Putoline question

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  • Putoline question
  • edward2000
    Member

    I’ve decided to give Putoline a try for my chain. I’ve read a few forums which give good insight on how to apply the wax however one question remains. I’m going to wax a brand new chain, do I need to degrease the chain first? Do I also need to clean and degrease a used chain if I were to wax a chain which has been used? Also I gather I should also apply some oil to the chain post waxing?

    Thanks in advance

    Trimix
    Member

    Wax wont stick on an oiled chain, so yes a new chain will need the oil to be removed first.

    You will need to remove the dirt/oil/grime/crap from a used chain, otherwise you are just putting wax ontop. Or trying to get it to stick to dirt.

    Dont forget the only lube you need is the lube inbetween the pins/rollers. Not the external bits you actually see. Its hard to get lube/wax in there.

    Not sure why you would oil a waxed chain. That seems pointless.

    tjagain
    Member

    No need at all to clean it first and its counter productive if you get degreaser mixing with the wax

    The molten wax cleans the chain. It will remove all traces of oil and dirt. the wax will stick to an oiled chain

    the whole point of it is that the wax gets into the pins and rollers. It goes in by capillary action

    Do not oil it afterwards – its just stops the wax working. If the outside of the chain gets dry before the wax is out of the rollers you can run the chain thru a oily cloth to prevent surface rust.

    follow the instructions on the tin

    Trimix
    Member

    Ha, thats the opposite of what I was saying 🙂
    So are you sure the wax will stick to an oiled chain ? Ive not tired it myself, but it just seems unlikely. Im happy to be wrong.

    I can also see how the hot wax could work its way into the pins and rollers, I just figured it would be easier, faster and more likely if you did remove the oil first. Obvioulsy ensuring any degreaser wasnt left in its place.

    I was about to try waxing a chain on the weekend and found some you tube examples where they all showed using petrol then degreaser, then meths to clean, de-oil and prepare the chain for the wax to stick to.

    Premier Icon Jordan
    Subscriber

    The Aussie guy on youtube who makes his own wax lube was adamant that the chain must be thoroughly cleaned before first application of wax but no cleaning required for rewaxing.

    I would have thought the same tbh. Happy to be proved wrong though.

    Premier Icon big_scot_nanny
    Subscriber

    @edward2000 – thanks for asking the question, was in my head too.

    @tjagain – is there a type/model of fryer you recommend? looking at amazon, seems there is a plethora of models around 25 quid, does it matter?

    Think for my family’s chains, and my riding buddies, this is a no brainer investment.

    excited! is that wrong?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    So are you sure the wax will stick to an oiled chain ? Ive not tired it myself, but it just seems unlikely. Im happy to be wrong.

    Putoline needs to be really hot, I have my fryer set to 170 degrees. This melts any oil or wax that’s already on there. Then you jiggle the basket around and it cleans up the chain a treat. I dunno about homemade wax but I think they are just heating it up enough to melt it which with paraffin wax is only about 50-60 degrees AFAIK.

    There isn’t any grit or dirt in the chain – that’s the beauty of it.

    I think TJ is incorrect on this on, also not wholly so because he’s clearly having results anyway.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    is there a type/model of fryer you recommend?

    I have a cheap Asda one (it was free) with an exposed element. I do not recommend this kind because most of the hot wax is under the element and inaccessible. I’d imagine a one person model would work, I imagine the basket would be big enough but I don’t know for sure. Some for £15 on Amazon. I’d be tempted to get one with a variable temperature so I could be sure it was set on a medium setting.

    Premier Icon dogxcd
    Subscriber

    I use Putoline and like it a lot
    Don’t know what’s the correct way of using it , but my preference is to degrease/clean new or old chains overnight in a pot of white spirit,then give a really good wipe down
    I then proceed with the cheap electric chip pan and the wax
    My thinking is that I don’t want to contaminate/dilute the Putoline in the fryer with muck or other lubricants
    I use no other lube on the chain between treatments
    Hope that helps

    tjagain
    Member

    I don’t use a fat fryer. I just put in on the hob

    Follow the instructions on the tin. there is no need to clean the chain at all- the molten wax does it. after a few years you can feel all the dirt in the bottom of the tin.

