How to Wax Your Bicycle Chain: A Comprehensive Guide

January 19, 2024


"Waxing" a bicycle chain involves immersing it completely in a melted wax pot. Once the chain is fully covered with wax, it is taken out and, after drying, can be installed on the bike. This process creates a protective wax layer on the chain, reducing friction in the drivetrain and resisting contamination.

Benefits of Waxing Your Bicycle Chain:

1. Cleanliness:

Waxing provides a pristine cleanliness to the chain and drivetrain, ideal for those who prefer a spotless bike.

2. Efficiency:

The dry wax coating reduces power loss due to friction in the drivetrain, making it a popular choice among professionals in timed races.

3. Cost-Effective Wear Reduction:

Reduced wear on components means long-term cost savings as there is less frequent need for part replacements.

Is Waxing Right for You?

Waxing may not be suitable for everyone due to its meticulous nature. Factors to consider include the level of inconvenience and the local climate. Waxing is more effective in dry climates, while frequent exposure to moisture may shorten the wax's lifespan.

Reasons to Wax Your Chain:

1. Cleaning:

Waxing ensures a dust-free and clean drivetrain, surpassing the performance of other chain oils.

2. Efficiency:

The low friction from the dry wax coating minimizes power loss in the drivetrain.

3. Reduced Wear Costs:

Long-term savings as less wear on components means fewer replacements.

Tools Needed for Waxing:

1)Chain wax or solid paraffin wax (e.g., Speed Wax or Silca Hot Melt Wax)

2)Bicycle chain (preferably new or lightly used)

3)Bicycle chain quick link and tools

4)1.5-2L slow cooker

5)Digital thermometer

6)Mineral oil or strong degreaser

7)Denatured alcohol

8)Containers with secure lids


10)Chemical-resistant rubber gloves

11)Cleaning cloth or paper towels

12)Filter paper

13)Aluminum foil

Preparation Before Waxing:

Deep Clean the Chain and Drivetrain:

Remove any residual oil or grease as it can contaminate the wax.

If the chain is new, remove the factory lubricant.

Chain Cleaning Process:

Soak the chain in a cleaning solution, stir for a few minutes, rinse with water, and air-dry.

Wipe the chain until no oil residue remains.

De-grease and Dry:

Submerge the chain in denatured alcohol, stir for two minutes, and let it thoroughly dry.

Waxing Process:

Melt the Wax:

Pour half a pot of wax into the slow cooker and monitor its temperature with a digital thermometer. Keep the temperature below 93 degrees Celsius.

Immerse the Chain:

Attach the chain and quick link to a wire, immerse it in the melted wax, and rotate for 30 seconds.


Carefully remove the chain, let it air-dry for around 20 minutes, placing aluminum foil underneath to catch dripping wax.


Once dry and hardened, the chain may be stiff. Flex it by hand for easier installation. Install the chain on the bike and, after lifting the rear wheel, rotate the pedals for 30 seconds before normal riding.

*Regular Maintenance:

In dry conditions, a single waxing can last 300-400 kilometers. Re-wax if the chain sounds dry or squeaky. In wet conditions, immediate re-waxing or cleaning is necessary to prevent corrosion.


Initial cleaning is the most cumbersome phase; pre-waxed chains are available for those who want to skip this step.

Choose high-quality paraffin wax, preferably food-grade, for optimal dirt-repelling capabilities.

Use a cloth to catch wax particles when riding indoors to prevent floor stains.

Avoid mixing wax with non-wax chain oils to prevent gummy residues that increase drivetrain wear.


Waxing your bicycle chain is a meticulous yet rewarding process that offers a clean, efficient, and cost-effective solution for avid cyclists. With the right tools and careful application, the benefits of a waxed chain can significantly enhance your biking experience.

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