Chain Waxing Tutorial

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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Yep, and if your goal is only to strip the initial grease you don’t even need perfectly clean mineral spirits. I personally prefer not to introduce water, but you could rinse with water like the UFO instructions after the last wash as well and then wax as usual. The really dirty mineral spirits I use to soak cassettes/cartridge bearings etc. None of it ever gets wasted. I’ve had a gallon for like 5 years and a quart of denatured alcohol


Amen - think of the fact you now never need to degrease anything again. How long did it take to do a full degrease of your chain, then do the chainrings/cassette/RD pulley wheels, clean you whole bike etc? Easily an hour or two per week.

Now it’s like 2mins of physical effort per week for 4x chains. Absolutely no comparison and my bike is always clean. So much better.


A few spritzes of UFO Clean on the bike chain to clean it (with brushes), and a bike washing after riding thru puddles. Fan to help the chain dry faster before UFO Lube drip application.


So I just found a good deal on the new Ultegra Di2 12sp, which means now I need to start buying new chains, Quicklinks etc.

Any recommendations for what to get? Felt like it was easier with 11sp when it came to Quicklinks and whatnot?

Shimano chains are the OEM preferred and shift as one would expect, but I’ve had no issues with the YBN chains and KMC quick links, from both a performance and availability standpoint.

I’ve jumped into the waxing world since boxing day, 2 chains done, 2 more to do!

Two quick questions

  1. How do I know when to rewax? I’ve added the new chain into Strava, which will track the km, but when I rotate the chain I can’t see how to add the rotated one and just track kms on that one.

  2. anyone got recommended UK shops for 12 speed quick links please?



TLDR about 300-500 miles / 400-800 km depending on conditions. Gravel and MTB chains tend to be less time between rinse & dunk. If it starts to make noise give it a squirt/silca super secret drip to get you through the day’s ride.

When things start to get noisy i will apply squirt/slica super secret. those do build up a bit on the side plates, so I use that as my que to do a boiling water rinse or throw it in the ultrasonic with water only at 60c. Fully dry and then blow each roller with compressed air to make sure I’ve gotten all the water out before giving it a dunk.

Varies by type of riding, so hard to say in terms of hours or miles. You’ll generally know by the sound.

Keep in mind that youu can get multiple uses out of a quick link.

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I’ve been using speed wax for 3 or 4 years now. It works great for road applications…I get 2-300 miles between waxings. But for MTB, I have switched back to standard lube. I was getting freshly waxed chains sounding horrible within the first 20 miles. My old mtb had SRAM Eagle which wasnt as bad as my new Shimano XT 12 spd… for some reason with wax, after 20 miles the chain starts sticking to the chainring and it feels like the rear der is out of adjustment…with standard lubes I dont feel it.

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Interesting. I run wax on my MTB with XT 12 spd. and go about 200 miles before swapping chains. It has always been quiet and shifts great even when I exceed the 200 miles. This is in totally dry, rocky conditions. The bike will get dusty but the chain doesn’t seem to collect much dust and what dust it does collect doesn’t seem to matter. I currently have 1000 miles on each of my 4 chains and they are all below .5% stretch.

Are you using shimano chains? At first I was using KNC and thought it might be the chain but then I bought a new chainring, cassette, and XT chain and it still did it.

Hot Take: Using a waxed chain on your turbo is cheating as it makes it easier.


Almost sounds like there’s too much wax remaining on the body of the chain and building up on the chainring?

Presumably because it’s narrow wide and the road bike isn’t?

Do you wipe down the chain once you’ve worked the wax into the rollers?

It is narrow wide and it sticks on the narrow tooth.

Like chain suck? It sounds like a too much wax issue.

I don’t mean to teach you to suck eggs at all. You’ve been chain waxing a long time and I’m sure have a good handle on it!

It does feel like chainsuck. I have been waxing chains the same way…it doesnt appear there is too much wax…and with Eagle it was a non issue.

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I thought that was debatable and an almost certain no for 12 speed quick links?

Can’t speak to road use since I’m still running 11 spd. but I get several uses out of them on my 12 spd. XT setup on the MTB. Official company line one time use but I see a lot of others reusing them without a problem. I gauge how tight they are when installing. When they start to loosen up I pitch them. Still waiting for Wipperman to come out with their 12 spd. Connex Link. I use their 11 spd. and love it since it basically unlimited reuse.

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