Chain waxing - I swear removing from the wax is the slowest part, am I dumb?

I’ve been converted to chain waxing. For the most part, its pretty easy after the first chain cleaning. I was recently listening to a podcast that recommended having more than one chain in rotation so when it rains you can just swap chains. This appeals to me. But there’s one problem.

Tossing a chain into wax is easy. I use an instantpot on simmer. But knowing when to remove the chain is much more difficult! Or am I making it difficult? I’m under the impression that you want to remove the chain just as the wax is starting to cool and harden. This is tedious. If there was a wider latitude for chain removal then I’d wax a lot more frequently.

Any tips?

I just remove it while the wax is liquid hot. I dont know that there is any need for it to cool at all in the wax? You need the chain to get to the same temperature as the wax so the cold chain does not prevent it from sticking but as far as I am aware there is no such issue on the cooling side. I do run a wire through the chain so i can grab it without having to fish into the wax or get my skin oils into it.

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agreed - who has time to wait for the wax to begin to cool to remove the chain. You want the wax to be inside the links, it gets in there when its liquid hot just fine.

I wound just pull it when its still hot, not over think that. Maybe save the “cooling” version for your race chain if you do notice a difference or want that placebo watt.

excess wax on the outside of the chain just gets cast into the wind so I do not see the benefit

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I think you remove it when it’s still hot and let whatever residual is left on the chain dry.

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The idea behind waiting for it to cool is to minimize the runoff of wax that’s in the chain, theoretically making the wax last longer. I don’t bother.

I swish the chains around for a bit, let them sit to get up to the same temp as the wax, swish around a bit more then pull them out and hang to cool. I get several hundred miles on each chain before they need a fresh dip. Good enough for me.

-Tim

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i was just looking into this and both molten speed wax and zero friction cycling say it doesn’t matter and that as long as you’re not flinging the chain around immediately after pulling out the chain then you’re good.

don’t stress, slowly pull the chain out while your instant pot is still on, let it drip back into the pot so you don’t waste it, and hang it to cool!

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if your crockpot has a warm setting its low enough to just keep the wax liquid and the chain solidifies almost immediately after pulling it out. I have found a difference in longevity between a cooler waxed chain compared to a higher setting. It seems like what is occurring when you pull the chain is more of the wax inside of the roller is dripping out at a higher temp. This is seen as a drop of cooled wax formed on the links

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Thanks for setting me straight. I now have a 3qt instant pot on order. My CAAD10 is my fair weather bike, its waxed but could probably be refreshed more often. I have a steel road bike with fenders which I use for commuting and rainy rides - I’ll switch it to wax and set up a second chain for it. Need to find the perfect spot in the basement to keep the instant pot.

Some companies do recommend waiting for the wax to get to the point of hardening again.
Silca for example. The advantage, as aforementioned, is that you minimize run-off.
Yesterday, i tried the ultra-sonic method for application for the first time. In case of Silca. You melt the wax in boiling water inside the bag. Then put the wax into the ultrasonic, hang the chain into the bag of wax and have it agitated by the ultra sound for 5-10 minutes.
I set the temperature pretty low (65C), but man, letting it cool took forever. I just pulled the chains out very slowly so they could cool a little (which probably has no effect whatsoever). I turned off the heating completely for the last chain and pulled it out after 20 minutes when a thin layer of hardened wax appeared at the top.
For the wax to go completely solid actually took almost 2 hours.

I guess we are talking very marginal gains of keeping more wax inside the chain here. The best results can likely be had when use a thermometer and hovering right around that melting point. My wax was probably 90C when I put the first chain in, so there was no way of it cooling during a 10 minute cycle.

But again. If this is too tedious for you, just have the wax at a lower temperature to begin with (70-75C), and swish it around for a bit (until you don’t see any bubbles anymore), let it sit (5 minutes usually suffice for the chain to be completely up to temperature), pull it out. Done.

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