Chain Waxing Tutorial

I am on 596km (370 miles) on my chain right now. It doesn’t need to be re-waxed yet but I will re-wax it anyway. This is a combination of indoor riding and outdoor riding in humid conditions.

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My chain goes into a professional ultra sonic machine and no lube used in 18months. All chain related items are also brushed clean. Same chains have been cleaned 7 times a piece, I’m onto 2nd set of quick links. On average I get 120-150 miles per chain. Just let set of waxing seems to be short lived making me think my wax temp is too high.

Mine does that also after a wet ride. I did two rides in the rain last week and both bikes got new chains

Interesting. What are chemicals or cleaning agents were you using in the ultra sonic cleaner?


I’ll have to ask the shop, its a

I don’t think wax will prevent rust. My experience with wet cx is I always have to take the chain off when I get home, wipe it dry with a papertowel, and rest it somewhere warmish to dry. I’ve had chains rust a bit if I don’t. In the summer, I don’t tend to have rust issues – I think because I don’t generally ride in crappy weather, but in the off chance I get rained on anyway it dries while I’m riding on it (assuming the rain stopped). Popping the chain off is a cinch with the connex link.

I have got connex links on all bikes but it’s the fact that even in damp conditions it’s a bit if a faff. :joy: I get hone pop bike in garage, get cleaned up and usually address the bikes state the day after as have a family and often my attention gets moved from what I want to do to what the boss (my wife) says I should be doing… :joy:

Since I started waxing chains I’ve had to bin three of them. They seem to offer no protection in wet weather - includes muddy rides round trails etc.

If anyone knows a way around this it’d be really good to know…

I’ve pulled mine and dropped it in a jar of mineral spirits for the drive home from the occasional wet TT…that seemed to work though not exactly the most convenient thing in the world.


Thanks I’ll have to give that a go.

Currently looking at ordering new chains so may go wipperman as they can be either the gold coloured brass ones or stainless steel/nickel. Funnily enough my black and silver cheap as chips KMC has faired the best so far and its on the gravel bike. Go figure. I’m hovering purely as I don’t want to be buying chains that I may have to bin in a few weeks. Having a dedicated trainer bike is great in this respect.

Also in the UK If it happens to rain while I am out I will sparingly spray the chain over with a water dispersing spray and wipe the chain over with a cloth to remove the excess.

Managed to get some outdoor riding in during a rare dry spell in England, the chain has run smooth as silk and I am happy as can be with the MSW, I think I will likely try normal paraffin wax after the MSW needs throwing away.

Question: between applications of MSW shall I just wipe the chain with a clean rag and re wax in the slow cooker? or should I add chain to boiling water then dry before re waxing?

I am reading conflicting information about the reapplication process and just want to go with the best option.

You can do both. The one downside of just dumping the chain without boiling water is that your wax will probably go black faster, on the other hand your chain might rust a little bit if you went with boiling water.

I personally go boiling water.

I have been waxing for a few weeks now and so far so good. I have a few issues with the wax flakes on the trainer and still have no clue about when it’s time to rewax. But I’ll learn…

One thing puzzles me though: I had thought that the waxed chain makes a perfectly clean drivetrain. My road rides are 100% dry, but still do I get a dirty rag after wiping the chain post ride. It seems that it’s small metal flakes. The chain I noticed it the most on is a used KMC EL Silver that is close to 0.5 wear. I disregarded the advice to start waxing with a new chain. I have another used Shimano 105 chain that shows less wear still, but it also sheds some metal. Small blackish dust.

I wonder whether this is the normal wear of a chain that is mixing with road dust and making up the black gunk in an oiled chain. Not as clearly visible as on a waxed chain.

I’ll shortly put on a new chain as part of a rotation and I’ll see how it looks there. Maybe it’s time to retire the KMC chain at least.

Can anybody please share some experience? Are your chains shedding some metal dust as well?

KMC chains don’t take wax well according to Zero Friction Cycling, something about the coating they use. My own experience mirrored this. Are the chains fully stripped before waxing them? If not you maybe you are getting some of the residual grease left in the rollers mixing with dirt and that can get kind of gunky?

I read the same about KMC. I did clean the chains properly based on the MSW instructions and even more so for the used chains. So happy that I’m over this stage already. I used turpentine and methylated spirits. I also cleaned the chainrings, cassettes, jockey wheels, etc. with a degreaser and alcohol. So I am sure I cleaned everything as much as necessary.

I’ll be able to see shortly how the new Shimano chains will do. Hopefully, they won’t she’s any metal dust.

Ahh okay. Not sure where the metal might be coming from. When my chains get dirty the wax and dirt mostly falls off leaving more a dry chain. Sorry couldn’t be more help

Are you sure it’s metal dust and not the moly powder in the MSW?even waxed chains wear though and create some metal particles

My first waxing was done with just paraffin wax.

The chain I am using at the moment was previously lubed with chain oil, I cleaned it thoroughly before waxing it for the first time, The mineral spirits were spotless after about 5-6 cleans and refreshes.

I then waxed the chain but realised afterwards I had got a step wrong because I had placed the cold chain into the hot wax, after I realized my mistake I waxed again but this time I left the chain on top of the wax whilst it melted in the slow cooker.

When the wax was up to temperature I noticed a fair bit of black debris on the chain whilst it was sat in the hot wax (I did not notice this the previous time) this makes me think that the thorough cleaning I thought I gave the chain was not thorough enough to remove the oil/grease from between the links. I do not think you can fully clean a chain that has been oiled without giving it some heat to remove the final remains of oil/grease.

Maybe what you are seeing is remaining oil/grease being expelled by the wax.

The comments about KMC chains is interesting as the chains I’ve had that have gone rusty were 2 shimano 105’s and 1 KMC X11.

Rather annoyingly just bought a couple of more KMC’s to strip and wax. Damn! :grin: :man_facepalming:

Though there is an interesting youtube vid about a waxed KMC EPT chain that some chap has been using in harsh conditions…


Oh well onwards and upwards.

Is there any consensus on the best chains to wax? Wipperman? Shimano? KMC? A.N.Other?

Kerping the chain industry afloat here. :joy::grin: