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  • Waxing my chain – what am I doing wrong?
  • mudfish
    Full Member

    XO1 chain doesent rust

    Everything you need to know about waxing is easily available at zerofrictioncycling.
    He tested the AB wax and it failed terribly BTW. Their drip is good but the wax seems to have issues.

    Long story short – his method is very well researched.

    1: clean brand new chain in 3 baths of white spirit (5 baths for sram) shake for 5 mins each bath.
    Dry off (hot air gun)
    2: clean white spirit residue off with meths 3 baths about 200 ml each
    Dry off.
    3: use Silca wax or Moltenspeedlube
    They are the best. Slow cooker. Lid off its not to get too hot. Say 70c
    With chain on a swisher, swish it fit a few minutes. Hang to set.
    Loosen it over a vice handle or similar.

    Don’t wax the quick link or it’s hard to fit.
    If the chain gets wet take it off rinse in boiling water and dry and re wax. Wash in an open container. A closed one might spray you when opened. Dangerous.
    Better to rinse like this or the wax gets full of crap.

    There’s only one lube to top up with the Solca Super Secret drip. Because it’s all wax and thus the boiling water rinse gets it off
    If you use regular lube (maybe even invlidibgvwaxes like Squirt) you’ll have to solvent clean again.

    mudfish
    Full Member

    All wet lubes carry contamination into the links. To get around this you’d need to periodically (often) solvent clean the chain. 5 x 250 ml solvent every couple of weeks isn’t very eco.

    Sadly Putoline’s pretty mucky too & I’m told it contains oil so a boiling water rinse isn’t going to be enough to clean out the contamination. Sadly. Solvent cleans again. Not ideal.

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Inaspin.co.uk will sell you pre-cleaned or even pre-waxed YBN chains.

    I draw the line at the cleaning process, I have no other use for those chemicals and don’t really want to have to deal with the inevitable disposal, seems less wasteful to get someone else to do it! 😎

    molgrips
    Full Member

    My bikes regularly look like this after a ride.

    Mine too, and I use Putoline precisely because it’s the only thing that works in that situation.

    That is the biggest difference I’ve noticed so far with wax, there is no crunchy stuff in there – you can fiddle with the chain and it’s totally crunch free.

    Exactly because of this. It’s obvious to me that with wet lube and a muddy chain, you may as well not have any lube at all because it’s always full of grit. With Putoline, there’s no grit. This, for me, is enough, because I care about wearing metal away. Others may not, I appreciate this.

    Sadly Putoline’s pretty mucky too & I’m told it contains oil so a boiling water rinse isn’t going to be enough to clean out the contamination. Sadly. Solvent cleans again. Not ideal.

    You don’t need to clean a Putoline chain. You can just hose it off with the rest of your bike and it’s grit-free. Just make sure the water has dried before re-frying it.

    davosaurusrex
    Full Member

    I think it’s brill, I want to share the love though so opportunity for a lucky buyer right here!

    Latest Classified Ads

    Edit – stupid adblocker sumfink

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    Never found wax to last any longer. If anything it lasted less time

    More faff between uses and often sounded like an old gate mid ride.

    Daz
    Free Member

    Making sure your chain is totally clear of any factory grease and oil is essential to good wax performance. I discussed this at length with a professor that I’m working with, he gave me a big explanation but basically any oily residue breaks surface tension and the wax won’t adhere properly to the chain. You only need to do this if your chain is new, or you use a drip on top up. I’m working on a wax compatible drip on but it’s a challenge

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    Which is suprising because last time I had the audacity to moan about wax on here I was told I was cleaning my chain tooo well …. – I have a chemical wash tank and an ultrasonic cleaner – used for injectors in a previous life.

    My chain ain’t dirty. The wax just doesn’t last… Even less so when wet.

    Quite by accident I found out bio chainsaw oil to be one of the few things that seems to last a long muddy ride. We buy it in 5l tubs so plenty of it kicking about so when I ran out of alternitives I gave it a chance and it turned out to be a good experiment so I keep an olde world oil can of it by the door in the garage now.

    And if I hose it off immediately at the end and reapply I find I don’t have to go to town with the cleaning regime.

    Daz
    Free Member

    I won’t disagree with you, the test on ZFC found the same issue with the AB wax, it is too soft and doesn’t remain in place. It also has a lower melting point so I’d imagine it would be easy to overheat in a slow cooker. That’s why I advise to leave your cooker on low with the lid off, you won’t overheat your wax that way. Overheating causes it to be less effective, it looses adhesion.

    A harder wax lasts much longer on your chain or rather in your chain, you’ll still get a bit of surface rust if it’s left away wet. If I can get my drip on wax sorted, simply drip a small amount on and rub it over the surface of the chain or just remove your chain and give it a wax bath while you wash your bike and yourself.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    I have found it very interesting that there are a not insignificant number of folk for whom waxing chains did not work. I have not been able to sus out what the difference is that gives such a different experience

    Trailrat. Did you try the solid wax? I know both singlesoeedstu and scienceofficer did and it didnt work for them.

    The only theory i have is getting the chain too hot means the wax does not stay in it and acidic soils can strip the wax out.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    Yep solid wax

    Tried at various temperatures.

    I don’t even use it on. My road bike now. Lucky to get 50km out of it before it becomes noisy as shit. The chains still well waxed and looks well lubed but you can hear it grinding away.(near new 11speed ultegra set up )

    My well worn Kona commuter 8speed seems much more tolerant and I can cover about 250km before I need a top up.

    My theory is that if you have a well knackered drive train more wax gets in about.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Weird. I use it on brand new chains

    Dunno

    Daz
    Free Member

    TJ there is a lot of variables, chain prep, chains not left in wax long enough to get hot, poor performing waxes.

    I’ve had some customers, quite a few actually, go way beyond the 250-300 miles on the road I recommend. I had one customer say his only lasted 30 miles, both can’t be true but I sent the latter a prepped chain and new wax, it seems to be a lot better for him now. Either his chain wasn’t fully stripped or his wax had been overheated/contaminated.

    On a mountain bike it does need applied more often but it’s so easy to do and the chain, cassette etc stays spotless with minimal effort.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    Interesting re the oils, I may try degreasing with alcohol next time. Although I may be waiting a while for the next time 🙂

    tjagain
    Full Member

    I did well over a thousand miles mostly dry but 4 very wet days and only a hundred or so off road miles and it didnt need redoing. I regularly get 1000 plus miles.

    Hub gear bikes tho. Maybe that makes a difference

    Daz
    Free Member

    Trail rat I do think it’s more the brand of wax you are using, your experience echos the detailed review Zero Friction Cycling published

    I originally thought I’d develop an off-road/wet weather wax with a softer base wax, much like AB, it just didn’t work well at all. Wax just squeezed out too easily. I likened it to squeezing blutack between my fingers as opposed to a strip of nylon.

    Daz
    Free Member

    TJ, hub gear does make a difference, it would favour an oil or an oily wax like putoline. Harder waxes work better with the slack portion of the chain at the bottom and the actuation through the mech. It’s not well understood as to why, I’m hoping I can find out because I’ve been given time with a mad professor and an electron microscope, it’s interesting seeing what’s going on inside a chain in that detail.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    On my ebike deraillleir commuter i got 1000 miles plus even in winter

    thenorthwind
    Full Member

    @Daz could you drop me a link to your wax please? PM if you prefer. Someone had posted it in another thread, but I can’t find it now. Keen to give it a try, and since I’ve got a new drivetrain which hasn’t been Putoline’d yet, and our old slow cooker is obselete since we bought a multifunction air fryer, now seems like a good time. Cheers.

    goodgrief
    Free Member

    Glf wax

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    Must be tired. Anyone else read that as GILF?

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    Can’t decide if Marketing Fail or Marketing Win.

    Daz
    Free Member

    That’s a whole other lubrication challenge onzadog!!!

