The description reads: Maxima Chain Wax is a superior power spray lubricant designed for all chain care needs. It should be pretty obvious that rubbing solid wax onto the outside of the chain isn’t going to get it inside of the chain where it’s actually needed. When you see this happening, just take a pokey tool, such as a small flat-blade screwdriver or old spoke, and scrape it away. A rice cooker will blast in heat which will break down the paraffin’s long chain molecules damaging its lubricity. I live in a very hot region. You dip the chain into the melted wax. How do I know when my chain is due for re-treatment? In Zero Friction Cycling’s tests – and in Friction Facts’ original tests, prior to the CeramicSpeed buyout – the overall best performer is Molten Speed Wax, a modern-day version of the paraffin-wax treatment favored by riders decades ago. Squirt lube is for riders who want a long lasting lube that does not create a mess like other wax-based alternatives. However, you will find some answers related to drip-on wax lubes, too. He effectively torture-tests chain lubes, with the measurable outcome being chain wear. “They carry about 10% actual lubrication.”. All chains can be waxed, but some are certainly better than others. And it’s non-toxic and biodegradable too.”. There are some wax products marketed for cycling which are awfully similar to what’s sold in the ski industry, however Smith’s testing points out that the required properties of a chain wax are vastly different to that of a ski wax. With a quick link. Ceramic Wax Lube has even been use by one of Finish Line's WorldTour teams in dry weather races of 120 miles. How do I best remove and connect a chain for waxing? Yes, this is normal for most immersive wax products. Can I add lube over the top of my wax? “[Dry lubes] can be an accelerant to wear compared to a bare chain. A dry lube is applied as a liquid, before drying out to the leave the chain covered in the lubricating e… Yep, the same friction that’s costing you those precious watts. Additionally, this cleanliness means you won’t need to degrease your drivetrain in future. It’s a technique that may help but will have a limited impact. “Just because it says hot melt wax doesn’t necessarily mean it’s super-fast,” says Smith. Yet as contamination levels increase, I agree with Adam that friction and wear will become more correlated.”. Once the wax has become liquid use the looped coat hanger to swish your chain within the wax. “The simplest wax recipe, and still relatively fast, is a basic single-ingredient recipe-food-grade canning paraffin, such as Gulf Wax,” reveals Smith. This article mainly focuses on submersion or melt-on waxing, and where you see “chain wax” referenced, it’s related to the type that must be melted into the chain. In Australia, Woolworths sells these under the Adesso brand name for just AU$16 (approx US$10). “Candles are made with cheap paraffin and commonly contain a high mineral oil content of typically around 7%,” says Adam Kerin of Zero Friction Cycling. $17.99. Like the wax products themselves, not all pre-waxed chains are equal. By comparison, 2,000-5,000 km is a commonly seen mileage for many traditional drip lubes under the same conditions, which can cause visible cassette and chainring wear in that same time, too. However, the dry surfaces might create slightly more wear than the grease. According to Smith, this puts it in a comparable efficiency range to 3-in-1 oil, motor oil, etc. However, Kerin suggests that vigorous swishing of the chain in a hot melt bath followed by a second wax bath in an ultrasonic cleaner is the pinnacle, and that this is how many race day chains are treated. As the saying goes, a clean bike is a fast bike. Manually break up the wax bonds at each link. Either way, most affordable (cheap) ultrasonic cleaners have rather poor heating elements, and so you’ll likely be waiting a long time for your wax to reach the right temperature. Yet, if the wax is sticky, oily, too soft, etc, these benefits of wax are lost. Much longevity and wear info can be gained based on the results of his controlled testing, even if the protocol does not perfectly mimic the infinite number of unique real-world conditions.”