When I started seeing videos on social media of coloured and even multi-coloured chains using wax, I became intrigued. Digging a bit deeper I learned that Wend Waxworks, the company behind the videos, had developed the wax as a chain lubricant not just a beauty product I had to try some for myself.
Wend Waxworks started life developing high peformance wax for use on skis and snowboards. They then diversified and produced the first rub-on wax-basd chain lubricant for the cycling industry.
Thanks to Jam Cycling, the UK distributor, I soon received a Wend Chain Wax Kit.
The kit contains a microfibre cloth to help apply the wax, a Wax on twist stick of clear wax and a Wax-Off chain cleaner. Also included are detailed instructions in how to prepare your drive train and apply the wax.
Wend Wax is also available in Spectrum range of 7 vibrant colours and a black graphite version. I’d be tempted to try the black version especially as the graphite is supposed to run smoother for longer. There are also smaller sized pocket wax tubs available to carry around with you in case you want to top up.
The Wax-Off is meant to completely clean your drivetrain from old lubricants and dirt before applying the wax. Getting your chain as clean as possible before applying the wax is key it seems. I used two bikes to test this product, one with a brand new drivetrain the other with a season-old one that had previously used dry lubes. I had better results on the new chain than on my used drivetrain, probably because I rushed the wax-off part.
Applying the wax is a little more work than simply dribbling on your typical wet or dry oil. The Wax-On stick is a like a giant lipstick, with a twister ont he bottom to extend or retract the wax stick. You extend the stick a little, hold it to your chain and spin the cranks until you’ve coated it all the way around and than repeat on the opposite side. Afterwards you use your fingers to work the wax into the chain links and wipe off any excess with the cloth provided in the kit. A littele more time consuming than oil based lubricants, but a whole lot cleaner.
One of the claimed benefits of the wax is a quieter drive train, and I certainly noticed that, even on the used chain and cassette. Shifting was smooth and as quiet as can be expected of metal components grinding against each other.
The other major benefit is how clean the wax is. It’s clean going on, with no splashing when you cycle the chain like you can get with liquid lubricants. And it doesn’t attract dirt to your drive train like wet lubes do, creating that black gungy mess that covers your fingers and legs everytime you come within 5 centimetres of your bike. In fact, the new drivetrain still looks like new, despite several applications of wax.
In the past I’ve used both dry lubes and wet lubes I’ve never articularly liked the wet lubes because of the aforementioned mess they create. However, they do last well in wet conditions. I’ve always prefered dry lubes because they tend to be cleaner, however they don’t last anywhere near as well and need reaplying at least between every ride, and sometimes even during longer rides.
I’ve found Wend Wax falls somewhere in the middle when it comes to adherence. Especially in drier conditions it lasts much longer than dry lubricants. I still tend to reaply between rides, but mostly because its so easy and mess free to do and it keep my drivetrain nice and quiet. In wetter weather I’m not quite sure if it lasts as well as traditional wet lubrihcants. This could be because the wet conditions Ive used it in have been extreme, and even wet lubes may have struggled. It could be because the chain looks so clean compared to the black mess you would normally get that I automatically regrease. Or it may even be that I’ve gotten so used to the near silence that the noise after a wet ride is more noticable. Whatever the reason, for pure longevity in the winter months the jury is still out.
However, for me I’ll likely keep using the wax on both bikes through out the year. In the summer, because the wax lasts longer and is quieter than dry chain oil. And in the winter, because the durability is close enough to wet chain oils and it is much, much cleaner.