    One of the beauties of this of course is the chain does not get very dirty at all

    If you do degrease the chain then the degreaser must be thoroughly cleaned off the chain before dunking it in the wax otherwise it dilutes the wax.

    It really is easy. Take chain off bike. Put it in the tin. Heat until nice and runny, stir it a bit. take the tin off the heat. fish the chain out and hang it over the tin. when cool give it a wipe to get any remaining exess off thechain. refit to bike

    No need at all to clean it or anything else.

    With a brand new chain then yes the wax on the chain will mix with the putoline – but its a few grammes in a kilo. I don’t treat a new chain – I run it until the manufacturers wax / gresae is gone.

    I have been doing this for over a decade now I think. Each application is a bit of a messy faff but it needs doing so rarely that overall its a huge time saver

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Freecycle / facebook marketplace for a fryer. You want the smallest one you can get, there’s only a litre of putoline so you want one of those tiny 1l fryers.

    I rarely bother cleaning the chain first. I might if it was actually caked in mud, but that’s unusual.

    If you do clean the chain, make sure it’s free of moisture before it goes in the fryer, clean it in white spirit/paraffin or similar rather than a water / surfactant based degreaser like fenwicks/muckoff. If the chain full of water when it goes in the fryer you end up with a worktop covered in bubbling black wax when it boils.

    My usual routine is to wash the bike after a ride with a hose and muckoff as normal to remove any muck from the surface, then take the chain off and wipe it with a rag to take any moisture off it before it goes in the fryer (if it needs it). I started off waiting until it was almost all gone before re-treating it but now I tend do it ad-hock when I’ve got time after a ride. With a Fryer in the shed it doesn’t take long, chain comes off and goes in while I tidy up, check tyre pressures, adjust brake blocks or something. Then take it out, wipe with a rag, and leave it to cool on a rag.

    It’s worth getting some decent protective gloves, the wax and chain is ~150C and cools very slowly (it’s not water, there’s no evaporation). I get impatient and fit it back on the bike while it’s still hot to handle and semi-liquid so it’s ready for the next ride rather than leaving jobs for next time.

    So are you sure the wax will stick to an oiled chain ? Ive not tired it myself, but it just seems unlikely. Im happy to be wrong.

    We’re not talking about the delicate dribbles of wax you get with dry lubes, it’s a kilo of hot molten wax that you drop the chain into and agitate to get it to flow through all the links, rollers, pins etc. Once it’s cooled then every cavity is filled with wax and all the parts coated. The liquid wax washes out any old oil and dirt from the chain.

    I thought my old tin was getting a bit contaminated and thinned after 10 years, but the new one seems pretty much the same so it was probably fine.

    With a brand new chain then yes the wax on the chain will mix with the putoline – but its a few grammes in a kilo. I don’t treat a new chain – I run it until the manufacturers wax / gresae is gone.

    There’s something, on the molten speed wax site i think, about this grease not being particularly good, but it’s a good idea to leave it on for the first ride as it allows the moving parts of the chain to polish each other and reduce friction in future. A bit like ‘running in oil’ in a car engine for the first few hundred miles before swapping to fully synthetic.

    ossify
    Member

    Putoline curious here too. A few questions:

    Are we talking mtb or road? How does it handle being covered in muck or dust?

    How often do you need to reapply?

    Putoline say stick the tin on the hob (like TJ). Why do most seem to use a fryer instead?

    Apart from the length of time it lasts, is there any particular benefit over regular wet/dry lube?

    tjagain
    Member

    it doesn’t get covered in muck really – you get a layer of dust sticks to the outside then that is it. being a solid you do not get a fresh sticky surface to get covered in muck

    Both road and offroad for me

    Reapply – anything from a hundred or two miles winter offroad to a couple of thousand miles road

    Main benefits? You allways have a well lubed chain. No build up of gunk much less chain wear, much cheaper

    disadvantages – the wax itself is sticky black stuff and stains clothes. Its a smelly faff to apply, you need to take the chain off

    thi9s is my bike after 3 or 4 mucky rides
    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2iaUaWh]IMG_1265[/url] by TandemJeremy, on Flickr

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    I think TJ is incorrect on this on,

    Seems unlikely, TJ has been doing his chains like this for years now, I’d have thought he’d know what he’s doing.

