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Immersive waxing / it should be more popular

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Immersive waxing / it should be more popular

Old 08-27-22, 12:02 PM
  #301  
Racing Dan
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
If you want to compare two methods, you need to use the same criteria. I originally chose 300 km because that is a typical recommended waxing interval. You said you use 500 km. We can either use 300 km or 500 km - it doesn't matter to me.

Both of those steps take very little time -- less than a minute for either -- once every 300/500 km. By any reasonable definition, that's a wash.

Unless you've swapped non-waxed chains every 300/500 km and cleaned them ultrasonically for a year, you're not speaking from experience either. Your experience is with traditional (wet) lubed chains that are rarely removed for cleaning.

Also, why would a "fastidiously clean" drivetrain require more cassette cleaning? It's fastidiously clean!

Every waxer I know uses an ultrasonic cleaner for initial cleaning of chains. But, neither a waxer nor non-waxer has to have one -- they can both use a soda bottle filled with solvent and agitate it by hand.

There's no hedging. The steps are basically the same, and the cost is very similar.

I didn't say waxing was outlandish, and I didn't say it wasn't convenient for some people. The discussion was whether there was a cost savings versus swapping out non-waxed chains at the same interval.
He also thinks tubeless is no faff at all .. haha! :-)

He claims 5 min to re-wax "hands on", an obvious "lie". yeah, I timed re-lubing with Squirt. 3 min flat, including wiping the chain, cassette, jockeys and rings, and, generous back pedalling to distribute the lube. Btw, 500 km re-waxing intervals is complete BS. The chain is bone dry loong before that.
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Old 08-27-22, 12:50 PM
  #302  
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So I recently waxed chains on two of my bikes. One was a dumb idea, because I ride it in the rain, and it rained the first ride after I waxed it. Had to use wet wax after the ride, the rain stripped most of the wax off. I will not be re waxing the chain on that bike.

The second bike I do not nor will I ever ride in the rain. I followed strict chain cleaning instructions before waxing. The cleaning included multiple baths in mineral spirits plus a 24 hour soak. I then soaked the chain in distilled alcohol, wiped clean and hung to dry before waxing. I also cleaned my cassette, chain rings and pulleys in a similiar fashion.

The first 100 miles the drive train was relatively quiet and the chain stayed clean. Iím now shy of 300 miles chain is loud and somehow has started to get dirty.

Iím gunna take the chain off when I get home, throw it in boiling water, and then try waxing again. But as of this moment not that impressed. Before this I used rock and roll gold standard and would lube all my bikes once a week, Would take a matter of about 10 mins for 3 bikes.


I used a croc pot and bars of paraffin wax.
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Old 08-27-22, 03:16 PM
  #303  
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Originally Posted by bampilot06 View Post
So I recently waxed chains on two of my bikes. One was a dumb idea, because I ride it in the rain, and it rained the first ride after I waxed it. Had to use wet wax after the ride, the rain stripped most of the wax off. I will not be re waxing the chain on that bike.

The second bike I do not nor will I ever ride in the rain. I followed strict chain cleaning instructions before waxing. The cleaning included multiple baths in mineral spirits plus a 24 hour soak. I then soaked the chain in distilled alcohol, wiped clean and hung to dry before waxing. I also cleaned my cassette, chain rings and pulleys in a similiar fashion.

The first 100 miles the drive train was relatively quiet and the chain stayed clean. Iím now shy of 300 miles chain is loud and somehow has started to get dirty.

Iím gunna take the chain off when I get home, throw it in boiling water, and then try waxing again. But as of this moment not that impressed. Before this I used rock and roll gold standard and would lube all my bikes once a week, Would take a matter of about 10 mins for 3 bikes.


I used a croc pot and bars of paraffin wax.
Should have used the additive I told you about.
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Old 08-27-22, 03:19 PM
  #304  
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Originally Posted by bampilot06 View Post
So I recently waxed chains on two of my bikes. One was a dumb idea, because I ride it in the rain, and it rained the first ride after I waxed it. Had to use wet wax after the ride, the rain stripped most of the wax off. I will not be re waxing the chain on that bike.

