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Waxed chains

Old 05-25-21, 07:42 AM
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Waxed chains

I've never messed around with waxed chains, but even if it's 4 or 5 watts, I'm interested. How do you manage for races? Do you put the chain on before the race and then remove? Just looking for first hand experience.
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Old 05-25-21, 08:31 AM
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even if?

if anyone is saying it's more they're selling bridges in their spare time.
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Old 05-25-21, 08:49 AM
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It's less than that, but I do it because I got sick of ruining clothes and getting the stink eye from the wife getting normal chain lube on everything.

I don't really ride rain much ever. If so, it's near the end of a wax job's usefulness.

If it's even equal, I do it for that purpose. If you do it for a gain, the prep job is probably 75% of the gains. New chain break in, cleaning, etc... the wax and wax dipping itself is the last tiny bit.

The best most joes do is use a Park Tool chain cleaner once in a while and keep slopping more tube o lube on all the time. Sure, if you prep a chain right for wax......even if the wax gains nothing......it'll be a couple watts just from following a better process.

I cringe seeing teammates at weeknight worlds just slop more tube o lube on a nearly black chain with gum everywhere on the cogs.
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Old 05-25-21, 10:27 AM
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I run a waxed chain year-round but I ride indoors during rain

I'll usually buy 2 or 3 chains at once so I can degrease them all together. Then I wax them and I can rotate them through, re-dipping each every maybe 200-400 miles or so depending on how noisy they get. I use the same pot of wax for probably 7-8 re-dips, or until it starts to look gross. The most annoying part is if you have a big ride and forget you have to re-dip since it takes like 1-2 hours to warm up the pot. But now that I have a smart power strip, I can just set a timer for an hour before I wake up to turn it on, leave the chain in there, and it's ready to wipe down and install by the time I'm kitted up.

I also do it more for the cleanliness compared to grease, it's nice to not have to worry about accidentally touching your chain and getting black smudges on everything you own. Knowing it's a little more efficient is just a bonus. The chains also seem to last a bit longer, it takes a while before my wear gauge fits. I haven't kept great tabs but if I had to guess, 4000-5000 miles?
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Old 05-25-21, 11:14 AM
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I get surveys all the time from vendors and the first thing they ask is will I recommend it to my friends. My answer is no. Why? I do not recommend anything to friends unless asked specifically for a recommendation. Also, I tend to like the more trendy, higher tech stuff and I am an early adopter. Sometimes that is better solution and other times worse.

The thought of a crockpot full of wax, taking my chain off and cleaning it plus reinstalling after wax solidification and then storing the crockpot full of wax seems like really old tech. However, I must admit to chain wax envy.

I tried this stuff. https://www.ceramicspeed.com/en/cycl...--new-formula-

It seems pricey but it solves my wax envy without the need of a crockpot et al and other overhead. Clean chain, drip on liquid wax, ride the next day store wax bottle in my tool chest.

So far, it seems to work as advertised. I put it on the my San Diego Track bike chains and they were amazingly quiet for 1/8 inch chain. Road chains stay pretty clean without the black mess. However, chains on bikes ridden outside get dirty. Such is life.

No endorsement here, just another way to wax a chain. And I give it a 1/2 watt benefit.

Last edited by Hermes; 05-25-21 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 05-25-21, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post

I cringe seeing teammates at weeknight worlds just slop more tube o lube on a nearly black chain with gum everywhere on the cogs.
Guilty.
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Old 05-25-21, 05:16 PM
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I do it b/c I'm a neat freak. I hate having dirty chain and drivetrain. Nice to be able to grab/service it on the side of the road without getting my hand dirty. I literally never clean my chains anymore. I just give it a single wipe after each wax pot. Plug it in, break and dip it for 30 min, take it out and give it a single wipe, re-install w quick link, and literally nothing else for a few hundred miles.

I'm on the same $25 block of parrafin that I bought a few years ago. I re-use the pot 5 or 6 times before pouring it out into an aluminum folgers jar and wiping it out. The pot does get dirty so it gets hard to see the quick link and fish it out but its no biggie. The dirt isn't miscible with the wax and falls to the bottom. Single wipe on the chain and I'm good till the next wax pot.

Is it faster? IDK. Is it clean? Yes. Relatively low effort too, compared to lubing, wiping and cleaning chains. At least for me - I'd actually clean my chains before.
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Old 05-25-21, 10:55 PM
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  1. Connex Quick Link to get the chain off easy
  2. Sonic Cleaner for 3 cycles (usually get the cogs too)
  3. Dump in Crockpot
  4. Clean off and let dry

Its a long procedure but it doesnt take a lot of time to actually do. Try to do it every 3 months or so...and I am due.
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Old 05-26-21, 06:00 PM
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Never waxed one.
I bought waxed chains from friction facts every year before nats for my kid. They were about $40 more. I think they made a phycological difference and they were nice and clean because no lube until near 1,000 miles. When you are spending all this money and time traveling to races the waxed chain was not really an issue.

Last edited by Doge; 05-27-21 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 05-27-21, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Never waxed one.
I bought waxed chains from friction facts every year before nats for my kid. They were about $40 more. I think they made a phycological difference and they were nice a clean because no lube until near 1,000 miles. When you are spending all this money and time traveling to races the waxed chain was not really an issue.
Yeah, I did see that there are pre-waxed chains available that aren't massively more expensive than a normal chain. Could just get one, and keep it to my race bike on dry days. I don't know where I'd put the sonic cleaner and crock pot where my wife wouldn't freak out about more bike stuff.
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Old 05-27-21, 07:53 AM
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Look the best way to ride is chainless - clean, efficient and cheap. It seems pretty common in SoCal these days.
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Old 05-27-21, 08:24 AM
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My god some of you are way more OCD than I ever will be.
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Old 05-27-21, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
Look the best way to ride is chainless - clean, efficient and cheap. It seems pretty common in SoCal these days.
I assume the belts - which I see a lot of, and the shafts share the same issue to different degrees. Flex.

The psychological benefit of having a clean bike, ceramic this/that, silk tubulars and waxed clean chain always seems to more than deliver what the Physics suggested. If you are one of those "science only" riders, they might not make you go faster. If you are the type to get hyped up they definitely will.


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Old 05-27-21, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Yep View Post
I don't know where I'd put the sonic cleaner and crock pot where my wife wouldn't freak out about more bike stuff.
This has been one of the limiting factors keeping me on traditional wet lube.
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Old 05-27-21, 10:19 AM
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I dont do the ultrasonic cleaner. In fact I don't clean it at all, minus a single wipe after fishing it out of the crock pot. Crock pots aren't that big though and fairly cheap.
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Old 05-27-21, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
I dont do the ultrasonic cleaner. In fact I don't clean it at all, minus a single wipe after fishing it out of the crock pot. Crock pots aren't that big though and fairly cheap.
Same. $10 at Target for the one I have. I do tend to forget to turn it off sometimes though...
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Old 05-28-21, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
I dont do the ultrasonic cleaner. In fact I don't clean it at all, minus a single wipe after fishing it out of the crock pot. Crock pots aren't that big though and fairly cheap.
Don't you have to clean it initially to get the wax to stick correctly?
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Old 05-28-21, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Yep View Post
Don't you have to clean it initially to get the wax to stick correctly?
You are correct about this one, I neglected to mention that. I do soak it overnight in a jar with degreaser to remove the factory grease. Copious rinsing in the jar, and then I drop it in the molten pot and leave the whole cleaning thing behind.
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