Hot melt wax - the journey begins

GlenMcD

New Member
Mar 21, 2024
8
5
Ipswich, QLD Australia
Has anyone else used "DeOxit" by Caig? I've been using it on tons of things including bike chain and hubs since 1998. It's pretty expensive and actually made for electrical contacts, but what it does to moving metal parts seems to go a bit beyond normal lubricants. I rode 10K KM on my old ebike using nothing but. Don't get it on your brake discs otherwise they'll never work as well again.
 

James_C

Active member
Nov 25, 2019
454
221
Kent, UK
Only been doing it a few weeks. 6 very wet and muddy rides in old South Wales and Forest of dean. It's a good test bench especially at this time of year.
It's looking great so far. No longevity test obviously, but the cleanliness is so encouraging. I'd be very surprised if I go back to lube.

Question for any doubters:if it works in dry; why wouldn't it work in the wet?

All with the the newbie caveat.
what are you doing in between rides? Surely mud/sand etc is still getting into the chain, how are you getting that out without removing the wax?
 

p3eps

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Subscriber
Dec 14, 2019
1,859
2,221
Scotland
what are you doing in between rides? Surely mud/sand etc is still getting into the chain, how are you getting that out without removing the wax?
I'm wondering the same. Here's my bike after a typical weekend ride just now. It's usually filthy, and the drivetrain is full of mud / sand / pine needles etc. As well as cleaning the bike, I spend 5-10 mins spraying the drivetrain with Peaty's Drivetrain Cleaner, brushing it with a special brush, and picking all the bits of trees / grass etc out. When the bike is dry, I re-lube with some Peaty's 'All Weather' Link Lube... and it looks like new again.

With wax, I guess the first plus is that a lot of the crap from the forest won't stick to it in the first place? Can I just then give it a light hosing, and not worry about the drivetrain? We've just moved into Spring, and in a few weeks the trails will hopefully start to dry out a bit. Then, the bike will be 'dusty' rather than dirty. Even when the bike looks clean, I'd still spend the same 5-10 mins on the drivetrain - in case there's dust / sand in amongst it.

I'd happily buy a second chain, a cheap slow cooker and some wax if it meant I could save some time after rides!
IMG_7364.JPG
 

John-E

New Member
Subscriber
Aug 9, 2023
19
15
North America
I'm wondering the same. Here's my bike after a typical weekend ride just now. It's usually filthy, and the drivetrain is full of mud / sand / pine needles etc. As well as cleaning the bike, I spend 5-10 mins spraying the drivetrain with Peaty's Drivetrain Cleaner, brushing it with a special brush, and picking all the bits of trees / grass etc out. When the bike is dry, I re-lube with some Peaty's 'All Weather' Link Lube... and it looks like new again.

With wax, I guess the first plus is that a lot of the crap from the forest won't stick to it in the first place? Can I just then give it a light hosing, and not worry about the drivetrain? We've just moved into Spring, and in a few weeks the trails will hopefully start to dry out a bit. Then, the bike will be 'dusty' rather than dirty. Even when the bike looks clean, I'd still spend the same 5-10 mins on the drivetrain - in case there's dust / sand in amongst it.

I'd happily buy a second chain, a cheap slow cooker and some wax if it meant I could save some time after rides!
View attachment 136794
Yes. I do not do anything to my chain in between rides and I never do anything to the drivetrain except dry brush the cassette, chainring and deraillure if needed. I run two chains and bought a cheap slow cooker. I usually forget how long its been in between chain changes and swap out the chain when I do thorough cleaning of the bike just because.
 

James_C

Active member
Nov 25, 2019
454
221
Kent, UK
Does the chain not still feel gritty after that though? if you twist the links, does it graunch with the grit, or does it feel completely smooth?

Might have to give this a go!
 

Mr President

Active member
Sep 20, 2020
270
202
monmouth,wales
Does the chain not still feel gritty after that though? if you twist the links, does it graunch with the grit, or does it feel completely smooth?

