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Immersive waxing / it should be more popular

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Immersive waxing / it should be more popular

Old 09-25-23, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
You didn't clean the new chain to remove the factory lube?
It's not strictly necessary but the chain does require a longer soak time and more agitation.
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Old 09-26-23, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
You didn't clean the new chain to remove the factory lube?
Of course not. Melted wax will dissolve and dilute factory grease. Precleaning is largely pointless. Just dump it in straight from the package and swish well and you are done.
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Old 09-26-23, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
Some people can touch their toes. I can barely touch my knees.
I can touch my knees without bending my toes.
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Old 09-26-23, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan
Of course not. Melted wax will dissolve and dilute factory grease. Precleaning is largely pointless. Just dump it in straight from the package and swish well and you are done.
Wax will dissolve factory grease? Let me doubt that.

My overnight-soak-in-a-jar-of-fuel trick does a great job and is basically effortless.
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Old 09-26-23, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
Wax will dissolve factory grease? Let me doubt that.

My overnight-soak-in-a-jar-of-fuel trick does a great job and is basically effortless.
It will yeah. They're both non polar compounds which means they'll mix and dissolve in one another readily. However it does take some extra time for the factory grease to flush out from inside the chain and be completely replaced by wax. Kinda like it takes extra time for water to be replaced by wax if there's any inside the chain. Swishing helps a lot but just soaking for a long time should also do the trick.

I still solvent clean any new chains because the amount of debris and metal particles that comes out from a brand new chain is pretty gnarly. Solvent cleaning flushes all that out without them ending up in the wax.
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Old 09-26-23, 09:44 AM
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I've probably said something like this within the last 40 pages, but I suspect the chain lube (wax, or whatever) is there to prevent the plates and rollers from rusting. The actual pivot "lube" is a bound hydrophobic teflon-like surface applied to the pins and rollers at the factory and remains in place for the life of the chain.
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Old 09-26-23, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan
Of course not. Melted wax will dissolve and dilute factory grease. Precleaning is largely pointless. Just dump it in straight from the package and swish well and you are done.
That’s my thinking. Even if not, it works for me. Silky drive train to work this morning.
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Old 09-26-23, 08:10 PM
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Step 1: Purchase gasoline and put a quart or so in an approved container.
Step 2: Put a small amount of gasoline in a sturdy container, and swish the new chain about, an old toothbrush can expedite the removal of factory lube.
Step 3: Repeat Step 2 until the gas is not becoming contaminated with factory lube.
Couldn't be easier, cheaper, or (most importantly) more effective. Takes very little time, energy, or money.
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Old 09-26-23, 08:25 PM
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mineral spirits would probably be a tad safer.
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Old 09-26-23, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
I still solvent clean any new chains because the amount of debris and metal particles that comes out from a brand new chain is pretty gnarly. Solvent cleaning flushes all that out without them ending up in the wax.
From my observation, new chains keep spitting out metal shavings for a while before settling down. Therefore, I would periodically clean the wax pot with a strong magnet on a string when new chains are in use.

Another way of doing it would be to run the chain in with the factory grease before stripping and waxing it, so it can lose those shavings as it is run in, but that would contaminate the drivetrain with nasties and I don't fancy cleaning that stuff off my drivetrain, so the magnet thing is much less work overall and still keeps the wax pot clean.

The n+1 crowd may use that as an excuse to buy another bike "honey I really need this one to run in my new factory grease chains before they go onto the good bike with the clean drivetrain!"

Last edited by yaw; 09-27-23 at 02:17 AM.
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Old 09-27-23, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by yaw
From my observation, new chains keep spitting out metal shavings for a while before settling down. Therefore, I would periodically clean the wax pot with a strong magnet on a string when new chains are in use.

Another way of doing it would be to run the chain in with the factory grease before stripping and waxing it, so it can lose those shavings as it is run in, but that would contaminate the drivetrain with nasties and I don't fancy cleaning that stuff off my drivetrain, so the magnet thing is much less work overall and still keeps the wax pot clean.

The n+1 crowd may use that as an excuse to buy another bike "honey I really need this one to run in my new factory grease chains before they go onto the good bike with the clean drivetrain!"
For what it's worth, I put a filter inside the pot so the chain doesn't touch the actual bottom. Keeps crap from sticking to it or getting inside.

