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Question for you who wax your chain

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Question for you who wax your chain

Old 03-13-20, 03:19 PM
  #151  
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Originally Posted by ls01 View Post
hope this clears things up for you.
That helps a lot. I should have mentioned that this will be my fourth season using the UltraFast Chain Lube recipe so I understand how to melt wax with moly and teflon and dunk my chain in it. I have been carrying a bottle of squirt on multi-day rides to freshen up the chain if it starts squeaking. So I'm mostly interested in the liquid wax based lube discussion. Doesn't seem like there's a clear consensus on that one yet but maybe start with some wax, oil and naptha.
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Old 03-13-20, 06:17 PM
  #152  
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I'd like to add that including some oil in the mix does NOT create a slimy mess. When someone posts this type of comment, they lose all credibility. I've been using oil in the mix for at least 18 months now and my drivetrain requires very little cleaning. The key is not to use more than 1 part oil to 3 parts paraffin. As I noted, the amount of naphtha in a liquid lube can be reduced to as little as 3/1 or increased to make the lube stay liquid at lower temperatures. It's user choice.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 03-14-20 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 03-14-20, 12:07 PM
  #153  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Yeah, terminology for solvents can be imprecise and varies among regions. Even "naphtha" isn't all the same. Same with "mineral spirits."

But I'm pretty sure the isopropyl alcohol the Oz cycle guy suggests for dissolving paraffin for portable containers of lube, isn't the best solvent for wax or paraffin. Especially if it needs heat to melt the wax. Makes better sense to just buy some ready made paraffin or PTFE lube in liquid carrier, if it's just for occasional use on trips.
Yep. But Steven (the guy) is a DIYer so he likes to make his products from scratch. His liquid wax is not intended for frequent or extended usage. With intervals of 300-400 and sometime 500kms between dips, you shouldn't require such temporary product unless you ride intensively. In that case, you would most likely be using a few chains at the same time to avoid being caught off guard.
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Old 03-14-20, 12:56 PM
  #154  
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Just to show what a paraffin and oil mixture looks like, here's a little test piece that I made today. 30ml of melted paraffin was mixed with 10ml of heavy weight gear lube and allowed to cool. Notice that the color has changed, since the lube is royal purple gear lube. There is absolutely no free oil left on top of the little cake and the texture of the product is not noticeably different than pure paraffin. This piece can be mixed with 3-6 parts of naptha to create a clean liquid lube that will not attract dirt.

I put the little cake back in the stainless steel condiment cup that it came from, melted it and mixed it with 4 parts naphtha to make enough lube for at least 30 applications.


Last edited by DaveSSS; 03-14-20 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 03-15-20, 03:13 PM
  #155  
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Davesss, I'm not in any way attacking you for mixing oil with your wax. I'm sorry you took it that way. I have some that I have added 10% transmission fluid to just as a wetting agent to keep water off ect. Wet riding it works ok.
I am using wax to not have to use oil. I'm not saying you a wrong for using it. But when I have, weather it in a wax/oil mix or not, I end up with a gross nasty chain and rings. I prefer to use wax at this point. That is my preference. I like my chain clean. That's all.
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Old 03-15-20, 04:03 PM
  #156  
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The key to using oil in wax is the correct ratio. If only 10% of a mixture is wax (wax plus oil and nothing else) then it really should have no significant effect on the performance of the wax in dry conditions. I can't speak to wet condition, since I never ride in the wet. The oil/wax that I dissolve with naphtha is 30% oil and it doesn't attract dirt or leave a large amount of residue. So far, I've only used heavy weight gear lube in my mixtures.

