Chain Waxing Tutorial

I live in Texas. When it rains you don’t ride because in 4” per hour down pours you can’t see anything but lightning.
When it’s wet or dry I get about 200 miles before I hear noise. I usually drip wax it at about 100 to 150 , And every 100 miles there after. I replace it with a freshly wax chain the first of every month (500 miles) along with charging the batteries in my bike.

Edit: I let my chains cool for maybe 3 to 5 min in the hot wax with the pot turned off. They then are placed in a plastic food storage container so I can take them out side to dry over a copper pipe. Soon as they cool and dry I run them back and forth over the pipe to break the stiffness before going in the baggie labeled clean.

1 Like

Dry here in the summer. 2 years of CeramicSpeed UFO Drip waxing. Around 150-180 miles I wash bike and clean chain with UFO Drivetrain Clean, then reapply wax. Sometimes I skip the wash and use Silca wipes to clean chain before reapplying. Chain is noise free for about 150-180 miles. No break in period. I’m going to hot wax a few more chains but UFO Clean and Drip have been really easy to use and really happy with longevity. Pedro’s sram approved checker, just checked new sram force flattop chain to 6000 mile chain and almost no difference. Just finished my first bottle of UFO Drip - it lasted a little over 2 years.

1 Like

Lazy but good enough - wipe dry and apply wax drip.

Best, - remove, reset and rewax


One of the reasons I hot wax is for parts longevity. I wax every 150 miles and have never heard a bit of noise. I don’t want to. I don’t really understand waiting until you hear noise. That noise is obviously a lot of friction, which is wearing your chain. It’s too easy to swap chains every 150 miles. I have 5 in rotation. It’s so easy.

Adam from ZFC says that (for some waxes) the chain will get noisy, but remain smooth and low friction… But he (and likely you, and definitely me!) says it’s better to change the chain early rather than push the treatment life just to see how long you can get. I know I’ve personally changed a chain after less than 50k as I ended up getting the bike muddy so needed to wash it, and it was easier to take the chain off than do anything else :+1:

1 Like

I change about every 180 miles. That’s about 3 weeks a chain for me. I have multiple chains in rotation. Zero noise.

For most of the year, 150-180 miles is closer to once a week.

I’m still dumbfounded that my 6000 mile chain has no real wear. UFO Clean and Drip wax.


I swap my waxed chain on my trainer bike every 300 miles. Can tell it needs doing as I get the odd squeek here and there

What does everyone really do when riding through rain or mud in the winter? After the ride, I’m supposed to rinse the chain, dry it, and re-wax it. That sounds nice, but hard for me to do in reality even if I’m rotating 3 chains. I don’t want to wax every weekend. My current alternative is to dry the chain and put on silca drip wax and ride until it’s my usual time to wax.

Either of those things tbh.

Yesterday I’d done 90k on a newly fitted chain, but it was a wet grimy day so the chain looked bad. I just took it off and replaced it, it’s on the swisher now having been cleaned and waiting for the next time I turn the wax pot on. There’s a point where you’ll get increased wear, and I’m not that interested in finding it so I’ll switch early and often.

I got 5,400miles out of my last chain on my good bike with Banana Slip Drip wax I didnt measure it but I think I changed it prematurely as there was no slip on the cassette. Prompted by this I actually measured the winter/ commuter bike chain with the Park tool. The chain has been through a few deep floods and subjected to gritty roads and its still not worn but its only done 2,700 miles. Prior to drip wax, I’d get around 1,000-1,500miles before wear, and chains at 5,000miles would need a new cassette!

1 Like

If the chain has truly gotten rain soaked, I swap it out with a freshly waxed chain. If it only got a bit wet, I don’t really worry about it since I swap chains every 150 miles regardless.

1 Like

Turns out shimano chains rusting with SSS is not unusual.
(Start at 28:10)

You guys are right. I am going back to hot water rinse before waxing. I will keep a bottle of IPA handy (not the beer, those never last a long time sitting around) in case I am too cooked after a wet ride. I’ll just put it in the bottle and come back later when I am ready to wax.
Immersion waxing is all shimano chains well get for lubing.

However, he did say it was only the 8100 (ultegra level) chain that had the issue. The 9100 didn’t have the same issue due to a different factory treatment.

1 Like

I think ZFC said wax does not stick as well to 9100 chains due to the same treatment

An update…


Versus UFO Drip wax, fingers are clean grabbing the chain after a quick swipe with rag. No noise. Wow. Ordered 2 more chains, will have 5 in rotation.

1 Like

I was going by his latest video from today that I watched while on the trainer this morning. He said he doesn’t see the rusting issue on the 9100 chain. He said the treatment of the outer plates was different between the 2. Maybe he’s said something else in the past?

This is how I understood his latest video as well…

The M8100 uses a different material on the outer links vs the inners, while the M9100 uses the same material on both inner and outer.

1 Like

I was reading through Zero Friction and was wondering- does ZF clean the wet lubed chains during the comparison testing? I noticed they ran Rex Black Diamond drip and said the wear would be less significant towards the end if the chain was cleaned between blocks? So what I’m saying is, is it possible the wear on lubed chains vs hot dip would be less if cleaned? And I understand the main benefit of hot dipping is no real cleaning. This is the drip btw.

No cleaning on any test. Definitely favours immersive lube when you think about it!