Might have to give this a go!
It feels smooth. The grit doesn’t stick to the wax because it is hard. imagine if you rub grit on a candle and then wash it off. The nice thing is the jockey wheels, chain ring and cassette are also clean because there is no oil to glue the muck to them.
Can’t speak for longevity yet and also don’t know how often I’ll need to re-wax.
I have also bought some drip wax that I would take on a long tour or something, but once you’re set up for it I don’t think the re-waxing will be burdensome, because as others have said you only have to do the initial deep clean and after thaT it will be a light clean before re-waxing.

In the end there’s only one way to know if it is for you and that is to try it.
 

Mr President

Active member
Sep 20, 2020
270
202
monmouth,wales
I'm wondering the same. Here's my bike after a typical weekend ride just now. It's usually filthy, and the drivetrain is full of mud / sand / pine needles etc. As well as cleaning the bike, I spend 5-10 mins spraying the drivetrain with Peaty's Drivetrain Cleaner, brushing it with a special brush, and picking all the bits of trees / grass etc out. When the bike is dry, I re-lube with some Peaty's 'All Weather' Link Lube... and it looks like new again.

With wax, I guess the first plus is that a lot of the crap from the forest won't stick to it in the first place? Can I just then give it a light hosing, and not worry about the drivetrain? We've just moved into Spring, and in a few weeks the trails will hopefully start to dry out a bit. Then, the bike will be 'dusty' rather than dirty. Even when the bike looks clean, I'd still spend the same 5-10 mins on the drivetrain - in case there's dust / sand in amongst it.

I'd happily buy a second chain, a cheap slow cooker and some wax if it meant I could save some time after rides!
View attachment 136794
I saw my mates drivetrain yesterday which he does same approach as you and with same products. Have to say his chain looked as good as mine before we went riding. I guess to some extent with rewaxing you’re doing a big initial effort in a controlled environment instead of lots of smaller post ride-efforts.
I got the Silca secret blend because it came in a sous vide plastic bag, so i didn’t need a slow cooker At least during the initial trial. I have now got myself a slow cooker just to make it easily manageable in the garage, but it isn’t a must-have.
just learnt that you don’t need to wax the quick links - phew, as that was the biggest pain.
 

John-E

New Member
Subscriber
Aug 9, 2023
19
15
North America
I went with YBN chains on my new build. I purchased two chains from Molten speed wax and chose the cleaned and pre-waxed option on the new chain. The upcharge is like 40 but makes it easy to get started and they included a puck of wax for free with each chain so I havent had to purchase wax at all since the first chain I used on my old bike. If starting out you would need to purchase some wax to fill the cooker to an acceptable level. So far I have 1000miles on the chains and there is no sign of wear on the drivetrain and I use a Park chain measuring tool. We dont ride in the mud much here in central NC because of the clay so there is that to consider.
 

CarolinaCrawler

Active member
Jan 30, 2023
174
183
North Carolina
Just as a update, I had the chain on my bike (cheap Sram NX that came stock) start making some noise a ride or two ago. I got a little over 200 miles (I usually rewax at 250 miles on my shimano chains and never hear a peep) before it started squeaking. Gave it a boiling water bath followed by an acetone bath. Rewaxed and it's good to go.

I don't do anything but blow the chain off with an air compressor after wet rides or washes.
 

nB2000

Member
Jul 23, 2020
66
26
South coast UK
I’ve been hot waxing 2 years. First MSW now Silca SS
I did the multi solvent bath clean on 2 new chains as recommended by ZeroFrictionCycling.
It’s important to use the white spirit first to get rid of the manufacturers grease then a couple of baths of alcohol (meths), til the liquid looks clean - to get rid of the white spirit so the wax sticks properly. Adam at ZFC has tested all this.

