Chain Wax

Discussion in 'General Bike Discussion' started by Burr, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. Burr

    Burr Cranking Old Guy

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    What ever happened to that chain wax? I used it for years because it didn't pick up dirt and grim so fast but with the new chains you can't break then down so easy and I stopped using it.

    I use WD40 and wash my chain once a week or more and shifters. It's flat here so I don't shift much like I did in the mountains of California.

    My bikes run nice and I keep it adjusted so it's quiet.

    I LOVE MY BIKES
     
  2. mtndoc

    mtndoc New Member

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    I use a teflon based lube for everything, from cables to chain, seems to work well.

    BTW, good luck with the ride with the "church Boys" Burr
    DrB
     

  3. Burr

    Burr Cranking Old Guy

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    BUT, you don't take your chain off to Lube it, do you?

    I just wash, dry and spray with WD40 every few days, keep the brush, soap and bucket ready with my bike stand close.

    Just wiped my road bike down with Windix and I'm ready to ride again
     
  4. CTD50

    CTD50 DX's Biggest Member

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    I'm a little different; I alternate between Mobil 1 0W-20 and stainless steel polish in a spray can. After both, I wipe the chain thoroughly. The Mobil 1 lasts longer and lubricates better, the SS polish lubes well, and cleans the excess oil off, but doesn't last more than about 2 days. I can get most of a week with a single app of Mobil 1.

    But, the best stuff I've ever used is Giant Liquid Silk -- it's just expensive!
     
  5. Burr

    Burr Cranking Old Guy

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    What works for you.

    I have to use what I got and over here that's not much.


    OK, The NYY game is starting
     
  6. froze

    froze Banned

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    I use Chain-L lube and that stuff lasts a month before I get antse and wonder why the chain isn't making noise or looking dirty. I just run a rag about once a week to wipe off any dirt and don't even bother to relube for a month, which the directions say not to relube unless the chain starts making noise...but I'm old school so doing this seems foreign to me, so I'm probably over applying, but I do clean the chain anyway before I reapply, so I don't know but it seems to be working. The real test will be to see how long the chain will last vs the other stuff I've used before.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2010
  7. photosbymark

    photosbymark New Member

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    Well the one thing you do NOT want to use is WD 40. It's a solvent, not a lube. Most any chain oil will work ok if you do it regularly. It doesn't have to be every ride.

    I have one of those tanks with brushes for the chain that you can fill up with degreaser. They sell stuff for that but I just use Simple Green. It works and is a lot cheaper. Every week or so, I clean, rinse off the simple green and let it dry. Then oil and wipe with a rag. When the chain gets dirty or rattles, I repeat.

    A clean and well lubed chain can save a lot of grief.
     
  8. BlazingPedals

    BlazingPedals Member

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    <Sniff> I love the smell of a chainlube war in the morning!

    Chain wax is still around, in the form of White Lightning. I use the Clean Ride formula. The black flecks are easy to clean with Pledge(tm) and they don't stain my clothes like oily chain gunk does. (With my recumbents, the chain runs inside my knee, so cleanliness is more important than having the best friction factor.)
     
  9. ViBiker

    ViBiker Banned

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    Wd-40

    While I use WD-40 to clean my chain, I don't recommend it as the lubricant, its viscosity is too low. Personally, I use Multi-viscosity motor oil with Slick50 additive.
     
  10. froze

    froze Banned

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    Not sure why your clothes would get oily gunk on them while riding...but ok. Wax is a poor lubricant, sure it keeps the chain clean but I would rather have it last longer.

    And is your a die hard wax man and just have to wax your chain the drip kind is the worse; the best way to wax a chain if to use paraffin wax with a bit of teflon oil mixed in (Slick 50 or the such). You take a block of wax and put into a can big enough to hold a rolled up chain, put in about 2 or 3 tablespoons of the teflon with the wax. Then get a pan (an old pan you don't really want to use for food anymore or else your wife will fry you) and place the can in the center of the pan with about 2 inches of water in the pan. Heat the mixture on the till the water just starts to boil then turn it down i bit, Don't let it get too hot because you are heating oil, I let you ponder what might happen if it gets too hot! After the wax and oil has completely mixed together take it off the heat and let it solidify.

    Prior to doing the above remove the chain off the bike and clean it, doing the hot wax treatment will clean the chain some more but it's best to preclean it, then roll the chain up and wrap a wire around the chain to hold it together but also so you can crab it with a hanger or pair of pliers later when it will be to hot to handle, and place it in the can with the wax. I like the coat hanger because you can grab the chain and hang the hanger on a hook without touching the chain. Then set the can back into the pan and add more water to bring the level back up to 2 inches as before. Bring the water back to boil and wait for the wax to melt into a liquid state, then stir the chain around with a wood spoon (again not going to use for food later), let it cook for at least 20 minutes because the chain and the wax have to bond, but keep moving the chain ever so often. And never leave it unattended while cooking.

