What is hot chain waxing? It is a traditional method of protecting and lubricating chains by dipping them in molten wax. It is exceptionally clean and long lasting with no fling and no "calf tattoos" like you get from chain lubes. It is exceptionally good in dusty or wet conditions as the wax does not move around as much as oil. The downsides are that you need a clean chain to apply to and a way of heating the wax to the right temperature safely. Thankfully readily available, cheap crockpots or slow cookers are perfect for this.
Why add PTFE? PTFE has one of the lowest coefficients of friction of any substance. Discovered by accident in 1938 PTFE is a white waxy substance that repels water and is very chemically stable. It is often marketed under the Teflon trade name. By adding to chain wax it significantly reduces friction, losses and wear.
What wax recipe do you recommend for chains?
We really like the Ultimate Chain Wax recipe on the oz cycle youtube channel
. Simply 500g of Paraffin wax and 50g of PTFE. Softer waxes such as Beeswax, Soya wax or Carnauba Wax could also be added to make a chain slightly quieter. Other powder lubricants such as Tungsten Disulphide, Molybdenum Disulphide or even hex Boron Nitride could also be added (please see our other listings), but pure PTFE is the simplest and cleanest. it should be noted that a 10:1 PTFE mix is much higher than is available in proprietary waxes.
Do you stock 1.6 Micron? No, our suppliers do not make 1.6 micron powder as it clumps or agglomerates too easily. 3 micron is the finest size for mechanical applications and certainly fine enough for waxing chains. Although we have seen 1.6 micron on the market (usually also saying 3 micron APS?!) we are yet to find a supplier that meets our safety standards.
Why is this more expensive than some? Because it has been made and tested to very high standards in Canada and then packed in the UK. It easily meets the new safety standards for PFOA levels coming in summer of 2020. It is virgin PTFE, not from reground or remanufactured stock to save costs. A 50g PTFE 500g wax bath is enough to treat and retreat several chains. With some chains costing over £100 it is well worth doing well and safely. Also you save on applying and reapplying traditional lubes.
Can I add it to car engine oil? No. PTFE should not be overheated. In a car engine it will burn potentially causing problems. Look at other lubricants such as WS2, hBN or MoS2 that can handle the heat. For the same reason PTFE should not be used to coat air rifle pellets or bullets.
Is it bad for the environment? Chains treated with PTFE wax last much longer than others reducing costs and environmental impact. Wax stays put and is not spread about the environment like traditional lubes. PTFE is practically inert and, as long as it is very low PFOA, safe. PTFE is commonly used for medical implants! Paraffin wax itself is noted for its stability (named for the latin para=does not + fin=react with) and is less dangerous for sensitive environments than oils.