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Chain Waxing??? How and What Brand/Type?

Old 05-01-19, 07:34 AM
  #1  
allout1
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Chain Waxing??? How and What Brand/Type?

I'm thinking that a chain in wax is a substitute for a chain in oil. If it lasts a month, and it's not as filthy an ordeal as the conventional lube job, it can't be bad.

So what's the deal? Just buy some cheap candles, melt 'em down, dip, run on 'em.
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Old 05-01-19, 07:36 AM
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Scented candles FTW.
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Old 05-01-19, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Scented candles FTW.
No way, man.

Crayola.

Give your chain a spot of color to liven up the ride!

In all seriousness....waxing is a cleaner option for dry conditions. It will not suck up the road grit and dirt like a wet oil does. In fact, it will actually repel dirt as the dirt will literally fall off the drivetrain components while spinning. But it doesn't last nearly as long as oil.

For off the shelf wax in a bottle you'll need to reapply every 50-200 miles (depending on the wax and how wet the bike got in that time). For a serious waxing where you dip the chain in melted wax on the stove it'll last much longer, and be better for the whole system. But I've never done it so I can't tell you anything more specific.
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Old 05-01-19, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
No way, man.


In all seriousness....
There is nothing serious about the OP.
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Old 05-01-19, 08:08 AM
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Homebrew chain clean and homebrew hot wax


Unbiased Review of Parrafin Chain Lubing

Chain wax experiment

opinions on wax lube for chains?

Does Rain Really Wash Off Paraffin Lube? And Why?

To the paraffin users ...


These should get you started. Your employer must highly value your resourcefulness. :wink:


/thread
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Old 05-01-19, 08:14 AM
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Been doing it for years. My recipe is 3-1 ratio of household paraffin (Gulf Wax) to beeswax which I get from Amazon. Beeswax adds some viscosity. I use a crock pot; warm up the pot, remove chain, dip it and articulate it for a few minutes, then remove. One batch of wax in the crock pot lasts all summer because the chains aren't that dirty. This is for roughly 4 bikes in the rotation (road, road, TT, MTB). But I have to change it more frequently in the fall and winter with wet cyclocross and gravel chains.

Waxed chains just never get as dirty, but even if you ride a bike in just dry conditions, it will have to be re-dipped at about 500-800km intervals. I have multiple bikes I ride, so my less used bikes typically make it an entire season on one dip. I will drip lube on in cold cyclocross conditions because a freshly waxed chain is pretty stiff below freezing. But a winter or MTB bike is fine with wax - doesn't hold any moisture to speak of.
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Old 05-01-19, 08:21 AM
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The op should really consult a waxing expert.

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Old 05-01-19, 08:24 AM
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I went past a Bikini Wax place recently and thought, "Wow, what a world? I can bring my bike chains in to be waxed by girls in bikinis." I wonder if they'd throw me out...
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Old 05-01-19, 08:38 AM
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Old 05-01-19, 08:42 AM
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Old 05-05-19, 12:13 PM
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And Daniel San said, "It not as easy as one looks." Hmmmmmmm We shall see.

Okay, lots of good tips here. I'm going to try it out, and go from there.

My chain right now is sporting some healthy (filthy) chainsaw bar oil, so it obviously needs a clean. I assume turpentine or mineral spirits does the trick, eh??? Then after this cleaning, I assume every month when I re-dip the chain, I don't need to re-clean it like this again, or do I?

Thanks a rack load
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Old 05-05-19, 12:50 PM
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You can start with finishline clean rude or ceramic wax by finishline , just clean apply and keep applying every few rides . A single drip and rotation of the chain system , yes not good for wet , but you can just put wet lube over the wax , and wash it all down after the rains pass ..
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Old 05-05-19, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by allout1 View Post
and daniel san said, "it not as easy as one looks." hmmmmmmm We shall see.

Okay, lots of good tips here. I'm going to try it out, and go from there.

My chain right now is sporting some healthy (filthy) chainsaw bar oil, so it obviously needs a clean. I assume turpentine or mineral spirits does the trick, eh??? Then after this cleaning, i assume every week when i re-dip the chain, i don't need to re-clean it like this again, or do i?

Thanks a rack load

fify
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Old 05-05-19, 01:01 PM
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1. Clean chain in an organic solvent to remove the lubricant and dirt. (Do this even with a new chain.)
2. Melt paraffin (canning wax) in a crock pot or something safe.
3. Immerse chain.
4. Swirl it around with a utensil.
5. Remove chain and hang it somewhere to let it drip and cool.
6. Put chain on bike.

I do this about once every 300 - 500 miles. A quick-link can make the process easier. Also, if you have two or three chains in rotation, it is much more efficient.

Chainsaw bar oil is very adhesive with respect to dust, sawdust, sand, grit, etc. Wax is pretty much the opposite. Your drive train will last a lot longer. Personally, I'd toss the bar-oiled chain in the garbage and start with a new one.

Last edited by wgscott; 05-05-19 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 05-05-19, 02:06 PM
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If anyone is at all serious about chain waxing, I recommend you just go all-in. It's really not that expensive.

Pick out your chain of choice and buy 2.
Get yourself an Elite Gourmet 1.5qt slow cookerabout $16 on Amazon.
Add to your cart a 3lb bag of paraffin wax beads, about $13. It's not the cheapest per pound, but for a one person doing 1-2 bikes, it's 5+ years of wax. That bag is the exact one I bought when I started hot waxing, and only depleted it after maintaining 4 bikes for over 2 years.