The second bike I do not nor will I ever ride in the rain. I followed strict chain cleaning instructions before waxing. The cleaning included multiple baths in mineral spirits plus a 24 hour soak. I then soaked the chain in distilled alcohol, wiped clean and hung to dry before waxing. I also cleaned my cassette, chain rings and pulleys in a similiar fashion.

The first 100 miles the drive train was relatively quiet and the chain stayed clean. Iím now shy of 300 miles chain is loud and somehow has started to get dirty.

Iím gunna take the chain off when I get home, throw it in boiling water, and then try waxing again. But as of this moment not that impressed. Before this I used rock and roll gold standard and would lube all my bikes once a week, Would take a matter of about 10 mins for 3 bikes.


I used a croc pot and bars of paraffin wax.
I have similar results around 150 miles the drive train is noisy. So for me, I wax every week & 1/2, and Im almost ready to give up. Im going to give MS speed wax a try based on Wifi post earlier. If that works, Im going to keep waxing as there is significantly less wear on the drive train.

The current recipe I use the Oz cycle method from Youtube and its not just paraffin wax. I think there is reason that these ingredients are not "melted" together and ms speed wax figured that out that is what Im hoping will make it last longer. Here is what I currently use:
* 1lb of household paraffin wax
* 5g of pure PTFE (Teflon) powder
* 1g of pure molybdenum disulfide (MoS2).
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Old 08-27-22, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
Should have used the additive I told you about.
what is the additive?
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Old 08-27-22, 03:36 PM
  #306  
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Originally Posted by sshakari View Post
what is the additive?
Trade secret, bruv.
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Old 08-27-22, 04:23 PM
  #307  
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
The anti-waxer is an anti-vaxxer.
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Old 08-27-22, 04:29 PM
  #308  
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Originally Posted by sshakari View Post
I have similar results around 150 miles the drive train is noisy. So for me, I wax every week & 1/2, and Im almost ready to give up. Im going to give MS speed wax a try based on Wifi post earlier. If that works, Im going to keep waxing as there is significantly less wear on the drive train.
A noisier drivetrain is not necessarily one that is wearing faster. I know this sounds totally non-intuitive, and in fact, the opposite of what one would expect. But wax is a solid while lube is a liquid, so the nature of the noise is quite different between a waxed chain vs. a lubed chain. Lube becomes a black paste that silently wears the drivetrain faster than wax, which hardens and provides temporary protection.

Originally Posted by sshakari View Post
The current recipe I use the Oz cycle method from Youtube and its not just paraffin wax. I think there is reason that these ingredients are not "melted" together and ms speed wax figured that out that is what Im hoping will make it last longer. Here is what I currently use:
* 1lb of household paraffin wax
* 5g of pure PTFE (Teflon) powder
* 1g of pure molybdenum disulfide (MoS2).
Yeah, the problem is that these are additives which do not dissolve in the wax. Instead, the additives are suspended and so the melted liquid wax must be stirred to evenly distribute the additives.

For me, the main advantage of waxing is a clean drivetrain that is easier to clean.
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Old 08-27-22, 04:43 PM
  #309  
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
Yeah, the problem is that these are additives which do not dissolve in the wax. Instead, the additives are suspended and so the melted liquid wax must be stirred to evenly distribute the additives.
The other problem is that both are an inhalation hazard. Although teflon itself is inert, the precursors are environmentally problematic.
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Old 08-27-22, 04:53 PM
  #310  
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Originally Posted by bampilot06 View Post
I used a croc pot and bars of paraffin wax.
One thing I heard in one of the videos from the ZFC guy previously discussed is that it is difficult to get a homebrew wax to perform as well as the good commercial mixes because it is not so easy to source a perfectly suitable paraffin grade and get to a wax base that sets to just the right hardness, all the various 'trade secret' friction modifiers aside.

So I don't think you did a poor cleaning job by the sounds of it but maybe the wax isn't as good as it could be. Definitely should not get dirty and require boiling water cleaning unless you rode in the wet, so maybe it sets on the softer side? And while some people go insane distances on their wax, I swap my chains every (quick calculation for old world units) 100-200miles depending on the importance of the ride and how much I crave waxing. That's overkill but I have no need to push it and prefer ideal performance.

