Squirt Wax Boogers Are Killing Me...What's Next?

Edit…After reading all the responses and talking to friends I’ve decided to switch to Silca hot wax with SSS drip on wax as a supplement when needed. Thanks for all of the input. I’ll take wax flakes any day over what I’ve got now.

Backstory…For the past 20+ years I’ve used Rock-n-Roll Gold. Worked fine as a lube but downside was that everything that touched the drivetrain got filthy (gloves, hands, clothes, etc.) and it always sounded like grit was in the chain. Decided to switch to drip wax, but had not decided on a brand. Pulled the chain on my gravel bike, mountain bike and road bike. Used Silca chain stripper as directed and cleaned every ounce of dirt and grease from the whole drivetrain. I went with Squirt based on reviews and I had plenty of it around from swag bags. It’s been about 6 months since I started using Squirt and I’m happy with the lubricant side of things but I can’t do it anymore with the black wax boogers. The jockey wheels on my der. are completely clogged with giant gobs of wax after one long gravel ride. I always apply as directed but it’s plain to see that liquid wax is coating the jockey wheels and chain ring as it coats the chain. My drivetrain actually looks dirtier now than it ever did with Rock-n-Roll Gold. In order to fully clean the wax boogers I have to pull the chain and the jockey wheels off and wipe them down. I want to be clear that it’s not old chain lube residue as I can rub my hands together and the black goes away.

If I switch to Silca Secret Chain Lube will I have this same problem? Do I need to switch to hot waxing to fully solve this problem? My buddy uses Silca hot wax and his drivetrain looks new all the time, but I’m wondering if I can just change lubes.

I’ve used the Silca to top off a dipped chain to prolong dipping intervals. I’m sure if the drip was warm it would work fine. It’s $25 or so to find out. You could clean your jockey wheels, also. Let the Silca drip dry overnight for best results. OR, just start hot dipping, I’ve had some flaking, but I do clean my stuff regularly.


Hot wax will almost totally eliminate the problem. SSS and UFO are probably the next cleanest, but you may want to use Tru Tension for a middle ground of durability (especially in the wet) and cleanliness. SSS is probably the best all round drip wax out there at the moment, but any of the above will be a step up from Squirt.

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I find that hot wax will leave very little “snot” on the jockey wheels. When I use drip wax to extend the wax cycle, I get a lot of residue on my drive train.
Hot wax is your best bet.
Fyi: I use Silca products these days.

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With drip wax it is important to let it set completely before you ride though you can easily scrape of the residue but as others mentioned emersion was will always be cleaner

I wonder what Squirt would recommend for gravel riding? I lived in dusty NM when I was riding lots of gravel and I didn’t go wax because I thought maintenance would be a nightmare. I’d have to hose my bike down after almost every ride, quick clean the chain then reapply Rock N Roll.

I use Smoove now, which is similar to Squirt. It has been fantastic on my road bike and my chains and cassettes seem to last 5x longer now. I also put Smoove on my gravel bike but I don’t ride it nearly as much now and I no longer have the dusty conditions.

I just ignore any wax buildup. It doesn’t cause friction. And, honestly, it doesn’t seem that bad with Smoove.

Smoove’s recommended cleaning regime is to spray the drivetrain and scrub down with their biodegradable cleaner. I’ve tried it with a generic citrus degreaser and got good results. I’ve never tried Smoove’s own product.

Having tried several, I’d put these in order from most-gunky to least-gunky as Squirt>Smoove>Silca SS>hot wax. Squirt causes noticeably more buildup than Silca Super Secret (my current fave drip option.) I’d clean your drivetrain (remove chain and clean it with boiling water, scrub cassette) then try Super Secret if you don’t want to go to hot wax.

Since I switched to Molten Speed Wax I forgot about all these problems.

Its so much easier and less maintenance.

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Mariposa flower power is another excellent drip, faster and cleaner than most, cheaper than pretty much anything else.

But yeah if you ride it before it’s dried you’ll get was on your jockeys. Just wipe them with a rag.

