What do you think of the chain wax?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Dokas
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:12 pm

by Dokas

Hello.
I recently saw a posting about color wax and I'm thinking about wax instead of oil.
How about comparing oil and wax?

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VTR1000SP2
Posts: 779
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:21 pm

by VTR1000SP2

I use both. Commuter and indoor trainer bikes use lube and the road bike has a waxed drivetrain (paraffin & beeswax mix 3:1).

I find the wax clean and quiet. Will continue to use it for the road bike. Tried using wax on the indoor trainer but the mess it generates as the wax breaks down was a pain to clean so I switched back to lube there.

Performance wise, I can’t tell you if one is faster than the other but my road bike drivetrain always looks clean. I tend to rewax the chain every 400-500 miles.


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by Weenie


romanmoser
Posts: 310
Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 8:30 pm

by romanmoser

Don't buy wend wax color shit
Is crappy stuff

Look at zero friction cycling test
If you want wax buy real wax : Molten speed wax

MikeD
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:55 pm

by MikeD

Smoove. Works for a long time on my mountain bike (dry, dusty conditions). Haven't tried it on the road bike yet though.

964Cup
Posts: 196
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:31 am

by 964Cup

I've been using Squirt for about three years. On everything, including my cross bike, in all conditions. Needs fairly frequent reapplication (but most of my chains come off and go in the ultrasonic cleaner at least once a month anyway) but keeps the chain cleaner and appears to be at least as effective a lubricant as any of the teflon race lubes.

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naylor343
Posts: 174
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:46 pm
Location: Haute-Ariege, Midi-Pyrenees

by naylor343

+1 for squirt lube. Only downside is it took me too long to discover it.

Finx
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:14 am

by Finx

I use Molten Speed Wax with occasional touch-up's with Squirt in between wax baths.

My bikes live in my house, and need to be clean/dry, and I appreciate that they don't get grimy between applications.

I have no statistical data to show, but I feel like I'm getting long wear on my chains/cassettes and rings too.

probertsqbe
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:27 pm

by probertsqbe

+1 for Smoove on my best summer road bike. IMO and testing it holds up longer than Squirt between applications.

Now that it’s winter here in the UK it’s back to the wet lube Morgan Blue, which does a job for our challenging and changing weather conditions at this time of year.

I’ve also tried MoltenSpeedWax which was also great on the summer bike, however after trailing smoove this year I decided that the prep wasn’t quite worth the time it was taking with MoltenSeedWax.

TheKaiser
Posts: 643
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:29 pm

by TheKaiser

romanmoser wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:36 pm
Don't buy wend wax color shit
Is crappy stuff

Look at zero friction cycling test
If you want wax buy real wax : Molten speed wax
Regarding Wend, yeah, I don't get how a rub on wax is supposed to get into the inner workings of a chain. Wax dissolved in a carrier or held in an emulsion like Squirt I can understand, but Wend seems like its just a block of ski wax that you rub on your chain. Haven't looked into it but maybe their liquid pre-cleaner does more than clean or something, but still doesn't seem promising.

Regarding Molten Speed Wax, it really seems to be the best but in the Friction Facts/Velonews testing plain old white paraffin from the grocery store was a very close 2nd place, beating all the liquids as I recall, so if the OP is willing to do the extra step of a hot dip then it doesn't need to be expensive.

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 4179
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

I have used Squirt, Smoove and MSW.

MSW runs the “cleanest” but will flake off all over your chainstay and BB area. You can brush it off easily with your hand, but it’s messy if you bring your bike indoors.

To an extent Squirt and Smoove will flake too, but they never go completely solid so flakes are less likely to just fall off your frame or drivetrain. Squirt and Smoove run fairly clean as long as you don’t use too much of it. I apply both in the same way...one drop per roller along a section of chain, then I run my finger over the section of chain to mush the lube into the pins/rollers. Then I advance the chain and do it again. I also lightly wipe off any excess with an old rag immediately after applying (this is counter to Squirt instructions.) The biggest difference between Squirt and Smoove is the latter stays more gummy and lasts a long longer. Because it is gummier, it also gets a little dirtier.