Also, paraffin oil, lamp oil or kerosene are NOT what I consider to be oil. They are certainly not lubricating oils.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 03-15-20 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 03-20-20, 09:40 AM
  #157  
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I've completed a few rides with my latest mixture of 3 parts wax to 1 part oil and decided that it is leaving more black wax residue on the sprockets than I care for, although it shows no sign of any dirt collection on the chain or cassette, so I added a 4th part of wax to the mix. It may be a couple of weeks before I post my impressions of that mixture.
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Old 03-20-20, 11:09 PM
  #158  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
I bet I could go longer, we will see. I don't ride in crap conditions because I have a great indoor setup. Occasionally I'll get caught in the rain. As far as time spent, after the initial wax you are just pouring boiling water over the chain and dropping it in the wax. You are also saving a lot of time not having to deal with deep cleaning the cassette, jockey wheels, and rings.
I have added one step to Oz Cycling method, I yank my cassette, put it into a bowl, and pour boiling water onto it. I then use the rest of the boiling water on chain. While the chain is getting the wax treatment, I wipe down the cassette. My cassette has never been cleaner... I have done the same with chain rings, by putting them in a pie pan, using the boiling water, and they come out pretty darn clean. My drive-train is ready to go, long before the chain is done cooking.
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Old 03-25-20, 09:22 AM
  #159  
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Originally Posted by ScotJ14 View Post
I have added one step to Oz Cycling method, I yank my cassette, put it into a bowl, and pour boiling water onto it. I then use the rest of the boiling water on chain. While the chain is getting the wax treatment, I wipe down the cassette. My cassette has never been cleaner... I have done the same with chain rings, by putting them in a pie pan, using the boiling water, and they come out pretty darn clean. My drive-train is ready to go, long before the chain is done cooking.
Once your drive train is ''wax ready'', hot water should suffice to clean it completely. It's always a good thing to remove your cassette every once in a while (I do it 1x per year) to perform an in depth cleaning. Otherwise, I clean it using a brush & hot water.

On another note, I still haven't received my PTFE ordered on amazon on January 22, 2020...it's crazy!

Last edited by eduskator; 03-25-20 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 03-25-20, 12:28 PM
  #160  
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I've waxed my chains before, but I haven't been doing it recently. I've been swapping between two chains about every 500 miles or so (to try to slow chainring and cassette wear), and it's easy peasy to just soak my chains in mineral spirits or some other degreaser in a jar when I pull it off the bike, shake the jar a few times, pull the chain out, give it a quick rinse in some cleaner mineral spirits in a second jar, and hang it up to dry. Almost no effort to get it as squeaky clean as it needs to be. I then use NFS oil lube on the chain, and it's good for its next 500 miles.

When I did wax my chains, I had a heated ultrasonic cleaner that I'd put my jar of wax concoction into (wax, some moly powder, teflon powder, etc.) and let it melt, then put the chain into it when it was hot and turn on the ultrasonic vibration. I'd see little bubbles coming out of the chain as the wax penetrated all the interior spaces. When the bubbles stopped, the chain would come out and hang up to cool and dry. I'd get wax flakes for several rides as the excess flaked off, but this didn't concern me. The reason I've stopped waxing the chains is that A) my ultrasonic cleaner died, and that's how I was both cleaning the chain and melting the wax, and B) it requires more advance notice, since it takes time for the heated ultrasonic cleaner to melt the wax and get it nice and hot, ready for a chain, and C) a very few times I got caught out in the rain during a ride and my waxed chain started making lots of chain noise during and after that, which I was unhappy about. Using a room-temperature Mason jar filled with mineral spirits to clean the chain, then simply applying a few drops of the NFS lube when I put the chain back on the bike takes much less time, and is easily just as effective.
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Old 03-25-20, 02:47 PM
  #161  
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Originally Posted by SethAZ View Post
I've waxed my chains before, but I haven't been doing it recently. I've been swapping between two chains about every 500 miles or so (to try to slow chainring and cassette wear), and it's easy peasy to just soak my chains in mineral spirits or some other degreaser in a jar when I pull it off the bike, shake the jar a few times, pull the chain out, give it a quick rinse in some cleaner mineral spirits in a second jar, and hang it up to dry. Almost no effort to get it as squeaky clean as it needs to be. I then use NFS oil lube on the chain, and it's good for its next 500 miles.

