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Chain wax experiment

Old 06-08-18, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott
You seem to be the one getting pissed off. You said something that was wrong. I tried to correct it as politely as possible, but clearly you have a big weed up your arse about something. This is like arguing with a creationist or anti-vaxxer.

The funny thing is we are in complete agreement about chain waxing. But that just isn't good enough for you. You clearly have this bizarre need to be right about everything (which very clearly pre-dates this discussion and this thread). Perhaps a bike ride and a bit of fresh air could help.

Meanwhile, welcome to my ignore list.
No, I said something that applied directly to the question at hand - does melting point predict the viscosities of chain lubes? Nope.

You abstracted what I said about the topic to a generalization that required special rules for consideration.

That conversation was all fine until you accused me of "playing games". That was the first time either of us was rude, and it was you being rude.

Is this you being a jerk or not?
Originally Posted by wgscott
Perhaps I made a mistake in assuming you were more interested in an explanation rather than playing internet games.
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Old 06-08-18, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott
What is the melting point of fructose vs. fructose solubilized in water?
Solid fructose melts at 217°F.

Water with fructose dissolved in it melts at somewhere closer to 32°F, depending on how much fructose. When there's more the melting point is lowered more.

Make no mistake, we aren't comparing two chemical compounds, but two complete products. You are asking to compare solid sugar to sugar water. Which is no different than comparing solid wax to oil, as I did.

But really, consider water and mercury.

Last edited by Kontact; 06-08-18 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 06-08-18, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott
I agree, but local melting or softening, facilitated by



is likely to be part of the reason the wax works at all, rather than just getting extruded under pressure.

As I mentioned above, my reason for using it is that the drive train stays much cleaner under (my) gritty and sandy conditions.

I do have to confess that I never thought of trying olive oil or coconut oil (nor chainsaw bar oil).
Based on the Johns Hopkins article, I don't think the chain gets hot enough to cause any appreciable melting. The wax may soften due to the forces on and it may have some flow but I wouldn't expect it to do much.

I would certainly agree about the cleaner drivetrain. That's why I switched over to White Lightning 20+ years ago. I have used the equivalent to chainsaw oil...Phil's Tenacious Oil...and would never go back to that nightmare.
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Old 06-08-18, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
The wax may soften due to the forces on and it may have some flow but I wouldn't expect it to do much.
It is just speculative on my part, and may well be wrong. Water (ice) melts locally under pressure (which enables ice skating and skiing), but the behavior is atypical, due to its hydrogen bonding network. Paraffin of course doesn't make any hydrogen bonds. I can't find a phase diagram for it.

I would certainly agree about the cleaner drivetrain. That's why I switched over to White Lightning 20+ years ago. I have used the equivalent to chainsaw oil...Phil's Tenacious Oil...and would never go back to that nightmare.
I agree. But paraffin/Squirt for me seems to work much better than White Lightning. I don't really know why.

Last edited by Cyclist0108; 06-09-18 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 06-14-18, 07:44 AM
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I rode a 400k on Saturday with a waxed chain. The first 30k was in a light rain and the last 80k was in the pouring rain. The chain worked fine for that distance in those conditions. I put the bike up on the stand when I got home and didn't have a chance to do anything with it until Monday after work. There was a little bit of surface rust on the rollers. I threw the rusty chain in the pot and the rust was gone when I took it out. Next time I'll take the 5 minutes to put it in the wax as soon as I get home so the rust doesn't have a chance to form. I have a 600k in a couple of weeks, and I'm not sure a waxed chain will last that long so I'm bringing a little bottle of squirt to freshen it up if it gets squeaky. I have a 1,200k in August and I'm planning to bring the squirt and put an extra waxed chain in my drop bag.
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Old 06-14-18, 08:13 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by wgscott
...I do have to confess that I never thought of trying olive oil or coconut oil (nor chainsaw bar oil).
Coincidentally I recently received a bucket of coconut oil (along with various vegan and organic gustatory delights, from a vegan friend who, presumably, is trying to make me a convert -- won't happen, but that's okay).

First thing I thought was "chain lube!"

But coconut oil is a sort of neitherworld substance from the dark pit of ambivalence -- neither oil nor semi-solid. It's not well suited for frying -- everything sticks to my stainless skillets. It has no flavor so it's not a substitute for butter on bread, or olive oil in flavoring sauteed and fried foods.

At room temperature it's not quite as solidified as lard or vegetable shortening. The feel is more like congealed chicken fat at room temperature. So coconut oil wouldn't be any cleaner than wet chain lubes.

And, while riding my bike with chain lubed in coconut oil, I worry that I might be chased down by angry social justice warrior monkeys bent on protesting the exploitation of their pig-tailed macaque brethren.

I haven't tried using it for baking yet. I have a recipe for high protein vegan cookies to try. It's gonna take a lot of cookies to get through this gallon bucket.
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Old 06-14-18, 09:58 AM
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I can taste coconut oil.

We use it for various things at home, including cooking. When our home gets cold, the oil is quite a hard solid. I suspect since its melting point is somewhere warmer than 70 degrees Fahrenheit, it would make a poor chain lubricant.
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Old 06-14-18, 11:46 AM
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I had been using Chain-L #5 but got sick of the messy chain. So I cleaned the entire drive train and replaced the chain (which had hit the wear limit at about 5000 miles).

