Chain Waxing Tutorial

As I understand it the real benefit of hot wax chains is that the wax occupies the space between between each link. Filling this space with wax helps the chain to not load up with dirt and dust. If this is true I can’t see that dripping hot wax into each link will fully occupy each space.

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Tried the new ZFC factory grease removal method on a new chain:

From the Instructions pull down on the website.

You can find the Chain Prep concise and guide v2 on the website

10 minutes later it was clean. Hung it up to dry, grabbed a hair dryer, and 5 minutes later it was ready to wax.



Yikes, UFO Clean is pricey stuff. I think I’ll stick with simple green in the ultrasonic x3, and taking a bit more time for the chain to be done.

$30 for a bottle I bought a year ago, have cleaned 2 chains of factory grease, and twice a month minor chain cleanup of wax/gunk. And I still have a quarter to a third of the original bottle left.

Next time I remove factory grease I’ll use the same amount and clean 3 or 4 chains as per ZFC.

That’s fair. For a single chain, not so much though.

I used maybe 10% of the bottle to clean that chain yesterday. I could have used less.

I ran out of time and simply used UFO lube drip wax. After cleaning the chain I hung up the chain in the sun, washed the bike, and then 3 hours later used the blow dryer just to be sure.

The reason why I ran out of time (rant time) - after washing the bike I removed the rear tire to put on a new tubeless tire. And then I discovered the 6 day old tape job was as awful as I was telling Kevin it might be when he did it on his shoes instead of a wheel stand. Last week I was like “hey Kev, aren’t you going to use the wheel stand? I want that tape deep in the center channel to leave room for tight tubeless tire installs” and Kev blew me off and said “this isn’t my first taping rodeo.” And then “hey Kev, why so many air bubbles?” and he replies “well look here, watch me get them out with my thumbs” and I left with two wheels with enough air bubbles to make me nervous. Whatever, I’ll give it a whirl.

Back to yesterday at 4:30pm, 6 days later, and I discover the tape in 2 spots is off the shoulder and into the center channel. So I call the buckaroo at his shop, and “Bill” answers and explains Kevin has left for the day. So I had to haul ass in afternoon traffic to the place I should have gone to last week, where they actually do things right instead of bullshitting me and saying it with conviction and swagger.

Sorry I had to get that off my chest before calling Kevin and demanding something for the crappy $15/wheel tape job. The shop 11 miles away only charges $10/wheel and the tape looks perfect like it was machine rolled onto the rim.

By the way, when I removed some chain links on the new chain, the exposed chain was squeaky clean :+1:



There is some film as mentioned in the ZFC cleaning guide.

And one more with the rollers removed:


So it leaves no residue - no need to use alcohol etc? Impressive

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Yup. The instructions on Zero Friction call for 100ml of CeramicSpeed Clean drivetrain solution. It comes in a 1 Litre bottle so that’s 10% of the bottle.

After cleaning you rinse chain in hot water. Then dry.

Question for waxing veterans: I did my first wax a while back. Since then, my chain has been dropping when shifting at high powers. I never had this issue before. Bad luck or something having to do with waxing?

When this was happening to me I found out my chainring bolts were loose and tightening sorted the problem out.

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Amazing, thanks - just bought some. Works out at around £3/$3.50 to strip a new chain and you aren’t smashing loads of degreaser and spirits into the ground.

I wonder if this is actually cheaper than mineral turps regime with 3 baths etc.

1 litre of mineral turpentine in sweden is 4 euros. I need 750ml for one chain (three baths of 250ml).
= 3 euros per chain, not added the alcohol for final cleaning

1 litre of UFO is 22 euros, but only needs 100ml, then just rinse with water
= 2.2 euros per chain

I am surprised that 100ml is enough to strip the factory grease though, and that only one bath is needed! :open_mouth:

Almost sounds too good to be true.

I don’t know about the re-usability of UFO cleaner, but mineral turpentine can be reused many times after filter/decanting when factory grease gathers at the bottom of the container.


Yeah, I don’t own an alcohol distiller in order to recycle turps like ZFC does…

ZFC experimented with re-using UFO Clean:

So just for fun. I used these 100mL UFO Clean Drivetrain to clean in total
5 chains (one Shimano 11sp, 2 KMC 11sp and 2 PYC chains). These chains
comprise different factory greases. All 5 chains were cleaned without
any problems using this same 100mL solution. This means that 1L of UFO
Clean Drivetrain can clean 50 chains!
After cleaning 5 chains, the UFO Clean Drivetrain is completely black,
hence the liquid/solvent is really excellent in absorbing factory grease.

I have one jar where I put the dirty turp in. After letting it rest, I can just carefully pour it in a new jar and stop as soon as the dirty stuff comes up. This leaves me with a crystal clear liquid and lately I don’t even bother with passing it through a paper filter…


I used squirt for years and now changed to molten speed wax. It saves me so much time. I literally do no chain maintenance now other than once every 4-6 weeks turning a hot pot on or off, swishing a chain or fitting one. Cassette never needs a clean, chain never needs a wipe down. No mess on the chain stays from lube crud.

Read a few posts above saying it isn’t worth the time to wax. It’s made my life easier.


Yep, my one can of mineral turps is going on four years of use and I think six or seven new chains. Just let the gunk settle and run it through a coffee filter, back into use, discarding a very small amount each time.

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