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First Time Chain Waxer Calling on Chain Waxing Gurus

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First Time Chain Waxer Calling on Chain Waxing Gurus

Old 07-29-21, 07:48 AM
  #126  
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
What temperature setting did you use on the Instant Pot?
Since I used the gulf wax they had the 4 blocks, so I used the pressure cooker setting on high for the first 5 mins to get the initial melt really going, then I dialed it back to the Slow Cook + Less setting which cooks at 190F. Based on my poor googling skills, I found this....Slow cooker setting + Less – Cook at low heat. Reach 190 F only.

Slow cooker setting + Normal – Cook medium heat. Similar to the “Low” setting on the slow cooker. Reach 195-205 F

Slow cooker setting +More – Cook at high heat, similar to the “High” setting on the slow cooker. Reach 200-210 F.

Anyway, once it was all melted, I slowly introduced the PTFE and used an old whisk I had to ensure it did not clump, and then introduced the chain letting it cook for 20 mins and swishing around every 5 mins or so to move any air still in the chain out. When I pulled it out, I let it drip for a few seconds, did a quick wipe of both sides with some paper towels then hung it in a 5 gallon bucket to cool. The little gizmo I made to dip the chain I created a little handle that would hang on a hanger with the cardboard pant liner. I just make sure the chain length was short enough to not touch the bottom of the bucket.

It could not have been easier. If there was a "worse" part of this whole thing, it was trying to figure out how to roll the chain post wax to loosen the links. I ended up rolling over a 3/4 in dowel rod I had, but I had to clamp it between a couple of my saw horse in the 2x4 supports. My horses are just abs plastic , so it was less than steady, so I need to create a better solution.

If I was to use a pre-mix wax, the Slow Cooker + Less would be the setting I would use.
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Old 07-29-21, 10:39 AM
  #127  
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Thank you to masi61 and to jaxgtr for confirming their use of lower temperatures. Heat wave plus work means no rides so far this week, so no updates on the waxed chain's performance.
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Old 07-29-21, 11:30 AM
  #128  
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I'm late to this party! I've been reading about waxing chains for about 50 years(yea I'm that old), but never got around to trying it. Recently my parents died, and cleaning out their house I snagged one of my Moms old crock pots to give waxing a try. So I used some Gulf wax, straight paraffin, in the crock pot. Let it melt, which took longer than I thought it would, and dunked the chains from two of my bikes. These are not new chains, and the only prep I did was wiping them with OMS to get as much dirt and grease and oil of the surface. Let them soak for a while(in precise scientific terms) took them out, let them drip, freed them up by bending them, and put them back on the bikes. I have NEVER ridden a bike with quieter chain, There was almost no chain noise. And it's continuing to be quiet a hundred miles later. And it's much less dirty.

My question is; Why is it necessary to remove all oils from the chain ? Doesn't the oil mix with the wax?

I'll keep waxing, but I don't see how going to excessive effort to degrease the chain has any real value other than starting with a clean chain.
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Old 07-29-21, 11:46 AM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
I'm late to this party! I've been reading about waxing chains for about 50 years(yea I'm that old), but never got around to trying it. Recently my parents died, and cleaning out their house I snagged one of my Moms old crock pots to give waxing a try. So I used some Gulf wax, straight paraffin, in the crock pot. Let it melt, which took longer than I thought it would, and dunked the chains from two of my bikes. These are not new chains, and the only prep I did was wiping them with OMS to get as much dirt and grease and oil of the surface. Let them soak for a while(in precise scientific terms) took them out, let them drip, freed them up by bending them, and put them back on the bikes. I have NEVER ridden a bike with quieter chain, There was almost no chain noise. And it's continuing to be quiet a hundred miles later. And it's much less dirty.

My question is; Why is it necessary to remove all oils from the chain ? Doesn't the oil mix with the wax?

I'll keep waxing, but I don't see how going to excessive effort to degrease the chain has any real value other than starting with a clean chain.
Better late than never! From what I have read a clean chain promotes adhesion between the paraffin and the chain's metal surface. That said, the first time I waxed my chain it was probably a little dirty and the second time (I cleaned and waxed it again after a single ride) it was probably only just clean enough.
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Old 07-29-21, 07:06 PM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I've only ever used Molten Speed Wax. I'd seen the home brew formula posted above, but didn't want to bother tracking down and paying for shipping on all the proper ingredients. Besides, the MSW was less than 20 bucks and, more than a year later, half of it is still in the bag, untouched - I'm a-okay with that kind of value for convenience.
I'll probably cave and give the hot wax thing a try some day; I was one of those dorks with the 101 Chemistry experiment sets in grade school.



I did see this reference on the MSW website, what's the difference in training vs race chains they're referencing where one type uses twice the volume of wax vs the other?
1 lb. of MSW waxes a minimum of 8 training chains or 16 race chains.

Is 2qt about the right size for the crockpot? Found this value play on Amazn for $20. Use "warm' or 'low'?


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Old 07-29-21, 07:48 PM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I'll probably cave and give the hot wax thing a try some day; I was one of those dorks with the 101 Chemistry experiment sets in grade school.

I did see this reference on the MSW website, what's the difference in training vs race chains they're referencing where one type uses twice the volume of wax vs the other?
1 lb. of MSW waxes a minimum of 8 training chains or 16 race chains.

Is 2qt about the right size for the crockpot? Found this value play on Amazn for $20. Use "warm' or 'low'?
Basically, training chains are a no-fuss, re-submerged chain process, whereas race chains are ones that you take greater pains so as to not contaminate the pot of wax with road grime. I've never bothered with the Race Chain process.

Yeah, 2qt is the size that I have and is good for having enough depth to submerge a chain with less wax volume. My Crock only has Low and High. I use Low.
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Old 07-29-21, 08:30 PM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Is 2qt about the right size for the crockpot? Found this value play on Amazn for $20. Use "warm' or 'low'?
2 quart is the right size (for about 1 pound of wax). I have nothing against Amazon, but unless you are dead set on the Star Wars shell, this one is < $ 11 at walmart.com:

Crock-Pot 2 Quart Round Manual Slow Cooker, Black - Walmart.com - Walmart.com

The low setting of this unit corresponds to about 210 *F, which seems to be a good temperature for waxing. Plus just > $3 for the wax:

Gulf Wax Household Paraffin Wax, 16 oz (4 Pack) - Walmart.com - Walmart.com

If I can do it, anyone can.
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Old 07-29-21, 08:33 PM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
... you take greater pains so as to not contaminate the pot of wax with road grime. I've never bothered with the Race Chain process.
I read this somewhere else. To clean the wax, someone suggests adding a cup of water into the Crock Pot before turning it on. After the paraffin melts, it floats on top of the hot water, and the dirt previously trapped in the wax sinks down into the hot water. Then turn off the Crock Pot and wait for the wax to solidify before removing it and dumping the water with all the dirt in it. Obviously this only works with paraffin without any additives (e.g., PTFE, MoS2, WS2).
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Old 07-30-21, 10:44 AM
  #134  
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Wow, I only leave my chain in the pot for about 10-30 minutes. After two to three rounds of sonic wash with simple green and water, my chain gets a hot water bath, cold rinse, mineral oil shaking, and another hot bath followed by a cold rinse. I then use a heat gun to dry my chain before droping it in the pot. I can get four to five chains in the sonic wash and shuffle to the pot for waxing. I am up to 10 chains per cycle (roughly every two months or so). I get around 150-200 miles per chain.
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Old 07-30-21, 12:52 PM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by kcjc View Post
Wow, I only leave my chain in the pot for about 10-30 minutes. After two to three rounds of sonic wash with simple green and water, my chain gets a hot water bath, cold rinse, mineral oil shaking, and another hot bath followed by a cold rinse. I then use a heat gun to dry my chain before droping it in the pot. I can get four to five chains in the sonic wash and shuffle to the pot for waxing. I am up to 10 chains per cycle (roughly every two months or so). I get around 150-200 miles per chain.
Omg, lol! :-)
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Old 07-30-21, 10:21 PM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
2 quart is the right size (for about 1 pound of wax). I have nothing against Amazon, but unless you are dead set on the Star Wars shell, this one is < $ 11 at walmart.com:
On Amazon look for returned slow-cookers. I picked up a returned cooker that was missing the manuals for $6. A mate just picked up a returned unit that had everything with if for $9.
I use a 1 1/2 qt. 1 lb of wax fills it about 2 1/2 inches deep.
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Old 07-30-21, 10:49 PM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by RGMN View Post
On Amazon look for returned slow-cookers. I picked up a returned cooker that was missing the manuals for $6. A mate just picked up a returned unit that had everything with if for $9.
Dang, you guys got good deals. But a 2 quart Crock Pot fits my chain so neatly in a single layer.
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Old 07-30-21, 11:00 PM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by kcjc View Post
Wow, I only leave my chain in the pot for about 10-30 minutes.
The most recent time I left the chain for half an hour in the melted paraffin in the Crock Pot on low with the cover on, swishing a few times; I think this is sufficient time for the chain to reach the equilibrium temperature and for the paraffin to penetrate the chain.
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Old 07-31-21, 02:50 PM
  #139  
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End of July Update. Second ride after second wax application, 33 miles this morning, so total mileage is about 58 miles. Over the course of about the latter half of my ride, the chain seems to sound noisier compared to similar mileage on lube, but not in a bad way. It is a bit hard to describe; the chain sounds louder mechanically when just pedaling along, but no squeaks, scrapes or other friction sounds. No shifting issues. Dark grey wax flakes on entire drivetrain which brush off easily and do not stain fingers. The mileage I can get on this wax application may indicate the cleanliness of the chain and whether it needs to go through another cleaning prior to the next wax application.
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Old 07-31-21, 04:32 PM
  #140  
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Just got turned on to waxing recently. Refined paraffin wax and PTFE powder in a crock pot. Rode for just over 200 miles over the past few weeks and it performed flawlessly and super quietly….and is still clean. I could’ve gone longer, but changed it out for the brand new(freshly waxed) Ultegra chain I have.
Put 10 miles on the Ultegra chain(w/ Wipperman master link) today. Whisper quiet.

