Chain Waxing Tutorial

I wipe it down so it’s dry and reapply some squirt. For muddy chains spray, wipe and squirt.

Per ZFC both of those situations would require a ‘reset’ of the contamination, ideally the chain off the bike and full cleaning but on the bike could work too. I’d be a little less strict but at least give it a good wipe down and reapply - if it’s wet I’ll reapply after the ride as a sacrificial application to drive out the water from inside and then do the same after the next ride to build up a proper protective layer inside the chain. The more the product you’re using flakes/sheds off the more contamination it’ll take with it, squirt and the like that gum up will likely hold a lot more and a full cleaning will be more beneficial.

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would it be more beneficial then to order the silca secret chain lube as an inbetween step to maybe get a few rides before thinking about having to re-wax the chain? I am more so thinking about the amount of time that would take and if I am doing multiple training days on the bike getting new chains ready fast enough with having to already clean a bike and prep is difficult. Just trying to save some money and time lol!

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Just tried the new UFO Clean method of around 150ml for a chain, worked wonders and chain was as clean as ever.

I did around 150ml which is a bit more than what he recommends, but I wanted to make sure that it was completely covered in my jar that was quite large.

Left it overnight (lazy), and doing the waxing of the chain now as we speak :slight_smile:

Lovely to leave all the dangerous and flammable liquids behind.

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I thought the answer to this was boiling water from the kettle.

That’s what I do, although sometimes with Tru Tension Tungsten Dry insteed of SSS as it’s more affordable!

That’s the opposite of the ZFC advice, it might sound better with wet lube but will be wearing the chain more. I suppose it depends what you’re aiming for - ease and long application life vs wear on the chain and other drive parts. Here’s some stuff from ZFC for info

General advice about wet lubes in mucky conditions:

and from the Synergetic full review (it’s many pages long so these aren’t easy to find!)


Yep, with optional solvent to get it even cleaner. I think the question was about avoiding taking the chain off and rewaxing though, which makes things harder - although re-reading, they say ‘as it would become very costly’ to do this, I’m not sure how that would be the case!

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I guess expensive in quick links as they get sloppy after a few changes.

I’ve had good results with boiling water whilst on bike (articulation helps clear out the gunk), then redo with Smoove. This is my intra-wax routine, as I figure the immersion wax that’s got right into the rollers isn’t dirty, not will be washed out with a bit of hot water splashed on it. So all you’re replacing with the Smoove is the outer roller coating, which it’s really good at doing.

I think what I meant by “getting costly” would be in the purchase of both quick links and more wax as I am a multiple days a week rider in the muddy and winter conditions for training. Knowing that after each ride I have to take the chain off, put a new one on, and then proceed to rewax the old chain following a hot water wash off is difficult.

I guess my next question is, should I do it between every ride? or can I get away with letting the chain go one or two rides without rewaxing during the winter? I know that some of my rides the water is just a puddle or two that is splashed through rather than an actual rainy ride.

So far, Thank you to everyone that has responded and given some advice on my original question!!

For me I can reuse a quick link maybe 10x, that’s ‘not much’ per use . Similarly, the wax used by an extra dunk is minimal so I’m not seeing massive expense there. IMO/E it’s not as hard as a lot of people make it, wipe the chain if it gets wet and re-apply drip wax or swap chain when it sounds rattly. Clean ‘every so often’. Job done!


the TLDR for wet rides with waxed is “cleaning with boiling water and re-waxing saves on drive train wear in the long run.”

So the question for each of us is the cost of convenience of just dripping more squirt/super secret or popping the link, cleaning in boiling water and re-wax? If you’re running a top of the line MTB drive train, then that decision is a lot harder. I run Shimano, but use YBN chains, so I’m not as concerned about wearing out chains, but a worn out chain wears out the rest of the bits that much faster.

Time is money, so do your calculations and make the call that works for your time and money budgets.

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I still think kettle on chain whilst on bike and Smoove is the happy medium in winter. Then every 4-5 do a full strip.

same here for initial factory degreasing, and it is both fast and easy :+1:


Uh…yes…‘several’ uses…‘several’ is a dynamic timeframe right?

So when it doesn’t ‘click’ into place, is the good time to swap? I may still be using the same ones I got with each chain. I do notice at times it’s easier to ‘click’ into place with my hands oppose to doing the rear-brake method. Maybe to do with the wax?..

To be fair I do carry a spare on me in both saddle bags, but might be a good time to swap.

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That’s the que I use. After a while you can tell when you’re on the last use.

Yeah, several is a very precise number greater than one, less than a lot. :thinking:

Honestly, I don’t track how long they last. I have multiple chains in rotation for each bike, and all the quick links wind up in a jumble at wax time. When I put a chain on a bike and the quick link doesn’t click, or otherwise seems “off,” I toss it and grab another. I buy them in quantity (I think 10 on a card) and when I run low, buy another batch. It’s years between batch buys.

The only affect I’ve seen from the wax is when there’s too much on the plate of the link, keeping the pin from going all the way through the opposite plate. Scrape it off, and good to go.



I was starting the cleaning of the chain too late in the evening, realised that the wax wasn’t going to melt before bedtime haha, so I left the chain in the UFO Clean overnight.

Was a bit worried about it since overnight is a pretty big jump from the 5-10min that ZFC recommends.

Email CeramicSpeed and got this answer in case anyone wants to leave the chain overnight or whatnot.

Totally safe! :+1:

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Here is an update to my issue. Started using regular lube on a new XT chain and still had this problem.

Turns out I think I got a counterfeit chain…I couldnt find XT chains in stock anywhere so I got one off what I thought was a US retailer in portland. Looked identical, same markings but not compatible with HG+. Got a legitimate XT chain now and problem is gone.


Am I mad, or is that a link out? i.e. the narrow tooth is meant to be in the narrow gap, wide in the wide?

Random photo of narrow wide to compare to - I can’t quite tell from the angle!

It wont go on the ring one link out.

Counterfeit chain sounds like a good theory then. I’ve seen similar with a higher speed chain on a thicker ring (11 speed chain on 8 speed ring or something) but as they’re both 12s in theory that shouldn’t happen.