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Chain waxing. How to avoid the flaky mess?

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Chain waxing. How to avoid the flaky mess?

Old 08-16-20, 08:45 AM
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InvertedMP 
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Chain waxing. How to avoid the flaky mess?

So I have been waxing my chain now, using the Silica Secret Chain Wax bag. I am not sure the flaky mess and wax buildup on the cassette afterwards is worth it. I thought the idea of chain waxing was to keep the drivetrain super clean, what am I missing or doing wrong?
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Old 08-16-20, 09:19 AM
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deepakvrao
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It just gets there on the first ride, and falls off on it's own.
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Old 08-16-20, 09:38 AM
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WhyFi
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I'm using MSW; not having this issue. There's not a super thick coating in the first place, but I think that most of what's there is flaking during the process of breaking the links, before it's installed on the bike.
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Old 08-16-20, 09:57 AM
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Also use MSW. I find a vast reduction in mess on cassette and jockey wheels if you wipe down the exterior of the chain while its still molten. I've read some instructions that discourage any wipe down, but I have experienced no drawbacks and only benefits.
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Old 08-16-20, 10:26 AM
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Yea the directions on mine say not to wipe down, that’s why I haven’t been. I might start doing that.
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Old 08-16-20, 10:52 AM
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In fact, I take out the chains when the wax cools a bit, so less runs off the chain. It leaves more wax on the chain, so presumably, more inside the chain too. In spite of this, I have wax coming off only the first ride.
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Old 08-16-20, 11:40 AM
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I use MSW....the flakes come off in the first 1/2 mile of the first ride them its good to go. I have not had any issues with messiness myself.
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Old 08-16-20, 01:50 PM
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Yeah, I'm wondering if the removal temp is a part of the problem. MSW says 200°F, and at that temp, you'll get a thin coating and a little bit of drip, but nothing excessive. Breaking the links and running them over a rod/dowel gets rid of a little more and it's really not problematic afterward.
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Old 08-16-20, 03:06 PM
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I use regular canning wax w/ some PTFE powder mixed in and have started wiping them down. After coming out of the crock pot I hang the chain up and as soon as it cools enough so I can handle it without burning myself I give it a thorough wipe down with a rag. Definitely reduces the flaking and still leaves the wax between the pins and rollers which is where it matters. I don't care about the outside of plates. Then when it comes time to wax my 4 chains I generally pull off the cassette and give a good cleaning with Naphtha which cuts right through the wax. It only takes few minutes and while it really isn't necessary from a functional perspective I like a clean looking drivetrain.
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Old 08-16-20, 03:51 PM
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Sy Reene
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Wipe down the chain with some Head&Shoulders?
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Old 08-16-20, 06:41 PM
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i use regular paraffin wax , and i just heat mine up over the stove in a tin , let it soak , take it out with a paper clip or wire , let it drip , hold it over the trash , let it drip some more , tie it up over the door let it cool , and then install a few hours later !!
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Old 08-16-20, 08:58 PM
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being cute, but...try NFS

no flaky mess and way less hassle and smooth as can be. i waxed for a few years but no more since discovering NFS:

NixFrixShun Ultimate Bicycle Chainlube - NixFrixShun®
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Old 08-17-20, 07:17 PM
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I get some wax in the cassette with MSW. I have a freebee plastic drill index gauge ( a little thicker than a credit card) that I just comb it with and it easily falls off. Just do it where it won't get on a floor you care about.

scott s.
.
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Old 08-18-20, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by InvertedMP View Post
So I have been waxing my chain now, using the Silica Secret Chain Wax bag. I am not sure the flaky mess and wax buildup on the cassette afterwards is worth it. I thought the idea of chain waxing was to keep the drivetrain super clean, what am I missing or doing wrong?
I'm trying to imagine what your scenario looks like. I use homemade chain wax (paraffin and PTFE) and there are some flakes after the first ride, but I can easily brush it off. After that, there is nothing of consequence.
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Old 08-19-20, 11:04 AM
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My chains are waxed at the specified 200°F and there is minimal exterior build up and minimal drive train contamination.
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Old 08-20-20, 06:54 AM
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If you take the waxed chain somewhere where flakes aren't an issue (say over an open newspaper in the garage) and work the chain a while, most excess wax should fall off. Or, prop up the rear end and spin the pedals for a while and the excess should flake off.

