Chain Waxing

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  • could citrus degreaser (Pedros, water-soluble I think) replace the detergent?

    If that's what you have, it's fine. There's nothing special required once you're down to an oil film a few molecules thick, any household or janitorial detergent will do. Make sure you wash thoroughly with plain water to clear residual detergent, as some formulations contain ingredients which won't bake out during the drying stage.

  • Great info. Cheers.

  • Disagree.

    I use it on the commuter and it's great. No grease stains anywhere and when it gets dirty or surface rust from wet rides appears I just throw it in the pot again.

    On the singlespeed, if you drop the chain in the dirt when fixing a punct_re it doesn't pick up any shit.

  • I've only used KMC. Maybe wax too hot when removed.

  • I'll also jump in to defend chain waxing for every day bikes. This is my first winter running waxed chains, and I have found it incredible. I have no intentions of going back.

    I've not done the most outdoor rides of any winter ever due to pandemic and temperature, but I've done some very wet rides on gritted and salted roads without similar issues. I've just replaced my first chain after 4 months, so was very impressed.

    I've only used KMC and SRAM chains, so maybe the chain is the difference? Was the chain brand new or had it been used previously without wax?

    Can you tell us more about the products and process you used? For me I've used the molten wax mix applied from a slow cooker. Cleaned with white spirit in a jar, and then methylated spirits as the final clean. That's on a mix of new and used KMC and SRAM chains.

  • We probably need to say what type of wax we are using, putoline's wax oil mixture or a harder wax mix e.g molten speed works etc.

    I find putoline last better than hard wax in wet weather but still might only do a few weeks if it's raining a lot.

  • I'm using a cheap block of paraffin from Hobbycraft with no additives. It's for cleanliness not performance so there's not much point adding a bunch of black powders.

  • I've just replaced my first chain after 4 months, so was very impressed.

    Can you share more about your riding habits: mileage, previous chain cleaning and maintenance regime?

  • Yeah absolutely. I've got 4 bikes and because I had a bit more time over lockdown, I decided to experiment with waxed chains. Because of the weather and the pandemic, I haven't ridden 2 of the 4 bikes since November.

    I've done approximately 400 km of outdoor riding on my winter bike. That chain currently looks fine and isn't squeaking. The only thing I've done to that bike all winter is if it was a wet ride, splashed on a bit of clean water at the end of the ride to get rid of any grit or dirt sitting on the chain.

    The chain I've replaced so far was the one on my bike that sits on the turbo trainer. I average about 6 hours per week on the turbo, but that obviously doesn't have to deal with any water or corrosion, but potentially just the odd bit of sweat.

    I'm intrigued to see how things change as I start to ride outside more in spring.

    Previously I would use Muc-Off dry or wet lube on my chains per the conditions, and would clean it off and replace pretty much every time I washed my bike, so every couple of weeks in the summer. Plus if the chain ever looked yucky or squeaked I'd give it a clean.

  • 6 hours per week on the turbo, but that obviously doesn't have to deal with any water or corrosion, but potentially just the odd bit of sweat

    Sweat is very corrosive.

  • I've been running waxed chains for a few years now.

    Typically get 6,000km+ out of a chain before it starts to show any wear. That's on both summer and winter bikes. I rotate between two chains on each bike, and I "top up" with Squirt between waxes. I normally get 300km out of a chain before I top up with the squirt and run it for another 300km before swapping out to the other chain. This means I only wax chains once a month which is a quick and easy process. I don't bother cleaning the chain other than a quick wipe with a towel - the hot wax melts off the rest of the dirty wax.

    Would definitely recommend a liquid wax lube to top up between immersions though so you only have to break out the crock pot every 1000km or so.

  • Cheers, that’s useful anecdata.

  • What is it that tells you when to top up with the squirt lube? Do you do that when the chain starts squeaking, or some other signal?

  • Yeah normally the chain starts to get a little squeaky. I'll also top up after a very wet ride.

    On the winter bike especially everything just stays so much cleaner. I'd never go back to oil based lubes. I don't ever own degreaser anymore because there's literally no need.

  • anyone knows if this could be a replacement for the Squirt wax?­Materials-Wax-Emulsion--Resist---1Ltr/s-­148-18871.aspx?PartnerID=40&utm_source=g­oogle&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shoppi­ng&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvOmQ_vGI7wIVGe3tCh3­j8gq8EAQYASABEgIUbfD_BwE

    I am happy with it but the bottle doesn't last very long and is expensive. From their documentation it looks like it's just paraffin wax and emulsifiers in water.

  • Probably. It's so cheap, give it a try and report back?

  • Is there a particular cheap/budget friendly ultrasonic cleaner that I can get?

    I don’t want to wax my chain but I do want to make more of an effort with cleaning it, gave it a scrub in soap and hot water today but it still seemed pretty gritty.

  • I don't know I 'm too tight to buy one/ don't want any more gadgets.

    Putting the chain in a wide mouth bottle plus degreaser and hot water (not too hot) then shaken vigorously gets a lot of grit out. Follow with a second hot water flush to remove the detergents.

  • Ive got some good clip top sealing tupperware and have been using those. It is a lot easier to get the chain in and out.

  • I bought a 3L bath, think it was about £70 from Amazon. Took a few attempts with different combinations of liquids and agitation methods, I've settled on a jam jar soak and shake to get rid of the majority of grime, then ultrasonic for the final clean.

    I not been impressed with it for chains but I haven't tried since discovering how much better the ultrasonic cleaner was when also using the inbuilt heater.

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Chain Waxing

Posted by Avatar for hippy @hippy