I picked up some Wend Chain Wax a couple of weeks ago based on listening on an interview on the SoCal Cycling Podcast, if you haven’t subscribed to the podcast it’s a great show and I highly recommend it. I have had the opportunity to use it now for the last 10 days or so with roughly 300 miles use accumulation I thought it would be a good time to write up some thoughts.
Parafin Wax has been shown to have the least resistance of all lubes on a bicycle chain. But to apply wax to a chain is a time consuming and potentially complex process invlolving stripping your chain, cassette and cranks. This product makes it easy to apply a wax-based lube to the chain.
The very first thing I did before applying the wax was clean my drive train. There is no science to this it’s more a time and patience activity than a technical one. I use a Finish Line Chain Cleaner and Finish Line Citrus degreaser. I have tried several brands and I find this degreaser to be gentle but firm especially when cleaning a dirty cassette. I did remove the cassette from the wheel and stripped it down before reassembling it. Additionally I degreased both derailleurs. Basically I had a blank canvas on which to apply the Wax.
The Wax Kit comes in a neat box. Inside are the instructions, a bottle of liquid wax called Wax Off which is used to clean your chain and get liquid wax into the links of the chain and a stick of hard wax, called Wax On; Wax On is a sophisticated paraffin based Formula that includes proprietary friction reducers as well as proven lubricants such as Zinc and Teflon says Wend’s website.
Wax On is the same format as you have with a deodorant, you twist a barrel at the bottom and this lifts the wax clear of the container. There is a small micro fiber cloth for the application of the liquid wax. Oh and there are stickers…always a good thing. I purchased my kit from Amazon, it was the same price, $30, if I purchased from Wend directly but as I have Amazon Prime I saved on shipping. One thing I will say is that it has a super nice smell, somewhere between bubble gum and gummy bears! Much better than any chain lube I have smelt before.
Application was easy, here is a quick video from Wend showing you how to. The only thing I did differently was not to turn my bike upside down, because, you know, Rule #49!
With the liquid and the hard wax applied all that was left to do was ride. So I did! As mentioned I have put around 300 miles on since first using the Wax. In total I have applied it 3 times. I tended to apply it before my longer rides rather than every 100 miles. Longer rides recently have been in the 65-80 mile range.
Ready to roll…
So how does it perform? Well, actually really well. The obvious and important thing is the reduction in friction between the moving parts. Of course this is all perceived, none of this is scientific and I am unable to quantifiably measure differences. With that said the Wax is quieter, mostly. There is a tipping point when the wax needs to be reapplied and there is a fair amount of chattering from the chain if you go beyond that point. But to be perfectly honest, from my experience, that the same for any lube when it needs to be reapplied.
The most noticeable thing is that your drivetrain stays cleaner longer. While I am not riding in rain soaked gritty roads I do find myself riding on roads that wend (no pun intended) their way through lots of dry, sunbaked farmland and that ensures plenty of dirt and dust in the bike lane from the farm machinery, tractors, trucks and the like being thrown up on the bike. Typical lube would pick up this debris and liberally distribute it around the chain, cassette and chainrings. This results in less wear, longer lasting parts means more money saved and of course a cleaner drivetrain means less resistance and is an energy saver!
In the pictures below you can see that there is still black chain lube residue on the cassette. I think this from where the chain was not 100% clean to start with. After a bit of research online it seems the best way to clean it is to break the chain and use a sonic cleaner with degreaser and water mix to really get into the crevices of the chain. Next time!
After nearly 100 miles of use since the first application.
So in summary it has a big ticks in the main boxes…it reduces friction and it’s quiet! Additional ticks in boxes as follows;
- Keeps you chainset cleaner than traditional lube!
- Based on the three applications so far it one set of Wax will last a long time, I expect it to last a lot longer than a traditional bottle of lube
- It smells nice…ok this is totally a bonus but smelling nice is never a bad thing!
As mentioned the set cost me $30 from Amazon, you can buy it directly from Wend or from a local bike shop that is distributing it.
This Wax Kit was purchased by me. See previous gear reviews in the Tab above. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.