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Question for you who wax your chain

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Question for you who wax your chain

Old 03-04-20, 01:11 PM
  #101  
DrIsotope
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My chain life is basically the same regardless of what lubricant is used. Before switching to wax, I tried over a dozen different wet and dry lubes. They all do the same thing, which is turn the drivetrain into a hideous mess that requires a full degreasing several times a year. With wax, I don't mess with anything but the chains themselves. Even if the chains were to wear out 25% faster, I'd still be saving time, effort, and solvent. And wax is so clean. So, so clean.
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Old 03-04-20, 01:22 PM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
A cheap ​​​​​​KMC chain that wears out quickly is apparently made with softer steel either at the pins or inner plates, or both. It doesn't correlate to more friction or a loss of power, just soft metal. Campy chains have absolutely the lowest elongation of any chain I've ever used. Their pins and inner plates wear at an incredibly low rate, but the rollers still wear out (mainly in the roller holes, not the roller OD). For that reason Campy recommends a vernier caliper measurement between rollers, rather than an elongation measurement to determine when to retire a chain. The roller spacing increases as both the holes in the rollers and the roller ID wears.

Let's try this in a slightly different context:

A cheap ​​​​​​ball bearing that wears out quickly is apparently made with softer steel either at the ball or races, or both. It doesn't correlate to more friction or a loss of power, just soft metal.

I doubt that Friction Facts would buy this idea.
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Old 03-04-20, 01:31 PM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
My chain life is basically the same regardless of what lubricant is used. Before switching to wax, I tried over a dozen different wet and dry lubes. They all do the same thing, which is turn the drivetrain into a hideous mess that requires a full degreasing several times a year. With wax, I don't mess with anything but the chains themselves. Even if the chains were to wear out 25% faster, I'd still be saving time, effort, and solvent. And wax is so clean. So, so clean.

I hear you. I guess by my theory, if you get the same life with different lubes, you also get roughly the same friction losses.
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Old 03-05-20, 07:57 AM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
My chain life is basically the same regardless of what lubricant is used. Before switching to wax, I tried over a dozen different wet and dry lubes. They all do the same thing, which is turn the drivetrain into a hideous mess that requires a full degreasing several times a year. With wax, I don't mess with anything but the chains themselves. Even if the chains were to wear out 25% faster, I'd still be saving time, effort, and solvent. And wax is so clean. So, so clean.
I hear you! Stefane's research (Oz Cycle) have however proven that wax = less wear (video with chart & stats can be found on in YT channel). Who's right, who's wrong?
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Old 03-05-20, 08:50 AM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
I hear you! Stefane's research (Oz Cycle) have however proven that wax = less wear (video with chart & stats can be found on in YT channel). Who's right, who's wrong?
Yeah, I was just going to mention his test video. He did a pretty good job with the test parameters IMO, kind of hard to dispute his findings. Either way chain life is a secondary benefit to me. My primary was equal or better performance and keeping the drivetrain clean.
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Old 03-05-20, 08:58 AM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Yeah, I was just going to mention his test video. He did a pretty good job with the test parameters IMO, kind of hard to dispute his findings. Either way chain life is a secondary benefit to me. My primary was equal or better performance and keeping the drivetrain clean.
^^ this ^^
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Old 03-05-20, 08:58 AM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Naphtha has no oily residue. ALL hot waxed chains will have a lot more wax falling off of them because you can't wipe all of the excess wax off the chain, after dipping. If only one drop of liquid lube is applied to each roller, the excess lube is greatly reduced. It may be that the liquid needs to be applied more often, but it's so quick and easy that I prefer it to hot waxing. I'm more confident that the is chain is well lubed with more frequent applications.

Regarding chain wear, that's a complicated subject, particularly if using Campy chains. I've used a Campy 10 chain with wet lube for 6,000 miles and measured less than .25% elongation over the full length, but the rollers and side clearance wear was excessive and the chain should have been trashed, far earlier. Campy recommends a length measurement between rollers, using vernier calipers, so it adds roller wear to the actual elongation. 5.220 inches or 132.6mm is the maximum recommended length. This is an increase of .75%, but very little of this increase is elongation (change in chain pitch). Most of it is roller wear. A length measurement will show less than a .25% increase.

