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Old 12-01-2019, 05:31 PM
weaponsgrade weaponsgrade is offline
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Life of a waxed chain

I've been riding with waxed chains on some of my bikes and thought I'd report on some findings. One of the things that's been interesting is how the need to rewax seems to manifest itself in a loud creaking noise when in a low gear. I had some low gear creaking noises on one of my bikes. I pulled the hub apart and couldn't see anything amiss. Bearings felt fine, no cracks, etc. It didn't yet occur to me that the chain needed a rewax because the creaking only happened when I was in a low gear and shifts seemed fine. I didn't have time to put everything back together and I set the wheel aside for a bit while I got some rides in on my other bikes. I then experienced the exact same sound on my other bikes - creaking, but only in low gear. I rewaxed all the chains and now all is good. Here's how many miles I got out of each bike:

Bike 1: 270mi
Bike 2: 120mi
Bike 3: 426mi

Bikes 1 and 2 are mountain bikes. Bikes 1 and 2 had some riding in some damp conditions. I seem to recall riding bike 1 in more damp conditions than bike 2, though bike 2 was subjected to some pounding rain while mounted to the roof of my car. Bike 3 is a gravel bike that saw a mix of mostly dry road and dirt conditions.
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:36 PM
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DWColiins DWColiins is offline
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What kind of wax are you using? Straight paraffin? Or something else?

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Old 12-01-2019, 05:43 PM
oldguy00 oldguy00 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weaponsgrade View Post
...
Bike 1: 270mi
Bike 2: 120mi
Bike 3: 426mi
....
That seems pretty much in line with what I've read for re-waxing chains. Mine are mostly used indoors, then outside for races. I probably re-wax them after roughly 250 - 300 miles, and always before a race. Thats on a triathlon bike.
I use molten speed wax. Yes, more expensive than paraffin from Walmart, but still only about $20 a year. I could make a $20 bag last longer, but I dump the wax and put a new bag in the crock pot each year just because.
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:51 PM
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joosttx joosttx is online now
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I go about 150 miles on my mountain bike (all off road use) I think I could go a little longer but I don’t mind the waxing process. I’m using molten speed wax.
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:58 PM
John H. John H. is offline
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milage

I think expecting 250-400+ out of a wax job is too much.
I am more in the 150 cam like Houston-

I keep a small container of Wendwax in my seat bag. If my drivetrain starts getting too noisy, I massage a bit of that into the chain and do a re-wax when I get home. Works great-
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Old 12-01-2019, 06:15 PM
weaponsgrade weaponsgrade is offline
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I'm using molten speedwax. I should also add that the bike 2 miles are all dirt while the bike 1 miles included road riding. Riding on dirt - even dry dirt seems to really affect the wax longevity. Overall I'm happy with the results. It's great not having to deal with a greasy drivetrain.
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Old 12-01-2019, 06:21 PM
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joosttx joosttx is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weaponsgrade View Post
I'm using molten speedwax. I should also add that the bike 2 miles are all dirt while the bike 1 miles included road riding. Riding on dirt - even dry dirt seems to really affect the wax longevity. Overall I'm happy with the results. It's great not having to deal with a greasy drivetrain.
I think the dust where we live is pretty fine which doesn’t help the longevity of the wax.
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Old 12-01-2019, 06:50 PM
zmalwo zmalwo is offline
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I had no idea chain can creak too.
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:42 PM
eddief eddief is offline
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Lightbulb sounds about right for wax

that's why I have settled on NFS for the foreseeable future.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:27 AM
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BdaGhisallo BdaGhisallo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddief View Post
that's why I have settled on NFS for the foreseeable future.
I used NFS from the first day I could buy it. It's a great wet lube - easily the best I have used in my 30 + years of riding - but I am waxing now.

Waxing is just so damn easy and clean. The chain stays clean but, more importantly and surprising for me, the bike also remains a lot cleaner. I have ridden a few times in pouring rain since starting to wax and I am pleased with how less filthy the rest of the bike gets. With no wet lube to get sludged up and flung around the rear triangle, clean up is a four minute soap and water wash.

And I have found that a waxed chain will survive a couple of rides in the wet. When I started I was worried that after any ride that saw any water I would have to re-wax the chain. I needn't have worried.
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:40 AM
pritchet74 pritchet74 is offline
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Been waxing for years - I do the parrafin + addatives that the Jason at Friction Facts (now CeramicSpeed) suggested. Super easy and everything stays CLEAN which is what I really like since when I drive somewhere to ride I put the bike in the back seat of my car (front wheel removed). No more grease keeps the car clean.

I would say I average about 200 miles per chain. I regularly alternate between 2 road bikes, so once one bike is in need I stick with the other one until that is in need - then I was both chains at the same time.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:12 AM
CAAD CAAD is offline
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I would be cleaning the chain weekly using wax. I like the idea of a clean drivetrain though. Currently using nfs. I use some speed degreaser on a rag and run the chain backwards a few times. Then reapply nfs. Takes 2min, chain stays on the bike.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:39 AM
eddief eddief is offline
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diy

https://www.cyclingnews.com/features...-lube-formula/

The recipe for the UltraFast lube itself is surprisingly simple: 1lb of "household paraffin wax", 5g of pure PTFE (Teflon) powder, and 1g of pure molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). The wax is first melted at approximately 180°F, the powders are added in, and the ingredients are thoroughly mixed with some sort of agitator (Smith uses a common battery powered milk frother).
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:26 AM
Dave Dave is offline
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I apply my wax in liquid form, dissolved in naptha, with .5% gear lube for added wear protection.

Chains still need to be cleaned occasionally, to get the longest life. No lube prevents grit from getting into the chain. If you never clean a chain, it won't last as long.

Dipping a chain into hot wax is not going to clean a chain like a good solvent bath will.
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Old 12-02-2019, 01:28 PM
Ken Robb Ken Robb is offline
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I know wax is good for rust prevention. I wonder if it provides the same protection against wear as dedicated chain lubes.
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