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I want to apply the "Effetto Mariposa Flowerpower Wax" drip lubricant onto my chain.

I was following the instructions from Zero Friction Cycling but the last part of the application process is not clear for me and I didn't find anything written or a video showing this part.

From Zero Friction Cycling:

THOROUGHLY wipe excess lubricant from outside of the chain with an absorbent cloth (ie microfiber)

See this on Page 4 and this on Page 16.

So what does this exactly mean and what means "outside"? Do I only need to wipe off the side of the chain and do not touch the rollers at all (so left and right of the chain)? Or do I also have to wipe off excess from the parts that are actually in contact with the drivetrain (so bottom and top of the chain including the rollers)? If the second is true, how much pressure do I have to apply?

The word THOROUGHLY from Zero Friction Cycling and never seeing the part of the wiping after application in any video on YouTube is confusing me.

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  • Wrap a rag around the chain and turn the crank, so that the chain moves through the rag. No need to be obsessive -- just get the bulk of the visible lube off. The idea is to remove excess lube that could attract dirt, and also minimize the amount that could drip onto other surfaces. Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 18:18
  • @DanielRHicks unlike conventional lubricants, wax-based emulsions dry and the end result is a dry and solid substance that is supposed to not attract dirt. Squirt, a competing product actually recommends to leave it, and to only clean after the substance has dried.
    – Rеnаud
    Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 18:45

2 Answers 2

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When lubricating a chain, you want the lubricant to penetrate inside it as this is where wear happens. Leaving lubricant outside only attracts dirt, dust and contaminants which is counter-productive. That is why Zero Friction Cycling probably insists on that point for all types of lubricants, even wax. Outside in this context means everywhere (top, bottom and sides of the chain).

The following procedure is the official one from the manufacturer's website. There is no mention of wiping off excess lubricant. They probably judge that their lubricant has a high penetration level, and that when applied correctly, the excess, if any, is not harmful (dried wax should not attract many contaminants compared to oil-based lubricants).

How Flowerpower chain wax should be applied for the first time?

After having degreased and dried up the chain well, apply a drop of Flowerpower Wax on each single link, along the entire length of the chain. Then make at least 10 pedal turns backwards to facilitate the penetration of the wax. Wait 2-3 hours before using the bicycle, so that the wax solidifies inside the links.

How should Flowerpower wax be applied later on?

For following applications, simply wipe the chain with a rag to remove dirt on the surface, and lubricate again each link. In case of sand or mud, degrease and wash the chain completely before lubricating it.

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Excess Wax can form flakes on the outside of the chain. This will flake off while moving the bike around, and can make a slippery mess of the floor of your garage/house.

The wax flakes can also build up in the derailleurs and cassette, potentially impacting their function. However, that needs a lot of wax.

My impression of the instructions is they have been re-written and possibly translated at least once. Wiping the excess is clearly important, but its not critical to be hospital-grade clean.

As such, I'd hold a cloth or similar disposable item around the installed chain, turn the cranks 5-10 times to get all the chain passing through the cloth, then carry on.

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    FWIW, Effetto Mariposa is Swiss. "Effetto" is Italian and "Mariposa", oddly, is Spanish. So, it could be an issue cropping up in translation.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 18:50

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