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. Balor

    Balor Well-Known Member


    Well, *I* admit on getting on a 'chain-l' oil fad and paying for it in, well, chains.
    Still, real-world performance of above mentioned mix is extremely good - while not absolutely spotless, it is by several orders of magnitude cleaner than wet oils, and chains last extremely long - both 'per application' and when it comes to longevity in adverse conditions.
  2. RAR

    RAR Well-Known Member

    Ignore buttons are wonderful
    1happyreader likes this.
  3. Gary123

    Gary123 Well-Known Member

    Would scented candles make your bike smell better?
    super slim likes this.
  4. super slim

    super slim Zen MBB Master

    Could be dangerous if on a cycle tour through the Rockies as bears would want to lick the chain!
  5. trplay

    trplay Zen MBB Master

    Scented candles do have a slight aroma.
  6. Gary123

    Gary123 Well-Known Member

    My wife loves to burn scented candles especially after I ride. Hmmmm.
    super slim likes this.
  7. Balor

    Balor Well-Known Member

    And those people complain about how 'close-minded' and 'groupthinkish' DF riders are, and "if only they've tried something before judging it harshly".
  8. ratz

    ratz Wielder of the Rubber Mallet

    Not really true; we never changed chains on RAAM and the last two days we got rather wet; both riding the bikes in the pouring rain and dragging them behind the trucks at 65mph.... At the finish line, the waxed chains were fine for probably another 100-200 miles of riding; and the fresh chains were in the tool kit unused.
  9. Balor

    Balor Well-Known Member

    I don't think you've been using candle wax, though. Been there, done that.
    Waxes range wildly in crystalline structure (hence "takiness"), melting temperature, naturally occuring impurities (like oil content).
    Come to think of it, there are "soy wax candles", which might indeed be a good waxing material (I've read some papers) Hard to find here, though.
  10. ratz

    ratz Wielder of the Rubber Mallet

    Specifically, I was referring to Paraffin. (which is the most common wax for candles as it's odorless).... Paraffin doesn't wash off in water that's why they use it as the base for chain oils.

    Properties. Paraffin wax is mostly found as a white, odorless, tasteless, waxy solid, with a typical melting point between about 46 and 68 °C (115 and 154 °F), and a density of around 900 kg/m3. It is insoluble in water, but soluble in ether, benzene, and certain esters.
    super slim likes this.
  11. Balor

    Balor Well-Known Member

    What EXACTLY were you using to wax your chains? Like I said, paraffins vary greatly - for instance, pure paraffins with higher melting temperature tend to be much 'tackier' by themselves.


    Selective quoting is bad, mkay?

    Note I've even included parenthesis that indicate that 'washed off' is not meant to be taken literally!

    A typical candle (low melting point, high crystallinity) wax is hard, brittle and has NO adhesion to metal at all. Hence, it would quickly flake off pretty much everywhere. Yea, it would still remain trapped in the pin-plate interface in miniscule amounts, that would still be enough to lubricate it for quite a while (hundreds of miles), but it would NOT form a "seal" hence once you hit water filled with dirt (abrasive particles) - they would quickly migrate into pin-plate interface, scour away the remaning paraffin and continue on their 'dirty job'.
    Once the chain dry up, they would start 'squaking' immediately (before that the water itself would actually serve as a kind of 'lubricant').

    Actually, this 'dry running' may in fact STILL be preferable to using wet oil that would trap those abrasive particles and continue supplying them into the friction pairs.
    There are some experiments I've read online by people who been dry-running their chains, and they've been getting a bit MORE lifetime of their chains compared to wet-lubing them.

    Using a right mix of waxes and greases makes the chain nearly impenetrable to contaminants - I've tried it all myself for thousands of kilometres, I know what I'm talking about.

    Though, when 'watts' are concerned, using tacky waxes and greases might reduce efficiency not unlike using heavy oil does. Still, my goal is mostly about chain longevity in all conditions (both ultimate and 'per application'). If your goal is different, your composition should be different.
  12. trplay

    trplay Zen MBB Master

    Your experiences are completely opposite of mine. My candle wax sticks fine to metal. My chains lasts miles and miles longer than they use too. You flakey spill sounds great but reality is even candle wax is soft not brittle. Maybe in really cold climates? But on the real roads around here the road temperature and low melt point of candle wax has them a little softer than I like. Why because its sticky and picks up dirt. Put this one down as another one of your facts you might consider re-looking at.
  13. Balor

    Balor Well-Known Member

    Well, it simply means that YOUR candles are made from a wax with high content of micro-crystalline waxes and, likely, oils too. I've tried a few candles before turning to mixing them with beeswax/ceresine mix and all of them have been NOT sticky at all, flaked off extremely fast and, again, one short ride in the rain and need to 'rewax' ASAP.
    This is why, if you want consistent results, you should be using not 'candle wax' (unless you have a SPECIFIC brand of candles in mind), but, say, wax from candle shops supplies:
    super slim likes this.
  14. ak-tux

    ak-tux Guru

    trapdoor2 likes this.
  15. DavidCH

    DavidCH In thought; expanding the paradigm of traversity

    Oh my.... now I don't even need to heat the wax! (I will though because I bought enough wax to last me years. But this stuff below looks really cool)

    CeramicSpeed’s new UFO Drip chain coating is supposedly the fastest available – despite becoming solid on the chain
    ak-tux likes this.
  16. ak-tux

    ak-tux Guru

    .. at ".... cost £70 per 180ml.":eek: I'd rather stick to my pot of wax+Teflon ... just saying.
    Balor and DavidCH like this.
  17. jond

    jond Zen MBB Master

    Ok I'm convinced all bikes going wax.

    Use in equal parts paraffin candle wax paraffin oil and for suspension xylene or mineral turps for liquid room temp application out of a squirty bottle.

    First two ingredients use as per entire thread crockpot melt soak chain wipe and bag

    Three ingredients for a portable rewax option.

    Cool thanks. No more dirty greasy man abuse from missus lol
    super slim and Don1 like this.
  18. jond

    jond Zen MBB Master

    Oh yeah kmc gold 10 Spd sil chain 1000 klm on fat bike wear limit using rock n roll gold lube every second ride. Lots of soft sand riding.

    So will be interesting to see if candles can hold a match to that.

    To the wife's kitchen cupboards I go before she gets home. ;)
    Balor, Don1, Zzzorse and 1 other person like this.
  19. Balor

    Balor Well-Known Member

    My experience exactly, only even less than 1000 km on XTR chain - and it hit wear limit. Sand eats chains for breakfast... if it can get inside the friction pairs, that is!
    I guarantee that you'll get an order of magnitude more out of your chains in such conditions.
  20. jond

    jond Zen MBB Master

    I hope so but the rock n roll gold is wax based and the chain is always shiney and clean. But I can feel it crunching as it were. So maybe I need to clean chain and wax more often too. Going to try a weekly schedule with two chains. I like to clean off bike so quicklink is imperative.
    super slim likes this.

Share This Page