Now that Silca have released their chain stripper the process of preparing a new chain is way easier. (Since the immersion waxed chain will last years, this is a process that’s very seldom done. UFO make a 1 step cleaner too.

If the chain gets dirty, its off the bike. Boiling water rinse then rewax. I’m in the Uk so winter thats every ride.

For this reason I rotate 2 x X01 chains.

No need for any solvent after the initial clean. Better for the environment.

The drivetrain runs beautifully. Clean to the touch too.
By the way, Adam at ZFC says never use dish soap in the boiling water as it leaves residue.
I’m 2 years in and, measured after cleaning, my chains still have zero wear.
Drip lubes are never going to get the crap out of inside the chain, no matter what the manufacturers claim.
Again Adam has tested all this.

Muc off drip tested worst wear of all time on his rig. Absolute Black Graphene wax was nearly as bad.
With the price of cassettes the faff is worthwhile. It’s not tedious once you get into it.
Worst part is “breaking” the wax over a broom handle so the chain is flexible like it should be.. It’s solid after waxing & drying. 2-3 minutes.

Don’t get lubes or chain cleaners / solvents or even soap near the chain now.

Of course clean the cassette of any mud after the chain has been removed.

Yeah the quick link gets loose after 10 or so removals. Time for a replacement. That’s a pretty small cost compared to the cost of cassette and chainring these days.

Hot wax on the chain can be topped up with the SS Silca drip wax on a long trip or endurance ride. That stuff has the advantage of washing off with boiling water like the hot wax.

Just my 2d. If you’re short of time and money’s no object by all means use drip lubes. Pick a good one, even so your components won’t last as long. ZFC have done the tests for you.
 
Last edited:

ReadyShreddy

New Member
Nov 17, 2023
46
17
UK
I'm quite new to waxing but have to say so far its been so much better than using lube. My chain and cassette were always covered in pine needles and all sorts by the end of a ride. I took this image today and as you can see the chain is probably the only thing not covered in gunk.

IMG_20240326_123759752_HDR.jpg
 

Onetime

Active member
Aug 10, 2022
380
383
Cali
Definitely needs a boiling water rinse, dry Andre-wax now.
To do that after every slightly muddy ride is overkill. There is no need to do that. You can rinse the muc off with a gentle hose rinse, blow dry and it’s good to go. I’ve been waxing for about 10 years now and I get over a couple thousand miles out of my ebike drivetrain or about 2 years rotating 2-3 chains every 2-300 miles.
 

Mr President

Active member
Sep 20, 2020
270
202
monmouth,wales
To do that after every slightly muddy ride is overkill. There is no need to do that. You can rinse the muc off with a gentle hose rinse, blow dry and it’s good to go. I’ve been waxing for about 10 years now and I get over a couple thousand miles out of my ebike drivetrain or about 2 years rotating 2-3 chains every 2-300 miles.
I'm keen to understand criteria that instigate a re wax.
I hear lots of chat about chain noise, but as I'm quite deaf that may be tricky.
I guess there's a rough feeling in the drivetrain?
I was wondering if it could be judged on wear?: measured a new chain, it had 0.25mm "wear".
Waxed it and "wear" was about ir even a bit less than 0mm.

I'm thinking when it gets back to 0.25mm the wax had gone and it's time to refresh.
Any thoughts?
 

Onetime

Active member
Aug 10, 2022
380
383
Cali
I'm keen to understand criteria that instigate a re wax.
I hear lots of chat about chain noise, but as I'm quite deaf that may be tricky.
I guess there's a rough feeling in the drivetrain?
I was wondering if it could be judged on wear?: measured a new chain, it had 0.25mm "wear".
Waxed it and "wear" was about ir even a bit less than 0mm.

