Chain Waxing Tutorial

waxed yesterday, dura ace chain for first time.
no big deal element wise. OCD 100%
NOTICED chain ring much more noisey than usual.
maybe chain ring 52T is worn out 10,000 miles.

Thanks for the shout out MI-XC…you might prefer this blog post with a lot more info:

When I switched to waxing it seemed noiser to me too. I did some searching and found out that oil might have better noise dampening properties than wax. It doesn’t mean that oil is a better lubricant. Since then I’ve got used to the waxed chains and can tell when it needs rewaxing because the noise is from the lack of wax.

Just started waxing. Done 500kms or so, but on an old chain. It makes a slight noise only on the small chain ring. Not squeaky. Cant figure out when I need to take it off.

I have two chains just before replacing them (they have 10 thousand kms each) and last me about 3-400 kms. On another bike I have completely new chains and switched them after 4-500 kms. But I am slightly OCD and annoyed when it becomes noisier :slight_smile:

Issue is, I dont know what noise I should hear? Will it be similar to a lubed chain which has run dry?

Don’t worry too much about it. Yes, it would be similar to a dry chain when lubing it. Squeaking noises. If you can’t tell just replace them after around 400-500 kms if new.

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Thank You . Adaptation one more time one one more thing. I did a Petit today. I’m thinking I gonna like this waxing.


This is my third session waxing my chain. I’ve looked at various recipe and continue to refine my own. My current mix has 80% paraffin wax and 20% Paraffin oil. I am not sure if it’s scientific, but I like how It doesn’t crust on the chain as much. I included a heavy cleaning and took out the cassette and gave it a deep cleaning. I had to clean a few parts that had accumulated wax build up.

We’ll see how it feels when I take it for a ride.

I’ve slowly figuring out more intermediate maintenance work like removing the cassette and chain to clean In more detail.

These threads have now got me curious about adding Teflon. Not because it will necessarily make any speed difference, but just to nerd out.

I’m working on waxing my chain again and this got me wondering, does it make sense to have a dedicated chain for indoor / trainer riding and then one for outdoors? I know people have 3-4 chains in rotation, but wondered if the indoor only chain would last longer than an outdoor chain? Third wax for me, so no real data to rely on so wanted to see what others had found.

Doesn’t make sense to me because while 10- and 11-speed quick links are reusable, they aren’t reusable infinitely. I get about five uses out of my KMC 10speed links before they get to be “too easy” to connect which is when I replace them. 11 speed links seem about the same for those that are reusable.

I can’t think of a good reason why I’d want to change chains multiple times per week, especially considering you’d plow through master links faster and that can get pricey.

I have four chains, but just two 10-spd and two 11-spd. I just have a ready spare for each of my setups all the time. Don’t know why I would put more than that into rotation for a single bike.

Yeah, I’d lean to “no.” I don’t think an indoor chain would last extra long, because the things that cause it to wear (running the chain) are unchanged indoor vs. outdoor. Depending on your trainer set up, it might actually wear faster per hour of riding indoors (if you have consistently higher RPM). But the dirt-shedding of wax means that you’re not substantially making things worse when you take your bike outside, so there’s no good reason to swap it out.

It is an interesting point - I have an old bike as a dedicated trainer bike - I maybe wax the chain every 3-4 months with heavy use. The chain is still working perfectly - doesn’t make any noise. Since there is no road contaminates (except my soul pouring out me) that it lasts much longer between waxings.

I only get a couple hundred miles (depending upon weather) on the outside road bike before it needs a rewaxing.

I use Connex 10 quick links (2)- and they are likely 8 years old and I have no need to replace them. I also have the Shimano 11 master link that comes with the chain and it is working well for the last 6 months. I will replace it when I replace the chain with the new master link in about 6 months. YMMV

Thanks folks for the feedback. For me, I’m 75% indoors / 25% outdoors and seems like every time I go outdoors for a ride, it’s just rained. So, was curious if I’d see additional time on the indoor chain since it would have better “weather”, though the rides themselves are totally different and didn’t think of the stress on the chain in that way so might even out. As for links, guess I’ve been lucky and haven’t broken any / replaced any - maybe that’s a sad commentary on the power I’m putting out these days, but another thing to consider.


I have 4 chains for a single bike so I can do all 4 in a batch when it comes time to re-wax. Personally, I prefer to just grab a fresh chain to swap out rather than having to re-wax every other chain swap. Cuts the times I have to setup the crockpot and wax the chains in half over having two chains.

Did your chain link brake before or are you just careful? I understand Jonathan’s view as it might be not pretty when it happens but I have more than 10 thousand kms on my two chains while waxing (and changing) the chains every 3-400 kms. That’s about 30 uses for each chain link and I haven’t noticed any problem so far. But my max power is laughable :wink:

Never broken one, but also don’t want to find out what it’s like when it happens either. I’ll re-use just about any link provided it still resists closing when I’m reattaching. When I can do it by hand, to me that’s an indication of wear and/or stretch and I swap in a new one. I could probably run it longer, but I don’t think it’s worth the risk to save a couple bucks. YMMV.

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Ok. I am probably not able to close it by hands yet. But that might be my hands (similar problem to max power output :smiley: )

Like @MikeMckinney above I avoid the doubt with this and use the Connex Quick links. Really easy once you get used to them and also means I can get the chain off in 10 seconds when the bike deep clean. I accept you can clean round it, but makes it a lot easier in my opinion.

As aside, I am using Smoove and having a good time with it. I live in the north of Scotland and I’m never really guaranteed a dry ride or a clean one with farm and forestry traffic, so I didn’t really want to go the whole hog of chain waxing and a chain only lasting one ride. I did the Oz Cycle three stage deep clean and when I need to clean it I use boiling water and a wipe to remove any stubborn bits. I’ve found how you apply the Smoove is key - it’s really easy to apply too much, so I put a small drop on every link starting from the Connex chain link whilst running the chain backwards. Worth a go for those in damp climates.

I haven’t tried the Connex links. Anecdotally, they don’t seem any better than other reusable links in that I’ve read others who’ve dropped, lost, or broken the link… and others who get 10k miles on one. So, hit or miss. In the end, as long as everyone is safe, there are plenty of good, safely reusable options. I think it prudent to swap any of them periodically given how critical it could be.

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