    Daz
    Free Member

    I came up with it, and can’t decide if it’s a marketing fail or a win 😂 but you’ll remember it

    Full name story, I worked with an older man who was keen on rallying. He had a couple of lovely mk2 escorts on the road. He was always very polite and strait laced, never heard him swear or anything. The sunstrip sticker on his cars always said GLF motorsport and he would never say what it stood for. Unfortunately early in the Covid thing he caught it and died of complications. I named it in his memory, it always stuck in my head so I thought why not go with it.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    I’ll admit to being a bit of a Putoline Evangelist, but I have to acknowledge it’s not perfect or zero effort. like tubeless tyres it’s an activity you spend an extra bit of time on in the garage of an evening, for benefits/risk mitigation out on the road/trails later (IMO)…

    Open tin. Put on hob. Turn hob on. Put chain in tin.

    Reverse steps and refit chain

    It’s certainly not quite that straight forward. I’ve done it that way before and ended up with a lot of surplus gunk all over the drivetrain (still lasts well though and rust stays away for longer) but over time I’ve begun to do a bit of extra work each time just to clear as much excess putoline from the outside of the chain and between the plates before refitting a freshly waxed chain.

    A bit of a film with a few globs here and there on the chain is somewhat inevitable and transfer to jockeys/cassette/chainrings will happen and have to be wiped away after the first few rides, along with running an oily rag over the chain to minimise surface rust it’s certainly no hardship but I have started considering building myself a little rig just to do that pre-fitting excess removal task which is probably going a bit far.

    So I’m also tempted to give Daz’ product a Whirl if its less sticky than Putoline and just requires a “bedding in” ten minute spin with less chain clean up after application while still giving a couple of hundred miles of use between waxings.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    I wouldn’t call myself a Putoline evangelist specifically, but I do think waxing is vastly more appropriate as an engineering solution. Happy to be sold some better wax but it might have to wait til my current tin is done which will be a while.

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    Golf Lima Foxtrot.

    It’s been bothering me all morning what GLF reminded me of. I just suddenly remembered where I heard it and it was a late 90s episode of Dispatches where they were looking at the Police high speed pursuit drivers and how they were more or less only interested in Golf Lima Foxtrot (Go Like ****) and weren’t really too worried about whether it was safe or not.

    Anyway, I’ll definitely remember what your wax is called now, Daz.

    goodgrief
    Free Member

    Btw, “chain waxing” appears on urban dictionary
    Personal discretion if you guys want to pursue that information!

    Daz
    Free Member

    Certainly is in the urban dictionary, personally I think it’s just floccinaucinihilipilification though!!

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    That’s a whole other lubrication challenge onzadog!!!

    Just needs some fancy patches!

    I usually run new chains with the manufacturing grease until they’re noisy then into a 120C fryer filled with Putoline for 25 minutes. They’ll go 500 wet miles on road, about 300 off-road.

    brokenbanjo
    Full Member

    I was using Outline, but gone back to Finish Line green lube. The reason, I have a 16mth old daughter and don’t have the time to get the DFF out and treat the chain any more. I was using it on both road bikes and my hardtail. I did get annoyed with the wax that accumulated on the jockey wheels.

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    I have a 16mth old daughter and don’t have the time to get the DFF out and treat the chain any more

    And more pertinently, they go through a phase between approx 2-4 when they are irresistibly drawn to your bubbling pot of molten wax, I could only do mine when our wee boy was safely under lock and key 😬

    ajantom
    Full Member

    Switched to Putoline a couple of years ago, and it’s great.
    110c for 20 mins or so while I have a brew. Hoik it out, wipe down and hang up on a hook to cool.

    Yes it’s a bit messy, but I have some old towels and rubber work gloves for it.

    I put mine in one of those little fryers with a basket, lives in the garage.

    In the summer I probably only need to wax every 6-8 rides (400km?)

    In the winter it depends on the weather, just rain it lasts for ages, but if it’s really muddy (and we’re on gritty, sandy soil here) it’ll need doing every 3 rides.

    Still far, far better than any normal lube I’ve ever used…..Muc Off wet lube, **** hateful stuff!

Viewing 34 posts - 41 through 74 (of 74 total)

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