Chain Waxing Tutorial

I used to do all that. Now I simply drizzle a bit of White Lightning CleanRide, (wax and mineral spirit mix) on the chain just before the ride. Takes about 15 seconds. I can’t remember the last time I needed to clean the chain. I’m quite satisfied with it.

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Not sure how that is compared to their other products but this tested as the worst lubricant ZFC ever had in the lab. I believe the wear rate with this lube was actually higher than running a chain completely dry. Maybe worth doing a little reading since there are other easy lubes that may be way better

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6.25 watts vs almost 4 for the #1. 2 watts is probably within the margin of error. In any case, I’ll pay the 2+ watts.

It’s not about efficiency but about longevity and wear on the drivetrain, but rock on

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I started waxing my chain using blocks of Gulf Wax in the 1970’s. I stopped a while back… Too much effort and mess. But hey, if I can find a test on my cassette-type/chainring-type/chain-type/chainlink-type/riding-conditions combination, maybe I’ll change.

I wasn’t trying to convince you to wax, just saying there may be better drip lubes out there that are also easy to apply. ZFC does some damn thorough testing and personally if I was using something from the same brand that literally had the worst results I’d at least be curious about alternatives. Good luck

Makes you wonder why they didn’t test Clean Ride. It’s one of the most popular chain lubes.

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Maybe low expectations from the other test, or lack of demand. They’re also based in AUS so maybe different market there. I don’t think ZFC has any skin in the game so to speak to try and hype/demote stuff for no reason.

So I googled and googled, found pretty much nothing, but did find this post. Kind of like my reply, but from a guy who seems to know what he’s talking about. Bike Forums - View Single Post - Waxed Chain=More Resistance?

My comments were not about efficiency but drivetrain wear. That argument is about the inadequate? testing for efficiency values.

I have 5,000 mi on my Wipperman chain and it’s still going strong. I ride in packed dirt, sandy dirt, wet dirt, wet, sandy dirt, and course, all sizes of gravel. As for the cassette, I can’t tell how much it’s worn, but it still shifts great. A while back, after getting back into riding, I got really interested in lubes. I tried all sorts of wet lubes, including some gun lubes, and even Fluid Film. They all kind of sucked…grind city. I dug out my old mainstay, Gulf wax. Too much of a hassle. I still have a crockpot of it and few boxes sitting in the basement. Then I tried Squirt. Inconvenient because it’s water based and needs to be applied the night before. And then I tried Clean Ride. Convenient. Easy to apply. (15 seconds, at most.) Stays on through the vast majority of my rides, unless it’s a really wet one, in which case I’ll hear the birds chirping after 20 miles or so. After three ir four rides, my gravel bike is pretty dirty…and it’ll stay that way (unless the rain washes it off) until I strip it down and wash it in December.

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I’ve used Clean Ride for the past two years on my MTB and have been quite happy with it. I’m surprised it doesn’t get more attention. I even used it during a 17 hour MTB ultra endurance event that finished the last 2 hours in a muddy thunderstorm with mud so thick I had to dig it out by hand. Yet somehow my chain and shifting was flawless through the entire day and I never reapplied lube.

Not sure if that’s a testament to AXS or the Clean Ride but nonetheless the lube has never let me down. I just recently started using Rock n Roll Gold just to try something new and not really impressed. I don’t care about the chain’s longevity as I see it as I see tires, just something that needs periodic replacement. Rather performance (drivetrain loss) and quietness are my priorities.

So I did a dumb thing today, put the chain in the crock pot with MSW, and then forgot about it for several hours. When I pulled the chain out, the wax temp was at 220F so the chain was at least at that same temp.

Question is, is the wax or the chain compromised for sitting in that temp for several horus? I see that MSW says to pull the chain from the wax when the wax’s temp is 200F.


Try it, you’ll be surprised.

Has anyone applied a traditional wet lube over a waxed chain as an “emergency” lube during a very long ride?

I’m hoping to make it through a 140 mile gravel race on a freshly waxed chain, and not have to re-lube mid ride.

But what if I need to re-lube? Drip wax lubes aren’t effective unless they have time to dry - which they won’t mid ride.

I can’t see any downside of applying a traditional wet lube on a waxed chain - other than having to re clean the chain before the next waxing. Has anyone done this, and have any insights to share?

I’ve left plain wax in the crockpot on accident for a day or 2 once. It does outgas something (some smell, and some waxy condensation on the interior of the lid), so there is some decomposition occurring in the wax, but I’m not sure it’s actually a big deal. Not sure if the additives in MSW would be a problem, but it’s what, teflon powder and a molybdenum salt? My guess is they’re fine.

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I waxed my chain yesterday evening, totally forgot about it until this morning! Whoops… I think it will be okay :slight_smile:

@gcarver Now I’m second guessing myself. :frowning: I don’t really care about drivetrain efficiency or the slippery-est chain on earth. My reasons for waxing with Gulf Wax is simply that everything stays nice and clean. Having said that… I’ve been using the same 2 blocks of melted wax for nearly a year. They live in the crock-pot and get melted each time I wax/re-waxing a chain. The stuff is still clean, and hardens back to a normal white color.

… I have never removed it from the crock-pot. Does repeated melting/cooling somehow make it less effective? Honestly, I never though to empty the crock-pot when I was done waxing (as long as the wax was nice and clean),

I’m all ears… am I doing it wrong?

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[quote=“DaveQB, post:153, topic:2633, full:true”]
Take a read of this. Everything you need to know.

See page 3.

Partial quote:

“Smoove / squirt is often used for long extreme events like 24hr mtb racing or mtb stage races over top of msw as that works brilliantly, but cleaning prior to re waxing after is required to keep wax in pot clean and ensure good wax bonding to chain metal.”

Sounds like something I would do. This is precisely why I plug mine into an extra smart plug I have laying around and set the timer for 1.5 hours. That way if I space out completely it will still shut itself off.

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