Chain wax in winter

Winter is the biggest challenge for cyclists. Some are quite trivial, such as cold, snow, ice and wetness. But these conditions also take a toll on the bike, be it dirt, salt or wetness.


This raises the question of all questions: Is chain wax the right choice in winter too? Because we know that waxed chains offer less corrosion protection than oil?


=> The quick answer: Yes


The benefits of chain wax in winter:

  1. Less dirt: In winter, there is the most dirt on the roads. Winter road dirt can easily stick to oiled chains and massively increase wear. With chain wax, the outside of the chain remains untreated and therefore very smooth, meaning that dirt can hardly stick. The wax is only on the inside of the chain and does not absorb any dirt due to its solid properties.

  2. Less wear: Wear is significantly less than with oil. If the lubricant does not absorb dirt, the lubricating effect is maintained. Oil absorbs dirt and turns into an abrasive paste, which significantly reduces the service life of the components.

  3. Longer lasting: Unlike oil, chain wax is not liquid and sticks to the chain, which means that the lubrication lasts significantly longer even on extremely wet rides, but as with any lubricant, rain does not exactly extend the mileage...

  4. Cleaning: Since wax and dirt do not mix, the chain can be cleaned very quickly and easily with lukewarm water or a cloth after a muddy ride, for example.

Disadvantages of chain wax in winter:

  1. Regular application is necessary: ​​In winter, especially if the bike is used intensively, it may be necessary to apply chain wax more frequently than in the warmer and particularly dry months. However, the maintenance interval is usually longer than with oil. A small amount of wax should be applied, especially after wet rides, to prevent corrosion.

  2. Corrosion, wiping dry is a must: The main disadvantage of chain wax is the lower corrosion protection, as the chain is not coated like with oil. Here, the chain must be wiped dry after a wet ride. Another positive effect is high-quality, preferably nickel-plated/coated chains and, ideally, a dry or even warm storage location. So unfortunately not really for the classic commuter who then parks his bike outside...

Conclusion: Chain wax in winter – a worthwhile investment

Despite some potential disadvantages, the advantages of winter chain wax clearly outweigh the disadvantages. The reduced wear and tear and the effort required for cleaning make it a worthwhile investment for every cyclist.