Author Topic: Wax chain lube double question.  (Read 854 times)

Wax chain lube double question.
« on: 08 May, 2020, 04:09:06 pm »
Hi All, this is my first post.

I've not been able to find the answers on this forum yet, please forgive if I've just been unable to find them.

I have been using wax chain lube (Squirt) for some time now and I'm happy with this. Just about to put a new chain on. Last chain change I degreased the new chain (ultrasonic parts washer) rinsed and dried it, then wax lubed it when I put it on the bike.

Question 1. Would it not be a better idea to put it straight on the bike (making use of the factory installed lubricant) after wiping off the excess lube and then degreasing the chain and installing wax lube once a relube was required? I can't recall if I have read that the grease used in production and for storage is not the best thing to use on the bike. I think there were conflicting opinions.

Question2. Is there a water displacement substance (WD40 etc) that can be used on a chain without effecting the wax. Drying with a cloth just doesn't get all the trapped water out. I have had chains develop a rust patina on the side plates when not used for a while.

Thank you, in advance.

Re: Wax chain lube double question.
« Reply #1 on: 08 May, 2020, 08:43:02 pm »
Nothing empirical, but when I get a new chain I leave it well alone on the basis that it's probably as well lubed as it will ever be. I'm pretty sure that the interval from new chain to its requiring the first lube is longer than the subsequent between-lube intervals.

In answer to your Q1, I would say yes.

Q2. Not aware of anything along these lines, short of having the chain lubed to start with and storing it somewhere warm and dry (and giving the chain a quick wipe off after a wet ride).

And welcome.
Rust never sleeps

Re: Wax chain lube double question.
« Reply #2 on: 09 May, 2020, 10:24:31 am »
Thanks Hatler.

I've put the chain straight on and will stick it in the ultrasonic next lube. Might have to think up some cunning experiment to test the resolve of water based wax lube against water displacing sprays. It could involve a piece of glass or perhaps some naked steel to show the rust.



  • Sheffield hills? Nah... Just potholes.
Re: Wax chain lube double question.
« Reply #3 on: 09 May, 2020, 03:43:55 pm »
The existing factory lube is a grease based wet lube and will get "dirty" when it is used on the bicycle. When it needs re-lubing, you will as you say, have to clean and de-grease it.

Personal 4d anecdote:

Usual practice:
I use a paraffin wax based system with a crock pot. All chains are initially de-greased (see later). Usually I brush and wipe down my chains before immersing them in hot wax for about 3 hours before hanging them (gently run thorough a paper towel once to wipe off excess as they are withdrawn) to cool. I use 2 chains in rotation for each bike and rotate every 600km with normal use though I have found a re-wax can last up to over 1000k in good conditions or short time periods. I occasionally use Squirt to "top up" after wet rides if I have to. Cassette: This is brushed  with a stiff brush with each chain change and is taken off, cleaned more thoroughly and waxed about every 4 chain changes (2400km) - It can easily last longer but it looks prettier this way...
If I am likely not to use a chain for a while, I replace it early and re-wax - not had any newly waxed chains rust yet.

I did try to use a chain with factory lube to start once after I started using the waxing system; it got very dirty quite quickly and lasted about 800k, so not much longer than paraffin. I also had to clean and de-grease the chain rings and cassette at the end. Hence, IMHO, no gain from de-grease and wax ab initio which is what I do now every time.

The best thing I like about using wax is its cleanliness - no black chain marks on anything, you can work with the chain with your bare hands with impunity and, I think, the chains and cassettes last a longer, especially with the rotating chain system. This cleanliness is marred by using a factory lubed chain.  :P

Re: Wax chain lube double question.
« Reply #4 on: 26 June, 2020, 11:04:44 am »
I see that Silca have now got a hot wax system for idiots like me.
Does this seem a useful adjunct for year round commuter bikes?  (and best bikes)
Will I notice a difference?

Re: Wax chain lube double question.
« Reply #5 on: 26 June, 2020, 04:41:33 pm »
One, maybe two chains for 40usd!

Re: Wax chain lube double question.
« Reply #6 on: 26 June, 2020, 05:10:16 pm »
I recently switched to molten speedwax and thus far I'm happy with it when riding in dry weather.  I've no wet weather experience yet.  I'm happy to accept that for longer rides (200 km+) I may need to top up with a water based wax lube.  For this purpose I've aquired some Bananaslip Tungsten All weather lube.

Current thinking regarding chain lube is to ride the chain for 100 km or so using factory lube and to then degrease the chain before waxing.

If you want to ensure a dry chain before immersing in wax use centrifugal force to get rid of excess water then dunk the chain in isopropyl alcohol.

For hot waxing a chain Argos do a small slow cooker for £11 which works well enough.

Invest in some Connex quick links as they are designed to be undone manually and have a long use life.

You may wish to watch some of the videos put out by this guy.

I'm now waiting for the next iteration - a wax which contains buckminsterfullerene  :P

And finally the obligatory reference


  • Sheffield hills? Nah... Just potholes.
Re: Wax chain lube double question.
« Reply #7 on: 26 June, 2020, 05:26:47 pm »
Ouch - that is steep. But I guess they have to make money somehow... I expect my £20 bag of plain paraffin wax to last the rest of my cycling career, re-waxing chains at 5-600km intervals.
As far as I have been able to ascertain, additives to paraffin for waxing a chain make very little objective difference to chain efficiency (aside from discolouring the wax). Please correct me if you have found any other literature on the subject.  :)