Both Smoove and Squirt can easily be washed off a chain using something like a Park Tool chain cleaner and plain hot water. Their water solubility also means they aren’t the best rainy weather lubes.

RocketRacing
Posts: 873
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

I can’t say much other than throw a bit of logic at it:

Oversimplified, Wax and oils are the same, they just have different “melting” points. I.e. the oil has melted, and the wax will with high enough temps. Grease is somewhere in between. The reverse happens with cold temps. Wax can get really hard, oil will thicken and eventually solidify to a wax.

So what is best? Well... how or cold is it? Just like car engines suggest different weights of oil based on temp... same goes for your chain.

Too thick for your running temp, and it does not properly spread to where you want it (inside chain links), and the more mechanical resistance/wear (lost watts) it will have. Too thin and it will also increase mechanical friction (metal on metal) as it will break down too quickly.

Balance this with bike chains being an “open” system, so whatever oil/grease/wax you use, the compound needs to “stick”. The better it sticks, the worse it penetrates. The best option lies in between.

So which is best, depends.

Most waxes are more than just wax, and most oils are the same.. they are an emulsion (mix) of oils/waxes that work optimally at different temperatures. Think car oil like 5w40... it has different properties at different temperatures.

So what is the right “thickness” of oil for your chain? Tough answer, and i am sure every matketing spin/research suggests their own product is best. In reality, the ideal is something that adsorbs rapidly into the links... but not so rapidly that most of it immediatly drips back out. That is probably too thin. Same with a wax... if most is wiped back off after application, you have to question how much penetrated to where you want it. And that that does... how much is sapping efficiency by generating excess resistance.

It all comes back to the oil vs grease vs wax argument. There is a reason engine oils run oil, not grease or wax. It is all about penetrability. And wd40 is a great example of an extreme... great penetration, but never trust it as a lubricant... it is far too thin.

In the end, “what is best” is less about oil vs wax, and more about cleanlieness and condition of the chain. The ideal lubricant, as long as tou are not too far out in left field... is only secondary.
Last edited by RocketRacing on Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.

BagelMaster
Posts: 139
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:13 pm

by BagelMaster

TheKaiser wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:43 pm
romanmoser wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:36 pm
Don't buy wend wax color shit
Is crappy stuff

Look at zero friction cycling test
If you want wax buy real wax : Molten speed wax
Regarding Wend, yeah, I don't get how a rub on wax is supposed to get into the inner workings of a chain. Wax dissolved in a carrier or held in an emulsion like Squirt I can understand, but Wend seems like its just a block of ski wax that you rub on your chain. Haven't looked into it but maybe their liquid pre-cleaner does more than clean or something, but still doesn't seem promising.

Regarding Molten Speed Wax, it really seems to be the best but in the Friction Facts/Velonews testing plain old white paraffin from the grocery store was a very close 2nd place, beating all the liquids as I recall, so if the OP is willing to do the extra step of a hot dip then it doesn't need to be expensive.
Allegedly with Wend you clean the chain, apply the wax, then use the cleaner again that helps the wax penetrate the rollers, then you can apply more to provide additional protection against gunk.

Never used it, but based on reviews and videos the "Wax Off" bottle helps the solid wax penetrate better.

beanbiken
Posts: 710
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:13 pm
Location: Great Southern Land

by beanbiken

I'm only a recent convert to hot wax but am liking it at the moment. Don't ride in the wet unless I get caught out so water solubility isnt an issue. Have been using a mixture of Paraffin wax and Paraffin oil. Have purchased a lump of refined PW and am waiting on delivery of my PTFE & graphite powders, will then make up the Zero Friction's recipe and give that a whirl...........

BB
BB

Coffee & carbon

RocketRacing
Posts: 873
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

The spray on penetrants for waxes are just emulsifiers. Just buy a good emulsion oil (oil with dissolved bits of wax, or multiple weights of oil). The rest is extra work, and a step backwards. Keeping your setup clean is more key than the exact chain lube you choose.
Last edited by RocketRacing on Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

by Weenie


SilentDrone
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:55 pm

by SilentDrone

I have used white lightning on my road bikes for years with great results. It need to be applied fairly often. I try to do that every 100 miles or so. Otherwise, I find it to be much cleaner than oil based lines with no downsides for me.


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