I’m completely sold on waxing.
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Old 07-31-21, 09:25 PM
  #141  
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when I got back today from my ride, I noticed a very small amount of gook on the chain, which I believe might be some of the left over squirt residue from the chain rings, which I do not remember wiping down and cleaning while I was running my chains through the wax protocol, but at this point, it not worth the effort to do anything about it until I am ready to use the next chain in the rotation. I will re-clean the cassette, pulleys, and chain rings at the point and should be good to go.
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Old 07-31-21, 09:31 PM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
End of July Update. Second ride after second wax application, 33 miles this morning, so total mileage is about 58 miles. Over the course of about the latter half of my ride, the chain seems to sound noisier compared to similar mileage on lube, but not in a bad way. It is a bit hard to describe; the chain sounds louder mechanically when just pedaling along, but no squeaks, scrapes or other friction sounds. No shifting issues. Dark grey wax flakes on entire drivetrain which brush off easily and do not stain fingers. The mileage I can get on this wax application may indicate the cleanliness of the chain and whether it needs to go through another cleaning prior to the next wax application.
I only noticed some additional noise on my 19 cog, for some reason, everything else is pretty quiet. I read somewhere that wax chains can be a little more noisy that what you are use too, but don't remember where I read that.
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Old 07-31-21, 09:54 PM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
I only noticed some additional noise on my 19 cog, for some reason, everything else is pretty quiet. I read somewhere that wax chains can be a little more noisy that what you are use too, but don't remember where I read that.
I have read the same too but I have also read many anecdotal reviews stating that waxed chains are whisper quiet. I suppose that discrepancy is due to the prior state of chain maintenance on lube.
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Old 08-01-21, 07:27 PM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
I'm late to this party! I've been reading about waxing chains for about 50 years(yea I'm that old), but never got around to trying it. Recently my parents died, and cleaning out their house I snagged one of my Moms old crock pots to give waxing a try. So I used some Gulf wax, straight paraffin, in the crock pot. Let it melt, which took longer than I thought it would, and dunked the chains from two of my bikes. These are not new chains, and the only prep I did was wiping them with OMS to get as much dirt and grease and oil of the surface. Let them soak for a while(in precise scientific terms) took them out, let them drip, freed them up by bending them, and put them back on the bikes. I have NEVER ridden a bike with quieter chain, There was almost no chain noise. And it's continuing to be quiet a hundred miles later. And it's much less dirty.

