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wax on top of Chain-L ?

Old 03-15-17, 12:48 PM
  #1  
bikebreak
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wax on top of Chain-L ?

I've been using Chain-L for years and I like it for long life ie low maintenance.
However, it makes the chain a magnet for dust and dirt so the chain is always filthy.


I'm building a bike up for the Missus, who will be riding in a skirt. So was thinking a clean wax based lube eg white lightning or squirt (not pure hot wax). But I'll be caring for the bike so I want Chain-L of course.


Any problem with putting a wax based lube on top of the Chain-L? Would they interact?


thanks
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Old 03-15-17, 12:56 PM
  #2  
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Originally Posted by bikebreak View Post
I've been using Chain-L for years and I like it for long life ie low maintenance.
However, it makes the chain a magnet for dust and dirt so the chain is always filthy.


I'm building a bike up for the Missus, who will be riding in a skirt. So was thinking a clean wax based lube eg white lightning or squirt (not pure hot wax). But I'll be caring for the bike so I want Chain-L of course.


Any problem with putting a wax based lube on top of the Chain-L? Would they interact?


thanks
Early on I experimented with wax over Chain-L. It had some advantages and drawbacks.

First of all it depends on the wax and vehicle used to apply, ie. water or solvent. I used waxes minimally thinned with solvents, ie the kinds of spray wax used for cars. I also tried paste waxes applied dry.

The best results were after the chain was used a short while and ribbed dry, because excess oil that leached out reacted with the wax making a gummy past. So, yes, it does work, but I moved away from the concept because the wax made relubricating problematic. I still use paste wax to improve rust protection in the winter, but am not convinced there's a real improvement.

Whether you use wax or not, the key is still to dry wipe the outside form time to time so the chain stay clean. On my chains (not waxed) I find the surface stays dry and clean after the 3rd wipe.
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Old 03-15-17, 01:47 PM
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Just use a dry lube, re-apply as needed.
Since she'll be riding in a skirt, she won't want to have to worry about the dirty chain. And we can assume that the bike won't see very many rainy day rides.
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Old 03-15-17, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
Just use a dry lube, re-apply as needed.
This. With one caveat: Remove the factory lubricant prior to applying White Lightning. If you don't, the chain is much dirtier even with the wax. Kind of like the paste that FBinNY describes.

Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
And we can assume that the bike won't see very many rainy day rides.
Rain and White Lightning isn't as big a problem as many people make it out to be. Yes, you probably have to lubricate after rain but you have to lubricate after rain if you use oil based lubricants as well.

Additionally, lots of people...including White Lightning...say that the lubricant doesn't last for much more than 100 miles. I've never found this to be true. From my own personal experience, I've found it to be fine for 600 to 1000 miles which is just about the same frequency as oil based lubricants.
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Old 03-15-17, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
This. With one caveat: Remove the factory lubricant prior to applying White Lightning. If you don't, the chain is much dirtier even with the wax. Kind of like the paste that FBinNY describes.



Rain and White Lightning isn't as big a problem as many people make it out to be. Yes, you probably have to lubricate after rain but you have to lubricate after rain if you use oil based lubricants as well.

Additionally, lots of people...including White Lightning...say that the lubricant doesn't last for much more than 100 miles. I've never found this to be true. From my own personal experience, I've found it to be fine for 600 to 1000 miles which is just about the same frequency as oil based lubricants.
Chain-L will last for 1000 miles rain or shine. white lightning or similar products are gone after 1 rain ride whether that is after 100 miles or 1 mile. There really isnt any comparison
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Old 03-15-17, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bikebreak View Post
I'm building a bike up for the Missus, who will be riding in a skirt.
That's hot. Btw I use Pedro's vegetable based chain lube; Bikeman sells it for $10/L and infrequent applications last me 5-6 weeks between cleanings on my 10-spd chain, which comes out to about somewhere around 600 miles in all weather conditions. Chain-L can go suck it.
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Old 03-16-17, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Chain-L will last for 1000 miles rain or shine. white lightning or similar products are gone after 1 rain ride whether that is after 100 miles or 1 mile. There really isnt any comparison
I wasn't born at night nor was I born last night. I do have some experience with chains, chain lubrication and riding in the rain. Any chain lubricant doesn't stand up to rain all that well. The churning action of the chain moving will ensure that an oil based chain lubricant is well emulsified and that emulsification will ensure that the chain will rust. Any chain that is ridden in the rain needs to be relubricated following riding in rain for more than a few miles.

As for the tenacity of White Lightning, it is on the same par as oil based lubricants. It does "wash" off. It is as hydrophobic as oils and possibly more so because it doesn't churn with the water and emulsify. I'm not saying that it doesn't eventually wash off but it's no more prone to that than oils are.

And, no, it isn't "gone" after a ride of 1 mile in rain. I've ridden plenty of short distances in rain with White Lightning for nearly 20 years now in all parts of the US and it does stand up well.
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Old 03-16-17, 08:46 AM
  #8  
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Is the Missus realistically going to ride in the rain much? If it would only be a few days a year, just use a wax lube for cleanliness.
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Old 03-16-17, 08:59 AM
  #9  
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Didn't FBinNY say that chain-l doesn't get nasty after you wipe it off three times, problem solved?

Regardless, wax lube on top of oil lube never turns out well, so just choose. IMO.
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Old 03-16-17, 05:25 PM
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Chain-L, after wiping a few times, is as clean as most other lubes that I have used.
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Old 03-17-17, 12:34 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I wasn't born at night nor was I born last night. I do have some experience with chains, chain lubrication and riding in the rain. Any chain lubricant doesn't stand up to rain all that well. The churning action of the chain moving will ensure that an oil based chain lubricant is well emulsified and that emulsification will ensure that the chain will rust. Any chain that is ridden in the rain needs to be relubricated following riding in rain for more than a few miles.

As for the tenacity of White Lightning, it is on the same par as oil based lubricants. It does "wash" off. It is as hydrophobic as oils and possibly more so because it doesn't churn with the water and emulsify. I'm not saying that it doesn't eventually wash off but it's no more prone to that than oils are.

And, no, it isn't "gone" after a ride of 1 mile in rain. I've ridden plenty of short distances in rain with White Lightning for nearly 20 years now in all parts of the US and it does stand up well.
Funny that your experience is so different than just about every other person out there and the company itself which recommends a number of products other than clean ride for wet weather. My experience is that in the rains we get in the PNW and the puddles it starts squeeking almost immediately and will continue to do so even after drying after less than 20 miles of rain riding. I've never seen it in any of the pits at any of the cross races here either. Whereas with Chain-L you apply, wipe off a time or two, and then never worry about it again until it starts to make noise 1000+miles later rain or shine.
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Old 03-17-17, 01:11 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Funny that your experience is so different ......
Let's accept that chain lube --- ANY chain lube --- isn't worth arguing over, any more than wine vs. beer, steak vs. lobster, or just about anything where personal preference trumps any specific particulars.

It's chain lube ---- experiment and find something that works for you, and accept that an equally informed, intelligent person riding in identical conditions can come to a completely different conclusion.
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Old 03-17-17, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Funny that your experience is so different than just about every other person out there and the company itself which recommends a number of products other than clean ride for wet weather. My experience is that in the rains we get in the PNW and the puddles it starts squeeking almost immediately and will continue to do so even after drying after less than 20 miles of rain riding. I've never seen it in any of the pits at any of the cross races here either. Whereas with Chain-L you apply, wipe off a time or two, and then never worry about it again until it starts to make noise 1000+miles later rain or shine.
You didn't say 20 miles in your original post. You said "1 mile".

I, by the way, have ridden in the rains of the Pacific Northwest on occasion My daughter lived there... and rode through the rains...for 2 years using White Lightning. She never complained about it and never considered using anything else. I even asked her about it and she never considered using anything else.

I've also ridden in the rains in the Midwest, the Eastern Seaboard, winters in Colorado, rains in southern, middle and northern Appalachia...in fact in all but 3 of the 50 states...and never used anything else. It stands up much better than people think it does, and it has the advantage of being a whole lot cleaner than anything else I've tried.
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Old 03-20-17, 11:22 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by bikebreak View Post
I've been using Chain-L for years and I like it for long life ie low maintenance.
However, it makes the chain a magnet for dust and dirt so the chain is always filthy.


I'm building a bike up for the Missus, who will be riding in a skirt. So was thinking a clean wax based lube eg white lightning or squirt (not pure hot wax). But I'll be caring for the bike so I want Chain-L of course.


Any problem with putting a wax based lube on top of the Chain-L? Would they interact?


thanks

The black comes from inside the chain. Metal wear particles and oil. Wipe the chain off after each ride and it will stay cleaner longer.
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Old 03-21-17, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post
The black comes from inside the chain. Metal wear particles and oil. Wipe the chain off after each ride and it will stay cleaner longer.
I'll agree that the black gunk is metal particulate but the problem is that the oil provides a vehicle for the metal particulates to move around. The beauty of a wax lube is that the lubricant doesn't flow. There are still metal particles but they aren't in a matrix that flows that easily. Any metal bits and lubricant that does get transported to the surface of the chain drops off instead of sticking to the outside of the chain...and your hands...and your calf...and in the inside of your car...and up around your eyebrows...and on the neighbors cat.