When someone like OZ claims 15,000 miles from a chain, I simply do not believe it. If only one chain was used for this long, the cassette and chain rings might also need to be replaced, to work with a new chain. 3-4,000 miles is a more likely mileage from a high quality chain. I have a KMC X11.93 that I used for only about 1,000 miles and it already had .25% elongation, while a Campy chain with the same mileage showed too little elongation to even measure.
15000km (metric), see his test and results here:


All things being equal (i.e. shifting performance), initial flaking is really no concern to me. a soft brush takes care of that very easily. Any wet lube regardless of how sparingly it is applied is going to attract dirt. Dirt in turn is going to cause wear which requires degreasing/cleaning.
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Old 03-05-20, 09:43 AM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Either way chain life is a secondary benefit to me. My primary was equal or better performance and keeping the drivetrain clean.
I've been lurking on waxing threads and these are my primary interests - the gunk picked up on my roads is just too much and I'm tired of cleaning it all the time. At this point, I've decided to move forward - Target has 2qt Crock Pots for 10 measly bucks and I've ordered a pound of Molten Speed Wax for $17 (I figure it's a good way to dip my toes without the faff of full-on homebrew the first time around). I've got one low-mileage chain ready to go and just installed a new chain for a short break-in before cleaning and waxing the both of 'em next week (hopefully).
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Old 03-05-20, 09:55 AM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I've been lurking on waxing threads and these are my primary interests - the gunk picked up on my roads is just too much and I'm tired of cleaning it all the time. At this point, I've decided to move forward - Target has 2qt Crock Pots for 10 measly bucks and I've ordered a pound of Molten Speed Wax for $17 (I figure it's a good way to dip my toes without the faff of full-on homebrew the first time around). I've got one low-mileage chain ready to go and just installed a new chain for a short break-in before cleaning and waxing the both of 'em next week (hopefully).
WhyFi

Check our his test in the video I linked. It has a direct comparison to MSW.

I did the same, got a $9 crock pot from Walmart, except I purchased 2lbs of Paraffin of eBay for $11. You can still get PTFE from AliExpress (100 grams for $14 and change).
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Old 03-05-20, 10:03 AM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
WhyFi

Check our his test in the video I linked. It has a direct comparison to MSW.

I did the same, got a $9 crock pot from Walmart, except I purchased 2lbs of Paraffin of eBay for $11. You can still get PTFE from AliExpress (100 grams for $14 and change).
Yeah, it just seemed like people were waiting a bit on PTFE deliveries (at least for stuff in the 1.6 micron range) and I'm impatient to get started. Once I get up and running, I expect that I'll go the homebrew route, it seems economical and easy enough, but I'll be able to place orders well in advance of needing them.
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Old 03-05-20, 10:09 AM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Yeah, it just seemed like people were waiting a bit on PTFE deliveries (at least for stuff in the 1.6 micron range) and I'm impatient to get started. Once I get up and running, I expect that I'll go the homebrew route, it seems economical and easy enough, but I'll be able to place orders well in advance of needing them.
Yup... Ordered mine Jan 22, it shipped Feb 12, and I still haven't received it. Oh well, still lots of snow left outside, and at least 2 months until roads get cleared & cleaned!

COVID-19 for the win!
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Old 03-05-20, 10:53 AM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Yeah, I was just going to mention his test video. He did a pretty good job with the test parameters IMO, kind of hard to dispute his findings. Either way chain life is a secondary benefit to me. My primary was equal or better performance and keeping the drivetrain clean.

Looks like the chains used in the OZ test last about 50% longer (according to Connex) than those used by DrIsotope, so there's that...


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Old 03-05-20, 12:43 PM
  #113  
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If it weren't out of stock pretty much globally, the Connex 11sX would still average around $60 online (before tax and shipping) compared to the $15 per chain I pay for PC-1110s.

So no matter how you shake it, the Connex is still the most expensive per mile. If you don't want bargain basement, there are plenty of eBay sellers with the Shimano HG901 for $25 shipped.

