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Thread: Chain wax

  1. #1
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    Chain wax

    I know this issue has been discussed recently in other threads but I just did a search on "wax" and found nothing.

    Anyway, I do like hot waxing my chains because it is so clean. However, I agree with Sheldon Brown that wax is likely not as good a lubricant as liquid oil-based lubricants. I assume that the theory is that the liquified wax penetrates into the spaces between the chain plates and between the pins & rollers. When the wax cools, it solidifies providing a lubricant that dirt is unlikely to stick to.

    What concerns me is that when the chain is put in tension, the extreme pressure between the pins & rollers extrudes the wax out of this space. While a liquid lube could be wicked back into the space (through capillary action or whatever), once the solid wax is expelled, there is nothing to cause it to re-enter the pin/roller space. That is why I think hot wax is inferior to liquid lube.

    I looked at some old posts on T@H on home grown hot wax recipies. Most are based on about 80% parrafin with about 10% of mineral oil & 10% Vaseline. I guess this makes the parrafin "greasier".

    Some other posts suggested adding 10% or so a beeswax. One poster recommended against 100% beeswax (don't know why). What is the

    I then thought about toilet bowl wax rings. I don't really know what this stuff is made of but the consistency is about half way between parrafin and Vaseline. Wax rings are cheap and I decided to experiment with an old chain. I melted the wax ring in boiling water I dropped a chain in. It seemed that the melting point of the wax ring was slightly above parrafin (it barely liquified in boiling water). I pulled the chain out & let most of the excess drip off. When it cooled, the chain was well coated with the stuff & had a slightly greasy feel to it. I have not yet tried the chain on a bike. It may work better to put the wax & chain into the oven at about 250 degrees F or so to more completely melt the wax & reduce the viscosity.

    Does anyone know what wax toilet bowl rings are made of? Is this a silly idea? Am I likely to defeat the purpose of hot waxing because this wax is greasier than parrafin?

    Anyway, on my way home tonight, I'll likely pick up some parrafin, Vaseline & mineral oil.

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    If you want to wax your chain why not use White Lightning? I used to use it because like you said it keeps the chain clean. I don't use it anymore because it leaves a thick hard waxy buildup over time that is difficult to remove and like you said it does not lubricate all that well. Now I use something called Dumonde Tech which is the best chain lubricant I have ever used.

    Joel

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    BudLight
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    Here we go again!

    Go for the toilet bowl wax experiment dude. Knock yourself out and let us know. There's something strangely enticing about knowing your tandem is somehow connected to a toilet. Like when I use the toilet plunger for first response clearing of the kitchen disposal and drive the wife crazy. Hell, it's just a tool. Try it; we may like it.

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    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnbrown
    If you want to wax your chain why not use White Lightning? I used to use it because like you said it keeps the chain clean. I don't use it anymore because it leaves a thick hard waxy buildup over time that is difficult to remove and like you said it does not lubricate all that well. Now I use something called Dumonde Tech which is the best chain lubricant I have ever used.

    Joel
    +1 Dumonde Tech.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

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    Where do you get Dumonde Tech?

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    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
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    Rock 'N Roll chain lube.

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    What's the difference between Dumonde Tech & Dumonde Tech Lite?

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    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
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    Same great taste, but only half the fat.

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    Hermes - I like your Lance quote about the rain. However, I think Denver has 300 or so days of sunshine/year. If the only excuse we used for not riding was the rain, we wouldn't have many excuses. I admire those who are oblivious to the weather - it's just not us.

    One of the things I like least about having to ride in the rain is the mess it makes of the drivetrain. It seems like dirty water off the road makes a perfect lapping compound for the chain & cogs. The only way to get the stuff out is a complete overhaul. It's easier for me just to avoid rainy days.

    I doubt that Lance does his own maintenance or rides his bikes long enough to worry about stuff wearing out.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Toilet connection? Give it a try and let us know what the results are.
    Been using the parrafin wax method for 30+ years and works fine for us. Rewax chains around 3,000 miles or if shifting becomes less smooth or chain gives off little squeak; chains have lasted over 6,000 miles with wax.
    We do live in a very dry climate; rainy climates you may have to rewax a bit more often.
    Had a friend that used Crisco (vegetable base shortening) but was not near as good as parrafin.
    Have added a 1/2 teaspoon of ultra fine graphite to wax, but does not seems to make much difference.
    Results are what count.

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    Just do a search and take your pick on where to buy, there are not a lot of places that sell it.
    Its a little pricey but I am finding a small bottle lasts quite a while.
    The Lite is for road bikes and the regular is for mountain bikes. I use Lite.

    Joel

  12. #12
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    What are the odds of setting your kitchen on fire melting a wax ring in the oven?

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    BudLight
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    Pretty good

  14. #14
    Senior Member Skipper's Avatar
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    Toilet bowl rings used to be made of bees wax. I think they still are made of bees wax. To avoid setting your kitchen on fire, you should always use a double boiler for melting parafin and the like. If you don't know what a double boiler is, you should probably get your mommy to help you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldacura
    What's the difference between Dumonde Tech & Dumonde Tech Lite?
    I got Dumonde Tech lite at my LBS. This LBS is a proshop that carries highend bikes and caters to racers. I have not seen it at other shops. The owner and their mechanic recommended the stuff. It works fine, It seems a little cleaner than Triflow and possibly the shifting is better and noise less but I have not run any comparison tests.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  16. #16
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldacura
    Hermes - I like your Lance quote about the rain. However, I think Denver has 300 or so days of sunshine/year. If the only excuse we used for not riding was the rain, we wouldn't have many excuses. I admire those who are oblivious to the weather - it's just not us.

    One of the things I like least about having to ride in the rain is the mess it makes of the drivetrain. It seems like dirty water off the road makes a perfect lapping compound for the chain & cogs. The only way to get the stuff out is a complete overhaul. It's easier for me just to avoid rainy days.

    I doubt that Lance does his own maintenance or rides his bikes long enough to worry about stuff wearing out.
    The quote is from Lance's latest book which is more about philosophy than racing. The quote sums up Lance's no excuses winning is everything and necessary style. If you set an objective and plan, do not lose focus and if faced with an obstacle, you put on the rain jacket and go. You are right that Lance just trained, raced and orchestrated his staff.

    We may have less rain than you do and it only rains in the winter. We have rain bikes i.e. old bikes that we use instead of our new ones and we do not ride if it is pouring rain. Our weather is good until November.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  17. #17
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    When I returned to inspect the chain I lubed with the toilet bowl ring wax, I decided that it was too greasy & sticky.

    I did a search on Dumonde Tech & found that it has a lot of avid fans. I will likely order some soon. Too bad that the shipping cost is almost as much as the product cost.

  18. #18
    shut up and ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skipper
    you should always use a double boiler for melting parafin and the like. If you don't know what a double boiler is, you should probably get your mommy to help you.
    i used to do that, now i just use the extra burner on the gas bbq. that way everything stays outside and don't accidentally get any wax on the stove. i've given up on the double boiler for outside- the old pot that i keep the wax in is pretty thin and the wax would smoke near the pan even though it wasn't even melted yet. i tossed an old circular saw blade on top of the burner to sset the pan on to help evenly heat the pan.

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