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Silca StripChip & Ultimate Chain Wax System Makes Chain Waxing Easier than Ever

Silca StripChip Ultimate Chain Wax System cleaner bike chain4
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It’s impossible to talk about chain lub without someone bringing up chain waxing. Zero Friction Cycling will tell you that most hot melt waxes are the best at preventing wear, but they’re also more involved to apply. There’s the actual waxing part which usually requires a way to heat up the wax, and then there’s the cleaning part where you have to completely strip a new chain of its factory lubricant.

The new Silca StripChip and Ultimate Chain Wax System claims to almost completely eliminate that cleaning part. How? Instead of cleaning the factory chain in a separate step, you simply drop a StripChip into the pot of wax and the process of oleogelation does the rest.

According to Silca, “While developing Chain Stripper, Silca CEO Josh Poertner fell down a chemistry revolution occurring in the food industry known as oleogelation. This new concept developed to replace hydrogenation for food oils, for health benefits, also showed promise at converting lubrication oils into solids. This simple chemistry takes base oils which would normally act as solvents inside of waxes and converts them into binders that connect and extend wax molecule chains. Just a few minutes at the right temperature and oils and greases inside the factory lubed chain, convert into highly lubricious, long chain wax/lubricant molecules right inside of your hot wax.  Simply drop one square of StripChip into your hot melt wax, let it melt, then drop in your new factory chain and let it work its oleogelation magic.”

The only catch is that the StripChip needs a higher temperature than typical waxing (125ºC to 75ºC), which is where the new Silca Ultimate Chain Wax System comes in. Calling it the “first bicycle chain optimized, temperature adjustable wax system (75-125ºC / 167-257ºF)”, the device has a 600ml pot, chain hanging coupler, and a drip stand.

When used with the StripChip, you simply add 400g of wax with one square of StripChip, and set the temp to 125ºC and you’re done. The StripChip will work with Crockpots and Instant Pots, though Silca says they must be carefully monitored for temperature, stating ” the standard Crockpot Low is 90-110ºC, which is below the oleogelation temperature, and standard Crockpot High is 150-160ºC which is right at the over-temperature point of the oloeogelator and risks long term damage to the wax.  If using the product with a double boiler, Crockpot, or Instant Pot, we recommend using a thermometer and carefully ensuring that the wax never exceeds 130ºC.” Also, note that this process is for new factory-lubricated chains only. Silca does not recommend using StripChip on used chains that weren’t originally waxed.

Available now, the StripChip sells for $24 for a brick of 6 chips. One chip is used for 400g of wax, and the wax still in the pot is reusable for future waxings, so 6 chips should last you a while.

The Chain Waxing System is available for $99 and only includes the wax warmer pot, drip stand, and cable coupler. It does not include any wax or the StripChip.

silca.com

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26 Comments
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nooner
nooner
2 months ago

As somebody who has waxed many chains, this is a breakthrough if it works as advertised. Protip: run 2-3 chains in rotation, as the wax does not last very long at all.

Robin
Robin
2 months ago
Reply to  nooner

Define “does not last very long at all”.

Richard
2 months ago
Reply to  Robin

Depends on your riding conditions about 400 miles in dry wet it really depends

Robin
Robin
2 months ago
Reply to  Richard

I’m getting about 400 miles in the dry. I think that counts as pretty darned long.

nooner
nooner
2 months ago
Reply to  Robin

One muddy CX race and it’s toast. The juice was not worth the squeeze… Also worthy of mention, Wax is by far the best for your chain in muddy CX/Gravel conditions. PAM is also a secret weapon but keep that on the DL.

FrankTheTank
FrankTheTank
1 month ago
Reply to  nooner

PAM on the chain or PAM on the frame?

carbonfodder
carbonfodder
2 months ago

“2 days” to prep a chain for waxing – maybe if you are really lazy. My experience is:

  1. fire up the crock pot mini on high with 1lb food grade paraffin (add optional stuff like PTFE here too)
  2. agitate chain 5 minutes with a 10% citrus degreaser to water solution in a shaker (aka mason jar)
  3. 1 – 2 minutes to rag dry
  4. 15 minutes to hang dry (or 90s with a hair dryer).
  5. (optional) 5 minutes in an ultrasonic cleaner with just water.
  6. (optional) repeat the dry cycle.
  7. watch TV or play video game for an hour
  8. drop dry chain in wax bath. agitate slightly until no more bubbles (that means the wax is in all the nooks and crannies). Let chain sit in wax another 5 minutes or so just to be overkill.

All in, from start to finish, the process is 1.5 hours including an hour of goofing off in the middle. 30 minutes “effort”. with clean chains, you can get around 20 uses from 1 lb wax. As noted above if you do multiple chains at a time, you can do a dozen with an hour of “effort”

Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict
2 months ago
Reply to  carbonfodder

An honest question, why are people down voting this post? I read the post multiple times looking for trigger words, didn’t see any. Or is it the sarcastic use of “effort”? This looks like a pretty fast and relatively easy process.

