Chain Waxing Tutorial

I do regularly use the molybdnum and while it does discolour the wax it is all ‘self-contained’ within the wax.

As the wax comes off the chain so does the molybdnum, outside there’s no issue and indoors it just gets hoovered up from under the trainer. I’ve never noticed a dirty chain after waxing.

I was thinking about this: as long as all your chains are waxed, and none are lubed, there’s no problem with mixing and matching which wax is on which chain, right? Like I could go with dead simple paraffin on training (and even commuting) chains, but keep that race chain as fast as possible with Molten Speed Wax?

None at all as far as I can see. When I use the MSW I let it cool slightly, pour it into a container and go back to my own mix.

I made a big batch of my own mix and let them cool in 1/2 pound blocks that I use most of the time and just keep the MSW for when the race chain gets a dip. I tend to clean and wax that to within an inch of it’s life and am less worried about the training chains.

I was coming here to post about this, asking @Jonathan @Nate_Pearson for a tutorial on it. Thanks for reading my mind.

What size Crock pot? I see @Jonathan links to a 6 quart Crock Pot, that’s 5.8L.
This Crock Pot →
It’s 3.5L but looks plenty big enough. Would it be?

Does any Sonic Cleaner do? Is this 600ml 40KHz good enough?


600ML might be a tad too small for chain and cassette, and the reason i say cassette as well is because if you’re going to go through this and have a sonic cleaner you might as well be able to dunk all your parts into it and get them shiney. See if you can find a 1.5L one at minimum.


I bought a small round 1.5l crockpot and if you make a swisher tool as per the MSW instruction page one chain fits perfectly in the bottom. I guess the larger pot you buy the disadvantage may be the amount of wax needed to cover the chain?

I bought a 2l ultrasonic cleaner and am glad I didn’t get one smaller.

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Been waxing for a few years. I did a diy mix loosely based on the Friction facts recipe, my PTFE powder was not good quality and clumps, but the overall mix seems to work. GF had a box of little tea light candles she didn’t need so wax was free.

Just got a pot for a buck from goodwill and my wax lives in that, had a hot plate so the overall setup costs were little. Although the wax drips on the hotplate can make the first minutes of fondue night a little stinky…

Up until my last batch I Was doing mineral spirits in a jar for cleaning but have switched to a cheap HF (free, my parents ended up with 2) ultrasonic cleaner with some citrus degreaser and water mix. It doesn’t fit a cassette so I have to run it a few times turning it, but hey it was free. Ultra sonic cleaner seemed to do a great job of cleaning of any old wax, didn’t expect it, but I also preheat the chain in a spare toaster oven which melts off any remaining wax, little stinkier but easier than the boiling water method.

I don’t do the GFs chain or my gravel/cx bike chain, maybe one day but for now rock n roll gold. For my race (tri) bike I rotate 3 chains, 2 training and 1 race. I’ll throw the race chain on for 1 outside ride before a race to work it all in and usually forget to swap it off for a handful of trainer rides after. The other two chains usually go about 300 trainer “miles” before they start to get a little bit of chatter and swap them out.

I’ll use a fresh link when the race chain goes on, then that link gets recycled with each training chain swap.

Since I rotate 3 chains after I install the second trainer chain and need to redo the first I usually will then clean and wax the race chain, put it in a ziplock ready for the next race this way spending time waxing a chain race week doesn’t add any stress, it is just ready to go.

Is your Sonic cleaner heated?
A new link? Like a power link or a quick link?

No my Ultra sonic cleaner isn’t heated, just used hot tap water.

Links, yes sram 11spd powerlinks I think they say they are 1 time use so I don’t risk it on raceday but have not had an issue reusing them on the training chains. We are 1x house so not sure if that is a factor or not.

Awesome the non heated cleaners are actually affordable.
I use the sram quick links. They have worked so far @Jonathan has said on his other pod that him and his co-host use the quick links without issue. I am hoping that they continue to work for me. I have nightmares about breaking a chain while riding.

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Even if sonic cleaners have the ability to heat they take ages. You are better off boiling a full kettle and pouring that in and mixing with degreaser. If you off-gas cycle it is also beneficial for breaking everything down properly prior to ultrasonic mode.

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Thanks for the info. Yeah I can see myself expanding use of this cleaner.

Can you fit 2 chains in the 1.5L Crock Pot?

I think 2L for the sonic cleaner will be the go.

A question for @Jonathan and others doing this. How long between waxing?

I have tried out Ceramic Speed UFO Drip. It’s like a wax. Having a clean chain to the touch has got my interest in going the full waxing. I am finding my chain becomes squeaky after about 50-100km on UFO drip. That sucks.

Also, do we not trust the Wippermann Connex link for reuse? It’s advertised to be reusable.

Mine has lasted as long as 200mi on road, 100 miles on dirt.

I had a Wippermann Connex link (that I reused) break on me. Luckily didn’t cause a crash.

It would have to be in a double layer to fit more than one chain in. One chain fits exactly in the base of the crockpot when on the swisher tool.

I’ve made several of the tools from old coat hangers and just have them lined up ready do go when I do a batch of chains and dip them one at at time.

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Thanks @Jonathan

That’s 320 km. That’s not much to have to then throw out a quick link. Thjayt’s making me think it’s no worth it.

Oh dear. That’s not a good endorsement. Glad it didn’t result in a crash for you.

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there is a factory waxed chain. So in theory, no complex process required to exchange lubricant, as all is in wax ;-). The chain is sold by Squirt. In fact, the chain made by KMC. I think it is a X11SL.
Hope that link works for you all: HOME • Squirt Cycling Products


And that is why I haven’t done the GFs or my gravel/cx bike yet…

It is magical and quiet, once you experience it the benefits are hard to deny, so I’m tempted but I’m not risking her having a re-used link fail out on the road nor am I paying for new links for two of us all the time.

Maybe I’ll experiment on mine.

I weld so I made some tools out of bent up welding rod at first (no metal hangers in the house) but found it was tricky to get the chain from my toaster oven preheater to the pot so I found some super long needle nose pliers for like 3 bucks on close out at tractor supply.

Can you use a KMC missing link? They are reusable.

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Huh it does look like the M/L-11R is a reusable version hadn’t seen that one before thanks. Now to just find someone selling them. The M/L-11 from KMC is not which is the common one that everyone carries.