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  1. #1
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    Does anyone wax (their chain)?

    https://www.scribd.com/document/2620...ficiency-Tests

    If you don't burn your kitchen down in the process, apparently you can go for a couple of weeks between applications. A few years old but I imagine the laws of physics haven't changed much since 2013.

    Kudos to deonkretch for finding the article.

  2. #2
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    I can't get to that link (at work), but I recently cleaned mine with a Motul (motorcycle product) chain clean and chain lube. Took the chain off, soaked it in the cleaner for a couple hours and in the chain lube over night. Latest ride felt better and was quieter, even.

    There's always debates on what lube to use. Lube works, but collects dirt. There's the theory of just using something like WD40 as well.

  3. #3
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    Yes, and the frictionfacts test is what motivated me.

    I mix in PTFE powder (sourced from a piano tuning place) and start with broken-in but spotless chains. An old camping pot with a thick bottom is dedicated to this messy purpose, and I do my cooking outside :-).

    It's fairly tedious, especially considering the pre-cleaning, so I've only done it before an 'A' event. And I do a bunch of chains at the same time and ziplock the extras.

    In my experience, wax won't last a couple of weeks of mountain biking -- but it does go longer than regular lubes.

    FWIW, my wife has run the waxed chains to an elite national champion XCM jersey and NUE wins. We've also used them for stage racing. Goes without saying, however, that it's not all about the chain lube!

    When the wax is no longer effective, I usually switch to Rock n Roll if I have it on hand.

  4. #4
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    While I'm not a national champion I am fanatical about a clean bike and quiet drivetrain.

    This is what led me to my short stint using paraffin waxing as my lube for a short time.

    It's very tedious, I used an ultrasonic cleaner and then dipped the chain in a cheap crockpot of paraffin with some Teflon powder mixed in.

    It does keep the chain clean longer if you don't wash after every ride. It does not last weeks or really even a week. If you go through a couple puddles on a trail the chain is already noisy.

    At this point I was my bike in the stand after every ride with soap and water and use a brush with diluted degreaser on the drivetrain. Blow the bike off with leaf blower and use the new Pedro's Enduro lube or the dumond tech lite.

    I do give the chain a deep ultrasonic clean once in a while if I'm doing some other chore but don't wax anymore on that bike just too much time for how long it lasts.

  5. #5
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    I do as well, it isn't really hard to do, but just not as easy as applying some lube directly on chain. You don't need a crockpot to melt wax, you can simply melt it using a double boiler. It really isn't that dangerous as the article made it out to be, the trick is melting it in a slow way and you shouldn't ever have problems burning out your house.

    Preferably as others have stated, its better to dip it once its cleaned up, but you can also omit that step and just dip it as it is, wax will also clean it, it will just make wax somewhat dirty. When you "cook" your chain for a few minutes pull it out and don't clean it, just let it out hanging until ready to put.

    I also don't find it extremely durable, a week perhaps then you can keep using a good dry lube to avoid re waxing immediately. The recently waxed chain is highly amusing and I love the cleanliness and dryness my drive train gets, feels like having those ceramic speed coatings pro's use.

    For important races, nothing beats it, superb lube and cleanliness. Worth the effort and yet very cheap.

  6. #6
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    I wax my chain. On the MTB it does not last very long. A week at most, usually less. I like it, it really seems fast but it's much more work than normal lube. On my road bike it seems to last much, much longer.

    If you want to do the wax chain thing I think having multiple chains and doing them in batches makes sense. Get like 5 chains and clean them all at once and wax them at once then swap them out once a week or so. Then you would only have to clean your drive train once a month.

    The ultrasonic cleaner is kind of amazing though.

  7. #7
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    I use Maxima Chain Wax but it comes in an aerosol bottle.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho View Post
    I use Maxima Chain Wax but it comes in an aerosol bottle.
    I wasn't aware of that product and when I searched it in google it seems to have good reviews, however upon further research I think its better to stay away from it, these are the contents specified in the SDS:

    Does anyone wax (their chain)?-screen-shot-2017-07-27-2.24.24-pm.jpg

    Not sure where the paraffin is

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLover View Post
    I wasn't aware of that product and when I searched it in google it seems to have good reviews, however upon further research I think its better to stay away from it, these are the contents specified in the SDS:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 2.24.24 PM.jpg 
Views:	91 
Size:	73.4 KB 
ID:	1148747

    Not sure where the paraffin is
    It also comes in a bike specific drip bottle.
    Chain Wax - MaximaUSA

    I've used the drip but like the aerosol version a bit better since it lasts longer on the chain.

  10. #10
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    Never waxed a chain, but I do like Squirt wax lube. I've found it to run extremely clean and smooth in all conditions. It doesn't last a week, but it's gotten me through plenty of all-day rides. It seems to test "fast" as well. Could be a good, less-hassle compromise.

  11. #11
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    Motul's Chain Wax works quite well on a 190hp Yamaha R1, with a DID Gold 520-size chain. So far, similar results on a human-driven high-end MTB chain.

    YRMV.

  12. #12
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    All I've used since 2001 is Finishline Krytech wax lube. They improved the formula zeveral years ago but it's still basically the same stuff. Why you'd use anything else is beyond me. My chains are clean, quiet, smooth, and last a looong time.
    Keep the Country country.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lelandjt View Post
    All I've used since 2001 is Finishline Krytech wax lube. They improved the formula zeveral years ago but it's still basically the same stuff. Why you'd use anything else is beyond me. My chains are clean, quiet, smooth, and last a looong time.
    Alas. We need more control trials.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekraft84 View Post
    Motul's Chain Wax works quite well on a 190hp Yamaha R1, with a DID Gold 520-size chain. So far, similar results on a human-driven high-end MTB chain.

