Chain Waxing

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  • Oh, I realize that I really should wipe it down. But coming home to a wife and two children after a day's work is not always the ideal circumstance for proper bike maintenance.

  • Yes, that's 3 people that should be cleaning your bike while you relax somewhere.

  • Agreed - the three-week-old is not much help at the moment and the two-year-old is too busy pinching my tools to help out.

  • Small hands are good for getting into hubs and cassettes for deeper cleans. ;)

  • Well, you say that's why you keep midgets in your dungeon, but the state of your bikes suggests they're not actually being used for that.

  • I think fine. I’ve had a bit of surface rust every now and then and
    I’ve ignored it if I can rub it off. I haven’t got to the point of a
    stiff link, though.

    I think the 2 or 3 stiff links were OK, stiff due to crud and light surface rust on the plates rather than the rollers. I used boiling water to melt off the old stuff before re-waxing and the chain has been fine. I think my error was to thoroughly wash the bike and then leave the chain on and untouched for a couple of days - even if the rain hadn’t affected the wax too badly, the washing certainly did.

    Any recommendations for a decent chain checker? I think mine has been kicking around in the tool box for too long to be trusted.

  • I've got a cheap Park, a flash Park and a Pedros.

    They all say my chains are fucked all the time so I stopped using them :D

  • I quite like the Pedro's chain checker - so much that I bought a second one when I accidentally threw out my first on.

  • am I correct in thinking sand won't be as much of a problem on a waxed drivetrain?
    Thinking of beach camping next weekend and the bike would stay next to me on the sand. Should I take a 2nd chain just to be safe?

  • Is dipping the chain in boiling water still the best way of getting rid of old wax/grime before re-applying? I've given up on melted wax and use wax lube like Squirt, but haven't yet got a decent way of cleaning the chain.

    I normally re-apply the wax lube after a wet ride, or when it needs a top up, and then when i clean the bike thoroughly i run the chain through Park Tool's chain cleaner with some soapy water, which doesn't do much.

    Does putting the chain in boiling water regularly not damage the chain through constant heat cycles? (I know nothing about metals, so this is a guess from me)

  • Yes. I’ve been doing this with zero issues for a few years.

  • I would say so, yes. In my experience the solid particles that get into the chain are normally worked out of the links and to the surface when you use wax. With oil lubricants i've found the solid particles will work themselves into the most abrasive location possible.
    I'd just brush off any excess sand after a ride

  • Lovely, thanks. Do you put water in a pan over the hob etc., or just put boiled water in a container with the chain?

  • I just hang mine and pour hot water from a boiled kettle on it, outside. Your height may impact your results (and admissions to burns units).

  • Plug sink, pour boiling water over. Swish it around a bit. Burn fingers reaching for the plug when my short-term memory elapses after about 10 seconds.

  • I really wouldn't want to flush wax through my kitchen drain.
    I'd rather chuck it in a plastic container and discard the solidified wax when it's cooled off.

  • interestingly, even chains on turbo bikes get black, suggesting it is not the dirt from the road…

  • Metal wearing off surfaces presumably

  • it is not just the dirt from the road

    ftfy. Foreign material contamination is definitely a thing, but in a clean room the wear particles are the culprit. I think the blackness of it is due to mixing aluminium oxide with transition metals, mostly iron but also Ni Cr V Mo Mn etc. which are present as alloying elements in the steel parts.

  • Was about to say the same

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Chain Waxing

Posted by Avatar for hippy @hippy