Fill the crock pot about halfway with wax beads and fire it up. I run mine on "keep warm," which is plenty hot enough.
Clean the chains thoroughly, my choice is white gas (because the state of California won't let us have mineral spirits) in a suitable container (32ox Gatorade bottle) for 10 minutes or so, then let the chain dry a bit.
Plop a chain in the pot, leave it in for 15-20 minutes, until the chain gets up to the temperature of the wax. It's not scientific. Put the chain in before lunch. Don't worry about it.
Remove the chain, let it sit for a few minutes, put it on the bike.
Now take the second chain, put it in the crock pot, and turn the crock pot off.
When the chain on the bike starts to get squeaky or otherwise noisy, turn on the crockpot, and after it's hot, swap the chains. Repeat for as long as a chain lasts you. I'm big and don't get a ton of miles out of a chain, but still get ~6,000 out of a pair.

Optional: I mix in about 1oz of Slick 50 Recharged each time the wax level in the pot gets low enough to no longer cover the chain, the same time I add more wax. It seems to make the wax adhere to the chain a little better than just the straight paraffin, and my rate of consumption is about 1/4oz a month, so a bottle will last... 5 years or so? Including the cost of equipment, hot waxing the chains for 4 bikes costs me about $1 a month.
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Old 05-05-19, 02:15 PM
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I run mine on "keep warm," which is plenty hot enough.
The paraffin is pretty flammable, so temperature control is pretty important. I use a double boiler method.
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Old 05-05-19, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
The paraffin is pretty flammable, so temperature control is pretty important. I use a double boiler method.
Flash point is around 400°F, well above even the “high” setting on the crockpot. Open flame would be my only concern. I want a setting as close as I can get to 212°, because I still want the wax hot enough to get any moisture out of the chain.
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Old 05-05-19, 02:41 PM
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I use a cobbled together double boiler because I melt the wax on my stove top. When I do it, I have waking nightmares of of the thing bursting into flame. If I had a crockpot....
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Old 05-05-19, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
If anyone is at all serious about chain waxing, I recommend you just go all-in. It's really not that expensive.

Get yourself an Elite Gourmet 1.5qt slow cookerabout $16 on Amazon.
Or you can get the Crock-Pot® 2qt Slow Cooker - SCR200 from your local Target for $10-12 which is what I ended up with. Works great.
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Old 05-05-19, 08:42 PM
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Molten Sped Wax and a garage sale crock pot for $4 works great.


As already stated careful on the temps it a fire hazard. Do 3 chains at a time good for 1300-1800 miles depending on conditions. 400-600 per chain.
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Old 05-05-19, 09:30 PM
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Gulf wax bars in a Little Dipper crock pot. Usually rotate a pair of chains, swapping around every 2-4 weeks.

I may experiment with some leftover scented candle wax. There's always some left over after the wick burns out. Scented candle wax is usually softened with a little solvent. It's soft enough that I dig out some with a fingertip and apply it to squeaky spokes on my wheelset with black spokes -- squidge a little at every spoke crossing and it'll quiet the squeaking for a month or so. I'm curious to see whether the mix of Gulf wax and scented candle wax works well on chains.

Plenty of Google references to tests comparing how paraffin compares with other lubes. Tests show it's a good, maybe even superior lube. Even if it wasn't a better lube, I'd use it anyway because it's cleaner. My bikes are indoors. I want to avoid chain tattoos on the cats, my legs and the furniture. And it's easier to handle on the road for flat repairs or occasional chain drops.

I still use wet lube on my errand bike since that's what I ride on rainy days. Park CL-1 usually lasts for months between applications.
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Old 05-05-19, 10:52 PM
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Straight paraffin wax will flake off very easily. Mix oil, grease, or beeswax with the wax to increase adherence. Yellow wax toilet rings are very sticky...used to be beeswax but who knows nowexactly what they are. Works great for me, though. You can also add dry moly lube. Once you have waxed a chain, if it gets noisy, just pop off the chain, wipe the grit off, and drop it in the hot wax. If it's a new chain stick it in the wax directly, the grease will help the stickiness issue. An old geasy chain can be cleaned with detergent or gas/mineral spirits etc. You can buy a used crockpot for nothing at thrift stores or garage sales and keep it for this purpose only. Turn it on, wait an hour till the wax melts, put a bit of wire through the middle of chain, long enough to hang over the edge, and let it sit in there for half an hour or so. Pull it using the wire and let it drain and cool. Piece of cake.
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Old 05-06-19, 04:13 AM
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Putoline Chain Wax. Perfect combination of waxy enough to not attract too much dirt or wash off, but sticky enough to stay on. Buy an old electric skillet from a thrift store and melt it into that. Much more convenient than a crock pot, heats up much faster but you still have temperature control with the thermostat.
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Old 05-06-19, 04:27 PM
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DrIsotope, August West, sdmc530, 12boy, Trevtassie - Thanks. Your ideas will make my life easier. All of your ideas are better than my jury-rigged double boiler *** chopsticks method.

Oh for crying out loud - those asterisks are Latin for 'with.'
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Old 05-07-19, 09:51 AM
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I have attempted to add three photos of how I do the waxing. I have been using this method for at least 12 years, but probably closer to 15 years and at least two times a month. I use an electric stove top, burner on high until the wax is melted, swish it around for a minute or so, take it out to cool a bit, and put it back on the bike while the chain
is warm to the touch. In my opinion there is no danger in melting the wax on a stove top; I merely watch it until the wax is melted. Kindly - Don


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