Why even use a thermometer? Like a chip pan on the hob if it starts stinking or smoking it’s too hot, turn it off.
I think after all the investigatory work the above is about right. The best bit of advice from Bernard is not to let it get too hot and evaporate some of the lighter oils.
I couldn’t even get my DFF to fully melt the wax with the thermostat set to 70 – despite stirring it round etc. The element basically came on for about 5 mins and then the light went out and it never came back on again. 20 mins later it was still half solid.
Turned it up to 100 and it melted but according to my thermometer it was at 110+. That did seem to be about right mind, it wasn’t smoking and it was thin enough to run off and leave a thin layer coating my probe (ooh err!).
As it cooled and got to around 70 it was too thick IMO – It was like thick double cream and left a massive thick coating on the probe. The ambient air temp was probably too cold TBH as I was in the shed but it didn’t drip off, just set as soon as it came out of the DFF.
I blame lockdown and the weather, as if it wasn’t for that I’d be out cycling instead of arsing about trying to get chain wax to the perfect application temperature! 😜Posted 2 weeks ago
I dunked my extraction hook in the oil once it had all melted to a relatively low temp. I have no numbers unfortunately. The whole waxed section here was dunked for ten seconds or so and then removed at once. Of course, the wire near the surface is cooler as it’s conducting heat away, and you can see how lower temps result in much more wax adhering to the metal surface.
Posted 2 weeks ago
Crikey this is all very scientific!
My method consists of chain into slow cooker / Putoline on high temp. Hot enough to make sure the wax is very runny and can easily get into all the rollers. There’s certainly no smoking / oil burning going on though. I leave it for 15 mins or so then turn the heat off completely. I then let it cool down until the wax leaves a decent coat on the outside when removing it. Chain then gets hung up above the slow cooker and with some gloves on I run my fingers down the chain removing as much excess wax back into the pot below as I want.Posted 2 weeks ago
as if it wasn’t for that I’d be out cycling instead of arsing about trying to get chain wax to the perfect application temperature!
Sounds like you’re having fun thoughPosted 2 weeks ago
I took the plunge, and about half a tin of Putoline seems to do the trick in a little 1.5l £9.99 slow cooker from Dyas – half a tin seems to cover the chain enough with plenty of depth left over in this one. There are three temp settings which seemed pretty consistent when I measured them with a laser thermometer:
High: 100 degrees – fast movers only
Medium: 70 degrees – turboprop fleet
Low: 100 (ahem) degrees – crack ferrets
The usual high tolerance manufacturing standards of Dyas at play there. It’s where I buy all my scanning tunneling microscopes, dontchaknow.
I tried a couple of newish chains without cleaning them because I’m lazy and it was bloody cold out, even in the shed, and I also stuck them in at 70 to see what would happen. As it was near freezing, when I hung them up there was a lot of extra wax on the outside, which looks really fugly but doesn’t seem to have killed the neighbour’s cat or anything.
In use, everything’s nice and smoof, so much so I could feel the one sticky link on my hardtail’s chain all the way round my usual short loop, rather than only up to the first boggy section.
I’ll try 100 degrees next time for a cleaner finish with less clumping.
A friend has already expressed interest in reusing a conked out old slow cooker he has with the other half tin, so if you’re havering, then I’d say give it a go with a mate for £23 all in each for two set-ups – I spend that on chain cleaning fluid and lubes each year anyway. If you can find an old heatery thing to bung it in you can knock a tenner off that and avoid the social damage of being seen in a branch of Dyas. The rest of the family’s bikes tend to have grotty chains if I don’t clean them, so this should also save me a fair amount of hassle if I only have to re-coat their chains every month or so – I reckon you could do a family’s worth of bikes in a lazy evening.Posted 1 week ago
I think that’s spot on @bentudder. 100 degrees seems about right – well certainly in the winter if your doing this outside/shed where its bloody cold.
Might get away with nearer 70 degrees in the summer but I think if the Puto is the consistency of single cream then that will be perfect.Posted 1 week ago
Ok so my experience of Putoline….
I cleaned and dipped a brand new chain into my slow cooker pot of Putoline recently. I let it cool right down before removing the chain and duly spent a chunk of time wiping the excess off it before chucking it on the bike. I really don’t think there could be any more Putoline in the rollers than there was.
I’ve covered just 150 road miles since and the chain sounds gritty already. That being said 90% of those miles were in the glorious rain. I really was expecting it to last longer, perhaps my expectations are too high?
I wiped the chain down with a damp towel after each ride to remove any excess that has made its way out of the rollers.
