Long Bikepacking and Immersive Waxing

A gigantic catch-all for Randonneuring (Audax), Bike-packing (Touring), and Commuting.
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ultimatist
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2023 7:45 pm
Location: San Francisco

by ultimatist

Hi folks,

Anyone have a good immersive wax product or procedure that can handle an 800km ride in possibly wet conditions? My 4h of research has shown that graphene platelets boost the durability of immersive wax, but the few applications of the tech are prohibitively expensive.

I'd rather not mix Squirt/Smoove onto my chain if possible. And hardcore as we waxers are, I'm not bikepacking with my slow cooker :lol:

Thanks for any tips!

by Weenie


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basilic
Posts: 991
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by basilic

It won't last 800 km, even in dry conditions.
- bring a wax-based lube
- bring a waxed chain and switch (but the weight!)

otnemem
Posts: 385
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:55 am

by otnemem

Silca Hot Melt + Super Secret Chain Lube?

ultimatist
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2023 7:45 pm
Location: San Francisco

by ultimatist

otnemem wrote:
Fri Mar 24, 2023 1:07 pm
Silca Hot Melt + Super Secret Chain Lube?
Yeah, this is probably the only great option: stay within the same product family and base wax. Graphene - when it becomes cheaper and more available - will be a gamechanger for longevity. There is just so much shady fake powder being sold in the DIY market right now.

Spare chain idea is interesting... it could justify its weight if it could serve a secondary purpose when not in use, but I can't really think of anything.

otnemem
Posts: 385
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:55 am

by otnemem

Also look into Rex Black Diamond. This is without any actual research, mind.
Take a look at Zero Friction Cycling's spreadsheet and see if there's more contenders.

blaugrana
Posts: 450
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 9:49 pm

by blaugrana

Is it a non-stop ride? Because the Silca immersion wax + drip lube for top ups would seem like the way to go if you don't want to mix different waxes, but I'm pretty sure that the drip lube doesn't work well unless you let it dry before riding.

I'm not sure which podcast it was out of the many dedicated to bike tech and marginal gains these days, but I remember some discussion on the subject of ultra endurance events with bad weather that would require relubing mid event, and the easier solution was to relube with oil (one of the better options such as the Silca Synergetic, or the NFS, which are almost as fast as wax). You can even start with a waxed chain and top up with oil, but of course you would have to clean the chain completely if you want to go back to wax after the event.

Even the other day Wout Van Aert got his chain relubed from the car a few kms before the finish at the E3 Harelbeke, and I would guess that the team pays attention to what the fastest lubes for long wet races are (and if there was a wax that lasted for the whole thing without losing performance, they would use that).

AJS914
Posts: 5145
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

Smoove/Squirt -isn't it just wax in a bottle? I've been using Smoove for 2 years now and with a good cleaning I've been getting great performance.

cauchy
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:38 am
Location: Polska
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by cauchy

Best wax in terms of clean look and longetivity I used is Soudal Wax. On one application I reached max 700km with pretty good looking chain/casette. I finished with squirt and others..

kenjif
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2022 1:31 pm

by kenjif

blaugrana wrote:
Mon Mar 27, 2023 3:17 pm
I'm not sure which podcast it was out of the many dedicated to bike tech and marginal gains these days, but I remember some discussion on the subject of ultra endurance events with bad weather that would require relubing mid event, and the easier solution was to relube with oil (one of the better options such as the Silca Synergetic, or the NFS, which are almost as fast as wax). You can even start with a waxed chain and top up with oil, but of course you would have to clean the chain completely if you want to go back to wax after the event.
I heard this in one Dylan Johnson's video https://youtu.be/Z8Hoi3Fs3Qc?t=452 where Josh Portner said that drip wax lubes were probably not very effective when applied during a race.
However, contrary to Silca Super Secret and UFO Drip, Banana Tungsten all weather lube is supposed to "Sets within 5-10 mins for instant riding". Has anyone had experience with this product in this kind of context ? I would be happy to use wax based lube to lube my hot-waxed chain instead of an oil lube for very long rides with short stops.

ultimatist
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2023 7:45 pm
Location: San Francisco

by ultimatist

Fortunately it's a four day 'camp and cook, prep bike in the morning' ride. In contrast to the WVA race, I will not have a staff member hanging out a window, lubing me up at 40kph. That was also a violation worthy of disqualification according to the rules, but that's another story.

