Molten Speed Wax - Applying Race Powder To Your Chain

Applying Race Powder To Your Chain

It's simply amazing that a mixture of dry powder brushed onto a waxed chain can reduce friction so dramatically. Perhaps even more impressive is the longevity of the powder. In the lab there was no increase in friction after 70 minutes at 250 watts and we theorize the powder's effect could last significantly longer. The reason is simple: the powder works its way into the wax and stays put. Importantly, it doesn't attract dirt after bonding.
Similar to every other performance gain we strive for in cycling there is a small price to pay. Race Powder needs to be applied correctly or it can create a mess. The molybdenum powder in the mix loves to turn any surface it touches to gray, including hands, clothes, carpet or your sandwich, so please read our directions carefully before enjoying the decrease in friction that can total 1/2 watt. Once worked into the chain by riding, residue is nominal and only a small amount of moly will rub off when touched. By the way, the powder is completely safe to handle.
Please note that we describe two application techniques below (chain on bike; chain off bike). If you're applying Race Powder to multiple chains at once, use the off bike technique to save time:  
 

Items Needed For Applying Race Powder On Bike

  • Small, clean brush for applying powder to chain (yep, we sell them)
  • Piece of cardboard 10" x 20"
  • Plastic sheet for under bike if applying over carpet
  • Mechanic's gloves (or nail brush and Dawn soap if not using gloves)
  • 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper
  • Stapler (a stapler, what the heck?)
  • Newspaper if not using plastic to cover floor
  • Dawn soap and rag for clean up if necessary
  • Dust mask if powdering multiple chains
 

Steps To Powder Chain On Bike (entire process below takes less than 10 minutes)

  1. For maximum performance start with freshly waxed chain that has been ridden on trainer 10 minutes. Break in time creates space between links, rollers and pins so powder can infiltrate.
  2. Apply powder indoors or away from wind if outside (if must apply in wind, be upwind of powder). Recommend garage or basement floor instead of carpet.
  3. Shift drivetrain to highest gear (largest front chainring; smallest rear cassette cog)
  4. Place newspaper or plastic on floor under bike
  5. Wrap 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper lengthwise around chainstay and staple together snugly beneath chainstay with one staple
  6. Cut piece of cardboard to 10" x 20" and fold bottom edge into 3" flap (Postal Service medium flat rate box works perfectly if in US)
  7. With bike standing upright on floor, position cardboard behind chain and chainstay against spokes with flap lying flat on floor. Tape top of cardboard to a spoke if necessary to hold cardboard in place. Excess powder not captured by Race Powder container will fall onto flap on floor.
  8. Pedal backwards to verify that cardboard and 8 1/2" x 11" paper does not interfere with movement of cassette or chainrings
  9. Shake container of Race Powder before applying, let contents settle a few seconds before opening
  10. Brush powder (fairly liberally) onto section of chain closest to floor with Race Powder container underneath chain, smoothen any clumps. Do six inch sections at a time. Pedal backwards to begin a new section. Start and end at master link so it's easy to discern when chain is completed.
  11. Now powder top section of chain (above chainstay). Again hold Race Powder container underneath chain while brushing onto chain. Start and finish at master link. Note that powder will collect on paper wrapped around chainstay, this is expected. 
  12.  Powdering both sections of chain as in steps 10 and 11 will result in complete lubrication of chain with dry powder. At this point chain should be pedaled backwards several revolutions to begin working powder into chain. Excess powder will also drop from chain. Note: some powder will be spun off from derailleur pulleys and chainrings, make sure paper or plastic covers floor beyond these areas before spinning chain backwards.
  13. Dump powder (tapping helps) from 8 1/2" x 11" paper covering chainstay and remove paper
  14. Make "V" shape with cardboard flap on floor and tap excess powder into Race Powder container
  15. Thoroughly clean work area so no powder can be tracked on shoes 

Notes: 

  • Ride chain outside for 10 minutes before transporting bike inside car to remove any remaining loose powder
  • It is not necessary to create a dust storm brushing powder into chain. Dab and brush to distribute powder evenly.
  • If powder is spilled, vacuum with hose only; do not use rotor brush part of vacuum (or handheld brush) which will cause powder to smear
  • It is OK to reapply powder without re-waxing if chain is clean; if chain is dirty recommend using separate brush and container so powder in original container remains clean
  • Cassettes (and chainrings) can be powdered but it can be messy. Powder cassette outside with wheel off bike; hold wheel parallel to ground with cassette facing downward. Technique eliminates powder falling onto rim and tire. Stay upwind.
     
     

    Items Needed For Applying Race Powder Off Bike  

    •  Small brush 1" wide (we have them in our store)
    • 10 ft. section of vinyl gutter from hardware store, 4" wide, sides 3" tall, cost around $7.00. Note: take hacksaw to store and cut gutter to 6 foot length so gutter fits in car. Save 6 ft. and 4 ft. pieces, also sand sharp edges.
    • Plastic sheet, especially if applying Race Powder over carpet
    • Mechanic's gloves
    • Dawn soap and rag for clean up if necessary
    • Dust mask 
     

    Steps To Powder Chain Off Bike (best method for powdering multiple chains at once) 

    1. Clean both sections of gutter thoroughly and dry completely
    2. For max performance start with clean, waxed chains that have been ridden on trainer for 10 minutes. Break in time creates space between links, rollers and pins so powder can infiltrate; chain is easier to handle when supple.
    3. Apply powder indoors or away from wind if outdoors (if must apply in wind, be upwind of powder). Recommend shop, garage or basement floor instead of carpet.
    4. Place plastic or newspaper under gutter on floor, wider and longer than gutter to guard against potential spills
    5. Put chains in gutter lengthwise, roller side up (about six chains can be powdered at once)
    6. Shake container of Race Powder before applying, let contents settle a few seconds before opening
    7. Brush powder fairly liberally onto chains, smoothen out clumps. A lot of powder will end up in gutter, this is expected.
    8. Flip chains and repeat on opposite sides. Feel free to powder plate sides of chains, but we theorize this provides only a very small benefit.
    9. Fold chains in half and move one at a time to 4 ft. section of gutter. Rap against bottom of gutter to dislodge extra powder. Flip chain and repeat.
    10. Place powdered chains in plastic bags until installation on bike. Anticipate some additional powder falling off chains during first pedal strokes on stand or road.
    11. Brush powder towards end of both gutters then elevate gutters by placing books or magazines underneath. Height of gutters should be adequate to allow Race Powder container to slide underneath end of gutter. Remaining powder can then be brushed back into container.
    12. Wipe edges of gutter with paper towel to remove powder residue. Store gutter sections in remote area away from windows, doors or vents. Cover with plastic to keep gutters clean for next use.
    13. Thoroughly clean work area so no powder can be tracked on shoes
      Notes:
        • Ride chain outside for 10 minutes to remove any remaining loose powder before transporting in car. Shift front and rear derailleurs during break-in. Remember that chain will leave a mark when touched until powder is worked into chain, then residue is minimal.
        • It is not necessary to create a dust storm brushing powder into chain. Dab and brush to distribute powder evenly.
        • If powder is spilled, vacuum with hose only; do not use rotor brush part of vacuum (or handheld brush) which will cause powder to smear
        • It is OK to reapply powder without re-waxing if chain is clean; if chain is dirty recommend using separate brush and container so powder in original container remains clean
        • Cassettes (and chainrings) can be powdered but it can be messy. Powder cassette outside with wheel off bike; hold wheel parallel to ground with cassette facing downward. Technique eliminates powder falling onto rim and tire. Stay upwind.
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