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To the paraffin users ...

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To the paraffin users ...

Old 05-27-07, 12:40 PM
  #1  
MajorA
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To the paraffin users ...

Yes, I realize that this might be better for the Mechanics' Forum, but since old cruds with old bikes - and I can say that because I'm officially an old crud with old bikes - are more likely to lube their chains with paraffin, I figured I'd start here.

I tried out the paraffin thing (letting a thoroughly cleaned chain soak in liquid paraffin for a good long time, wiping it down, throwing it on the bike without any other lubrication) on my everyday trainer/commuter, and so far I love it. It's nice and quiet, gathers absolutely no road crud, and does every thing a chain should. We'll see about wear in another couple thousand miles.

Here's the question: for those of you who use paraffin alone as a lubricant, how often do you remove the chain and give it another soak? And do you ever use any other lubricant (non-oil-based I would assume, like Teflon- or graphite-based sprays) between soaks?
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Old 05-27-07, 12:57 PM
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Mine comes in a bottle (I can't remember the name, when I get home I will post it). I wipe the chain without taking it off apply new lube every 100 miles or so. Seems to work for me well, my bikes are very quiet.
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Old 06-18-07, 08:40 PM
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I never use anything but paraffin on my chains. I just got a 9 speed tandem and converted my wife's Terry to paraffin (she has 9 speed shimano too). I was a bit concerned that the modern insanely over-designed chain and sprocket systems might not respond as well to paraffin as my old campy and shimano 6&7 speed gear. But man the new stuff works like a charm with paraffin.

It depends on milage obviously, but I do mine about every 500 miles. Or more frequently if I've got the crock pot out. If I've got a hot batch of wax cooking, it's pretty easy to crack a couple chains off and dip them too.

The best part about paraffin other than the cleanness is the fact that you just take your chain off and re-dip without cleaning needed.

I use a mix of 85% paraffin and 15% beeswax, it's a bit more sticky and seems to work a bit better. But it's pretty subtle.

Sheldon
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Old 06-18-07, 10:21 PM
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I have to rant for a moment to clarify trems that have often been confused for YEARS: what we call paraffin in the USA is a hard petroleum wax, colorless, slippery...you can make candles from it.
What's called paraffin (paraffine) in the UK is a liquid that we call "kerosene" in the US.
The liquid is a good chain cleaner and degreaser, but will not give you good lubrication and will tend to be flung off the chain and coat your rear wheel and tire...it smells, too.
To use the hard paraffin WAX as a chain lube, you must melt it (in a double boiler for safety, don't catch your kitchen on fire) and drop the chain in the warm liquified wax, soak, remove, cool, wipe down and reinstall.
It's a very clean and quiet running lube, but does not last long, nor does it provide good waterproofing.
Now there is one product known to furniture refinishers who hand-apply French Polish that's called Paraffin OIL and intended for rubbing out a finish with rotten stone...I've never used it on a bike chain.
Rant over.
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Old 06-18-07, 11:16 PM
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Being thoroughly American, I was referring to, and using, the (very cautiously) double-boiled hard stuff. I tend to disagree on the waterproofing part, as long as you wipe the bike down well (including the chain) after a rain ride.

Aside on the double-boiling thing: the melting point of paraffin varies between 125 and 165 degrees F, while the flash point is 395 degrees F. Stick with just-short-of-boiling water, and no open flame, and your kitchen really shouldn't explode.
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Old 06-19-07, 06:47 AM
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OR use an electric crock pot. When I was a youngster ride and racing in the mid 80's. I would pull out my single burner campstove and fire up the paraffin in a crisco can using the stove at it's highest setting. I never had a fire, even though I must have been seriously close to the flashpoint at times. I also did it out back in the great outdoors so I could drip wax and not have to deal with it.

I now use an electric crock pot, which works quite well but instead of taking 15 minutes to melt a pound of wax, it takes 3 hours. I also add a bit of bees wax to soften the mix slightly.

All discussion of safety aside, the hotter you make the wax the lower its viscosity and the better it will flow into cracks. The crockpot melts the wax and it works well, but the old camp stove would make the wax like water and I could wipe more of it off before installing on the bike for less flaking later.

Sheldon
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Old 06-19-07, 08:09 AM
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Years ago I tried the "melt hard wax and dip my chain in it" procedure for lubricating my chain.
However, I was not convinced that the wax actually got into the rollers where the lube needs to go.
In the 90s I discovered Maxxim Chain Wax which was used on motorcycle chains.
It is a spray that has a very low viscosity allowing it to get into the rollers.
When it sets up, it hardens to the consistency of hard wax.
I have been using it for the last 15 years and have had good success.
It repels water. I get about 3000 km on the chain with no sign of rust or binding links.
The chain is as quiet as any chain freshly lubed with oil-based chain lubes.
I wish I had bought shares in the product
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