Campy chain waxing

How long have you had this setup? I just received a bike with Record 12 mechanical, rim with Bora WTO 33’s. Any issues? Things to pay attention to?

Thank you for reminding me of an excellent piece that I had totally forgotten about. A wholly appropriate analogy, too.

No issues. The cable tension for the front derailleur needs to be just tight enough and it will take a few hundred miles to wear in as the shifting will feel stiff at first. The wheels set up easy tubeless with my Pirelli P Zero Race TR tires .
Very nice group and wheels. I am happy Campy has thrown out mechanical, rim brake, groups !

1 Like

Thanks for all the replies, it will be 12spd Chorus so will probably be getting Eagle links, nice to know there are options.

I get your point, but you may be the first person to ever make the argument against waxing because it isn’t enough of a process! Ironically the last time I waxed chains was probably back when I was riding tubulars…

2 Likes

Yes! I’m waxing a Veloce 10spd chain for use on my DeSalvo, which is living out its retirement on my smart trainer. With that chain, I’m using reusable YBN connecting links (these are made for Campy 10 specifically).

I also use and wax a 12spd Super Record chain on my SRAM Eagle-equipped mountain bike. That didn’t work well with the SRAM X-SYNC chainring, so I mounted a Praxis WAVE Tech chainring to the XX1 crank. The Super Record chain just tests so much better than a SRAM Eagle chain in terms of frictional losses, and with the waxing regimen is also super durable. And actually I’ve got two of these SR chains that I use in rotation. I use SRAM Eagle 12 connecting links on these. YBN also makes a 12spd reusable quick link, but I have heard the SRAM Eagle links are stronger – given their profile it stands to reason.

Are you happy with how the quality of shifting has stayed since installation?

Yes, the shifting is much smoother after 1000 miles.

2 Likes

This thread got me curious but then I saw the above which frightened me. Like with wax I would have to remove the chain and rewax every 2 to 3 rides ? That sounds like crazy maintenance. I am not afraid of rituals, I bake my own bread, I don’t use teabags nor machines, I make my own pizza and I ride tubulars. But the whole thought of having to remove my chain, cleaning it completely, monopolize kitchen space for this…every week. I don’t even wash my bikes every month!

Also how many refresh can you do with a 500gr bag of Silca Hot Wax?

Your LBS is full of sh*t on this issue. Was works best on all chains - have a look at Adam Kerin’s independent testing on this. YBN 12 speed links work great with Campy including Ekar 13.

1 Like

For me, the game changer for waxing is the small cheap crock pot that I keep in the garage dedicated to chain waxing. It is as simple as turning on the crock pot, pulling the chain off and wiping it down quickly to remove any grit and then dropping in the crock pot. It takes about 45min for the wax to melt and the chain to soak … and that requires no attention or action. After time is up, I remove the chain (using a small piece of wire I loop through a link at half length) and hang it up to let extra wax drip into the crock pot. I return later, once the chain is cooled, and flex it to loosen any stiff/waxy links and put it back on the bike. I am fortunate to live where the climate is such that I rarely ride in the wet but if I do get caught out and a lot of grit adheres to the chain, I just rinse the chain with boiling water to dissolve the wax and rise away the grime and throw it in the wax as usual. I do not do any solvent cleaning/degreasing after removing the factory grease. It’s a simple process and while incrementally more time consuming than just splashing on conventional lube, that time is offset but what is saved by never having to clean/degrease chains (other than before initial waxing). I previously waxed with a double boiler set-up in the kitchen and it was more of a hassle due to constant attention required for safety (paraffin-based waxes are flammable). Since I keep my bikes for a long time and try to maximize the life of components, waxing is worth it for me … and as a bonus, I never have to contend with the dreaded black grim that builds up on chain, cassette, pulley wheels and chain rings!

3 Likes

For the refresh every 150 to 200 miles, use the Silca drip formulation and just drip it on.

1 Like

This is why it is better to have three to six chains which are all waxed at the same time. Then each week you just swap a used chain for a clean one when you wash your bike. Easier to wash the bike with no chain.

A bag of Molten Speed Wax lasts more than six months.

1 Like

Assuming you’re riding in the dry, you’ll quickly get a sense of when your chain needs rewaxing, because it will start to sound noisier and slightly off. Every 200-300 miles sounds ballpark right, but you could probably go a bit longer, and yes you will need to do it if you get caught out on a wet ride (you’ll also need to get the chain off the bike fairly quickly or it’ll rust).

Unless my chain has got particularly grotty for some reason, I will immerse in boiling water, then wipe down, and rewax. Meanwhile I’ll just put the other chain in the rotation on the bike. I’ll quickly clean the cassette every other time, roughly, and I’ll fully clean the chain down after 2-3 rotations.

Is it a bit of a pain? Maybe, but I’ve had 2 Campy chains in rotation since last summer, c.10000km ago, including some winter riding, and neither is even half worn and the cassette looks almost new. There’s no gunge or grime anywhere in the drivetrain; you can wipe a white cloth over it and it barely leaves a mark. Those things - hugely improved drivetrain life and a very clean bike - are the payoff.

4 Likes

As others have said, it is actually easy once you clean the chain and are set up. You don’t need to clean the chain every time you rewax. I’ll run some boiling water over the chain if it is muddy or gritty, but that takes 2 minutes, and then throw it in the wax, turn crock pot on, come back in 45 minutes and pull it out. There is very little active time required and almost zero cleaning required. Plus if you do a couple of chains at once you can go a while between having to do the hot waxing. Song yourself up and the initial cleaning of the chains are the time consuming bits. But, I degrease a few chains in a batch at the beginning of every other season, and that set lasts for a couple seasons.

2 Likes

Me too, though my cycles are spread more: think I’m between 300-400 for reapplication. Connex link has been an issue in the past, but since readjusting cable tension of RD cable seems to be gone :person_shrugging:
I also do this on kmc single speed chains. Not ideal and I think I will switch to Connex 8x chains later on. The Connex link is not available for these bigger chains but is superior in day to day use to kmc links. But works at present with kmc chains and links.

Well, you don’t have to go through that every time. Rewaxing is like that:

Take chain off bike
Wipe down (with isoprop or ethanol)
Put in crock pot with wax
Wait till 92°C
Swish /agitate 2 min
Hang to dry
Brake in stiff links
Put on bike

Working time: ca 10min
Duration including waiting: ca 2h (crock pot heating and cooling of chain)

And I have some cupboard space reserved, so it does not take up space when not in use…

3 Likes

Sorry late to discussion.
Have been waxing chains over last 2 or so years…and I ride tubular tyres :wink:
Smooth as to ride, clean as if you ever need to touch chain mid ride, and I get at least an extra 20% durability on chains and cassettes.
Wax every 500 odd kms. Use ultrasonic cleaner to get chains absolutely clean and slow cooker for wax application. I use molten speed wax. Links - generally kmc - will try the sram eagle link suggested in comments above. Cheers