Is a waxed chain really worth it?

Special coatings and treatments can save you watts and win you races, say manufacturers. We investigate the truth behind shaving seconds off your PB with a waxed chain

At the moment it’s not always easy to tell the difference between a marginal gain and a murky practice but here’s one thing that doesn’t need a TUE, is available to everyone and is guaranteed to enhance your performance by a small but measurable amount: an optimised or ‘waxed’ chain.

Optimised chains hit the headlines when Bradley Wiggins used one for his 2015 Hour Record that was treated by British brand Muc-Off with a specially formulated lubricant that contained military-grade high-pressure additives and was estimated to have cost £6,000.

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Simon Smythe

Simon Smythe is a hugely experienced cycling tech writer, who has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2003. Until recently he was our senior tech writer. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.