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Convince me waxing my chain is a bad idea

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Convince me waxing my chain is a bad idea

Old 03-05-15, 12:25 PM
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tekhna
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Convince me waxing my chain is a bad idea

Because as far as I can tell, the only downside is 30 minutes approximately once a month to take the chain off, give it a quick soak in hot paraffin, and throw it back on. And I figure I can do all my bikes at the time, so who cares? I'd spend that much time on bike maintenance anyway cleaning all the gunk off the cassette and chainrings if I was using a traditional lubricant.

Drivetrain is clean and protected, and apparently more efficient according to Velo News' tests a couple years ago. So what's the downside?
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Old 03-05-15, 12:34 PM
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wax on...wax off
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Old 03-05-15, 12:45 PM
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I've never seen a video, but is it really that quick? I mean, would taking it straight off and dropping it in the wax be enough to remove the grit and grime? I would assume not. I guess I need to see some videos.

I would wager that you'd still have to clean before waxing. Then you're talking about waxing vs squirting lube
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Old 03-05-15, 12:51 PM
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The downside is time, effort, and equipment needed to clean and apply the wax. If you do a rainy ride, you'll need to re-lube your chain afterwards, and it's less of a pain to use one of those all-in-one type lubes after a rainy ride.
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Old 03-05-15, 12:52 PM
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It's fine to do it that way if you like.

But wax based "dry" chain lube is available out of a bottle. It's much less trouble for the same result.
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Old 03-05-15, 12:53 PM
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If it were such a good idea, more of us would be doing it.
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Old 03-05-15, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by tekhna View Post
Because as far as I can tell, the only downside is 30 minutes approximately once a month to take the chain off, give it a quick soak in hot paraffin, and throw it back on. And I figure I can do all my bikes at the time, so who cares? I'd spend that much time on bike maintenance anyway cleaning all the gunk off the cassette and chainrings if I was using a traditional lubricant.

Drivetrain is clean and protected, and apparently more efficient according to Velo News' tests a couple years ago. So what's the downside?
...I think you should try it.
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Old 03-05-15, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mrvrsick View Post
I've never seen a video, but is it really that quick? I mean, would taking it straight off and dropping it in the wax be enough to remove the grit and grime? I would assume not. I guess I need to see some videos.

I would wager that you'd still have to clean before waxing. Then you're talking about waxing vs squirting lube
No, the hot wax does remove the dirt like a solvent. I used to do it and used a straightened hanger to swish to coiled chain around in the hot wax. Lifts the dirt off really well. The only downside I found over years of doing this was that wax built up in the rear derailleur. Same for other lubes containing solids, however. In any case if you do it, please be very careful melting the wax. I put a pound of wax in a metal coffee can and set that in a sauce pan with a little water around it. Then I didn't worry so much about the open flame on the gas stove or gas bbq pit burner to melt the wax. Hold the chain by the bent end of a coat hanger. Use oven mits to handle the can of wax. Etc. Etc. Keep in mind the wax doesn't have any rust inhibitors if you ride in wet conditions.
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Old 03-05-15, 01:01 PM
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Paraffin is so old school...if you like doing it, and have a good results with it - don't change it.
But you asked to convince you that it's a bad idea...it's not bad, but there are easier and faster ways to deal with that issue.

For my style of riding and conditions, paraffin is just simply a waste of time.
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Old 03-05-15, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
If it were such a good idea, more of us would be doing it.
Boy is that a false conclusion! Hello, this is the 41!

I honestly can't say why I stopped doing it after maybe 20 years. I think it was the gunky buildup in the rear derailleur.
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Old 03-05-15, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Boy is that a false conclusion! Hello, this is the 41!

I honestly can't say why I stopped doing it after maybe 20 years. I think it was the gunky buildup in the rear derailleur.
Oops, please forgive me for the slipup.
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Old 03-05-15, 01:09 PM
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Eh, I bought a quart of Dupont chain saver years ago, I use it for my motorcycle and mtb chains, I don't think I'll be running out soon.
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Old 03-05-15, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by tekhna View Post
Because as far as I can tell, the only downside is 30 minutes approximately once a month to take the chain off, give it a quick soak in hot paraffin, and throw it back on. And I figure I can do all my bikes at the time, so who cares? I'd spend that much time on bike maintenance anyway cleaning all the gunk off the cassette and chainrings if I was using a traditional lubricant.

Drivetrain is clean and protected, and apparently more efficient according to Velo News' tests a couple years ago. So what's the downside?
If it's working for you, why should anybody try to talk you out of it? It's your bike, and you're doing something that works. OTOH other people have different preferences and what they do works for them. I don't see cause for debate or arm twisting.
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Old 03-05-15, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
No, the hot wax does remove the dirt like a solvent. I used to do it and used a straightened hanger to swish to coiled chain around in the hot wax. Lifts the dirt off really well. The only downside I found over years of doing this was that wax built up in the rear derailleur. Same for other lubes containing solids, however. In any case if you do it, please be very careful melting the wax. I put a pound of wax in a metal coffee can and set that in a sauce pan with a little water around it. Then I didn't worry so much about the open flame on the gas stove or gas bbq pit burner to melt the wax. Hold the chain by the bent end of a coat hanger. Use oven mits to handle the can of wax. Etc. Etc. Keep in mind the wax doesn't have any rust inhibitors if you ride in wet conditions.
Well, color me intrigued! If anyone around the sgv, CA can give me a demo, I'd appreciate it!
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Old 03-05-15, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Boy is that a false conclusion! Hello, this is the 41!

