First Time Waxing a Bicycle Chain

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I use my bicycles to commute to work year round. The wet, muddy, and slushy seasons really take a toll on the powertrain, and I get tired of the constant need to clean and lubricate the chain. Especially as the oil based lubricants attract grime to the chain. A coworker hinted almost a year ago that he waxes his bike's chain and it has been less work, so I finally decided to try it.

A bicycle chain in green degreaser.
Guides said I should use turpentine to clean the chain, but I didn't want to play with that stuff.

Supposedly the wax will not attract dirt like oil based lubricants, and if properly cleaned, should be able to be cleaned with just hot water when re-waxing. This all remains to be seen, and I'm not sure if I was able to clean the sprockets and chain to the standard required, but I still wanted to try.

Pieces of candles being melted in a pot.
They kinda look like banana slices.

After cleaning, I melted old unused candles to use as the wax. The wax you're supposed to use is apparently paraffin, and these were at least marked "100 % paraffin". There are actual products like Rex Black Diamond that you can use for this, but I wanted to start out with a small initial investment.

Paraffin wax is not biodegradable as opposed to some oil based lubricants on the market, but the amount in the chain is very small. I'd still like to know if there's any alternative to paraffin; I've read that beeswax can be added, but not used solely.

A chain in melted wax, with bubbles rising from it.
Mm, chain soup.

Then it was time to dip the chain in. I heated the paraffin a bit too hot, and it took quite some time to cool down. I kept the chain in the wax for some time, wiggling it periodically to ensure the wax penetrated every part of it. I didn't know how much wax I should end up with on the chain, so I lifted it up quite slowly – good tip to attach a wire or something to the chain so you can lift it up without touching the hot wax – and I ended up with a partly quite blobby chain.

I continued the next day as I ran out of time. The next step was to break the wax by bending the chain so that it could be installed back on the bike. Reinstallation was a bit tricky as the chain was very stiff, but after getting it on, it actually rolled quite nicely.

A bicycle chain installed into place. It has small wax pieces torn from it.
Too much wax?

I've read that the first 10 to 20 kilometers on a waxed chain are stiff as the extra wax hasn't yet dropped away from it, but I took a short trip and honestly didn't feel much of a difference. The chain was completely silent and there were no shifting issues. I'll have to take a longer ride soon to make sure, though.

Time will tell if this was actually worth it, and if I managed to do it correctly. The real test will only happen next fall. But if it manages to help with the dirt and crap, I'll be very happy.