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Waxing Chain Just Trend or usefull?

Old 09-13-23, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Silca sells degreaser, but I bet there’s a better/cheaper way.
The traditional option is to use several rounds of white spirits followed by a round of ethanol. This is effective, and the cost-of-entry for the raw material is very cheap, but there's a considerable drawback of ending up with a large amount of slightly-dirty solvent.

Products like Silca Chain Stripper - or Allpine Extra from Effetto Mariposa - are more expensive by volume of cleaner, but they're still quite inexpensive on a per-use basis. They're significantly nicer to deal with, both in terms of speed and waste. You don't need to use them, but they exist for a reason.
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Old 09-13-23, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
Correct and I don't even want to try using any wax.
Yet, somehow, you feel like you have enough knowledge and experience to make this proclamation...

Originally Posted by wolfchild
People who wax their chains don't ride in winter time. All it takes is one ride in slush and on salt covered roads to mess up your clean freshly lubed chain. Cleaning and waxing a chain just isn't worth it.
Meanwhile, people who do use wax while riding in the winter time have had personal experience that contradicts your statements.

Use what you want. No one is saying you should use wax.
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Old 09-13-23, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Yeah, any degreaser should work fine. Just get all the oil off, rinse thoroughly and dry. Donít be tempted to skimp on the degreasing/cleaning though! It really does need a clean, dry starting point. Obviously the same goes for the cassette, chainrings and jockey wheels. You donít want any oil contamination if you can help it.
Makes sense. Iíll try my LBS tomorrow and see if they stock it.
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Old 09-13-23, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Makes sense. I’ll try my LBS tomorrow and see if they stock it.
I used Finish Line Drivetrain Degreaser, followed by Simple Green, followed by a water rinse and air dry. I make no guarantees on how good a job it actually does, but things seemed pretty stripped down to me.
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Old 09-13-23, 05:22 PM
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I just wipe off as much of the packing grease as I can, and throw the oily rag into a growing pile of them in the garage next to where I store my gasoline and ether. Then I use mineral spirits to do the final soak, let it dry, and it is ready to wax. I just heat the wax up in a little crock pot. I don't add anything to the wax, and would advise against using powdered teflon (PTFE).
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Old 09-13-23, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Use what you want. No one is saying you should use wax.
Aue Contrare, he really should be using wax. In fact, everyone should be using wax! I insist.
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Old 09-14-23, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev
Drip wax is wax suspended in a solvent. Once it's applied and the solvent leaves, it's just wax.

Oil lubricants typically include quite a lot of solvent as well. But they stay liquid as the solvent leaves because oil is a liquid.
On my lunch break I walked over to one of the downtown Raleigh NC bike shops. Nice to be in an older shop again! Personnel were friendly and greeted me. I asked about Silca Super Secret drip wax, and was told they didn't have it in the shop, but could get it from their "warehouse," which I assumed meant "distributorship," since they told me they could have it in a couple days (BITD our "warehouse" was public storage, five minutes away). Unfortunately for brick-and-mortar shops, this is the same result as if I had ordered it on-line, except saving 15% on my first purchase in the process. They did have a nice selection of tools, and even older bike parts, including a DA AX crank set and pedals, sans toe clips.

I'm going to try my local shop in Wake Forest next. It's a Giant dealership, and I'm not holding my breath, but we'll see.

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Old 09-14-23, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
16 Canadian winters so far and when I say winter I mean the whole winter season, whatever nature throws out there....and I have no plans to start waxing my chains ever. Oil based lubes work just fine for me.
Eyy samesies! Though I've only owned a car for three years so utility before that was mostly with a bicycle year round (if I didn't borrow a car). And now I also have a cargo bike so once again most utility is done by bike.

I've heard Canadian winters are pretty cold. Like sub freezing cold. Which is by far the easiest time bike maintenance wise especially if it's too cold for salt. You don't really need to relube even once in those conditions. There's no dust, no water, no nothing.

Sadly that's not what we get. We get slush all winter long. Cursed coast and southern warmth!
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Old 09-14-23, 07:31 PM
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On the initial degreasing, I found that mineral spirits work pretty well. I use a mason jar and let the chain soak in it, then pull it out and give it a good scrub. After that, a final rinse with acetone.
I'm sure the Silca degreaser products work well too - but buying the other stuff from the hardware store is pretty easy.

Remember that you're only doing this once. There's no need to use solvents like this once you've done the initial stripping/cleaning.
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Old 09-15-23, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Yan
No, my chain is not "clean", just like the underside of my car, the bottom of my shoes, and the sewage pipe of my toilet are not "clean". There are some devices in the world that are not meant to be operated "clean".
Just because a machine can operate dirty, doesn't mean that is optimal. Introducing dirt into a moving machine increases wear and friction. It is less efficient, has a shorter lifetime, and is more likely to malfunction. A chain is "meant" to be run as clean as possible.