Wiping the chain just removes the excess oil but it is replaced by more from the inside until there is no longer any oil to flow out. That would be good except everyone reapplies more oil and starts the cycle all over again.
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Old 03-25-17, 03:21 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Let's accept that chain lube --- ANY chain lube --- isn't worth arguing over, any more than wine vs. beer, steak vs. lobster, or just about anything where personal preference trumps any specific particulars.

It's chain lube ---- experiment and find something that works for you, and accept that an equally informed, intelligent person riding in identical conditions can come to a completely different conclusion.
FB the lube threads can be entertaining though. Chain-L is well rated, but so is White Lightning. Don't think i would bother mixing the two though, it's good enuf for me to just remember to even wipe the chain and put something on it.

Most people i know don't ride in the rain so that is not an issue...around here most don't ride at all. For the rare individual that rides in the rain, then a beater rain bike would be an excellent move. Rain will get into more than just the chain...not very good for a bike.
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Old 03-25-17, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Duo View Post
....For the rare individual that rides in the rain, then a beater rain bike would be an excellent move. Rain will get into more than just the chain...not very good for a bike.
I disagree with the current thinking and obsessive concern about rain. I have logged countless miles in the rain, and NEVER done anything special about it. My old road bike had about 50,000 miles on it before I retired it, and was ridden in the rain regularly, even including being submerged a few times.

The bike had classics open cup/con bearings, which I serviced annually, and never in between. This bike saw so much water, that it had a high water rust line in the BB shell, yet I never had to replace a single cup or cone, save for headsets which died from fretting, not rust.

Same, with chains, minor surface rust here and there, but good life otherwise.

My commuter is no different, gets ridden in all weather conditions, and no attention save routine scheduled maintenance, and not much of that.

One of the roles of bicycle lubricants is to offer weather protection, and most do.
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Old 03-25-17, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I disagree with the current thinking and obsessive concern about rain. I have logged countless miles in the rain, and NEVER done anything special about it. My old road bike had about 50,000 miles on it before I retired it, and was ridden in the rain regularly, even including being submerged a few times.

The bike had classics open cup/con bearings, which I serviced annually, and never in between. This bike saw so much water, that it had a high water rust line in the BB shell, yet I never had to replace a single cup or cone, save for headsets which died from fretting, not rust.
interesting. Was your old bicycle steel or perhaps aluminum? Most of mine are vintage steel and would rather not risk the rust, but a beater aluminum bike would be less worry.
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Old 03-25-17, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Duo View Post
interesting. Was your old bicycle steel or perhaps aluminum? Most of mine are vintage steel and would rather not risk the rust, but a beater aluminum bike would be less worry.
The road bike I spoke of was a Columbus tubed steel bike, built with Campy Record in the late sixties. Like many of my friends of that era, I suffered a frozen post due to galvanic corrosion, but no other consequences attributable to rain. It saw little maintenance, partly owing to grease fittings I installed on the hubs, and an adaptor that allowed me to grease the pedals via the dust cap. So, the only effort needed was my annual (post winter) teardown of the BB and headset.

The original chrome, like most Italian bikes of the era was crappy, so when the time came, I stripped the frame and had it chromed to military specs by a firm that did submarine parts for the USN. The the friend who was painting it suggested that marine hull paint would be appropriate given that it spent so much time wet.

It's been my experience over the last 50 years that riding a bike in the rain is pretty harmless. Much worse is storing a bike in a damp environment for the long term.

------------

Lest you ask, the commuter I ride now is lugged and bonded aluminum, and it's holding up fine. Knowing I didn't want to worry about it, I built it with SunTour Grease Guard, so there's no annual teardown, and in about 25,000 all weather miles the only parts replaced were worn chains and freewheel (once so far), a few rear axles which snappped, and one rear hub bearing which actually wore out (though I suspect it was related to riding with a broken axle).


I don't think I'm unique, except perhaps in the amount of rain miles (and the submersions), and suspect that many old timers had similar luck with their primitive hardware.
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Old 03-25-17, 05:34 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post

Lest you ask, the commuter I ride now is lugged and bonded aluminum, and it's holding up fine. Knowing I didn't want to worry about it, I built it with SunTour Grease Guard, so there's no annual teardown, and in about 25,000 all weather miles the only parts replaced were worn chains and freewheel (once so far), a few rear axles which snappped, and one rear hub bearing which actually wore out (though I suspect it was related to riding with a broken axle).


I don't think I'm unique, except perhaps in the amount of rain miles (and the submersions), and suspect that many old timers had similar luck with their primitive hardware.
Very convincing. Most of us probably picked up our reticence for riding in the rain with good hardware, from the friends with fine cars that ride only on nice days. My interest is mostly classic & vintage road/mtb, that group tends to adore steel, but that probably will change in time. Aluminum is now the majority, and probably just as long lasting as steel. Currently i am looking for an aluminum racing bike for those days where one has a need for speed.
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