. There are currently only a handful of aftermarket submersion wax products on the market and they’re not all equal. Silca’s new Super Secret Hot Melt wax is marketed with this very idea, with the inclusion of a food- and temperature-safe reusable bag. For those obsessed about every fraction of a watt and considering such a powder, then also consider using a dedicated chain for race days. “If contamination was removed from the equation, say, like in a track environment, or a very clean road ride, increased friction does not always correlate to wear,” Smith said. And since the Neo Smart is mechanically unique in that it’s truly a direct-drive design with no additional belts or pulleys, Kerin only has to factor one set of bearings into his baseline equations. But paraffin likes to be heated slowly, as well as not get too hot. “Go away and play with something for a while, come back in about an hour to swish the chain around, then hang it to set [the wax].”. Note: Silca’s new melt-on wax was released after the above test was complete, however, it’s expected to be comparable to Molten Speed Wax. Dropper seat posts, road bikes designed for gravel roads, suspended stems, and tan wall tyres – yep, all old ideas. “Re-waxing every 300 km, the average for a top chain like YBN SLA is 15,000 km to the recommended 0.5% wear mark. The common theme is that they all use a carrier fluid to keep them in a liquid form for application onto the chain, and once dry, aim to leave the chain coated in a dry wax film. WD-40 Bike All-Conditions Chain Lubricant Apply WD-40 Bike All-Conditions Chain Lubricant to your chain for high-performing lubrication for any dry, wet, or varying conditions. Can I use a different brand of quick link with my chain? Phil Wood 4-ounce Bio Bike Chain Lube. As a result, chain wax may not be ideal depending on where and how you ride. What’s the ideal temperature to melt wax? “It is possible in hot countries (i.e. My waxed chain looks dirty, how do I clean it prior to the next application? Although do be aware that this carries compromises in regards to contamination and so is best kept for during travels or stage races. However, to date many of these waxes haven’t been thoroughly tested and so they remain an unknown. Ed Dear Ed, Those indeed seem to be surprising results. However, link penetration remains a barrier for a lube like Absolute Black’s and so using this premium product still requires you to remove the chain from the bike and submerge the chain in the lube. It’s still not the 15,000km longevity number quoted for Molten Speed Wax, or as efficient according to friction tests, but it’s extremely impressive nonetheless. Yes, but also, no. Now using that coat hanger handle, carefully remove the chain from the pot and watch for wax drips. “Simply dip the chain into straight paraffin.”. This is what makes melt-on paraffin wax treatments so effective, as little sticks to the hard coating that results. Paraffin has a melting point of about 60ºC (140°F), and so anywhere between 70-100ºC (158-212°F) is good to correctly melt the wax. Either way, both Kerin and Smith’s testing show that a lube that doesn’t collect grit is going to be best in real-world conditions. Silca recently just entered the space with a product quite similar to Molten Speed Wax, albeit with different friction modifiers. Pedal harder and those lost watts go up in a near equal fashion, too. With hot or boiling water. Where Jason Smith funded Friction Facts by selling his findings and offering brands access to his testing and expertise, Kerin’s business model is designed to find the best-performing products to sell through his online business, Zero Friction Cycling (ZFC). Morgan Blue Race Oil Road — £7.50. Allow the chain to sit in the wax for another minute and then repeat the swishing. This will happen if you’re using a wax with a high oil concentration. “The surface tension of the melted wax was so high that it didn’t wick very well into and onto the surface of the metal. Once dry, the wax returns to a solid state and is embedded within the individual pieces that make up a bicycle chain. That oily feel is likely a sign of the wax having been contaminated due to using a chain that wasn’t perfectly clean prior to being waxed. Why do some pre-waxed chains cost so much? My opinion is that while ultrasonic cleaners are nice to have, they’re a tool I could easily do without (and often do). This can be done with compressed air, a hairdryer, or combining a clean rag with a little patience. I love the idea of wax, but want something without Teflon or other environmentally harmful friction modifiers. “Rice cookers are tempting because they are cheap and a great size for a bag of wax. “When using little of it, it doesn’t attract nearly as much crap,” Kerin says. However, these parts don’t need to be