Running a N+1 for 100-200kms before initial wax is a good idea too; it's not complicated to clean the cassette and chainrings.

Last edited by eduskator; 09-27-23 at 05:47 AM.
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Old 09-27-23, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
The actual pivot "lube" is a bound hydrophobic teflon-like surface applied to the pins and rollers at the factory and remains in place for the life of the chain.
If the "pivot lube" remains in place for the life of the chain, why even bother lubing or waxing a chain?
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Old 09-27-23, 02:41 PM
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I have a few questions regarding waxing:

1. Is ultrasonic cleaning the best way to prep a chain for waxing or should I get a new chain and wax that instead?
2.Is solvent cleaning a viable alternative to prepping the chain (my LBS provides this method)?
3. Should I consider waxing the cassette and/or even my OSPW jockey wheels?
5. Should I clean my chainring teeth prior to installing waxed chain?

Thanks for any feedback!
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Old 09-27-23, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jonathanf2
I have a few questions regarding waxing:

1. Is ultrasonic cleaning the best way to prep a chain for waxing or should I get a new chain and wax that instead?
2.Is solvent cleaning a viable alternative to prepping the chain (my LBS provides this method)?
3. Should I consider waxing the cassette and/or even my OSPW jockey wheels?
5. Should I clean my chainring teeth prior to installing waxed chain?

Thanks for any feedback!
1. No need for ultrasonic cleaning if one has good solvent. Best to start with a new or nearly new (i.e., < 200 miles) chain.
2. Yes, if one has good solvent, i.e., odorless mineral spirits. (This is not so easy to come by in SoCal.)
3. Wax is only for chains. No need to wax cassette. As for jockey wheels, just clean and use a lubricant recommended for the bearings.
4. Was there a question 4?
5. Yes, cleaning chain rings and cassette prior to installing a waxed chain keeps the whole drive train clean. But slightly dirty drive train components do not otherwise affect the function of a waxed chain, because the wax is between the moving parts of the chain itself.
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Old 09-27-23, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by yaw
I would periodically clean the wax pot with a strong magnet on a string when new chains are in use.
Originally Posted by eduskator
For what it's worth, I put a filter inside the pot so the chain doesn't touch the actual bottom. Keeps crap from sticking to it or getting inside.
One more step, tool, or consideration to make this process work with ideal effectiveness. And we're still hearing "Chain waxing is so much better. It's not harder or more complicated. In fact, it's even easier than drip lube."

I'm sticking with my favorite drip lube. About every 200 miles (or however often I fee like doing it), I wipe down my chain, crank, and cassette, and then add more lube. The whole process takes maybe five minutes, doesn't require chain removal from the bike, and all I have to buy and store is a bottle of lube and a rag. But tell me again how wax is so much easier.

I think guys wax chains because they enjoy waxing chains, not because there are any major benefits. It's kind of like Hank Hill: "I"m going to change the oil in my truck. It's not due. I'm just changing it for fun."
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Old 09-27-23, 03:58 PM
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eduskator I've also dropped a little metal rack in now that I removed the friction modifiers from the wax (Immersive waxing / it should be more popular). It works very well for people with plain wax bases, but commercial wax blends require a bit of agitation to get the additives into suspension, so in that case keeping the chain off the bottom isn't so effective because you'll have to agitate the whole mix to get the benefits of the additives, stirring it all up.

Broctoon Yeah it is well established that people who just want to wipe and lube, or are looking for minimal care, can't be fussed with the waxing thing and can safely ignore this space. The argument is not that wax is much easier than wipe and drip but that it is superior in terms of drivetrain efficiency and longevity. So waxing is for people who desire these benefits and/or enjoy that kind of process. One thing to consider is that people that wax never have to clean their drivetrains (cassette, chainrings, jockey wheels,...) because they stay clean, so worth factoring in in terms of time and fuss. Beyond that, people that get into waxing may want to improve their workflow or setup, but these steps are just incremental and highly optional. Your chain and my chain are beyond comparison based on our maintenance choices, and that is certainly ok.

