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Thread: Waxing the Chain

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett L. View Post
    That lead me to some interesting articles! It really makes me want to check out the parrafin wax route, if only as a trial basis. Any experience with a pre-mixed one like Molten Speed Wax versus a "homemade" recipe of parrafin plus additives?
    I did years ago, but after R'n'R showed up, "long form" chain waxing is (imho) not worth it unless you're looking for marginal gains in friction reduction. Both methods, or a hybrid of the two (immaculately clean new chain plus soak in R'n'R) gives great results for longevity. I'm gonna sound snooty, but Silca NFS is absolutely the fastest/smoothest feeling lube I've used. Beats the pants off R'n'R Gold. But zero longevity unless you into the "daily chain wipe" protocol. IOW, race bikes? Silca or homemade wax. Daily driver? R'n'R gold or blue.

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  3. #22
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    BTT with some anecdotal evidence for the wax-curious. A little while ago I bought this, and this.

    TL;DR It's probably only good for "race" bikes, or the "weekend-only while it's sunny" kind of riding.

    I took a brand-spanking new KMC X11SL DLC chain, degreased it with simple green, dipped it in 90% alcohol, then into a 250 degree oven for an hour, then finally wiped down with a lint-free cloth. I then dropped the chain into the hot wax, stirred it around for about 30 seconds, then pulled it back out and let it hang to set. After breaking loose all the links, I installed it on my Allez Sprint.

    Pros: Almost 100% clean - nearly zero black residue on the entire drivetrain. After 4 or 5 50+ mile rides, you can run your hand along the chain, and it's almost completely clean, even after a few wet-ish rides (not riding in the rain but riding on rain soaked roads). To re-wax the chain (which, obviously, requires removal from the bike) takes about 10 minutes, not counting the time to re-melt the wax.

    Cons: The chain gets fairly noisy pretty quickly; within about 100 miles.

    I'm keeping close tabs on chain wear using a Rohloff wear indicator. Right now I've only got ~375-400 miles on the chain and it still measures like new which is not surprising and says little about anything. It seems like I'll settle into re-waxing the chain every 2 to 3 weeks depending on mileage, which is only a bit more often than I was re-lubing with Silca NFS last racing season. The new Speedwax formulation does seem to last a bit longer than my old home-brew method from nearly 20 years ago.

    Oddly enough, I had good/decent wear results using NFS on my race bike last year, but when we tried it on my GF's 1x CX race bike, it ate the chain in less than 800 miles. Like, completely worn out per Rohloff chain wear indicator. So, perhaps the moral of the story with NFS is don't mix it with dirt and/or repeated bike washing. We'll be going back to R'n'R Gold on the CX bikes next season.

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  5. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Meatmotor View Post

    Cons: The chain gets fairly noisy pretty quickly; within about 100 miles.
    Squirt always seems to be on hand at NICA races (kinda like how Stans is at mtb/gravel races) so I've been using it on my never-been-outside-cheap-and-basically-a-POS-from-Performance-sell-off trainer bike and I've noticed that the chain noise disappears each time I reapply and comes back fairly quickly.

  6. #24
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    It seems like most of the noise is from the plates and the chainring teeth especially in cross chaining situations, not the typical dry-chain roller-rattle. I'm okay with it as long as I don't start seeing roller/pin wear. My instinct tells me once the wax gets in between the rollers and the pins, there isn't an easy way for it to get out/worn off. Which is a good thing. I'm kind of tempted to take my cassette and clean the bejeesus out of it then dip it in the wax just to see if that helps without mucking up the shifting.

  7. #25
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    Ceramic speed released a "study" not too long ago indicating that a noisy chain isn't necessarily slower. Seems like their UFO wax also can be a bit noisy. I think you're assessment is probably correct; the noise is from the plates rather than pins and rollers, and as long as the pins don't wear, the chain won't really stretch (hypothetically).

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

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  10. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett L. View Post
    Ceramic speed released a "study" not too long ago indicating that a noisy chain isn't necessarily slower. Seems like their UFO wax also can be a bit noisy.
    Who cares how fast it is if it drives you nuts before you get there?

  11. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    Who cares how fast it is if it drives you nuts before you get there?
    Even better if it drives your competitors nuts and they drop back!

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