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Waxing Chain for the first timer

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Waxing Chain for the first timer

Old 07-19-20, 12:50 PM
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spelger
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Waxing Chain for the first timer

Hi,

i recently replaced my chain and it was a very smooth ride when i did, and looked sparkly clean. now it looks quite dirty, it picked up residual wet lube from the cassette and looks like hell.

so now i am thinking about waxing the chain instead of the wet lube i have been using, lots here seem to like this way. i have read here on BF the use of paraffin. is this the same wax used in plain old candles? i am not suggesting candles as a source! just that any craft store local to me should have this in stock.

since the chain needs to come off to be dipped quite often how long do you use the quick link? i image that they have a limited number of reuses.

and how about heating/melting the wax. do you use an electric hot plate, open flame burner, or microwave? wondering if it matters. electric hot plate seems the safest. i have spares of the others.

i like DrIsotope's idea about having one chain on the bike and one in the block of wax ready for the next lube maintenance so i'll be getting another chain.

one other thing, in hot weather doesn't the wax just melt off? it gets pretty hot here like today 98F.

i will be sure to remove chain and cassette for a though cleaning before waxing.
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Old 07-19-20, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
Hi,

i recently replaced my chain and it was a very smooth ride when i did, and looked sparkly clean. now it looks quite dirty, it picked up residual wet lube from the cassette and looks like hell.

so now i am thinking about waxing the chain instead of the wet lube i have been using, lots here seem to like this way. i have read here on BF the use of paraffin. is this the same wax used in plain old candles? i am not suggesting candles as a source! just that any craft store local to me should have this in stock.
Straight paraffin wax is really all you need. Of the off-the-shelf products, I prefer Runaway Bike Hot Tub.

since the chain needs to come off to be dipped quite often how long do you use the quick link? i image that they have a limited number of reuses.
I use the same quick-link for the life of the chain.
and how about heating/melting the wax. do you use an electric hot plate, open flame burner, or microwave? wondering if it matters. electric hot plate seems the safest. i have spares of the others.
Little Dipper Crock Pot is my tool of choice. They're like $12 on Amazon, I've never paid more than $5 for one, thanks to Goodwill/Salvation Army. Every one local to me has three or four brand new, unused ones on the shelf.
one other thing, in hot weather doesn't the wax just melt off? it gets pretty hot here like today 98F.
I suppose it could? But I use wax year-round, and the summers here can push the temps on the asphalt past 150º. Never had an issue.
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Old 07-19-20, 03:48 PM
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^Ditto^. I've used the same stuff as Doc I, including the Little Dipper crock pot -- came free with a huge Rival crock pot that I eventually broke, but the Little Dipper is still going strong.

I use Gulf wax because it was readily available at the hardware store. But any comparable paraffin will do.

The only tricky bit is stripping out the original lube/grease the chain is packed with. I won't use gasoline since I'm in an apartment now, but I do have mineral spirits, acetone and other stuff. Right now I have a Dura Ace chain that's been soaking in acetone for awhile, waiting to be dipped in paraffin. Fortunately the chain was either new or very lightly used so it's been easy to clean. KMC chains seemed to come with more tenacious stuff, sticky almost like cosmoline.
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Old 07-19-20, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I won't use gasoline since I'm in an apartment now...
Please do not use gasoline for anything other than a motor fuel, it is extremely flammable, its vapors are explosive and will travel a long distance to an ignition source, it is a skin irritant, can be toxic via skin absorption or inhalation and may be carcinogenic. At least, except for aviation gas, it doesn't contain lead anymore. There are safer alternatives.
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Old 07-19-20, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
how about heating/melting the wax. do you use an electric hot plate, open flame burner, or microwave? wondering if it matters. electric hot plate seems the safest. i have spares of the others.
If you choose to melt the wax in a pie pan in a 200F oven, be sure to put a baking sheet under the pie pan. Otherwise you’re liable to slosh some molten wax onto the bottom of the oven. Even after wiping as clean as possible with a paper towel, it will smoke like crazy the next time someone uses the oven, and take a couple of hours to burn off.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.
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Old 07-19-20, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
Please do not use gasoline for anything other than a motor fuel, it is extremely flammable, its vapors are explosive and will travel a long distance to an ignition source, it is a skin irritant, can be toxic via skin absorption or inhalation and may be carcinogenic. At least, except for aviation gas, it doesn't contain lead anymore. There are safer alternatives.
Yup, I've said that before. My shorthand version was in anticipation of the Oz guy's videos, showing him using gasoline ("petrol") as a solvent, on a workbench with various ignition sources. Makes my teeth grit.
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Old 07-19-20, 07:11 PM
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I would not attempt to melt wax in any open container in an oven or on a stovetop. Sloshing and spattering wax could make a huge mess in an open container.

Ovens are notoriously unreliable in temperature control. "Warm" or 200F is usually so approximate as to be useless.

The only safe stovetop method would be a double boiler.

Easier and cheaper to get a crock pot. New crock pots are cheap. From a thrift store they're practically giveaway items. I got a medium size crock pot for $3 from the thrift store a few weeks ago, intending to use it for more than one chain at a time. When I got home and opened the tattered box I realized the crock pot inside had never been used. Original twist tie on the cord, plastic tube around the plug prongs, etc. So I kept it for the kitchen instead. Made a nice corned beef in it last week.
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Old 07-19-20, 07:17 PM
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I'm really glad this thread was started, since there hasn't been a thread about chain waxing for ... days.
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Old 07-19-20, 07:17 PM
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Save yourself the trouble and use Squirt. No need to remove chain, goes on fast just like wet lube.

yea, we don't need another chain wax thread.
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Old 07-19-20, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ted_major View Post
If you choose to melt the wax in a pie pan in a 200F oven, be sure to put a baking sheet under the pie pan. Otherwise you’re liable to slosh some molten wax onto the bottom of the oven. Even after wiping as clean as possible with a paper towel, it will smoke like crazy the next time someone uses the oven, and take a couple of hours to burn off.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.
smells like a back story somewhere.
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Old 07-19-20, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
I'm really glad this thread was started, since there hasn't been a thread about chain waxing for ... days.
Originally Posted by zacster View Post
Save yourself the trouble and use Squirt. No need to remove chain, goes on fast just like wet lube.

yea, we don't need another chain wax thread.
sorry it bothers you. i just wanted to ask a couple of questions about this that i had not seen addressed.
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Old 07-19-20, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
sorry it bothers you. i just wanted to ask a couple of questions about this that i had not seen addressed.
All of your questions have been addressed multiple times in multiple threads.
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Old 07-21-20, 10:27 AM
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This is anecdotal, but I gave up on waxing my chain about 20 years ago. I needed to do it every 300 miles and after riding in the rain.
Now I remove the chain, clean it in an ultrasonic cleaner, put it back on the bike and lube it with a mix of 4parts mineral spirits to 1 part chainsaw bar oil. Ride 800 miles and repeat.
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