A big part of taking care of your bike is keeping the chain in good shape. Waxing your bicycle chain helps it run smoothly, reduces wear and tear, and keeps it from getting rusty or corroded. It’s an easy process that only takes a few minutes and can help your bike run well for years to come. In this article, we’ll show you how to apply chain wax the right way to keep it running smoothly.
A big part of taking care of your bike is keeping the chain in good shape. Waxing your chain helps it run smoothly, reduces wear and tear, and keeps it from getting rusty or corroded. It’s an easy process that only takes a few minutes and can help your bike run well for years to come. In this article, we’ll show you how to apply chain wax the right way to keep it running smoothly.
Tools Required For Chain Waxing
To keep a bike chain running smoothly, you must have the right tools to wax it. With the right brush and lubricant, you can get rid of any dirt and grime that has built up, and the right wax will protect the chain and keep it running smoothly for longer. Getting the right tools is important because they will make waxing a bike chain much easier and make sure it is done right. To wax a bike chain the right way, you need things like lubricants, brushes, gloves, safety glasses, waxes, and degreasers. Some of the Tools that you are going to need are:
You’ll need a slow cooker for melting the wax. You need to remember that you cannot melt the wax in a rice cooker. You don’t need to buy anything fancy for this, you can use a small crock-pot too.
Swisher is a tool used to hold the chain in the slow cooker. You could also use an open-ended steel hanger or cable ties.
Chain Link Pliers
Chain link pliers, like Park Tool’s, that can take off and put on quick links.
How To Wax A Bike Chain
Now that you know about the right tools, it is time to get acquainted with the proper method. Follow these simple steps and you will be done in no time. Immersion chain wax is really easy if you follow some simple steps. In the end, I have also put in my experience of waxing my bike’s chain with hot dip chain waxing and what are my views on it, so read on to find everything there is to know about this subject.
First, let’s break down the steps.
1. Removing Your Bike’s Chain
First, you will need to remove your bike’s chain. For this, you will have to use the pliers that we priorly mentioned. You can place all the chain links in a box to make sure that you don’t lose any one of them.
2. Cleaning The Chain
Before you start waxing, it is important to make sure that your chain is clean. You have to check for any external debris, dirt, or dust. If you are waxing your new chain, remember that it will have factory grease on it. You will have to remove this grease in order to wax your chain.
For your old chain, put it in boiled water to remove the old wax, then clean it and make it dry with a cloth to make sure that there are no particles on it and that it is completely dry before putting on the new wax.
3. Heating Up Your Cooker
It will take some time for the wax to melt so what you can do is switch on the cooker before you take off the chain. It will save some time and by the time you are done cleaning the wax will be ready.
4. Preparing The Chain
So, before putting your chain into the hot wax, you need to hang it to make things easier. You can use a metal hanger or something like this but a Swisher tool will make things a lot easier. A swisher tool is used to hang the chain so that you can easily put it in the slow cooker.
Once the wax is melted and ready, dip the chain into the wax completely. You will need to leave the chain inside the wax for at least 1 hour. You can also leave it in overnight.
5. Removing The Chain
After you have left your chain in the cooker for at least an hour, slowly take it out of the cooker. Shake it but do it gently so that the chain links don’t fall apart. Let the wax drops drip down the chain slowly. Hang it somewhere to let it cool down. Do not touch it with your bare hands.
Once it has cooled down, remove the freshly waxed chain from the swisher tool and straighten it out. You will feel that the chain is hard but that’s normal.
6. Install The Chain
Install the chain in the right direction. Once you have installed it, you have to break the wax bond on your chain. For 30 seconds, lift the back wheel and manually advance the pedals to break in the wax. Another way to break the wax bond is by running it up and down on a pipe but you will need to do that before you install the chain.
7. Ride The Bike
Your bike is now ready to ride. The chain might feel stiff at first, but it will loosen up over time. Be careful not to shift too many gears for the first few rides or until your chain loosens up.
How I Waxed My Chain- Icebike Edition
At icebike, we have always thought of hot dip chain waxing as a part of the best bike maintenance techniques. With a hot dip chain waxing it is possible to get almost 25,000 kilometers with maintenance before you would need to change the cassette. By then, it is pretty much the time to upgrade your whole bike so it’s not much of a hassle. You can also use paraffin wax, whatever suits you the most.
In waxing, the hardest part for me is cleaning the chain. It is most important to clean the chain thoroughly before we began the waxing process. The whole cleaning process took me 2 hours. Step one was 15 minutes long during which I dipped my chain in the bath at 65 degrees Celsius. In order to make sure that the chain was thoroughly clean I dipped it in the ceramic cleaner too. I had to repeat this process twice but that really depends on the quality of your chain. I did this with a 30-minute interval so it serves as an ultrasonic wash. So on the whole the chain can sit up to 90 minutes in the cleaner to be thoroughly clean. The third step was to dip my chain in methylated spirit. You can use mineral spirits as well. The main reason to use the spirit was to remove the previous cleaners.