I'm thinking when it gets back to 0.25mm the wax had gone and it's time to refresh.
Any thoughts?
I currently Rotate 2 chains on each of my bikes and I rotate them when i can feel when the chain is in need to be cleaned and re-waxed. You can hear and feel it. It gets a little noisy in the lowest gears and becomes a little notchy feeling. I used to automatically rotate every 300 miles, but now I just rotate when I can feel that it’s in need of rotation, cleaning and re-waxing. I check for wear after I clean and before I re-wax. If one chain begins to show more wear than the other, then I’ll run the one with less wear until it shows the same wear as the other.
 
Last edited:

tjl5709

Member
Feb 20, 2023
24
37
Michigan
I'm a convert and all in on waxing. I'm rotating multiple chains. My target is to rotate a chain at 300 mi. to deep clean and rehot wax. Also, every few rides I'm using air and brushing the chain for dirt/dust and applying some DIY liquid wax solution. It hardens up after a day and the excess flakes off pulling more dirt out when I ride again.
 

p3eps

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Subscriber
Dec 14, 2019
1,859
2,221
Scotland
Here's a photo of my bike after a typical ride at the weekend. Fairly short - just over an hour, and about 12 miles.
If you zoom in, you can see piles of pine needles all over the bike, and tonnes of dirt too. The cassette and chain ring are covered.

1. If I use wax on this, will my drivetrain still be clean when my bike looks like this?

2. I go home and hose the bike, put some MucOff on it, and wash it off (as well as cleaning my drivetrain). Can I still wash the bike every ride (cold water) and not disturb the wax? As my bike lives in the house, it has to be clean!

3. People keep mentioning 250 - 300 miles between waxing. Based on my riding, am I likely to get 250-300 miles between waxing? I'm usually 12-20 miles per ride.

I'm happy to buy a cheap slow cooker, wax and even an electric air duster to make this work if it's going to save me time every weekend... and also extend the life of my components.

IMG_7677.JPG
 

ReadyShreddy

New Member
Nov 17, 2023
46
17
UK
I'm relatively new to waxing and have been riding in very muddy conditions for the past six months and was one of the reasons why I started. I waxed my chain around a month ago and it's still fine. I do find that on longer rides in muddy conditions it's so much better as there is no gunk in the cassette it just rides better. You do need quite a bit of prep and outlay, e.g. A new chain, ideally two. Mineral spirits, and high alcohol cleaner. Plus slow cooker and the wax. But after a ride I just hose it down and make sure the chain and cassette are dry and free of water. Plus if the bikes in the house no oil. That's my take on it but i don't have long term experience so can't comment on how many miles I'll get out of the cassette or chain.
 

CarolinaCrawler

Active member
Jan 30, 2023
174
183
North Carolina
Here's a photo of my bike after a typical ride at the weekend. Fairly short - just over an hour, and about 12 miles.
If you zoom in, you can see piles of pine needles all over the bike, and tonnes of dirt too. The cassette and chain ring are covered.

1. If I use wax on this, will my drivetrain still be clean when my bike looks like this? It may be dirty, but the dirt will wash off with a hose.

2. I go home and hose the bike, put some MucOff on it, and wash it off (as well as cleaning my drivetrain). Can I still wash the bike every ride (cold water) and not disturb the wax? As my bike lives in the house, it has to be clean! You can was the bike fine. I even take a small brush and clean the dirt out of the chain and cassette.

3. People keep mentioning 250 - 300 miles between waxing. Based on my riding, am I likely to get 250-300 miles between waxing? I'm usually 12-20 miles per ride. I rewax every 250 miles regardless. It also depends on the chain. My shimano deore chains go 250 no problem but the sram NX chain barely made it 200 before getting squeeky.

I'm happy to buy a cheap slow cooker, wax and even an electric air duster to make this work if it's going to save me time every weekend... and also extend the life of my components.

View attachment 137121
 

p3eps

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Subscriber
Dec 14, 2019
1,859
2,221
Scotland
A new chain, ideally two.

