Waxed chains were pioneered by Jason Smith of Friction Facts, an American company performing research and testing in to lubrication, chains, bearings and all other drive-train paraphernalia. Jason found that current lubricants just weren't up to scratch, with some lubricants being up to 6w worse than his optimum paraffin wax recipe at a 250w power output. These results were published by VeloNews in their February 2014 VeloLab test, available here Jason's own process involves running in a chain, cleaning it in a ultrasonic bath and then waxing it with a special mix of paraffin wax, PTFE and MoS2.
Jason was selling his own optimised chains under the Ultra Fast Optimisation (UFO) brand until 2015 where he was bought out by CeramicSpeed. Since then waxed chains have become much more mainstream as the marketing machine makes the gains so much more obvious and available to the general public. Muc Off have joined in on the party in 2016 with their Nanotube chains.
Unfortunately the price of the chains manufactured by these big brands is fairly pricey at up to £140 for a single chain and no option to rewax it, so I have spent a lot of time and effort in developing my own system to run in, clean, wax and dust my own chains at a significantly lower cost. My process involves multiple ultrasonic baths to ensure a perfectly clean chain, as well as a unique mix of paraffin wax, PTFE, MoS2 and a few other special ingredients. Once the chain has been penetrated throughout with the wax mix, it is dusted with a secret powder to reduce drive-train losses yet further.
Although gains will vary from chain to chain, typically riders will find around 2-6w at a 250w power output, a 0.8-2.4% increase in drive-train efficiency. This power saving will increase as the rider's power output increases. Waxed chains are designed to be used in high performance scenarios and as such have a shorter lubrication lifespan of around 400km, after which they will require re-waxing. For a typical time-triallist you should expect to get at least half a season of racing from a single race chain. Please contact me if you require re-waxing.
As a one man operation I can offer optimised chains at a much lower price, as well as the ability to wax your own chains if you wish to supply me. I use the profits to support my own racing, so purchase in the knowledge you are supporting a fellow rider!