Mattbyke
Mattbyke
2 months ago
Reply to  carbonfodder

I agree. I have the time and love futzing about on my bike “fleet”. 3 most ridden bikes , have 2 chains each. And a chain each for different gearing. I have access to an industrial solvent based safety clean system. Strip chains to bare metal ( near instantly) . Then put all the chains on my hanger and wax. I use block paraffin and PTFE purchased in 1.6 micron sized powder. Super cheap and highly effective at boosting lubrication and a slight increase in longevity.

veloaficionado
veloaficionado
1 month ago
Reply to  Mattbyke

“Slight”? I am tripling chain life regularly, quadrupling on Wippermann Connex chains.

Deputy Dawg
Deputy Dawg
2 months ago

Will the Silca cooker self-destruct if you put Molten Speed Wax into it?

Asking for a friend.

veloaficionado
veloaficionado
1 month ago
Reply to  Deputy Dawg

Let alone homebrew . . . it’d probably go into orbit.

Robin
Robin
2 months ago

I’m not sure where the numbers in the chart came from, but it sure doesn’t take me 2 days to strip, clean, wax a new chain. A couple of rounds in the ultrasonic cleaner with Simple Green’s Extreme Aircraft cleaner, a round with Dawn, and some rinsing, all followed by time in the crock pot with Molten Speedwax…well, all of that takes only a few hours. Most that time is spent doing other things. The ultrasonic cleaner and crock pot don’t have to be monitored continuously. I can read, watch movies, work on the bike, mow the lawn or whatever while those things do their job.

I’m not sure where this idea that chain waxing has to be a laborious time vacuum came from.

Douglas
2 months ago
Reply to  Robin

Becuase if its not done properly its worthless to try and wax and the vast majority of cyclist dont have an ultrasonic cleaner in their garage. The thing a lot of people miss is some common degreasers are not actually good for your chain. Josh breaks this down in their youtube videos.

Robin
Robin
2 months ago
Reply to  Douglas

In that case, sure.

veloaficionado
veloaficionado
1 month ago
Reply to  Douglas

Josh is very good at breaking down things to his own advantage. And pecuniary benefit.

Robin
Robin
1 month ago
Reply to  veloaficionado

He’s also pretty knowledgeable about things he talks about.

Ben
Ben
2 months ago

I’m convinced that Silca’s chain stripper is just repackaged clear mineral spirits at a jacked up pricepoint. I’ve used both and the results are the same if you follow the same process.
Tell me I’m wrong Josh!

veloaficionado
veloaficionado
1 month ago
Reply to  Ben

Josh won’t do that, because it would disturb his profit model: i.e. buying cheap ingredients, branding them (with a meretriciously acquired and badge-engineered brand name), sprinkling ‘super secret’ and ‘bespoke’, ‘hand-tooled’ proprietary pixie dust on the final product, then marking them up the wazoo. Tell me I’m wrong Josh.

Josh at SILCA
Josh at SILCA
1 month ago
Reply to  veloaficionado

You’re wrong.

Josh at SILCA
Josh at SILCA
1 month ago
Reply to  Ben

Just look at the MSDS and you can see that is far from true.. take the things in the MSDS and try to buy them at less than 10x the cost of mineral spirits.. you can’t do it. Or, just try shaking a chain in mineral spirits for 10 minutes and then rinsing it with water and see what you get.. definitely not a stripped or waxable chain, you get an oily/greasy mess that smells bad and will leave a residue on your hands that won’t wash off easily. Also remember, we teach the mineral spirit/acetone method on our site and youtube channel for those who want to do it.. we just also choose to listen to the customers who either don’t want to use those solvents, or live in places where those are outlawed and need/want an alternative.

veloaficionado
veloaficionado
1 month ago

More snake oil from “Silca”: mystifying and making proprietary what is a fairly basic process. Hard pass.

Hamjam
Hamjam
1 month ago

My system that you will not like.
Step 1: soak in gasoline for at least an hour.
2: shake chain in jar of isopropyl the clean out gasoline
3; heat chain with heat gun and drop on Squirt lube.
4; just add more Squirt lube as needed.

Josh at SILCA
Josh at SILCA
1 month ago
Reply to  Hamjam

We’ve taught that method for years and it’s fine if you enjoy it and have the time and the space and the stuff on hand to do it (though look at ZFC data on Squirt.. there are far better options out there).
However, my vision for the ultimate wax system is:
Step 1: Wax your chain

Hamjam
Hamjam
1 month ago
Reply to  Josh at SILCA

Thanks, I’ll try it out. Honestly, the main reason I like squirt is the giant shop bottle.

Seb
Seb
1 month ago

Crazy to see that the chain waxing system is just a copy of Cyclowax

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