I took the new chains (recumbent, 3x the length) and had them soaking in OMS for weeks (shook it occasionally) and used a wax-solvent lube (White Lightning).

So far, so good. Considering using Rock'n'Roll.
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Old 06-14-18, 12:43 PM
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Personally I don't get the seeming obsession with alternatives to chain lubes marketed for bikes.

the costs are really not that much and you have a wide choice in terms of what is important to you oily, dry, wax etc.

I clean my chain on my bike using park cleaner and citrus cleaner, then lube with whatever Lube I am currently using (right now I forget the brand, but it is a bit more sticky synthetic oil stuff, works well, gets a bit dirty)

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Old 06-14-18, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
Personally I don't get the seeming obsession with alternatives to chain lubes marketed for bikes.
The big advantage to wax is that you only have to clean your chain once when it's new and then it's clean forever. Every few hundred miles you take it off, drop it in the wax, take it out and put it back on the bike. Having done it both ways, waxing is less total effort than the method you describe and your chain is always clean to the touch.
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Old 06-14-18, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
Personally I don't get the seeming obsession with alternatives to chain lubes marketed for bikes.

the costs are really not that much and you have a wide choice in terms of what is important to you oily, dry, wax etc.

I clean my chain on my bike using park cleaner and citrus cleaner, then lube with whatever Lube I am currently using (right now I forget the brand, but it is a bit more sticky synthetic oil stuff, works well, gets a bit dirty)

Frankly, I don't get why you would bother with that gizmo. For the life of a chain, you can maintain it perfectly by oiling it and then wiping off the excess - as recommended by the manufacturers.

The method I'm trying here - dump in wax dirty, mount on bike - is about as easy as simply oiling because you don't have to clean the chain and quicklinks make removal so easy. And it leaves a cleaner chain than any combination of cleaner and oil, if clean is what you like.
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Old 08-23-18, 06:45 PM
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Rode a 1,200k with a waxed chain over the last few days. applied a little squirt after the second day (~700k) and it worked flawlessly.
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Old 03-30-20, 09:53 AM
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Old thread I know- very interesting..

Originally Posted by kingston
Rode a 1,200k with a waxed chain over the last few days. applied a little squirt after the second day (~700k) and it worked flawlessly.
I've been using molton speed wax for a few years now because it's clean. I did a 3 day1000k recently with a newly waxed chain and it was fine the whole distance. A little rain day 2. Might have started squeaking toward the end. One disconcerting thing though- the weather dipped to upper 30s f and the chain got stiff so shifting suffered. No one else has mentioned that. Also, with the Molton wax I noticed that it will separate in the crock pot with the black graphite going to the bottom. I laid the dry chain in the graphite then gently stirred the chain until the tiny bubbles stopped coming out, then removed. I do have a few bikes that use the same chain size so will often wax 2-4 at a time...
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Old 03-30-20, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by 83cannondale
... I did a 3 day1000k recently with a newly waxed chain and it was fine the whole distance. A little rain day 2. Might have started squeaking toward the end. One disconcerting thing though- the weather dipped to upper 30s f and the chain got stiff so shifting suffered. No one else has mentioned that...
A 1,000k in March? That's quite an early season accomplishment! There's another thread where someone is complaining about poor shifting with a waxed chain in cold weather, but I think it was well below freezing in that case. While it makes sense that it could happen, I haven't noticed it myself.
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Old 03-30-20, 11:48 AM
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I use paraffin candles from Hobby Lobby and buy a bottle of liquid lantern oil at the same time. I heat the candles, remove the wicks from the liquid, and pour in a bit of lantern oil. After mixing, I wet the end of a spoon and let it dry. Then, I take a fingernail and scrape it. If it flakes, the mixture needs more lamp oil. I repeat until the wax will smear, but not flake off.

When I cook a chain, I let it sit until bubbles quit coming out of the voids in the chain. The wax has permeated every nook and cranny then. I pull the chain, wipe it off and let it cool. Then, reinstall.

The reason I use wax is it is just so much cleaner. I also find my shifts are a bit crisper.

Last edited by UKFan4Sure; 03-30-20 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 03-30-20, 12:38 PM
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For wax/additive separation: battery-powered milk frother. I got one at IKEA ages ago, it's been a solid performer in that regard.
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Old 04-06-20, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston
A 1,000k in March? That's quite an early season accomplishment! There's another thread where someone is complaining about poor shifting with a waxed chain in cold weather, but I think it was well below freezing in that case. While it makes sense that it could happen, I haven't noticed it myself.
..... Kingston - the 1000k was last year- PBP partial. The cold caused many to dnf. Shermers and hand problems got me...
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Old 04-06-20, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope
For wax/additive separation: battery-powered milk frother. I got one at IKEA ages ago, it's been a solid performer in that regard.
When I was waxing my chains and had whipped up the concoction that included teflon and moly powder in the wax I was also heating the wax in my ultrasonic cleaner (water in ultrasonic cleaner, wax in glass jar set into the water), and the ultrasonic vibration did an excellent job of both keeping all the particles mixed up in the wax, and also getting the air bubbles out quickly.
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Old 04-06-20, 11:02 AM
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While I don't doubt that an ultrasonic does as good a job at keeping a wax blend homogenous, I'm using $5 thrift store crock pots and a $2 milk frother. If heated, metal-tub ultrasonic cleaners start showing up at my local Goodwill, I'll give one a try.
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