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Waxing Chain Just Trend or usefull?

Old 09-11-23, 07:33 PM
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I'm in the middle of documenting mileage using wax. Much to the chagrin of the same people that want real life numbers. I'll keep doing it though. Of course it's going to take a while. I have around 1300 miles so far. I'm mostly keeping "let's talk waxing" updated on RBR. I think my next waxing I'll update the thread here. That's "Lets talk waxing" on this site. So far I think it's great. It's so convenient and it seems to work great. Of course only mileage will tell.
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Old 09-11-23, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Lombard
Granted what you are saying about riding consitions ia true.

However, if you aren't logging your mileage, how do you know chain lube method A lasts longer than chain lube method B?
I have never made any claims about one type of lube lasting longer than another, other than referencing ZFCís testing. My re-lube frequency is pretty much the same with wax-based vs. oil-based. My preference for wax-based lube isnít related to which lube lasts longer from ride to ride. The difference in collection of grit in the drivetrain during the ride, the type of gunk that builds up, and the cleanliness with handling it matter to me.
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Old 09-12-23, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
You may be in the habit of logging your chain mileage, but I'd bet a reasonable amount of money that most people do not keep track very closely at all. Also, the variations in riding conditions between one rider and the next make those kinds of comparisons fairly useless. You say you get more mileage out of an oil-based lube compared to the wax-based lube you used years ago. Polaris says he is getting more miles from his waxed chain. Both of these can be 100% accurate. IMO, the best way to make a true comparison between lube performance is in a controlled environment, such as what ZFC has done. ZFC's results are pretty clear. No relocation of goalposts required.
Yeah I would take ZFCs results every time for chain longevity. Their tests are very thorough. But the main reason I prefer wax is because it keeps the drivetrain cleaner. This is most evident on my mountain bike in dry, sandy conditions where wet lubes are frankly a disaster. For road bikes I can live with either type of lube, but still prefer wax.
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Old 09-12-23, 05:06 AM
  #129  
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I do find it strange that there are people argumenting so strongly that oil based lubes don't make a mess and if they do, you're doing it wrong.

Perhaps that is the case if one only rides in good conditions and only does very infrequent wet rides. In those instances a very light oil that doesn't attract grime can work well and probably doesn't make much of a mess.

However if you live somewhere where for a few months of the year there isn't such a thing as a dry ride as the roads are constantly wet AND you ride every single day, light oil isn't going to cut it even if you apply it daily. I've tried.

Heavier oil works better but that then gunks up the chain and drive train and yet it doesn't prevent rusting in salty conditions. Also when it gets cold enough heavier oil becomes a literal drag as it stiffens into the consistency of grease.

Wax works best from the options I've tried so far. Stays clean no matter what time of the year it is and it lubricates longer than any oil I've tried. A few winters back the conditions got so dreary, that the wife's commuter's chain would start squeaking in two days after a full clean and relube, no matter what oil was used.
We would eat through drivetrains on a yearly basis, because I didn't have the time to spend every moment of my free time cleaning bikes that had gotten salt soaked by the days commute. The wife also didn't have the motivation to dry, clean and relube the bike at her workplace after every salt watery ride, ie. pretty much every day from november to march.

Wax doesn't prevent surface rust on the outside of the chain, but you get rid of that by boiling the chains in water before dunking them in wax (just learned that a few weeks ago).

On the topic of salt, it's apparently kinda important that one gets it out of the chain. If you just pour oil over it the chain keeps on rusting. So you either need to wash the chain (which I personally find to be a major hassle) or you can dunk it boiling water (which I find to be a lot easier). Don't know how boiling a chain would work with an oiled chain but it works really well with waxed ones.

