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drip wax longevity

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway
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drip wax longevity

Old 05-14-23, 06:23 PM
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I used a Little Dipper crock pot for the dip wax thing for my road bike chains for a couplafew years. It worked well but longevity between treatments depended on weather. In dry conditions it lasted longer. A single rainy or wet pavement ride would result in a creaky squeaky ride home.

I liked it because I keep my bikes inside my apartment and the cleaner drivetrain reduced problems with greasy marks on my legs, pants or cats.

For efficiency I'd pre-treat two or three identical chains in advance so I could swap for a freshly waxed chain as soon as I got home. I'd rewax the same two or three chains about once a month.

However, I didn't use strong solvents as recommended, so my results were compromised. I don't have a garage or outdoor work area and won't use any flammable, combustible or volatile solvents indoors.

I tried two or three types of drip wax but none of them worked particularly well. The paraffin didn't seem to get into the links. After the carrier dried there was a fuzzy coating of soft, gummy wax that attracted more road grime than most ordinary wet lubes. I still have a container of White Lightning Easy Lube and use it for tools instead of my bikes. Ditto, Boeshield T-9, which runs more cleanly on chains than WL Easy Lube, but doesn't seem to last long per application. I still use Boeshield T-9 for some tools and my pocket knives. I'll dribble a bit of T-9 into the folding knives, work the actions, then set them under a fan to dry overnight. Seems to reduce rusting on my folders that tended to rust after long exposure to my sweaty hide during rides and runs.

The main reason I quit waxing chains in 2020 was because I had to vacate my apartment temporarily so the landlord could replace the old carpet with wood grain laminated flooring (much easier to keep clean). I used a local moving/storage contractor to help. In my haste I couldn't remember where I put the crock pot and slabs of Gulf wax.

I bought a container of Rock 'n' Roll Absolute Dry from the LBS and tried it for awhile, figuring I'd resume waxing after I unpacked everything. But R&R worked so well I wound up switching. I mostly use R&R Gold now on my road bikes, and Extreme on the hybrid for wet weather. The Gold lasts longer than Absolute Dry and keeps the drivetrain nearly as clean. The Extreme contains a little oil of some kind, just enough to last longer on wet rides. The Absolute Dry ran as clean as hot wax dipped chains, and lasted about as long per treatment -- which is to say, not very long, maybe two or three of my usual 25-30 mile rides, 50-100 miles at most. Gold and Extreme run a bit dirtier but still clean up more easily than any other wet lube I've tried.

After an initial generous application of Rock 'n' Roll, for followups I just use a drop per link via a needle dropper. The carrier smells like naphtha and is mostly used to flush out the chain and carry the PTFE powder into the links. It might be more cost effective to buy naphtha in bulk and add my own powdered PTFE -- I actually bought some PTFE powder from China back in 2020 during the pandemic lull, but never got around to using it. I'll mix up a batch after my current bottle of R&R Absolute Dry or Gold runs out.

If I had a garage or outdoor workspace I'd probably try wax again and a proper initial solvent bath and cleaner to prep the chain as recommended.

Last edited by canklecat; 05-14-23 at 06:30 PM.
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