I have a SRAM T-Type XX chain - which has already done a few hundred miles.
I ran 2x SRAM XX1 chains on my old AXS drivetrain, but one of the selling points of the T-Type was it's extended durability.

I guess having 2 chains is so you can always have a waxed one ready to go on... but I was of the understanding that once I've prepared and waxed the chain once, rewaxing is a 20min process? (clean / wax / dry / bend?!). If that's the case I'm quite happy to try with one.

I have access to an ultrasonic bath at work, so hoped I could get my existing chain clean enough (with the required chemicals) to have a go at waxing without having to spend too much initially.
 

ReadyShreddy

New Member
Nov 17, 2023
46
17
UK
I have a SRAM T-Type XX chain - which has already done a few hundred miles.
I ran 2x SRAM XX1 chains on my old AXS drivetrain, but one of the selling points of the T-Type was it's extended durability.

I guess having 2 chains is so you can always have a waxed one ready to go on... but I was of the understanding that once I've prepared and waxed the chain once, rewaxing is a 20min process? (clean / wax / dry / bend?!). If that's the case I'm quite happy to try with one.

I have access to an ultrasonic bath at work, so hoped I could get my existing chain clean enough (with the required chemicals) to have a go at waxing without having to spend too much initially.

I only got one new chain X01 which I'm ok with, but based on the posts on this thread seems most people run two. Using your old chain is perfectly fine once it's been fully cleaned. You could even warm the wax in the bag rather than slow cooker to cut costs just until you have tried it out.
 

Ou812

Active member
Jun 26, 2022
624
421
Fort William
I rotated between 4 chains, I found I was getting roughly 150 maybe 200 miles per chain if I was lucky. That’s riding in the Scottish muck so your mileage may vary. I’ve went back to a traditional lube now that I’ve swapped to the transmission, currently using Silca Synerg-E, my drivetrains stay just as clean as when I was waxing and it lasts longer.
 

Onetime

Active member
Aug 10, 2022
380
383
Cali
I have a SRAM T-Type XX chain - which has already done a few hundred miles.
I ran 2x SRAM XX1 chains on my old AXS drivetrain, but one of the selling points of the T-Type was it's extended durability.

I guess having 2 chains is so you can always have a waxed one ready to go on... but I was of the understanding that once I've prepared and waxed the chain once, rewaxing is a 20min process? (clean / wax / dry / bend?!). If that's the case I'm quite happy to try with one.

I have access to an ultrasonic bath at work, so hoped I could get my existing chain clean enough (with the required chemicals) to have a go at waxing without having to spend too much initially.
The purpose for rotating chains is to extend the drivetrain life, because as the chain stretches out, the chainring and cassette teeth will wear faster, but if you rotate chains, the stretching doesn’t happen as fast and your chainring and cassette will last longer. Waxing also extends the drivetrain life by not attracting dirt, debris to the whole drivetrain like it does with regular lubes.
 

Mr President

Active member
Sep 20, 2020
270
202
monmouth,wales
I'm keen to understand criteria that instigate a re wax.
I hear lots of chat about chain noise, but as I'm quite deaf that may be tricky.
I guess there's a rough feeling in the drivetrain?
I was wondering if it could be judged on wear?: measured a new chain, it had 0.25mm "wear".
Waxed it and "wear" was about ir even a bit less than 0mm.

I'm thinking when it gets back to 0.25mm the wax had gone and it's time to refresh.
Any thoughts?
Well i got my first answer and it was a bit disappointing. 3 rides in 80km total and started getting chain noise, so ended up going for a rewax. Chain wear was reading 0.3mm prior to rewax.

i subsequently read in a few places that ultasonic bath is not best way to remove initial factory grease, so maybe that played a part.

i did also see a quote i think from Silca saying you may only get 50 miles in very bad conditions. Well have to say conditions have been attrocious, so maybe it’s all i can expect in S Wales winter.

have ordered some silca chain stripper now for next new chain prep.
 

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