Hot Waxing chain

The Kalmyk

Well-Known Member
Im building a bike up in the next few weeks and am considering hot waxing the chain. Ive looked online and the lead pitch is chain cleanliness and minimal daily cleaning.. got my attention. Anyone on the board doing this regularly? Looking for that local/unmarketing feedback.

Thank you
 

jklett

Well-Known Member
I do it for my road bike all the time, doesn't hold up to wet conditions very well though so if you're riding in rain and snow I'd do something else. I don't get too fancy, I clean it with mineral spirits in an old mason jar then drop it in canning wax in a mini crock pot for about an hour. The only mess besides the drips on the workbench is some flaked wax on the chainstay after the first ride that wipes right off.
 

The Kalmyk

Well-Known Member
I do it for my road bike all the time, doesn't hold up to wet conditions very well though so if you're riding in rain and snow I'd do something else. I don't get too fancy, I clean it with mineral spirits in an old mason jar then drop it in canning wax in a mini crock pot for about an hour. The only mess besides the drips on the workbench is some flaked wax on the chainstay after the first ride that wipes right off.
Hmmmm. Good to know. when u say no good in rain and snow, what exactly have you experienced? Break down, noise, messy, etc? Absolute Black say to shake the chain out with a hanger while in the hot wax. This gets the wax deep and air out of the chain that may get trapped. BUT for only 3minutes 🤔

What product are u using J?
 

Karate Monkey

Well-Known Member
I do it for my road bike all the time, doesn't hold up to wet conditions very well though so if you're riding in rain and snow I'd do something else. I don't get too fancy, I clean it with mineral spirits in an old mason jar then drop it in canning wax in a mini crock pot for about an hour. The only mess besides the drips on the workbench is some flaked wax on the chainstay after the first ride that wipes right off.

Look at this loser, cleaning it before throwing it in the pot. /s

I chuck it in, stir it around, and leave it for 20-30 minutes. Every few times I do chains, I turn the crock pot on for a hot few seconds, then flip the puck of wax out/scrape the crap off the bottom. Obsessive cleaning might get me a few more miles out of the chain, but wtf has time to sit there and do a 5 jar cleaning system, then tongue off the chain to dry it?

Get a spoke, bend it into a hook, and thread the ends of the chain(s) on. That way, you don't have to screw around with a burning hot chain trying to untangle it to hang it up.

You can add powdered graphite, molybdenum disulfide, or PTFE if you want, but they make minimal difference as far as lubrication longevity is concerned.

By the way, liquid lubricants (including grease) are a higher fraction of distillate than paraffin wax, so if you throw a new chain in, it's just going to be displaced/float off to the top, where you can wipe it off when the wax cools. Science.
 

jklett

Well-Known Member
It may be that I'm just using Gulf paraffin wax and no additives but when I'm riding in dry weather I get a few hundred miles before it needs another go where in wet it only takes a few miles before it starts squeaking.

@Karate Monkey, I didn't know that about the junk floating to the top, I'll try just throwing it into the pot next time and see what happens. My cleaning is just one jar of mineral spirits for however long I'm doing something else then into the crock pot after a quick shake.
 

Karate Monkey

Well-Known Member
It may be that I'm just using Gulf paraffin wax and no additives but when I'm riding in dry weather I get a few hundred miles before it needs another go where in wet it only takes a few miles before it starts squeaking.

@Karate Monkey, I didn't know that about the junk floating to the top, I'll try just throwing it into the pot next time and see what happens. My cleaning is just one jar of mineral spirits for however long I'm doing something else then into the crock pot after a quick shake.

It works. If you're worried about it, leave the pot on for a few minutes after you remove the chain, and allowing the pot to come to still, then shut it off. As far as 'junk' (which I'm reading as: dirt/wear particles), they won't float. They sink to the bottom, where--as mentioned--you can scrape off when the wax is solidified, if you first turn the pot back on long enough to partially soften the bottom; take the crock out of the heater, flip it, and whack with a palm.

My experience definitely lines up with yours re: squeaking, but once it dries out (say, I went through a puddle/something), it stops. Way back in time, when I used to commute by bike in any weather (but before I waxed chains), I had observed that the chain would only squeak AFTER it stopped raining. Interestingly, as far as making noise is concerned, I hear the chain sliding/snagging on the chainring (mountain bike) LONG before I hear squeaking. Honestly, that gets me more than anything.

*edit* yes, Gulf Wax, by the way. If you're buying 100% paraffin wax, it literally doesn't matter what brand you get.
 

MadisonDan

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I did this for 4-5 years on my CX and road bikes. Had two chains for each bike, so there was always one ready to swap out when needed.

The wax was a custom blend that a friend made while he was out of work for a while. It had all the sciency stuff in it. Rinse chain off, drop in the hot wax, about 15 minutes on each side, agitating gently for the first few minutes.


The chain would last about 1k miles between waxes in dry/mostly dry conditions. If it was a muddy CX race, I’d just redo it as part of post race clean up no matter what.

Drivetrain was always perfectly quiet, never picked up dirt/debris.

A newly waxed chain did leave some wax bits on the rear derailleur sometimes, or on the floor if the bike was on the trainer
 

jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
This seems intuitively correct. Why would wax be a good chain lubricant?

How about next time your Mustang needs an oil change we just melt some Yankee Candle into it? That's how dumb it is 🤣🤣🤣

T9 was engineered by rocket scientists to keep jet engines working at the speed of sound. I'm gonna go with that over bath scents 100% of the time.
 

johnbryanpeters

Well-Known Member
If you want to read arguments for wax as a lubricant, this article and the top two links cited are a starting point:

 

stb222

Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
If you want to read arguments for wax as a lubricant, this article and the top two links cited are a starting point:

Lol, on a wax lube companies site
 
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jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
I just want to be left alone with my Rainbow XX1 chain...

hot-bubble-bath-beautiful-candles-speaks-itself-relaxation-view-people-gorgeous-cloudy-bubbles...jpg
 

jShort

2018 Fantasy Football Toilet Bowl Lead Technician
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Someone should try this and let us know how it works. Only $150 for 4.7 oz. seems like a great deal for Chain lube.

 

The Kalmyk

Well-Known Member
Someone should try this and let us know how it works. Only $150 for 4.7 oz. seems like a great deal for Chain lube.


I see it for $19? The pucks are $35.
 

serviceguy

Well-Known Member
I see it for $19? The pucks are $35.
That is for 14ml, the 140ml is $145.99, but they only sell starting on 3/1 due to the migratory schedule of the absolute black elves that produce the coveted material. Thankfully they’re on their way back from middle earth right now so tonight at 11:30pm they can start the machine and be ready to start fulfill orders at 12:00am, sharp as a tack!
 
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