I honestly can't say why I stopped doing it after maybe 20 years. I think it was the gunky buildup in the rear derailleur.
...I don't think it is a false conclusion to state that something with such a long history, no longer much done, is probably no longer much done for a reason.
Aren't you one of the guys who always jumps into the steel/cabron fiber threads with a comment about how carbon really is better ?

My own feeling is that something like ATF mixed or another oil like Chain-L is both more easily used and works better in my circumstances as a lubricant for reducing noise/wear.
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Old 03-05-15, 01:18 PM
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Don't forget that most folks who do this use the wax over and over again for quite a while. So the grime does get recycled back onto the chain albeit in VERY low concentration even at the end when you finally break down and replace the wax. I mean milligrams of dirt diluted by a pound of wax. Toward the end the wax does start looking a little gray. And don't forget it is opaque after it solidifies on the chain. Some folks might not care for that look.
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Old 03-05-15, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...I don't think it is a false conclusion to state that something with such a long history, no longer much done, is probably no longer much done for a reason.
Aren't you one of the guys who always jumps into the steel/cabron fiber threads with a comment about how carbon really is better ?

My own feeling is that something like ATF mixed or another oil like Chain-L is both more easily used and works better in my circumstances as a lubricant for reducing noise/wear.
It's no longer done much because from a bottle is easier. That doesn't mean it's better.

Paraffin lasts 500 miles according to Velo News' testing, 300 in wet. It is by far the most efficient lubricant in terms of reducing drivetrain drag (on the order of 6 watts compared to their worst lube they tested, apparently). The benefits are obvious. It's just inconvenient.
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Old 03-05-15, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Agent Cooper View Post
It's fine to do it that way if you like.

But wax based "dry" chain lube is available out of a bottle. It's much less trouble for the same result.
It's definitively not the same result. Not even close.
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Old 03-05-15, 01:31 PM
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I use White Lightning. I don't care if it lubes better or worse, and I know it doesn't protect at all against moisture. I use it because it doesn't leave black marks on my leg.
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Old 03-05-15, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...I don't think it is a false conclusion to state that something with such a long history, no longer much done, is probably no longer much done for a reason.
Aren't you one of the guys who always jumps into the steel/cabron fiber threads with a comment about how carbon really is better ?

My own feeling is that something like ATF mixed or another oil like Chain-L is both more easily used and works better in my circumstances as a lubricant for reducing noise/wear.
I didn't mean it wasn't sometimes true. I meant it wasn't universally true, i.e. true as in the opposite of false. My point is that around here lot of things get done for no good reason at all, just because of prejudice. BTW myself included.

datlas suggested 41ers do things if they are good ideas. I was just joking when I said not so much.
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Old 03-05-15, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
I use White Lightning. I don't care if it lubes better or worse, and I know it doesn't protect at all against moisture. I use it because it doesn't leave black marks on my leg.
Neither does wax. That's the whole point of it.
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Old 03-05-15, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by tekhna View Post
It's no longer done much because from a bottle is easier. That doesn't mean it's better.

Paraffin lasts 500 miles according to Velo News' testing, 300 in wet. It is by far the most efficient lubricant in terms of reducing drivetrain drag (on the order of 6 watts compared to their worst lube they tested, apparently). The benefits are obvious. It's just inconvenient.
Not so inconvenient compared to the methods for cleaning a chain before relubing it.
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Old 03-05-15, 01:47 PM
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The part that has always stopped me from waxing my chain is it's so much trouble. Melting, taking the chain off, drying etc etc, and then one good rain you need to do it again. I use a liquid wax-based lube sometimes, and it still washes off but at least it only takes a minute to re-apply.

So I had a brainstorm: why not load a glue g.un up with wax and apply it like the bottle lube - a drip on each link, spin it and catch the drip? Best of both worlds ... and, sure enough, Googling it up I find that you can buy sealing wax sticks for glue g.uns. So the questions, what are the implications of using sealing wax? I'm really thinking of rolling or pouring glue g.un compatible sticks from paraffin, same idea. Would it penetrate to where it needs to be? Would you mix an oil or powder in? Would a glue g.un application even work? It surely would be more convenient if it did.

Has anyone tried this yet, or been tempted to?
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Old 03-05-15, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
The part that has always stopped me from waxing my chain is it's so much trouble. Melting, taking the chain off, drying etc etc, and then one good rain you need to do it again. I use a liquid wax-based lube sometimes, and it still washes off but at least it only takes a minute to re-apply.

So I had a brainstorm: why not load a glue g.un up with wax and apply it like the bottle lube - a drip on each link, spin it and catch the drip? Best of both worlds ... and, sure enough, Googling it up I find that you can buy sealing wax sticks for glue g.uns. So the questions, what are the implications of using sealing wax? I'm really thinking of rolling or pouring glue g.un compatible sticks from paraffin, same idea. Would it penetrate to where it needs to be? Would you mix an oil or powder in? Would a glue g.un application even work? It surely would be more convenient if it did.

Has anyone tried this yet, or been tempted to?
I think the downside to this method would be that the wax doesn't stay melted long enough to penetrate the links, ie: the wax drops would just congeal on the outside of the chain.
Cool idea though
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Old 03-05-15, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mercator View Post
I think the downside to this method would be that the wax doesn't stay melted long enough to penetrate the links, ie: the wax drops would just congeal on the outside of the chain.
Cool idea though
Yes, that's right. And you don't get the cleaning effect of the molten was as a solvent.
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