you’re in the right range until you are familiar with your hardware.