One thing I am rather more disappointed about though is the deposits of Putoline on the chainring, jockey wheels and cassette. It’s pretty foul stuff and difficult to clean off anything. I’ve used squirt for years so was kind of expecting the same kind of easy cleaning but this stuff just sticks to whatever it touches.
Perhaps I need to try something different to avoid an oily mess?Posted 5 days ago
sounds like it was a bit too cool to me so you had excess on the chain. the right amount should leave the chain coated but no deposits betwen the links. too cool and you get a lot between the links that gets transferred to the chainring etc
But yes – it does stick to whatever it touches – thats how it stays so long on the chain
150 road miles is a lot less than i am used to getting and I have no reason why that should be.
WD 40 or similar will remove it from the cassettePosted 5 days ago
I’ve dipped it again and removed it whilst it was a bit hotter than last time. The excess left on it was noticeably less than the first time. Forecast looks a bit drier this week onwards so hopefully it’ll last a little longer this time 🤞Posted 5 days ago
One thing I am rather more disappointed about though is the deposits of Putoline on the chainring, jockey wheels and cassette.
I also am going with too cool. Cooler temps lead to much more excess. I’m working on the assumption that I’ll go a bit cooler for winter than summer. I did a cool dunk this time and there’s quite a bit of excess on the chain, but not so much on the rest of the drivetrain. I also hung it and wiped it as usual, so the outside was clean. The excess on my chain is that which was squeezed out after the first few miles.
I’ve done loads of wet crappy miles recently (haven’t we all?) on road and it’s still tickety boo.Posted 5 days ago
Thought this evening was the perfect time to boil the MSW off my chains and get the block of MSW out of the slow cooker ready for putoline. Didn’t quite go to plan but at least I have a nice block of MSW. Now I have to buy a new slow cooker or deep fat fryer, I could have just left the MSW in this one ffs.
Posted 5 days ago
How long does MSW last in comparison to Putoline? Looks a lot less messy?Posted 5 days ago
My homebrew MSW lasts about 1/3 the time of Plutoline in winter and about 2/3 of the time in summer. Much cleaner to work with though.
Reading the previous posts on temp I’m Def in the warmer category but my trick is to leave the chain on its side on an old towel as it cools. I can then run the excess off easily without (I think) too much dropping off. Doing this I get 4-5 mega grotty winter rides on my MTB between waxes (and it’s not gritty when I rewax).
The old towel becomes totally waxy and minging but is good for wiping over chains that have rust spots.Posted 5 days ago
It’s not messy, if you’re referring to the splashes on the side of the pot, that’s just from me swishing the chain around. I’d say that wax has probably done about 25 chain dunks so far and I don’t intend on throwing that away either.
In terms of how long it lasts on a chain, in dry conditions 3 or 4 long road rides (so ~400km). In horrible winter, wet road conditions, 1 ride, maybe 2. I went for a road ride on Saturday and it was relatively dry conditions but with some very wet and muddy patches, I took the chain off when I got home and cleaned the bike, thinking I’d have to put another chain on, but actually twisting the chain it felt like there was still wax in the rollers so it will go back on for another ride or 2.
I hoped MSW would be my permanent solution to chain lube, but it just doesn’t last long enough in the wet of winter. So going to try putoline next.Posted 5 days ago
I’ve found so far that if I dip the chain at 70 (2 degrees ambient) and take it out, I get loads of build up on the outside of the chain. It needs to be in the rollers, not on the outside. Another attempt at 100 degrees, taking it right out and sound excess off with a rag, worked better and has resulted in nice clean drive trains. Mind you, only about 60 miles in across two mountain bikes in generally dry conditions so far. Most noticeable is that ‘smooth new chain’ feel when pedaling.Posted 5 days ago
Hotter better than cooler in my opinion. I’ve been surprised by the recent turn of this thread with people recommending cooler temps with the unsurprising consequence of complaints about the excess wax build up and mess. It’s almost like they haven’t read the whole thread. There was a post not far back where someone was recommending a consistency like single cream or something. How is that going to help the capillary action to draw it into the rollers? And all that excess wax left between the links is only going to create somewhere for the grit to stick and lead to the premature grinding sounds that people are hearing.
I’m not one for slavishly following the ‘established’ wisdom if a new better way can be found but, in this case the established wisdom is born out of experience and seems to give good results for those that follow it.Posted 4 days ago
Sorry if it’s been covered in one of the 1938348563872641109845 posts on the topic already, but I can’t find an answer to this.
