Paraffin / Wax Lubes Win Again - Anyone use?

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mellowJohnny
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by mellowJohnny

Just reading Velo's second chain lube test report in the Feb. 2014 issue, and wax / wax based lubes have again come out on top.

So I'm thinking about taking the plunge this summer and trying out the good old paraffin drip. Any of you out there doing it? Any issues with master links? How many KM do you typically get from each application?

I typically ride 95% in ten dry, so I'm not worried about wet performance.

Thanks!

by Weenie


eric
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by eric

I did it for years back in the day. I got the bottom (heat unit) of an electric fondue pot and made a chain holder out of wire. Roll the chain up lay it on the holder and drop it in the hot wax. Pull it out 20 min later and let it cool.

It works pretty well. But it takes a long time. If you spend an hour cleaning your bike once a week, you can fit it in with no problem. If like me you spend maybe 15 minutes cleaning the bike at semi random intervals it'll be a big imposition. I got about a week @ 15 hours or so a week. Two weeks was too long.

You'll need a master link of course. You could clip it on one end of the chain before you dip it to get it lubed.

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prendrefeu
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by prendrefeu

Eric, how long did it last? (Something mellowJohnny asked, but you may have skipped over that or maybe I missed your answer?)

Thanks!
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Rick
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by Rick

I tried real parafin in the old days (melt in double bolier, etc. )
It is a PIA and then doesn't last long at all. The parafin flakes off pretty easily and quickly.
The more modern "dry lubes" that are parafin based, but with a solvent that evaporates are much better, last longer, easier to apply. The White Lightning is good. But I am using the aerosol Dupont dry lube right now. I am not all that picky about it really, and I am not above using WD-40 or spare motor oil; so take that all into consideration.

My only rule is lube frequently but lightly and wipe off the excess.

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Juanmoretime
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by Juanmoretime

No wax. I use Boeshield although according to fiction facts Finishline dry causes the least friction and watt gains. Will try the Finishline but I buy the Boeshield by the case, which lasts me a couple of years, since its most cost effective that way.

As far as frequency I lube once a week and or after a wet ride.
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Mario Jr.
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by Mario Jr.

Squirt Lube FTW! It lasts longer than White Lightning and Finishline dry, as it has a higher wax content. Otherwise it feels similar.

Geoff
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by Geoff

I tried that in the 80s, too. As other posters have noted, the problem was that it did not last very long. In the winter, you spend way too much time doing chains up. One of the funny things is that when the wax hardens, there is a really grimy layer of grit at the bottom. It really shows how much crap gets into a chain...

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Frankie - B
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by Frankie - B

Following this thread with much attention. Please tell me why wax, be it molten or a solvent based one, will make your chain better protected against dirt and grime?
It is true that people claim to get more then 6000km's (i have heard a number far higher then that) from a chain that is lubed with wax? (again, solvent or molten)

In a corner of the interweb I have found a recipe for the molten wax method, it said use 80% paraffin, 20% bees wax and add PTFE and molybdenum disulfide.
Friction facts claims 5 grams of pure teflon and 1 gram of molybdenum disulfide on 453 grams (1lb) of paraffin.

What are your thoughts and experiences on this matter?
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eric
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by eric

For me wax lasted maybe 20 hours max. I had to apply it weekly, could not go two weeks. It's less often than applying oil but it takes so much longer to do.

Wax is cleaner than oil because it's dry- dirt doesn't stick. You can handle the chain and not get your hands filthy, which is pretty cool.
There are some wax chips that come off during the first ride on a freshly waxed chain but they brush off. Fresh wax makes the chain stiff so it shifts fast, and it's quiet. It gets noisier and looser as the wax disappears.

Some of the dry lubes are teflon in a carrier that evaporates. I was using Rock N Roll Extreme Dry which is pretty clean but needs to be applied every 6 hours or so.
So I go through it fast. I recently got some Rock N Roll Gold which isn't as dry as the Extreme but seems to last a little longer.

You can get finely divided teflon powder from piano supply houses (I saw that in Friction Facts).

The Squirt stuff sounds good, I may try that next.

basilic
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by basilic

I do the wax method for the cleanliness. The chain stays super clean, you don't have to wipe it down etc. I read about it on some forum and tweaked the procedure a bit.
These are the ingredients:
Image
- old pot or pan (this one has old wax/graphite mixture in it from previous use)
- graphite powder from hardware store
- heating candle
- pliers to take chain out of the wax
- a stick to stir the chain a bit
- paper towel to wipe wax off the chain when done

Coil the chain flat in the pot, sprinkle graphite over it.
Heat on low/medium until the old wax melts.
Turn down to low, press the candle on all links to carry the graphite within the bushings etc (half a candle is more than enough for a chain)
Image

Stir for maybe 1 minute with the stick so the mixture penetrates everywhere. Take pan off the heat.
Let cool a bit, but remove chain while the wax is still liquid, or else it will encase the chain.
Image

As you hold the chain with the pliers, wipe down the exterior with the folded paper towel (careful, it's still hot), the wax serves no purpose there.
Coil chain, let it cool down, put in small ziploc bag.
I do 3-4 chains at a time so it lasts a bit.

It sounds more complicated than it is. The whole thing takes maybe 30 mins for the 3-4 chains (the longest part is waiting for the wax to cool down).
In the summer when it's dry you get 600 km or more out of a chain, but if it's wet much less, water washes the wax off.
The chains and cassettes seem to last forever.
Last edited by basilic on Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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HammerTime2
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by HammerTime2

In the summer when it's dry, do you clean the drivetrain at all (even wiping off chaain, cassette teeth, chainrings, etc.) between chain waxings at 600+ km intervals?

basilic
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by basilic

I never clean the drivetrain (but rinse off the frame sometimes).
here is the bike on the 3rd day of riding last summer, atop Grosse Scheidegg. Maybe 300 km on the chain. The previous day it had drizzled for an hour as I climbed to Mannlichen, and the road was brown with a mixture of dirt and cow dung (really grotesque...). I did not wipe down anything.
Image

I remember once riding a whole week on the same chain, over 900 km. You go by ear, when you hear the first squeak you change the chain.

And also, according to the post I read initially, you better start with a new chain, and degrease it before the first waxing. Otherwise sand and other abrasive stuff gets inside the chain, and you don't get the longevity benefits.

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Rick
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by Rick

Just a safety reminder for those determined to try melting paraffin wax:
It is very dangerous.
"Most paraffin waxes have a flash point around 390° F. When it reaches its flash point it may not smoke or bubble, it will usually just explode, splattering flaming wax in all directions. To avoid this dangerous catastrophe, always use the double boiling method to melt your wax. Water boils at 212° F, which is well below the flash point of any paraffin wax."



Here is a description of the "double-boiler" technique:
http://www.candletech.com/candle-making ... tructions/

by Weenie


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