So I would argue that wax does in fact work best in the worst wettest conditions whereas oils should be reserved for the dry dustless rides.
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Old 09-12-23, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
I do find it strange that there are people argumenting so strongly that oil based lubes don't make a mess and if they do, you're doing it wrong.
Why is it strange if It's true? I can pull the chain though my hand and not get a mark. I use Tri Flo.
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Old 09-12-23, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Lombard
I did. "Tests show blah, blah, blah". No, I have yet to hear from anybody here that they can get north of 10K miles using hot wax. I get anywhere between 8-10K miles out of my chains using oil based lubes. Furthermore, can you go 500 miles between hot waxings and get that kind of mileage?
i can go 400. i'm pretty happy with that.
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Old 09-12-23, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger
i can go 400. i'm pretty happy with that.
400 is pretty respectable. I just do 500 because it's a nice round number. I just get a kick out of some people in the hot wax cult who re-wax at 100 or 200. It's like are you really that bored?
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Old 09-12-23, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Lombard
400 is pretty respectable. I just do 500 because it's a nice round number. I just get a kick out of some people in the hot wax cult who re-wax at 100 or 200. It's like are you really that bored?
pretty sure i get 400 due to the dry conditions i ride in. Reno. it does rain here but infrequently, except maybe this year.
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Old 09-12-23, 07:50 AM
  #134  
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I find wax lasts a long time .... and for anyone who claims he can run an oil-lubed chain through his hand after 500 miles and it will not leave a mark ... yeah, I have been riding for like, 55 years (which isn't long for folks around here) and I can pretty much say that that is impossible. I have done every variation on lubrication, including tri-flo, various drip waxes (starting with White lightning, one of the fist I saw on the market, some 30 years ago) and a variety of other petroleum-based lubes, both general and specialized, including dripping a drop on each link, wiping the chain, letting it sit overnight, and wiping it (or running the chain through a rag) the next day. . I have never had a chain completely clean after a full cycle of use .... anyone who can must be riding indoors.
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Old 09-12-23, 09:15 AM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by smd4
Why is it strange if It's true? I can pull the chain though my hand and not get a mark. I use Tri Flo.
how many miles does you chain remain clean in salt slush and rain?
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Old 09-12-23, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Lombard
400 is pretty respectable. I just do 500 because it's a nice round number. I just get a kick out of some people in the hot wax cult who re-wax at 100 or 200. It's like are you really that bored?
I'm not a hot-waxer, but sometimes I look for reasons to work/tinker on my bike because it's an activity I tend to enjoy. I also really like heading out for a ride on a clean, quiet, and smooth-running machine. Maybe some of those hot-wax folks are the same way.

I'm a bit puzzled why you're campaigning so hard against hot wax. Are you getting paid by Big Oil for this?
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Old 09-12-23, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
I do find it strange that there are people argumenting so stronglyÖ
I think itís safe to say that no one is Ďargumentingí anything.
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Old 09-12-23, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
I think itís safe to say that no one is Ďargumentingí anything.
It might be reasonable to cut elcruxio some slack, considering his location, and the possibility that English might not be his first language.
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Old 09-12-23, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
It might be reasonable to cut elcruxio some slack, considering his location, and the possibility that English might not be his first language.
It's just humor. In any case, his writing is better than that produced by the vast majority on this forum.
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Old 09-12-23, 10:08 AM
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the claim that wax as a lube in wet conditions is inferior to that of oil has been made by some. what gives? i ride in dry and don't plan to ride in rain but have been caught in it from time to time. what is it about water and wax that is a problem?
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Old 09-12-23, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
It's just humor. In any case, his writing is better than that produced by the vast majority on this forum.
As much as I used to give myself credit for my language skills, not being a native is a real disadvantage when it comes to cultural references, idioms, turns of phrase, etc. Small but meaningful points get past me. Not really an issue when reading books, but in discussions it can cause issues.