When I did wax my chains, I had a heated ultrasonic cleaner that I'd put my jar of wax concoction into (wax, some moly powder, teflon powder, etc.) and let it melt, then put the chain into it when it was hot and turn on the ultrasonic vibration. I'd see little bubbles coming out of the chain as the wax penetrated all the interior spaces. When the bubbles stopped, the chain would come out and hang up to cool and dry. I'd get wax flakes for several rides as the excess flaked off, but this didn't concern me. The reason I've stopped waxing the chains is that A) my ultrasonic cleaner died, and that's how I was both cleaning the chain and melting the wax, and B) it requires more advance notice, since it takes time for the heated ultrasonic cleaner to melt the wax and get it nice and hot, ready for a chain, and C) a very few times I got caught out in the rain during a ride and my waxed chain started making lots of chain noise during and after that, which I was unhappy about. Using a room-temperature Mason jar filled with mineral spirits to clean the chain, then simply applying a few drops of the NFS lube when I put the chain back on the bike takes much less time, and is easily just as effective.
Curious to know if NFS lube attracts more dirt than wax? Most likely, but how much?

Also, there is no need to use an ultrasonic cleaner. A simple wax bath in a 10$ slow cooker does the job as long as its left in there for some time. Flakes can be annoying for sure though.
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Old 03-25-20, 03:00 PM
  #162  
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Just an update, all my waxed chains still shift like butter. I have gone 300 miles since the last waxing, and have no indication that it needs to be refreshed/re-waxed. Drivetrain remains spotless.

I have found no need to use hot water on my cassette or rings. After every ride I just do a quick wipe with alcohol on all components....this includes the chain.
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Old 03-25-20, 03:09 PM
  #163  
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Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
Curious to know if NFS lube attracts more dirt than wax? Most likely, but how much?

Also, there is no need to use an ultrasonic cleaner. A simple wax bath in a 10$ slow cooker does the job as long as its left in there for some time. Flakes can be annoying for sure though.
The chain with the NFS lube attracts more dirt than with wax, but since I'm cleaning my chain with the mineral spirits every ~500 miles or so anyway it's nothing for me to get concerned about. This reminds me of another reason I've given up waxing my chains for now: I had to do it more often. Under my current scheme, I clean the chain I pull off when I swap chains at around the 500-mile mark, and lube the chain I'm putting on the bike with NFS, then I'm done with my chain until it's time to swap again. When I was waxing the nice, silent waxed chain goodness would go away within a couple hundred miles or so, then I'd feel compelled to reapply. So I was waxing my chain every couple weeks or sooner (sometimes every week when I was really laying down the miles). I did it while it was a topic that interested me, but the novelty wore off at some point and I just went back to NFS. NFS is pretty awesome, btw. On a nice clean chain I'll put the 12 drops or whatever I feel like putting on, and it distributes itself nicely, just as advertised. My chains run nice, smooth, and silent for the whole 500 miles until I swap chains.

I haven't mountain biked in several years. When I start mountain biking again I may well go another route, possibly revisiting waxing. I just don't pick up enough actual dirt on my road bike chains to be worth thinking about.

ETA: I used the heated ultrasonic cleaner instead of a crock pot because I happened to already own the ultrasonic cleaner, and it worked. At least it worked up until it broke. Then it didn't work anymore. I could go out and buy a cheap crock pot at Goodwill or something, but since I'm off waxing for now at least I haven't bothered. I do miss the ultrasonic cleaner though. It was useful beyond just cleaning/waxing my chains.

Last edited by SethAZ; 03-25-20 at 03:21 PM. Reason: added a comment
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Old 03-25-20, 05:28 PM
  #164  
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If you like a liquid lube, page back for my oil/wax/naptha mixture that costs pennies per ounce. The idea that a dozen drops of nfs will magically transfer to the wear points on more than 100 rollers is ridiculous.
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Old 03-26-20, 06:45 AM
  #165  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Just an update, all my waxed chains still shift like butter. I have gone 300 miles since the last waxing, and have no indication that it needs to be refreshed/re-waxed. Drivetrain remains spotless.

I have found no need to use hot water on my cassette or rings. After every ride I just do a quick wipe with alcohol on all components....this includes the chain.
This is great!

On my side, I'm still waiting for the PTFE from China (ordered on Amazon on January 22, 2020). Amazon reimbursed me since I didn't get it by the latest expected delivery date, but I am still expecting to receive it. Hope it didn't get lost in the process because of the COVID-19.
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Old 04-10-20, 08:22 PM
  #166  
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Received my second order of PTFE (200g) from AliExpress last week.
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