What do folks do to clean their bikes without washing the wax out? I like to give the bike a quick go over with bucket, sponge & a bit of soap before putting it away (and would previously give the chain a good scrub with a brush). Do I need to be careful keeping the soap away from the chain or should it be OK?Posted 4 days ago
soap will not touch it. It needs a solvent like wd 40Posted 4 days ago
@stevious I just hose my chain and drivetrain off with water, comes up nice and clean. Then run it through a rag to take off excess water.Posted 4 days ago
Yep, will quite happily hose it off then just run it through a rag that has been sprayed with GT85. Comes up looking clean, leaves the wax intact.
I can never get all the water off though, next day there will always be a rust spot on the underside of the lower links where a droplet or two has formed. Doesn’t seem to do any harm except setting my OCD off! I guess this is why people use compressed air or something to blast drivetrain but I’m not buying a compressor just for drying my chains…Posted 4 days ago
So now I’ve destroyed my slow cooker, can anyone definitively recommend a fryer over a new slow cooker for putoline?Posted 4 days ago
I bought a compressor for drying my bike, it also pumps tyres. It’s also VERY loud.
DFF is way better than a slow cooker IMO. Heats up in minutes as opposed to days,
I also think that 100 degrees is just about right for dunking, followed by a single wipe down while the chain is hanging over the pot.Posted 4 days ago
Hmm, I’ve used my compressor for cleaning out bearings and things, or just hard to get to places (the bits the pawls sit in on a hope freewheel for example), but I must admit I’ve never thought about using it to clean the bike. Genius!Posted 4 days ago
Well I have also jumped in on this and ordered putoline and the Argos special.
Will see how it goes. I assume the fryer basket just sits in/on the solid putoline when not being used, probably obvious but thought I’d ask.Posted 3 days ago
yep, after the chain’s out but while wax is still liquid, put the basket back in, close the lid, turn off and leave it. The wax will solidify around the basket until next time.Posted 3 days ago
I finally decanted out the remains of my old putoline and poured in the new stuff.
I can confirm that after almost 15 years the old stuff does actually have the same consistency as the new stuff.
All the crap was stuck to the bottom of the fryer.
Also found that new chains (because I had a couple of new ones ready to go on rotation on the nice bike) came out a lot cleaner than the old one. So maybe grease does repel putoline to an extent. I’d not have thought it was particularly fancy grease but some are designed to repel oils so maybe it is worth washing off.
yep, after the chain’s out but while wax is still liquid, put the basket back in, close the lid, turn off and leave it. The wax will solidify around the basket until next time.
I found when I did that the wax must have shrunk with an air gap underneath it, which meant it smoked horribly as the fryer warmed up.
Taking the basket out seems to work much better, then as it warms up and melted around the edges put the basket and chain on top to weigh down the “waxberg”.Posted 3 days ago
I just hose my bike down, drivetrain and all. This is a key benefit of the wax since I don’t need to relube or clean the chain. Takes 3 mins.
I have used a brush and bike cleaner on occasion, although not directly on the chain, and the wax is unharmed. I doubt Muc Off etc would touch the stuff anyway.Posted 3 days ago
Nothing much new to add, but I Putolined a relatively fresh Planet X Jobsworth chain (rebranded YHA 11 speed, came out in the top 3 ‘most durable’ chains in some test somebody linked in another thread).
Anyway, rode it twice with stock lube, complete with hosings-off afterwards, then Putolined.
Did my usual heat up to 160C, chain in, agitated etc, then cooled to 120C then turned the fryer off (don’t know why I bothered with the 120C step, should just have turned fryer off).
I then promptly forgot all about it until about an hour later, went back to garage to find chain in a solidified lump of wax. So I remelted, repeated the usual steps, allowed to cool until a ‘skin’ was forming on the top of the wax.
Removed chain, just about too hot to handle through some folder kitchen roll so wiped off excess, allowed to cool and refitted.
Looks lovely and shiny but felt AMAZING as I was riding. I don’t know how many watts you save with a well waxed chain, and I’m suitably embarassed to be claiming I can feel the difference, but this must be the third or fourth time I’ve waxed or re-waxed a chain and it’s felt this good, so I must be noticing the Putoline.
Either way, I’ll be buying hot wax for the summer bike chain as well. Might even just try Putoline but giving it a really good wipe down before fitting, wouldn’t do to have big black waxy lumps hanging off the ‘summer’ chain…Posted 3 days ago
I get virtually silent and super smooth shifting with my Putolined chain. I only know it’s actually changed gear sometimes because the pedal resistance changes.Posted 3 days ago
Everyone’s talking about deep fat fryers in here. Would an old slow cooker work for melting putoline?
(I only say this because I have an old small slow cooker I’m on the verge of chucking out and I thought it might be worth a punt…)Posted 2 days ago
Slow cooker would be fine – set it on high temperature and let it get good and hot.
I use a small one that I liberated from my mum’s house when clearing it when she moved into a home.Posted 2 days ago
Apparently slow cookers take forever to heat up.