I used Squirt for years and just recently switched to Silca hot waxing and supplementing with drip on Silca wax. I have found it to be much cleaner and less gunky than Squirt. Instead of forming a ton of gunkiness on the jockey wheels it just flakes off which I prefer. I have my trainer in the garage and just use a leaf blower to blow all of the wax flakes out.

I’ve been a Gold loyalist my whole riding career. I’ve never experienced a chain that wouldn’t leave a mark. I don’t touch the chain without that in mind. I don’t know that any other solution could be much better than Gold, but I’m not going to start waxing my chain anytime soon, so I guess I’ll never know.

I use Absolute Gold on my race bikes and my chain stays as clean as any other lube I’ve ever used including hot wax and squirt.

When using Absolute, have you wiped it down after application until the chain is virtually dry and not leaving a mark on a clean rag. That’s where you’re supposed to get to. I never manage totally get to that point but after a wipe down I barely get any mark on my finger if I touch it. Definitely not messy against clothes or anything randomly brushing against it.

So far as wax, did I hear that even a hot wax silca application with strip chip only lasts ~400km? That’s probably 4-5 rides max for me. I have done hot wax before as the starting application for a new chain but then usually top up with squirt or another drip wax after that. Just seems inevitable every now and then that jockey wheels and chainrings will need a scrape with a screwdriver to get the odd globules of old was and muck off. Its still about as clean as it gets, dry to the touch generally and doesn’t wipe off on clothes unless I deliberately squeeze one of the blobs of wax/dirt between my fingers when I’m scraping the excess off

I only use hot wax on my mtb, never drip wax. This means I rewax more often but this way I don’t risk incomplete application of drip wax. Hot wax gets into all the places I need it to get into. Also, this way I have no funny wax creatures in the drivetrain.

Yep, thankfully I can barely remember squirt wax mess. Thought it was good at the time, but it’s just not.

Something so satisfying popping a fresh wax chain on, glistens so clean. Whisper quiet. then forget about chain for 3 weeks.

3 weeks? Is that supposed to be a long time? :rofl:

Yes. IME for wax that’s definitely pushing it, even if you’re riding once a week!

…but if you’re suggesting anything else will be able to run for more than 3 weeks regular riding without getting filthy and/or massively accelerating wear, you might be onto the next breakthrough chain treatment so let us all know what it is :slightly_smiling_face:

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I mean, do you believe the average person riding a bicycle is extensively cleaning and lubing their chain more frequently than that? People who wax chains may think getting 3 weeks between cleaning is impressive, but I doubt many people are that worried about those 2 watts and they ride the same chain for thousands of miles without “massively accelerated wear”. Sure, the few of us on here care about that stuff, but we’re a minuscule minority.


I fell for the Silca Dura Ace pre-waxed chain sale for the 4th, and was surprised that the bag has what looks like ashes in it. The images on their website seem to show a cleaner chain bag, no ‘ash’ around, so is it just excess ‘treatment’? I guess I’d assume that, but why is there so much of it? It’s probably normal, but it was a little surprising.

Waiting for a new cassette to put the chain on. I’ve thought about going waxed for a couple years, even bought the bog-o-wax from them, and their secret goo for dripping on chains, so hoping for the best. (Why are chain rings so expensive?)

Tangent: How many chains to cassette to chain ring?

Who’s ‘the average person riding a bicycle’? If I take that at face value, it’s the person who rides a bike just to get to work…in which case they ride the chain that’s fitted to the bike, with whatever lube is on it (99% of the time the factory grease), then next time they take their bike in for a service they’re told the whole drive train is worn out and will need replacing. Not massively relevant to anyone on this forum.

If you mean the average person reading this, I would assume they clean/lube their chain weekly. If there’s anyone on here riding their chain for thousands of miles without cleaning or lubing it, I’d be very surprised.

It seems like either way we don’t have a better way than waxing for those that care about cleanliness/wear…

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3 chains to a cassette and 5-6 to a chainring are usual figures, assuming you’re changing the chain at 0.5%