Squirt is wax in a bottle, as is the Silca variant. The bigger challenge with these products is getting the wax inside the pins, hence why I was looking for a tenacious immersive solution. That's the idea behind Dylan's video: the product that sits on the outside and gets flung around at speed is worse than useless, it collects dirt. Seems like the best alternative is to relube immediately after the ride, when the chain is hot from use and sunshine, rather than next morning when it's cold and wet with dew.

froze
Posts: 343
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:47 am

by froze

You are going to use your bike for bike camping, or touring, it doesn't matter. Wax for that sort of biking is trash, rain will wash it off fast, then you have to reapply it, not something you want to keep doing on a bike trip.

There are two highly popular lubes over all other lubes by a long shot for bike camping or touring, and those two are ProLink and Dumonde Tech.

Probably the best lube for what you will be doing is Dumonde Tech, not Dumonde Tech Lite, though I use the Lite version on my touring bike and have no problems, but some like the thicker non lite version better. Personal preference, that's all. Dumonde Tech will last at least 500 miles between applications, even that lube most touring people that use it still recommend reapplying it after a rain only because you might be traveling in an area far from a bike shop, so you want to make your chain last as long as possible, so you reapply after a hard rain. The bottle says to only reapply when the chain starts to get noisy, that's the guideline I follow. You must also wipe down the chain after every ride; if you wipe it down correctly, after a short while the chain should not leave much of an oily dirt streak on the rag.

I tried ProLink, but it got gummy even after wiping it down every night it would still slowly become gummy, it also lasted about 300 miles, at the end of the day I didn't like the stuff. The other problem with Prolink is that it's a thinner oil than Dumonde Tech, and that oil will seep right through a Ziplock baggie and onto whatever is around the bottle, the Dumonde Tech does not do that.

Another lube favored over any other lube except those I mentioned above, is Chain L, I didn't care for this stuff either, it was way too thick, all but impossible to wipe the chain off because it was gummy from the start.

Those are the three most favored lubes, with Chain L being a distant 3rd.

Dumonde Tech, like any other lube, it's important to follow the directions to the letter, it also takes about 5 applications for it to really set in and leave a polymer coating on the chain, once that happens, 500 plus miles between relubing is not out of the ordinary.

Riding a loaded bike puts more wear and tear on a chain, so using the right chain lube is critical; I get about 6,000 miles on my touring bike chain before it needs to be replaced.

I use KMC X8.99/X8 chain on my touring bike, I read it lasts the longest of other chains, but I haven't tried every chain on the market on my touring bike to see if that's true; I use the KMC for another reason too, a lower grade KMC came on the bike when I bought it new and it lasted a long time, so the better KMC should last even longer? That's my hope!

Anyway, chain lube is one of those personal religion type of things, there are million lubes out there and a million people will swear that the one they're using is the best. At the end of the day you need to use what you think will work best for your situation. I tried to show you what the touring world uses almost exclusively, but you might not like any of those 3 lubes, so you have to decide which is right for you.

froze
Posts: 343
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:47 am

by froze

otnemem wrote:
Sat Mar 25, 2023 5:43 am
Also look into Rex Black Diamond. This is without any actual research, mind.
Take a look at Zero Friction Cycling's spreadsheet and see if there's more contenders.
The Rex product is only good for up to 621 miles, but the company says UP TO, which means it might only last 300 miles.

Zero Friction tests are slanted to sell their lube product.

otnemem
Posts: 385
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:55 am

by otnemem

- It's the other way around: ZFF only sells what does well in their tests. Adam has no incentive to push one product over another. If Black Diamond didn't do well he would just sell more bottles of Silca-whatever.
-- See AbsoluteBlack lube vs wax results for proof of this.
- You might want to read the ZFF Black Diamond test before spouting any more non sense.

by Weenie


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