I just re-did my road chain. Previous time wasn’t that long ago (although it’s been very wet), but I used cool temps and it left a fair bit of wax on the outside which had collected some dirt. So I decided to dunk it again to clean it up a bit. I used 130C this time and after a rub-down it’s come out much cleaner, so we’ll see how it goes. But the weather forecast suggests it’s going to last a fair bit longer.Posted 2 days ago
Yes, slow cookers are slow but I chuck the chain on top of the solid wax, turn it on and leave it. Left it a bit long yesterday, turned it on at 17:00 and didn’t remember until this morning. No harm done though.Posted 2 days ago
It’s really the basket that is the major benefit when using the DFF, then the ability to adjust temp, then the speed. I’d happily use a slow cooker if it had a little basket to lift the chains out.Posted 2 days ago
available individually for only a little bit less than the ones that come with a free DFF.Posted 2 days ago
I used 130C this time and after a rub-down it’s come out much cleaner, so we’ll see how it goes. But the weather forecast suggests it’s going to last a fair bit longer.
I think that’s the thing. In the winter it needs more wax on and then in the summer you can get away with less. However I would be mindful of the only decent advice the Putoline chap gave (IMO anyway) which is that hotter temps evaporate some of the lighter oils.
I think I am going to aim for 100 ish each time but just wipe more off in the summer if required. My guess is that the ambient air temp will allow more to drip off anyway as it will take longer to cool down. Maybe leaving it in the basket so it’s flat would be better than hanging it up if too much drips off.Posted 2 days ago
I was loosing the faith a bit with Putoline in the incredibly wet weather we had Jan/Feb, due to getting rust that I could only really keep on top of either by re-waxing every couple of rides or wiping with quite a lot of GT85 type stuff. This to me sort of defeats the point of putoline as it’s as frewquent and as much faff as using wet lube.
But I’ve realised that that weather was pretty darn extreme and I was going out in it just because I had to get some space in lockdown, rather than my normal decision making to wait for a drier ride to come along.
Since riding in more typical weather in the last couple of weeks it’s performing far better again, staying clean, not rusty and lasting >5 rides.Posted 2 days ago
My DFF has a basket that doesn’t have a little hook to hang the basket over the oil. This is mildly annoying as you can’t shake it dry like you do with chips.
But I’ve realised that that weather was pretty darn extreme and I was going out in it just because I had to get some space in lockdown, rather than my normal decision making to wait for a drier ride to come along.
Same here. I was getting 4-5 MTB rides from one application, but they were in atrocious conditions, especially as my all-weather route has had forestry operations and turned into an absolute shoe-losing-drag-your-bike type disaster for a stretch. However, even though I’d have had to re-lube after each ride with wet lube, that doesn’t mean the lube was actually lasting one ride. I would be getting awful grinding noises after about 15 mins of my ride. So it’s not 1 ride vs 4-5, it’s 15 mins vs 4-5 hours.Posted 2 days ago
What do folks do to clean their bikes without washing the wax out? I like to give the bike a quick go over with bucket, sponge & a bit of soap before putting it away (and would previously give the chain a good scrub with a brush). Do I need to be careful keeping the soap away from the chain or should it be OK?
I got a 2L garden sprayer from Wilko for a fiver, I put plain old tap water in and use it as a sort of weak spray washer to take general grit and shit off the surface of the bike (including drivetrain) if it’s been a wet scummy ride as soon as I get home. I then hang it up and dry the chain off with old rags/towels, if necessary I’ll run the rag I use to wipe off the excess Putoline over the chain later to address any potential rust spots, I don’t attack the bike with brushes or anything, just spray off the worst of the muck, wipe it down and rub an oily/putoline soaked rag over the chain…
Question for those using a slow cooker (as I’ve discovered an old spare one in the Garage) does it take ages to melt down the Putoline, does it get hot enough on high to penetrate the rollers?Posted 2 days ago
I keep meaning to buy a DFF rather than carry on using a camping stove and living with the associated fire hazard, but if a slow cooker works, I might as well just use what I’ve already got…
Question for those using a slow cooker (as I’ve discovered an old spare one in the Garage) does it take ages to melt down the Putoline, does it get hot enough on high to penetrate the rollers?
I was kindly donated a small slow cooker on here. It takes about 45mins to an hour to heat up to temp. I’m using graphene wax rather than putoline, but I expect it would be similar heating times. I’m happy to stick with this method, partly because I think this wax may be more temperature sensitive but also because I can just leave it going while I do some other stuff in the garage.
I’ve had the wax up to 95 degrees C, and it seems to be getting into the chain OK.Posted 2 days ago
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