What do you think of the chain wax?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Hexsense
Posts: 956
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am

by Hexsense

Wax vs Oil is almost as preference question as Dry vs Wet lube. Either way are fine.
Sometime an alternative like liquid plastic (Dumonde Tech) appear, creating hype, and yet not providing enough benefit to make people convert from conventional oil or wax.
If you ask people if they like oil (like Rock&Roll lube) or wax (like Squirt lube) more, answer will pretty much split in half. And both side will have good reasons to prefer their choice.
Even chain used can effect their preference (like Shimano chain have Sil-tec coating that some oil/wax find hard time sticking to it).

I used to use MSW too, but now owning just two bikes, ride mostly on trainer with occasion weekend ride, i'm seeking alternative that is easier to apply and still clean.
UFO drip is out of question with their price tag.
I kinda know that Rock&Roll lube and Squirt are both good without needing to test.
So i'm testing alternative choice with low amount of review like Lilly Lube instead.

by Weenie


shimmeD
Posts: 487
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Location: eNZed

by shimmeD

I'm using Cerabike wax lube for the road and Rock n Roll Gold on the track.
When either runs out I have a bottle of NFS to try.
I also think about waxing but it may not happen.
Less is more.

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 4310
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

Oh yeah, I know some places recommend wax based lubes indoors, but I highly recommend against that unless you want those flakes all over your mat/floor.

Just use the lightest dry lube possible indoors or the track...like RnR Gold or Absolute Dry. In something like 300 hours on the trainer with very sporadic use of RnR Absolute Dry, my current chain still hasn't worn anywhere near 0.5%.

The only "wax" I might use on my trainer is Boeshield T-9 with a very, very thorough wipedown after application.

grumpier
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:01 pm

by grumpier

I will never use an oil-based lube again. Maybe they are better in wet conditions, but I usually wuss out and go home when it rains anyway.

I have use Molten, Squirt and the Premier Lube. The Premier stuff is really nice. Goes on easily and then drys to a solid wax that is just a bit softer than a freshly waxed Molten chain. Last time I bought one, a HUGE bottle was about 16$. There was also some independent testing by Martin Toft Madssen (MTM on Slowtwitch and Danish National Hour Record holder) that found it to be pretty darn good.

Dokas
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:12 pm

by Dokas

VTR1000SP2 wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:10 pm
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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Answers are good information. Thank you.

Dokas
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:12 pm

by Dokas

RocketRacing wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:55 pm
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.
It's a little difficult, but thank you. :? :? :? :? :?

hambini
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Location: Cologne, Germany

by hambini

I use squirt as well. The only issue is it doesn't hold up well when it's wet. I have found the motorcycle lubricants to be better when it is completely thrashing it down.

The thing with the wax is the length of time to faff around with it vs chaincleaner and lube. The convenience is more important to me.
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joeyb1000
Posts: 216
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:37 pm

by joeyb1000

I've used Molten Speedwax this year. The big advantage is the cleanliness. I will likely never go back to regular chain lube on my track bikes.

brackc
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:07 am

by brackc

As most others have said wax is just different to lube and there's no "right" answer for everyone, here's a rough summary of the main points, see zerofrictioncycling for a full run down on bike lubrication vs wax or individual lube testing. Also friction facts (now ceramic speed) had some older testing out there.

Waxing:
pros
-long drive chain life
-long application life (300+ kms easy)
-lowest friction option
-works really well for wet rides
-only need to handle solvents once
-cleans up in hot water
-drivetrain itself stays really clean (once initial excess wax is pressed out)

cons
-hard to initially prepare chain correctly
-some chains don't like bonding to the wax
-lots of mis-information around (e.g. ozcycles)
-some seemingly terrible products with great marketing, e.g. wend's mix-your-own emulsion
-wax doesn't prevent rust from forming on a wet chain, so must be dried post wet-ride
-chain has to actually be clean, no stop, clean it again, nah, one more time, ok, now rinse that off with metho a few times, ok, NOW it's finally clean enough for wax application
-wax can burn you if immersion waxing
-wax is flammable
-time consuming process to re-wax if you only run a singular chain
-hard to find high-purity paraffin wax to use, lower grades don't last as long
-initial flaking of excess wax

