November 3, 2015 § 33 Comments
I went down to San Diego last Tuesday to get my legs plucked off by Ryan Dahl, among others. While we were sitting in the coffee shop waiting for the plucking to begin, we chatted a bit because once the ride starts the only conversations you’ll ever hear go like this.
“How’s it going?”
Ryan and I had been teammates on SPY, which is like me saying that I was teammates with Tom Brady because I bought a Patriots jersey. [Note: I had to close my eyes and strain for thirty seconds to come up with the name of a single famous football player who isn’t named Earl Campbell, and then another ten seconds of scrunched up forehead to remember Brady’s team.]
I had seen Ryan wearing a new kit called “Wend,” and had seen on the ‘Bag that he had a new bike shop called Wend, except from the Facegag pictures it didn’t look like one.
“So what is ‘Wend’?” I asked. “Facebag says it’s a bike shop but it looks like a candle factory.”
Ryan laughed. “No, it’s actually not a bike shop or a candle factory.”
“What is it?”
“It’s the family business. Wend has been making ski and snowboard specialty waxes for over forty years.”
“Then why were there a bunch of bikes turned upside down?”
“It’s a sideline I’ve gone into.”
“Upside down bike waxing?”
“Sort of. Do you know about using paraffin to lube your chain?”
Unfortunately, I did. The week before Fukdude had set the 40-y/o hour record at the Carson velodrome, he had given me a lecture about chain waxing. This was three years ago, and you had to send the chain(s) to a guy in Colorado who dipped them in paraffin and sent them back all waxed up.
“What the fuck for?” I asked Fukdude.
“Dude,” said Fukdude, “you fuckin’ dip your chain in and it saves 1.5 watts per mile. Fuckin’ glides over the teeth like a lubed condom.”
“How much does it cost for those 1.5 watts?”
“About $25 a dip.”
“How long does it last?”
“About 200 miles.”
“Ouch,” I said.
“I know. Fukkin’ expensive shit,” said Fukdude. “But I’m not gonna set up a fuckin’ crock pot in my bathroom and fuckin’ boil wax before every ride. Wife thinks the whole fuckin’ bike thing is fuckin’ crazy as it is.”
I relayed this to Ryan, who laughed. “We’ve kind of solved that problem. Let me send you a sample.”
The next day, after getting a new pair of legs at Legs ‘R Us, a package arrived. In it was a bottle of cleaner and a bar of roll-on underarm deodorant. I pulled off the cap and saw that it was actually wax.
Ryan had also sent a link to a YouTube video showing how to clean the chain and apply the wax. Apparently the whole process would take less than two minutes.
Calculating my usual ten-thumbs factor, I set aside four hours in the morning to get the job done, and another two hours I’d likely need to clean the wax from the sofa, toilet seat, paper shredder, and nose hair trimmer. Amazingly, the whole thing took less than two minutes, which is a lot less than it takes to kill the smell of my armpits:
- Wipe the chain.
- Roll the wax on the chain, just like you roll it on your armpit.
- Voila, your chain is now waxed.
I’ve ridden it twice now. My normally nasty and noisy chain is quieter than a Scientologist stalking a confused college freshman. This stuff is amazing. Plus, on my first Wend wax ride I almost beat Derek going up the Switchbacks.
No more lube for me, and after you use this stuff, it’ll be no more lube for you, either.
Note to readers: Ryan gives me all the free chain wax I can use, so factor that in when you’re evaluating the relative worthlessness of this review.
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