SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MAY 25th
WELDTITE TF2 ULTRA DRY CHAIN WAX
The Weldtite TF2 Ultra Dry Chain Wax is, as its name suggests, a wax formula, apparently designed “for cycle chains working in tough, exposed environments”. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with its staying prowess and cleanliness, through a showery, changeable late summer test period.
Exact composition of Weldtite's TF2 Ultra Dry Chain Wax is strictly hush, hush. It’s a petrochemical formula designed to minimise friction, stay put and, crucially, without collecting loads of transmission chewing contaminant. As might be expected, in liquid form, it’s very flammable and hazardous to aquatic life. Store and use away from waterways, children and pets.
This is pretty straightforward, although lacks the convenience of drizzle 'n’ go lubes. Run recipient chains through the solvent bath and give cassettes a quick scrub to remove any pre-existing contaminant first.
Dry with a clean rag - keep this handy to catch any overspill. Having given the 100ml bottle a brief shake, pop the spot and drizzle the light blue lube into each link. This attractive hue lasts long enough to enable you to tell at a glance, where you’ve hit or missed.
The flow rate is quick, though more predictable than some. Provided you’ve held that cloth beneath, wastage and overspill are minimal. Curing time will depend upon temperature but 4 hours was typical.
Most of us will probably leave it overnight, especially first time round. The term wax is a little misleading, although not in a bad way. Having cured, ours assumed a deep, film-like state rather than the candle consistency I’d expected. This also lends itself to cleat mechanisms, derailleur jockey wheels and cables.
I’ve tested lots of lubes over the years and the friction busting properties are quickly apparent; albeit equal, rather than superior to other “barely there” formulas. This was most obvious, cruising up and down my tubby tourer’s wide ratio cassette.
Our formative 30 mile ride coincided with some very heavy and persistent rain. Perfect for testing its staying prowess. Despite saturated surfaces and silt, there was no hint of it being washed away, let alone that tell-tale metal-on- metal tinkling.
There were some specs of dirt come the end, but nothing of note and less than you’d get using a more typical wax - the sort that flakes off, taking the crap with it. Some will argue that these kinds of lubes are wasted on a fixed, or single-speed.
It’s a perspective I can relate to, especially on a working bike. However, I appreciated its minimal friction on higher end track chains and straight cut sprockets. Cleanliness is another boon in this context, especially on longer, hillier outings, where I might swap the wheel for different ratios. Obviously, this has been very welcome when tackling roadside flats too. Probably the greatest surprise has been its staying prowess.
Though these lubes have become more durable in recent years, they’re primarily intended to excel in dry, dusty conditions. Frequent dirt road exploration aboard my Univega confirms it delivers here and even with the changeable weather, topping up only became necessary after 150 mixed terrain, or 330 road miles.
At that point, it was only necessary to wipe the links before drizzling some more on. Regular readers will know that I run a stainless steel track chain on my fixed gear winter/trainer. The chain’s slippery surface can result in lubes migrating to the outer plates.
I’m pleased to report the ultra wax has stayed put and there’s been no tell-tale freckling of the pins, despite regular exposure to damp. Again, there’s little hint of contaminant, although as temperatures struggled to climb beyond 15 degrees, the lube has developed a more obvious waxy, contaminant trapping patina.
Dry/wax formulas are becoming stiffer and more versatile. To date, the dry wax represents decent value for money and copes well in the everyday sense. Rock 'n’ Roll’s Absolute Dry is a better bet for those who want a dry formula for year round service. Nonetheless, £7.99 is still pretty reasonable, relative to its performance and competitors.
Verdict: 3.7/5 Clean, friction busting lube that copes surprisingly well in damp conditions too.
PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2017
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH