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Chain wax experiment

Old 06-07-18, 01:22 AM
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Paraffin on two of my three bikes. Wouldn't go back to wet chain lube in this environment -- we don't get enough rain for it to be a serious issue. My bikes are in the living room and it keeps everything cleaner, including my cats.

My mileage between re-treating with hot wax depends on how aggressively I wipe down the waxed chain while hot, or whether I just let it cool and let the excess wax flake off during the first ride. After the first 20-30 mile ride enough excess wax flakes off that it isn't a problem indoors.

If I don't wipe the chain I usually get 400-500 miles between swaps -- closer to 400 if I get caught in rain once or twice (it withstood a couple of brief but heavy downpours last summer). If I wipe down the excess aggressively I get around 200-250 miles before the chain noise annoys me enough to re-wax. I did notice that when I wiped the hot chain down aggressively to minimize the residual wax, it was less resistant to rain -- one good rain and the chain was squeaking. Apparently letting the chain cool with excess wax helps a bit to resist rain and puddles. The excess flakes off but still leaves more residual wax.

I already had a Little Dipper small crock pot in the cabinet, unused. Came with the larger crock pot. So last summer I bought some Gulf wax at the nearby hardware store and gave it a try on my new-to-me '80s road bike. Started with a pair of new KMC Z-72 chains. Stripped 'em as best I could in mineral spirits and 90% isopropyl alcohol. Dunked each chain separately into the crock pot to soak for several hours.

With two identical chains I can swap 'em every two weeks to a month and have a chain ready to go. No need to re-dunk immediately if I'm busy. I just guesstimate the mileage on each chain based on Strava estimates of my mileage. At the rate they're not wearing and my riding 2,000-4,000 miles a year (more last year), the pair of chains should last a couple more years.

I did get curious about Boeshield T-9 recently after a friend recommended it (he's a cyclist and worked in the aerospace industry). I'd planned to avoid any wet lubes, but didn't realize T-9 is basically just a tiny amount of paraffin in naptha. I figured it might be compatible with the waxed chains. So when I got caught in downpour this spring and the chain began squeaking, I used the T-9 rather than re-waxing that chain. It immediately got quieter and smoother and lasted around 100 miles. And it smoothed out braking on a long run of old cable and housing that I didn't want to stop to replace. No idea how long it can go between T-9 treatments -- I was hit by a car last month and haven't been able to ride since. But I plan to resume using the T-9 to touch up the waxed chains. I've also used it on tools, including blued steel, and it seems to hold up reasonably well without feeling oily or attracting debris. But I haven't used T-9 long enough to decide.

Only reason the third bike is still on wet lube (Park CL-1) is because that chain and cassette are still good and I'm cheap, so I'm waiting until it actually needs to be replaced. But after 18 months I'm tired of waiting so I'll probably switch that hybrid bike to paraffin soon.
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Old 06-07-18, 06:12 AM
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When I wax my chain, the parts are swirled in a 93C solution of Molton Speed Wax, then hung to cool. I use a thermocouple thermometer to ensure I'm at the correct temperature. I have not observed anything that needs to be wiped off.

Once cool, the chain links are manually flexed. There is a "small" amount of wax dust created from that initial breaking the links free.




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Old 06-07-18, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by wingless
When I wax my chain, the parts are swirled in a 93C solution of Molton Speed Wax, then hung to cool. I use a thermocouple thermometer to ensure I'm at the correct temperature. I have not observed anything that needs to be wiped off.

Once cool, the chain links are manually flexed. There is a "small" amount of wax dust created from that initial breaking the links free.




how important is it that you achieve this temperature? Can you talk more about your real world performance of your chains? How many miles are you getting before they become noisy?
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Old 06-07-18, 07:36 AM
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I use the molten speed wax chain cleaning method. I have a bottle of OMS and a bottle of alcohol that I have used on maybe a dozen chains. The whole cleaning process takes maybe 10 or 15 minutes, which I only have to do once, then each waxing is another 5 minutes. It sounds complicated, but it really isn't all that time consuming once you have the process down, and you never have to clean the drivetrain.
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Old 06-07-18, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by wingless
When I wax my chain, the parts are swirled in a 93C solution of Molton Speed Wax, then hung to cool. I use a thermocouple thermometer to ensure I'm at the correct temperature. I have not observed anything that needs to be wiped off.
I use a crock pot and have no idea how hot the wax is but assume its above 100C as it gets bubbles when I put a wet chain in. Does 93C get rid of the water on a damp chain?
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Old 06-07-18, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by wingless
When I wax my chain, the parts are swirled in a 93C solution of Molton Speed Wax, then hung to cool. I use a thermocouple thermometer to ensure I'm at the correct temperature. I have not observed anything that needs to be wiped off.
Originally Posted by masi61
how important is it that you achieve this temperature? Can you talk more about your real world performance of your chains? How many miles are you getting before they become noisy?
The Molton Speed Wax instructions state 93C, so that is the temperature I use for the wax pot. It works well.

So far I've been unable to determine mileage between treatments because I retreat when I get caught in the rain.

Originally Posted by gregf83
I use a crock pot and have no idea how hot the wax is but assume its above 100C as it gets bubbles when I put a wet chain in. Does 93C get rid of the water on a damp chain?
No idea on a wet chain. I follow the Molton Speed Wax Cleaning Instructions and the last step is denatured alcohol. That evaporates quickly, leaving a clean, dry chain.

A thermometer would be useful / required to ensure the temperature is correct / safe for the wax.
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Old 06-07-18, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97
I never got more than 100 miles out of an application of clean ride, and the second it got hit with wheel spray it started squeeking. Hot wax and other products such as squirt seem to have a much higher wax content that stay on the chain and provides better longevity.
When you say that you never got more than 100 miles out of an application, what is it that seems to say you need more? I get 400 to 700 miles or more out of an application in just about any weather. Yes, it has to be reapplied after rain but oil should be refreshed as well. So should wax.

To be clear, I've tried hot wax but didn't find it all that effective and it's far more involved. Wax based lubricants do what 'hot wax' does without the hot part. All the heat does is make the wax molten. Using a solvent makes the wax "molten" by dissolving it and evaporating after use. Once the solvent is gone, the wax is the same.
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Old 06-07-18, 08:15 AM
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Just to be clear, the hot wax both cleaned my chain and left it clean, dry and lubricated.
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Old 06-07-18, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
When you say that you never got more than 100 miles out of an application, what is it that seems to say you need more? I get 400 to 700 miles or more out of an application in just about any weather. Yes, it has to be reapplied after rain but oil should be refreshed as well. So should wax.

To be clear, I've tried hot wax but didn't find it all that effective and it's far more involved. Wax based lubricants do what 'hot wax' does without the hot part. All the heat does is make the wax molten. Using a solvent makes the wax "molten" by dissolving it and evaporating after use. Once the solvent is gone, the wax is the same.
noise mostly. Molten wax or squirt simply last longer before it needs to be reapplied. The wax after the solvent evaporates might be the same but the amount that makes it into the rollers is different. Clean ride just doesn't seem to get much in there. That much is obvious right away based on the amount that dries on the surface and the inherently noisier nature of the chain even with a fresh application. The amount that stays on the surface especially on the roller surface helps with water ingress. I'm all aboard the wax wagon now, just not with this particular product. When Squirt is $12/bottle and gets you better performance and longevity with more applications/bottle why use CR? They all still suck in the rain. Nothing beats Chain L for wet weather riding
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Old 06-07-18, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston
I use the molten speed wax chain cleaning method. I have a bottle of OMS and a bottle of alcohol that I have used on maybe a dozen chains. The whole cleaning process takes maybe 10 or 15 minutes, which I only have to do once, then each waxing is another 5 minutes. It sounds complicated, but it really isn't all that time consuming once you have the process down, and you never have to clean the drivetrain.
If you follow their procedure exactly, there are five 6 minute steps plus a 15 minute drying period. That's at least 45 minutes and there's a whole lot of set up time involved. That a lot of work to be doing every 300 to 500 miles.

A couple of notes on the 16 () step process they suggest. First, how clean do you really need the chain to be? You aren't analyzing the chain for purity. You are just cleaning it. Every last molecule of other oils and waxes doesn't need to be removed. A small amount of mineral spirits will clean the chain enough. There's no need to clean the chain with a half gallon of detergent and alcohol. And, if the chain has been previously cleaned and waxed, it shouldn't need to have all the old wax removed prior to applying new wax. It's wax. Put it in the hot wax and let it melt away.

While good ultrasonic baths can work well, most ultrasonic baths aren't good ones. If you bought one at Harbor Freight for $20, it's probably not even an ultrasonic bath. It's quite likely to have a vibrating motor in it to make it sound like an ultrasonic bath.

Chain cleaning doesn't need to be an elaborate ritual done on a weekly basis.

Originally Posted by gregf83
I use a crock pot and have no idea how hot the wax is but assume its above 100C as it gets bubbles when I put a wet chain in. Does 93C get rid of the water on a damp chain?
Don't put water into hot wax! Think what happens when you put water into oil. Now take that oil and make it much more viscous. Wax will carry a lot more heat and attach itself to you a lot better than oils will.

If you are going to wax a chain, especially if you aren't monitoring the temperature, dry the chain of water before you put in the wax. If you follow the Speedwax elaborate cleaning ritual, chase the water off with alcohol. The alcohol won't flash to steam like water will because it is slightly soluble in the wax. I'd still make sure that the chain is mostly dry but you won't have steam explosions with alcohol.

Broken record mode: On the other hand, a little bit of mineral spirits will clean the chain and any residual solvent dissolves in the wax without issue.
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Old 06-07-18, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by wingless
The Molton Speed Wax instructions state 93C, so that is the temperature I use for the wax pot. It works well.

So far I've been unable to determine mileage between treatments because I retreat when I get caught in the rain.

No idea on a wet chain. I follow the Molton Speed Wax Cleaning Instructions and the last step is denatured alcohol. That evaporates quickly, leaving a clean, dry chain.

A thermometer would be useful / required to ensure the temperature is correct / safe for the wax.
I have a thermometer but I don't think it's important. As far as I can tell 93C is just an arbitrary number that doesn't impact performance. Wax doesn't ignite until around 200C which I don't think a crock pot could achieve unless it was defective. I suspect they use 200F (93C) because it's hot enough and going hotter doesn't help (doesn't hurt either).
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Old 06-07-18, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97
noise mostly.
Ask yourself does the "noise" really matter? My drivetrain doesn't squeak but it is noisier than oil-based lubricants. Since I get similar mileage to what most people report for chains, that noise doesn't matter.

Originally Posted by redlude97
Molten wax or squirt simply last longer before it needs to be reapplied. The wax after the solvent evaporates might be the same but the amount that makes it into the rollers is different. Clean ride just doesn't seem to get much in there. That much is obvious right away based on the amount that dries on the surface and the inherently noisier nature of the chain even with a fresh application. The amount that stays on the surface especially on the roller surface helps with water ingress.
I don't agree. You'd have to actually measure it to show that there is a difference and I'm not sure how you could demonstrate it. And, even if hot wax or Squirt got more wax into the chain, would it make that much of a difference in chain mileage? I haven't tried Squirt but I have done hot wax. The time spent on applying it isn't worth even a significant increase in chain life. Chains are just too cheap to spend a whole lot of time trying to make them last for extraordinary mileages.

Originally Posted by redlude97
I'm all aboard the wax wagon now, just not with this particular product. When Squirt is $12/bottle and gets you better performance and longevity with more applications/bottle why use CR? They all still suck in the rain. Nothing beats Chain L for wet weather riding
The mistake that people make with oil lubricants is that they somehow "last" in rain. They don't. If you ride in rain and don't reapply chain lube...of any flavor...you are just fooling yourself. Oil based lubricants flow and mask the water infiltration but they don't make it go away. I would argue that, based on the physical properties of water and oils, they might even make the problem worse. Oil and water separate with the water in contact with the metal parts. It's a pretty good recipe for corrosion that gets masked by the oil on top of the water.
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Old 06-07-18, 08:56 AM
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I boiled my chain 1st then used a mix of paraffin and a melted toilet wax ring.

I think I need to toss some of that mix because the sticky toilet wax ring wax made the chain stiff and sticky. Need to get closer to straight paraffin.

Also, next time Ill skip the boiling and just clean with a soak in mineral spirits
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Old 06-07-18, 08:57 AM
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My Lil' Dipper sit at around 240 after it's been on awhile. Not adjustable. I've been waxing chains in that same crockpot for over 15,000 miles now. I've dumped wet chains, chains still drippinh with solvent, dirty chains, any chain-- right in the 240 wax. The most it ever caused was about 5 seconds of simmer-like bubbling. It's not a cauldron full of lava. It's just wax.

Oh, and 240 wax spatter from the pot usually cools before it even reaches the skin. I put the chains back on the bikes still hot, just by holding one end of the chain with a paper towel.

I stopped using wet lubes primarily because I do not like the mess. Also, you can use most any chain lube as a cutting lube for sawing or drilling. So I don't want to do that.
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Old 06-07-18, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
If you follow their procedure exactly, there are five 6 minute steps plus a 15 minute drying period. That's at least 45 minutes and there's a whole lot of set up time involved. That a lot of work to be doing every 300 to 500 miles.

A couple of notes on the 16 () step process they suggest. First, how clean do you really need the chain to be? You aren't analyzing the chain for purity. You are just cleaning it. Every last molecule of other oils and waxes doesn't need to be removed. A small amount of mineral spirits will clean the chain enough. There's no need to clean the chain with a half gallon of detergent and alcohol. And, if the chain has been previously cleaned and waxed, it shouldn't need to have all the old wax removed prior to applying new wax. It's wax. Put it in the hot wax and let it melt away.

While good ultrasonic baths can work well, most ultrasonic baths aren't good ones. If you bought one at Harbor Freight for $20, it's probably not even an ultrasonic bath. It's quite likely to have a vibrating motor in it to make it sound like an ultrasonic bath.

Chain cleaning doesn't need to be an elaborate ritual done on a weekly basis.



Don't put water into hot wax! Think what happens when you put water into oil. Now take that oil and make it much more viscous. Wax will carry a lot more heat and attach itself to you a lot better than oils will.

If you are going to wax a chain, especially if you aren't monitoring the temperature, dry the chain of water before you put in the wax. If you follow the Speedwax elaborate cleaning ritual, chase the water off with alcohol. The alcohol won't flash to steam like water will because it is slightly soluble in the wax. I'd still make sure that the chain is mostly dry but you won't have steam explosions with alcohol.

Broken record mode: On the other hand, a little bit of mineral spirits will clean the chain and any residual solvent dissolves in the wax without issue.
I'm not putting dripping wet chains in the wax but they can be damp. I don't see any point in going through an elaborate ritual of cleaning and drying an already clean chain. I just drop them in the wax. There are little bubbles that rise to the surface, nothing explosive.

For me, the benefit of waxing is less maintenance. I usually have 3 chains that I rotate through changing once a week or so. I then only have to wax every 3-4 wks.

Now that I think about it I doubt the wax is above 100C. I've added water to the crock pot before to clean the wax. After heating the wax rises to the top and the dirt sinks to the bottom. The wax cools on top of the water and you're left with a clean block of wax.
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Old 06-07-18, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
If you follow their procedure exactly, there are five 6 minute steps plus a 15 minute drying period. That's at least 45 minutes and there's a whole lot of set up time involved. That a lot of work to be doing every 300 to 500 miles.
I'm not sure where you come up with 45 minutes, but I've done it many times and can tell you from experience that it only takes 10-15 minutes. I don't count soaking overnight or drying time since that doesn't require any effort or attention. I also clean the chain exactly one time when it's new and just throw it in the pot every time after that. I reuse both the OMS and the alcohol too so I use effectively zero of both of those with each cleaning. I know you think waxing is a waste of time and resources, but in actual practice it takes very little of either once you get a good process down. There are plenty of reasons to prefer other chain lubricants, but having done it both ways don't consider time commitment to be among them for a higher milage rider.
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Old 06-07-18, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
The "correct" way to wax a chain:
Clean entire drivetrain with multiple solvents, buy name brand bicycle chain wax and heat enough of it to fill the bottom of a crock pot.

Today I heated a small block of clear candle wax from the craft store in the smallest stainless sauce pan directly on the electric cook top, popped the quicklink off my dirty chain, wiped it once with a paper towel and dumped it in the wax.

I mixed it around in the pot on "simmer" heat for 5 min then lifted it out with a metal hook, let it drip a bit then dumped it in a cardboard box. As I suspected, the 200+ wax boiled the old oil off the surface of the chain, and probably got most of the inside stuff out. The wax turned dark gray, but the chain came out bright silver and wiped off clear - so I think most of the old lube did end up in the waste wax.

So I wiped the chainrings off and put the chain on. It is behaving just like any other freshly waxed chain - moderately stiff, clean and unsticky to the touch.

I tossed out the gray wax - it was only about 1/3 of a cup because I used a small pan instead of a big crock pot. I put water in the pot and boiled out most of the leftover wax - the dishwasher will get the rest.

I'll ride the bike and see how well the chain stays clean, considering the somewhat dirty cassette and lack of chain cleaning. But I think what I did gives all the main advantages of a waxed chain - increased cleanliness and lubrication - while avoiding most of the pain. It took 10 minutes.
Was the chain itself relatively clean? I'm sure this method is no worse than what people do with other lubes, wipe down chain, and apply new lube. It probably works better since the old lube and dirt would be carried off by the boiling wax.
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Old 06-07-18, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by phughes
Was the chain itself relatively clean? I'm sure this method is no worse than what people do with other lubes, wipe down chain, and apply new lube. It probably works better since the old lube and dirt would be carried off by the boiling wax.
It wasn't super grimy, but it was dark with used oil.

I think hot paraffin or hot oil would have cleaned out any other kind of substance effectively.
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Old 06-07-18, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
It wasn't super grimy, but it was dark with used oil.

I think hot paraffin or hot oil would have cleaned out any other kind of substance effectively.
Probably as effective, and most likely more effective that wiping and lubing. One day I may have it give it a try.
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Old 06-07-18, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Ask yourself does the "noise" really matter? My drivetrain doesn't squeak but it is noisier than oil-based lubricants. Since I get similar mileage to what most people report for chains, that noise doesn't matter.
Yes it does actually, no one wants to be that guy at the group ride, and with clean ride unless I remembered to apply the night before with was always the noisiest. We aren't even comparing it to wet lubes. Clean ride is noisier than molten wax or squirt even when freshly applied, and the noise only gets worse with mileage and/or rain. I couldn't stand it after more than 100 miles. The second it got wet it started to squeek too. Don't believe me? Just google the numerous others who have come to the same conclusion. Mileage isn't the end all of chain lube.

Originally Posted by cyccommute
I don't agree. You'd have to actually measure it to show that there is a difference and I'm not sure how you could demonstrate it. And, even if hot wax or Squirt got more wax into the chain, would it make that much of a difference in chain mileage? I haven't tried Squirt but I have done hot wax. The time spent on applying it isn't worth even a significant increase in chain life. Chains are just too cheap to spend a whole lot of time trying to make them last for extraordinary mileages.
Again, mileage isn't the measuring point, but if we look at friction then its clear that wax content reduces friction if we follow your assumption that once dried all wax is the same. Paraffin<Squirt<Clean Ride




Originally Posted by cyccommute
The mistake that people make with oil lubricants is that they somehow "last" in rain. They don't. If you ride in rain and don't reapply chain lube...of any flavor...you are just fooling yourself. Oil based lubricants flow and mask the water infiltration but they don't make it go away. I would argue that, based on the physical properties of water and oils, they might even make the problem worse. Oil and water separate with the water in contact with the metal parts. It's a pretty good recipe for corrosion that gets masked by the oil on top of the water.
You can have this opinion but it doesn't mean its true. Not all wet lube is the same. Chain-L lasts through the rain, doesn't increase in noise, and doesn't increase wear, and doesn't rust. I get through the rainy season on an 11 speed chain with Chain-L applied at 750+mile increments and get 3k+ miles out of a chain, and you only have the lube it a few times. With clean ride it was almost a daily chore in the wet season. FBinNY makes a great product and there is a reason why so many shops in the PNW sell it, it just works. The only downside is the messy chain, and the added friction. Only reason I switched my dry weather bikes to wax.
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Old 06-07-18, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97
Yes it does actually, no one wants to be that guy at the group ride, and with clean ride unless I remembered to apply the night before with was always the noisiest. We aren't even comparing it to wet lubes. Clean ride is noisier than molten wax or squirt even when freshly applied, and the noise only gets worse with mileage and/or rain. I couldn't stand it after more than 100 miles. The second it got wet it started to squeek too. Don't believe me? Just google the numerous others who have come to the same conclusion. Mileage isn't the end all of chain lube.


Again, mileage isn't the measuring point, but if we look at friction then its clear that wax content reduces friction if we follow your assumption that once dried all wax is the same. Paraffin<Squirt<Clean Ride
That UFO Drip comparison chart does not include measurement results for Molton Speed Wax.


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Old 06-07-18, 01:31 PM
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The differences in friction don't seem that big in this chart. I'd say friction is not a big reason to choose one lube over another, at least for me.
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Old 06-07-18, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston

I'm not sure where you come up with 45 minutes, but I've done it many times and can tell you from experience that it only takes 10-15 minutes. I don't count soaking overnight or drying time since that doesn't require any effort or attention. I also clean the chain exactly one time when it's new and just throw it in the pot every time after that. I reuse both the OMS and the alcohol too so I use effectively zero of both of those with each cleaning. I know you think waxing is a waste of time and resources, but in actual practice it takes very little of either once you get a good process down. There are plenty of reasons to prefer other chain lubricants, but having done it both ways don't consider time commitment to be among them for a higher milage rider.
I see my confusion now. There are two "Speed wax procedures" that both you and wingless called the same thing. I didn't click on your link thinking they were the same. I'd agree that the mineral spirits is quick and easy...I might even say that taking 15 minutes total is leisurely. It's what I use for cleaning a chain. The other method is way too elaborate.

Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 06-07-18, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97
Yes it does actually, no one wants to be that guy at the group ride, and with clean ride unless I remembered to apply the night before with was always the noisiest. We aren't even comparing it to wet lubes. Clean ride is noisier than molten wax or squirt even when freshly applied, and the noise only gets worse with mileage and/or rain. I couldn't stand it after more than 100 miles. The second it got wet it started to squeek too. Don't believe me? Just google the numerous others who have come to the same conclusion. Mileage isn't the end all of chain lube.
To you maybe noise matters but that's subjective. The chain certainly isn't any noisier than the air moving past your ears. I've learned to ignore it and concentrate on the ride.

As for wear, what else is there? The whole point of lubrication is to reduce wear...but it isn't going to reduce it by all that much.

Originally Posted by redlude97
Again, mileage isn't the measuring point, but if we look at friction then its clear that wax content reduces friction if we follow your assumption that once dried all wax is the same. Paraffin<Squirt<Clean Ride
I don't agree that chain mileage isn't the measuring point. Friction differences are minimal. Assuming a nonprofessional rider and about a 200 watt output, the differences between the chain lubes are minimal. Subtract the wax's 4W from that 200W and you get 196W. Subtract the 4.5W of the Squirt from the 200W and you get 195.5W or a difference of 0.25% between the wax and the Squirt. White Lightning has about 6.2W of drag or 1.1% between the wax and the WL. It's not enough to worry about for a recreational rider.

For a professional rider who might be putting out the fabled 400W, the difference is even smaller.

Originally Posted by redlude97
You can have this opinion but it doesn't mean its true. Not all wet lube is the same. Chain-L lasts through the rain, doesn't increase in noise, and doesn't increase wear, and doesn't rust. I get through the rainy season on an 11 speed chain with Chain-L applied at 750+mile increments and get 3k+ miles out of a chain, and you only have the lube it a few times. With clean ride it was almost a daily chore in the wet season. FBinNY makes a great product and there is a reason why so many shops in the PNW sell it, it just works. The only downside is the messy chain, and the added friction. Only reason I switched my dry weather bikes to wax.
You are talking to a chemist here. Oil is oil. It has the same physical properties as any other oil. No oil "lasts" through rain. It just mixes with the water and then phase separates later. The water is still there, trapped against the metal under the oil. The oil moves around so it masks the effects of water but the water is still present and should be flushed from the chain following rain.

Wax and wax based lubricants don't move around because they are solid or semisolid. They don't mask the damage done by water because they can't cover it. They start to squeak quickly because they aren't masking the problem. It doesn't mean that they provide better or worse protection, they just provide a different kind of protection.
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Old 06-07-18, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
To you maybe noise matters but that's subjective. The chain certainly isn't any noisier than the air moving past your ears. I've learned to ignore it and concentrate on the ride.

As for wear, what else is there? The whole point of lubrication is to reduce wear...but it isn't going to reduce it by all that much.



I don't agree that chain mileage isn't the measuring point. Friction differences are minimal. Assuming a nonprofessional rider and about a 200 watt output, the differences between the chain lubes are minimal. Subtract the wax's 4W from that 200W and you get 196W. Subtract the 4.5W of the Squirt from the 200W and you get 195.5W or a difference of 0.25% between the wax and the Squirt. White Lightning has about 6.2W of drag or 1.1% between the wax and the WL. It's not enough to worry about for a recreational rider.

For a professional rider who might be putting out the fabled 400W, the difference is even smaller.



You are talking to a chemist here. Oil is oil. It has the same physical properties as any other oil. No oil "lasts" through rain. It just mixes with the water and then phase separates later. The water is still there, trapped against the metal under the oil. The oil moves around so it masks the effects of water but the water is still present and should be flushed from the chain following rain.

Wax and wax based lubricants don't move around because they are solid or semisolid. They don't mask the damage done by water because they can't cover it. They start to squeak quickly because they aren't masking the problem. It doesn't mean that they provide better or worse protection, they just provide a different kind of protection.
Again we'll agree to disagree on the noise. I'm not the only one who can't stand it, and this is the internet. The point of posting the friction chart wasn't to argue about differences in the watt savings. It was to dispute your point that once the solvent evaporates, that the leftover wax is the same. It clearly isn't. Its also correlated with wax percentage. Since you're a chemist and I'm a chemical engineer, then would you know that water and oil don't mix without a detergent present since they are immiscible. You would also know that oils with a strong film strength and viscosity stick to the metal under the relatively low shear stress applied at the outer interface of the plates and rollers. Since the lubricant is hydrophobic there is no reason for the water to magically ingress to the inner roller via capillary action. Solid waxes do not provide this protection so water still gets into the roller and between the plates.
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