Wielerverhaal, NL 07.2023

Automatically translated from Dutch:

Wax instead of classic lubricant: how good is Effetto Mariposa's Flowerpower?

We ourselves have been convinced of chain wax instead of lubricating oil for years. We recently came across Effetto Mariposa's chain wax Flowerpower on the Zero Friction Cycling website as one of the best scoring in various areas. So we had to deal with that ourselves.


We often hear while cycling that some are not yet convinced of riding with a waxed chain. People often think it's a lot of work, or they tried it and the wax caked everywhere. Such a waxed chain does indeed require some work at first, but once the preparatory work has been done, you can enjoy a clean chain and less work. First and foremost, it is important to properly degrease your new chain so that all factory oil is removed. That way the wax can do its job properly afterwards. After degreasing and rinsing, we dry the chain with a cloth and then let it dry completely for a few hours. Now the chain is ready for its 1st layer of wax.

We put 1 drop of our Flowerpower wax on each link and let it completely absorb and dry. If we see that there is no wet wax anywhere, we repeat this step again. When everything is nice and dry again, our chain is ready to use. Often we don't need to re-wax our chain before cleaning our bike. We often get about 400 km before we have to treat our chain again with 1 layer of wax.

We do degrease our chain, cassette and sprockets as standard when cleaning our bicycle and let everything dry thoroughly afterwards before applying 1 layer of wax. The biggest difference is that wax will retain less dirt/sand compared to a chain that is treated with oil, which has the logical consequence that a waxed chain will last much longer and will remain flexible.

Wear test

On the Zero Friction Cycling website we found a lot of interesting information about chain lubricants. For example, they have already tested a large number of different lubricants under different conditions. Testing is done in dry, wet and extreme conditions to provide the best possible picture of how the lubricant performs. If we look specifically at Effetto Mariposa's Flower Power wax, a drip-on wax, we see that it performs best in its category in all conditions compared to other tested drip-on waxes. The hot-melt wax category scores even better, but this also requires a completely different preparation.

If we now make a comparison between the Flowerpower and the well-known Squirt wax, we see that the Flowerpower has almost 35% less wear in dry conditions and 70% less wear in wet conditions. Another nice table we found on the website was a 10,000 km cost calculation that takes into account everything from the number of chains to how much the lubricant costs. Here we see that there is a total cost of about $ 159 for the 10,000 km, this would already be $ 369 with the Squirt, for example. But it could be even worse. So you can save quite a bit of money by simply changing lubricants.

Over the years we have tried a few different waxes ourselves. Squirt, Morgan blue and Bike7, the latter being our favourite. So it was also a bit of a wait and see for us what this wax had to offer, and whether this made us so happy. After the complete treatment of the chain as described above, we were on our way for the 1st time. We immediately drove a race of 150 km with it. We felt that the chain runs and shifts very smoothly, which was very important that day with the 2,500 altimeters we made.

After the race we did notice that our chain may not have been 100% properly degreased before we applied the wax, because our drive parts had turned a bit too black from the remaining factory oil. When we got home we went through all the steps again so that only wax can be found on the chain. The following rides all went smoothly and our drive also remained nice and clean.

In the meantime we have driven about 2,000 km with the Flowerpower from Effetto Mariposa and we compared our chain wear with our previous waxes. We note here that this wax will effectively offer our chain a longer life because after 2,000 km there is about 0.8 mm less stretch on the chain, so that we will be able to make considerably more kilometers with 1 single chain.