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Silca Strips at Unbound: The Ultimate Chain Stripper and Wax Prep To Go Faster

Silca Ultimate Chain Stripper and Wax Prep easy drivetrain cleaner makes you faster
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A new ‘Ultimate’ Chain Stripper and Wax Prep from Silca promises to ease and speed up the process of making your drivetrain faster. Debuting this weekend for gravel racing at Unbound, Silca’s new ‘Ultimate’ solution will strip all of the grease of your chain and have it ready for their fastest wax-based lube in 10 minutes of less, and you don’t even have to pull the chain off your bike!

Silca Ultimate Chain Stripper and Wax Prep makes you faster

We’ve pretty much all come to accept that waxed chain lubrication is the path to the lowest drivetrain friction and the fastest-spinning drivetrain on our bikes. But getting a properly waxed chain isn’t easy.

sram flat top mountain bike chains

Starting from a factory-greased chain, it often requires multiple degreasing and ultrasonic cleaning steps to get the chain clean enough to make wax lubes properly stick. And if you skimp on this step, the wax lubrication won’t properly penetrate and adhere to your chain, so you won’t get those magic speed benefits. If you are starting with a used chain that’s already seen time on your bike, the process is even more fraught. Only by removing the chain, and restarting the degreasing & ultrasonic cleaning process do you have any hope. And our own experience suggests that truly getting a used chain fully clean again is a pipedream.

So what’s new here?

Silca’s new solution makes it super simple to clean away that old grease on your chain and make the leap to better wax lubrication…

The new highly-concentrated, biodegradable degreaser that makes up the ‘Ultimate Chain Stripper’ part of this new mix cleans away all of your existing chain lube. Then, the ‘Wax Prep’ part acts as a primer on the metal of your chain to help adhere your new wax lube with a single quick application.

Silca Ultimate Chain Stripper and Wax Prep easy drivetrain cleaner makes you faster, label details
photos c. Silca

Up until now, the biggest hurdle for cyclists looking to upgrade to wax based lubricants has been the time, chemicals, and containers necessary to properly strip the factory grease from the chain. Some of the recommended methods use as many as 3 separate chemicals and can take up to 2 full days to complete. By taking a totally different approach with this product, we’ve developed something that not only strips the chain completely of other lubricants, but actually leaves the metal prepped for optimal adhesion of the wax. This is a huge win on both fronts, we’ve ultimately increased application longevity and performance of the lubricant, while reducing the preparation time to achieve this from hours to minutes!

– Josh Poertner, Silca CEO

How do you use it?

Classified Powershift Boost MTB 2x internal gear mountain bike hub for Shimano or SRAM 12-speed, Bike Connection Agency photo by Mirror Media, Eagle chain
c. BCA, photo by Mirror Media

Still on your bike, first brush all the gunky debris off your chainring, cassette & derailleur pulleys so you have a reasonably clean slate to work with.

Next, just apply a single drop of the new magic sauce onto each roller of the chain, let it sit for 5 minutes, then apply one more drop to each roller, then wait another 5 minutes. After that, simply rinse it off with a hose – no pressure washers please, but plenty of water flow to flush out all of the degreased residue. Then, simply apply a drip-on lube like Silca’s Secret Chain Lube – aka Hot Melt Wax in a bottle – and away you go with a faster chain.

SILCA HOT MELT WAX

The good news here is that it is compatible with other drip-on wax-based lubes, too – not only Silca’s. And if you are looking to hot wax a chain, this on-bike cleaning process is designed to better clean a used chain before you take it off, do the ultrasonic bath, and dip it into melted solid wax for extra long-lasting speed.

Silca Ultimate Chain Stripper – Pricing, availability & options

Silca Ultimate Chain Stripper and Wax Prep easy drivetrain cleaner makes you faster, size & bundle options

The new US-made Silca Ultimate Chain Stripper and Wax Prep is available in the USA now and will be coming very soon to Europe, too.

It comes in two sizes, but the smaller one only in a bundle with Silca’s secret lube. For $36 / 44€ you get a small 4oz/118ml bottle of Ultimate Chain Stripper and Wax Prep combined with a small 4oz/118ml bottle of Super Secret Chain Lube. That is said to be enough to clean around 4 chains, and make them super-fast.

The bigger 16oz/473ml bottle of Ultimate Chain Stripper and Wax Prep sells for the same $36 / 44€ as the bundle, but will be better suited for cleaning and prepping more than a dozen chains. Just to be clear, you should only need to do this clean & prep work once on a chain before you first apply a wax-based lubricant to it.

Silca.cc

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23 Comments
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Greg
Greg
1 year ago

This should convert the critics hesitant to go with wax because of the “hassle”.

Bart
Bart
1 year ago
Reply to  Greg

I went back to regular oil. Literally 0 prep work and I’m ok with the additional 1.25 watts i lose.

