Chain WAXing (yes it's that easy) - and other mysteries of this art!

Discussion in 'Bike trends, tech, and industry' started by LarryOz, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. ratz

    ratz Wielder of the Rubber Mallet

    RAAM Bikes 50/36 and 11-32T wax chains so far it's enough.... wax ain't melting in the dessert; and there's no grease on the team.
     
    super slim, Eric Winn and Zzzorse like this.
  2. jond

    jond Zen MBB Master

    Speaking of waxing.........I hope the team waxed their legs for unity.

    You can leave the hair on Larry. ;)

    Tough gear to push north of 7% ratz especially with all the heat.

    Thanks ratz for your efforts.
     
  3. super slim

    super slim Zen MBB Master

    I wonder if Larry landed all the hill climbs?
     
  4. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Zen MBB Master

    Waxed my first chains yesterday. Process was no big issue. Discovered that "mineral spirits" from Wal-Mart are some sort of milky eco-concoction...no longer the "mineral spirits" of my youth. They did the job...but not as good as the old stuff. Next time I will look for the 'good stuff' or just go with acetone (I guess they don't sell MEK anymore...).
    I purchased a small 'crock-pot' slow cooker to dedicate to the process. Cost me $8 (on sale). I was a tad concerned that it might not get the wax up to temp but in 30 min, the wax was liquid and 180 degrees. By the time I got the chains ready to go in the pot, it was over 200F. I unplugged the pot and let it cool down a bit before I added the chains.

    Otherwise, all went well. I now have a freshly waxed new chain on the V20 and a backup all packaged and ready to go.

    Thanks to all y'all who contributed to this thread. Your input made my task very easy! :emoji_thumbsup:
     
    Bruce B likes this.
  5. Jerrye

    Jerrye Spam Slayer

    You should be able to find real mineral spirits, MEK, and a few other chemicals at your local Home Depot.
     
    trapdoor2 likes this.
  6. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Zen MBB Master

    Thx! Good to know. I bought this stuff at Wally-world (suddenly remembering I needed a solvent, etc.) ...not knowing it was anything but what it said on the container "Mineral Spirits". Now that I've looked at the MSDS, I find it is an emulsion of water and MS. "Friendlier" :rolleyes: It worked, but was not nearly as aggressive as the old stuff. I have almost literally bathed in MEK (which hurts, BTW)...when I was a kid learning how to spray paint, etc.
     
    Jerrye likes this.
  7. Jerrye

    Jerrye Spam Slayer

    Ah, the memories...if I could remember...in my first job in printing we used buckets of MEK, toluene, NPA, and hexene press side as ink thinners. Each one gave the ink different drying times. The hexene was fun, as a shot glass full, thrown on the floor, disappears in less than a minute!

    Went back for a visit about 10 months after leaving that job, and could smell the pressroom from more than 100 feet away, outside of the building. Working in it daily built a resistance to the odor, believe it or not.
     
  8. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Zen MBB Master

    LOL. I remember having to scrub mold out of a tiny space above the baggage compartment of a Bell 206 helicopter. The baggage compt. was just big enough for me (5-11, 180lbs back then) to sit in x-legged with one arm up thru an inspection panel. I had an open bucket of toluene between my legs and a red rag to dip in the bucket and then reach thru the inspection panel up to my armpit and scrub. Every 30 min, they'd pull me out and stuff some other poor mechanic in.
     
    Jerrye likes this.
  9. ratz

    ratz Wielder of the Rubber Mallet

    Simple green works better than mineral spirits and won't wreck plastic parts if some remains in the chain under the wax


     
  10. Emeljay

    Emeljay Well-Known Member

    Like ratz says, simple green, or the orange stuff both work great at getting the oily/greasy stuff off both the original manufacturers greased chains (which is great lube for the chain but attracts grit, so I like to wax the chain since it doesn't attract grit!) and off my gritty hot Arizona chain after I have ridden (that's a word, right?) on it too long, and with less greasy stuff on my clothes and me, and the chain less greasy also, and less gritty so it lasts longer. And it's easy...just use an old crock pot to heat the wax, dip the chain that has had the original lube cleaned off with the green/orange cleaner, let it cool and you then put the super duper lubed chain on, off you go! Couple of hundred miles later you do this again, or better yet do this to a couple of chains at a time so you always have a spare ready to go for that ride!
     
