The Best Way to Apply Wax Chain Lube to Your Bike Chain for Best Performance

The Best Way to Apply Wax Chain Lube to Your Bike Chain for Best Performance

You can buy the best chain lube in the world but if it is not applied correctly, you may be compromising the performance of your drivetrain. Sure, squirting any old lube on will likely reduce some wear and prevent squeaking while out riding, but in a world of marginal gains, chain lubes like Momum’s can help you ride faster, clean your bike less and save you £100’s in drivetrain components.

Momum’s MIC Wax is the result of 2 years of development in the lab and on the road and trails and a 10 year career selling one of the world’s best known drip wax lubricant before that. The unique formula of MIC combines microcrystalline wax and ceramic particles of less than 3 microns (0.003mm!). The extensive production process of these ceramic particles ensures a more uniform shape and size and as a result, MIC Wax and Oil lubricants feature the smallest ceramic particles of any chain lubricant, and what this means for you is smoother performance and longer lasting drivetrain components

 

Applying MIC Wax

Like with any good chain lubricant, applying Momum’s MIC wax for the first time requires a clean chain, free from contaminating debris and old lubricants or packing grease. This ensures the wax penetrates all the necessary gaps and allows sufficient bonding to the inner plate, pin and rollers. One Ride Cycling offer this service with guaranteed results, using a thorough, ultrasonic cleaning and application process. However, you can achieve good results using various degreaser products and methods and a little elbow grease at home.

Once your chain is clean, you are ready to apply the lubricant. Begin with the chain in the smallest cog at the rear and your largest ring at the front. The reason for this is that the smallest cog at the rear creates the most amount of rotation between the pin, rollers and inner plates, thus more working time for the lubricant to penetrate between the small gaps. The use of the large ring at the front makes for easier removal of excess lube that is being held on the chainring, as the front and back face of the ring can be easily wiped with a rag. This is also true for single ring setups.

Optional tip: place the bottle of MIC Wax in a cup of warm-hot (but not boiling) water with the cap off. This decreases the viscosity of the wax and makes penetrating the small gaps easier.

Give the bottle a good shake to evenly distribute the ceramic particles and begin rotating your chain backwards. Apply the lube to the top of the chain to coat the ‘outside’ and complete one full cycle, then take the bottle and place at the bottom of the chain to coat the ‘inside’, completing one full revolution. Now you have lubricant on the chain that needs working in. Place the chain between your finger and thumb and lightly squeeze together while rotating the chain backwards. This helps force the lube into the tight gaps and into the inner surface of the rollers and inner plates. This process cannot be overdone, so the more time spent doing this, the merrier, but 1-2 minutes will usually do. 

 

Now, repeat this whole process again, but shift your chain so that its in the largest cog on the cassette. Apply wax to the outside and inside, using your split link or connecting pin as a guide to completing a full cycle, and force the additional wax in by running between your finger and thumb for 1-2 minutes. The angle created by cross-chaining gives further opportunity for the wax to work into the tight gaps.

By this point, the viscosity will have started to increase as the wax begins its transformation from liquid to solid and temperature decreases if you opted to heat the wax pre application. The excess wax can be wiped off by rotating the chain backwards and running through a cloth. This step also helps the lube penetrate and can be done for 1-2 minutes. Once complete, downshift on the front chainring to expose the large chainring and wipe off excess lubrication. Remove excess lube from the jockey wheels and any residue left on the cassette.

 

After 20 minutes the chain is primed and ready to ride. You will immediately notice the smoothness and quietness of a fully waxed chain which has a unique ability to dampen drivetrain sound, improve riding and shifting performance thanks to the ceramic particles while remaining incredibly clean. The ceramic particles require no moisture to deliver their friction reducing properties and so prevent road contamination from gathering on the chain, causing increased friction and wear to your chain, cassette and chainrings.

Depending on riding style and conditions, you should expect to ride 200km+ for dry road riding before needing to reapply MIC wax, and anywhere around 100km off road in the dry, although this is of course more variable than road. As the wax slowly flakes off, the natural sound of the drivetrain will increase while the ceramic particles are still present and offering reduced friction. Overtime, these will also fall away and the sound (and friction) will increase as metal-on-metal contact begins. This is a distinct sound, often coupled with squeaking, that is a sign that you needed to have reapplied your MIC wax already.

If you find that your chain is making these sounds before 200km, you may need to ensure a cleaner chain to begin with, or apply more wax lube either before riding or after each ride for the first couple of rides. These extra applications help ensure the lube has penetrated into all of the necessary gaps which may have otherwise not been successful.

MIC Wax is highly effective at minimising road contaminants from adhering to the chain during wet rides, helping to reduce the grinding paste that this causes and keep friction and part wear to a minimum. In the event of riding in the wet, it is advised to wipe down the chain after the ride to remove water and reapply MIC wax liberally in the same way as before to help flush out any contaminants that the chain may have picked up. As before, wipe off excess lube and repeat as necessary.

For long durations of foul weather riding, if necessary, the chain can be completely stripped and cleaned as before and application process followed as though preparing a new chain. More on this at the end.

These are all instructions to help ensure peak drivetrain performance and the more thorough and consistent you follow the guidance, the better the results you will get. Many cyclists are happy to forgo some of the longevity that MIC wax can offer in favour of a quicker and easier clean and application process, instead opting to apply more regularly, say 100-150km, and still experience excellent smoothness and superior cleanliness.

Where MIC Wax excels and can help every rider, regardless of how frequently their chain is maintained, is that the inherent dry nature of wax prevents the attraction of grit and grime, so your chain stays cleaner for longer, with less-to-little need to clean during normal use, unlike oil based lubricants that leave a wet film that contaminants stick to.

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge and know-how to apply MIC Wax, you can see the product details in our shop and begin to benefit yourself from reduced friction, quietness, smoothness and reduced wear to your drivetrain.

Safe and happy riding.

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