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Immersive waxing / it should be more popular

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Immersive waxing / it should be more popular

Old 03-17-24, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
Why would a waxed chain ever be messy?

Boiling water rusts steel.
I usually ride in decent conditions, but one race a few years back was held in mucky conditions. Like stretches with 6” deep mud. Drivetrain was caked. Of course that chain was trashed anyway.

I suppose a regular bike wash in the backyard hose would get the worst off, then maybe alcohol to dry and into the wax.
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Old 03-17-24, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by McFlyRides
I usually ride in decent conditions, but one race a few years back was held in mucky conditions. Like stretches with 6” deep mud. Drivetrain was caked. Of course that chain was trashed anyway.

I suppose a regular bike wash in the backyard hose would get the worst off, then maybe alcohol to dry and into the wax.
You should be able to just hose it off, let it dry a few minutes in the sun and throw it right into the wax. I don't see what the alcohol is for.
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Old 03-17-24, 06:27 PM
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Not quite yet ready to try the whole hot wax approach but after reading the results from ZFC I have gone ahead and purchased some Flowerpower drip wax. Been a Rock N Roll Extreme fan for many years now but the results are pretty impressive with some of these newer lubes; plus there is no PTFE in the Flowerpower. Am very curious how it will compare to Rock N Roll.
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Old 03-18-24, 09:29 PM
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I can't prove it, but in my mind the alcohol displaces any water, then evaporates away.
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Old 03-18-24, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by McFlyRides
I can't prove it, but in my mind the alcohol displaces any water, then evaporates away.
I am not a scientist and do not play one on TV ... but the data seems to indicate that water gets deep into the rollers and stays there, and added wax or lube does not displace it.

I have heard one should dry the chain for several hours or even heat it to get the water out else all the faffery with wax or drip of transmission fluid mixed with goat guts is for naught.
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Old 03-18-24, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
I am not a scientist and do not play one on TV ... but the data seems to indicate that water gets deep into the rollers and stays there, and added wax or lube does not displace it.

I have heard one should dry the chain for several hours or even heat it to get the water out else all the faffery with wax or drip of transmission fluid mixed with goat guts is for naught.
Don't over think this. Waxing has some positive points but oiling is still a perfectly valid choice. Which is better is for you to decide based on your own requirements.

Wax has some displacing characteristics but oil coats and blocks moisture. I'm a big proponent for doing what fits best for you. If you think dropping a chain and tossing it in a crock pot better fits your needs then do that. Or if you're happy with just freshening up the lube with an oil based product, then so that. Chains are arguably inexpensive, this is more based on personal preference.
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Old 03-18-24, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
I am not a scientist and do not play one on TV ... but the data seems to indicate that water gets deep into the rollers and stays there, and added wax or lube does not displace it.
Yes, whether wax displaces every last bit of water is the focus of my discussion above with elcruxio. My concern is that it would not.

Originally Posted by Maelochs
I have heard one should dry the chain for several hours or even heat it to get the water out else all the faffery with wax or drip of transmission fluid mixed with goat guts is for naught.
Unfortunately, heating the chain to evaporate residual water also promotes rust.
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Old 03-19-24, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
Unfortunately, heating the chain to evaporate residual water also promotes rust.
So, now, to wax properly I need a sealed vacuum autoclave along with a crock pot?
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Old 03-19-24, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
So, now, to wax properly I need a sealed vacuum autoclave along with a crock pot?
Yes along with a volatile organic compound (VOC) management system, like a condenser, incinerator or activated carbon adsorption system to meet EPA requirements.
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Old 03-19-24, 06:51 AM
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OZ Cycle just published a new video in which he does not sterilize the chain before bathing it in how wax. Interesting watch!
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Old 03-19-24, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
Yes, whether wax displaces every last bit of water is the focus of my discussion above with elcruxio. My concern is that it would not.



Unfortunately, heating the chain to evaporate residual water also promotes rust.
I have put damp chains in wax. Not only does the wax bubble more as some of the water flashes to steam, but you end up with a layer of water (heavier than wax) at the bottom of the pot when the wax has solidified.

We can theorize about the tenacity of water for staying put, but I don't think there is any real reason to believe that water resists hot paraffin any more than oil resists solvent. Liquid wax has more capillary action than water and will make a very good effort to displace the heavier fluid.
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Old 03-19-24, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
One step chain waxing - make it yourself (youtube.com)

OZ Cycle just published a new video in which he does not sterilize the chain before bathing it in how wax. Interesting watch!
Funny how a new "easy way" involves so many steps. This requires and additive that apparently converts the chain lube to a wax-like substance, instead of just dissolving it away. Why would anyone assume that the actual wax and this coagulated oil are highly compatible?

And then you have to exercise the waxed chain extensively to simulate what will happen in the first 30 seconds of riding the bike.
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Old 03-19-24, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
So, now, to wax properly I need a sealed vacuum autoclave along with a crock pot?
dude, where do I get one? 💪
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Old 03-19-24, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
Funny how a new "easy way" involves so many steps. This requires and additive that apparently converts the chain lube to a wax-like substance, instead of just dissolving it away. Why would anyone assume that the actual wax and this coagulated oil are highly compatible?

And then you have to exercise the waxed chain extensively to simulate what will happen in the first 30 seconds of riding the bike.
I still think it's best to strip off the new chain from any lube or grease before its 1st hot bath. That's what I do and I don't bother with any cleaning at all after the initial one. I just re-dip them for 15 minutes and shake it a few times in the meanwhile, then wipe away the excess as much as I can once it's out of the pot. Yes it's stiff at first, but it takes less than 1 minute of playing with it to break all rollers free.

