Old 07-08-20, 06:50 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: SW Ohio
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Bikes: Puch Marco Polo, Saint Tropez, Masi Gran Criterium

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Anti-squeak chain wax additive badly needed.

Hello - this is year 3 of chainwaxing for me. I used Molten Speed Wax with both my road bikes with a 2 chains per bike and changed them out about every 100 miles. This interval is more frequent than the claimed 400 mile interval and the reason is chain noise.

For year 3 I decided to make a blend of 1/3 Molten Speed Wax, 1/3 Gulf canning wax (paraffin) and 1/3 of some beeswax based bike wax I found on eBay. I also added about 1 to 2 tablespoons of Behlen’s Paraffin oil. I was hopeful that my blend would not flake off so fast and that it would penetrate the rollers a bit better to give me a chain as quiet as a wet lubed chain.

My first couple chains were indeed quiet for over 100 miles. After, say - 130 miles, the squeaks would return and bother the crap out of me because it manifests as a gnashing type of squeaking that complains under duress mostly such as when powering up medium hills seated or steep hills while standing. The effect is worse on the 39 tooth middle ring and the 30 tooth granny ring on my Dura Ace 7803 triple crank and my 39 tooth ring on my 7800 double crank.

Here lately, the gnashing is back by the second 40 mile ride on a fresh chain. This happens with Wipperman Connex, KMC, SRAM & Taya chains that I am using. Really odd. Please don’t tell me to abandon chain waxing! I think it has so much promise. I mean, my cassette cogs, chainrings and chain stay really clean. This is huge for me.

I may just go back to the Molten Speed Wax product 100% in my crockpot but the thing is - I had the same chain noises returning after 1 to 2 rides with that mix too.

I thought I read somewhere that the addition of the Paraffin oil softened wax to make it a bit stickier which helped reduce hard flakes shedding off too quickly leaving an underlubricated chain. I was reluctant to use more than a couple tablespoons though because I noticed that after removing the waxed chain from the crockpot the wax would dry and harden disproportionally on the bottom side when left on it’s side to cool. This led to an odd problem I had not experienced in a while - a chain that would skate momentarily on the tops of the chainring teeth before dropping silently into position. This little aberration I can live with since the chain is being pretty silent then.

But it it is the gnashing grindy sound when under torque that just saps my confidence when climbing. I really like climbing and enjoy trying to perfect my climbing rhythm but this chain unhappiness has now gotten to the place that I want a freshly waxed chain for every ride of 40+ miles. Using a master link, this is not as time consuming as it sounds and if this is the way it is going to have to be to stay with wax and have the chain be quiet - well I guess I’ll just deal with it.

So, for the mechanics out there that do chain waxing - what secret quieting additive can you share? Perhaps I am missing some trick pertaining to heating and cooling wax. Lately I pull the chain from fully liquified wax but I did try turning off the heat and pulling the chain out after the cooling wax is just starting to re-solidify. This technique may have yielded one of my more quiet chains but could have also been one where wax flakes got on my rims and hub barrel.

Thanks for reading my post and I look forward to what works for folks. BTW, my wear on KMC and SRAM chains is only average. I get up around 0.75% to 1.0% stretch sooner than I would expect. Since I am on a 2 chain system I would guesstimate that an individual chain is only lasting about 2,000 miles or maybe a bit less. I would say this is the exact same mileage I was getting from the Pedro’s “Chain J” wet lube I was previously using. The Pedro’s chains were silent but much messier. I suspect that the Wipperman will be longer lasting but it is nearly as noisy as my titanium nitride plated KMC.

Last edited by masi61; 07-08-20 at 07:46 PM.
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