Silca Super Secret Chain Lube

You’d be surprised how tough it is to thoroughly clean a used chain properly.

As I thought, the wax seems to perform better on my gravel bike. I’m only one ride in of 40 miles, but I did not hear the same kind of creaking noise from my gravel bike drivetrain and my MTB.

Will report back more as I get more rides under my belt.

So far, my assessment of hot waxing is that it’s nice - clean drivetrain, silent - but not a “wow” experience on longevity of a single application (at least on my MTB, maybe gravel will end up different).

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Being able to drip on more wax is awesome for sure. I just expected longer intervals but I’m using a used chain so I’m sure it’s not 100% clean. I also saw that ZFC was doing 1000km intervals for their wear test, but I believe they are reapplying more frequently than that.

I’ve also heard of issues waxing newer SRAM chains due to tight tolerances, and my experience with engines and firearms would confirm that using thicker lubricants for tighter tolerances results in jams (even when you have a slide/bolt carrier moving with much more speed/force than a chain) so I would imagine a thicker wax with tighter tolerances could even lead to shifting issues

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I have their full line of stuff. I have the hot wax, the drip wax, and synergetic. My plan is hot wax on the trainer bike, gravel bike, and road bike. MTB will be synergetic. The drip is just lazy/emergency top-off, from being lazy.

Anyhow, synergetic has performed well on the MTB so far. The same for the trainer bike, but no cleaning on the trainer, just applied it. I do have a new drivetrain (cassette, chain, rear derailleur replacement) for the trainer bike so I will hot wax, but haven’t done it yet as the chain is soaking and I need to find the time to strip the frame to do a full clean (nasty gunk from sweat especially on the front derailleur) and cable and housing replacement, etc… I just need to find the time since it’s more than just a quickie and I need to put on a rear wheel. I think it will work exceptionally well there, but synergetic has been really impressive on it so far in terms of apply and forget.

No squeaks/noise after 2 weeks on the trainer bike with synergetic. That’s about 450mi (drivetrain speed) and ~26hr, and that’s without cleaning the chain at all. The MTB, totally stripped down, and solvent cleaned the entire drive train, and then synergetic applied, very smooth and quiet. Synergetic is very impressive, totally worth the $ from the laziness point of view.

I’m wondering if I should put synergetic on the jockey wheels now. I normally use tri-flow there, and all the hinges on the rear and front derailleurs.

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I get this after a new application of SSCL, which makes me think I didn’t clean the chain well (judging by color). My buddy said this shedding is normal and would blow away outside but Isn’t doing that in a hotter room next to a hot trainer with no airflow over the bike

I use hot wax or Silca. I alternate chains, one in a bag that has been cleaned and prepped. When the other needs to be cleaned, I mount the clean chain and then clean and prep the dirty chain. That then goes into the bag for the next use.

yes I get this too indoor with any kind of wax. Clean chain or not.

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I was more concerned about the color being an indicator of a non-sterile chain

Dave - I’ve found waxing great for long events on the XC bike (eg Leadville), but for day to day riding and training on the XC bike I found it wasn’t worth the hassle. For my weekend XC rides, I just apply RocknRoll Gold. A quick wipedown of the chain after riding and then another application keeps things running well. I think you mentioned you liked the Synergetic, which may be another good option for day to day riding.

I have used wax on new Eagle XX1 chains on a number of occasions and never had any sort of creaking noise. Could it be something else you are hearing on the bike now that the chain is quieter? I’ve had so many creaky bottom brackets over the years I’ve lost count. Last year my brand new Super Caliber had a creak all season long that slowly got worse. Luckily replacing the bottom bracket during the off season fixed it.

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yes I meant that I also get the darker color no matter (seemingly) how clean the chain is

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Good to know! Thank you for clarifying

I was more concerned about the color being an indicator of a non-sterile chain

Silca’s friction modifier is tungsten disulfide, which is black dust in its pure form. I’m pretty sure the WS2 makes the wax flakes black. In any case, I definitely get the same flakes on my trainer. On the road, they naturally just flake off into the environment.

I guess I’ve been using this for a month now. Did an initial dip treatment but seemed kind of wasteful because wax packed into all the hollow pins, and other spots where it wasn’t needed. I then did the dripper tipoff about once a week after. Seems like with each treatment the next one lasted longer/stayed quieter. The wax flakes are black but as someone mentioned that’s the friction modifier

Just double boiled the chain to get the old stuff off, be careful because the tungsten disulfide floats to the top when boiling and then as bubbles pop in the water it shoots black drops around the pot. Also, best to have a dedicated pot, this stuff was tough to scrub off the sides of the pot and caked the scrubber

To try and waste less and experiment I boiled and shook the chain up in denatured alcohol, air dried, and this time just did the dripper method on a blank chain, so will be interesting to see how it compares over the next month to the immersion

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Paraffin shouldn’t need boiling. I think Silca said up to 180F, below 200F. Could use a plastic container and pour boiling water on it?

Silca did say the tungsten disulfide will even “stain” plastic as it finds all the small nooks/gaps.

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I use straight paraffin, and get dark flakes from my indoor only bike. This happens even with cleaning the chain with boiling water between waxes. I’m pretty confident the chain is quite clean, as the wax in the crockpot stays very clean even after multiple waxings. When I previously wasn’t cleaning the chain before re-waxing, it would get quite dirty.
I suspect that some of this discoloration in the wax is the metal wearing - I get good chain life, but there is some wear still, and I don’t know how much there would need to be to discolor the wax.

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The ZFC review on Silca Hot Melt is up. All 50 pages of it :nerd_face:

Best lube tested to date.

“Back to Hot Melt – to reach the end of the ZFC 6000km torture test with only 27.4% total wear, again I can only state that this is an absolutely astounding result.”

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And synergetic looks really good on the wet side. Silca has really impressed me. Doesn’t seem like a whole lot of BS, pricey but it does work.

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I wish the graphs compared it to plain paraffin wax, I’ll have to see if other reports have that.

Worth reading through the articles on the website. Adam is not a fan of homemade wax treatments as he believes the commercially available blends are better.

Somewhere in the pages and pages of reviews I think he mentions a comparison of how paraffin wax performs… but it’s a lot of reading to find it.

“And please, please – do not use / follow the advice of the many you tube channels re DIY waxing. Again the cheap waxes / candles are slow, gunky, and help give immersive waxing a bad name.”

Interesting, I will need to read more there. What I find interesting is that these commercial waxes are still paraffin + additives, and if I recall correctly plain paraffin did fairly well on the friction facts tests.
In practice for me, plain paraffin seems to work pretty well. If you are melting down random candles (ie some random wax-like substance) I can imagine that results will be all over the place.
I’m not willing to pay $80 for 500g of paraffin with a few additives, but I am willing/interested to see if adding a few additives to paraffin is worthwhile. I don’t doubt that the right mix of additives likely can provide significant improvements, I’m just not willing to pay those prices. Maybe if I was racing time trials and a few watts would likely make a difference in my placings, but that’s not where I’m at.