Robin
Robin
1 year ago
Reply to  Bart

With drivetrain components being as expensive as they are now, I’m completely chuffed with the minimal effort required to prep a new chain and rewax a used chain given how much waxed chains extend the life of drivetrain components.

pna
pna
1 year ago
Reply to  Robin

How many people have actually ridden enough to wear out cassettes and/or chainrings? I’ve not been waxing my chains and my chainrings go for more than 20K miles. My cassettes have exceeded chainring life as well. I don’t buy cutting edge equipment so the cost of replacing either of those is much less than the time cost of waxing a chain.

Dinger
Dinger
1 year ago
Reply to  Bart

Agreed. I’m also convinced that my clean, regularly oiled chain is faster than someone else’s 200-300+ km old wax job is. I am doubtful that most wax practitioners recondition frequently enough as much of a chore as it is.

Chain lube is like engine oil changes. Don’t get stingy and do it often enough and your equipment will run well and last longer with the “cheap” stuff than if you try to stretch intervals with the expensive stuff.

I really like the Dumonde Tech oils. They’re slick, long lasting and withstand dirty conditions well. Super easy to clean and reapply, too.

Les
Les
1 year ago
Reply to  Dinger

Unfortunately all the independent data on this says the contrary. By all means keep oiling your chain and going about your business, but by all scientific data (especially in any remotely offroad conditions) wet lube (oil) is an outright terrible choice to make if you’re informed.

Pstu
Pstu
1 year ago
Reply to  Greg

I will be happy to never open up another can of mineral spirits to prep a chain — or re-clean a chain that a mechanic mistakenly lubed. Of course, with the long life of a waxed chain, that’s not a frequent task. I’m on my 4th chain on my main commuter bike after 10k miles, and that’s only because the quick-link failed and blew up my 3rd chain prematurely. I’m also on the original cassette.

Vinny
Vinny
1 year ago
Reply to  Pstu

Hey Ptsu, quick links usually only last for 5-10 reuse times. The Chain itself should last many many quicklinks.

pna
pna
1 year ago
Reply to  Pstu

A chain every 2500 miles is standard expected life. I don’t know why you think that’s “long life.” I get that with my wet lube chains.

Fake Namerton
Fake Namerton
1 year ago
Reply to  Greg

Still seems like a hassle in comparison with Dumonde tech which lasts 400 miles per application rain or shine and just throwing your chain into a harbor freight ultrasonic cleaner with some purple power once.

mud
mud
1 year ago

With all the frequent washing I do, oil works better, way cheaper. I’m not a marginal-gains guy.

Nick
Nick
1 year ago

Ceramicspeed UFO

Nick
Nick
1 year ago

Ceramicspeed UFO Cleaner

Andreas
Andreas
1 year ago
Reply to  Nick

seen any tests where they compare cleaners? would be interesting with this new stuff from silca

Bonny
Bonny
1 year ago

Waxing is all good until it rains. Then it all falls off and your chain rusts. Been there, done that. Gone back to oil. Petrol and white spirits work well and will save you a fortune.

Robin
Robin
1 year ago
Reply to  Bonny

Not true at all.

Wes Prince
Wes Prince
1 year ago
Reply to  Bonny

Guess it depends on where you live. PNW with frequent rains I could maybe see that. But I’ve ridden in plenty of rain for rallies, creek crossings on MTB and I do not notice any reduction in longevity of wax vs oil. For a beach bike I would probably stick with oil, but that’s a special environment because of salt spray.

Richard Penistone
Richard Penistone
1 year ago

Chain lube is not the reason you’re getting dropped from the A group or not catting up bro ski. Little more intervals on the bike and at the salad bar.

Andreas
Andreas
1 year ago

wax is not only marginal gains, one of the best parts is that the chain and drivetrain is clean to the touch, meaning no dirty stains or dirty hands from oil and grime, only dirt as in dirt and mud. for me that makes it a no brainer even if the marginal gains would not be there at all.

Astro_Kraken
Astro_Kraken
1 year ago
Reply to  Andreas

This plus environmental concerns is enough for me. Except in MN winters. Wax isn’t great then.

Fake Namerton
Fake Namerton
1 year ago
Reply to  Astro_Kraken

You’re concerned about the environmental impact of your chain lube? I think in 10,000 miles a year of riding I use 2 maybe 3oz of chain lube. Pretty confident I spill more than 2oz of oil in my garage changing the filter . Seems like something that’s a bit useless to worry about.

Vinny
Vinny
1 year ago
Reply to  Astro_Kraken

Check out all weather waxes like Tru Tension Tungsten and Ceramic Speeds new All weather wax. I’m certain new hot waxes for bad weather will follow soon!

grant petersen
1 year ago

If anybody reads the range of comments and still concludes that there’s only one effective way to lube a chain…yikes, how do you do that?

I waxed for years, the hard way. I’m a T9 guy now. Good enough, and whatever inefficiencies it brings to my chain are NOT what’s slowing me down on my optional recreational rides where I’m not racing my pals. And T9/Boeshield may not repel dirt, but it absolutely doesn’t attract and hold it.
On the other hand, if I could snap my fingers and have a new wax job every few thousand miles, I’d probably do that.

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