    YRMV.
    Castrol chain lube works well on a 34hp DR650. Absolute crap on a pushy though. Sucks about 100w

    Quiet though...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    Castrol chain lube works well on a 34hp DR650. Absolute crap on a pushy though. Sucks about 100w

    Quiet though...
    If it's only 34hp, I wouldn't say that works well. You're down to 32 hp with that Castrol then.

    The chain lube discussion can get just as detailed over on the motorcycle racing forums, as here (albeit, no one is boiling their chains). I do participate in a highly scientific test of spinning my pedals at the crank, on the stand before and after every ride. I don't count the revolutions, but the wheel spun better post-lube than pre-lube. And I set a PB on Strava on a big climb later that day. Others' results may vary.

    At the end of the day, if people are rotating multiple chains and cleaning/lubing once a week - what's wrong with a WD40-type option for shorter rides - as atrocious and unpure as that sounds.

    For a long ride/race, I'd take some extra weight, in favor of longevity. Some guys would run an o-ring-"less" chain on big bikes. The results of that usually didn't end well, or last long.

  16. #16
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    Squirt is wax based and I love it... works best on a new or super clean chain - rinsed with denatured alcohol...

    Initial application is disconnected from the bike; laid down with rollers upright; warmed with a heat gun; then liberally applied Squirt and warmed again until the wax flowed into the rollers... repeat as needed... wipe excess after after 15 minutes... enjoy the silence for 10 plus rides, and just wipe as needed...

    To reapply, just wipe chain and add more Squirt... Super easy... I've tried everything else, and will stick with Squirt... Really cheap too when on sale...

  17. #17
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    So, on the related topic of superclean chains: I use water-based degreaser. Run through degreasing every single link and roller. Run the chain under hot water for about 15 min to rinse out residue. Let the chain dry completely in the sun. I do this about once every 2 weeks. Seems to add longevity to my lube.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrawn View Post
    Squirt is wax based and I love it... works best on a new or super clean chain - rinsed with denatured alcohol...

    Initial application is disconnected from the bike; laid down with rollers upright; warmed with a heat gun; then liberally applied Squirt and warmed again until the wax flowed into the rollers... repeat as needed... wipe excess after after 15 minutes... enjoy the silence for 10 plus rides, and just wipe as needed...

    To reapply, just wipe chain and add more Squirt... Super easy... I've tried everything else, and will stick with Squirt... Really cheap too when on sale...
    You must have this stuff figured out. Cause I can't get it to last more than about 50 miles on the road...it just seems to dry up pretty fast for me?
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  19. #19
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    I've been mixing a little Tungsten Disulfide powder with a paraffin/ paraffin oil mix.

    Lower Friction


    MICROLUBROL 1 oz TUNGSTEN DISULFIDE Sulfide WS2 Powder ULTRA FINE ½ micron 0.5 µ

  20. #20
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    I haven't found anything that works better then anything else yet. I was thinking of trying this wax idea, until this thread. Sounds like a waste of time.

    I started using ATF I had in the garage, seems to work as well as anything else I have used. I do clean my bike and chain after every ride.

    For the record, I used gear oil on my Honda 1000RR (about 140 RWHP at the time). It was messy, but with 24,000 miles in a year of riding, I never even had to adjust the chain. But gear oil seems a bit too sticky for this dusty area.

  21. #21
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    I tried waxing back a number of years. The time and effort involved and the short time between lubings made it not worth it to me. Wax based drip on lubes like Squirt work pretty well.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho View Post
    It also comes in a bike specific drip bottle.
    Chain Wax - MaximaUSA

    I've used the drip but like the aerosol version a bit better since it lasts longer on the chain.
    I have the drip lube. I don't like it because I have to lube every ride with it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I haven't found anything that works better then anything else yet. I was thinking of trying this wax idea, until this thread. Sounds like a waste of time.

    I started using ATF I had in the garage, seems to work as well as anything else I have used. I do clean my bike and chain after every ride.

    For the record, I used gear oil on my Honda 1000RR (about 140 RWHP at the time). It was messy, but with 24,000 miles in a year of riding, I never even had to adjust the chain. But gear oil seems a bit too sticky for this dusty area.
    No chain adjustments in 24,000 miles is amazing. I might try ATF or chainsaw oil. I heard chainsaw oil is about the same as most bicycle chain lube formulas.

    On the subject of cheap substitutes - I've been using dollar store orange degreaser. It's $1 for a half gallon and the same as the pricey Finish Line orange degreaser as far as I can tell.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrawn View Post
    Squirt is wax based and I love it... works best on a new or super clean chain - rinsed with denatured alcohol...

    Initial application is disconnected from the bike; laid down with rollers upright; warmed with a heat gun; then liberally applied Squirt and warmed again until the wax flowed into the rollers... repeat as needed... wipe excess after after 15 minutes... enjoy the silence for 10 plus rides, and just wipe as needed...

    To reapply, just wipe chain and add more Squirt... Super easy... I've tried everything else, and will stick with Squirt... Really cheap too when on sale...
    I second squirt. I used prolink for years and switched the last time I put on a new chain/cassette. It's been great, everything stays much cleaner and chain wear has been normal.

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