My question is; Why is it necessary to remove all oils from the chain ? Doesn't the oil mix with the wax?

I'll keep waxing, but I don't see how going to excessive effort to degrease the chain has any real value other than starting with a clean chain.
My understanding is the dirt that you can't see, ie in the rollers, is what you want to remove to reduce friction, reduce wear and tear, allow clean wax to adhere, etc. I posted previously - Zero Friction Cycling explains all this in much detail, including data from his extensive testing, which he does for many manufacturers and pro teams
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Old 08-02-21, 12:07 AM
  #145  
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Sure, lots of bike lube "advice" is highly dogmatic and is never really challenged. If you want to know, do your own test and make up your own mind, as you kind of already did. Im betting not deep cleaning old lube from the chain makes minimal difference unless its silicone or other compound that prevents other lubricants sticking to the chain. For instance, factory chain grease and ordinary oil is fully miscible with hot wax and its likely fine just dunking and swishing the chain in hot wax.

Imo, the single tallest barrier to start waxing and sticking to waxing, is the excessive and convoluted cleaning processes combined with little crock pots that take forever to do what you can do in a saucepan in a few minutes. Im not aware anyone tried tried dunking a fresh chain straight out the box and compared it to a fully degreased chain. Im betting the difference i minimal.
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Old 08-02-21, 12:40 AM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
Im not aware anyone tried tried dunking a fresh chain straight out the box and compared it to a fully degreased chain. Im betting the difference i minimal.
I am also not aware of anyone who has documented such a comparison.

Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
Im betting not deep cleaning old lube from the chain makes minimal difference unless its silicone or other compound that prevents other lubricants sticking to the chain. For instance, factory chain grease and ordinary oil is fully miscible with hot wax and its likely fine just dunking and swishing the chain in hot wax.
But nonetheless, I am not sure that the first pre-waxing cleaning "makes minimal difference" if the chain has factory grease and/or regular lube.

Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
Imo, the single tallest barrier to start waxing and sticking to waxing, is the excessive and convoluted cleaning processes ...
I agree that the first pre-waxing cleaning is difficult and presents a significant barrier to entry. Molten Speed Wax, Silca, Zero Friction Cycling all have slightly different but nonetheless excessive and convoluted chain cleaning processes. If these processes really make minimal difference, it would be in their pecuniary interest to broadcast this fact and encourage people to wax their chains regardless of cleanliness, so they can sell more wax.

Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
... little crock pots that take forever to do what you can do in a saucepan in a few minutes.
Yes, but one is free to do other things while the crock pot is taking its time to melt the wax.

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Old 08-02-21, 02:05 AM
  #147  
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"But nonetheless, I am not sure that the first pre-waxing cleaning "makes minimal difference" if the chain has factory grease and/or regular lube."


You will never know unless you try. For a while I dabbled in waxing with old school MC chain wax, - the kind you get in a big flat tin to put on the stove. Its similar to paraffin wax but less brittle and impregnated with graphite. I could detect no ill effects of a new chain directly in the tin or a used one that didnt get other than rudimentary cleaning, except the wax getting slightly dirty with grit falling to the bottom. The wax adhered just fine. If I was to go down that route again I wouldn't dream of engaging in elaborate cleaning regiments that ppl around here claim to be necessary.
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Old 08-08-21, 10:16 PM
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Old 09-05-21, 07:36 PM
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Labor Day Weekend Update. Put another almost 200 miles on the chain since my end of July update, including a ride two weeks ago when I was caught in a drizzle that did not show up in either weather app. Chain sounded fine on first ride thereafter but maybe slightly raspier during my last ride a couple of days ago, so decided to wax the chain today. Chain had dark grey wax boogers which easily came off in boiling water, then washed in detergent, rinsed thoroughly, and baked (at 225 *F for 15 minutes) to dry. Afterwards, chain still bent like there was residual wax in the links! Actual waxing part was easy. Thank you to everyone who had suggested above to wipe the outer link plates upon removal from hot wax. I did that before reinstalling the chain and no shifting problems this time.
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Old 09-05-21, 08:02 PM
  #150  
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Still think your process is too labor intensive with the baking, boiling, and boogers but if it works for you then enjoy the ride.

tomorrow I'll be waxing too.
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