    Trimix
    Member

    Well it could be that the wax has mixed a bit with the oil that was not removed, thats just chemistry. So the wax would dilute a bit. Given you cant really see the tiny gap between the pin and the bit the pin sticks into, we are unlikly to see it not working as well as it could. Unless you measure these things scientifically in a controlled environment you wont know for sure. But some wax or some diluted wax is better than none.

    I reckon hot wax would probably remove a lot of the original oil, perhaps not all of it, but a lot of it.

    tjagain
    Member

    trimix – I actually dismantled a few links of an old treated chain to see – you could clearly see and feel wax on the pins and under the rollers.

    AS I said – I run a new chain until it needs to be lubed then dunk it in the wax

    I do respect scienceofficers views on this and all I know really is I do what it says on the tin and it works very well for me

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Are we talking mtb or road? How does it handle being covered in muck or dust?

    Both, crap doesn’t stick to it, and it doesn’t wash off.

    How often do you need to reapply?

    Variable, summer road bike – basically never

    Summer MTB – maybe 400-500 miles

    Winter MTB – generally 50-250 miles, I’ve eeked it out to 500+ on the singlespeed by leaving too much excess on and wiping with an oily rag to keep rust off.

    Putoline say stick the tin on the hob (like TJ). Why do most seem to use a fryer instead?

    Easier, you can do it in the shed and do something without having to watch it and worry about it. Chain goes in, leave for 15 minutes stirring occasionally whilst you do something else. No naked flames, no smell in the house etc.

    Apart from the length of time it lasts, is there any particular benefit over regular wet/dry lube?

    It stays reasonably clean, as in TJ’s pic the drivechain gets coated in a thin layer of the graphite/wax and stays like that. It looks like that when new, and looks like that 500 miles later. Mud just rinses off.

    Conventional lube might last a ride in good conditions, but say you do a 20 mile ride one winters evening in the rain, and the lube washes off by halfway (often that’s optimistic if it’s muddy!) then that’s 10 miles without any protection, and it’s that sort of riding that causes wear. With Putoline that almost never happens (maybe you’d get 3-4 similar rides out of it, and getting 4 weeks of wet weather is unusual). So as a result you get much much less wear.

    For comparison I used to run drivechains into the ground (until they stopped shifting) as it worked out cheaper than replacing chains at 0.75%. Typically that meant 2000 miles or a years riding which meant I replaced it once things dried out after the winter. I’ve now got several bikes with 3000+ miles of all weather riding on the original chains (well over 0.75% but still shifting fine).

    It will wash off if you go and do a really long ride in really bad conditions, but I’d reckon in those conditions where something else lasted 6 miles and putoline lasting 60.

    I reckon hot wax would probably remove a lot of the original oil, perhaps not all of it, but a lot of it.

    You’re sloshing a chain with how much grease on it, 2-5g? in a pot of 1000g of wax. It’s well and truly soaking in. That’s the whole point of putoline, the process cleans the chain and the insides of all the rollers is filled with wax. The molten wax has the viscosity of something like diesel (thinner than engine oil, not as thin as petrol/water).

    There is no oil/grease left afterwards, it’s miscible in the wax. There’s no (as you put it) :

    you are just putting wax ontop. Or trying to get it to stick to dirt.

    That just doesn’t happen.

    You could argue that 3g in 1000g is 0.3% oil, but that’s tiny and probably less than the amount of residual crap left on a chain after conventionally degreasing it.

    Premier Icon Jordan
    Subscriber

    I’m happy to accept that it does what it says on the tin and am very curious to try it. I think dunking a new chain straight in is probably fine but personally I would clean an old chain before first application. The Aussie guy used a three stage cleaning proccess so you could see the degreaser getting cleaner at each stage and be sure by the end that you have got all the crap out. I wouldn’t feel happy dunking an old dirty chain straight in there to contaminate the wax with whatever crap came out of it. It’s going to stay in the wax and there is going to be the possibility that some of that grit gets carried into the links when you re-apply and stir it around. That’s probably just me being a bit anal.

    tjagain
    Member

    The grit is cleaned out of the chain not carried into it.

