Waxed Chains: Your Beautiful Floors & The Black Crud

I’m about to switch back from a waxed/Squirt’d chain on my road set up and over to Rock’n’Rold Gold/Blue depending on the conditions for one reason (and one only) - the black crud - those little black balls of wax. They don’t quite vacuum up and they’re a pain to pick up individually, if they smear into your floors, well, it comes out, but not without some elbow grease. They’re especially fun to pick out of your dog’s coat.

So I’m kind of curious, since I know a lot of people out here are on waxed chains and ride a lot indoor - what’s your solution for these black gremlins?

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A clean chain! Completely stripping the chain of any oil is essential for wax to work properly.

But if you still get black balls, keeping the trainer on a trainer mat and wiping them up with some baby wipes works good.

I use a ultrasonic cleaner with a bath of mineral spirits heated to 60C, so I’m pretty sure I’m stripping everything and anything that could be on the chain…

You need to do the mineral spirit soak. The ultrasonic cleaner is great for cleaning a degreased chain, but you won’t clean everything on the inside of the chain using that.

Yeh, I disagree. I’m pretty sure my cleaning procedure is ok. I know lots of other people have this problem with waxed based lubes and waxed chains generally - I’m wondering if there’s an easy way to prevent the black stuff from flying off the chain (or at least minimizing it significantly). Otherwise - I just don’t see a reason to run a waxed chain (in my case) given this particular inconvenience.

I get bits of wax come off my chains but they all easily hoover up and they aren’t black. Grey maybe? Aside from possibly being faster my wife now won’t let us go back to oiled chains because they are so much cleaner to deal with than oiled chains.

When the chain is newley waxed there is some excess falling off but after a ride it shouldnt fall of anymore.

Sorry, I missed that you use mineral spirits in the ultrasonic cleaner. I guess your method should get a clean enough result, unless the agitation from shaking the jar is needed to penetrate the rollers.

Have you tried anything else than squirt? I have hade more luck with parrafin wax/oil baths, and just using squirt for occasional re-applying.

Just use an old dust sheet, duvet cover or blanket under the trainer, catches all your detritus including sweat. Then shake it outside when finished.

Try wiping off more of the wax right out of the pot, before it dries. I pull the chain over a dowel once on each side and then wipe the outside of the links lightly with a towel before hanging it to cool.

I agree - this is a wax problem, not a cleaning problem.

If you do your first ride on a freshly cleaned and waxed chain using Molten Speed Wax on an indoor trainer you will invariably have those little pieces of wax falling all over your floor.

The vast majority of these will come off during the first ride so I will try to do that first ride outdoors but this isn’t always possible. When that isn’t possible I just put a towel down below, behind, in front of, next to, the chain area to catch as many of them as I can.

I only really bother to do this on that first ride and find it deals with it fairly well. That said - my trainer is covered in them and it is kind of gross, but I’m arbitrarily OCD and thus don’t get mixed up about the cleanliness

Perhaps what’s needed here is a Bespoke Wax Ball Collector? :wink:

The bike on this trainer is just a mule that never goes outdoors, so the wax balls are “clean”; just don’t want them being tramped round the house…

Used to have a piece of cardboard to catch the waxy crud, but it wasn’t a great look, so ordered me up a Wax Ball Collector.

Here’s some snaps of the Tacx Neo bespoke variant, in plan and in-situ:


Easy to wipe the wax balls off the catcher, every couple of weeks or so, after lubing the chain. :grin:

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Lol. I just switched to Rock’n’Roll for the bike that usually goes on the trainer… but to each, your own.

Switch to straight paraffin instead of msw and get white balls instead