If the flakes stay on the cassette, it is no issue for me, but if it bothers you, get pretty much any kind of brush and brush them off.

I use paraffin and PTFE powder. Way cheaper than MSW and pretty much exactly the same ingredients except for the anti-caking agent which I don't need since I don't have the stuff sitting in a warehouse for two years before being sold and used. I mix up a batch whenever I need and it lasts a long time. Using 6-micron powder prevents all the PTFE from dropping out of suspension while cooking.

As for the "clean drive train," the benefit isn't so much the appearance (which is a lot cleaner in my experience) but in that you don't have a thick, abrasive slurry of old grease and grit eating away at your chain, cassette, and rings. Everything lasts longer with waxing.
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Old 08-20-20, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Toespeas View Post
i use regular paraffin wax , and i just heat mine up over the stove in a tin , let it soak , take it out with a paper clip or wire , let it drip , hold it over the trash , let it drip some more , tie it up over the door let it cool , and then install a few hours later !!


This is quite dangerous and not conducive to a long, house fire-free life.
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Old 08-22-20, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
This is quite dangerous and not conducive to a long, house fire-free life.
no its not , wax doesnt ignite or burn like oil , so all i get is a bit of smoke , its clean and effective , costs 5 or 6 bucks , poo on you bro LOLOL!!!
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Old 08-22-20, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Toespeas View Post
no its not , wax doesnt ignite or burn like oil , so all i get is a bit of smoke , its clean and effective , costs 5 or 6 bucks , poo on you bro LOLOL!!!
Actually, it can. Only a matter of time before you lose concentration and it happens. It's a 'when', not a 'if'.
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Old 08-23-20, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
Actually, it can. Only a matter of time before you lose concentration and it happens. It's a 'when', not a 'if'.
macaroni and cheese can ignite , you are trying to convince me that heating up paraffin wax in a tin is as dangerous as cooking some mac and cheese , if you can boil water you can heat up wax its really not a complicated task !!!!!!
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Old 08-23-20, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Toespeas View Post
macaroni and cheese can ignite , you are trying to convince me that heating up paraffin wax in a tin is as dangerous as cooking some mac and cheese , if you can boil water you can heat up wax its really not a complicated task !!!!!!
You are comparing a mac and cheese to wax? Seriously? LOL
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Old 08-23-20, 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Toespeas View Post
macaroni and cheese can ignite , you are trying to convince me that heating up paraffin wax in a tin is as dangerous as cooking some mac and cheese , if you can boil water you can heat up wax its really not a complicated task !!!!!!
Less like mac and cheese and more like frying french fries (chips to the rest of the world) which has burnt down plenty of houses. Probably worse as wax has a lower flash point than most cooking oils so needs full attention when heated on a stove, especially a gas stove. Mobile phone rings, brain goes off on a tangent, chain gets forgotten. Can be done, but easier to get a dedicated heat source like a crockpot or an electric skillet with a thermostat control.
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Old 08-23-20, 10:14 AM
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Some flakes on the chain stay is a small price to pay for a clean drive train. Some degreaser on a paper towel takes it off easily. Wax buildup on cassette? Good! I dip my cassettes at the same time as doing chains. I'd dip the chainrings if it were practical.
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Old 08-24-20, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuckles1 View Post
Some flakes on the chain stay is a small price to pay for a clean drive train. Some degreaser on a paper towel takes it off easily. Wax buildup on cassette? Good! I dip my cassettes at the same time as doing chains. I'd dip the chainrings if it were practical.
How does waxing the cassette help?
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Old 08-24-20, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
How does waxing the cassette help?
I don't see how it would, and I personally don't do it.

As for wax flakes from a newly waxed chain, I don't think you can completely avoid it, I do a few things that seem to help. First is after the chain has cooled down, I do a loose wipe with a rag. After installing the chain back on the bike, I take it outside and reverse spin on the cranks for a bit with the bike leaned towards me. This seems to loosen the vast majority of the flakes, and by tilting the bike towards me, most of the flakes fall on the ground rather than on the bike.

Last, I use a cheap paint brush to wipe any wax flakes from the bike, and I reverse spin the cranks and wipe the chain and cassette with the brush. The brush does a good job of removing flakes without smearing them into the bike, like a paper towel or rag would. Or if you have an air blower nearby, I think that would do the same thing.
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