A real dunning kruger realization you might say.
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Old 09-12-23, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
It's just humor. In any case, his writing is better than that produced by the vast majority on this forum.
My apologies. The humor didn't come across to me.
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Old 09-12-23, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
I find wax lasts a long time .... and for anyone who claims he can run an oil-lubed chain through his hand after 500 miles and it will not leave a mark ... yeah, I have been riding for like, 55 years (which isn't long for folks around here) and I can pretty much say that that is impossible. I have done every variation on lubrication, including tri-flo, various drip waxes (starting with White lightning, one of the fist I saw on the market, some 30 years ago) and a variety of other petroleum-based lubes, both general and specialized, including dripping a drop on each link, wiping the chain, letting it sit overnight, and wiping it (or running the chain through a rag) the next day. . I have never had a chain completely clean after a full cycle of use .... anyone who can must be riding indoors.
Even riding indoors on the trainer I find it still leaves a mark with whatever lube, especially oil.
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Old 09-12-23, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger
the claim that wax as a lube in wet conditions is inferior to that of oil has been made by some. what gives? i ride in dry and don't plan to ride in rain but have been caught in it from time to time. what is it about water and wax that is a problem?
I can only speak for drip wax (Silca SS and Squirt), but I find that it gets washed away pretty quickly in wet conditions. Same goes for most other dry lubes. I would imagine full hot immersion waxing is much more durable. But I wouldn't worry about it if you are only occasionally riding in the wet. It also depends just how clean your chain was before applying wax. It sticks much better to a totally clean chain, but I'm not that thorough!
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Old 09-12-23, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
how many miles does you chain remain clean in salt slush and rain?
I would never ride my bike in those conditions.
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Old 09-12-23, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
As much as I used to give myself credit for my language skills, not being a native is a real disadvantage when it comes to cultural references, idioms, turns of phrase, etc. Small but meaningful points get past me. Not really an issue when reading books, but in discussions it can cause issues.

A real dunning kruger realization you might say.
The inconsistencies of the English language are stupid, which makes things difficult. This is exemplified every day by people who only speak English. IMO, your English is pretty damn good.
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Old 09-12-23, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
I would never ride my bike in those conditions.
And yet that was sort of my whole point. Had you read my post beyond the first sentence you'd know that. For fair weather cyclists it doesn't matter all that much what you use. But if you limit yourself to sunny, you also can't look down on those who choose to ride in every weather.
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Old 09-12-23, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I can only speak for drip wax (Silca SS and Squirt), but I find that it gets washed away pretty quickly in wet conditions.
When White Lightning first cam e out I put it on my mountain bike .... and found what you found. I have not had much trouble with hot wax in rain, but I had been oiling, not waxing my rain bike, so I only got rained on while riding a waxed chain-bike when I got caught out.

I just started waxing my rain bike so by spring I should have many more anecdotes.
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Old 09-12-23, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
You may be in the habit of logging your chain mileage, but I'd bet a reasonable amount of money that most people do not keep track very closely at all. Also, the variations in riding conditions between one rider and the next make those kinds of comparisons fairly useless. You say you get more mileage out of an oil-based lube compared to the wax-based lube you used years ago. Polaris says he is getting more miles from his waxed chain. Both of these can be 100% accurate. IMO, the best way to make a true comparison between lube performance is in a controlled environment, such as what ZFC has done. ZFC's results are pretty clear. No relocation of goalposts required.
Whaaaaat?? You mean documented tests that are controlled, documented, and replicable, conducted at a high level of scientific rigor? Surely some opinionated stranger on the internet if more trustworthy than that crap.
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Old 09-12-23, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Lombard
Vague claims need to be followed up on. It's not moving goal posts. Is it really difficult to answer how many miles you get out of a chain?
Accurately, yes. And in real world use, how do you intend to distinguish between a CX/MTB rider on the coast exposed to salt water regularly who may or may not maintain his drivetrain and an OCD maintenance freak who only rides the trainer in a climate controlled environment?

There is a reason anecdotal data is only useful as coffee shop talk, and most of us give loose answers to how long a chain lasts. Even in my own n=1 study, my riding varies quite a bit from year to year. Some years, I ride a lot of CX and gravel, train outside all winter, and take some shortcuts on maintenance. Other years I spend a LOT of time on the trainer, remain focused on road, and rotate chains every 4-6 weeks. If I tell you a chain lasted 10,000 miles, what do you really know if you don't know what conditions I experienced in those 10,000 miles.

In this case, the most useful data comes from ZFC and others who produce well documented and replicable studies, who test chains and lubes under controlled conditions so it actually mans something when they say lube X lasts longer, or reduced friction by Y%.
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