I think MSW is cheap enough, given how long it lasts, to not worry about sourcing all the ingredients for home chemistry that may end up less effective than a formula that had more resources and revisions. Instead of using paraffin only, or some YouTube hobby recipe, I would suggest people interested in waxing get started with the MSW or Silca blends to get a baseline impression of how good wax performs.

Last edited by yaw; 08-27-22 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 08-27-22, 05:48 PM
  #311  
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Originally Posted by sshakari View Post
I have similar results around 150 miles the drive train is noisy. So for me, I wax every week & 1/2, and Im almost ready to give up. Im going to give MS speed wax a try based on Wifi post earlier. If that works, Im going to keep waxing as there is significantly less wear on the drive train.
As above, I think MSW will at least give you a baseline where you know the wax is up to scratch vs. some YouTube mix that probably stands and falls with the paraffin base you managed to source. There seems to be little to no competition from home mixes when it comes to test results at the moment, perhaps that is why there are not a ton of well regarded hot waxes out there.

On top of using MSW I would also consider rotating 2 chains, so that you can just swap a fresh one in when it gets noisy, or you hit a wet ride, and then re-wax both at once when they are both due. That will get you 3 weeks between wax dips based on your numbers, maybe a month or more if MSW also lasts longer.

Another thing I heard is that adding a drip wax that sets hard (like the Silca super secret stuff, not Smoove/Squirt which set as goo as it is a different type of emulsion and wax base) can be an effective top up with drastic noise reduction on a waxed chain that has run in a bit. I can't speak from experience here as I never saw the need for that extra step because I swap my chains earlier rather than later. Squirt type waxes are extremely good at silencing drivetrains but I would not want to have to clean that out, or have it contaminate my wax pot, so I don't consider it a compatible top up.

Last edited by yaw; 08-27-22 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 08-27-22, 06:06 PM
  #312  
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
The other problem is that both are an inhalation hazard. Although teflon itself is inert, the precursors are environmentally problematic.
This does not seem to bother many people. When I started cycling and the shop recommended RockNRoll, I gave that a shot and immediately stopped using it because there is no way I am going to repeatedly expose myself to these volatile carriers over a long time. A lot of lubes and degreasers on bike shop shelves are terrible to repeatedly inhale and an environmental hazard, be it contents or containers. Likewise, inhaling fine chemical dusts, no thank you. I see no reason not to entertain alternatives to minimise these factors and collectively put pressure on the industry.
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Old 08-27-22, 06:23 PM
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BTW, I worry about this as a chemist, not a chemophobe.
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Old 08-27-22, 06:24 PM
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JFC people.
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Old 08-27-22, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
Good to go. Mix in some PTFE and Bobs your uncle.
About that PTFE stuff: it may be slippery, but it is a fluoropolymer which comes with associated ďconcernsĒ:

Given fluoropolymersí extreme persistence; emissions associated with their production, use, and disposal; and a high likelihood for human exposure to PFAS, their production and uses should be curtailed except in cases of essential uses.
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Old 08-27-22, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
Good to go. Mix in some PTFE and Bobs your uncle.
Bob's my brother*. He's my sons' uncle, thank you very much.

*Also my Dad, my grandfather, my nephew, and my ex-brother-in-law. But not my uncle.
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Old 08-27-22, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Bob's my brother*. He's my sons' uncle, thank you very much.

*Also my Dad, my grandfather, my nephew, and my ex-brother-in-law. But not my uncle.
That explains why I always hear the phrase said as "Bob's (everybody but) your uncle."
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Old 08-27-22, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Bob's my brother*. He's my sons' uncle, thank you very much.

*Also my Dad, my grandfather, my nephew, and my ex-brother-in-law. But not my uncle.
Youíve been huffing PTFE, havenít you? 😜
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Old 08-29-22, 06:39 AM
  #319  
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I've been immersion waxing the chains on several bikes for a while now. All of the following is opinion only. I'm using declarative sentences, but this is not because it's fact, just opinions based on my experience.