Oil-Lube:
pros
-everyone knows them
-everyone stocks them
-can apply anywhere (no power, no hot water = no problem)
-number of products on market, some are pretty damn impressive!
-prevents rust to wet chain

cons
-collects dust, dirt and other things that wear out your drivetrain
-requires frequent cleaning to prevent pre-mature drivetrain wear, especially after any wet ride!
-not absolute lowest friction option for racing
-lots of solvent usage to keep drivetrain clean
-solvents can move around the bike and strip grease from bearings, etc
-most people over-apply oil which collects more crap and wears the drivetrain
-people tend not to actually clean the chain often or properly, so it wears even faster still

Disclosure:
been using a waxed chain for ~3000 kms on my road bike and still using oil based lubricant on my commuter bike

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Sjoerd
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Location: Les Pays Bas

by Sjoerd

brackc wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:47 am
-lots of mis-information around (e.g. ozcycles)
You mean the guy on YouTube? I found his clips pretty entertaining and he seemed to know what he was talking about. Can you please elaborate on what's wrong with his advice? Thanks!

zefs
Posts: 438
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:40 pm

by zefs

I had been using Squirt but found Muc Off C3 ceramic (oil based) even cleaner and easier to maintain. So for dry, I wouldn't go back to Squirt since it was building up more gunk and had to clean more frequently. I just use a rug for the chain/pulleys after every ride (although not required) and it's as clean with Muc Off, but that is not for wet conditions.

brackc
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:07 am

by brackc

Sjoerd wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:46 am
brackc wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:47 am
-lots of mis-information around (e.g. ozcycles)
You mean the guy on YouTube? I found his clips pretty entertaining and he seemed to know what he was talking about. Can you please elaborate on what's wrong with his advice? Thanks!
essentially it boils down to his opinions not being correct... His videos are entertaining though, hence why so many people (me included) have followed his advice!

with wax you're trying to adhere a thin, hard and tough wax layer onto the metal surfaces of the chain, which then takes ages to abrade off through riding your bike, hence the long period of time until you need to re wax. A lot of his information comes from having a poor adhesion of the wax to the chain and then trying to cram more wax into the chain, which just means more mess on your first ride when it's all pushed back out of the chain. Using a softer wax (diluting with oil) means you'll get better adhesion on a dirty chain, so it will run quieter if you haven't actually cleaned the chain properly. Results in a very dirty running system - to the point you're not getting any of the benefits of using wax.

I've personally tried what ozcycles said, as well as what zerofrictioncycling said and I now have a healthy opinion of who was 'wrong' now...

That being said don't trust anyone until you can verify the information they're telling you in some way, shape, or form, so please do try ozcycles instructions, but tbh most of the chain wear on my current chain was caused in the first ~500km (/3000km now) by following his instructions!

beanbiken
Posts: 715
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Location: Great Southern Land

by beanbiken

brackc wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:21 pm
Using a softer wax (diluting with oil) means you'll get better adhesion on a dirty chain, so it will run quieter if you haven't actually cleaned the chain properly. Results in a very dirty running system - to the point you're not getting any of the benefits of using wax.

I've personally tried what ozcycles said, as well as what zerofrictioncycling said and I now have a healthy opinion of who was 'wrong' now...
Does seem to echo my experience with the wax/oil mixture in that it does run nice and quite and much cleaner than non-wax lubes but still somewhat dirty. I have purchased a big lump of refined PW and am waiting on the other ingredients to try the PW/graphite/Teflon recipe...........

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F45
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:08 am

by F45

MikeD wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:00 pm
Smoove. Works for a long time on my mountain bike (dry, dusty conditions). Haven't tried it on the road bike yet though.
Yes Smoove, where following the instructions results in a coating of slurry all over the chain, full of dirt particles to grind your drivetrain into dust. Highly recommend.

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F45
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:08 am

by F45

ok but do you guys realize that the lube goes inside the chain? The outside should be clean.

by Weenie


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