Once the cleaning was done, I dried my chain using a dryer. You can use any cloth or a towel to make sure your chain is dry. At this point, if you leave your chain as it is to wax it some other time, it will rust. A clean chain is very much prone to rusting. So it is really very important to get a wax coating on it.
I used the Silka’s Secret Chain blend wax. It comes packed in a palette format but once you heat it up it liquified. The wax takes up time to come to the right temperature before it is ready to be dipped. So once the wax was ready, I hung it on a metal hanger, I honestly did not have a swisher tool.
When I dipped the chain into the melted wax and agitated it, bubbles started to come out on the top. That is how you know you have correctly impregnated the chain. Once I remove it, I put it in another bucket to collect the wax drops which can then be recycled for re-dips. A lot of riders run multiple chains so it makes it easier and cost-effective for them to re-wax. But for virgin chains, it’s always best to use virgin wax.
I personally like to brush my chain with PTFE and Molybdenum
What Wax Can You Use?
Here are a few options for you to check out other than the one that I used:
Molten Speed Wax
You may use molten wax to wax your bike chain to keep it lubricated and protected. Its purpose is to extend the life of a chain by decreasing wear and friction. The special mixture also prevents grime and dust from settling on the chain.
A lubricant called hot wax for bike chains is applied to a bike chain to lessen wear and friction. It is often crafted from natural waxes like paraffin, carnauba, or beeswax and melted before being applied to the chain. The chain may be kept clean, dry, and efficient while also being protected from the elements with hot waxing.
The melted wax is one of a kind of chain lubricant for bicycles. It is made by melting a unique wax mixture, then coating the chain with liquid wax. This kind of lubricant is made to permeate the chain and offer lubrication that lasts longer. Additionally waterproof, it is the best choice for rainy weather.
Lubricating bicycle chains with paraffin wax is a well-known practice. It makes for quieter and smoother riding by lowering the amount of friction and wear on the bike chain. The wax is put directly on the chain and removed with a towel after a short period of time has passed. Because of this, the chain wear is reduced because a thin protective layer is formed.
Is It Really Worth It?
The dust and debris easily stick to your chain and turn it black because of the oil-based lubricants. These lubricants work like a magnet for dust particles which form a thick paste that wicks away the lubricants from the very depth of your bike chain. This dries out the areas that need the lubricant the most.
What’s worse is that this mixture gives birth to an industrial-style grinding paste which is the most harmful for your chain as well as your groupset. The grinding paste can shorten the life of your chain and even cause it to break. Corrosion of the gears and derailleur can also make shifting gears difficult or even impossible. Cleaning and lubricating your chain and other bike parts on a regular basis is the best way to prevent this kind of wear and tear.
If you wax your bike chain, you can enjoy many advantages. It will help your chain last longer and require less maintenance if you do this. In addition, it may keep your bike’s chain clean and free of debris.
Benefits of Chain Waxing
You may get more mileage from your bike just by waxing the chain. This basic upkeep step will help you save money in the long run by lowering the amount of wear and tear on your chain, improving the smoothness with which your gears move, and decreasing the amount of friction between moving parts. It helps save energy on the pedals by reducing friction.
This, in turn, can help you go longer and faster on your rides. Waxing your chain also keeps it clean and protects it from grime, rust, and other contaminants that can reduce its efficiency. Waxing your chain is another way to shield it from the elements and extend its useful life.
Waxing your bike chain will make it run smoother and more efficiently, allowing you to ride with less effort and a greater gain in efficiency.
Two, regular waxing of your bike chain can lessen the amount of wear and tear on the chain. That way, the chain won’t need to be replaced as often, saving money.
Waxing your bike chain will enhance the lubrication between the chain and the sprocket, which in turn will reduce friction and aid in keeping your bike operating smoothly.
Bicycle chains that have been waxed are less likely to attract dirt and debris, making regular cleaning a breeze. Keep your bike looking great and tidy with this helpful accessory. Multiple chains that are waxed will have serve you a long time.
Waxing a bike chain involves wiping it down with denatured alcohol, applying a wax-based drip lube, and then rubbing it into the chain links with another cloth. Using wax as a lubricant for your bike chain is an excellent preventative maintenance strategy. Melted wax and hot wax are some of the preferred ways of waxing though!
If you use the appropriate kind of wax and apply it regularly, you may extend the life of your bike chain and improve its performance. Bicycle chains can be easily waxed with a few inexpensive items and a few minutes of your time. Without properly waxed chains, you may have to pedal twice as hard to go the same distance. To maintain your bike operating smoothly, all it takes is a little time to check the chain.