For me to even consider Wippermann/Connex again, the chain prices have to drop about 30%.
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Old 03-05-20, 01:05 PM
  #114  
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Oz used the Connex 11s0- $40 on Amazon,

but your cost/mile still comes out better,

& apparently no weight weenie, watt weenie, or fashion weenie issues are triggered.
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Old 03-05-20, 01:20 PM
  #115  
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Man, I miss being young & not caring about my stuff as long as it worked. Nowadays, we discuss the chemistry of lubricant & how to save a few pennies out of a 20 bucks chain. Things were so easy back then
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Old 03-05-20, 04:38 PM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
They all do the same thing, which is turn the drivetrain into a hideous mess that requires a full degreasing several times a year. With wax, I don't mess with anything but the chains themselves. Even if the chains were to wear out 25% faster, I'd still be saving time, effort, and solvent. And wax is so clean. So, so clean.
Exactly. In the big picture for me, chain price is pretty irrelevant, having a nice clean drive train that doesn't get sludge all over me every time I get near it is priceless.
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Old 03-06-20, 08:37 AM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by August West View Post
Exactly. In the big picture for me, chain price is pretty irrelevant, having a nice clean drive train that doesn't get sludge all over me every time I get near it is priceless.
this is why I wax. Wife is much happier about these traits for in house bike storage.
Price is irrelevant for this happy wife syndrome.
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Old 03-06-20, 08:46 AM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post

All things being equal (i.e. shifting performance), initial flaking is really no concern to me. a soft brush takes care of that very easily. Any wet lube regardless of how sparingly it is applied is going to attract dirt. Dirt in turn is going to cause wear which requires degreasing/cleaning.
A liquid lube made of paraffin dissolved in naphtha will become pure paraffin when the solvent evaporates, so it is not a wet lube. Oz often mixes paraffin with paraffin oil, that either does not evaporate or evaporates at an incredibly low rate. Naphtha is the fastest evaporating solvent that will dissolve paraffin at room temperature, that I know of. Isopropyl alcohol containing 10-30% water or xylene are not appropriate.
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Old 03-06-20, 10:26 AM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
A liquid lube made of paraffin dissolved in naphtha will become pure paraffin when the solvent evaporates, so it is not a wet lube. Oz often mixes paraffin with paraffin oil, that either does not evaporate or evaporates at an incredibly low rate. Naphtha is the fastest evaporating solvent that will dissolve paraffin at room temperature, that I know of. Isopropyl alcohol containing 10-30% water or xylene are not appropriate.
Yeah, Oz's approach has been evolving and he stopped mixing the Paraffin with Paraffin Oil. Thanks for the info about Naphtha, although when I look it up Google says it's a flammable oil. If it evaporates completely and does not leave any residue or film, I could see this being viable.
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Old 03-06-20, 02:08 PM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Yeah, Oz's approach has been evolving and he stopped mixing the Paraffin with Paraffin Oil. Thanks for the info about Naphtha, although when I look it up Google says it's a flammable oil. If it evaporates completely and does not leave any residue or film, I could see this being viable.
I did ask him a few weeks ago why he had stopped using the 1:1 Wax & Oil mix and opted for the 10:1 Wax & PTFE mix instead, and he only replied that the PTFE replaced the oil (in other words, he did not respond to my question).

In the video (2017 I believe) where he had shared the Wax & Oil mix, I remember he had mentioned that oil was used to make the mix thinner so more could get inside the chain links, so I was kind of confused after reading his response.

Anyways, it seems like the 10:1 Wax & PTFE mix works just fine.
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Old 03-07-20, 07:51 AM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Yeah, Oz's approach has been evolving and he stopped mixing the Paraffin with Paraffin Oil. Thanks for the info about Naphtha, although when I look it up Google says it's a flammable oil. If it evaporates completely and does not leave any residue or film, I could see this being viable.
Products sold as wax and grease remover to prepare cars for painting are made of a mixture of naphtha and mineral spirits. The more naphtha, the faster it dries after wiping down the area to be painted. I've used pure naphtha, sold as a paint thinner for this purpose. It would not work, if it left an oily residue.
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Old 03-07-20, 08:17 AM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
A liquid lube made of paraffin dissolved in naphtha will become pure paraffin when the solvent evaporates, so it is not a wet lube. Oz often mixes paraffin with paraffin oil, that either does not evaporate or evaporates at an incredibly low rate. Naphtha is the fastest evaporating solvent that will dissolve paraffin at room temperature, that I know of. Isopropyl alcohol containing 10-30% water or xylene are not appropriate.
Just curious.. water evaporates, so why wouldn't eg. Isopropyl alcohol work..Also, not hard to find eg. Swan 99% Isopropyl? Asking because I just got a bottle of Pedro's slick wax which is referenced as using a fast evaporating alcohol carrier