sterile-level clean like the chain itself. Sadly it’s too slippery and won’t adhere to hair. This next lubricant is a multi … For those riders, Kerin recommends Silca NFS. In Australia, Zero Friction Cycling offers pre-waxed chains at only an AU$25 surcharge (more depending on desired wax) and even offers a buy one/get one treated service. You need to remove all existing greases, dirt and oil from the chain, including the residue left over by most degreaser products. Russell Eich / Immediate Media. The chain is ready for waxing once it can be agitated in this fluid without any sign of discolouration or dirt particles appearing. “I feel like Adam and ZFC are like I was with Friction Facts five years ago – a lone voice looking to find honest answers to a lot of unknown questions and debunk potentially misleading existing information,” said Smith. Time consuming to prepare a chain for first waxing (ALL LUBE must be removed). Silca’s formula claims to be a modified version of the NFS lube, and suggests as little as 12 drops are needed to keep a chain lubed after the initial application, meaning the high price per bottle is easily negated over time. Kerin suggests that it’s almost impossible to overheat the wax using a slow cooker with the lid off. At the opposite end, a chain treated with Molten Speed Wax ate up just 4.7W of rider energy in Smith’s testing, while outlasting Kerin’s 6,000km-long wear testing procedure (and proving in the real world, with real riders, to go past 15,000km), something no drip lube has done as of yet. According to Smith’s testing, adding the Molten Speed Wax powder to a treated chain saves approximately 0.4 watts. In the meantime, you can continue down the rabbit hole into the world of bicycle chains. Place the clean and dry chain on top of the wax in your pot and wait for it to melt in. For where NFS isn’t suitable, South African chain lube Smoove (an item I coincidently picked in my favorite products of 2017) is Kerin’s pick as far as drip lubes go. There are exceptions to this rule, however, especially if extremely nasty conditions lay ahead, such as a muddy mountain bike race with stream crossings and a gross amount of mud – basically conditions beyond that of Kerin’s tests. “That is a huge difference in the amount of hardened steel that has been abraded away by the higher-wearing lubricant. So with some lubes, while efficiency will improve, wear rates can also increase. New testing seeks to find chain lube that provides the greatest resistance to chain wear. “A fair amount of time and labour goes into properly creating an optimized chain, plus the cost of the raw chain itself,” says Smith, speaking of CeramicSpeed’s own UFO chains. When all factors are considered, the friction created by the viscous drag and stiction of the grease substantially outweigh any friction created by wear of the dry-lubricated surfaces, if indeed there are any increases.”. However, testing by the likes of Friction Facts and Zero Friction Cycling has brought renewed interest to the world of chain waxing. Molten Speed Wax suggests that you can get eight waxes out of one batch of wax for training chains, and up to 16 waxes for race only chains. Kerin agrees, but warns that relubing over a dirty chain often brings external grit back into the links. “This high-grade paraffin is expensive; I have looked at lab-grade paraffin from Norco chemical supplies in Australia, and a 1 lb bag of just the paraffin costs more than a 1 lb bag of Mspeedwax.”. In Kerin’s tests, and monitoring his own and customers’ chains, he’s found lube choice and careful maintenance can be the difference between a chain being worn-out at just 2,000km, and one lasting 15,000km before it showed similar wear. If you answered yes to both, then chain waxing is certainly worth serious consideration. “The chain is then cooled, broken-in again to get the wax coating to its peak efficiency (so it is ready to race, right out of the box), and finally, the UFO powder is applied.”. For my gravel bike, I experimented with a kind of wax lube that you apply by dripping it onto the chain, like an oil-based lube. As first revealed by FrictionFacts’ testing first published by VeloNews, an immersion chain wax with friction modifiers can serve as the most efficient chain lubrication method available. “I’ve not seen any negative efficiency effects of at least re-lubing between rides, even if re-lubing over a dirty chain, if a user does not have time to clean their chain. 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