Chain lube options / now ultra sound waxing

I heard from sources I trust that they are running one chain on their gravel bike for 30.000km. With hardly any signs of wear on the chain, or the whole drive train.
Even for half that life-span, I would be intrigued, as it saves resources and also, cost!
A lightweight cassette being retailed for upwards of 250,- Euros lasting 30K Km…

This year I have finally taken the leap away from drip-on solutions like “Squirt Lube” to the immersion waxing method (see drip-on-post HERE if you’d like).

A seven-speed chain for a client, cooling amongst my spares.

The results are speaking for themselves right away.
Having two bikes converted two months ago to immersion waxed chains, I can say I have never had a more silent drive train. Also, it looks even more clean than with drip-on wax, after the initial overshot wax has fallen off. So far, so brilliant.

I meanwhile have two prepared chains per bike, and upgraded to an ultrasonic cleaner with a big enough basin and a heating function.
The cleaning of a used chain in mildly soapy water with this device is as quick as it is comfortable, especially when using an open tupper ware box (or similar) for the chain and soap, and immerse that container then into the water basin of the device – which stays completely clean itself then. At 80 degrees plus ultrasound, the dirt comes off in 3 rounds at 5 minutes each, easily.

The re-waxing happens the same way of course – a container for the re-usable fresh wax block gets immersed into the basin with the hot water inside, the clean chain and quick links get dropped in, and the ultra sound energy both heats up the system closer to 90 degrees and shakes the very fluid wax into all the dents and crevices around the rollers of the chain.
Take it all out and hang up to drip-dry into the wax container, and then fold the chain into a sealed plastic bag. I like to put labels on with kms ridden and cycles waxed, just to keep a tab and get my numbers correct at the end of the drive trains’ life.
And, we’re up and running again.


Some history, and method without an ultra sound cleaner:
Before that sophistication and really, simplification of the process, I had bought a cheap crock pot / slow cooker, white spirit, isopropanol alcohol and some containers. For the future, I hope more people are sharing their tools for a small fee or so, so neighbours can have chain-cook-outs together, maybe 🙂
First lesson here was, getting a pot with automatic temp control, so the wax sits nicely at 90 to 95 degrees Centigrade, so as to easily infiltrate all the tiny spaces within the fully degreased chain, while not fully boiling and evaporating.

The waxing itself is actually fun and rather quick.
The necessary one-time degreasing part is the less enjoyable solution, but tolerable.
We are talking 30.000 km here, after which the chain might need to be swapped for a new one, and thus only then degreasing will be done again.
It takes me three full rinse cycles in white spirit, to get a new chain grease-free.
The used fluid I collect in a bottle to bring to recycling, of course. Cannot get into water ways!
Then another two to three rinses with Isopropanol alcohol, which is a breeze (do not inhale too much, though ;).
Then let dry fully, and get the wax heated up, stir for a bit, and hang to cool.
Include any quick-links should you use those. Wipperman Connex is lovely, can be opened and closed without tools and lasts many closing cycles.