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
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    I see Lidl are selling rice cookers for £15. Come with removable inner pan (not mesh) so may well be a good option, though a mesh pan for drainage like in a chip pan is probably a better option.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    The grit just sinks to the bottom of the tin (other advantage of a fryer is the chain sits in a basket above it).

    As someone said on a previous thread, its so much better than anything else it’s kinda hard to compare. The chain doesn’t start off covered in a gunky grinding paste.

    You can also soak gear/brake/dropper cables in it for really good shifting!

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    Are we talking mtb or road? How does it handle being covered in muck or dust?

    Both for me, MTB, maybe 150-250 miles depending on conditions, Road 300-400 also condition and time of year dependant.

    How often do you need to reapply?

    see above, it is worth making sure I rinse and dry the drivetrain off before storing a bike if it’s been a particularly wet/muddy ride but other wise minimal maintenance between applications is needed…

    Putoline say stick the tin on the hob (like TJ). Why do most seem to use a fryer instead?

    Controllable head sources innit, I currently use a camping stove and make sure the area is free of combustible stuff, when I get round to it I’d prefer a mini fryer (with a basket) as I can see how that would make the process both easier and safer.

    Apart from the length of time it lasts, is there any particular benefit over regular wet/dry lube?

    Melted waxes generally tend not to adhere to muck and particulates, “Wet lubes” (especially) do and then become a grinding paste rather than a ‘lubricant’.
    The important thing submerging a chain in a hot wax solution does, is let it penetrate right into the rollers (the bit that is actually under load in use) where it then sets solid, even if your dropper bottle/spray lube gets some oil/grease to that same location it is more easily displaced under load, as it is more viscous and/or soluble by water.
    The wax is simply harder to break down and thus performs it’s lubrication function for longer.

    In answer to the OP:
    The heat from the wax should be sufficient to melt the oil/grease from a brand new chain away, yes it will contaminate the wax to a certain extent but not so much that it won’t work.

    I’ll admit to often giving a used chain a soak’n’shake in some petrol to try and remove some of the grime, as well as maybe using a new chain as it comes with the packing grease for hundred miles or so (ideally in dry conditions), but it doesn’t really seem to make much difference TBH, you notice when a chain is getting bad, and you notice the improvement once you apply the wax lube…

    IHN
    Member

    disadvantages – the wax itself is sticky black stuff and stains clothes.

    As in sticky and stains in use (like if you brush your leg against the chain), or sticky and stains when it’s hot and runny when you’re applying it?

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    As in sticky and stains in use (like if you brush your leg against the chain), or sticky and stains when it’s hot and runny when you’re applying it?

    No worse than any other oil/grease. But you have a pan with a liter of hot wax that you’re trying not to touch which inevitably means you end up holding chains at arms length and dripping it on the floor, so just like normal chain lube, don’t apply it anywhere near the living room carpet!

    In use it’s a dry wax so it doesn’t leave a chaining shaped mark on your calf when you lean against it like wet lube does. But I usually get a black smudge where my calf must brush against the chain.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Are we talking mtb or road? How does it handle being covered in muck or dust?

    Not used it in dusty conditions but the mud just doesn’t stick to the chain and doesn’t work its way inside. This is the main reason to use it for me. I can ride the filthiest conditions with rivers running down trails, ploughing through mud, and I get home and the chain is silent – quieter than a freshly lubed chain with normal lube.

    How often do you need to reapply?

    In this terrible slop we’ve been having it’s been about 5 or 6 rides on the MTB, so 8-10 hours. Probably 15 hours on road, also in filthy wet conditions.

    Why do most seem to use a fryer instead?

    Easier, I can do it in the garage so the house doesn’t smell oily. No naked flames.

    Apart from the length of time it lasts, is there any particular benefit over regular wet/dry lube?

