September 13, 2020
Ever wonder how pro racers get those completely spotless drivetrains? Besides elbow grease on the part of the mechanics, one answer is waxed chains. Waxing can help give you the cleanest, quietest chain possible. If you're frustrated with the way that traditional lubes attract dirt and grit, turning your drivetrain into a gunky mess, it may be time to take a look at waxing instead.
Waxing comes with some key benefits:
When it does eventually wear off, simply remove, clean, and wax again. Hot wax lasts a few hundred miles between waxings.
Chain waxing has come a long way since riders used to destroy the household crockpot in pursuit of quieter chains! You may have heard some horror stories, but waxing today is easier and more convenient than ever thanks to "boil in the bag" products that eliminate the mess and complexity. Let's take a look:
You can get started waxing your chains pretty inexpensively - definitely under $100 for everything you'll need. I recommend the following gear:
It's very convenient to have two chains - one on the bike, one in the wax process. That way you never have downtime waiting for the chain to dry. Just swap your clean chain onto the bike and go, clean and wax the second chain at a convenient time.
The Silca Hot Wax bag can be used many times, so don't discard the bag when you are done. Let the pellets cool down and solidify and then store the bag for future use. Unlike one-time "disposable" wax, we can use the Silca bag again and again, so you must never contaminate it. Never put a dirty chain in the wax.
It's convenient to do your entire fleet of bicycles all at once so you only have to heat up the wax once.
* If you're planning to repeatedly install and remove chains, make sure you are using a chain with master links, connecting links, chain pins etc. that are specifically designed to be re-used repeatedly, like KMC's re-usable master links. Broken chains are no fun.
Are you a chain waxing convert? Send me a message @RideCX on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and let me know which tools are working well for you on your quest for the cleanest, quietest chain.
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