Still 10x better than ending with a black chain & drivetrain
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Old 03-19-24, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
I still think it's best to strip off the new chain from any lube or grease before its 1st hot bath. That's what I do and I don't bother with any cleaning at all after the initial one. I just re-dip them for 15 minutes and shake it a few times in the meanwhile, then wipe away the excess as much as I can once it's out of the pot. Yes it's stiff at first, but it takes less than 1 minute of playing with it to break all rollers free.

Still 10x better than ending with a black chain & drivetrain
The block of wax looks black, but the wax is mostly clear and the drivetrain is metal colored.
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Old 03-20-24, 03:47 AM
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Anecdote: 1500 miles on 10 speed KMC. My (bad) practice is wax after rain or if I hear squeaking. Light drops on way home weren’t enough to wet the chain but reminded me it had been a long time since I waxed. Plugged in crockpot; ate dinner. Checked for wear: less than 0.75. Removed chain, dropped into wax and swished. Reinstalled and tested. Done.
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Old 03-20-24, 05:01 AM
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1500mi without rewaxing?
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Old 03-20-24, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
Still 10x better than ending with a black chain & drivetrain
This is what I’m after. I tend to ride my road bike hard and put it away wet, and eventually that black crud requires lots of labor to clean off, messes with shifting, causes drivetrain parts to wear before their time.
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Old 03-20-24, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by McFlyRides
This is what I’m after. I tend to ride my road bike hard and put it away wet, and eventually that black crud requires lots of labor to clean off, messes with shifting, causes drivetrain parts to wear before their time.
A clean bike is a fast bike. That includes the drivetrain. It should look as new all the time. Waxing helps a lot with that.
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Old 03-21-24, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
1500mi without rewaxing?
I didn't keep track, but I probably rewaxed no less than once and no more than 3 times before I hit 1500 miles. Still below 0.75 with a Park simple chain checker.

I'm a commuter, lazy and disorganized. As I said, my (bad) practice was to lubricate when I heard a squeak.. with waxing, if it gets wet I know it's gonna squeak soon so I rewax after a rain ride.. the issue comes in if there's a dry spell and chain doesn't get wet... I suspect I do need to rewax before it starts squeaking.... but I don't have a trigger...
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Old 03-21-24, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by flangehead
I didn't keep track, but I probably rewaxed no less than once and no more than 3 times before I hit 1500 miles. Still below 0.75 with a Park simple chain checker.

I'm a commuter, lazy and disorganized. As I said, my (bad) practice was to lubricate when I heard a squeak.. with waxing, if it gets wet I know it's gonna squeak soon so I rewax after a rain ride.. the issue comes in if there's a dry spell and chain doesn't get wet... I suspect I do need to rewax before it starts squeaking.... but I don't have a trigger...
300-350km (185-215mi) should be the target interval if using it dry a environment. Wet, it's lower than that for sure.

I used to do 350kms, now I do 300kms. I like quietness!
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Old 03-21-24, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
...I like quietness!

OK, I've been reluctant* to say this but here goes: I'm not convinced the squeaking of a waxed chain necessarily means the important lubrication isn't still happening. I've had cases after a recent waxing when I got wet, not downpour soaked but just surface wet, and within 2-3 days started hearing squeaking. I saw light surface rust on the plates.. I'm thinking that accounts for the noise.. hard to imagine how the slight wetting sequence could have affected the lubricant along the pin rotation deep inside...


Which means a mileage-based rewaxing would be a better practice to achieve a longer chain life.


* "Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)" - Walt Whitman yeah and I can't stick to my diet either...
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Old 03-21-24, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by flangehead
OK, I've been reluctant* to say this but here goes: I'm not convinced the squeaking of a waxed chain necessarily means the important lubrication isn't still happening. I've had cases after a recent waxing when I got wet, not downpour soaked but just surface wet, and within 2-3 days started hearing squeaking. I saw light surface rust on the plates.. I'm thinking that accounts for the noise.. hard to imagine how the slight wetting sequence could have affected the lubricant along the pin rotation deep inside...


Which means a mileage-based rewaxing would be a better practice to achieve a longer chain life.


* "Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)" - Walt Whitman yeah and I can't stick to my diet either...
I aim to re-wax every 300-350 miles, unless it gets soaked first. I run three chains in rotation, so I do a "bunch waxing" every ~1000 miles. If a chain gets soaked, I take it off, run it under hot water for a minute, dry it off, then hang it up awaiting the next wax session. I use gold (Ti-nitride plated) chains, so rust really isn't an issue (not saying they never rust, just that they don't start to rust quickly)
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Old 03-21-24, 02:46 PM
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I used to wax my chains at @500 miles, but have since shortened it down to @200 miles simply because I enjoy waxing. I have 3-4 chains in rotation for each bike so I end up waxing at least every other week even though I don't need to. I have found over the last 5-6 years of waxing that my drive train and especially cassettes have lasted much longer. I blame this on the fact that I'm not running my drive train covered in oily sludge.
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Old 03-21-24, 06:58 PM
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For folks that run waxed chains on their mountain bikes or gravel bikes, what’s your maintenance like for dry riding? Say you want to clean a few mud splatters or dust off the bike but aren’t due for a rewax, do you avoid getting the chain wet? Do you dry wipe the chain or air compressor the dust out of the cassette or chain?
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