    Then remove the chain with pliers or a coat hanger and don't touch it because it's very hot and it will burn you good. Let the chain hang and let the wax drip into a paint pan but don't shake it while it's dripping and cooling. Once the chain had cooled to the touch then your ready to reinstall the chain. No need to clean the excess wax off because as you ride it will flake off anyways. If the wax starts to build up on the gears just pour some hot water on it and it will come off.

    That is the best method, this wax crap in a bottle does not do the job anywhere near as good as the above. And the best way to do the hot wax is to use 2 chains, so you can have one chain waxed and ready to go while your doing another. The hot wax treatment was the way it was done for many years by many cyclists including me until bottle wax came along and everyone wanted to wax it the easy way, problem with bottle wax is that it's only good for about 60 to 70 miles then the chain starts making noise and once you hear noise accelerated wear has begun; also liquid wax in a bottle needs to be put on a chain and allowed to sit overnight before riding. And remember too that wax is best for relatively dry, clean climates and on bikes that aren't ridden in the rain or get wet.

    Here's a Sheldon Brown site that tells about the effectiveness of wax as a lube: Chain Maintenance
     
  11. wwayne

    wwayne New Member

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    White lightning

    Wax is still here, it is now in a viscous solution that runs an penetrates well and dries as a thin wax coating. It is called White Lightning and is from the White Lightning Co of Colorado.

    There is a wet weather version also but I have not found it necessary.

    It is great having clean sprockets an rings.
     
  12. froze

    froze Banned

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    It is great to have clean sprockets and rings and chains isn't it? Too bad that wax stuff makes the worse lube you could use on sprockets and rings and chains!
     
  13. momule

    momule New Member

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    Geeze....all this stuff about cleaning and lubing every week. I put on about 200 base miles a week during the season and unless I ride on Rails to Trails chat, I clean and lube the chain about once every six weeks. I also use fenders on my hybrid and if I thought I was close to wearing something completely out I do have a spare chain cut to size. This thread seems to be full of folk who would rather worry about stuff than actually ride their bikes. Just my opinion of course....
     
  14. BlazingPedals

    BlazingPedals Member

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    On my recumbents, the chain rides within an inch of my inner thigh, so cleanliness is the highest priority for me. I've used White Lightning for years and generally been happy with it. I lube every other week plus after riding in the rain; and wipe it down whenever it starts looking bad. I can clean the chain on-bike using Pledge(tm) prior to re-lubing. Anything I get on my leg generally rubs right off, unlike those greasy black marks you get with oil-lubed chains!

    All that said, I've heard good things about Chain-L and may give some a try in the spring. If it works as well as a few friends say, it might be worth a couple of chain tattoos.
     
  15. froze

    froze Banned

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    You have to think about something...if wax is such a good lubricant then why doesn't any chain manufacture put wax instead of oil on the chain before shipping? Stop and think about that one for awhile.
     
  16. killerbug

    killerbug New Member

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    I've used White Lighting for years. I used to maintain a fleet of bicycles for my employer which were used regularly by sensible riders and complete idiots both and the chain wax held up under all of the abuse and kept the chains cleaner. I had lots of money to spend and once a month I would put each bike on the stand and drench the chain while rotating the crank, then wipe off the dirty drippings until the lube was coming off the chain clearly. Most people can't afford copious amounts of White Lightning like that but I never had any failures and I had a fleet of clean chains. I could tell a lot of stories about equipment that worked and didn't work while having a nice test laboratory like that bike fleet.

    I agree with Sheldon Brown that there will never be a consensus on which type of lube is superior. Experiment and find what you like. After 40 years of riding, wax lubricant is what works for me.
     
  17. froze

    froze Banned

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    Again, you have to think about something...if wax is such a good lubricant then why doesn't any chain manufacture put wax instead of oil on the chain before shipping? Stop and think about that one for awhile. Sheldon Brown says that wax lubes are not as good of a lube as oil or grease, in that regard he is right.
     
  18. BlazingPedals

    BlazingPedals Member

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    I could be going out on a limb here, but it could possibly be because wax doesn't protect against moisture as well as oil. Nobody would buy a chain that picked up some surface rust on the way to the store.

    By your reasoning, you should think long and hard before using anything but cosmoline on your chain.
     
  19. froze

    froze Banned

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    Your not going out on a limb as far as saying wax does nothing to prevent rust, but you sure went to the end of the limb with the cosmoline comment. Sure cosmoline prevents rust but does nothing for lubing. Again if chain manufactures felt that cosmoline was the best thing to apply to chains they would do that. Where are your minds? Chain manufactures put a lube, not a wax, not cosmoline or whatever else crap you can dream up, they put on the chain what is best to protect the chain from rust and wear.

    Besides some chain manufactures use stainless steel or chrome plated so there is no rust, thus no need for cosmoline...that kind of rhymes!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011
  20. killerbug

    killerbug New Member

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    Reread the Sheldon Brown article. He doesn't think much of the old method of dipping a chain in a vessel of hot wax. There is nothng about using a solvent based wax suspension.

    Think about this; if chain waxes are a poor product, why are they still being used after all these years?

    I was selling and using chain wax compounds in the '80's and getting free samples at Interbike. They are a good product then and are only getting better.

    I'm done here.