I'm curious about chain waxing and prolonging my drivetrain life, plus efficiencies, but have recently installed a 12 speed road groupset (Shimano).

I assumed I would use reusable links to re-install and rotate a couple of chains but I've noticed that lots of the manufacturers notably Shinamo, have 12s quick links which are not reusable. I would follow manufacturers' advice in this regard.

What would be a good, simple and cost effective strategy for removing and installing the chains repeatedly for 12 speed whilst complying with manufacturers recommendations?

1 Answer 1


There are, in fact, reusable 12s quick links. The Wipperman Connex 12s link just became available. It should be reusable for the entire life of the chain, as it doesn't snap closed. It relies on the geometry of the groove to hold closed. The YBN 12s quick links are rated for 5 re-uses each, are fairly economical in bulk, and they don't snap closed as tightly as Shimano links. I use YBNs, mainly because the Connex 12s link only just became available in the US. So, either of these links could be a strategy.

One reservation people might have about the YBN links is that they don't snap shut, so you might think they're not as secure as the Shimano ones. I've had a waxed chain with YBN links for 2.5 years or so, and I only broke one quick link through user error (failed to close both sides of the link). So I still believe YBNs are safe.

In practice, people do re-use the Shimano quick links until they don't positively snap shut. However, they're still more expensive, and I understand the hesitation to reuse them against the manufacturer recommendation.

An alternative waxing strategy might be to leave the chain on the bike and rely on a good drip wax, rather than molten wax. You can start with a pre-waxed chain from someone reputable (Silca, Molten Speed Wax, and Premier Bike Tech are 3 parties I know who sell them), then just put your choice of drip wax on top. Many of the top drip waxes use tungsten disulfide, which is the friction modifier in most of the pre-waxed chains. Alternatively, Ceramicspeed's drip lube is still most likely compatible with WS2-based waxes, despite the fact that it uses different friction modifiers. If you use this strategy, note that after a wet ride, it's best practice to take the chain off and rinse it in boiling water to get the dirty wax out. So you might still want to get a few extra master links of your choice of brand.

  • 2
    Note that the Connex is larger than regular quick links. I tried once, and removed it quickly because it “clicked” each time the link was going through the derailleur.
    – Rеnаud
    Mar 29 at 7:17

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