Recommendations:
1. Get a cheap, dedicated crockpot. I bought one from Amazon for $12. I wax the chains on the high setting, uncovered (note: I know people say you should use the low setting to ensure you don't overheat and break down the wax, I have not found this to be an issue if you leave it uncovered). I tie loops of string in the middle of chains and then throw three in at a time. I have rigged a way to hang the chains over the crockpot so that the excess wax just drips back into the crockpot. I break the wax bond after they cool by wrapping the chain around a small dowel and pulling it off. After mounting a new chain on a bike, a bunch of wax will flake off when first pedalling, so I do that outside. I just chuck the used chains back in the wax unless they're muddy (rare), in which case I dewax them with boiling water.
2. I recommend running a three chain rotation. Waxing ten chains is no more effort than waxing one chain so this makes everything easier. I store the chains by wrapping them in clean rags, don't store them in plastic bags as that will cause rust.
3. Buy premade wax and wax-based lube. The premade stuff is cheap and easy ($40 worth of wax will easily last a 50+ applications) and uses ideal wax and additives. A wax-based lube will allow you to extend the period between rewaxing. I use the Silca wax and Super Secret wax emulsion myself, I'm sure Molten Speed and other brands are just as good. The wax is not a lubricant, what matters are the additives. Silca uses (mostly) titanium disulfide, which is grey in color so your chains wind up looking a bit grungy.
4. I use KMC or YBN chains as the factory rust preventative these brands use is easy to remove. To prep chains, I shake them in a clear bottle with a few ounces of odorless mineral spirits two or three times and then once with isopropyl alcohol. The factory rust preventative on Shimano chains is harder to remove in my experience.
5. I use YBN quicklinks as they're cheap and can be reused several times. I don't wax the quicklinks.

Pros to waxing I've found:
1. Drivetrain stays perfecty clean. I ride a lot in dusty conditions and nothing sticks to the drivetrain as it did with wet lubes. Anything that does stick seems to flake off quickly with the wax.
2. Maintaining your drivetrain takes no time: take off the old chain, put on a new one. After you've done this a bunch of times it becomes very quick. You never need to degrease your drivetrain again. IMO, waxing is actually a time saver vs. traditional lube, especially with a three chain rotation and supplimenting with wax emulsion lubes. All of this is is particuarly valuable if you're using an electronic drivetrain as I am on two bikes.
3. A side benefit not directly caused by waxing: cleaning the rest of your bike with no chain on it is just better. You don't have a dirty chain getting your hands dirty, you can get in all the crevices more easily, you can check the function of your bottom bracket more easily etc.
4. Fixing a rear flat doesn't result in filthy hands. Also, getting a Fredmark on your calf is impossible.
5. It seems to prevent wear on the chain and drivetrain at least as well as wet lube. This is hard to judge, but the lack of dust grinding away at your drivetrain clearly makes a difference over time.

Cons to waxing:
1. Initial setup is far longer and can be expensive. Prepping the chains is an additional, messy step (again, better with KMC chains but still a pain). You need to buy a bunch of chains and quicklinks. You need to set up a crock pot. You need to buy the wax and wax emulsion supplimental lube. You need to learn a new process. Etc. Once you get a process going and a bunch of chains it's a net reduction in time and labor, but the initial hurdle is steep.
2. Waxing is not a good option if you ride in wet conditions a lot. Wax does not protect the chain from water at all, waxed chains rust quickly if you get them wet and don't meticulously dry them afterwards. Drying a waxed chain can be a pain. I never ride in the rain, but if you do I would just stick to wet lube.
3. Waxed chains run much, much louder.
4. The wax doesn't last very long. I get maybe 150-200 miles out of a chain before I either need to apply some wax emulsion or take it off to rewax.

Last edited by Hiro11; 08-29-22 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 08-29-22, 06:44 AM
  #320  
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
I've been immersion waxing the chains on several bikes for a while now. All of the following is opinion only. I'm using declarative sentences, but this is not because it's fact, just opinions based on my experience.

