Having read a few but not all of the above…the factory lube is pretty good, so run the chain. Once that lube has worn off your chain will have “stretched” a little so the wax should happily gently ooze into the little crevices.
@JulesC That is stressed in the PDF from friction facts. The factory grade is terrible and shouldn’t be used even if using drip lube. The factory grease tends to grab into all sorts of debris and stick it to the chain.
Yes it will loosen up the chain but it will permanently increase the friction.
I’ve heard the opposite pretty much everywhere, and it was apparently even mentioned by someone from
Shimano that the factory stuff should be left on as a “break in” lube
If the factory grease were so good, we would use it to lube the chain after the factory coating wore off. Right?
The comments of use the factory grease until it wears off are in the context of most people using drip lubes. They aren’t talking about doing that when waxing.
When you use drip lube, the chain wears out much faster than with wax. As explained by FF, most good chains have a surface treatment for better hardness and lower friction. Key word there is surface. Once you wear away that surface, you get higher friction and significantly faster wear. A big advantage of waxing is greatly improved time before you wear away that surface layer, thus longer chain life.
But even when using drip lube, I absolutely hate the factory grease and strip it immediately.
I’ve never found a reason to wax, seeing as my original Ultegra chain (which ran the factory lube) lasted 10k miles before hitting .5%, and the DA that replaced it (where I stripped factory lube) is coming up to 5k and just showing .5% in a few spots but mostly not there. Maybe has nothing to do with the factory lube, but my experience. I’m in the “waxing is more trouble than it’s worth” camp and just use Rock n Roll gold. Even DA chains aren’t expensive enough to really hamper my riding, and I wonder how much you have to spend on waxing gear and time it takes, if that’s really worth having that $50 chain last a few more months
To each their own. Whatever works for you is best.
For me, Its been a fun thing to go through and try waxing. Been able to learn a lot more about my bike due to having to maintain it a bit more thoroughly. But I would hardly say that waxing is a necessity.
In terms of overall costs, its been very small in practice. I bought a small hob, a double boiler, and a few glass jars along with the mineral spirits and alcohol. In total, roughly 70 pounds for the final setup, 90 if you count my crock pot that I don’t use but does have wax in it. However, I haven’t had to change my waxed chains in over 2 years that I’ve been waxing and the tolerances are exactly what they were when I first waxed them.
If anyone is really debating about waxing, take a really honest look at what you are willing to work on with respect for your bike and your specific needs. If you hate doing any maintenance, just don’t wax. Its not worth it. If you rarely ride, waxing isn’t needed. If the weather you ride in is bad, don’t wax cause you will need to re-wax the chain after every wet ride to be cautious about rusting.
That said, I would say that if you are an indoor cyclist, waxing should be seriously considered. The wax means no grease everywhere which is a huge plus if you cycle indoors. Also, the wax lasts a VERY long time. I’ve found that with a Neo, you can get about 3-4 weeks out of a chain before a re-waxing is needed. It takes only 1 time having to remove bike chain grease from your living room in various spots over a day that you realize how great a waxed chain is.
I don’t wanna be the guy but…sometimes I wish everyone would RTFM
I just want to clarify that the INITIAL prepping and stripping of the chain of existing/factory lube is indeed an involved process, and if not done properly will lead to poor results from waxing. But this is a ONE-OFF - maintaining a waxed chain is pretty simple and easy.
Oh for me? Def.
For others? Not so sure. I’ve met too many cyclists that believe that if it doesn’t comes out of a WD-40 can, it’s too much effort.