https://pedros.com/faqs/differences-slick-wax-ice-wax/
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Old 03-07-20, 09:10 AM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Just curious.. water evaporates, so why wouldn't eg. Isopropyl alcohol work..Also, not hard to find eg. Swan 99% Isopropyl? Asking because I just got a bottle of Pedro's slick wax which is referenced as using a fast evaporating alcohol carrier

https://pedros.com/faqs/differences-slick-wax-ice-wax/
I'm not a chemical engineer, so I can only comment, based on my own experiments. Common alcohols include ethanol, methanol and isopropyl. If the alcohol will not dissolve paraffin at room temperature, it won't work to convert paraffin into a liquid. Naphtha will dissolve paraffin at 65-75 degrees, but the amount of solvent needed increases as the temperature decreases. If only 3 or 4 parts of naphtha are used to one part paraffin, it will require a small amount of warming to be fully transparent with a water like viscosity at 65-70 degrees.

Try your own experiments. See if you can dissolve paraffin with any of the alcohols.

Also keep in mind that not all wax is paraffin. I'm sure that other waxes exist that can be made into a chain lube, but they don't cost pennies per ounce like home made wax lube.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 03-07-20 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 03-08-20, 02:37 PM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
I did ask him a few weeks ago why he had stopped using the 1:1 Wax & Oil mix and opted for the 10:1 Wax & PTFE mix instead, and he only replied that the PTFE replaced the oil (in other words, he did not respond to my question).

In the video (2017 I believe) where he had shared the Wax & Oil mix, I remember he had mentioned that oil was used to make the mix thinner so more could get inside the chain links, so I was kind of confused after reading his response.

Anyways, it seems like the 10:1 Wax & PTFE mix works just fine.
He gets the same question so often he probably replies to only a few.

He said the oil only attracts grime without adding any benefit.

For now, at least, he's hot on the melted wax and PTFE powder. Until further notice.

Basically he's just rehashing the research done by the folks at Friction Facts/Ceramic Speed a few years ago, and putting it into videos for folks who find it easier to learn from watching than reading.

And in his most recent video he's reinventing Rock 'N' Roll Absolute Dry (which appears to be PTFE power in naptha) and White Lightning Easy Lube (paraffin in naptha), but with the wrong solvent -- he used isopropyl alcohol rather than naptha. He posted tips for making a portable liquefied lube, but it's pointless and less effective than buying readymade stuff. And he says it'll be necessary to strip the chain again if you resume hot waxing.

So I'll just keep using Rock 'N' Roll Absolute Dry when I don't have the time to set up the crock pot for melted paraffin. Since January I've had to have some overdue maintenance done on my apartment, including completely reflooring it, so I put away most of my bike maintenance gear until the work is finished. I tried RnR Absolute Dry and it performs exactly as claimed, good and not-so-good. It's very slick and smooth, not fussy about application, runs cleaner than most wet application lubes (not as clean as hot wax), but does need to be reapplied often and is pricey for what you get -- PTFE in naptha. So I might try homebrewing my own. I already have the PTFE powder. So I might just try adding my own naptha and see how it goes.

The problem I had with White Lightning Easy Lube is most of the wax was wasted and couldn't be recovered, and ended up clogging the chain and cogs with gummy wax boogers. I had to floss the freewheels and cassettes, and ended up tossing out a chain rather than trying to clean each link with a Q-tip or stiff brush.

Reportedly Boeshield T9 is also paraffin in solvent, but it's not naptha and Boeshield doesn't reveal what the solvent is. It's very thin but seems tenacious. It can be applied to run as cleanly as melted wax, but it should be applied to a chain off the bike, wait for the Boeshield to dry, then put the chain on the bike. Too much trouble, so I use the T9 mostly as a penetrating lube for other stuff, like old oxidized cables/housings, derailleurs, etc.
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Old 03-09-20, 02:22 PM
  #125  
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I just use molten speed wax $20/bag which lasts hundreds of chains, and rotate 3 chains per bike, and Squirt in a pinch topping off a bike that I don't have time to swap a chain onto. If you don't use it multiple applications in a row it doesn't gum up like some people experience and I can wipe off the excess with a MF napped cloth pretty easily. Then swap for a new chain. I do restart each chain with 3x mineral solvent baths in batches of ~6-8 chains at a time so it goes pretty fast
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