CyclingCeramic Wax Starter Kit

CyclingCeramic Wax Starter Kit has almost all you need to wax your chain.

The CyclingCeramic Wax Starter Kit may have most of what I need to wax my chain, but the question is, do I want to? I know that chain-waxing is very en-vogue at the moment, everyone seems to be doing it. However it does require a lot more work, especially the first time, to wax a chain.

The CyclingCeramic Wax Starter Kit comes neatly packaged
The CyclingCeramic Wax Starter Kit comes neatly packaged

Lots of articles tell me I will save money and watts if I wax my chain, surely that should be enough to tempt me? Well I also read that the wax can wear off quickly if you ride in wet conditions. Well, I live in the UK, wet conditions is what we do! However in the interest of science and seeing if I can gain some watts while saving some pennies, I’m going to give it a go.

CyclingCeramic Wax Starter Kit

Thankfully the nice people at CyclingCeramic have sent me their starter kit to try out. CyclingCeramic are a French company making ceramic bearings, over-sized pulley-wheels and lubes. The starter kit comes in a neat cardboard box, that contains most of what you need to wax your chain.

Inside the box you will find gloves, a hanger, ziplock bag, metal-foil tray and a block of blue wax. The missing components are the chain and materials to clean the chain and something melt the wax in. The first item to sort is the chain, preferably this should be a new chain; which I have. Next CyclingCeramic recommend using white-spirit to clean the chain, that’s easily obtained. Lastly I’ll need a slow-cooker to melt the wax in, but why a slow-cooker?

The CyclingCeramic Wax Starter Kit has gloves, hanger, cleaning bag, wax-tray and wax
The CyclingCeramic Wax Starter Kit has gloves, hanger, cleaning bag, wax-tray and wax

CyclingCeramic warn against trying to melt the wax on a stove-top or microwave, due to it being dangerous! Exposing molten wax to naked flames is not going to end well and the whole process looks like it could get messy. Keeping some of the method contained to a sealed container that’s not going to get too hot is an important safety feature; hence the slow-cooker.

Strip your chain

Once you have all your elements to hand, it’s time to get waxing, but wait! First you have to strip that new chain of all it’s grease. The factory grease can be cleaned off by submerging the chain inside the ziplock bag into white-spirit. Soaking and agitating will help clean out the grease, but you may need to repeat it a few times. Some people recommend using coffee filters to strain out contaminants from the white-spirit. This mean you can re-use it rather than disposing of it after just one use.

The CyclingCeramic Wax block is a bright blue

Once the chain is stripped it needs to be dried, you can use alcohol, compressed air or just leave it to dry. You want to make sure the chain is completely dry, so that the wax will properly adhere to the metal. One caveat is that some chains, Shimano and KMC, have coatings that are designed to stop substances sticking to them. These wear off after a while, I’ll have to keep an eye on that, as I’ll be using a Shimano chain.

Now it’s finally time to get waxing. So I’ve ‘borrowed’ the family slow-cooker for this experiment; it’s fine we have a spare. The wax melts at 70°C, but needs to get to 90°C for the process to work. It looks like there’ll be a fair amount of temperature checking, chain immersing and agitating to do. Then, once that’s all done, I’ll lift the chain out of the wax, wiping off the excess. Its then left to dry and harden before it goes on the bike.

More cleaning!

Before that happens however, CyclingCeramic say the drivetrain must be cleaned. Putting a clean chain on oily sprockets just spoils the whole effect. So that’s another process to add to the list. Once that’s done the chain can go on, after running the links through my hands to crack the hardened wax and cleaning the loose flakes off. I’m beginning to wonder about whether the gains are worth the effort!

So that’s the process and the materials I’ll be using. All I need is to block out a few hours in the day to get it done. That does sound like a lot of effort, other waxers tell me it is worth it though. And while you may need to repeat the full clean occasionally, you can use a wax based drip on lube to ‘top up’ the chain in between. Look out for an article soon and let’s see how this waxing goes! In the meantime check out the CyclingCeramic website and their wax lube.

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