Recommendations:
1. Get a cheap, dedicated crockpot. I bought one from Amazon for $12. I wax the chains on the high setting, uncovered. I tie loops of string in the middle of chains and then throw three in at a time. I have rigged a way to hang the chains over the crockpot so that the excess wax just drips back into the crockpot. I break the wax bond after they cool by wrapping the chain around a small dowel and pulling it off. Afetr mounting a new chain on a bike, a bunch of wax will flake off when first pedalling, so I do that outside. I just chuck the used chains in the wax unless they're muddy (rare), in which case I dewax them with boiling water.
2. I recommend running a three chain rotation. Waxing ten chains is no more effort than waxing one chain so this makes everything easier. I store the chains by wrapping them in clean rags, don't store them in plastic bags as that will cause rust.
3. Buy premade wax and wax-based lube. The premade stuff is cheap and easy ($40 worth of wax will easily last a 50+ applications) and uses ideal wax and additives. A wax-based lube will allow you to extend the period between rewaxing. I use the Silca wax and Super Secret wax emulsion myself, I'm sure Molten Speed and other brands are just as good. The wax is not a lubricant, what matters is the additives. Silca uses titanium disulfide, which is grey in color.
4. I use KMC or YBN chains as the factory rust preventative these brands use is easy to remove. To prep chains, I shake them in a clear bottle with a few ounces of odorless mineral spirits two or three times and then once with isopropyl alcohol. The factory rust preventative on Shimano chains is harder to remove in my experience.
5. I use YBN quicklinks as they're cheap and can be reused several times. I don't wax the quicklinks.

Pros to waxing I've found:
1. Drivetrain stays perfecty clean. I ride a lot in dusty conditions and nothing sticks to the drivetrain as it did with wet lubes.
2. Maintaining your drivetrain takes no time: take off the old chain, put on a new one. After you've done this a bunch of times it becomes very quick. You never need to degrease your drivetrain again. IMO, waxing is actuay a time saver vs. traditional ube, especially with a three chain rotation and supplimenting with wax emulsion lubes.
3. Cleaning the rest of your bike with no chain on it is just better. You don't have a dirty chain getting your hands dirty, you can get in all the crevices more easily, you can check the function of your bottom bracket more easily etc.
4. Fixing a rear flat doesn't result in filthy hands. Also, getting a Fredmark on you calf is impossible.
5. It seems to prevent wear on the chain and drivetrain at least as well as wet lube. This is hard to judge, but the lack of dust grinding away at your drivetrain clearly makes a difference over time.

Cons to waxing:
1. Initial setup is far longer. Prepping the chains is an additional, messy step (again, better with KMC chains but still a pain). You gotta buy a bunch of chains and quicklinks. You need to set up a crock pot. You need to buy the wax and wax emulsion supplimental lube. You need to learn a new process Etc. Once you get a process going and a bunch of chains it's fine, but the initial hurdle is steep.
2. Waxing is not a good option if you ride in wet conditions a lot. Wax does not protect the chain from water at all and drying a waxed chain is a ain. I never ride in the rain, but if you do I would just stick to wet lube.
3. Waxed chains run much, much louder.
4. The wax doesn't last very long. I get maybe 150-200 miles out of a chain before I either need to apply some wax emulsion or take it off to rewax.
Most honest assessment in the thread so far. 👏
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Old 08-29-22, 08:16 AM
  #321  
phrantic09
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
2. Waxing is not a good option if you ride in wet conditions a lot. Wax does not protect the chain from water at all, waxed chains rust quickly if you get them wet and don't meticulously dry them afterwards. Drying a waxed chain can be a pain. I never ride in the rain, but if you do I would just stick to wet lube.
Wet conditions are fine, you may just shorten the interval between re-waxing as it all gets washed out. I did a gravel event in early April in the rain, it wasnít a downpour but was steady for 4.5 hours. My chain got noisy finally with 5 miles to go and just took a towel to dry off quickly. No rust anywhere.
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Old 08-29-22, 08:43 AM
  #322  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Either you haven't read or you couldn't comprehend some of the recent posts. Neither is my problem.
The recent posts you are referring to were irrelevant to what we were actually debating (which was the content/intention of a post previous to these posts).

Since you are now simply trying to change the subject or move a goalpost (I can't tell which you are attempting, here), I no longer have an interest in the discussion.

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Old 08-29-22, 09:06 AM
  #323  
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Originally Posted by alikaka View Post
I completely agree with half of the responses here, it's a very good topic of conversation
So you disagree with half? Which half??
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Old 08-29-22, 09:59 AM
  #324  
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I just bought a can of spray on wax lube. I'm going to clean my chain and try it. I'm looking forward to the additional two watts of power which is a significant percentage of my overall output.
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Old 08-29-22, 10:05 AM
  #325  
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
So you disagree with half? Which half??
The wrong half, of course.
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