Last edited by yaw; 09-27-23 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 09-27-23, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
1. No need for ultrasonic cleaning if one has good solvent. Best to start with a new or nearly new (i.e., < 200 miles) chain.
2. Yes, if one has good solvent, i.e., odorless mineral spirits. (This is not so easy to come by in SoCal.)
3. Wax is only for chains. No need to wax cassette. As for jockey wheels, just clean and use a lubricant recommended for the bearings.
4. Was there a question 4?
5. Yes, cleaning chain rings and cassette prior to installing a waxed chain keeps the whole drive train clean. But slightly dirty drive train components do not otherwise affect the function of a waxed chain, because the wax is between the moving parts of the chain itself.
Great, those ultrasonic cleaners are expensive and take up a lot of space. A used crockpot and wax seem much more cheaper and don't take up as much space. Also in regards to the chain, would I be better off just getting a basic chain without special coating/plating since it's getting waxed anyways or it doesn't really matter? Question 4 is an enigma! Lol

Thanks!
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Old 09-27-23, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jonathanf2
Great, those ultrasonic cleaners are expensive and take up a lot of space. A used crockpot and wax seem much more cheaper and don't take up as much space. Also in regards to the chain, would I be better off just getting a basic chain without special coating/plating since it's getting waxed anyways or it doesn't really matter? Question 4 is an enigma! Lol

Thanks!
I would still get a good chain just for the sake of more refined design and tolerances (and of course the 10g or so weight saving!!!!!!!). I use both Dura Ace and YBN. The great thing is that your waxed chains will last a hilarious amount of time, so the small additional cost will be spread over a long time of use.
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Old 09-27-23, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by flangehead
Got caught in 10 minutes of heavy rain before getting home.

Plugged in crockpot upon arrival.

Ate dinner etc.

2 hours later wax is melted. Check chain; 1% so scrap.
Hi FH,

This note about 1% catches my attention. When's the last time you had waxed and checked that chain? It would seem that your chain has been out of spec for a while.

Originally Posted by yaw
The great thing is that your waxed chains will last a hilarious amount of time...
Especially at 1%. ​​​​​​​
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Old 09-27-23, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by BCDrums
Especially at 1%.
I would be good to know if that chain was always run with wax and how many km are on it as I am hoping for some forum member real world data with some insight re riding conditions on this stuff. Just because rigged testing suggests 20,000km+ does not really mean much.

It will take me long to provide such data by the looks of it because I rotate several chains. The oldest probably has around 6 to 7,000km on it now, the park tool CC-4 doesn't look close to slipping in and it rides the same as the newest chain.

​​​​​​​
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Old 09-27-23, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by yaw
I would still get a good chain just for the sake of more refined design and tolerances (and of course the 10g or so weight saving!!!!!!!). I use both Dura Ace and YBN. The great thing is that your waxed chains will last a hilarious amount of time, so the small additional cost will be spread over a long time of use.
My main interest is extending chain longevity. Any extra watts or drivetrain efficiency is just an added bonus. After reading through this thread, it looks like I can wax without having to go through any complicated steps.
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Old 09-27-23, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jonathanf2
My main interest is extending chain longevity. Any extra watts or drivetrain efficiency is just an added bonus. After reading through this thread, it looks like I can wax without having to go through any complicated steps.
Yeah, just strip a chain once and then dip it in wax whenever you feel like it.
Given your priority, If you end up buying a new chain for this, also strip your current chain (if still under 0.5%) and run them both!
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Old 09-27-23, 07:08 PM
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Broctoon I do it bc it's cleaner. I hate getting my skin and/or clothing grimy from a lubed chain. It's also enjoyable to do as well at a relatively low frequency. Feels like arts and crafts time .
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Old 09-27-23, 07:10 PM
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I also never clean my chain or drivetrain any more. So if you're a neat freak personality (like me), it's a time saver as well. Before I'd have to do it so things wouldnt get all yucky.

Except 2 to 3 times a year I'll clean the whole bike with a hose, degreaser and an auto sponge. Then the drivetrain gets cleaned I guess. Like I don't intentionally skip it. But literally zero in between.
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Old 09-27-23, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by yaw
Yeah, just strip a chain once and then dip it in wax whenever you feel like it.
Given your priority, If you end up buying a new chain for this, also strip your current chain (if still under 0.5%) and run them both!
Is chain waxing also okay for gravel bikes as well? I've read some people opt not to wax their gravel chain, but I'm not sure what the consensus is on that? My gravel terrain here in SoCal tends to attract more dust and grit, so I usually mist hose my bike and wipe it down. My road bike doesn't get as dirty.
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