Silca has announced the release of Hot Wax X, a wax-based chain treatment that it promises is “roughly 0.5 watts” more efficient than its Secret Chain Blend and Super Secret chain lube.
It’s also claimed to extend application windows (the interval after which the chain lubricant needs to be reapplied) to “as much as 800km”, around twice the length of existing wax treatments.
Silca Hot Wax X costs $165 / €199 for a 300g tin of solid wax, making it one of the most expensive bicycle chain lubricants currently available. In comparison, Silca’s Secret Chain Blend costs $40 / €48 for a 500g bag of wax pellets.
Nanene, Silca says, is “an ultra-high quality, few-layer graphene produced using a patented manufacturing method”, developed by the University of Manchester.
Josh Poertner, CEO of Silca, said “From our first test with Nanene, we knew that real graphene was indeed, the future.”
According to Silca, this addition marginally reduces drivetrain friction to the tune of 0.5 watts compared to its previous immersion wax chain treatment, Silca Secret Chain Blend, which is claimed to save “up to 8 watts” versus an untreated chain.
Hot Wax X is also said to last around twice as long between re-waxes compared to Silca Secret Chain Blend.
Claims of “as much as 800km” between applications are likely confined to dry-weather usage only, but Silca says the treatment should prove hardier than its previous immersion wax lubricants in wet weather too.
The reduced friction and increased durability of the Hot Wax X chain treatment is also claimed to extend drivetrain life (because lower friction reduces component wear).
Silca says it’s possible to extend the service life of a single chain “up to 30,000km / 18,600 miles”, up from 25,000km / 15,500 miles with Silca Secret Chain Blend.
This would likely entail a meticulous approach to drivetrain cleanliness and reapplication of the Hot Wax X treatment, though.
It’s worth noting Hot Wax X is not the first bicycle chain lubricant to contain a form of graphene.
AbsoluteBLACK released its Graphenlube drip lube (£114.99 for 140ml in drip lube form, or £29.99 for 340g in solid wax form) in 2020, with bold claims about its efficiency compared to the competition thanks to its use of graphene.
Silca is also keen to stress that Hot Wax X does not contain any PFAS chemicals (Polyfluoroalkyl Substances – so-called “forever chemicals” such as Teflon/PTFE).
These substances, which are common in chain lubricants, have garnered large amounts of negative attention in recent years for their toxicity towards the environment, and human and animal life.
Poertner discussed this topic in greater detail in an episode of the BikeRadar podcast, which aired in September 2022.
How does Silca Hot Wax X work?
Silca Hot Wax X comes as a solid wax puck, which means it needs to be melted (typically using a slow cooker) before a clean chain is immersed in it. The chain is then removed from the wax and left to dry before being reinstalled on your bike.
After the treatment wears off through use, the chain needs to then be removed from your bike and the waxing process repeated, in order to reapply the lubricant.
If this is all Greek to you, check out our guide to how to wax a chain (which also includes an explainer of why you might want to do it).
As things stand, Silca says it has no plans to release Hot Wax X in a more traditional drip lube form.