  11. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Zen MBB Master

    Yah, I have a gallon of Simple Green here...chose to go with what I thought was a mild petroleum distillate. It worked (chains got OEM stuff off) but I won't use it again. I hope to have the chain off my V2/k this weekend. I'll clean it using SG and compare.
     
  12. Gary123

    Gary123 Well-Known Member

    Couple hundred miles? Is that all?
     
  13. Emeljay

    Emeljay Well-Known Member

    Yes, during the summer like now when temps are above 100°F I change out my chain every couple of weeks which is about 200 miles. During the winter, if one can say Phoenix, Arizona, has winter, then I change to a newly waxed chain about once a month. It's not as easy as wiping the chain with a rag and putting on oil, but not as messy either. Heating the Crock-Pot, dipping and stiring 2 chains around in the wax, pulling them out and wiping off excess wax does not take much time or effort. And the quick links make it easy to change the chain.
     
  14. RojoRacing

    RojoRacing Donut Powered Wise-guy

    I started with 2 new chains and rotate them every time I need to rewax the chain. I wax both in the same go to save time and effort. I change out my chain once every 1-2 weeks which is 200-500 miles. The chain doesn't start to sound like it needs it till after 400 miles though in moderate weather. Waxing is so clean and easy that after you do it a few times you won't mind rewaxing a bit earlier if it's convenient. I don't have exact mileage numbers but I must have several thousand miles on each of my chains and on my chain wear gage they still register brand new. Even with me completely solvent dipping and relubing with normal chain oil every week like I used to my chain would need to have been replaced about now.

    Wax dipping my chains has saved me two chains at this point which is close to $120 which more then pays for my investment in tools for the job.
     
    Emeljay, Zzzorse and Gary123 like this.
  15. Gary123

    Gary123 Well-Known Member

    Makes sense. It just seems like a lot of trouble. Maybe it is worth the effort. I guess drivetrain wear is also reduced.
     
  16. RojoRacing

    RojoRacing Donut Powered Wise-guy

    That's what I thought until several months later when I didn't have to completely tear apart my derailer pulleys, cassette and chainring a to give them a proper cleaning before the other riders started making fun of how dirty my bike was getting. When you factor in all that other crap you never have to clean again along with how much longer everything lasts it's an easy choice. On the other hand if someone was the kind of person who isn't anal about his bike being clean and in perfect working order all the time then I'd image just adding a little lube every couple rides until the system completely dies then regular lube would be easier.
     
    Emeljay and trapdoor2 like this.
  17. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Zen MBB Master

    Or...someone like me who never lubes their chain. The chain on my Catrike lasted 10+ yrs...about 2000 miles. The only reason I replaced it was that I hadn't ridden it in years and when I tried to do so...over half of the links were rusted together. :oops: The V20 is the first bike I've ever actually kept reasonably clean. :)

    Hey, I'm a highly trained mechanic. I my own equipment takes least priority.
     
  18. ratz

    ratz Wielder of the Rubber Mallet

    RAAM team is still on their "first" waxed chain per bike. Probably won't change them until Ohio at this rate
     
  19. Gary123

    Gary123 Well-Known Member

    Pretty impressive. Is that about 500 mi. Per bike?
     
  20. RojoRacing

    RojoRacing Donut Powered Wise-guy

    When I did my 510 mile 24hr event last year my chain was still going strong right to the end. I could have easily put another couple hundred on it.
     

Share This Page