Originally Posted by Yan
Do you know how much of my life I have wasted on keeping my drivetrain "clean" during this 4300 miles? Grand total of maybe 5 minutes.
Look, it's your bike. Abuse it if you want. No skin off my back. But your bike would run more efficiently and last longer if you spent more than 5 mintes every 4300 miles cleaning the drivetrain. I'm sure there are people who never change the air filters in their HVAC or change the oil in their cars, too.
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Old 09-15-23, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
How does drip wax differ from oil? I'm asking honestly. This sounds like a good compromise. Why doesn't liquid wax pick up dust like regular oil would?
There is a better answer than this, but take a block of wax and a cup of oil at room temperature. Sprinkle sand on them, then blow it off. Which one retained more sand?
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Old 09-15-23, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by bbbean
There is a better answer than this, but take a block of wax and a cup of oil at room temperature. Sprinkle sand on them, then blow it off. Which one retained more sand?
Not very helpful, since I was asking about "liquid" wax. I imagine if I sprinkled sand on a chain immediately after applying liquid wax, I'd get the same result. But thanks anyway. I'm going to try it.
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Old 09-15-23, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Not very helpful, since I was asking about "liquid" wax. I imagine if I sprinkled sand on a chain immediately after applying liquid wax, I'd get the same result. But thanks anyway. I'm going to try it.
This has been explained above, but you missed it.

"Liquid wax" is solid wax dissolved in a solvent. The solvent evaporates and the wax dries on the chain. Then you have the "block of wax" versus the "cup of oil" mentioned above.
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Old 09-15-23, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Not very helpful, since I was asking about "liquid" wax. I imagine if I sprinkled sand on a chain immediately after applying liquid wax, I'd get the same result. But thanks anyway. I'm going to try it.
That's not how liquid wax works. It hardens on the chain. You apply liquid wax at least a few hours before you ride. It is completely dry and hard before use.
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Old 09-15-23, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by bbbean
That's not how liquid wax works. It hardens on the chain. You apply liquid wax at least a few hours before you ride. It is completely dry and hard before use.
Got it, guys. Sheesh, I got it 20 posts ago.

My point is that when first applied, in its liquid form, when it's wet, before the solvent evaporates, before it's dry... (See where I'm going here?) It presumably can pick up dirt, just like oil.
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Old 09-15-23, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Got it, guys. Sheesh, I got it 20 posts ago.

My point is that when first applied, in its liquid form, when it's wet, before the solvent evaporates, before it's dry... (See where I'm going here?) It presumably can pick up dirt, just like oil.
The idea is to let it dry before riding and then it wonít pick up any dirt.
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Old 09-15-23, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
The idea is to let it dry before riding and then it wonít pick up any dirt.
I know. How long does it typically take to evaporate? I'm trying the second shop tonight, on the way home, and if they don't have it, I'm getting it on-line.
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Old 09-15-23, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
I know. How long does it typically take to evaporate? I'm trying the second shop tonight, on the way home, and if they don't have it, I'm getting it on-line.
Not sure, but Iím guessing a few hours. Best to let it sit overnight.
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Old 09-15-23, 12:22 PM
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Silca says 12-24hrs of dry time is needed for their "Super Secret" drip wax.

Hot wax is easier in this regard - needing only 10-15 minutes to be dry and ready-to-ride. Hot wax is also simpler to apply, in that you just dunk the whole chain in the pot, then pull it out and let it dry. With drip wax you have to apply to each roller on the chain.
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Old 09-15-23, 12:26 PM
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Hot wax is great, but I like having some drip-wax on hand for spot application.
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Old 09-15-23, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la
Silca says 12-24hrs of dry time is needed for their "Super Secret" drip wax.

Hot wax is easier in this regard - needing only 10-15 minutes to be dry and ready-to-ride. Hot wax is also simpler to apply, in that you just dunk the whole chain in the pot, then pull it out and let it dry. With drip wax you have to apply to each roller on the chain.
That's absolutely ridiculous to have to wait for so long before being able to take a bike out for a ride...and the faster solution seems to involve stoves, pots and pans, crockpots and double boilers and the wax doesn't even last that long to justify going through such a long process ....No thanks, I'll stick with my oil based lubes.
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Old 09-15-23, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Not sure, but Iím guessing a few hours. Best to let it sit overnight.
Cool. That's the plan.
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Old 09-15-23, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
That's absolutely ridiculous to have to wait for so long before being able to take a bike out for a ride...and the faster solution seems to involve stoves, pots and pans, crockpots and double boilers and the wax doesn't even last that long to justify going through such a long process ....No thanks, I'll stick with my oil based lubes.
let's not forget nuclear power plants. that electricity has to come from somewhere.
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Old 09-15-23, 01:04 PM
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Actually, if you really care about lubing your chain, and you use an oil-based lube ... it is recommended that one leave the chain alone for several hours for the oil to seep into all the spaces between parts.

Sorry you didn't know that.
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Old 09-15-23, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
Actually, if you really care about lubing your chain, and you use an oil-based lube ... it is recommended that one leave the chain alone for several hours for the oil to seep into all the spaces between parts.

Sorry you didn't know that.
Complete BS....I never followed such a thing and many times over the years I would lube the chain and 2 minutes later be on my bike riding. Spinning the cranks gets the oil where it should be.
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