    Regular wet lube, in filthy conditions, lasts about 15 mins before the grinding starts. This doesn’t happen with Putoline. It doesn’t wash off, and it doesn’t turn into a black gungy mess. So you’re actually getting much more lubrication in all conditions, you don’t have to clean it, and the tin lasts forever so it’s cheap. It’s basically better in every category.

    For me application is about a 5 minute job, it’s really easy. Of course applying normal lube is only a 30s job but de-greasing, cleaning and drying a chain the traditional way is actually much more time consuming than applying Putoline.

    If you just re-apply normal lube then your chain gets filthy. If you think the normal lube is doing any good, try twisting a few links between your fingers. Hear that grinding sound?

    Premier Icon tillydog
    Subscriber

    As a DIY waxer, I can confirm that an oily chain is absolutely no barrier to successful waxing – the hot wax and the oil are miscible and get on just fine together.

    As to the desire to remove the factory lube from inside: why would you? It’s doing its job. Wax will gradually replace it through repeated dunkings in hot wax.

    I’ve only used it on the commuter, but don’t bother cleaning the chain before waxing – any dirt or grit just sinks to the bottom of the tin and the chain comes out beautifully clean again.

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Subscriber

    Cheapest deep fat fryer I can find at the moment; https://www.argos.co.uk/product/7173961

    Murray
    Member

    I use a small slow cooker in the garage. Takes longer to heat up then a fryer but works fine and was free. I use a giant paper clip and string over a nail in the rafter to haul it out to drain. Works fine.

    kcr
    Member

    Why would you degrease a new chain? It’s got the best lubrication it will ever have when you take it out of the packet.

    I just bought that Argos £15 frier and it works fine. With the basket, I just dunked the chain directly instead of cleaning it last time I re-waxed, on the assumption any detritus will fall to the bottom.

    I’m still not convinced about Putoline for winter road use. The chain seems to get squeaky after a couple of not particularly wet rides.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I’m still not convinced about Putoline for winter road use. The chain seems to get squeaky after a couple of not particularly wet rides.

    I think mine did probably 200 miles.

    finbar
    Member

    I diligently degreased the first few chains I Putolined, but I’ve stopped bothering now. Still works absolutely fine.

    Trimix
    Member

    *Googles cheap fat fryer*

    tjagain
    Member

    I’m still not convinced about Putoline for winter road use. The chain seems to get squeaky after a couple of not particularly wet rides.

    I have had it go dry on the outside while still having plenty of wax in the pins and rollers – that can be a bit noisy – a wipe with an oily cloth helps. miniscule amounts tho or it takes the wax out of the inside of the chain

    I did a 400 mile tour on the tandem half road half offroad with a fair amount of rain and the chain was still perfectly OK and on my commutter it lasted right thru the winter

    Premier Icon simondbarnes
    Subscriber

    and on my commutter it lasted right thru the winter

    Isn’t your commute a mile?

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Mines twice that, I did it when the bike was new in June!

    Although it does have a chain guard, but then lives outside.

    tjagain
    Member

    simon – previous commute – 14 miles a day, 3 days a week. Chain treated twice a year so around a thousand miles each treatment- on salted roads. full mudguards tho which will help

    kcr
    Member

    As I said before, I found that Putoline worked very well over the summer, and was a good alternative to conventional lube. I’m not too impressed with winter performance so far. I reckon I’ve only done about 50 miles (road, full mudguards) since the last re-wax, and the drive train was a bit squeaky this morning. It’s been a bit stormy, so there has been a bit of rain and surface water in that time, but nothing crazy. I want to try the wax through winter to give it a proper test, though.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    the drive train was a bit squeaky this morning

    It has a quirk because it’s a wax it sets hard in the cold weather. My road bike sounds like a bag of spanners on a really cold morning until the wax breaks down a bit.

    I reckon I’ve only done about 50 miles on the road since the last re-wax,………….. It’s been a bit stormy, so there has been a bit of rain and surface water in that time, but nothing crazy.

    Compare it to how long conventional lube might have lasted though. As I got misquoted on the last thread about it, if it lasts >1 ride then the wear on your drive chain is going to be a fraction of what it would have been if it had lasted <1 ride (which almost invariably is the case in the wet).

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